Sacramento Magazine September 2020

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FOCUS ON THE FACE Kenneth M. Toft, M.D.

959 Reserve Drive • Roseville • (916) 782-TOFT (8638) • Dr. Kenneth M. Toft is considered Sacramento’s expert in facial plastic surgery. He began his surgical training at Stanford University, continued his studies as a Clinical Instructor in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at UCLA, and has been the Medical Director of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Mercy San Juan Medical Center for thirteen years. This impressive pedigree is backed up with exceptional results. Focusing entirely on the face, Dr. Toft has a reputation of giving patients natural appearing results with a quick recovery utilizing the most modern techniques available. Dr. Toft uses his expertise to minimize the signs of surgery so his patients can return to their active lifestyle looking refreshed, youthful and balanced. Not ready for surgery? Dr. Toft also personally performs all fillers, Botox®, Dysport®, and Photofacial treatments. In addition, a licensed Medical Esthetician can provide expertise in corrective peels, Dermasweep treatments, and pharmaceutical-grade skincare. If you are considering facial plastic surgery or would like to attend an informational seminar, make an appointment with “the expert” in Facial Plastic Surgery, Kenneth M. Toft, M.D.

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Contents SEPTEMBER 2020



HOW THEIR GARDENS GROW Chefs’ gardens explode with fruits, veggies and herbs. Photography by Debbie Cunningham


SPEAKING OUT ABOUT SCHOOL Looks like we’re in for distance learning again. By Sasha Abramsky


BLUE HER MIND A designer’s use of color helps a homeowner fall in love with her house. By Mari Tzikas Suarez


IT’S ONLY NATURAL “Natty wines” may be the next big drinkable thing. By Diana Bizjak

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SECTIONS 17 THE 916 Call of the Wild Contact Tracing

62 ARTS & CULTURE Music Lessons

Food Boxes


Taking It to the Streets


Mother Knows Best Feeding Oak Park


ON THE COVER m a r i a h qu i n ta n il l a

D E PA R T M E N T S 23 HEALTH Finding Joy


14 EDITOR’S NOTE Garden Quite Contrary

On a Roll




By Thea Marie Rood


Meet our family at Kaufman & Davis Plastic Surgery. We understand that making the decision to undergo cosmetic surgery is a big one, which is often associated with a little anxiety. We want you to feel warm and welcome, and will do anything we can to make you feel at home. Our greatest asset at Kaufman & Davis Plastic Surgery is the dedicated team of caring professionals who make up our staff. Through this cohesive group we deliver meticulous, gentle, and compassionate care to our patients and strive to exceed their expectations.


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In this issue and online / September 2020

PUBLISHER Dennis Rainey EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Krista Minard ART DIRECTOR Gabriel Teague E D I TO R I A L MANAGING EDITOR Darlena Belushin McKay DINING EDITOR Marybeth Bizjak CALENDAR EDITOR Kari L. Rose Parsell CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sasha Abramsky, Luna Anona, Daniel Barnes, Diana Bizjak, Cathy Cassinos-Carr, Ed Goldman, Jennifer Berry Junghans, Angela Knight, Elena M. Macaluso, Reed Parsell, Anna Quinlan, Steph Rodriguez, Thea Marie Rood, Mari Tzikas Suarez, Catherine Warmerdam, Sara E. Wilson ART GRAPHIC DESIGNER Debbie Hurst

2020 Top Chiropractors A Special Advertising Section

The Sacramento region is home to many exceptional chiropractors. Let’s meet some of them, starting on page 66.


CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Kat Alves, Gary and Lisa Ashley, Beth Baugher, Debbie Cunningham, Wes Davis, Terence Duffy, Kevin Fiscus, Aniko Kiezel, Ryan Angel Meza, Tyler and Christina Mussetter, Rachel Valley A DV E R T I S I N G NATIONAL ACCOUNTS MANAGER Lisa Bonk ADVERTISING MANAGERS Duffy Kelly, Victor Obenauf, Carla Shults SENIOR ADVERTISING DESIGNER John Facundo MARKETING & WEB DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND DIGITAL MEDIA Dan Poggetti MARKETING AND DIGITAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Nicole Kern A D M I N I S T R AT I O N ACCOUNTING/BUSINESS MANAGER Tracy Strong C I R C U L AT I O N CIRCULATION MANAGER Riley Meyers PRODUCTION PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Stephen Rice

Digital Edition Access the full version of Sacramento Magazine on the new digital edition.




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To purchase back issues, please call (866) 660-6247. TO S U B M I T M AT E R I A L EVENTS CALENDAR Submit event information and related high-resolution images for the print calendar to by the first of the month, two months before the month the event is to take place. To add an event to the online calendar, go to PARTY PICTURES Please submit event information for coverage consideration to Darlena Belushin McKay at least one month prior to the event. Send event name, date, location, time, name of contact person and phone number to



SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE HAS SOME EXCITING NEWS On May 1, we launched “The Sacramento Magazine Digital Studio” – a full-service suite of digital services including: Google Display and Programmatic Advertising • Paid Social Media Advertising


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Garden Quite Contrary IN MY BACKYARD, WHICH IS SHADED BY TOWERING HERITAGE OAKS, a homemade planter box sits up on the hill. Mike built

me the box shortly after we moved here because I wanted to replicate the thriving masses of tomatoes, squash and cucumbers that I’d grown at our old house. At that sun-drenched property, four such planter boxes overflowed, and our daughters and their little friends wandered the paths and nibbled Sweet Cherry 100s and yellow pear tomatoes straight off the vine. In our current yard, my tomatoes got blossom-end rot, and even the zucchini plants never produced. My best crop ever: about nine anemic sugar snap pea pods one spring. The same year, I got one fat red tomato, and as I waited for it to finish ripening, something beat me to it. One evening it was there; next morning, gone. The dog—a high-appetite Lab—looked pretty guilty. We just don’t get enough sun. Yet, in March, with pandemic zeal and towering hopes, I tried again, this time with plants a little likelier to withstand shade: lettuces and greens. I had a decadeold packet of green bean seeds and dumped those in a furrow, too. But this yard also has too many critters. The hungry-hungry dog has crossed the rainbow bridge, as they say, but we still have an outdoor cat (who loves a fresh pile of dirt), snails, squirrels, owls, skunks and the raccoon family that roots for grubs and leftover cat kibble. My planter box has been trampled, my chard eaten bite by little bite each overnight, and I harvested barely enough lettuce for one tiny bitter salad before it bolted. The old beans did better than anything: I got five. I ate them raw while standing resentfully at the edge of the useless planter. So it is with some envy that I admire photographer Debbie Cunningham’s shots of chefs’ gardens in this issue. Beautiful and lush, they spill over with fruits and veggies and herbs that in some cases populate dishes at their restaurants. I subscribe to a Farm Fresh To You box (which Thea Marie Rood mentions in her story about local food boxes), so despite my own gardening failings, at least my fridge has been packed with professionally grown organic greens, lettuces and berries all summer. That backyard planter just bugs me, though. It taunts me: “Try again, try again.” So I will. I’ll soon plant some fall veggies: lettuces, greens, cabbage, carrots and leeks. This time, I’m sure I’ll get a bumper crop.

AND THERE’S MORE . . . Who’s powerful in town? We’re working on The Sacramento 300, our annual list of powerful people in the Sacramento region in a variety of categories. If you’ve got anyone to nominate, please email us: Subscribe now to The Daily Brief, Sac Mag’s newsletter, for up-todate COVID-19 numbers, links to local resources and stories about the latest happenings in the region.



Diana Bizjak

As a Sacramento native but current resident of Napa, Diana Bizjak was excited to tackle the topic of Sacramento’s natural wine scene for this month’s cover story. “Though I’m a voracious natural wine drinker, I’m ashamed to say I was completely unaware of this small cohort of cool, experimental winemakers right here in town,” she says. “It’s been a treat to share their wines with my Napa friends and be able to say it came from my hometown.”



Debbie Cunningham

“In the midst of a pandemic that has affected all of our muchloved local chefs and restaurants in a myriad of stressful ways, it was truly heartening to see these islands of peace that they have created for themselves and their families,” says food photographer Debbie Cunningham, who captured images of chefs in their gardens for this issue. Her takeaway: “Find joy in the simple. Find joy in the earth. Get your hands dirty.”

Mariah Quintanilla

For this issue’s cover, illustrator Mariah Quintanilla created a drawing of a Sacramento-area vineyard landscape as seen through a wine bottle silhouette surrounded by grapevines. “The whole process, from creating multiple initial sketches to adding the finishing touches, led to a very engaging final composition,” she says. “After drawing grape leaves for two weeks straight, I impulsively purchased my own small grapevine and intend to pick up a bottle of ‘natty’ wine the first chance I get.”


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The 916 i n s i d e: Call of the Wild / Contact Tracing / On the Roll / Farm Boxes

A Bright Spot A beacon of light in a pandemic summer, Comet NEOWISE made its appearance in our region in July. It’s visible here over the Isleton Bridge in the Delta against the starshot night sky.

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SACMAG.COM September 2020


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any of us are drawn to the wild. It’s a connection Edward O. Wilson, author of “Biophilia: The Human Bond With Other Species,” describes as our innate love of nature. “It’s one of the good things that’s built into us as this sort of reverence for taking care of our little natural spot and the cousins—all the other creatures and plants that live there—that we actually have a connection with,” explains Dr. William Avery, professor emeritus of biological sciences at Sacramento State university. “That makes you feel connected to something bigger than yourself, and that’s one of the most healing things that anyone can feel.” Here are some opportunities close to home—and accessible from home—to stay connected with nature. START LOCAL. “Get a map of the American River

Parkway and start looking for trails,” says Avery. “Part of the joy is to find your own adventure.” Explore Effie Yeaw Nature Center and Ancil Hoffman Park, located on the American River Parkway in Carmichael, with trails that weave through the riparian corridor and oak woodlands. Relax by the flowing river, search for trees freshly gnawed by beavers, watch for brightly colored warblers during fall migration. With numerous entry points, Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova—and its surrounding habitat—is an easily accessible destination rich with wildlife. Swallows nest on the dam, shoals of large fish swim beneath drifting kayaks, colonies of gulls float by and bald eagles perch on a snag or soar above. Check out some other hot spots, such as Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Elk Grove, Yolo Basin Wildlife Area in Yolo County, and open spaces managed by the Sacramento Valley Conservancy such as Deer Creek Hills Preserve in Sloughhouse. For those who remain at home, the power of the internet offers a different kind of screen-time experience by streaming live footage of wildlife in their natural habitat from all over the world. "You never know what you’re going to see. There’s going to be a surprise,” says Avery.

Yolo Basin Wildlife Area

GET TO KNOW THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY OSPREYS. Peer into the lives of a mag-

nificent pair of ospreys that have nested on a crane since 2017. The species is making a comeback in the bay with more than 30 nests, according to the Golden Gate Audubon Society. Get an upclose view of the nest or pan out for a surrounding view at sf TAKE YOUR OWN AFRICAN SAFARI.

Virtually travel to Kruger National Park and the surrounding area in South Africa for wildlife adventures of a lifetime. Watch hippos, lions and their cubs, hyenas, giraffes, leopards and elephants. It all unfolds live at




the fruit-feeding birds of Panama, then hop over to New Zealand and watch the northern royal albatross with their entertaining behaviors and large bills. Visit hummingbirds in west Texas or Cornell Lab’s active FeederWatch cam at EXPLORE MORE WILDLIFE. Watch brown

bears hunt their catch in Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Listen to the songs of beluga whales and orcas that swim by underwater cams in Canada. Peer inside a puffins’ burrow in Maine and spend a day with gorillas in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo at

Gabriel Teague (2)

Effie Yeaw Nature Center

Sacramento Gets Its Own Store


Dr. Olivia Kasirye

Dr. Olivia Kasirye: Kevin Gomez Jr. / CommUNITY: Courtesy of TPOS

Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye discusses the role of contact tracers in fighting the spread of COVID-19. Can you explain exactly what a contact tracer does? Contact investigation and tracing are strategies that we use in public health for lots of different communicable diseases. It’s not unique to COVID-19. When we are notified about a positive case, and usually this comes from either a lab report or from a health care provider, a contact tracer calls the individual to verify the diagnosis; to make sure that if they need treatment they have the appropriate treatment; and, in the case of COVID-19, make sure they are aware of the isolation requirements. In addition, the contact tracer will ask about when they started exhibiting symptoms and the places they have been in order to determine any other people who may have been exposed. Then the tracer tries to get the contact information for those people. How are issues of confidentiality handled? The tracers get training on HIPAA laws and confidentiality. All of the information is entered into secure databases. The information cannot be shared with anyone else. If someone gives us names and phone numbers of other people to contact, we don’t say who gave that information to us.

What makes a person receptive to talking? It’s about trying to build a rapport. The tracers get training on how to do interviews. They also answer questions about the disease itself because often people have questions about that and about how the data is going to be handled. What if they hang up? It depends. Sometimes it’s not a good time for the person to talk, but they may talk later. If the person does not want to give the information, then the interview will end at that point.

CommUNITY by TPOS, a retail store selling hip Sacramento-branded apparel, reopened in midtown’s Ice Blocks development in June. The store is the brainchild and longtime dream of Zayn Silmi, a 25-year-old social entrepreneur who promotes Sacramento as a place to live and work. Silmi founded a company called The People of Sacramento (TPOS) in 2014 to produce events, do marketing and raise money for local causes. Two years later, he started designing and selling merchandise with Sacramento slogans. Silmi operated a pop-up store during the 2019 holiday season, then signed a five-year lease on a retail space in the courtyard behind Beast + Bounty restaurant. The shop opened in late February but was forced to close three weeks later because of the pandemic. Silmi designed the store to lure social-mediasavvy customers with a vivid, pop-art-influenced, Instagrammable interior. There are neon signs, a large SACTOWN mural, a wall covered in artificial grass, a functioning swing and a wall of Polaroid photos of shoppers. Silmi hopes to have more than 2,000 photos on the wall by the end of the year. An arresting installation by local artist Julian Sandpaper features large paper airplanes and clouds hanging from the ceiling. The store’s merch includes 916 face masks and baseball caps, toddler T-shirts and bibs, and adult apparel including T-shirts, shorts, slides, tanks and crop Ts. They all bear Sacramentocentric slogans designed by Silmi, including Home Is Sacramento and Just a Kid From Sacramento. Silmi describes himself as “a kid from Sacramento with a dream of the city becoming more than a stepchild of LA and San Francisco.” He says the store has already attracted people from Los Angeles, the Bay Area and other parts of Northern California. CommUNITY by TPOS is at 1715 R St. —Marybeth Bizjak

Can most people recall where they’ve been and who they’ve been in contact with? Some people can remember. When we first started seeing the recent spike in cases, they often would know where or who they got it from, either because the infected person had already called them or they might realize later they were in a place that was a source of infection. What should someone do if they are called by a contact tracer? Be willing to listen to what information you are receiving. Find out where you can go to get tested. Also, ask questions about what you need to look out for in terms of symptoms. —Interviewed by Catherine Warmerdam

SACMAG.COM September 2020


The 916 S U S TA I N A B L E S A C



We need to talk about the sustainability of toilet paper. Almost all of us, at least in this country, take toilet paper for granted. Sure, when the pandemic hit the fan in mid-March, panic shopping flushed many store shelves of the bathroom product. It is possible that a few outta-luck shoppers had to make do for a while without toilet paper, which probably resulted in their instead using . . . Before we unroll such imagery, let us take a step back and consider some THE NUMBER OF of the alarming facts associated with the production of toilet paper. TREES CUT DOWN TO San Francisco-based Brondell, a billionaire Mark Cuban-backed maker MEET AMERICANS’ of bidets and other bathroom items, two years ago posted a blog about how NEED FOR TP IS much damage TP does to the environment. Each roll, the blog asserts, DIFFICULT TO DIGEST. requires 37 gallons of water to manufacture. Toilet-paper makers use 235,000 tons of chlorine every year (although it’s not clear whether that is a national or global figure). Combine all that bleach with perfumes and other chemicals often used in producing “ultra-soft” bathroom tissue, and groundwater under and near the TP manufacturing plants gets alarmingly smeared with pollutants. Toilet paper’s main ingredient is wood, of course. The number of trees cut down to meet Americans’ need for TP—we represent 4 percent of the world’s population but consume more than 20 percent of the toilet paper—is difficult to digest. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, more than 28 million acres (about the size of Ohio) of boreal forest in Canada were cut down, mostly by clearcutting, between 1996 and 2015 to feed U.S. citizens’ need for TP. Last year, the NRDC issued a 31-page report titled “The Issue With Tissue: How Americans Are Flushing Forests Down the Toilet.” It points out that the trees felled in Canada are “home to over 600 Indigenous communities, as well as boreal caribou, pine marten, and billions of songbirds” and adds, “Maintaining an intact boreal forest, which acts as a massive storehouse for climatealtering carbon, is also vital to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.” Helpfully, the NRDC created a graphic that analyzes the United States’ top-selling brands of toilet paper and assigns them grades. The six brands that received A’s—Green Forest, 365 Everyday Value 100% Recycled, Earth First, Natural Value, Seventh Generation and Trader Joe’s Bath Tissue—all are composed entirely of recycled paper and are not processed with chlorine. As for the rest of the brands, let’s just say that although you might be tempted to squeeze the Charmin, you will need to shake off the guilt of knowing it received an F. Now it’s time to tear off and examine some of traditional TP’s alternatives. Bamboo toilet paper has many virtues, including it does not contribute to deforestation and has a soft, familiar feel. You can purchase some at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op or online, at suppliers that include the bluntly web-addressed Bidet attachments also are sold online; check out some of the possibilities on Amazon. There are always washcloths (although it helps to have a utility sink to rinse them off ) and even reusable toilet paper. We would write more about this difficult topic but . . . forgive us, at this point, we’re pretty wiped.



R. Kelley Farms

Real Food To Go

Think Inside the Box Find farm-fresh collections that make meals a pleasure—not a chore. BY THEA MARIE ROOD There are serious reasons to buy local, especially with a pandemic threatening the national food chain as well as the economic livelihood of small farms and businesses. But there is honestly an even more compelling reason right now: It’s fun. Here are just a few local sources to check out.











The 60-acre u-pick family farm in the Sacramento River Delta now offers online shopping of ripe produce that is boxed up for you: sweet corn, green tomatoes, okra, purple hull beans, peppers, onions, melons and cucumbers.

Billed as a food tour of the Sacramento region without leaving home, the box includes five to seven shelfstable items. (Think coffee, tea, barbecue sauce, honey, almonds, soda/cocktail syrups, olive oil or rice.)

Dinner for two to four people, prepared by Laura Kenney, a classically trained chef, cookbook author and farmer advocate.

This second-generation family-owned Capay Valley farm delivers organic produce in small or large boxes: mixed fruit and veggie, fruit only, veggie only and snacks/no cooking.

Vendors vary, but most are Sacramento-based—or from nearby Yolo and Yuba counties.

Everything is made from scratch on-site; most ingredients are from farms and ranches in Placer County.

The traditional CSA box is from the Barsotti/Barnes farm and their farming neighbors. Farms, dairies and ranches from around the region also supply produce and products for delivery; all are organic and use sustainable practices. Yes—you’re invited to customize your box on the website before delivery, deleting things you don’t want and adding things you do (x-out beets for Yellow Finn potatoes or pears for apples). You can also add on locally produced items like sourdough bread, milk, eggs, French yogurt, meat and flowers.

All products are grown on the farm.


Absolutely—you point and click.

No—SacTown Bites curates the selection for you, but you can preview boxes online before delivery.

Yes—choose from five or six regular offerings (including lasagna and roasted chicken enchiladas) and two seasonal entrées that change each week (like slow-roasted barbecued pork with parmesan polenta and sautéed greens).


Range includes $.75 (for a pound of yellow onions), $2.06 (for five ears of corn), $8–$9 (for a watermelon).

$85/one-time box; $215/ quarterly subscription; $836/annual subscription (free shipping)


$27.50–$61 (add-ons are extra)


Pick up your order at the farm stand on Wednesdays and Saturdays (1120 Scribner Road, Sacramento) or on Saturdays at the Oak Park Farmers Market (McClatchy Park).

It arrives right at your door around the 15th of the month.

Order online by the day, the week or the month—and pick up your order at Kenney’s kitchen between 3 and 6 p.m. Wednesdays or Fridays (510 Auburn Ravine Road, Auburn).

Select a box and delivery frequency on the website; boxes are delivered to your door in the cool of night or early morning.


Owners Ron Kelley and his wife, Ella, started with a 2-acre hobby farm in the 1990s so he could better advise the growers he worked with.

You also get inside info on the individual farmers and makers, plus recipes and serving suggestions.

Watch for Kenney’s camping Fridays (three-bean tri-tip chili or macaroni and three cheeses), as well as special menus for your “small, socially distanced” holiday gatherings.

Co-owner Thaddeus Barsotti is a gifted writer—check out his charming blog that gives poetic updates about life on the farm. The recipes also exceed expectations. SACMAG.COM September 2020


It’s time to give your health care a checkup. This year is anything but normal. As we juggle family and work, and keeping those we love safe, there is one thing we know for certain: Our health has never been more important. That’s why having a health care team you depend on means everything. At Dignity Health, we take pride in establishing long-lasting, trusted relationships with our patients. And, while we’re always focused on meeting their needs, in these unprecedented times, we’re more committed than ever. So this year during Open Enrollment, make sure you’re getting the most out of your relationship with your doctor. Choose a health plan that connects you to Dignity Health hospitals and our affiliated doctors—such as Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Western Health Advantage. For a complete list of insurances accepted, medical groups and doctors, visit

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Finding Joy Can we learn to be happy in the new normal?



ost news stories written about our mental health since COVID-19 arrived have focused on the depression, anxiety, loneliness and cabin fever that are pushing us impatiently into risk-taking behavior. But is there another side to this issue? Are there people who are not only grimly surviving this new era but who have found a silver lining? Can we take this situation and gain some lasting benefits from it? In short: Is it possible to find joy during a pandemic? We asked an expert who studies trauma survivors for her take on this, and then talked to three locals: a hotel manager who welcomed baby No. 2 at the start of the pandemic; a graphic designer who is working from home while homeschooling her three daughters; and a media specialist who lost her job and must rethink her career. All admit to moments of worry, despair and frustration, but there have also been moments they never expected—and would never trade. POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH— Dr. Joyce Mikal-Flynn is a pro-

fessor at Sacramento State in the school of nursing who specializes in neuroscience. She has extensively interviewed and written about people who’ve gone through trauma and experienced

positive transformation afterward. “These are major catastrophic events,” she says, and include near-death experiences, careerending accidents and life-threatening disease. “But they not only survived; they thrived—not in spite of but because of the event. If they hadn’t gone through this experience, they wouldn’t have had the time to think about things. They wouldn’t have achieved post-traumatic growth.” Mikal-Flynn suggests COVID-19 is a catastrophic event that is affecting society as a whole simultaneously. But just like an individual trauma, COVID-19 can be an experience from which we can gain an unprecedented resiliency and new understanding of our lives. “You may be angry, feel some depression for a while—and that’s OK,” she says. “But if there’s no adversity, there’s no growth. If there’s no challenge, there’s no insight.” NEW BABY— When COVID-19 hit, Matt Willis and his wife,

Lauren, were expecting their second daughter—imminently—and he was working long hours as the general manager of a local hotel. “I went from telling myself that my company would be fine to saying my individual place of work would never close to convincing myself I’d only have to lay off 80% of my workforce to SACMAG.COM September 2020

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Health completely shutting down and going on leave,” says Willis. “I definitely feared for my family as well. Having a toddler and a pregnant wife, I was extra careful and made sure to take precautions. It’s scary thinking about possibly bringing home a virus that could harm your loved ones.” Then came the three-weeks-early arrival of the baby, who was briefly readmitted to the hospital for jaundice, followed by a tedious search for tiny newborn-size diapers (an item that was oddly hoarded during the shutdown). But when the immediate demands faded, Willis’ experience began to shift. “The silver lining to this pandemic for me is my baby girl . . . who found a way to bring my wife and I into quarantine in the best possible way,” he says. “My perspective didn’t change much, but my concentration did. My beautiful wife and daughters were an amazing distraction from the media, the worry of my current work situation and the future.” Because of the shelter-in-place order, Willis was able to stay home much longer than he did when his first daughter was born. “For three solid THEY STARTED DOING months, I was there THINGS THEY’D for everything,” he NEVER DONE AS A says. “I could help my FAMILY, LIKE 500wife with anything PIECE PUZZLES. she needed, play with my oldest daughter all day and snuggle with our new baby all night. It was a dream come true.” In some ways, the extra time at home made going back to his job in July harder, but he is accepting of it nonetheless. In general, Willis returned to his hotel’s front desk with a renewed sense of compassion. “I think the best piece of advice any of us can heed is getting out of a ‘me’ mentality,” he says. “As individuals, recognize that we comprise a community. Break up with your social media accounts and . . . find a way to love more than hate.” NEW FAMILY TIME— As COVID-19 shutdown orders came down, Carly Cornejo was mostly worried about the shutdown’s effects on her three daughters, ages 11, 9 and 6. “I had worked from home and knew that wouldn’t be a challenge,” she says. “It was really all about the kids.” For example, her youngest had finally joined her older sisters at their elementary school as a kindergartner. “She was rocking it,” Cornejo says. “She loved her teacher and loved her friends.” The girls’ school closed early for spring break, and everyone expected to return to


campus in a couple of weeks. When distance learning was extended for the rest of the year, Cornejo had to confront the reality of being the girls’ primary teacher while also trying to do her job remotely. So Cornejo and her husband established a routine—and stuck to it. And shortly after that, interesting surprises began to reveal themselves. The first was how much she enjoyed being so intimately involved in the children’s schoolwork. “I’d always kept tabs on what they were doing, but now I was really embedded,” she says. “I brushed up on my math skills, but my fifth-grader is already starting to transition beyond me, so I’d say ‘show me.’ It’s cool to see how much she’s learned.” More importantly, Cornejo says, they started doing things they’d never done as a family, like 500-piece puzzles everyone works over for several days. They also instituted leisurely (and late) breakfasts. “Normally, my kids get up at the last minute and we rush out the door, but now I let them sleep in,” she says. There has also been some relief at being out of the fray. “My oldest was in fifth grade, and this age is a hard friendship time—she’d really had a rough year,” Cornejo says. “Now we’ve had a lot of one-on-one time. We watched every season of ‘The Office’—we go around quoting it to each other. We take walks together and she vents.” In fact, long walks that include the entire family have become a cherished part of their daily routine—and one they will keep post- COVID-19. On weekdays, they explore the trails by their house. On weekends, they go farther afield for an adventurous hike, followed by milkshakes at a drive-in diner. “The two older girls, or the middle

EXPERT ADVICE Dr. Joyce Mikal-Flynn is the creator of MetaHab, which offers courses and events to help people recover from trauma, including the podcast “Slivers of Hope.” Here are some of her suggestions for learning to thrive in the time of COVID-19. Be compassionate with yourself—and then compassionate with others. This is a tough time, and it’s OK to pace yourself, get angry, be sad, take time to rest. Embrace gratitude every day: not having to sit in rush-hour traffic, a moment on the front porch watching the birds, the invention of Zoom and FaceTime. Perform acts of kindness: Call someone, write a card and mail it, offer to pick something up at the store for an older neighbor. “Realize this is going to end,” says MikalFlynn. “Hopefully we’ll be better, stronger, more resilient, more compassionate.”

and youngest, will walk up ahead, walking and talking,” says Cornejo. “It’s something I’ve never really witnessed them doing before. We always felt pressured to be separate entities—in their classrooms, at our jobs. My husband said it best: ‘We’re spending time together we’d normally only do once a year on a long vacation—but now we get to do it every day.’” NEW PERSPECTIVE— Before the shut-

down, Greta Beekhuis worked for a large media company, where she was known as “the troubleshooter.” A problem client, a staff argument, even a stubborn printer and the cry would go up around the office: Greta! She dove headlong into each complication, patiently working toward an often-elusive resolution. Her commitment level was so high, in fact, that she had trouble sticking to the reduced hours her doctor ordered as the work stress began to affect her health. But when COVID-19 hit, her company laid off 80 of its 100 employees with no advance warning—and even “the troubleshooter” got a pink slip. Her busy days at the office morphed into quarantined days at home. “At first I was grateful,” she says, “because I thought of all of the times in my life this would have been so much more difficult. But I’m not receiving (medical) treatments now, my kids aren’t little.” She quickly realized, however, that her gratitude was being supplanted by the siren of social media. “I was checking Twitter every 20 seconds, following Johns Hopkins,” she recalls. So she deleted Twitter and began limiting her time on Facebook and email, where it was too easy to get lost in debating falsehoods. “Then I started to watch Andrew Cuomo every day,” she says, adding that she raised her children in New York City and had a special affinity for the New York governor’s familiar accent and no-nonsense practicality. “It was a positive anchor for me.” As time went on, Beekhuis also began repurposing her “troubleshooter” work ethic and even turned down a big job much like her old one. Instead, she is exploring ways to work and live in a way that addresses the major health, climate and social issues of our time. “I feel like this is my opportunity to spread a positive message,” she says. “I’ve had a lot of introspection about the greater good. I’m so much more mindful of every tiny decision I make. Because you add up all those decisions and you think of what kind of social change we could make.”


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The pandemic put a halt to public garden tours, including the popular Edible Garden Tour that typically takes place every September. So we decided to put on our own virtual tour of farm-tofork landscapes, focusing on gardens tended by some of the region’s leading chefs and restaurateurs.




Canon chef/owner Brad Cecchi (shown with wife Mackenzie and daughter Wallis) grows herbs for his Michelin-recognized restaurant in the garden of the couple’s Fair Oaks home.

SACMAG.COM September 2020


Savory Cafe’s Juan Barajas and Kristin Hansen stand in the Edible Learning Garden at Woodland’s City Hall. The collaborative garden supplies local restaurants with produce and teaches schoolchildren about gardening.



N’Gina Guyton (shown with kids Isaac and Isabella and farmhands Sam Paris and Lynsey Fahs) started The Farm, a 2-plus-acre plot off Garden Highway, to elevate the quality and variety of produce used at her restaurant, South.

SACMAG.COM September 2020


Craig Takehara and Toki Sawada (with their children, Haruki and Kikuma) tend the lush garden started by Takehara’s recently deceased mom. They use what they grow both at home and at their restaurant, Binchoyaki.



When the Sawyer Hotel hired Patrick Prager as executive chef, he asked for a garden. The hotel, it turned out, had already built one on the roof. Prager uses it to supply the hotel and its rooftop bar, Revival, with fresh herbs and more.

SACMAG.COM September 2020


Janey Tozier, chef at Lola’s Lounge in Elk Grove, grows fruits and vegetables for her family in her home garden.



Marvin and Bridgette Maldonado, owners of Federalist Public House, gather with their kids, Rome, Levi and Miles, in the backyard of their century-old Carmichael farmhouse. The garden furnishes the restaurant with heirloom tomatoes, basil and tomatillos.

SACMAG.COM September 2020




n mid-March, as the COVID-19 pandemic took root, Sacramento’s schools were abruptly shuttered. Students and teachers were unable to return to the classroom for the remainder of the academic year. How Sacramento City Unified School District and the teachers union have handled the pandemic—in particular the inability during the first several weeks of the stay-at-home order to agree on how to get remote classes up and running—has been a cause of ongoing anguish for many parents and teachers. Now, as COVID-19 case numbers climb in California, everyone’s looking at many more months of remote learning and a near guarantee that when in-person schooling does return, it will be a strange experience: the students masked, school lunchrooms closed and extracurriculars and group sports a thing of the past. For students, parents and teachers, the emotional impact of these past months and the uncertainty about the next year have been profound. Here are some voices from the Sacramento region’s front lines of education.



Tara Nye

SACMAG.COM September 2020


Tara Nye

Tara Nye teaches first grade at Sutterville Elementary School. “The minute school was closed, the next day I started to read bedtime stories to the kids on a YouTube channel. I figured the parents were probably tired at the end of the day. I was dropping off paperwork for children without printers, having one-on-one Zoom meetings with kids having problems. I was dropping off books, stickers, candies at their doorsteps. Simple ways to let them know I was still present, even though I wasn’t present. It took a minimum of two to three weeks to establish what each household was doing and how I could support them. It was intense, time-consuming. I feel like I was working around the clock. The phone would ring at all hours. We had a Zoom meeting three times a week; the kids would share items and toys. We’d sing with Mr. Cooper (the school music teacher) once a week. I’d record one or two lessons daily. They’d watch, follow along and send the work to me. Zoom meetings are very hard for the young children. I’d say 25% of our population expressed that their children would get tearful, experience the sadness of not being together. (To get to know students in the fall), I’ll make videos, show them my home, drop things off on their porches, have a visit with them—face to face, but far apart. But I’m really concerned about doing distance learning with new students. Teaching is so much about face to face, body language, connection. But I have a compromised immune system. I’m concerned about what I can personally handle if we’re back in the classroom. It worries me a lot.”

Denise Lee

Denise Lee is deputy director of the Children and Family Services Department at the Sacramento Employment Training Agency’s Head Start Program. “In the beginning, we thought it was just a week or two weeks. Then it was April 1. Then it was, ‘We’ll be back when we notify you.’ It was a pretty big ramp-up. What does ‘remote’ look like? How can we help staff understand how to make a YouTube video, how to open up a Zoom account? Most families (in the Head Start program) have cellphones. And if parents didn’t have (laptops, iPads), the programs were authorized to purchase them so they could temporarily be used in homes and returned to schools when people returned to classrooms. But even if you have those technologies, you’re talking about 3- and 4-yearolds, who literally have the attention span of 3- and 4-year-olds! For some families it worked, but for other families, in a crisis time people are at home, they’re not at work. For a client it’s ‘What do I do with my baby? I’m with them 24/7 with no respite.’ A preschooler needs to be socialized. Social and emotional development depends on being around other children. A whole year of sheltering in place would be devastating to our youth. Brushing teeth, getting three meals, a naptime . . . if you don’t have that in your home life, it’ll have huge effects. No, I would not want this to continue.”

Jody Cooperman

An 18-year veteran of teaching, Jody Cooperman was a social worker before she moved into education. She has spent the past 15 years teaching at Sutter Middle School. While the school district took several weeks to make the transition to online learning, many teachers, aware of the risks of an educational break, began informally working with kids much sooner. Cooperman was in this group.

Jody Cooperman



“We were told March 13 we were going to be out for three days, only to learn the following week we’d not be back. I pivoted quickly. I knew this would be very difficult for the kids. I started teaching every day, as if we were back at school. It helped not only them but me. Zoom always felt pretty flat to me, but we were able to maintain some sort of learning. I was teaching ELA (English Language Arts) and history. The kids didn’t have time to think, ‘Your grades are going to be stuck at March 13.’ They saw I was driven, so they didn’t have time to think, ‘Why would I do this?’ In the beginning of the school year, it’s all about setting expectations. That’ll be most challenging in a virtual world. I miss the physical proximity, the smiles, the aha moments. Straight online, I can’t build a relationship with 36 kids. The kids miss it. But I think the kids will be resilient. I have a lot of hope for this generation. I see it in their writing, how they respond to each other, how they respond to me. A drive to do the right thing. It says something.”

Christine Feenstra

As the director of member learning and events with Head Start California, Christine Feenstra was trying to coordinate Head Start programs from her home office while helping her son, who just completed sixth grade at Sutterville Elementary, with distance learning. She worries she didn’t have enough time to tend to her own son’s needs. “When the pandemic hit, it hit the Head Start community particularly hard. They have all these children, 0 to 5 years old, who rely on the comprehensive service Head Start provides: nutrition, mental health services, diapering. All of these things, and now they’re put on hold. Imagine teaching a bunch of 3-year-olds remotely, on a cellphone. I have one child. He’s very independent, just finished sixth grade. He knew how to log onto Zoom, manage homework. So for the first months, I ignored him while I was doing my work. Then I realized, ‘He’s still a child.’ He was caught playing on his phone, playing on PlayStation on Zoom. I’m working harder than ever before, but he still needed his education. At first, my son thought it was the coolest thing in the world: ‘No school!’ But they do have school, but they’re only getting two hours a day. I started to see mood shifts in him—a little bit of depression. He misses his friends, routine. We go bicycling, kayaking on the lake. He’s supposed to start middle school, but we have no clue what it’ll look like. Some districts seem to have this all figured out; ours never seems to have it figured out. I haven’t even gotten his report card; it’s really insane. For high school, we’ve started to talk about private school. I don’t know if I trust the district with my son’s education anymore.”

Christine Feenstra

Michelle Kuennen

Michelle Kuennen teaches sixth grade at Sutterville Elementary. “I had 95% of my kids show up every day (for distance learning). At other schools, they had difficulties—maybe five of 33 kids showing up. There are real disparities. Because it was so novel, there wasn’t a lot of time to prepare for what it would look like in terms of equity. A lot of kids got a good education, and then there were kids for teacher reasons, home reasons, who didn’t get the attention they needed. It can be done well, but there have to be a lot of people coming to the table, and I don’t know if the right people will come to the table. Our superintendent has not made himself as available as he could have to problem solve.” Michelle Kuennen SACMAG.COM September 2020


Tina Tavernia

A third-grade teacher at Samuel Kennedy Elementary School in Elk Grove, Tina Tavernia has struggled to teach via distance learning. “Teaching the standards on the internet without children being present is so challenging. The Google Classroom, setting things up, the expectations are the hardest aspect to communicate. We’re expected to be able to deliver curriculum to students, and students to accept it, and parents to support the child. But nobody really knows what it’s like, and it’s hard to communicate when everyone is in a state of disarray—emotionally, financially. All the pieces don’t come together. Our school is Title 1; 99% of our students get free or reduced lunch. Fifty percent are English language learners, and parents don’t have a command of the English language. It’s really difficult to expect this transition to be a smooth one. Parents have to work and are being asked to manage behavior and learning. Your kids are more well-behaved to their teacher than to you. All that stress at home is not conducive to a smooth transition. Kids are creatures of habit. It’s really hard to replicate the school routine at home. As a teacher, I regularly use collaborative learning—table groups, teams, pair-share. I walk around as a facilitator, I listen to their discussions, do my assessment. You can’t do that on the internet. I genuinely take pride in getting to know my kids. Who are my natural leaders? Who needs extra emotional support? Trying to assess online . . . as far as I’m concerned, it’s not a valid assessment. There could be a sick sibling who cries all day, a neighbor who plays music all night; there are so many variables. There’s the academic fall-off that’s going to happen, and the social and emotional aspect of not being in a classroom. It’s going to have a hugely negative effect. I fear for the division that’s going to happen. It’s going to make the socioeconomic divide even larger. People without access to the resources will move further down and suffer the most, and people with access to resources will move further up. There’ll be no middle ground.”

Eden Eulingbourgh

Eden Eulingbourgh and Michael Williams live in Land Park with their two sons: Madden, who has just finished sixth grade at Crocker/Riverside Elementary School, and Braydon, who completed eighth grade at Sutter Middle School. Braydon was going to attend West Campus High School; instead, his parents have decided to send him to Christian Brothers, which is a private school.

Tina Tavernia



“All the teachers reached out. Ms. Cooperman said not on her watch are any of the kids going to fall through the cracks. But

Eden Eulingbourgh with sons Braydon and Madden and husband Michael Williams

we didn’t think distance learning was going to be very fulfilling academically or socially. There’s just something that gets missed—especially in the science realm. They can’t really do the experiments. And math. It was hard. When districts said grades aren’t going to count, I really wished they’d asked the parents about that. We’d have said, ‘Absolutely, still grade our child.’ Then, on top of it, there was a four-week delay before we heard if they were going to move forward with the school year at all. We’re big believers in the public schools. We asked a friend at West Campus what the school was doing to reach out to students. He said it was a mixed bag. He said he’d get an email from the principal and

then one from the union, and they’d contradict each other, and the students’ needs weren’t being met. We were very concerned about the next school year and enrolled (our son) in Christian Brothers. We turned our back on the public school system because we were so dissatisfied. We think a generation is going to be impacted.” Eden’s 13-year-old son, Braydon “I was in eighth grade. I didn’t do my best work. Not being in a classroom environment, sitting on my chair three hours at a time—it wasn’t normal. But it was something to do, so I guess that was worth it. After I did my homework, I was just sitting around my house doing nothing most of the day. I woke

up about 9:30, was done by 3. I went outside, but that was boring. I’d go inside, sit in my room, listen to music. I haven’t thought ahead. I’m just stuck in the moment, still kind of in shock this is happening. I’m thinking, ‘What am I going to do today?’ I usually have a schedule. Now I don’t.” Eden’s 12-year-old son, Madden “Distance learning wasn’t that fun for me. It was hard for me to concentrate; there wasn’t a lot to do. I usually lost track of the day. For school, I had to sign in daily. It showed the day. I remembered it and then would forget. Every day felt like Sunday. You’d wake up the next morning and it would feel like Sunday all over again.” SACMAG.COM September 2020


Amagda Perez

Barbara Marcotte

“We’re grateful this happened toward the end of the school year, so teachers and students had already formed a relationship, and teachers could do assessments. My daughter had a very strong cohort of teachers who were very committed and didn’t miss a beat. But that’s not every child’s experience. We’re concerned about kids without the technology, the resources at home. (My daughter is) very athletic. She was on the soccer team; they only got to play one game. The inability to do sports was extremely hard for her. She missed interaction with friends, peers, teammates. They were trying to do Zoom soccer activities. But of course it’s not the same. She had a community service class; they weren’t able to continue. And a field trip to Boston; it was canceled. It was disappointing. It was something they were looking forward to. But my daughter’s mature. She understands ‘safety first.’”

“Having the opportunity and good fortune to be able to send my daughter to a private school . . . they have the ability to respond in a way different from public schools. Within four to five days of schools being ordered to stay home, St. Francis was up and running with remote learning. I’d ask friends who had students in the public schools, they just weren’t able to get it together; you can’t operate and maneuver in certain circumstances as efficiently. Not all students had access to WiFi and laptops, so the public school kids couldn’t move forward at the same speed.”

A lawyer and teacher at the UC Davis law school’s immigration law clinic, Amagda Perez has one daughter who attends Sacramento City College and another at Sutter Middle School.

Bashir Farukh

In 2017, Bashir Farukh came with his family from Kabul, Afghanistan, on Special Immigrant Visas. In Afghanistan, he was an English teacher. Here, he drives for Uber and Lyft and has coached wrestling at Valley High School. “I have three kids. At first, online learning was something new for them. We got good help from the teachers. They got used to

Bashir Farukh



it, started to enjoy the lessons, complete their assignments. The teachers were always in contact with the kids to help them. It was amazing. When we came here, my children knew just the basic alphabet. In a matter of six months, they were able to learn and get everything. When they were among other kids, they were really involved. Distance learning, it was only two to three hours a day. So they try to watch movies and cartoons and go to YouTube to learn things. I hope the schools will be

A Land Park resident, Barbara Marcotte has a son who attends UC Davis; her daughter, 16, is at St. Francis High School, which is private.

reopened and there’ll be classes again, not just distance learning. In Afghanistan, it was difficult—we sent the kids to school and had worries about kidnapping. They were at school 8 to 12 and then they came back home. The education system is poor. When they came here, they had other challenges. The biggest worry is the schools will not reopen. It’ll be challenging for my kids. They have to be consistent with their English. I don’t want them to lose what they have learned.”

Michael and Nicole Baradat The Baradats are both teachers—Michael is at Sutter Middle School and is one of the motivating forces behind the interdistrict middle school debate league; Nicole teaches at Alice Birney, a Waldorf school. She has just finished her first eight-year cycle, working with the same group of students from first grade to eighth grade.

Nicole “Waldorf is about movement, especially in younger grades. Usually, children don’t get on computers. We encourage them to wait till sixth grade before they get on computers. Obviously, that had to change. The three Waldorf schools created The Families Project—if you had multiple children across multiple grades, we created one theme a week. One of them was building a fort. We created assignments for 5-year-olds all the way through 12th grade. I don’t know a single teacher who doesn’t want to go back to teaching in the classroom. But (with incoming first-graders) there’s no way they’re going to stay six feet apart. And if they cry on the first day of school, am I not supposed to hug them or wipe their nose? Waldorf schools, we shake hands at the beginning of the day and the end of the day. Human interaction, touch, is a big part of what we do.”

Michael and Nicole Baradat

Michael “One of the things my students voiced is it has become easier to put things off or not care as much about things as they have before. There’ll be a generation of kids . . . I don’t want to say ‘behind,’ but not as motivated. (In the classroom) we have long discussions on history. I don’t think they’re going to get that (online), the ability to synthesize and analyze. The balance we have to find is to exercise their minds and make it fun and challenging. But we’re stuck by the guidelines: what the grading is, what instruction we’re going to give. I’m a big believer that public schools are our deepest grass roots for democracy. So what happens to democracy if we don’t have this? There’s a sense of community. If classrooms are going in the right direction, then it is a microcosm of democracy.”

Precious White

Tisha Wong

“My hours (are) normally from early morning to early evening. It was kind of a struggle for me. The first week, I’d have to FaceTime with my daughter. She’s 9. Her father was here—he was doing the graveyard shift, security. Her school, they did some of the lessons at school already. But there was ELA. She was trying to understand, but she didn’t have the physical body (of the teacher in the classroom) to show her. I’d make her hold off on work till I was home. Then, when I was home, taking days off, my daughter and I would sit down and go over how to do the work. Then I have a second-grader. There was challenges. He’d think it was more free time. I’d have to push him, give him that extra nudge to get him on his work. His attention span is only, like, 30 seconds long. To make it easier, I’d do my own couple hours of schooling. Social studies, history. I’d do math on my chalkboard. My children miss a lot of their friends. They’re really bored. They miss their friends, and miss their teacher, miss the whole school scenery.”

“I have a background in technology; I was able to help them. But there were frustrations, laptops not up to date, login issues. My kids, they struggled—mainly from the social interaction perspective of the classroom. The coursework itself wasn’t a problem. But there were definitely peaks and valleys when it came to the depression and the overall sadness of not being part of the classroom. It was very challenging. The kids know next year’s going to be different. But what does ‘different’ look like? No one knows. Not the CDC. Not the district. My gut tells me this is going to go on until, best-case scenario, the spring of next year. It’ll be really difficult to resume for the entire next year, which makes me really sad for my kids. I think it’ll be a generation scarred. It was a little paper cut, and then it grew into this enormous gap. It’s big, and we haven’t even begun to heal.”

A South Sacramento resident, Precious White provides home care for elderly and disabled people. Her children attend Samuel Kennedy Elementary School in the Elk Grove Unified School District.

Greenhaven-Pocket residents Tisha Wong and her husband both work in IT for the state of California. Their daughter just finished seventh grade, their son eighth grade at Sutter Middle School.

SACMAG.COM September 2020


Blue wall paint is Dunn Edwards Newbury Port in a velvet sheen.



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Blue Her Mind

The design of a would-be rental property inspired the homeowner to make a bold change of plans. By Mari Tzikas Suarez / Photography by Kat Alves

Q STATS: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms Q NEIGHBORHOOD: Sterling Meadows in Elk Grove

Q DESIGNER: Rebecca Ward Design

Because this is a part-time residence, all plants are (deceivingly!) artificial.

SACMAG.COM September 2020

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“We pushed the client out of her comfort zone a little by encouraging her to incorporate black accents—an essential element of Zen design style—in everything from her art to her backsplash tiles,” says Ward.



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Ward aimed for an inviting and relaxing vibe throughout, “almost like a spa or resort,” she says.

The Concorde chandelier by Regina Andrew is inspired by the famous Concorde airliner.

t was supposed to be an Airbnb. But after Rebecca Ward came in to select finishes and furnishings, the homeowner of this custom new build had a major change of heart. “The client was so happy with the result, she decided to keep the home for herself,” says Ward. The choice is no surprise, considering how many irresistible elements Ward was able to bring to the home, including the perfectly placed pops of color, striking artwork selections and overall relaxing vibe. “The client came to us with a strong sense of style, a love of neutrals and natural materials, and a craving for some bright pops of color,” says Ward, who describes her approach to the project as a combination of midcentury modern and Zen. “She had great taste but was afraid to incorporate bold colors on her own. We helped her make her dreams a reality.” Her tips for bringing bold color into design? “You have to pick your moments. You’ll notice that the dining room wall and the TV media cabinet are blue, but the majority of the other items in the living and dining areas are neutral or muted, which allows those blue areas to really pop and take center stage.”

The Eames lounge chair and ottoman were part of the owner’s existing furniture collection and bring Zen to the office.

SACMAG.COM September 2020

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it's only





Natural wines.

Perhaps you’ve heard of them, and maybe you’ve even tasted some. Popularly known as natty wines, they are the hottest thing in wine right now. There’s no exact definition or certification for natural wines. Strictly speaking, they’re made with grapes that come from organic vineyards, are harvested by hand, then fermented with their own yeast and produced in a low- to no-intervention style. The winemaker neither adds nor subtracts elements in order to impact the end result. Thought all wines were natural? Reality check: There are more than 60 government-approved wine additives. We’re talking wood chips, acids, preservatives, egg whites, defoaming agents and a list of chemical compounds you’d be hard-pressed to properly pronounce. Proponents of natural wines tout the honesty of the end result in the bottle. The idea is that by skipping manipulation in the cellar (manipulation that’s common with commercial wines), the grapes can show themselves in an authentic, unadulterated and hopefully delicious form. Addam Reagan, the wine buyer for the de Vere White restaurant group, is a big fan of natural wine. “It’s


approachable,” he explains. “Unlike the wine of our parents or grandparents, it’s not a luxury product to be drunk only by the elite. It’s for everyone.” Young people who love craft beer, he notes, are just as likely to be seduced by natural wine—and for the same reasons. It can be funky or even a bit cloudy, but natural wine is also fun, modern and artisanal. Sacramento has always lived in the shadow of its winecountry neighbors. When it comes to big, expensive, flashy wines from heritage vineyards, Napa and Sonoma reign supreme. Meanwhile, many of the trendiest, most coveted natural wines in the state are getting lovingly foot-stomped in warehouses throughout Oakland and Berkeley. But Sacramento is poised to have its own natural wine moment. Just before the coronavirus pandemic hit, there were rumors of no fewer than five natural wine bars in the early stages of development. Natural wines are infiltrating restaurant drinks lists. Hell, natural wines have even snuck into a dive bar or two. Here’s a look at four local winemakers who are bringing thoughtful, delicious, sustainable natural wines to our town’s curious drinkers.

SACMAG.COM September 2020


The Sustainability Junkie

Craig Haarmeyer with his winemaker son, Alex



If the name Craig Haarmeyer doesn’t ring a bell, then a glance at one of his wine bottles almost certainly would. Haarmeyer Wine Cellars seems to be everywhere—bottle shops, of course, but also grocery stores, restaurants and bars, not just in the Sacramento region but all over the state. The St. Rey label, drawn in eye-catching black letter or swirling script, is unmistakable, as is the wine inside. The concept of terroir—of wine reflecting the time and place in which it is grown and made—is maybe no clearer among local winemakers than with Haarmeyer Wine Cellars. Haarmeyer himself likes to refer to his wine as “Sacramento terroir” because of the way his wines highlight hyperlocal vineyards. “Not a lot of people consider this a wine region, and most certainly wouldn’t think this is a source of high-quality wine,” he says. “But we have so many vineyards in and near Sacramento. I feel like we should source as close to home as possible to emphasize the existence of this good fruit right here in our backyard.” Before launching his own label, Haarmeyer worked in IT consulting but left the field because he felt unfulfilled. With a background in studio art and not a single wine class under his belt, he took a leap of faith and started working a harvest at the now-defunct Harbor Winery in West Sacramento. From there, he moved to Revolution Wines, where he worked his way up from harvest intern to winemaker. For several years, he made his own wine under the ownership of Revolution before he decided to break off and start his own wine cellar with his family. (His son, Alex, is his business partner and the company winemaker.) From day one, Haarmeyer shaped his wine label to focus on natural, organic, sustainable farming and production. “The best way to show what can be done with this great local fruit is to not meddle with it,” he says. “Our goal is to have the fruit express its vineyard.” To see his idea of Sacramento terroir, look no further than his series of chenin blanc varietal wines. In California, where cab, chard and zin reign supreme, to become a chenin house—six different chenins every vintage from six or seven different vineyards—is an unexpected choice. Haarmeyer was called to highlight this particular white grape because of its interesting ability to uniquely reflect its source site while also retaining its distinctive acidity, aromatics and funk. “There are many faces of chenin, but they’re all recognizable,” he says. “My wines are an exercise in the terroir of California through the lens of this one grape.” To stay true to the ethos of natural winemaking, Haarmeyer leans into a hands-off approach to the wines. We’re talking organic vineyards, native yeasts, neutral oak, minimal sulfur, no stirring of the wines on their lees, no filtering, no fining. Almost all the whites are foot-stomped, and the reds are all fermented whole cluster, meaning the grapes aren’t taken off their stems. “When you break the chemistry down and build it back up, you can produce something that is clean and correct, but I’m more inter-

Natty Wine ested in the specific site,” Haarmeyer says. His wines are bracingly crisp and clean. As for why natural wines haven’t taken Sacramento by storm yet, Haarmeyer has a few guesses. “I think it comes down to expendable dollars. This is a government town,” he says. “And older people are collecting expensive Napa cabs and Central Coast pinots, while young people are into craft beer.” With accessibility an issue, Haarmeyer Wine Cellars is looking to invite in those who are not yet sure about natural wine, starting with affordable prices and a laid-back attitude. "Wine is a magical, transformative beverage,” says Haarmeyer. “It does more than taste good. It nourishes not just our bodies but our minds—and that should be accessible to everybody.”


WHO’S IT FOR: Farm-to-fork foodies who love Sacramento and sustainability WINE TO TRY: St. Rey Vineyard Clarksburg Chenin Blanc

GLOSSARY Memorize these words and no one will ever accuse you of being a Cougar Juice* drinker again.

*Rombauer Chardonnay, which is definitely not considered natural

Terroir—The unique environment—soil, plant and animal life, weather, altitude, native yeasts, bacterial profile of the area and more—in which a wine is made, from vine to bottle. A hotly contested topic, as some winos say that terroir is a romantic myth used to sell more wine, while others swear that terroir is the hallmark of all great wines. Glou-glou —The French term for a wine so

eminently light and drinkable that you could glug-glug the whole bottle. The perfect poolside potable. Also called vin de soif, or thirst-quenching wine.

Wild fermentation—When wild or native (as

opposed to industrial) yeasts, which are floating through the air all around us, are used to culture wine and start the transformation of grape sugars into alcohol. While it can put wines at greater risk of off flavors, wild fermentation is considered by natty-heads to be necessary to the expression of a wine’s terroir.

Oxidation—The process by which wine is exposed to oxygen. When done intentionally, oxidative qualities in a wine can read as nutty, like baked or cooked fruit, or as having an element of umami. If done unintentionally, the wines take on a brownish tint and lose much of their flavor, sometimes even tasting vinegary. Ever opened a bottle of wine, then left it in your fridge for a month before rediscovering it? It’s that. Brett —Short for brettanomyces, a wild yeast that

sometimes finds itself in a wine tank or barrel and, in small doses, can add a pleasant gaminess and funk to wine. A truly “bretty” wine, however, tastes like a sour beer gone very wrong: Think heavy barnyard flavors, like sweaty Band-Aids resting on a pile of cow pies.

Skin-contact wine—The more technical term

for the increasingly popular “orange wine” category. Fermenting a wine on grape skins allows for greater color and tannin extraction. All red wines are made in this style, so it’s only notable when done with white grapes.

Whole-cluster fermentation—Instead of separating out the individual grapes from all their stems before vinification, the entire grape bunch gets tossed in. Stems add tannin and structure to the finished product, as well as green, vegetal or woodsy notes.

Carbonic maceration—When grapes are thrown into a sealed-off vessel, the lack of oxygen forces the grape juice to ferment within the grapes until the grapes burst open from pressure. This technique is the standard in Beaujolais but is popular among natural winemakers everywhere because of the bright, fruity aromas and zippy mouthfeel it produces. Craig and Alex Haarmeyer test a sample in the cellar. SACMAG.COM September 2020


The Punk Natural wine has definitely taken on an alternative, coolkid reputation, standing in opposition to the establishment that is commercial wine production. And maybe no local wine producer adheres to that stereotype more than La Clarine Farm. “Natural wine is punk rock,” says Hank Beckmeyer, who has been making natural wine just outside Placerville with his wife, Caroline Hoël, since 2007. “My attitude is: If somebody doesn’t like it, whatever. If somebody doesn’t like it, let’s not think about it too much and just strap on our guitars and rock.” Beckmeyer is no poseur. Before becoming a winemaker, he was kicking around Germany in a punk band, then later worked at a record company. Hoël, whom he met while abroad, was also working in music. When the two burnt out on the scene, wine wasn’t the obvious next step—after all, neither had any background in making the stuff—but Beckmeyer didn’t care. He’d picked up a love for wine while traveling through Europe and was willing to take the plunge. “It was sheer American determination that got me into winemaking.” Back stateside, he got a job at a winery in the foothills, worked vineyard management, then got promoted to winemaker at another winery. Back then, natural wine wasn’t a thing in California.

WHO’S IT FOR: Laid-back drinkers who are tired of the stuffiness of the traditional wine world WINE TO TRY: Cedarville Vineyard Mourvedre




Beckmeyer got tired of working in a house style, tweaking his wine through additives and industrial processes to make a juice that tasted the same year to year. That’s why he and his wife decided to plant their own vines and start making wine that expressed their grapes and their land, rather than wine that was wrangled into a mold. “Our philosophy was this: Let’s take it all back to zero and see what you really have to do to make wine,” he explains. They stripped back the punchdowns and the sulfur. They allowed for native fermentation, avoided oak and skipped any filtering or fining. What they found in their first vintage was wonderfully pleasing wines. “I was surprised at how little you have to do.” Their farm became their little haven. Hoël raised goats and made goat cheese on the property, and Beckmeyer oversaw much of the winemaking. But with such a small property, the couple turned to nearby organic producers to source more grapes. “Organics is a must,” Beckmeyer says. His vineyard is organic, and all of the grapes he sources are, too. “There’s really no excuse not to grow organically. It’s easy.” Beckmeyer isn’t didactic about natural wine; he doesn’t even use the label for his wine all that willingly. To him, natural is just wine the way it was historically made. In fact, to him, to make wine naturally is to make wine traditionally. As for the sometimes odd flavors found in natural wines, he has a sanguine attitude. “One of the interesting things about working in a very much hands-off way is that there are flavors and textures that will appear in a wine that you’re just not used to. I think it’s because winemaking became so formulaic and so much of a recipe-driven thing, so much about a sellable product, that a lot of the idiosyncrasies that make wine an individual kinda got lost.” Despite his relaxed attitude toward these idiosyncrasies, his wines are consistent from year to year, often not very fruity and almost always low alcohol. “I think our wines are very, very honest,” he says. Each bottle is a love song to vineyard, grape and year. Seemingly effortlessly, Beckmeyer and Hoël got the natural wine world on the La Clarine Farm bandwagon. They’ve been featured in Bon Appétit and in a book by Alice Feiring, the world’s pre-eminent natural wine critic and booster. Their bottles are easily found at some of the hottest bars and restaurants in the Bay Area. They regularly sell out of the stock. Not that Beckmeyer cares all that much. He was a punk first. He just happens to make great wine, too.


NATURAL WINE We sat down for a chat with Tyler Stacy, a sommelier and co-owner of Jeune, which was briefly run as a pop-up natural wine bar but has transitioned now to an online natural wine subscription service and bottle shop. Why the interest in natural wine? The whole point of wine is that it’s a communal beverage that allows people the opportunity to come together, but also it’s the translation of place and time through the lens of a given person. When you eliminate as many variables as you possibly can during the winemaking process, you get the purest expression of a place and time. Not to mention that when you see someone dumping water into perfectly good grapes, it really takes away the romance. What kinds of natural wine are available through Jeune? While we offer wines from all over the world, the overall aim is to bring very clean wines, wines without the faults seen in many natural wines. People think natural wine is supposed to taste kind of weird or funky. That’s not a property of natural wine; it’s a tell into winemaking and farming and who is executing those things skillfully or not. We want to provide more transparency to the consumer. What is the biggest barrier to growth for the natural wine scene? A lot of people are very dogmatic about natural wine, though I think that approach is extremely impractical. In my opinion, you can end up with not-greatquality product that is then passed off as natural. There are things that taste too strange or are flawed in one way or another. You can’t appeal to a broader spectrum of people if you have such a strict attitude. It’s not about dogmatic purity. It’s just not possible to have great wine every single year that’s no-till and dry-farmed and no sulfur. Why hasn’t the Sacramento natural wine scene taken off yet? There has never been a voice for natural wine in Sacramento. There has been an attitude in the industry here that you need to just cater to what people say that they want without any effort to push people out of their comfort zone. Also, there aren’t enough wine shops here. Our wine shopping is done in grocery stores here in Sacramento. So there’s no place for people to learn or explore or try something new.

Tyler Smith with business partner Emily Wilder

Is natural wine a flash in the pan? There are fads in the wine world, but without question, natural wine is here to stay. A lot of commercial, industrial brands are now trying to emulate the style or branding of natural wine. It’s like organic food— that wasn’t a trend. People will start to understand what is unnatural about most wines in the grocery store. If you’re going to Whole Foods or the farmers market and getting food as close to the source as possible, then drinking natural, local, sustainable wine is the next step.

SACMAG.COM September 2020


The Hometown Hero Until very recently, Amador County was devoid of natural wine. This burgeoning wine region of only 3,700 planted acres is home to just more than 40 wineries for whom big, juicy zins and classic Italian red grapes are the name of the game. Sommelier Chris Walsh, himself born and raised in Amador, looked around and saw a need for something different. “Some people treat making wine like following a recipe,” he says. “There’s a lot of additives and manipulation.” For instance, take watering back, a process common in mainstream winemaking in which water is added to the grape juice in order to dilute it. “There’s good fruit here raised carefully by farmers, but then you’re toying with it to the point that it loses its essence. It seems disrespectful to the farmer.” Walsh formed his wine labels, Little John Lane and The End of Nowhere, to combat what he sees as excessive meddling in the natural charm of Amador’s soils and vegetation. His mission statement? “To do as little as possible to screw up what the farmer has given me and to stay out of the way of the wine and let it be what it wants to be.”

His natural wine story began in New York City, where he got a job as a runner-busser at a natural wine bar after his career as an architectural lighting designer got put on hold in 2009. It started as a way to pay the bills—with an undergraduate degree in theater and a master’s in teaching, he didn’t plan on the restaurant industry being his bread and butter. But two years later, he was in love with wine and had just gotten his certified sommelier title. By 2014, he was moving back to California, ready to see if he could cut it in the world of wine production. While working at several high-profile wineries, including natural wine behemoth Donkey & Goat and local favorite Shake Ridge, he planted vineyards of his own at his parents’ property in Pioneer, naming it Little John Lane Vineyard. He pursued organic, sustainable farming and production right off the bat. “Commercial wines are impressive, but they’re not what I’m looking for,” he says. “A great wine should be a wine, not the cellar, talking to you. Sometimes, commercial wines, with all the additions and corrections, feel like a pastry chef just spent all day making a Twinkie.” While pulling from his own vineyard, Walsh also brings in grapes from organic vineyards around Amador, Lodi and Clarksburg, which are then released under his The End of Nowhere label. In his winery (a two-car garage), he has a light hand with sulphur, and he employs no added yeast, new oak, acidity adjustments, enzymes, filtering or fining. The end result is a clean, approachable wine often lighter in style and alcohol than is typical for Amador. “I work really hard to make sure that they’re easy to drink, fruitforward, dry. It’s just an enjoyable glass of wine,” he says. Although 2015 was his first vintage, wine buyers across the country have already taken notice. His wines have found themselves on wine lists at restaurants and bars from San Francisco to New York City. In Sacramento, Pizza Supreme Being pours his skin-contact pinot gris, and Majka Pizzeria & Bakery is slinging his partial-skincontact albariño.

11 SPOTS TO GRAB A GLASS OR BOTTLE Localis The Kitchen Canon The Doobie Bar Snug Jr. Ro Sham Beaux



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Coming Soon to a

BAR NEAR YOU Walsh is excited to be able to show off another side of Amador. “This is my home, so I like to work with zinfandel, show what it can do, challenge the known style,” he notes. “I want people to drink it and think it’s good wine first, natural wine second.” He points to his carbonic maceration zin, so light that you could drink it chilled. “I want to shine a spotlight on this region. I can’t think of another place I’d rather be.” Amador may not be one of the big dogs yet, but it looks like things are changing.

WHO’S IT FOR: Environmentally conscious wine lovers burnt out on huge, off-dry reds WINE TO TRY: Phantom Limb Shenandoah Valley Zinfandel


If you haven’t heard of natural wines, we promise you will—soon. Two of Sacramento’s leading restaurant groups are showcasing natural wines in their latest projects. The folks behind de Vere’s Irish Pub are putting their chips on natural wines at Snug Jr. (their drive-thru burger concept), The Doobie Bar (an outdoor bar that recently opened as a pandemic replacement for The Snug) and Ro Sham Beaux, an upcoming wine bar on J Street. Snug Jr. offers five natty wines, including two in cans decorated with bold, witty graphics: Electric Mayhem and Leon! Both are products of ZAFA Wines, a Vermont winery whose owner, Krista Scruggs, is the only Black woman winemaker making natural wines. One is made with locally foraged wild apples, while the other is a co-fermentation of grapes, apples and cranberries using natural yeasts. “The irony of consuming a beverage of this quality with a greasy, delicious cheeseburger is not lost on me,” says Trevor Easter, the company’s creative director. Michael Hargis, owner of LowBrau Bierhalle and Beast + Bounty, is also betting on natural wines at his two new concepts: Love Child, a vegan sandwich joint that will replace Block Butcher Bar, and an outdoor pizza and wine garden on 17th Street, around the corner of Beast + Bounty. Hargis became interested in natty wines last year, after doing a pop-up natural wine bar at the ICE Blocks with the owners of Jeune. What is it about natural wines that appeals to him? “They’re a little more casual,” he says. “Natural wines take the stuffiness out of wine culture. They can be fun or playful. You can grab a bottle and hang out on the street.”

Beast + Bounty’s outdoor pizza and wine garden

Chris Walsh gets down to business in the vineyard.

SACMAG.COM September 2020


The Iconoclast Kevin Luther is a rule breaker. “Some people tell me I’m not making natural wine at all,” he says with a laugh. From a tiny warehouse off Power Inn Road, Luther makes two wine labels, Lucid and Voluptuary, that manage to hew to many of the tent poles of natural winemaking while still pushing boundaries. Take his DaVinci’s Wings zinfandel, for example. Like all of the wines on his Voluptuary label, it’s sulfite free, vegan, inoculated using native yeasts and made from 100 percent organically grown grapes. But unlike virtually any other wine on the market, natural or not, this zin is aged on maple wood. Then there are his picpoul wines— a trio of sparkling, traditional and skin-contact—that are aged on lemon wood. For many natural winemakers, using new wood to flavor wine is a big no-no. For Luther, it’s the secret spice rack. The man behind these out-there wines wasn’t always so unconventional. He started his career by chance, while studying conservation biology during a semester abroad in Australia. A sudden realization that he cared about the environment but not so much about research led to him dropping out of college and finding a job in a nearby vineyard. Being among the vines brought back memories of time spent in the orchards as a child with his father, himself a farmworker. Luther was smitten. That experience in Australia launched a career that took him to wineries in New Zealand, Oregon, Paso Robles, Sonoma and finally Sacramento. He eventually settled into a lengthy gig as winemaker for acclaimed Sierra foothills winery Wise Villa, where he had the opportunity to hone his skills while also getting to experiment. Still, his wildest wines—odd varietal combinations, beerwine hybrids—never got to see the light of day. In 2017, he felt ready to set off on his own and founded Voluptuary, followed by Lucid, his second label that used low-intervention winemaking techniques to make approachable, consumer-friendly wines. “I’m obsessed with variety and change,” he says. “I want my wines to reflect a place and time, so I’m not concerned with them tasting the same from year to year.” He’s staunchly opposed to stuffiness and dogma in wine, as evidenced by his laid-back, come-as-you-are attitude toward both the natural wine scene and wine drinkers at large. You need only one look at his online tastings to get the picture. Each tasting has a theme, be it food, music, literary or lifestyle. One tasting provides suggestions for weed pairings. Another offers Kama Sutra pairings. (“Not as raunchy as it sounds,” he reports.) Luther acknowledges that natural wines can get a bad rap, largely due to the number of faulty wines that result from poor cellar hygiene or inattentive winemakers. De-



spite the irreverence of his wines, he continuously makes every effort to keep them tasting clean. To him, natural wine is not about having the stereotypical funk that separates it from more commercial wines. “It’s more of an ethic. It’s about redefining the standards of quality to allow for more weird, experiment elements,” he explains. Luther’s wines evoke the idea of wabi-sabi: Their strangeness is their strength. In just the past year, both his labels have taken off, landing on menus at places as varied as The Kitchen, SacYard, The Rind and Benny’s. “Natural wine shouldn’t be exclusionary. It can be at a dive bar just as easily as it can be at a high-end restaurant,” he says. “And while it may be a trend at the moment, what it embodies—sustainability, health, commitment to experimentation and open-mindedness—that is here to stay.” WHO’S IT FOR: Hard-core wine geeks, craft beer and cocktail aficionados looking for something new WINE TO TRY: The Drinking Tree Santa Clara Valley Pinot Noir


Kevin Luther in the vineyard

SACMAG.COM September 2020


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Arts & Culture

Music Lessons Performers have learned to keep the music alive even without the energy of the crowd. BY CATHY CASSINOS-CARR

Canceled, rescheduled, postponed—these three words have haunted us all in 2020. But musicians who live to perform were among the hardest hit, especially when the lockdowns continued into summer, the peak season for festivals, concerts and tours. How have they been coping with this one-two punch, which began in March and showed no sign of abating when this article was written in mid-July? What lessons have they taken from these unprecedented times? Here’s what five local musicians had to say.


Katie Knipp


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Katie Knipp

Opposite page: Elle Jaye; this page, bottom: Phil Kampel

For blues singer/musician Katie Knipp, the pandemic brought a reminder to choose your mindset carefully. “It reminded me that we’re really in charge of our own destinies,” says Knipp. “It’s easy to slip into a negative mindset. But in every situation, we have a choice of how to react.” Knipp can’t deny she’s been missing her band, and missing live shows, since COVID came along. But her world is so big outside of gigs—she teaches music, actively promotes WHILE STUCK AT HOME, her music online, and THE TWO-TIME SAMMIES is a wife and mom, with two young sons (Tommy, WINNER FOR BEST BLUES 5, and James, 4)—that ARTIST HAS BEEN WORKING she’s managed the shutON HER SIXTH ALBUM. down unusually well. Except for the overeating part, she says. “In the beginning, I found myself snacking and drinking quite a bit,” says Knipp. But she’s no couch potato. While stuck at home, the two-time SAMMIES winner for best blues artist has been working on her sixth album. She’s also made major inroads in her online presence, including heavy promotion of her new single. “I see this time as an opportunity to up my marketing game,” Knipp says. In addition to devoting more time to building her fan base on Spotify, Knipp finally got on Pandora, which was “a big deal for me,” she says. Knipp was scheduled for two September shows at Crest Theatre as this went to press. (Fingers crossed.) You can find/buy her music at, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube and elsewhere.

Marcel Smith While COVID captivity has wreaked havoc for every working musician, the timing was especially tough for blues/gospel singer Marcel Smith. He had just nabbed a coveted spot as lead singer with The Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra when the world came to a halt. “We had just set up a bunch of shows in the Bay Area and were preparing for a big European tour including Italy, the Canary Islands and Spain,” says Smith. “All canceled. For me, just being over there would have been a career changer.” A veteran of the Sacramento music scene from his time with The Soul Prophets in the ’80s and, more recently, Bob Jones and the Chosen Few, Smith has been looking at the big questions. “With the pandemic, how do we function as artists? How are we going to survive doing this? We have to rethink this thing from the ground up.” Smith is trying to use his down time productively, throwing himself into songwriting and supporting other artists. He encourages others to do the latter. “If a band is playing or streaming, support them,” says Smith. “It gives us hope that we’re still relevant and valued—that we still have an audience.” But the virtual world doesn’t really cut it for an artist like Smith, a dynamic performer known to jump off the stage and into the crowd. Being robbed of this outlet is, he says, “killing me.” Until he’s on a stage again, you can find/buy Smith’s 2018 solo album, “Everybody Needs Love,” on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Visit to learn more.

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Arts & Culture Nawal Alwareeth

Beth Duncan No. 1 lesson learned from the pandemic? “Don’t be a singer or a horn player; you can’t wear a mask,” jokes vocalist Beth Duncan. “We naturally spew!” Duncan’s rich, velvety voice has been a Sacramento staple since the ’80s. Whether you’ve caught her doing what she loves most—singing jazz—at places like Piatti or Zinfandel Grille, or have heard her over the airwaves (most recently as a substitute host on Capital Public Radio’s “Insight”), she’s a high-profile player on the local scene. Or was, at least, pre-pandemic. “The career, in terms of performing live, came to a halt when this hit in March,” says Duncan. “It was like the garage door came down, and then came down a little


more, and finally came down all the way.” But—there is always a but— there was one saving grace: Prior to the pandemic, Duncan was working on a new album, “I’m All Yours.” Recording was in the can, but there were other tasks to tackle before its July 2020 release, such as licensing the music and creating CD art. Given the uncertainty of the times, Duncan almost shelved the project. But she didn’t. It turned out to be an anchor and a lifeline during otherwise dark times. “After coming close to pulling the plug, it hit me that completing the album is exactly what I had to do,” says Duncan. “It was a labor of love, and it was meant to be shared. Love and music win out!” You can find/buy Duncan’s music at, Spotify and CD Baby.

Nawal Al Wareeth by Maria Ratinova

As manager and drummer for the uber-busy local band Island of Black and White, Nawal Alwareeth is a planner and scheduler of the first order. So when COVID destroyed all the finely tuned plans she had put in place for the band for 2020, it was a hard-won lesson in letting go. “We were booked for the entire summer and all the way through October, including a tour and a lot of travel,” says Alwareeth, “At first I thought, ‘This just sucks.’” But just like the El Dorado County-based band’s sunny-sounding grooves (a fusion of rock, funk, blues, folk and reggae), Alwareeth ultimately took an upbeat stance. “I realized it was really a forced vacation. I told my band members to enjoy this time and relax, because I would never give them this much time off,” she says, half-jokingly. “Time off” hasn’t meant standing still. In addition to creating a video for NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest, the band has been regularly livestreaming. But livestream isn’t live. To fill that void, Alwareeth and husband Chris Haislet, the band’s leader and front man, began offering “doorstep” shows. “We put out word that if anyone had a birthday or anything they were celebrating, we’d come to their home and perform a few songs at a safe distance,” explains Alwareeth. “Seeing the joy it brings to people is unlike anything else.” Her key lesson from the pandemic? “Make the absolute best of every single moment, because that’s all we have.” You can find it “all,” says Alwareeth, at


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Terence Duffy

Todd Morgan He desperately misses performing live. But Todd Morgan has found an upside to sheltering-inplace: He’s building his repertoire. “Since I’m not busy gigging, I have time to learn new songs,” says Morgan, whose slicked-back hair and penchant for early rock ’n’ roll gives him an old-school vibe. As one of the region’s most popular young performers, the singer/multi-instrumentalist is typically a whirling dervish, especially in summer, when concert season peaks. “The last

gig I played before everything shut down was on March 14,” says Morgan, who performs both solo and with his band, the Emblems. “By the next day, we had 18 or 20 canceled gigs.” When summer shows dropped off, it hit especially hard. “There are a lot we look forward to every year, like the State Fair and concerts in the park. All those were gone.” The pandemic has also put a damper on a new recordingstudio business Morgan is starting with local blues artist Kyle Rowland. “Since we haven’t been able to do shows, we thought we could move ahead and record

others. But with social distancing, that doesn’t work too well.” What has Morgan learned from this time that he might use, going forward? More livestreaming, maybe? Hmm . . . maybe not. “I don’t really like doing those,” he admits. “I tend to get stressed when I do them, and I “SINCE I’M NOT BUSY miss the reaction of a live audience.” Still, the GIGGING, I HAVE TIME money ain’t bad: Mor- TO LEARN NEW SONGS.” gan’s livestreams have earned him up to $275 an hour. To hear/buy Morgan’s music, visit, YouTube, Amazon, iTunes, Apple Music or Spotify. SACMAG.COM September 2020

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Back pain is the primary reason people make the initial decision to visit a chiropractor.


Top Chiropractors Almost everyone knows someone who’s been treated by a chiropractor, but choosing one from a seemingly endless list can be a daunting task. From Professional Research Services, Sacramento Magazine has secured the rights to publish the names of the region’s Top Chiropractors. Professional Research Services contacted over 8,000 licensed chiropractors within the State of California. PRS also asked each chiropractor in a nationwide online survey which chiropractors they would recommend across California and nationally. Each chiropractor was allowed to recommend up to three colleagues in each given chiropractic specialty. Once the ballots were complete, each nominee was carefully evaluated on the basis of the survey results, the legitimacy of their license, and their current standing with the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners in the state of California. Chiropractors who received the highest number of votes by their colleagues in chiropractic medicine in the Sacramento area are reflected in the Top Chiropractor list provided to Sacramento Magazine.

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TOP CHIROPRACTORS Ron J.Rudometkin 51st Street Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 733-0655

Kurt Armstrong Armstrong Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 483-8441

Andrew Williams Backs In Motion ChiroSpa Elk Grove (916) 686-6062

Daniel Brannigan Brannigan Health Center Sacramento (916) 302-2424

Reed Metcalf Accident and Sports Injury Clinic Roseville (916) 784-2727

Bradley C. Herrgord Atlas Spine Center Lincoln (916) 645-3890

Dennis L. Banker Banker Chiropractic Elk Grove (916) 683-7000

Joshua Bray Bray Chiropractic Roseville (916) 797-6200

Stanley A. Smith Auburn Oaks Chiropractic Citrus Heights (916) 722-1804

James Barger Barger Chiropractic of Folsom Folsom (916) 984-9999

Dennis M. Brooks Brooks Chiropractic Roseville (916) 782-4440

James R. Winget Auburn Oaks Chiropractic Citrus Heights (916) 722-1804

Rhonda Basarich Basarich Chiropractic, Inc. Roseville (916) 838-3188

Wayde W. James California Chiropractic & Rehabilitation Elk Grove (916) 686-6221

Steven K. Barham Back and Neck Pain Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 485-6434

Sidney B. Bean Bean Chiropractic of Sacramento Sacramento (916) 475-1263

Daniel A. Cross Casha-Cross Chiropractic Fair Oaks (916) 967-7436

Clark M.Johnson Back and Neck Pain Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 485-6434

Jeffery Beavers Better Health Chiropractic Carmichael (916) 489-5450

Gina Cecchi Cecchi Chiropractic Rocklin (916) 541-4448

Evan Mountford Back In Action Chiropractic Rocklin (916) 774-6699

Brad Falke Blue Oak Chiropractic Folsom (916) 984-6555

Timothy Chaffin Chaffin Chiropractic Folsom (916) 966-1571

Damon West ACME Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 440-8700 Charmaine Magale Active Life Team Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 551-1545 Jignesh Bhakta Advanced Family Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 689-3200 Gregg C. Anderson Anderson Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 485-5433 Aleksander Chung Arena Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 285-9387



Dr. Gregg C. Anderson, D.C. has dedicated his practice and studies to helping people get fast relief from common problems without drugs and surgery. He enjoys his roles both as a hands-on clinician and as a chiropractic innovator. As a seven-time Top Chiropractor in Sacramento Magazine, he has much respect among his peers and in the community. In 2016 he was awarded a US Design Patent for his newest chiropractic instrument, the VDP-PRO. He now divides his time between serving patients in his busy Sacramento clinic and providing this spine-relieving tool to practitioners around the world. Whether you are a fellow practitioner. or someone looking for answers to your health issues, he has the tools, the training and the experience to serve you very well.

3517 Marconi Ave., Suite 102, Sacramento, CA 95821 (916) 485-5433

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We specialize in gentle, safe, effective, full-spine chiropractic care, with a special emphasis on ankle and shoulder injuries. Dr. Rayman takes an inside-out approach to health, honoring the body’s inherent ability to heal itself, and works with that innate ability to pinpoint the cause of your physical issues. Dr. Rayman graduated summa cum laude from Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward, California. He has received multiple professional awards. In addition to being a SIX-TIME Top Chiropractor for Sacramento Magazine, Dr. Rayman’s awards included KCRA 3’s A-List 2011 General Fitness category as a finalist, the 2011 Sacramento Observer Community Health Hero and the 2009 California Army National Guard One Star General Coin.

3001 I Street, Suite 115, Sacramento, CA 95816 (916) 452-5055 •

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TOP CHIROPRACTORS Charyl M. Silva Charyl Silva, D.C. West Sacramento (916) 372-8383

Edward Chu Elite Spinal & Sports Care Sacramento (916) 488-4849

Brad Gunderson Gunderson Chiropractic Rancho Cordova (916) 851-1520

Hugh J. Lubkin Laguna Chiropractic Clinic Elk Grove (916) 685-1718

Benjamin S. Herr Chiropractic Care Center Sacramento (916) 393-5059

Justin Lau Elite Spinal & Sports Care Sacramento (916) 488-4849

Angel M. Gutierrez Gutierrez Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 424-9000

Terry A.Lee Lee Wellness Center Woodland (530) 661-1375

Robert Graykowski Chiropractic USA Carmichael (916) 973-1661

Stephan O. Von Seeger Elk Grove Chiropractic Elk Grove (916) 685-6380

Emily Grace (Kalvass) Chiropractic Wellness Spa Sacramento (916) 993-3200

Brad J. James Elk Grove Natural Health Center Elk Grove (916) 685-2240

Carol S. Hamby Hamby Chiropractic Fair Oaks (916) 966-4330

Brett J. Lemire Lemire Chiropractic Spine & Sport Inc. Elk Grove (916) 683-3900

Earnest Allen Corner Chiropractic Center Fair Oaks (916) 344-2016

Jesse Saenz Epic Chiropractic & Sports Therapy Sacramento (916) 488-8400

Daniel J. Murphy Daniel J. Murphy, DC Auburn (530) 718-1334

Linda W. Shanks Epic Chiropractic & Sports Therapy Sacramento (916) 488-8400

David Hartz Davis Sports & Family Chiropractic Davis (530) 747-0455

Richard Fink Erickson Chiropractic Clinic Roseville (916) 781-7878

Heather Dehn Dehn Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 488-0202

Joel Dickson Evolved Spine Chiropractic Gold River (916) 778-6523

Darrell Bird Dr. Darrell Bird D.C. Sacramento (916) 485-1091

David W. Polley Fair Oaks Chiropractic & Wellness Center Fair Oaks (916) 965-4125

Dennis C. Swenson Dr. Dennis C. Swenson Roseville (916) 780-9017

Dave DeLapp Fair Oaks Holistic Health Fair Oaks (916) 966-4714

Dennis W. Harding Dr. Dennis W. Harding, D.C., B.C.A.O. Auburn (530) 823-3734

Danny B. Ferrero Ferrero Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 484-1660

Herb Akers Dr. Herb Akers El Dorado Hills (916) 990-4350

Robert W. Fugitt Fugitt Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 366-5500

Steven Natzel Dr. Steven Natzel, DC Roseville (916) 788-1285

Andrea Rosario Functional Longevity Institute Fair Oaks (916) 550-0567

Bruce E. Dwelly Dwelly Chiropractic Orangevale (916) 988-3379

Chris S. Gibson Gibson Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 925-2225

Sandy Bell East Sacramento Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 469-9235

John Gonzales Gonzales Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 368-7938

Chip C. Studley East Sacramento Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 469-9235

Julie Gray Gray Chiropractic Center Fair Oaks (916) 844-0160

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Shawn I. Hayes Hayes Chiropractic Galt 209-745-6639 Sadie Gal Sanders Health & Human Performance Woodland Hills 818-704-5121 Andrea M. Hightower Hightower Chiropractic and Integrated Health of Sacramento Elk Grove (916) 691-9500

Nelson S. Ong Lemire Chiropractic Spine & Sport Inc. Elk Grove (916) 683-3900 Stephen Leamon Lincoln Chiropractic Lincoln (916) 434-6464 Thomas La Gabed Lincoln Family Chiropractic Lincoln (916) 434-9109

Dan Hill Hill Chiropractic & Sports Therapy Auburn (530) 885-0102

Lori L. Lynch Lynch Chiropractic Rio Linda (916) 991-4070

Terek Lovell Ideal Body Center Loomis (916) 652-4411

Eric J. McKillican McKillican Chiropractic Folsom (916) 353-1800

Moses Sweis In Line Chiropractic Rancho Cordova (916) 631-0010

Daniel B. Muldavin Muldavin Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 455-5404

Amy C. Pham In Motion Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 421-5915

Rodney Alward N8 Touch Massage & Alward Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 485-2225

Brian D. Jenkins Jenkins Chiropractic Fair Oaks (916) 962-0144

The Nguyen Nguyen Chiropractic Corp. Sacramento (916) 395-5804

Edward D. Jennings Jennings Chiropractic Neurology Clinic Sacramento (916) 729-2225

Timothy Angelo NorCal Spine & Sport El Dorado Hills (916) 933-9870

Charles Boley II Johnson Ranch Chiropractic Roseville (916) 771-3999 Anthony Rayman KeyStone Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 452-5055 KeyStoneChiroInSac. com

Matthew W. Hassey NuCali Spinal Care El Dorado Hills (916) 626-4300 Steven Simmons Oak Point Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 484-0321 Mark Pedroncelli Pedroncelli Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 443-0111

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TOP CHIROPRACTORS Kevin H. Phan Phan Chiropractic Inc. Sacramento (916) 207-0668 Bruce Cooley Progressive Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 979-9088 Pauline Asahara Quantum Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 616-1595 Thaddeus J. Potocki Restoration Spinal Care Centers Fair Oaks (916) 536-0400 Charles McCrory Roseville Advanced Medical Group Roseville (916) 780-2800 Paul K. Schmidt Schmidt Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 331-7878 Robert A. Simonson Simonson Chiropractic Fair Oaks (916) 723-3088

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Hilary L. Taglio Taglio Chiropractic and Family Wellness Rocklin (916) 759-2920 Brian Tanabe Tanabe Chiropractic Rancho Cordova (916) 366-8771 Andrew J. Gutierrez The Chiropractic Wellness Center Culver City 424-308-0980 Justin Kamerman The Healing Touch Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 447-3344 Darrick Lawson The Healing Touch Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 447-3344 David Evans The Joint Chiropractic - Citrus Heights Citrus Heights (916) 299-3697

John Cherry The Joint Chiropractic - Elk Grove Commons Elk Grove (916) 318-5003 Jason Mack The Joint Chiropractic - Nugget Plaza Roseville (916) 318-3947 Renee M. Nikula The Perfect Curve Sacramento (916) 485-2347

Harold A. Walker Jr. Walker Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 484-1661 Sarah Ward Ward Family Chiropractic Roseville (916) 781-3444 Kurt Webb Webb Chiropractic Lincoln (916) 434-0600

Jeff Keon Touch Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 487-3008

Deb Welshons-Cline Welshons Chiropractic Wellness Center Fair Oaks (916) 488-5241

Michael D. Putman Twin Creeks Health Roseville (916) 781-2600

Carrie L. Wheeler Wheeler Chiropractic Sacramento (916) 483-2359

Brett A. Gottlieb Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Sacramento Fair Oaks (916) 965-7155

Donald Wilson Wilson Chiropractic Davis (530) 753-2182

Eric D. Wagnon Wagnon Chiropractic Roseville (916) 625-0208

Leonard L. Wong Wong Chiropractic Rocklin (916) 786-7779

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Food & Drink i n s i d e: Street Food / Beyond Kebabs / Feeding Oak Park

What the Cluck Chicken strips aren’t just for kids at MOM & POP CHICKEN SHOP, set to open soon at Town Center in El Dorado Hills. These meaty morsels are brined and buttermilk battered before they’re tossed in the fryer. The result? Winner winner chicken dinner. 4355 Town Center Drive, El Dorado Hills;

ga br iel te agu e

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Food & Drink

Taking It to the Streets Alfresco dining gets a boost in the age of COVID-19. BY MARYBETH BIZJAK OUTDOOR DINING HAS long been a fea-

ture of Sacramento’s restaurant scene. We’ve certainly got the weather for it. At least six months a year, we’re virtually guaranteed sunny skies and balmy (or blazing—take your pick) temperatures. Restaurants lucky enough to have a little bit of outdoor real estate—a patio out back, a sliver of sidewalk out front—have always been able to capitalize on our great weather. But COVID-19 showed that Sacramento could up its outdoor dining game considerably. After a two-and-a-half-month shutdown caused by the pandemic, the governor allowed restaurants to reopen in late May with the caveat that there be at least six feet of space between tables for social distancing. For most restaurants, that meant significantly reducing the number of people they could seat. To help restaurants get back on their feet financially, the city of Sacramento decided to allow them to expand their dining space onto sidewalks, streets and parking lots under a new program called Farm to Fork Al Fresco—F2FAF for short. A number of restaurants, many of them in midtown, quickly took advantage of the program. At the corner of 18th and Capitol, dozens of tables colonized a vast swath of sidewalk in front of Zócalo, Field House and Sibling by Pushkin’s (the newly renamed Pushkin’s Kitchen). A block away, on L Street, a couple of restaurants pushed their boundaries into the public space, with seating on the sidewalk outside of Aioli Bodega Española and nudging out into the street in front of The Rind. Just around the corner, on 19th Street, tables, chairs and umbrellas spilled onto the pavement in front of Mulvaney’s B&L and its next-door events building, The Pig on the Corner. With 120 linear feet of sidewalk, Mulvaney’s was well-situated when the governor, in response to a spike in infections, slammed the door shut on indoor dining in late June. F2FAF created expedited permitting for restaurants to spread out onto public rights of way such as streets and sidewalks. In the past, Sacramento restaura-


teurs have caustically critiqued the city’s permitting process, which could slow down a restaurant opening by weeks or even months. Not now. Tyler Williams, owner of Tank House, a barbecue restaurant and bar in midtown, submitted a permit application to add sidewalk seating on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and received a call back from the city the very next day. “I was floored,” Williams says. “The city does not call you on Memorial Day.” A city staffer came out on Tuesday for a site review, and by Thursday the new patio was open. It cost Williams only $100 for a state ABC permit to serve alcohol outdoors; the city permit was free. “I have to say I’ve never had an easier experience TO HELP RESTAURANTS with the city,” says GET BACK ON THEIR Williams, who FEET FINANCIALLY, THE also owns The CITY OF SACRAMENTO Jungle Bird and DECIDED TO ALLOW THEM TO EXPAND THEIR Ten Ten Room. In East SacraDINING SPACE ONTO mento, Selland’s SIDEWALKS, STREETS Market-Cafe got AND PARKING LOTS. city permission to turn part of its parking lot into a dining space. Owner Randall Selland built a handsome wood deck, complete with misters and shade sails; the apparatus can be taken down and stored at the end of the summer. But perhaps the most ambitious use of public space can be seen in the complete closure of streets to car traffic. In June, 20th Street between J and K streets was blocked at both ends so that LowBrau Bierhalle could create a sprawling beer garden in the street, with picnic tables, benches and a kiosk for ordering. Other street closures soon followed. For LowBrau owner Michael Hargis, it’s an opportunity to show Sacramento what outdoor dining can look like once the pandemic is over. Mulvaney also takes an optimistic view of running a restaurant in the COVID -19 era. “If there’s a silver lining, it’s that it shows folks what street activation can look like—it brings a lot of humanity out to the city in a way it wasn’t before,” he says.

Sidewalk tables at Mulvaney’s B&L

The new deck at Selland’s Market-Cafe on H Street

Parking spots now provide extra seating at Zócalo in midtown


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The outdoor seating at LowBrau Bierhalle now spills out onto 20th Street Mulvaney’s B&L and LowBrau: Rachel Valley; Zócalo: Gabriel Teague SACMAG.COM September 2020

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Food & Drink

In the Market for Change

Mother Knows Best When Naseer Roshan and his sisters contemplated the type of restaurant the family would someday open, one thing was certain: “We didn’t want to get into the kebab and rice business,” he says, reasoning that there is much more to the cuisine of central Asia than those familiar dishes, delicious though they are. Instead, the Roshans wanted to put a new spin on the flavors of their native Afghanistan and the other countries where they have lived and traveled, including Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Iran. The result of their culinary ambition is Madar Afghani-Fusion “THE FOODS ON OUR MENU Street Food, which opened ARE ALL INFLUENCED BY THE in the Arden-Arcade THINGS MY MOTHER COOKED neighborhood this spring FOR US.” —NASEER ROSHAN to rave reviews. “The foods on our menu are all influenced by the things my mother cooked for us,” explains Roshan. (Madar, in case you were wondering, means mother.) Indeed, the dishes at Madar will make you wish you had grown up eating around the Roshans’ table. The bolani, a chewy flatbread stuffed with potatoes, mint and green onions, is pure comfort, as is the tandoor samosa, with potatoes, beef or chicken encased in a flaky pastry. Where this kitchen really shines, however, is with its sandwiches. The chapli burger is an inventive take on traditional Pakistani chapli kebabs. In this instance, the tender patty is layered in a soft bun with grilled tomato, arugula and a tangy yogurt mint sauce. Another standout, the crispy chicken sandwich, is on par with some of the best chicken sandos in town thanks to a slathering of pink aioli. “My mother loved eating crispy chicken sandwiches when she moved here,” explains Roshan, so the menu had to have one. Compared with most fast-casual eateries, Madar is a cut above when it comes to ingredients. “We make all of our own yogurts, sauces and chutneys,” says Roshan. They also grind all of their meats in-house. The buns are sourced from Grateful Bread. “It is difficult cooking home flavors in a commercial setting without cutting corners, but we like everything to be fresh,” he says. To the delight of the Roshan family, their culinary gamble has paid off. “Some restaurants are scared to try something different because they’re not sure how people are going to respond to it,” says Roshan. “But we believe customers will embrace new food, especially if you put some love in it.”—Catherine Warmerdam 2654 Marconi Ave.; (916) 827-0009; madarstreet


Joany Titherington

Bottom: Aniko Keizel

Falafel pita slider from Madar Afghani-Fusion Street Food

Can a farmers market help transform a neighborhood riddled with crime and lacking adequate access to fresh food? That was the question Joany Titherington and other community leaders posed 13 years ago as they contemplated how to improve life in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood. “We needed to figure out some solutions to curb some of the crime that was happening in the community and seed in positive programming,” explains Titherington, a longtime member and past president of the Oak Park Neighborhood Association. At the time, Titherington led a community visioning process in which she invited residents to reimagine their neighborhood. “What we heard was that people wanted lower crime, a beautiful park, restaurants, coffee shops, a library,” she says. Near the top of the wish list was a farmers market to serve the neighborhood, which had few places to purchase fresh produce. Early attempts to launch the market were met with pessimism. “I was basically told, ‘We tried that there already. Those people don’t want healthy food.’” That comment “lit a fire under my ass,” says Titherington, who enlisted the nonprofit NeighborWorks for help. What began modestly as an urban farm stand and then a neighborhood crop swap has evolved into a full-fledged seasonal farmers market held twice weekly at McClatchy Park. Titherington, the market manager, visited farmers markets across California to determine the right format and vibe for Oak Park. “We figured that the only way we’re going to get people to show up is by having food and activities.” The Oak Park market accepts WIC and CalFresh benefits. “I really wanted us to lead the way and help level the playing field for people seeking access to fresh, healthy food,” she says. Oak Park is a lot different today from when Titherington organized the community visioning session all those years ago. “We got our coffeehouses, we got our restaurants, we got a safer neighborhood, by and large,” she says. Her only regret is that not enough attention was paid to keeping housing affordable. But whatever changes OAK PARK FARMERS MARKET come to Oak Park, Titherington hopes the AT MCCLATCHY PARK market will endure. “People need to eat,” she Saturdays 9 a.m.–1 p.m. says. “The only thing we’re passionate about Wednesdays 3–7 p.m. is making sure that everyone has access to May–October food.”—CATHERINE WARMERDAM


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delicious perfection Elevate your expectations of what fine dining should be. High Steaks is an exquisite experience, from the time we greet you until it’s time to say goodnight. Enjoy premium cuts, fresh seafood, expertly prepared desserts, and much more. Or start in the Lounge for Happy Hour for bites and drink specials.

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Restaurants When this issue of Sacramento Magazine went to print, restaurants were closed for indoor dining because of the pandemic, but many were offering outdoor dining and takeout. Before heading to a restaurant, call or check its website to make sure it’s open.

ARDEN ARCADE CAFE VINOTECA Located in Arden Town Center, Cafe Vinoteca serves some of the loveliest Italian-inspired cuisine in the city. 3535 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 4871331; L–D. Italian. $$$ FAMOUS KABOB Meat kabobs are the starring attraction here. Smokily delicious, the meats are served with fluffy basmati rice and grilled tomatoes. 1290 Fulton Ave.; (916) 483-1700; L–D. Persian. $–$$ LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY Go for the ice cream, all made on the premises and used in shakes, malts and towering sundaes. 2333 Arden Way; (916) 920-8382; L–D. Sandwiches/ice cream. $ PLAN B The menu is compact, with a handful of appetizers and several wonderful salads. Plan B’s claim to fame is its stellar mussels, offered six ways. 555 La Sierra Drive; (916) 483-3000; D. New American/French. $$–$$$ TEXAS WEST BAR-B-QUE This no-frills establishment serves slow wood-cooked meat in big portions. Dig into the tender Western-style pork spareribs and beef brisket or the smoky chicken. 1600 Fulton Ave.; (916) 483-7427; L–D. Barbecue. $–$$

AUBURN CARPE VINO The welcoming restaurant, located in a historic brick building in Old Town, is one of the region’s best-kept dining secrets. Look for specialties such as halibut with peas and turnips, chicken liver mousse, and arugula and fava bean salad with strawberries. 1568 Lincoln Way; (530) 823-0320; carpe D. New American. $$–$$$ KATRINA’S CAFE This Auburn institution serves some of the best breakfast fare in the region. Cheery and tiny, it’s packed on weekends, and the menu includes sturdy dishes such as chili con carne omelet and French toast topped with strawberries. 456 Grass Valley Highway; (530) 888-1166; B–L. American/breakfast. $

Breakfast pizza from Kupros KATHMANDU KITCHEN This family-owned restaurant envelops you in a cocoon of exotic fragrances. Order the lal maas (lamb curry with chili sauce) or chicken saagwala (stir fried chicken, spinach and curry). 1728 Broadway; (916) 441-2172; kathmandukitchensac L–D. Indian/Nepalese/vegetarian. $

ANDY NGUYEN VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT This bastion of Buddhist-inspired vegetarian cuisine serves food that is fresh and flavorful. 2007 Broadway; (916) 736-1157; L–D. Vegetarian/Asian. $

REAL PIE COMPANY At this homey pie shop, you’ll find the pies of your dreams, made with all-butter crusts and seasonal fruit sourced from local farms. In addition to dessert pies such as jumbleberry and butterscotch banana cream, you can order savory pot pies, shepherd’s pies and dishes like mac and cheese, all available to eat in or take out. 2425 24th St.; (916) 838-4007; L–D. American. $

IRON GRILL Come here for a sizzlingly romantic dinner or a cocktail-laden business meeting. With a compact menu anchored in traditional American dishes, the restaurant encourages family-style dining. 2422 13th St.; (916) 737-5115; irongrillsacramento. com L–D–Br. American. $$–$$$

SELLAND’S MARKET-CAFÉ Choose from an array of appetizers and hot items along with crowd-pleasing side dishes and pizza. This high-quality takeout food can be a real lifesaver on nights when you’re too busy to cook. 915 Broadway; (916) 732-3390; sellands. com. L–D–Br. Gourmet takeout. $$



CAPAY ROAD TRIP BAR & GRILL This family-friendly joint serves up classic roadhouse fare, from salads and burgers to chops and hot pastrami. 24989 State Highway 16; (530) 796-3777; B–L– D. American. $–$$

CARMICHAEL MATTEO’S PIZZA & BISTRO The menu is compact, and there’s no skimping on first-rate ingredients. The pizza crust is damned good, attaining that chewy-crispy-airy trifecta. You also can order pasta, steak or a burger. 5132 Arden Way; (916) 779-0727; L–D. Pizza/American. $$

CITRUS HEIGHTS LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY For description, see listing under “Arden Arcade.” 7910 Antelope


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Restaurants Road; (916) 729-4021; L–D. Sandwiches/ice cream. $ SAM’S CLASSIC BURGERS At this drive-up burger shack, the shakes are great and the burgers wonderfully straightforward. 7442 Auburn Blvd.; (916) 7237512. L–D. Burgers. $

DAVIS BURGERS AND BREW The casual, publike restaurant uses high-quality, locally sourced ingredients and serves an interesting selection of beers and ales. 1409 R St.; (916) 442-0900; L–D. Burgers. $ CAFE BERNARDO For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 234 D St.; (530) 750-5101; cafeber B–L–D. New American. $ CREPEVILLE This bustling creperie serves many variations on the crepe theme, from entrée to dessert. 330 Third St.; (530) 750-2400. B–L–D. Crepes. $ THE HOTDOGGER A well-loved Davis institution, The Hotdogger dishes up a delectable assortment of frankfurters and sausages. 129 E St.; (530) 753-6291; L–D. Hot dogs. $ KATHMANDU KITCHEN For description, see listing under “Broadway.” 234 G St., Davis; (530) 756-3507; L–D. Indian/Nepalese/vegetarian. $ MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 500 First St.; (530) 756-2111; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$ THE MUSTARD SEED The restaurant (a former house) is composed of three tiny rooms, plus a shaded patio out back. Dinner selections feature elegant California cuisine, and range from crab-stuffed Idaho trout to shrimp and sun-dried tomato risotto. Wines are reasonably priced and exclusively from California. 222 D St.; (530) 758-5750; L–D. New American. $$–$$$ PAESANOS For description, see listing under “Midtown.” 139 G St.; (530) 758-8646; L–D. Pizza/Italian. $ SEASONS This attractive, upscale restaurant showcases seasonal products; the menu changes every three months. Pizzas are great; so are the bountiful salads. But you’ll find the kitchen’s real talent in its creative appetizers and limited entrées. 102 F St.; (530) 750-1801; L–D. New American. $$–$$$ YAKITORI YUCHAN This busy little restaurant focuses on skewered grilled meats, seafood and vegetables. Most items are meant to be shared; bring an adventurous palate and a group of food-loving friends. 109 E St.; (530) 753-3196; yakitoriyuchan. com. D. Japanese. $–$$ ZIA’S DELICATESSEN This casual, Italian-style deli makes hot and cold sandwiches, salads and hot entrées such as lasagna, penne with creamy tomato sauce and tortellini with pesto-cream sauce. 616 Third St.; (530) 750-7870; L. Deli. $

DIXON CATTLEMENS This classic Western steakhouse serves up big slabs of prime rib, porterhouse, T-bone and cowboy steaks, plus all the trimmings: shrimp cocktail and loaded potato skins. 250 Dorset Court; (707) 678-5518; D. Steakhouse. $$$


Fish and chips from Camden Spit & Larder

DOWNTOWN BRASSERIE CAPITALE Owned by the family behind midtown’s Aïoli Bodega Española and The Grand wine bar, this beautifully designed restaurant is based on a traditional French brasserie. The menu hits the high points of the brasserie canon, everything from onion soup to steak frites. 1201 K St.; (916) 329-8033; L–D. French. $$–$$$ BURGERS AND BREW For description, see listing under “Davis.” 1409 R St.; (916) 442-0900; burgers L–D. Burgers. $ CAFE BERNARDO The menu offers straightforward fare guaranteed to please just about everyone. Breakfast includes huevos rancheros and eggs Bernardo, drizzled with hollandaise sauce. Lunch and dinner feature chewy-crusted pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and substantial entrées such as pan-seared chicken breast with mashed potatoes. 1431 R St.; (916) 9309191; B–L–D. New American. $ CAFETERIA 15L Go to Cafeteria 15L for modern, approachably priced comfort food in a casual yet stylish environment. The menu emphasizes fun fare, such as mac ’n’ cheese, truffle tater tots, and fried chicken and waffle with gravy and pecan butter. 1116 15th St.; (916) 492-1960; L–D. Californian. $$ CAMDEN SPIT & LARDER Highly regarded chef Oliver Ridgeway opened this swank brasserie in a modern, glass-walled building near the Capitol. It appeals to lobbyists, lawyers and legislators with its ginforward cocktails (martini, anyone?) and a menu that’s an interesting mash-up of British chop-house classics, English schoolboy favorites and elevated

pub fare. 555 Capitol Mall; (916) 619-8897; camden L–D. Steakhouse. $$$–$$$$ DAWSON’S Located within the Hyatt Regency, Dawson’s has dark-paneled walls, elegant linen-draped tables and a convivial bar. It’s a great spot for a martini and a New York steak. You can’t help but enjoy the lavish attention showered on you by the blackvested, professional wait staff, and the food is undeniably sophisticated. 1209 L St.; (916) 321-3600; D. New American. $$$–$$$$ DE VERE’S IRISH PUB Don’t head to de Vere’s if you’re seeking a quiet evening—the raucous, high-energy pub is noisy and packed with revelers. The wood bar (imported from Ireland) is enormous, and the food is high-quality pub fare. 1521 L St.; (916) 231-9947. L–D. Irish pub. $$ EMPRESS TAVERN Located in the basement of the Crest Theatre, this restaurant has a catacomb vibe. It’s a modern version of an old English carvery: whole chickens, prime rib roasts and hams turn slowly on a rotisserie in the open kitchen, and diners can order sides like whipped potatoes with pork gravy. The bar features a gin-focused cocktail menu and a long beer list. 1013 K St.; (916) 662-7694; L–D. New American carvery. $$$ FOX & GOOSE PUBLIC HOUSE This tavern plates up some of the best breakfasts in town, along with pub staples like beer-battered fish and chips, a Cornish pasty or Welsh rarebit. 1001 R St.; (916) 443-8825; B–L–D. English pub. $ FRANK FAT’S Downtown Sacramento’s oldest restaurant, Fat’s is a favorite of the Capitol crowd. The restaurant is well known for its steaks—especially Frank’s Style New York Steak—and its brandy-fried


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CATTLEMENS STEAKHOUSE & SALOON Serving exclusively Harris Ranch “Natural Beef”, Cattlemens ages and hand-cuts all beef selections on site. Signature steaks include the famous “Sizzling Prime Rib”, “King of Steaks” 32-oz. Porterhouse, New York Strip and Filet Mignon. Other popular items are Baby Back Pork Ribs, Grilled Salmon, Chicken and Pasta. All entrees are served up with all the fixin’s — All-You-Can-Eat tossed salad, hot sourdough bread and ranch-style beans. A popular spot for “More Beef for Your Buck” weeknight dinner specials and kid friendly dining. Seven days a week, Happy Hour is 4-6 pm in the saloon with savory small plates and thirst quenching hand-crafted cocktails served nightly. Full banquet and reception facilities are available for both day and evening events. Reservations accepted. Open at 4 p.m. seven days per week. 2000 Taylor Rd., Roseville | 916-782-5587 12409 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova 916-985-3030 Hwy 80 at Currey Rd., Dixon | 707-678-5518


1110 T ST. SACRAMENTO | 916.822.4665 River Park

5489 CARLSON DR. | 916.993.8942

2502 J ST. | 916.447.1855 best thai '19 • happy hour 4:30-6PM

Sacramento’s favorite ice cream parlour for 35+ years. Our award-winning ice cream and sauces are made fresh daily and served in generous portions. We also offer a large variety of delicious sandwiches–from our specialty crab sandwich to great burgers. Leatherby’s is the perfect old fashioned ice cream parlour for families, friends, large groups or parties. Sun–Thur: 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri–Sat: 11 a.m.–12 a.m. Sacramento | Arden Way | 916-920-8382 Citrus Heights | Antelope Road | 916-729-4021 Elk Grove | Laguna Blvd | 916-691-3334


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Restaurants chicken. This is Chinese cuisine at its most sophisticated. 806 L St.; (916) 442-7092; fatsrestaurants. com. L–D. Chinese. $$$ KODAIKO RAMEN & BAR Partly owned by Kru’s Billy Ngo, this below-ground ramen shop takes the Japanese noodle soup to a whole new level. Ingredients are organic, and almost everything is made in-house. For a fun experience, sit at the six-person ramen counter and chat with the chefs. 718 K St.; (916) 426-8863; L–D–Br. Japanese/ ramen. $$–$$$ MAGPIE CAFE This restaurant has a casual, unassuming vibe, and its hallmark is clean, simple fare that tastes like the best version of itself. 1601 16th St.; (916) 452-7594; B–L–D. Californian. $$ MAS TACO BAR Tasty little tacos are the headliners at this casual eatery. They come with all sorts of delicious fillings: braised short rib, Korean fried chicken, banh mi shrimp and, for veg heads, roasted cauliflower and butternut squash. You can also get Latinflavored rice bowls, salads and starters such as elote (Mexican street corn) and habanero fire balls (a mixture of roasted chilies, cream cheese, bacon and pepper jack, rolled into balls and fried). 1800 15th St.; L–D–Br. Mexican. $$ MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR This hip sushi bar serves its sushi with a side of sass. There are three sushi bars and a dense menu of appetizers, rice bowls, bento boxes and sushi rolls. 1530 J St.; (916) 447-2112; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$ PUBLIC HOUSE Belly up to the bar, where you can watch sports on multiple TV screens or gab with the bartender. Order a giant Bavarian pretzel or pulled pork nachos, topped with pickled jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, guacamole and sour cream. 1132 16th St.; (916) 446-0888; L–D–Br. American. $$ URBAN ROOTS BREWING & SMOKEHOUSE At this casual brewery, a massive smoker turns out succulent meats—brisket, ribs, turkey and sausage—in the tradition of the great barbecue houses of Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee. Sides include collard greens, mac and cheese, yams and poblano cheese grits. Sit indoors or out at long picnic tables. 1322 V St.; (916) 706-3741; L–D. Barbecue. $$ ZIA’S DELICATESSEN For description, see listing under Davis. 1401 O St.; (916) 441-3354; ziasdeli. com. L. Deli. $

EAST SACRAMENTO CANON With Michelin-starred chef Brad Cecchi at the helm, this breezily chic restaurant offers an ambitious menu of globally inspired sharable plates. Much of the menu is vegetarian, vegan or gluten free, but you can also order from a small selection of hearty meat, poultry and fish dishes. 1719 34th St.; (916) 469-2433; Global/New American. D–Br. $$$–$$$$ CELESTIN’S Gumbo is the signature dish at this charming, minuscule restaurant specializing in Creole and Cajun cuisine. It comes in six varieties, including chicken, vegetarian and seafood. But the pièce de resistance is the namesake Celestin’s gumbo, chock-full of chicken, sea scallops, wild shrimp, rock cod and sausage. 3610 McKinley Blvd.; (916) 2584060; L–D. Cajun/Creole. $$ CLUBHOUSE 56 This is your classic sports bar, from the multiple TVs and two giant screens broadcasting games via DIRECTV to the local sports memorabilia on the walls. The food, too, is classic sports-bar


Clubhouse 56’s California burger fare: burgers, sandwiches and apps such as tacos and jalapeño poppers. The place is dark, casual and convivial, Sacramento’s very own Cheers. 734 56th St.; (916) 454-5656; Br–L–D. Sports bar. $$

reputation at The Waterboy in midtown, branched out with a more casual concept at his East Sac eatery. The open bistro has a tiled pizza oven that cranks out chewy, flavorful pizzas. 4818 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 706-1748; B–L–D. Pizza. $$

JUNO’S KITCHEN AND DELICATESSEN This tiny eatery serves some of the best sandwiches in town. Owner Mark Helms also offers an intriguing selection of salads and “pan” dishes such as shrimp mac ’n’ cheese. But you can’t go wrong with the smoked trout sandwich or the grilled chicken sandwich. Though there’s only a handful of tables, takeout is a tasty option. 3675 J St.; (916) 456-4522; junoskitchen. com. L. Bistro. $

ORIGAMI ASIAN GRILL This fast-casual eatery serves Asian-flavored rice bowls, banh mi sandwiches, salads and ramen, along with killer fried chicken and assorted smoked-meat specials from a big smoker on the sidewalk. 4801 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 400-3075; origami L–D. Asian fusion. $–$$

KRU Kru turns out exciting Japanese fare, and there’s a craft cocktail bar, outdoor patios and an omakase bar. 3135 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 551-1559; krurestau L–D. Japanese. $$$–$$$$ THE MIMOSA HOUSE This small local chain offers a comprehensive lineup of breakfast fare: omelets, scrambles, Benedicts, crepes, waffles, burritos and, of course, mimosas. The lunch/dinner menu is similarly broad, with burgers, salads, grilled sandwiches and Mexican “street food.” 5641 J St.; (916) 4004084; B–L–D. American. $$ OBO’ ITALIAN TABLE & BAR This casual Italian eatery is beautifully designed and efficiently run. There are hot dishes and cold salads behind the glass cases, ready for the taking. But the stars of the menu are the freshly made pastas and wood-oven pizzas. There’s also a full bar serving Italian-theme craft cocktails. 3145 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 822-8720; L–D. Italian. $$ ONESPEED Chef Rick Mahan, who built his stellar

SELLAND’S MARKET-CAFÉ For description, see listing under Broadway. 5340 H St.; (916) 736-3333; L–D–Br. Gourmet takeout. $$ STAR GINGER ASIAN GRILL AND NOODLE BAR Offering affordably priced dishes inspired by the street foods of Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore, this restaurant serves a spicy Thai chicken soup that is a delicious bargain. 3101 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 231-8888; L–D. Pan-Asian. $ 3 HERMANAS With the 2018 opening of this little Mexican eatery, all three Saenz sisters now have their own Sacramento restaurants. Like its sibling restaurants, Tres Hermanas and Three Sisters, this one serves hearty, classic Mexican fare such as ensalada norteña and camarones a la diabla, along with vegan and vegetarian options. 3260 J St.; (916) 382-9079; L–D–Br. Mexican. $$

EL DORADO HILLS AJI JAPANESE BISTRO This casually elegant restaurant offers an innovative menu of Japanese street food, interesting fusion entrées, traditional dishes


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Restaurants such as teriyaki and tempura and sushi. 4361 Town Center Blvd.; (916) 941-9181; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $–$$ BAMIYAN AFGHAN RESTAURANT Must-order dishes include mantoo (dumplings filled with spiced ground beef) and skewered, charbroiled leg of lamb. For dessert, Afghani-style vanilla ice cream is sprinkled with dates, figs and pistachios. 1121 White Rock Road; (916) 941-8787; D. Afghan. $$–$$$ C. KNIGHT’S STEAKHOUSE An upscale dinner house serving steaks, chops and seafood, this restaurant offers classic American fare that’s stood the test of time. Make sure to order the Green Phunque, a tasty side dish that’s like creamed spinach on steroids. 2085 Vine St.; (916) 235-1730; cknightsteakhouse. com. D. American steakhouse. $$$$ EARLY TOAST MIMOSA HOUSE This local chain offers a comprehensive lineup of breakfast fare: omelets, Benedicts, crepes, waffles, burritos and, of course, mimosas. The lunch/dinner menu is similarly broad, with burgers, salads, grilled sandwiches and Mexican “street food.” 2023 Vine St., El Dorado Hills; (916) 934-0965; B–L–D. American. $$ MILESTONE This unstuffy eatery serves great takes on comfort-food classics like pot roast and fried chicken. It’s straightforward, without pretense or gimmickry. The setting is like a Napa country porch, and the service is warm and approachable. 4359 Town Center Blvd.; (916) 934-0790; milestonerestaurant L–D–Br. New American. $$–$$ RELISH BURGER BAR This burger place offers so many enticing choices, it’s hard to avoid order paralysis. We’ll make it easy on you: Get the teriyaki burger. The beef patty is embellished with slices of warm grilled pineapple, fried onions and melted Swiss cheese. A copious splash of teriyaki sauce rounds out the flavor of this delectable burger. 1000 White Rock Road; (916) 933-3111; L–D. Burgers. $ SELLAND’S MARKET-CAFE For description, see listing under “East Sacramento.” 4370 Town Center Blvd.; (916) 932-5025; L–D–Br. Gourmet takeout. $$ SIENNA RESTAURANT A luxurious Tuscan interior features a large bar and pretty patios. The menu includes a playful melange of global cuisine, including fresh seafood, hand-cut steaks, stone hearth pizzas, inventive appetizers and a stacked French dip sandwich. Sunday brunch includes a made-toorder omelet bar and unlimited mimosas. 3909 Park Drive; (916) 941-9694; L–D– Br. Global. $$–$$$

ELK GROVE BOULEVARD BISTRO Located in a cozy 1908 bungalow, this bistro is one of the region’s best-kept dining secrets. Chef/owner Bret Bohlmann is a passionate supporter of local farmers and winemakers, and his innovative food sings with freshness and seasonality. 8941 Elk Grove Blvd.; (916) 685-2220; blvdbistro. com. D–Br. New American. $$–$$$ LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY For description, see listing under “Arden Arcade.” 8238 Laguna Blvd.; (916) 691-3334; L–D. Sandwiches/ice cream. $ MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 8525 Bond Road; (916) 714-2112; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$


Honey walnut prawns from Fat’s Asia Bistro and Dim Sum Bar PAESANOS For description, see listing under “Midtown.” 8519 Bond Road; (916) 690-8646; paesanos. biz. L–D. Pizza/Italian. $ THAI CHILI This plain restaurant offers an entire menu just for vegetarians, plus interesting meat and fish dishes. 8696 Elk Grove Blvd.; (916) 714-3519; thai L–D. Thai. $$

FAIR OAKS MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 4323 Hazel Ave.; (916) 961-2112; L–D. Japanese/ sushi. $$ SUNFLOWER DRIVE IN This casual spot serves healthful, wholesome vegetarian and vegan fare. Faves include the Nutburger, the egg salad sandwich and fruit smoothies. 10344 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 967-4331; L–D. Vegetarian. $

FOLSOM BACCHUS HOUSE WINE BAR & BISTRO With a seasonal menu packed with innovative, globally influenced dishes, this restaurant has plenty to choose from. 1004 E. Bidwell St.; (916) 984-7500; bacchus L–D–Br. New American. $$–$$$ BACK BISTRO A warm pocket of coziness and urban sophistication in a retail center, this place offers an appealing menu of casual nibbles and swankier entrées. But it’s the wine program that really knocks this charming little bistro out of the park. 230 Palladio Parkway, Suite 1201; (916) 986-9100; backbis D. New American/Mediterranean. $$–$$$

CHICAGO FIRE Oodles of melted cheese blanket the pizzas that fly out of the kitchen of this busy restaurant. Here, you get to choose between thin-crust, deep-dish and stuffed pizzas. 310 Palladio Parkway; (916) 9840140; L –D. Pizza. $ FAT’S ASIA BISTRO AND DIM SUM BAR The menu focuses on Asian cuisine at this glamorous restaurant. Choose from Mongolian beef, Hong Kong chow mein or Thai chicken satay served with a fiery curry-peanut sauce. 2585 Iron Point Road; (916) 983-1133; fats L–D. Pan-Asian. $$ LAND OCEAN The menu hits all the steakhouse high notes: hand-cut steaks, lobster, seafood and rotisserie, entrée salads and sandwiches. 2720 E. Bidwell St.; (916) 983-7000; L–D– Br. New American/steakhouse. $$$ SCOTT’S SEAFOOD GRILL & BAR This restaurant offers a solid menu of delicious seafood, from crab cakes and calamari to lobster tail. 9611 Greenback Lane; (916) 989-6711; L–D. Seafood. $$$–$$$$ THAI PARADISE Standouts on the extensive menu include spring rolls, tom kha koong (coconut milk soup with prawns), green curry, spicy scallops and pad thai. 2770 E. Bidwell St.; (916) 984-8988; thaiparadise L–D. Thai. $$

GARDEN HIGHWAY CRAWDADS ON THE RIVER This riverfront restaurant draws crowds looking for a great place to party on the water. Sip a cocktail on the restaurant’s deck or order a several fun entrée from the Cajun-inspired menu. 1375 Garden Highway; (916) 929-2268; sac L–D–Br. Cajun/American. $$


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58 DEGREES & HOLDING CO. This wine bar showcases an astonishing number of wines by the glass— all available in 3- and 6-ounce pours. There’s also an abbreviated menu of small plates designed to complement and enhance the wines. 1217 18th St.; (916) 442-5858; L–D. Wine bar. $$ THE GOLDEN BEAR Remember the adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Keep it in mind when you come here. You may have to wave cigarette smoke away from your face as you cross the patio, but you’ll find a surprisingly sophisticated menu. 2326 K St.; (916) 441-2242; L–D–Br. Gastropub. $$ HAWKS PUBLIC HOUSE At this sophisticated gastropub, the menu includes beautifully executed dishes like country pâté and baked rigatoni. The pastas are made in-house, and even the burger is top-notch. 1525 Alhambra Blvd.; (916) 588-4440; hawkspublic L–D–Br. Mediterranean gastropub. $$$ HOOK & LADDER MANUFACTURING COMPANY Located in a Quonset hut, this restaurant is serious about food. All the pastas and desserts are made in-house. 1630 S St.; (916) 442-4885; hookandlad L–D–Br. Californian. $$ INK EATS & DRINKS Drop by this hip lounge for a first-rate meal. The kitchen whips up some of the best huevos rancheros in town, and the restaurant stays open late. 2730 N St.; (916) 456-2800; L–D–Br. New American. $ KUPROS This fun gastropub is housed in a beautifully renovated 1910 Craftsman building. Head to the outdoor balcony, where you can tuck into fare such as steak frites or pot roast with a pint of beer. 1217 21st St.; (916) 440-0401; L–D–Br. New American/gastropub. $$

Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company’s avocado toast THE VIRGIN STURGEON This quirky floating restaurant, best known for its seafood, is the quintessential Sacramento River dining experience. A cocktail pontoon is connected to the restaurant, where you can drink and enjoy the breezy proximity to the water below. 1577 Garden Highway; (916) 921-2694; the L–D–Br. Seafood/American. $$

GRANITE BAY HAWKS One of Placer County’s best restaurants, Hawks is committed to locally sourced ingredients. The seasonal menu is full of delicious surprises, such as seared scallop and sea urchin. 5530 Douglas Blvd.; (916) 7916200; L–D–Br. New American/ French. $$$–$$$$

GREENHAVEN/POCKET SCOTT’S SEAFOOD ON THE RIVER Located in The Westin Sacramento, Scott’s has a patio and a view of the river. Breakfast dishes include crab cake Benedict, and lunch entrées range from petrale sole to a prawn Caesar salad. For dinner, splurge on a lobster tail or choose a more modestly priced grilled salmon. 4800 Riverside Blvd.; (916) 379-5959; scottsseafoodon B–L–D. Seafood. $$$–$$$$

LAND PARK RIVERSIDE CLUBHOUSE The busy kitchen focuses on a solid menu of American classics. Beautifully designed, the restaurant features a stunning outdoor waterfall and a tri-level fireplace. 2633 Riverside Blvd.; (916) 448-9988; L–D– Br. American/New American. $$

TAYLOR’S KITCHEN Here, the chefs prepare meats and produce sold at Taylor’s Market next door. 2924 Freeport Blvd.; (916) 443-5154; D–Br. American. $$$

LINCOLN HIGH STEAKS This Thunder Valley Casino restaurant is a meat lover’s paradise, offering up everything from an 8-ounce prime filet to a 26-ounce bone-in New York steak. The kitchen sources some of the best products in the country, including Wagyu beef, Mary’s organic chicken and pork from Idaho’s Snake River Farms. 1200 Athens Ave.; (916) 408-8327; thunder D. Steakhouse. $$$$

MIDTOWN AÏOLI BODEGA ESPAÑOLA Aïoli features lusty Spanish cuisine. Tables are covered with burlap and brown butcher paper, and the patio is intimate. The main focus of the menu is tapas, and the selection is broad. 1800 L St.; (916) 447-9440; L–D. Spanish/tapas. $$ BEAST + BOUNTY The heart of this restaurant is its open hearth, where meats and vegetables are roasted over a wood fire. The rib-eye, served over potatoes roasted in the meat’s fat, is meant to be shared. So is the pizza, seductively charred from the woodburning pizza oven. 1701 R St.; (916) 244-4016; eat L–D–Br. American. $$$ ERNESTO’S MEXICAN FOOD This midtown favorite offers robust Mexican fare in an exuberantly cheerful environment. 1901 16th St.; (916) 441-5850; ernestos L–D. Mexican. $

LOWBRAU BIERHALLE This chic yet casual watering hole serves house-made sausages, duck fat fries and stand-out beers. 1050 20th St.; (916) 706-2636; low L–D–Br. Beer hall. $ LUCCA RESTAURANT AND BAR The popular restaurant serves an eclectic, Mediterranean-inspired menu. The food is flavorful and prettily presented. Start with a plate of the fabulous zucchini chips, which are hot, salty and addictive. 1615 J. St.; (916) 669-5300; L–D. Mediterranean. $$ MIDTOWN SUSHI On the menu: traditional sushi rolls, nigiri and house specialties such as seafood nachos. 2801 P St.; (916) 451-4700; midtownsushi. net. L–D. Sushi. $$ MULVANEY’S BUILDING & LOAN This topflight restaurant exudes the generous affability of its owner, chef Patrick Mulvaney. It’s housed in a brick firehouse from the late 1800s, and the lush patio is a popular spot. The menu changes frequently and is focused on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. 1215 19th St.; (916) 441-6022; L–D. Californian. $$$ PARAGARY’S This legendary restaurant focuses on elegant, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. 1401 28th St.; (916) 457-5737; L–D–Br. New American/Californian. $$–$$$ THE RED RABBIT KITCHEN & BAR The menu is a playful jumble of dishes, some robustly American, others with an Asian, Latin or Mediterranean influence. 2718 J St.; (916) 706-2275; L–D–Br. New American. $$ THE RIND At this cheese-centric bar, you can savor cheese in a number of ways. The menu includes variations on macaroni and cheese, cheese boards and creative grilled cheese sandwiches. 1801 L St.; SACMAG.COM September 2020

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Restaurants (916) 441-7463; L–D. American. $$ SAIGON ALLEY KITCHEN + BAR This hip restaurant and bar serves modern versions of Vietnamese street food, such as a “Pho-rench” dip (a French dip with pho flavors) and a “banh mi” burger (a rib-eye burger garnished with pickled daikon and carrot on a baguette). A big draw is the $3 happy hour, featuring snacks like banh mi taco, fish sauce chicken wings, taro fries and sugarcane shrimp for $3 each. 1801 L St.; (916) 7586934; L–D. Vietnamese. $$ SAMPINO’S TOWNE FOODS This old-world Italian gem is part market, part deli, part restaurant. Everything’s prepared on the premises, from fresh pastas and sauces to sausages made in a hand-cranked grinder. 1607 F St.; (916) 441-2372; sampinostownefoods. L–D. Italian. $$ SQUEEZE INN This fast-food place regularly tops polls for the best burger in town. 1630 K St.; (916) 4922499; L–D. Burgers. $ TANK HOUSE This midtown ’cue joint offers a limited menu of ribs, brisket and sides along with a thoughtful selection of craft beers. 1925 J St.; (916) 431-7199; L–D. Barbecue. $ TAPA THE WORLD Savor classic tapas at this popular restaurant, along with a Spanish cava or tempranillo from the exciting wine list. 2115 J St.; (916) 442-4353; L–D. Spanish/tapas. $$ THE WATERBOY This Mediterranean-inspired restaurant produces perhaps the finest cooking in the region. Chef/owner Rick Mahan honors local farmers with his commitment to simply prepared, high-caliber food. You can’t go wrong if you order one of the lovely salads, followed by the gnocchi, ravioli or a simple piece of fish, finished with butter and fresh herbs. You’ll also find French classics such as veal sweetbreads and pomme frites. 2000 Capitol Ave.; (916) 498-9891; L–D. Mediterranean. $$$$ ZELDA’S ORIGINAL GOURMET PIZZA Their old-school, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza routinely wins “best pizza” in local polls. 1415 21st St.; (916) 447-1400; L–D. Pizza/Italian. $$ ZÓCALO This Mexican restaurant is one of the best places to while away an evening with friends over margaritas on the wraparound sidewalk patio. The menu has regional Mexican specialties such as tacos de cazuela, a casserole-ish concoction of steak, chorizo and cheese served with housemade tortillas. 1801 Capitol Ave.; (916) 441-0303; L–D–Br. Mexican. $$

Wagyu bavette steak from Paragary’s night with tiny lights. The food is special-occasion worthy, and the wine list represents more than 2,100 labels. 1112 Second St.; (916) 442-4772; firehouseold L–D. Californian/American. $$$$ RIO CITY CAFE Located on the riverbank, the bustling restaurant offers stunning views of Tower Bridge. The menu changes seasonally and offers a wide selection of creative, solid dishes. 1110 Front St.; (916) 442-8226; L–D–Br. New American. $$

“Dixon.” 12409 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 985-3030; cattle D. Steakhouse. $$$

ROSEVILLE BLUE NAMI For description, see listing under “Orangevale.” 1465 Eureka Road; (916) 787-1177; bluenami L–D. Japanese/sushi. $–$$


CATTLEMENS For description, see listing under “Dixon.” 2000 Taylor Road; (916) 782-5587; cattle D. Steakhouse. $$$

BLUE NAMI This little restaurant is a hidden gem serving elaborate sushi rolls and a great lineup of appetizers. 8807 Greenback Lane; (916) 988-2300; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $–$$

FAT’S ASIA BISTRO AND DIM SUM BAR For description, see listing under “Folsom.” 1500 Eureka Road; (916) 787-3287; L–D. Pan-Asian. $$

FIXINS SOUL KITCHEN This bustling place, partly owned by former mayor Kevin Johnson, serves up friendly Southern hospitality along with delicious Southern fare, including chicken and waffles, gumbo, fried catfish, and shrimp and grits. 3428 Third Ave.; (916); 999-7685. B–L–D–Br. Southern. $$

KOLBEH KABOB The kabob entrées here easily feed two people. Great choices include the koobideh (spiced ground beef kabob) and the vegetarian kabob (mushrooms, squash, onions and peppers). 8700 Greenback Lane; (916) 990-0233; D. Persian. $$

LA PROVENCE RESTAURANT & TERRACE This elegant French restaurant offers some of the region’s loveliest outdoor dining. The seasonal menu features items such as bouillabaisse and soupe au pistou. 110 Diamond Creek Place; (916) 789-2002; laprovencerose L–D–Br. French. $$$–$$$$

LA VENADITA This inviting, casual taqueria has a concise menu that includes inventive street tacos, a brightly flavored ceviche and an enchilada with rich mole sauce. It also boasts a full bar and an enticing menu of craft cocktails. 3501 Third Ave.; (916) 4004676; L–D. Mexican. $$



OLD SACRAMENTO THE FIREHOUSE The outdoor courtyard is one of the prettiest in town, and its canopy of trees sparkles at


CACIO This tiny sliver of a restaurant serves Italian comfort food, with an emphasis on pasta. Service is warm and homey, prices are gentle, and reservations are a must. 7600 Greenhaven Drive; (916) 399-9309; L–D. Italian. $$

MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 1565 Eureka Road; (916) 797-2112; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$


PAUL MARTIN’S AMERICAN BISTRO The bustling, comfortable restaurant is a local favorite. The kitchen offers a great list of small plates and robust, approachable entrées. 1455 Eureka Road; (916) 7833600; L–D–Br. New American. $$–$$$

CATTLEMENS For description, see listing under

P.F. CHANG’S CHINA BISTRO For description, see


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burger. The spacious patio is a great place to grab a drink and listen to live music. 556 Pavilions Lane; (916) 922-2858; L–D–Br. American/global fusion. $$$ ZINFANDEL GRILLE Open for more than two decades, Zinfandel Grille is an enduring dining favorite, serving wood-fired pizzas, pasta, fish and other Mediterranean entrées. 2384 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 4857100; L–D. New American. $$$

SOUTH SACRAMENTO LALO’S RESTAURANT If you’re craving real Mexican food, come here for the carne asada tacos or the moist pork tamales. Taco flavors range from grilled pork and beef tongue to buche (fried pork stomach); traditional Mexican sandwiches also are available. 5063 24th St.; (916) 736-2389. L–D. Mexican. $

TAHOE PARK BACON & BUTTER Lively and delightfully urban, the place is packed with fans of chef Billy Zoellin’s homey flapjacks, biscuits and other breakfasty fare. 5913 Broadway; (916) 346-4445; B–L. Breakfast/American. $–$$

WEST SACRAMENTO BRODERICK ROADHOUSE Burgers rule at this appealingly scruffy bar/restaurant. In addition to the juicy beef burgers, there’s also a selection of more avant-garde versions, including the duck burger. 319 Sixth St.; (916) 372-2436; L–D–Br. Burgers. $

Catfish in a clay pot from Lemon Grass Restaurant listing under “Downtown.” 1180 Galleria Blvd.; (916) 788-2800; L–D. Chinese. $$ RUEN THAI Simple and serene, Ruen Thai is a family-owned restaurant that offers a surprisingly large selection of fresh-tasting food. Most items can be made vegan, vegetarian, gluten free or soy free. 1470 Eureka Road; (916) 774-1499; L–D. Thai. $ RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE This swanky dinner house serves some of the tastiest meat in town. Expertly cooked steaks are seared at 1,800 degrees. Don’t miss the cowboy rib-eye or the fork-tender filet mignon. 1185 Galleria Blvd.; (916) 780-6910; ruths D. Steakhouse. $$$$ SQUEEZE INN For description, see listing under “Midtown.” 106 N. Sunrise Ave.; (916) 783-2874; squeeze L–D. Burgers. $ YARD HOUSE With its lengthy menu, big flavors and loud music, there’s nothing retiring about this restaurant. There are close to 130 beers on tap, and the food includes beer-friendly small plates. 1166 Roseville Parkway; (916) 780-9273; Roseville. L–D. American/bar food. $$ ZÓCALO For description, see listing under “Midtown.” 1182 Roseville Parkway; (916) 788-0303; zocalosac L–D–Br. Mexican. $$

Gabriel Teague

SIERRA OAKS CAFE BERNARDO AT PAVILIONS For description, see listing under “Midtown.” 515 Pavilions Lane; (916) 922-2870; B–L–D. New American. $

ETTORE’S This bakery is a convivial spot for a casual meal. It’s hard to take your eyes off the dessert cases long enough to choose your savory items. But you’ll soon discover the kitchen’s talent extends to the wonderful pizzas, cooked in a wood-burning oven, hearty sandwiches and burgers, and fresh salads. 2376 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 482-0708; ettores. com. B–L–D. Bakery/New American. $–$$ LEMON GRASS RESTAURANT Lemon Grass serves delicious, upscale Asian fare such as salad rolls, green curry and catfish in a clay pot. Everything tastes fresh, light and clean. 601 Munroe St.; (916) 486-4891; lem L–D. Pan-Asian. $$$ PIATTI The menu includes delightful variations on Italian staples—margherita, pesto or roasted chicken pizzas; ravioli, pappardelle and fettuccine pasta dishes. 571 Pavilions Lane; (916) 649-8885; piatti. com/sacramento. L–D. Italian/American. $$ ROXY RESTAURANT AND BAR Roxy is a class act that happens to also serve chili and fried chicken. The innovative New American menu is seasonal and locally focused, with many of the ingredients sourced from area farms and ranches. 2381 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 489-2000; L–D–Br. American/Californian/steakhouse. $$ RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE For description, see listing under “Roseville.” 501 Pavilions Lane; (916) 286-2702; L (Fridays only)–D. Steakhouse. $$$$ WILDWOOD RESTAURANT & BAR Owned by the Haines brothers of 33rd Street Bistro fame, this chic restaurant serves New American and global cuisine, with naan, ahi poke, pancetta prawns and rock shrimp risotto sharing the menu with an all-American

BURGERS AND BREW For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 317 Third St., (530) 572-0909; L–D. Burgers. $ DRAKE’S: THE BARN Located in a stunningly modern indoor-outdoor structure along the river, Drake’s serves excellent thin-crust pizzas, along with a few salads and appetizers. You can get table service indoors or on the patio. But if you prefer something more casual, grab a folding lawn chair, find a spot at the sprawling outdoor taproom and order a pizza to go. It’s fun galore, with kids, dogs, fire pits and a tap trailer serving beer. 985 Riverfront St.; (510) 4230971; L–D. Pizza. $$ LA CROSTA PIZZA BAR From the people behind The Rind in midtown Sacramento, this casual pizza joint serves first-rate pies baked in a wood-burning oven, along with inventive flatbread sandwiches and a small selection of Italian entrées. 330 Third St.; (916) 3890372; L–D–Br. Pizza. $$–$$$ VIENTIANE RESTAURANT This dynamic spot offers some dishes you might not find at other Thai restaurants, such as deep-fried garlic quail. 1001 Jefferson Blvd.; (916) 373-1556. L–D. Thai/Laotian. $ Subscription rates: $18 for one year, U.S. only. All out-of-state subscribers add $3 per year. Single copies: $4.95. Change of address: Please send your new address and your old address mailing label. Allow six to eight weeks’ advance notice. Send all remittances and requests to Sacramento Magazine, 5750 New King Drive, Suite 100, Troy, MI 48098. Customer service inquiries: Call (866) 660-6247. Copyright 2020 by Sacramento Media LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. Prices quoted in advertisements are subject to change without notice. Sacramento Magazine (ISSN 0747-8712) Volume 46, Number 9, September 2020. Sacramento Magazine (ISSN 0747-8712) is published monthly by Sacramento Media, LLC, 231 Lathrop Way, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95815. Periodical postage paid at Troy, MI and additional offices. Postmaster: Send change of address to Sacramento Magazine, 5750 New King Dr., Suite 100, Troy, MI 48098 SACMAG.COM September 2020

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An Accomplished Athlete 86

HENRY HINES III WAS one of the best long jumpers of all time. He competed for Sacramento

City College, then USC, and was a national champion in 1971 and 1972. When his interests expanded to include tennis, he drew upon his background to develop a revolutionary program for teaching players to improve their balance and movement. He coached Arthur Ashe and Billie Jean King, among other illustrious players. In the October 1977 edition of Ebony magazine, Ashe praised Hines’ coaching, saying, “There’s no doubt a reason why I had such a good year in 1975.”—DARLENA BELUSHIN MCKAY

Center for Sacramento History, Sacramento Bee Collection, 1983/001/SBPMP03440

This Sacramento Bee photo from May 26, 1970, captures Henry Hines III in mid-jump.


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