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Renew your spirit and your body with the privileges of membership at the Sacramento region’s only private luxury wellness resort. Each visit is a slice of extravagance, designed to support our members in their individual pursuits of wellness.

SACMAG.COM April 2023 5 Table of Contents / Staff Box / Editor’s Note / Contributors April 32 18 REASONS TO LOVE SAC Let’s celebrate our community’s greatness. By Luna Anona 46 IN SEARCH OF THE SUPERBLOOM Wildflowers are bursting with color this spring. By Lisa Thibodeau 52 LISTEN HERE Smarten up with the local podcast “Unfold.” By Catherine Warmerdam 56 BUILDING A BETTER SACRAMENTO Big Day of Giving is coming up. Here’s why you should participate. By Tony Bizjak gabriel teague ) Lake
Tahoe superbloom
6 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE April 2023 Contents 79 32 ON THE COVER The 916 18 EXPLORING SACRAMENTO ONE BITE AT A TIME A remarkable food tour 20 COLLECTED: PLATES TO REMEMBER Carol Mott-Binkley’s vintage dishware 21 NEW MID-MOD LIFE The Vine Inn 21 NOW THAT’S ITALIAN East Sac’s Little Italy 22 SUSTAINABLE SAC Unload Your E-Waste 67 Bravo 67 THROUGH THE LENS Learn photography ) Taste 80 ENDING THE CURSE Casa East Sac 82 GET LUCKY Sky River Casino’s restaurants 84 DINE Restaurant guide Reflect 90 SPANNING THE DECADES Train tracks on Tower Bridge 56 Want to take better photos? ) Fall in love with our city Wellness 25 SERENITY NOW Overcoming anxiety Help fund the new zoo ) lily therens
Julian , s Pastry Nouveau )


When Lily was born with branchio-oto-renal syndrome, a condition that quickly began to deteriorate her kidneys and hearing, her family turned to the pediatric specialists at UC Davis Health. Lily’s team repaired her inner ears and continues to support her kidney health to ensure a future in which she can hear her calling.

Find a UC Davis Health doctor you connect with today.




8 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE April 2023 Tips for a lasting …relationship… (CALL OR TEXT) (916) 426-2757 ATTEND OUR FREE Health and Wellness Fair APRIL 29TH 10AM TO 2PM 10940 FAIR OAKS BLVD, FAIR OAKS Talks on Mental Health • Yoga Demonstration Over 15 Vendor Tables • Bounce House and Photo Booths sacrtc.com Nancy Ryan LMFT, CEO & Certified Gottman Couples Therapist ai167579400417_230206-Temple-BONSAI-SacMag-2.25x4.88-PROD.pdf 1 2/7/2023 10:20:06 AM In this issue and online / April 2023 SACMAG.COM Whiskey Festival Join us Thursday, June 8 as Sacramento Magazine presents its inaugural Whiskey Festival. Guests will enjoy multiple expressions from more than 23 di erent whiskey vendors with a wide array of top-shelf national and local brands.  SACMAG.COM/WHISKEY Enjoy Our Complimentary Digital Editions Get the digital edition of Sacramento Magazine online or via the Issuu app on your computer, tablet or smartphone.  SACMAG.COM/DIGITAL-EDITION
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Dennis Rainey


Krista Minard


Gabriel Teague



Darlena Belushin McKay


Marybeth Bizjak


Sasha Abramsky, Luna Anona, Mark Billingsley, Diana Bizjak, Cathy Cassinos-Carr, Kara Chin, Sena Christian, Marcus Crowder, Ed Goldman, Dorsey Griffith, Angela Knight, Elena M. Macaluso, Reed Parsell, Kari L. Rose Parsell, Bill Romanelli, Thea Marie Rood, Nora Heston Tarte, Mari Tzikas Suarez, Catherine Warmerdam, Sara E. Wilson



Debbie Hurst


Kat Alves, Gary and Lisa Ashley, Mike Battey, Beth Baugher, Francisco Chavira, Debbie Cunningham, Wes Davis, Terence Duff y, Tim Engle, Kevin Fiscus, Kevin Gomez, Aniko Kiezel, Ryan Angel Meza, Tyler Mussetter, Stephanie Russo, Rachel Valley, Susan Yee



Lisa Bonk


Duff y Kelly, Victor Obenauf, Carla Shults


John Facundo



Dan Poggetti



Riley Meyers


David Benvenuto



Stephen Rice


SACRAMENTO 1610 R Street, Suite 300 Sacramento, CA 95811 info@sacmag.com

on social media for up to date info on what’s new at Lighting U! Visit our showroom Mon-Fri 9 am–5 pm


is excited to announce our 50 year anniversary serving patients throughout the greater Sacramento region with two offices located in Roseville and Sacramento.

Established 1973

The Founding Partner Dr. Mark Lischner was born in Connecticut and then moved to the West Coast to serve as the Assistant Director of Pulmonary Services for the US Navy in San Diego. He served as a specialist aboard the ship “USS Repose” in Vietnam before moving to Sacramento to establish a private pulmonary practice which became PMA in 1973. In addition to an active medical practice and household, Dr. Lischner made time to be a member and officer of the Saint Albans Country Day School Board of Directors and Board Member of the Sierra Marlins Swim Team. His son has carried on the family tradition of medicine and is practicing in Norway with his wife and three daughters. His daughter is a teacher and has a certification in special education. Over the years, Dr. Lischner has created a team of pulmonary experts who specialize in pulmonary infectious diseases. In his sparse spare time Dr. Lischner enjoys reading, playing poker with friends, traveling to Norway to visit his grandchildren, and even enjoys shopping! Currently, PMA providers offer a broad spectrum of specialized services often found in an academic setting. The scope of services available from the group’s Board of Certified providers include, but are not limited to:

CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE – Assessment and care for seriously ill patients in the hospital

PULMONARY MEDICINE – Evaluation and care for patients with health problems involving the lungs. Examples include, but are not limited to asthma, emphysema, interstitial lung disease, pleural effusions, pulmonary embolism, sarcoidosis, pulmonary fibrosis, and lung infections

INFECTIOUS DISEASES – Evaluation and care for patients with serious infections including acute infectious diseases, long term IV antibiotic treatment, and management of HIV disease

PALLIATIVE CARE – Care focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness — whatever the prognosis

SLEEP MEDICINE – Evaluation and treatment of the complete range of sleep disorders. PMA has a Sleep Lab Accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)

TELE-ICU CARE – Assessment and management for seriously ill patients who are in the hospital from a remote location

COPD TRANSITIONAL CARE – Discharge planning and home services based on your physician’s discharge orders.

NEUROCRITICAL CARE – Focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening diseases of the nervous system

PEDIATRIC PULMONARY MEDICINE – Diagnosis and treatment for a wide variety of respiratory illnesses in infants, children and adolescents.

TRAVEL MEDICINE – Stay healthy while traveling! Choose PMA for your Travel Health needs

• • • • • • • • •
SACRAMENTO 1508 Alhambra Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95816 916-679-3590
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STORY IDEAS Have you spotted something appropriate for editorial coverage in Sacramento Magazine? Please submit as much information as possible about the subject to Darlena Belushin McKay at darlena@sacmag.com. Keep in mind that we maintain a relatively strict local boundary— Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties— and our lead times run long, with most issue lineups completed four months prior to publication.


If you are interested in contributing to Sacramento Magazine, please send information to (writers) Krista Minard, krista@sacmag.com or (photographers and illustrators) Gabriel Teague, gabriel@sacmag.com. Include a cover letter, résumé and links to previously published work.

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Happy Spring

hat fun it was to see the story in The New York Times about the Sacramento Kings’ purple beam, that 1,000-watt RGB laser that announces to all of us— and possibly outer space—when our NBA team wins. The beam is just one of the “reasons to love Sacramento” compiled by writer Luna Anona for this issue. Some other reasons include our airport (recognized by The Wall Street Journal as the nation’s best midsized airport), our thriving arts and entertainment scene, our brewpubs and coffeehouses, and plenty else. The story cites 18 reasons, and within those, you’ll find scores of details that will help you plan plenty of action-packed weekends as the weather warms up.

Color abounds in Lisa Thibodeau’s story about superblooms. Wildflowers are already beginning to pop, and within a few weeks, California will be abloom under gentle sunshine. Living a half mile from Folsom Lake, I have easy access to the fields of purple that will carpet the lake’s shore when the lupine blooms. Come on out—lupine and poppies and other flowers populate just about every access point, and it’ll boost your appreciation for the beauty of our very own backyard. Lisa mentions farther-away spots for wildflower viewing as well, and graphic designer Debbie Hurst unearthed lots of gorgeous photos to give us a preview.

Writer Tony Bizjak gets us ready for May 4’s Big Day of Giving—that day when your email queue will explode with pleas for donations to area nonprofits. Tony got in touch with six local organizations to find out what they’re asking for and why. The day is full of gimmicks and fun, with availability of matching funds and other compelling reasons to crack your wallet on that specific day. Try to remember, as those enthusiastic emails come pouring in, that it’s all in the name of raising funds for important causes.

If you’re looking for a new podcast, consider checking out “Unfold,” a fascinating (and awardwinning) one out of UC Davis. For this issue, Catherine Warmerdam interviews the hosts, public radio veterans Marianne Russ Sharp and Amy Quinton, to give us some behind-the-scenes scoop.

It’s been a long winter, and it’s time to celebrate the arrival of a new season. Yet one more reason to love Sacramento: Our springtime beams under warm blue skies. Catch it while you can.


Coming up on June 8: Sac Mag has teamed up with Sky River Casino to throw a whiskey party at California State Railroad Museum. More than 20 whiskey expressions will be available for tasting. For more information, go to sacmag. com/whiskey.


Lily Therens

“The constant evolution of this city brings the opportunity to be involved in whatever the next exciting thing is that will come to define it,” says illustrator Lily Therens, whose work appears on the cover and in “18 Reasons To Love Sacramento.” “The longer I reside in Sacramento, the more the city and I become intertwined, making this cover illustration exemplary of our continuing parallels and intersections.” She says she strives to include humor, fun and simplicity to each of her illustrations.

Tony Bizjak

“This is a tough era economically and socially,” says writer Tony Bizjak. “The Big Day of Giving reminds us we have admirable groups offering specific, targeted assistance in our community, such as Dress for Success, which provides outfits for women headed to job interviews. Beyond the philanthropic focus of our story, I hope our vignettes also offer a cool glimpse at how Sacramento is changing: Communal commercial kitchens are popping up. Iceland Skating Rink is making a comeback. Fairytale Town is becoming multicultural.”

Sacramento Magazine’s free newsletter goes to email subscribers every weekday. Catch the latest updates in dining, arts and entertainment, wine, recreation, health and more. You’ll also find links to other community news and resources and social media posts that have caught our eye. Subscribe at sacmag.com/newsletters.

Jyotsna Bhamidipati

“I have a huge sweet tooth!” says Jyotsna Bhamidipati. “If you give me pastries to photograph plus I get to eat them after, it feels like a double win! I love photographing food; you get to really pay attention to the colors, the textures, the details of something that may seem so ordinary but yet beautiful and inviting. I don’t bake much myself but when I do, I always make sure to get some photos first—before my kids consume it all!”

Editor’s Note

All Aboard!

American Cruise Lines recently debuted its newest river cruise, which includes Sacramento among its eight ports of call. The eight-day, seven-night excursion starts and ends in Old Sacramento, with stops in San Francisco, Vallejo, Napa, Stockton and the Delta. The cost starts at around $5,000 per person and goes up to $11,000 for a “grand suite” with private balcony. The next cruise aboard the riverboat American Jazz is scheduled for November.

The 916

SACMAG.COM April 2023 17
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inside: Touring Foodies / Collectibles / Mid-Mod Inn / Little Italy

Exploring Sacramento One Bite at a Time

Heather Fortes believes food tours are a great way to get to know a city—whether you’re native, new or just passing through.

Fortes was at a crossroads in her career in commercial photography when she decided to start her food tour business, SACTOWN BITES , in 2019. “I love learning about food and recipes. The food tours seemed like an obvious choice, and it seemed like the perfect fit for the Sacramento area,” she says of SacTown Bites, which won a 2022 Travel & Hospitality award.

What started out as strictly walking tours now includes excursions involving farm visits, wine tasting, distillery tours and more. Tours such as her popular A Taste of the Delta and Midtown Walking Food Tour take place during the week and on weekends and require a minimum of six participants. Costs start at $95 for adults (extra for those who want to indulge in adult beverages) and last approximately two and a half hours for walking tours and four hours for excursions. Get on the SacTown Bites mailing list or follow @sactownbites on Instagram to learn about special offerings such as the hyper-seasonal Sunflower, Bees & Brunch tour, which takes tourgoers to a local

sunflower field and a honey tasting and ends with a sit-down brunch. SacTown Bites’ website, sactownbites.com, breaks down everything from how much walking (or driving) you can expect to do to what you may see and eat. “The toughest thing you will do all day is parking, and I even send information on where to park,” says Fortes.

All public tours can be made private, and customization, whether that means adding a stop to an already existing tour or starting from scratch to create an experience that meets your needs (birthday party, corporate retreat, girls’ getaway, etc.) is Fortes’ specialty. Don’t know what you want but know what you want to spend?

She’ll come up with a proposal. While public tours are capped at about 10 to 15 people to retain an intimate feel (“I don’t want it to feel like a touristy bus ride,” says Fortes), private tours can have as many as 60 people.

Fortes is not surprised by the popularity of her all-ages tours. “I think that people are really interested in experiences. I think they create memories, and it’s more of a learning experience,” she says. “And who doesn’t love to eat?”—

The 916 18 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE April 2023


SACMAG.COM April 2023 19


Plates To Remember

Atrip to New York City more than three decades ago ignited Carol MottBinkley’s obsession with vintage restaurant ware. “I was working for Tower Records at the time and went into Fishs Eddy,” the eclectic dishware store, she recalls. “That’s where I bought my first piece: a butter plate with pink and gray flowers.”


Since then, Mott-Binkley has accumulated a whimsical collection of plates and serving pieces from iconic restaurants and diners that fit her nostalgic aesthetic. “I love vintage clothes, vintage kitchen stu . I have a 1964 vintage camper,” she explains. “I pride myself on being a Sacramento native, so if I fi nd anything that was used in my childhood, especially from local restaurants that are no longer around, I have to have it.”

Some of the most coveted pieces in Mott-Binkley’s collection include soup cups from the Saint Francis hotel; a footed tiki bowl from Harveys Lake Tahoe; a condiment dish from the Nut Tree (a favorite childhood destination); and plates from the famed Beverly Hills Supper Club in her husband’s native Kentucky.

“My collection isn’t huge. I try to only buy things I can use day to day. I like plates where the food will really pop visually because I love to style and photograph food. I learned to cook from [Sacramento chef and restaurateur] Kurt Spataro, and he taught me how to plate food so that it’s appealing to the eye,” says MottBinkley. “And I like things that have a story. It’s like having a piece of history in your china closet.”

The 916 20 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE April 2023
Carol Mott-Binkley
gabriel teague
WHO: Carol Mott-Binkley WHAT SHE COLLECTS: Vintage restaurant dishware

New Mid-Mod Life

Tucked into downtown Davis is The Vine Inn, a former Econo Lodge built in the early ’60s. It’s now a midcentury-modern boutique hotel walkable to all the good stuff: galleries, restaurants, bars, shopping and good coffee.

Tim Warren has owned the hotel for 35 years. When remodeling started in 2018, he renamed it The Vine Inn for a fresh start.

“I didn’t know really how it was going to turn out—I kinda crossed my fingers about it,” says Warren. “There aren’t many examples of these older properties left anymore, as a lot of them have been knocked down to make room for something else. So I thought, let’s gut it out and start fresh with an eye toward not trying to be like a new chain hotel, but taking what we have and embracing that.”

It doesn’t have the harvest gold and avocado green color scheme of our grandparents’ living rooms. The Vine Inn offers a lovely interpretation of mid-mod features: sleek, clean lines and calm, uncluttered rooms with wood tones and natural hues with pops of color that pay homage to the past with an unmistakable modern flair.

“I didn’t want to make it too over the top because then it gets kind of kitschy,” says Warren. “I didn’t want to go too far with it.”

The project was completed in March 2020. Then COVID-19 hit. “COVID really put the brakes on everything. But we’ve been here a long time, so we perservered,” says Warren. “We’ve been doing very well and I’m so very grateful for that.”

What’s Warren’s favorite thing about the remodel?

Now That’s Italian

Cities as diverse and far-flung as San Francisco, London and Melbourne have a neighborhood they call Little Italy. Now, Sacramento has one, too.

In late 2021, the city council adopted a resolution designating a portion of East Sacramento—the area bounded by Folsom Boulevard and 48th, 59th and J streets—as Little Italy, in recognition of the role Italian Americans played in developing the area leading up to World War II.

As director of Sacramento’s Italian Cultural Society, Bill Cerruti helped lobby the council for the designation. He grew up in the neighborhood and fondly recalls the businesses and cultural institutions that drew the Italian American residents together. Some are now gone: Quality Market, Pesce’s locksmith shop, Español restaurant, the Italian American-owned gas station at 59th and J where Shakey’s Pizza once sat. Others—Corti Brothers, Talini’s Nursery, the Nicoletti funeral home, St. Mary’s Catholic church—are still around and thriving.

“The Italians who live in and around the area remember all these things,” says Cerruti, who went to school with other Italian American kids. Back then, he says, the area was populated by working-class families, who squeezed lots of children into the small, ranch-style homes that dominated the neighborhood in the late 1940s.

Last June, the city erected handsome signs on Folsom Boulevard, decorated with the colors of the Italian flag and bearing the words “Little Italy Historic District.” The Italian Cultural Society has other ideas to give the neighborhood some Italian American swagger: painting the fire hydrants and light poles red, white and green; putting a Little Italy arch at both ends of Folsom Boulevard; building a piazza with space for a historic display and maybe a monument to the Italian American community. Cerruti says East Portal Park, home to East Portal Bocce Club, would be a natural location.

These days, Cerruti lives in Sierra Oaks, but he still visits his childhood neighborhood often. He hopes Sacramento’s Little Italy becomes a destination for out-of-towners, like it is in cities such as San Diego and New York. “I love the area,” he says. “I have great childhood memories of living there.”

“I like the positive feedback for the midcentury-modern look, when people say it’s ‘groovy.’ I wanted it to be something that anyone would look at and think it’s nice, but also for younger people to experience a hotel in Davis without it being a chain. In a town such as Davis—a kind of artsy university town—it’s the type of thing that fits very well.” 221 D St., Davis; (530) 756-1040; thevineinndavis.com

SACMAG.COM April 2023 21
Before After Before After The Vine photos: Jones Custom Photography

Green Tip of The Month

Great selection of reusable paper towels at Refill Madness!


Try reusable paper towels that you can wash and use over and over. Save money and trees!

1828 29TH ST. SACRAMENTO, CA (916) 382-4823



Unload Your E-Waste

Say farewell to your old appliances, computers and more.

In early February, the sustainability-column team was feeling overwhelmed by all the no longer functional machines and computer equipment that were compounding a pesky clutter problem. Googling “e-waste disposal sites in Sacramento” directed us to several fee-charging private businesses but also reminded us that there are free municipal-run options.

We decided to call 311 and learn more about the city’s Appliance and E-Waste Pickup program.

It was the right call. We secured a spot on the collection calendar for 10 days later, on Feb. 20. Even though that was a holiday (Presidents Day), the truck came by midmorning, and we said our fi nal farewells to a dryer, wa e iron, two laptops and a rat’s nest of wires, plugs and adapters. Our closets became a bit less absurdly crowded.

All Sacramento residents are eligible for this service, which includes two free pickups per calendar year. (Additional pickups can be arranged for a reasonable— compared with the private businesses’ prices—fee.) Here’s what you can get rid of, responsibly, at no cost, each time:

• AS MANY AS TWO APPLIANCES. This could include an air conditioner, dehumidifier, dishwasher, freezer, furnace, hot water heater, microwave, oven, refrigerator, stove/range, trash compactor, washing machine, clothes dryer or water heater.

• AS MANY AS FOUR LARGE OR MEDIUM-SIZE E-WASTE ITEMS. Time to say goodbye to CRT monitors and TVs (CRT, LCD and LED), plasma and projection televisions, desktop and laptop PCs, servers, network and telecom equipment, printers, copiers, fax machines, multifunction devices, laser scanners, hard drives, computer peripherals, household appliances, vacuums, hair dryers, toasters,


stereo equipment, small kitchen appliances, CD and tape players, and VCRs and DVD players.

• A BOX FULL OF ANY OF THIS STUFF, WHICH TOGETHER WOULD COUNT AS ONE OF THE FOUR E-WASTE ITEMS: calculators, telephones, cellphones and PDAs, digital cameras, speakers, electronic cables, video game consoles, car stereos, power cords and strips, keyboards and mice, printed circuit boards, power supply units and speakers.

The city says the following items are NOT ELIGIBLE for free pickup: household batteries, fluorescent lamps and bulbs, radioactive devices (smoke detectors, exit signs, thermostats), solar panels including landscape lights and lamps, biohazards (e.g., medical test kits, syringes, medical waste), hazardous household waste (pesticides, paint, used oil, cleaning supplies), items containing mercury (electric irons, thermostats, switches, broken lamps), pressurized containers (e.g., fire extinguishers, propane canisters, butane canisters), items containing adhered lithium batteries (e.g., hoverboards, Dyson vacuum, Samsung Galaxy 6 cellphones), excessive e-waste breakage, techno trash (e.g., CDs, VHS tapes and DVDs), household trash, recyclables and yard waste.

Keep in mind that whatever you want picked up has to be placed at the foot of your driveway, or in an otherwise easy-toreach location by the street, by no later than 6 a.m. on the scheduled day. Also, be sure to either have scrubbed your computers of all sensitive personal information or be willing to

accept the risk of some nefarious scavenger grabbing the device to extract and somehow exploit the data at your expense. It can happen, sadly.

Non-city residents can explore their options with Sacramento County by visiting its Electronic Waste (e-Waste)/Recycling webpage at www.saccounty.gov.

SACMAG.COM April 2023 23
All Sacramento residents are eligible for this service, which includes two free pickups per calendar year.

Find your way back to the little things that matter.

Don’t let joint pain put life on hold or remove you from the day-to-day you once knew. When the pain is gone, the little things feel far more special—like enjoying your morning coffee with two sugars and no painkiller.

At Dignity Health, we can help show you the way back to the things you’ve been missing. Two of our hospitals are among only 17 in California certified by The Joint Commission for Advanced Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement, offering the highest quality of personalized care for a full range of conditions. Learn more about our services at DignityHealth.org/SacramentoOrtho

Serenity Now

Almost everyone feels anxiety from time to time. Quell the worry and apprehension with these six tools.


inside: Alleviate those jitters.

SACMAG.COM April 2023 25 0 4 2 3

That feeling when you can’t take your mind off something: Your heart races, your hands sweat, your face reddens, and you’re sure that thing will crush you. That’s anxiety, and at one time or another everyone gets an unpleasant dose of it. Anxiety can produce irrational thoughts, which can fuel irrational—or at least unproductive—behavior. These kinds of feelings surge in periods of stress and uncertainty. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when we couldn’t count on the very things that keep life humming along, nearly half of Americans surveyed reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, according to the National Institutes of Health. Fortunately, there are several tools available to any adolescent, teen or adult when anxiety takes hold. Many are easy to use and don’t require formal therapy. Here are six things people can do to alleviate symptoms of anxiety.

1. Normalize.

Anxiety is emotional energy generated by erroneous triggers rooted in the brain, explains Dr. Corrine McIntosh Sako, president of the Sacramento Valley Psychological Association and a Sacramento psychologist and marriage and family therapist. She likens the experience of anxiety to a car’s temperature gauge spiking into the red zone, signaling an imminent breakdown.

“Our ability to rationally think through the situation and problem solve gets muted,” she says. The brain’s fear center takes over, and stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline course through our body. “Some of us become very irritable. Some become avoidant and terrified, and some just shut down.”

If you’re having these symptoms, she says, acknowledge that you’re experiencing anxiety. “Take a deep breath, breathe through your nose, making sure the air fills your tummy like a balloon, then slowly blow out through your mouth. It will ground you in the present moment, get you out of your head and into your body and promote a sense of calm.”

McIntosh Sako advises people to sit with the knowledge that they are experiencing anxiety and ask themselves, “What am I anxious about, and how can I move forward, even with anxiety?” This process, she says, helps the part of the brain responsible for rational thought to come back online.

Margo Villaseñor, a licensed clinical social worker based in Manteca, conducts psycho-education classes through the Health Education department at Kaiser Permanente in the Central Valley. She says anxiety brings us discomfort, but when we begin to understand it, we can normalize the experience.

“Know how your body responds to it so you can be in touch with it,” she says. “If your energy ramps up and your hands get sweaty, that’s your tip to go, ‘OK, let me do an internal check-in. How am I feeling in this moment?’”

2. Get grounded.

When stress hormones are flooding the brain and disrupting your ability to think and manage your emotions, filling your lungs and brain with oxygen helps you calm down, says Kathryn Buchan, a school counselor in the Roseville City School District. She recommends deep-breathing exercises.

“My favorite is the 4-7-8: Breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for seven and slowly let your breath out for eight,” she says. “It can be done in any setting. You can do it in the classroom and, for the most part, you can do it without being noticed.”

crippling fear, headaches and other physical ailments. Their experience with anxiety hampered their relationships, education and career before therapy and coping strategies put them on a healthier path.

Now a peer mentor for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Sacramento, Jarvis still struggles occasionally with anxiety, especially in social situations, but they always find a way to get grounded.

“My favorite is to look at my feet,” they say. “I am where my feet are. I am not in the future worried about what could happen or the past being triggered.”

If possible, they do their grounding exercise barefoot in a garden, where they can feel the earth beneath their feet.


Sunny Jarvis was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder, one of several types of anxiety, which for them can bring

When thinking feels nightmarish, McIntosh Sako suggests another strategy to shift away from thoughts. Called 5-4-3 -2-1 grounding, it allows you to focus only on information taken in through your senses. Begin by thinking of five things you can see around you i n this moment: a plant, a box of tissues, a lamp, a magazine and the robin perched on the electric wires outside your window, for example. Think about four things you can touch: clothing, an upholstered chair, the wood of a desk, some paper. Next, think about three things you can hear: the swaying tree branch against your roof, the low hum of a fan and the tick-tock of the old

26 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE April 2023 Wellness

clock in your living room. Then, think of two things you can smell now or that you remember smelling: freshly brewed coffee or your baby’s skin, for example. Finally, think of something you can taste, like the lingering sweetness of a slice of banana bread.

“This exercise engages you in the moment and helps you be present so you can get that temperature gauge back in the blue,” she says.

3. Give yourself a break.

To be human means you will experience suffering from time to time. Acknowledging that suffering is natural can help alleviate anxiety.

“People experiencing anxiety think there is something wrong with them,” says McIntosh Sako. “Humans all through the world feel this way at times. Society has taught us that it’s not OK to experience distress. We are wired to interpret it as danger.”

As uncomfortable as it is, however, accepting it is an important step toward alleviating the feeling.

“We don’t have to like how it feels in order to accept what is happening,” she says. “Once we identify it, we can experience the feeling and begin to move on.”

Villaseñor suggests self-compassion. “Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can with the resources you have,” she says. “Say to yourself, ‘This is a moment of pain. Life is hard right now.’”

Buchan sees plenty of students who, when feeling anxious, withdraw, tell their parents they want to stay home from school and then get stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts. It’s common behavior for kids who, for example, face giving a class presentation. She suggests students “talk to their worry. Challenge those automatic negative thoughts. Are they rational? Are they helping me right now?”

Kimi Yang knows when she’s at risk of feeling overwhelmed with anxiety. The 17-year-old Sacramento high school senior goes through it frequently. Simply walking down the school hallways, sitting in class, ordering takeout, even attending family gatherings can be unnerving.

“There are times when I fidget and I’m not able to calm down. My body even shakes a little bit. My hands get sweaty,” she says. “When I have to talk to people sometimes, I forget what I want to say or I mix up the vowels in my words.”

But Yang reminds herself that everyone has anxiety sometimes. She has learned to shift her thinking in those moments. “I think, ‘You will be fine. Nothing is going to happen.’ I go with the flow.”

When faced with a class presentation, for example, Yang now slows her speech, trains her eyes above other students’ heads and calmly delivers her talk.

4. Get moving.

Physical exercise can help you channel your ramped-up energy and serve as a psychological immune booster of sorts. Exercise releases endorphins, the socalled feel-good chemicals in the brain. A healthy dose of endorphins can bring that internal temperature gauge back into the cool zone, says McIntosh Sako.

Jarvis, the peer mentor, enjoys gardening and riding their recumbent bicycle. The exercise, even when done for short periods, can lessen anxiety and generate more energy to do the activity even longer, Jarvis says.

Social connections also help alleviate anxiety. “Make sure you go to your book club meetings, go to your church services, talk to your neighbor, visit your neighbor—anything that helps you feel connected to your community,” they say.

When social situations cause Jarvis anxiety, exposure to those situations in safe, manageable doses can be therapeutic because it can help overcome distress.

“If I’m not wanting to go out and be around my friends, I would challenge myself to do it anyway, knowing that I wouldn’t have to stay for the whole event,” they say. “Maybe once I’ve been there for 10 minutes, I may be having such a good time that I forget what I was feeling.”

5. Don’t go there.

It may seem counterintuitive in a culture

in which alcohol consumption and recreational marijuana use are often synonymous with relaxation. But when you’re experiencing episodes of anxiety, reaching for a cocktail, a joint or other drugs won’t help in the long run.

“It’s really hard,” says McIntosh Sako. “Folks who are really anxious and don’t know how to manage it will want to use self-medication by drinking excessively or engaging in substance use that can turn into abuse.”

Pushing the anxiety down can, in fact, amplify it, she says. “It makes things worse, and now you have a new problem on top of your anxiety disorder. Instead of experiencing anxiety, your life becomes built around avoiding it.”

Villaseñor adds that anxiety also can lead to overeating and working excessively.

“There are so many things that people do to numb out, to not get to those emotions,” she says. “These become behavior patterns.”

Neglecting to engage in healthy strategies to deal with anxiety can lead to behaviors that create chronic mental and physical health problems like addiction, high blood pressure and diabetes, says Villaseñor.

When you have thoughts of inadequacy, she adds, flip the script: “Say, ‘I am capable and able.’ You are changing your language and recruiting emotions that support you. Your behavior will be more reflective of that.”

6. Seek support.

“If your tools aren’t working, it doesn’t mean they’re bad,” says Villaseñor. “Seek more support.”

Classes like those offered through Kaiser can be a lifeline, as can individual counseling.

“Each person is unique,” she says. “Seek out available resources. If you don’t get what you’re looking for, be persistent and have some self-compassion. It takes time and practice.”


Olivia Miller,

UC Davis Health Colorectal Surgery

FOCUS & EXPERTISE: Minimally invasive, robotic and open abdominal surgery for colorectal diseases such as colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis and benign anorectal disease. SPECIAL RESEARCH INTERESTS: Patient outcomes, communication, and coordination of care for patients with colorectal diseases. Health policy, including disparities in health care and diversity programs in medicine and surgery. EDUCATION: Stanford University School of Medicine; Surgery Residency at Stanford; Colorectal Surgery Fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women’s Hospital.


2315 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento • 916-734-2680 health.ucdavis.edu/surgery/specialties/colorectal


Daniel L. Monahan, M.D.

FOCUS: Our goal is to help people enjoy better self-esteem, happiness, and health by treating unwanted varicose veins and spider veins. Dr. Monahan specializes in treating vein disorders. EDUCATION: UC Davis, BA, Zoology, 1976. Medical School: University of Hawaii, 1981, M.D., Cleveland Clinic Hospital 1981-1984, Virginia Mason Clinic 1984-1987 - completed General Surgery. Residency. MEMBERSHIPS: American Venous Forum; American College of Surgeons, American Vein and Lymphatic Society (SP). PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT: Published a research project which changed the understanding of varicose veins and treatment. INNOVATIONS: I treat varicose and spider veins in stages, reducing the amount of treatment, potential problems, and costs, and improving results. All the most current knowledge and technology are used in our evaluation and treatment of patients with venous disorders. BEDSIDE MANNER: Patients frequently say ours is the friendliest medical office they have ever been to. We treat people personally, with compassion, and the best possible evaluation and treatment. OFF HOURS: Golf, fly-fishing, reading. ADVICE: Treating varicose and spider veins for appearance can improve self-esteem and confidence. But vein disease can also result in significant health issues, with leg pain and swelling, and more. Call our office for a consultation.


Monahan Vein Clinic

1211 Pleasant Grove Blvd., Ste.120, Roseville (916) 791-8346 (VEIN) • Veinfocus.com

Kendall Homer, D.M.D. Eric Grove, D.D.S.

FOCUS: General Dentistry, including cosmetics, implant restoration, and emergency dental care. EDUCATION: Dr. Homer completed his B.A. at Sacramento State and earned his Doctorate of Medical Dentistry from Washington University. Dr. Grove received a B.S. from Pacific Union College and a Doctorate of Dental Surgery from Loma Linda University.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS: Drs. Homer and Grove belong to the ADA/CDA/SDDS. Dr. Grove is also an active participant in the SDDS. WHAT SETS THEM APART: Dr. Homer’s and Dr. Grove’s patients’ appreciation is evident in client loyalty, with 40-year plus patients bringing their children and grandchildren in for treatment. CHARITABLE WORK: Dr. Homer supports Save Ourselves, an organization that provides counseling and peer support to people living with breast cancer. Dr. Grove has participated in overseas dental mission trips and also participates in the Smiles for Big Kids program in Sacramento. FREE ADVICE: Studies have linked diabetes, heart disease and stroke to gum disease. Oral health is a significant part of overall well-being.


Kendall Homer D.M.D. / Eric Grove D.D.S. 9216 Kiefer Blvd., Suite 5, Sacramento (916) 363-9171

www.grovehomerdentists.com dentist@grovehomerdentists.com


Plastic Surgery

FOCUS: The Natural Result / Center for Aesthetic Artistry is focused on aesthetic plastic surgery with an emphasis on breast enhancement, body contouring and comprehensive facial rejuvenation. We also offer an array of non-surgical options for aesthetic improvement. TRAINING: All three of our surgeons underwent plastic surgery training at Stanford University. WHAT SETS THEM APART: A combination of exceptional training, extensive experience and a passion for excellence differentiates The Natural Result. Supported by a team of caring, fun, and energetic professionals, our goal is to make patients feel confident they are in the right place from the start. For that reason, we strive for patients to feel like our “extended family” and to be excited about the prospect of selfenhancement. CHECK US OUT: We invite you to visit us at our state-of-the-art facility located in Folsom. You can also scan the QR code to learn more about our surgeons, the team who supports them, and the surgical and non-surgical treatments we offer. We look forward to caring for you!

CONTACT INFORMATION: 1841 Iron Point Road, Folsom • (916) 983-9895 • www.thenaturalresult.com

Acouple of decades ago, if you were to walk into any room in Sacramento, approach the nearest local and ask them what their favorite thing about Sacramento is, chances were they would say, “Well, we’re about an hour and a half from Tahoe and about an hour and a half from San Francisco!” But that was then, this is now, and Sacramento has changed a hell of a lot in 20 years. The once-sleepy “city by the city by the Bay” is wide awake, and the best things about it have nothing to do with getting out of town. Here are 18 reasons to love Sacramento right now, why we’re proud to call it home, and why out-of-town visitors always end up enamored with our corner of the world.

SACMAG.COM April 2023 33

With a population of more than 500,000 and as the ninth-largest capital in the United States, Sacramento is definitely a city—a fact we’re reminded of every time we have to drive anywhere. But we get all of the big-city amenities with a small-town feel: It’s still a place where we actually get to know our neighbors and feel a sense of community, where we can become a “regular” instead of just another face at any local spot, where we can still find somewhere to eat dinner out (and park) at 6 p.m. on Saturday night without a reservation, where we bump into friends at the grocery store, and where we can let the hustle and bustle fade as we stroll through the walkable neighborhoods and admire the character and charm of our city. Sacramento is cozy, but also convenient.

Because of its small-town feel 1 1



Got green? Our city boasts more than 5,000 acres of parkland and recreation centers. In addition to the 223 PARKS sprinkled throughout the blocks and neighborhoods within city limits, including the 40-acre CAPITOL PARK that surrounds the State Capitol and features more than 200 types of trees, the AMERICAN RIVER PARKWAY is an urban gem that spans 32 miles of trails. And when we want to get our feet wet, we have options: Because we’re located at the confluence of the SACRAMENTO AND AMERICAN RIVERS , there are limitless opportunities for riverbank lounging, rafting, kayaking and fishing.

3 3


When our evenings and weekends start feeling a little bit too much like Groundhog Day, we have a host of options to get out of our rut. We can learn improv at Northern California’s largest comedy school, SACRAMENTO COMEDY SPOT (1050 20th St.). Get our swing on at MIDTOWN STOMP (2534 Industrial Blvd.). Brush up on our Spanish at CASA DE ESPAÑOL (1101 R St.). Get crafty and pick up metalworking for jewelry or 3D printing at MADE STUDIO (3519 Broadway); make everything from a pen to a cabinet at WOODCRAFT OF SACRAMENTO (9523 Folsom Blvd.); or learn how to sew our own clothing and add pockets to every garment at MEISSNER (2417 Cormorant Way). We can pick up a sport—anything from cornhole to soccer—with everyone else who didn’t quite go pro at XOSO SPORT & SOCIAL LEAGUE (xososports.com), or reach new heights by giving indoor rock climbing a try at SACRAMENTO PIPEWORKS (116 N. 16th St.) or THE BOULDER FIELD (8425 Belvedere Ave.).

SACMAG.COM April 2023 35
American River Parkway
Woodcraft of Sacramento
Gabriel Teague

4 4


it’s all

fun and games



We can hit the bull’s-eye with an ax or get our anger out in a rage room, which is exactly what it sounds like: Don protective gear, then break everything in sight. Both options are surprisingly therapeutic. 600 Broadway; (916) 548-8182; smashsacramento.com


Experienced dungeon masters and tabletop gaming newcomers alike will find a welcoming community-gaming experience at this much-anticipated addition to the city. Come with friends, meet new people and join a game, or just stop by for a Mana Potion (a beverage made with cream soda and Curaçao). 1020 11th St.; (916) 237-5925; thereandback.cafe


This retro arcade feels like home. Between the funky frat party aroma and the classic hits like Frogger and Pacman, Coin-Op manages to hit all the high notes of nostalgia. The last Sundays of the month are free play. 21+. 908 K St.; (916) 661-6983; coinopsac.com


It’s mini golf, but in a pub. Need we say more? 630 K St.; (916) 872-0772; tipsyputt.com

Smash Sacramento Tipsy Putt Top: Kevin Fiscus / Below: Wes Davis


On many afternoons in the spring, summer and fall, the sun takes on a sinister glow and mutates into a laser beam that penetrates shade sails and sunglasses alike, descending upon the city like an inescapable homing missile of heat and despair. But just as we pull up Zillow and begin to seriously contemplate a life in a place that doesn’t feel like an oven, it happens: the magical movement of the leaves and branches overhead; a cool whisper of hope on the back of our necks. The beloved Delta Breeze has arrived. Blowing off of the Delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, the southwest wind carries cool air from the Pacific Ocean, often cooling the air by more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, Sacramento gets hot. But Sacramento is also home to nature’s best air conditioner. And even on sweltering days when the Delta Breeze is curiously absent, the evening temperatures reliably drop enough for us to pop open the windows and breathe a sigh of relief.

Because you can shop locally for almost anything

Rather than fi lling up an Amazon shopping cart, we can fi nd just about anything we’re looking for around town. Need an original gift in a pinch? We’ve got it: STRAPPING STORE (the fl agship store is at 3405 Broadway; (916) 477-3376; strap pingstore.com). Baby clothes and accessories? We’ve got it: JAM BABY (3330 Broadway; (916) 706-2472; shopjambaby.com). Vintage fi nds that don’t suck? We’ve got it: OLD GOLD (at WAL Public Market, 1104 R St.; (916) 761-5950; facebook.com/ shopoldgold). A new houseplant that we’re defi nitely not going

to over-water this time? We’ve got it: PROPAGATE (1700 I St.; (916) 399-4804; propagatesac.com). Something new to read? We’ve got it: CAPITAL BOOKS ON K (1101 K St.; (916) 492-6657; capitalbooksonk.com). Home decor? We’ve got it: MIDTOWN BLISS HOME AND GIFTS , (2722 R St.; (916) 376-7319; vintage blissmarketplace.com). Costume apparel? We’ve got it: EVANGELINE’S (113 K St.; (916) 443-2181; evangelines.com). The point is, in Sacramento, every day is Small Business Saturday. Do you think we can make #Shopramento a thing?

SACMAG.COM April 2023 37
5 5 6
Old Gold: Suyen Torres / Capital Books on K: Gabriel Teague
Old Gold Capital Books on K


Women are historically underrepresented as government o cials, but that isn’t the case in the greater Sacramento area. A majority-women Sacramento City Council was elected for the second time in history at the end of 2022, the mayor and all four councilmembers of West Sacramento are women, and Sacramento’s county executive is Ann Edwards.


8 because we LOVE ANIMALS


With more than 50 breweries operating in the Sacramento region, we’ve definitely got hops, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise: Before Prohibition, Sacramento was the largest beer production spot west of the Mississippi. Our breweries have also earned accolades outside the city limits: In 2022, ALARO CRAFT BREWERY ’s first IPA took home a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival; URBAN ROOTS won California Brewery of the Year in 2021; and just across the causeway, Davis’ SUDWERK BREWING CO. won Top U.S. Brewery and Brewer of the Year at the 2021 Great American Beer Festival.

If the couch is starting to feel a little empty, there are plenty of places to find a new best friend: Sacramento County Animal Care Services, also known as Bradshaw Animal Shelter (3839 Bradshaw Road), and Sacramento City Animal Care, also known as Front Street Animal Shelter (2127 Front St.), plus the Sacramento SPCA (6201 Florin Perkins Road). For the latest in canine fashion, we can stop by Leash and Collar dog boutique (1901 Q St.) and then show it off at one of the city’s 14 dog parks. For pups that prefer to sit by our sides instead of play with other dogs, there are spots for that, too: Most patios in town are dog friendly. One spot where we love to have pints with our pooch is SacYard Community Tap House & Beer Garden (1725 33rd St.): Pups can sit both inside and out, and there’s plenty of space for dogs to sprawl.

SacYard Community Tap House & Beer Garden Ann Edwards Martha Guerrero Quirina Orozco Verna Sulpizio Hull Norma Alcala Dawnté Early
Urban Roots: Will Thompson / SacYard: Tyler Mussetter

B e c a u s e i t ’s C o l o r f u l



Conceived in 2016 as the Sacramento Mural Festival, the city’s artistic brainchild has made bigger and bigger strokes with every year. Designed to activate spaces in alleyways and buildings throughout Sacramento, Wide Open Walls transforms otherwise drab backdrops into an urban gallery, adding pizazz and personality to the usual beige cityscape and bringing art into everyday commutes and conversations. Scattered across Sacramento’s streets are 178 stunning murals. Visit wideopenwalls.com to map out your favorites and take a walking tour.


Artist GARR UGALDE created a walkable art adventure in the heart of Sacramento: a series of seven sculptures sprinkled along a 1-mile stretch downtown that embody the sense of the bird/ human relationship. The exact locations of the sculptures aren’t published: You start at the Delta King on the Old Sacramento Waterfront and experience the treasure hunt of discovering each sculpture for yourself. Visit spiritwings916.com for more information.

And, of course, we have traditional museum experiences, too. Highlights include CROCKER ART MUSEUM (216 O St.; (916) 8087000; crockerart.org), the oldest art museum in the western United States, which hosts one of the state’s premier collections of California art; the beloved CALIFORNIA STATE RAILROAD MUSEUM (125 I St.; (916) 323-9280; californiarailroad.museum), with 2.5 acres of exhibits on the property and a historic authentic excursion train ride April through September; and SACRAMENTO HISTORY

MUSEUM (101 I St.; (916) 808-7059; sachistorymuseum.org), offering its famous Underground Tours showing how Sacramento lifted itself up out of the floodwaters of the 1860s and 1870s.

SACMAG.COM April 2023 39 7
Crocker Art Museum
10 10
California State Railroad Museum Spirit Wings
Mural and Crocker Art: Gabriel Teague / Railroad Museum: Kelly Huston / Spirit Wings: Ernest Karchmit
Johnny Cash mural by Shepard Fairey

Tapa the World

to leave town to taste flavors from around the world

Sacramento is the Farm-to-Fork Capital after all, but our fork extends around the globe. Here’s a short list of places we can try when wanderlust hits our palate: brunch in France (BRASSERIE DU MONDE , 1201 K St.) or Mexico (MEZCAL GRILL , 5701 Broadway); lunch in Indonesia (BALI KITCHEN , 1100 Front St.), Ethiopia (ABYSSINIA ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT, 1346 Fulton Ave.) or Vietnam (QUÁN NEM NINH HÒA , 6450 Stockton Blvd.); and dinner in Nepal (NEW KATHMANDU KITCHEN , 2672 J St.), the Czech Republic (LA TRATTORIA BOHEMIA , 3649 J St.) or Spain (TAPA THE WORLD , 2115 J St.).

And for a sweet blast from the past, we can stop for a slice from RICK’S DESSERT DINER (2401 J St.).


Does any other city send local utility companies heart emojis on social media regularly? A quick trip to SMUD’s comment section reveals recent feedback like “We are so lucky to have SMUD!” and “You all rock!” Progressive and climate friendly, SMUD is a nationwide energy leader with a 2030 Zero Carbon Vision—a goal of reaching zero carbon emissions by 2030. Plus, SMUD is a not-for-profit, communityowned electric utility company that lines neighborhoods with trees instead of lining shareholders’ pockets. Since 1990, SMUD has worked in partnership with Sacramento Tree Foundation to plant more than 600,000 shade trees in the Sacramento area, and it o ers up to 10 free shade trees per customer to address growing environmental concerns. Known for its top-notch customer service and speedy power restorations, you might say we’re de-lighted that we’re powered by SMUD.

12 12
Because we don’t have
Maddy Eccles


Is Sacramento a wine destination? Perhaps not officially, but with shorter lines and lower prices, isn’t it better that way? In recent years, California’s capital city has become something of a wine lover’s playground, with trendy wine bars and vibrant tasting rooms buzzing to life all over town. Honestly, who needs Napa? (Don’t quote us.) Here are just a handful of spots to try:

For wines made on-site and some of the best plant-based food in town: REVOLUTION WINERY AND KITCHEN (2831 S St.; (916) 444-7711; rev.wine)

For natural wine in a cozy boho space: RO SHAM BEAUX (2413 J St.; (916) 3651216; roshambeauxbar.com)

For natural wine and R Street people watching: NICO WINE (1710 R St.; (916) 400-9925; nicowine.co)

For a neighborhood-y, retro hangout with novel to-go goodies: GOOD NEWS WINE (1050 20th St.; (916) 400-0533; goodnewswine.com)

For atmosphere, top-notch sammies and all of the bottles: BETTY WINE BAR & BOTTLE SHOP (1103 T St., betty-wine. com, (916) 898-2116)

For a bright, airy French-inspired tasting experience from sunrise to cocktail hour: FRANQUETTE (965 Bridge St., West Sacramento; hellofranquette. com; (916) 572-0046)

SACMAG.COM April 2023 41
13 13 Good News Wine: Susan Yee / Ro Sham Beaux: Gabriel Teague


Featured in The New York Times and now found at watering holes around the country, this thirst-quenching gin-based libation was fi rst poured during Sacramento Cocktail Week at Ella by bartender Rene Dominguez in 2008. Light, crisp and refreshing, it might just be the perfect spring nightcap (or evening starter).

Because of all the drama

The best kind of drama is the kind you can spectate. When we’re in the mood for more substance than scrolling through Netflix, we’ve got lots of options around town.

DINING ROOM & BAR , 1131 K St.; (916) 443-3772; elladiningroomandbar.com


Fresh and fun, The Sofia has something for everyone. Producing more than 100 innovative plays and hosting local and international acts, the theater offers a diverse and delightful lineup of musicals, storytelling and improv for adults, and is home to the Family Series, Northern California’s only fully professional resident theater for children. 2700 Capitol Ave.; (916) 443-5300; bstreettheatre.org


A local landmark, the iconic Tower Theatre opened its doors in 1938 and continues to play independent and foreign films. 2508 Land Park Drive; (916) 442-0985


The novelty of drive-in movie theaters is something that never gets old, and we have one in town! This throwback experience offers relaxed family fun and plays movie premieres at the same time as indoor theaters, with midnight screenings of major releases. 9616 Oates Drive; (916) 363-6572; westwinddi.com


A historic theater and urban center for performing arts and cinema, the theater offers a welcoming stage and Saturday comedy nights in the heart of Oak Park. 2828 35th St.; guildtheater.com


Film aficionados shouldn’t miss this intimate movie theater that offers a selection of indie, cult, international and art-house films. 1901 P St.; thedreamlandcinema.com

42 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE April 2023 14 14
West Wind Drive-in
White Linen Drive-in: Francisco Chavira / Ella: Courtesy of Ella



SACMAG.COM April 2023 43 16 16
a sense
that bright
the night
and it’s also fun to
Powered by four lasers capable of producing 1,000 watts of RGB laser power, a purple “Victory Beam” shoots out of downtown’s GOLDEN 1 CENTER when the KINGS win a game,
home or away. There’s
of pride we feel when
color of royalty cuts through
chant: LIGHT
Mark Pichardo



 Float down the American River

 Participate in an argument over whether we’re the “City of Trees” or the “Farm-to-Fork Capital”

 Take a selfie in front of the “Lady Bird” house

 Take the Underground Tour

 Spell Cosumnes and Mokelumne correctly on the first try

 Ride the Brew Bike (the Brew Boat is an acceptable alternative)

 Tell a transplant, “It’s a dry heat!”

 Celebrate a birthday with a cake from Freeport Bakery

 Dine at one of our two Michelin-starred restaurants, The Kitchen and Localis

 Get the Corti Special sandwich for lunch from the Corti Brothers deli

 Walk around Curtis Park and check out the “Dragon House” (2816 22nd St.) while eating a cone from Gunther’s

 Be first in line for doughnuts at Marie’s Donuts

 Go kayaking or paddle boarding on Lake Natoma

 Upcycle your food scraps at Oak Park Eggery

 Make a meal entirely out of ingredients purchased at Midtown Farmers Market

 Find a treasure at the Sacramento Antique Faire

 Watch a sunset from Tower Bridge

 Achieve a perfect attendance record for a season of Concerts in the Park



For the record, we love caffeine, and for the record, we think our coffee is some of the best. No matter which coffee shop we wander into, it’s a good choice. It’s hard to have a favorite, but when we’re on a particular mission, here are a few places we like:

FOR WORKING: On a deadline?

We love all the chairs and tables at PACHAMAMA COFFEE in East Sacramento, and that they use creamy oat milk as their base offering. 3644 J St.; (916) 476-4385; drinkpacha.com

FOR LATE-NIGHT GATHERING: It’s no secret that this revered local coffee chain always delivers, but we love that TEMPLE COFFEE ROASTERS is open until 10 p.m. for when we need an after-hours fix. 2829 S St.; (916) 454-1272; templecoffee.com

FOR THE PATIO: When we want to enjoy the weather with our pick-me-ups, there’s only one place to go: OLD SOUL AT THE WEATHERSTONE

And if everyone else has the same idea, taking our cup for a leisurely walk around Boulevard Park is just another perk of this location. 812 21st St.; (916) 443-6340; oldsoulco.com

FOR THE COLD FOAM: DRIP, a Black-, woman- and sister-owned coffee shop centered around espresso, community and culture, also has some of the most velvety toffee-flavored cold foam we’ve ever tasted. 1004 24th St.; (916) 306-4087; dripespresso.coffee

FOR THE LOVE OF CROISSANTS: The delicious coffee is a bonus, but while we’re at FARIA BAKERY, you know we’re not leaving without a fragrant, flaky, freshly baked croissant. 3417 Broadway; (916) 204-8726; faria bakery.com


Outshining every other midsized airport in the nation, Sacramento International Airport (SMF) was crowned “best midsized airport” by The Wall Street Journal at the end of 2022. (This wasn’t really news to a lot of us, but we’ll never say no to a national nod.) It’s known for its speedy security lines, surprisingly good customer service and extensive (and punctual) flight options—SMF offers more than 155 daily nonstop flights on 12 domestic and international carriers to 36 destinations. During the next five years, the airport plans to expand, with more gates at Terminal B, a consolidated center for taxi, rideshare and shuttle services, a new parking garage and more.

SACMAG.COM April 2023 45
17 17
18 Coffee: Ryan Angel Meza / Airport: Courtesy of Sacramento International Airport
Temple Coffee Roasters



Carrizo Plain National Monument 46 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE April 2023

uperblooms are the result of a rare botanical phenomenon that takes place in the deserts and throughout the West: an unusually high proportion of wildflowers, whose seeds have lain dormant in the soil, germinate and bloom at roughly the same time. The event involves a delicate balance of well-spaced rainfall, adequate warmth from the sun, cool nighttime temperatures and an absence of harsh, drying wind. Superblooms are typically associated with an especially wet fall and winter season. Large swaths of colorful flowers blanket hillsides and wild spaces, making the landscape downright magical.

SACMAG.COM April 2023 47

Now is the time to hop in the car and get outside to witness the floral abundance near us. There are plenty of places to see local flowers, but here are a few spectacular spots, some quick day jaunts and a longer, extra-memorable road adventure for your spring-break planning purposes.

● North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve


An hour and a half outside of Sacramento, North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve’s Phantom Falls hike is a 4-mile workout that o ers views of flower-carpeted meadows, waterfalls and basalt cli s. Seek out unusual flowers such as meadowfoam, purple owl’s clover, goosefoot violet and buttercups, which merge into a riot of color each spring. You will need a daily lands pass prior to visiting and should bring water and a picnic; plan to pack out your trash.

● South Yuba River State Park


Take a quick day trip to see California poppies and narrow-leaved lupin in all their glory. O Highway 20 near Grass Valley, South Yuba River State Park’s Buttermilk Bend Trail explodes in spring into an Instagrammer’s gold-and-purple dream. Take an easy docent-led walk with beautiful views of the river on Saturdays and Sundays (11 a.m.) through May 10. Be sure to carve out a little extra time to check out the covered bridge and barn built in the 1800s and the restored 1920s gas station.

● Folsom Lake


We are set to have a dazzling lupine-palooza in our own backyard this spring. As photographers and social media enthusiasts flock to the scene, please remember not to step on or crush the flowers (do no harm!); this kills the plants and destroys the habitat. Folsom Lake explodes in bloom in a number of locations near the water. One spot to bookmark is Sterling Pointe in Loomis, an equestrian staging area with plenty of free parking and easy walks down to the lake. From the trails, you can hike over the old stone bridge and have a picnic on sandy, driftwood-strewn beaches. Another spot: Folsom Point, where a drive up the hill and over (pay your $12 day fee at the kiosk) delivers you to several parking and picnic areas down by the lake. Within a few steps, you’re deep in purple lupine. Also nearby, at the intersection of Green Valley Road and Sophia Parkway near the junction of Folsom and El Dorado Hills, park on the street for free (near the ARCO station), cross Green Valley on foot and climb up the hillside on the trail that’s been blazed by others. It’s intense if you’re not a regular hiker, but you’re heading straight into blue skies and oak canopies. At the top will be expansive views of the lake—and plenty of wildflower fields.

WILDFLOWER HOTLINE Hear weekly reports of the bloom progress for Southern and Central California recorded by actor Joe Spano through May by calling (818) 768-1802, ext. 7.

Folsom Lake North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve


The California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) became the state flower on March 2, 1903, and April 6 is officially designated as California Poppy Day. It is thought that perhaps the poppy was selected due to its bright orange color, which visually referenced the Gold Rush. The belief that it is illegal to pick a poppy is actually a myth. Generally speaking, there are no laws prohibiting the cutting of the state flower. It is illegal to damage plants that aren’t on your own property, though, so in the case of public trails and state park lands, leave the poppies be. Besides, they wilt quickly and are better left in the ground to populate our country roads and hillsides as the treasured symbol California.


Folsom Lake
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North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve


Stay on paths—Trampling and crushing the plants damages them, sometimes permanently. Follow park rules and stay in designated areas.

Pay it forward— Protect our natural resources for future generations by donating your time and spend a day cleaning trash or rehabilitating protected spaces, or by planting native flowers.

No picking— Enjoy the beauty with your eyes and camera only.

Lake Tahoe’s West Shore

● Carrizo Plain National Monument

A memorable floral road trip is to make your way down south (about a five-hour drive) to Carrizo Plain National Monument east of San Luis Obispo. This under-the-radar park boasts rugged beauty with rolling hills that are carpeted in candy-colored flowers each spring, with April and May the peak months to visit. Be sure to spend time gazing at the painted mountains near the entrance and walking the planks to the salt lake. You can camp in designated areas of the park, but to really up the fun ante, spend the night in a hot-pink, florally themed room at the iconic Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo before heading home to Sacramento. Combined with some wine tasting in the Edna Valley, where at least 27 wineries produce reds and whites (especially pinot noir and chardonnay), and dinner in downtown SLO, this would make an incredible girls’ getaway. Or a romantic weekend for two.

● Lake Tahoe’s West Shore


At Lake Forest Beach on Tahoe’s west shore, lupine appears to walk on water. With the mountains in the background—they’re sure to be snow-capped well into fall, at least—and the blue-blue lake in the foreground, these alpine fields of lupine are simply stunning as they extend from land into water. This bloom tends to be shortlived and, depending on snowfall, happens in June or July. With this year’s mounds of snow, who knows? But a quick scan of social media should give you a good idea when to pack up the car and head for the lake. Last year, it was still going strong during July 4 weekend. Go at sunrise or sunset for an exceptionally gorgeous photo op.


Spring is fleeting here in Sacramento, and there is so much beauty to behold. Apps and websites can help you learn about it. Consider downloading an app like iNaturalist to help you identify the many fascinating plants you will encounter on the trails and in the wild. Spread the word to encourage others to be respectful of the flowers and delicate habitat when staging photos by using the hashtag #noflowers wereharmed in your social media posts. If you want to plant native flowers in your own backyard garden, the California Native Plant Society has a wealth of information on its website. (Did you know that California has 41 native poppies?) California is also a global-diversity hot spot, with one-third of the plants here in California not found anywhere else on Earth! What’s really super about the bloom is its reliability and resiliency

Mother Nature’s power is in making us pause to take it all in.

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Opposite page:
Gabriel Teague
Carrizo Plain National Monument
Amy Quinton and Marianne Russ Sharp



“UNFOLD,” UC Davis’s awardwinning podcast focused on groundbreaking studies and the human stories behind them, is a must-listen for anyone who appreciates illuminating conversations about scientific research. Co-hosts Amy Quinton and Marianne Russ Sharp dive deep into a variety of timely topics, from the occurrence of dementia in Vietnamese refugees to why certain songs get stuck in our heads to the e ects of climate change on the world’s poorest people. Past episodes (then cohosted by Kat Kerlin) garnered two coveted Signal Awards, and with good reason. In the spirit of celebrated podcasts like “Radio Lab” and “Hidden Brain,” “Unfold” is like listening to two of your smartest friends tell you about something amazing they just learned, making you smarter in the process.

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Photos: Wayne Tilcock, UC Davis Health (2) Marianne Russ Sharp (L) and Amy Quinton (R) voicing and producing an upcoming episode of “Unfold” in the studio at UC Davis Health


QUINTON: The research we do here at UC Davis is often quite complicated. We were thinking about how to tell stories that are complex: You have to break them down; you have to unfold them. So that’s how it came into existence. It’s not just about unfolding research; the stories also unfold. We try to do these podcasts in a narrative format, so it just made sense to have that title.


QUINTON: Typically, we do some brainstorming around our research, thinking about what’s new, what’s out there, what people need to know about. Then we also look at stories we can tell from that research so that it’s not just a talking head. We always ask: How is that research actually impacting people? Also, what makes good audio?

RUSS SHARP: I think we’re really spoiled for choice. We are both former public radio journalists, so it’s a lot like deciding what stories to cover when you’re a reporter—what’s trending, what’s leading edge. And Amy’s dead-on about the audio, because it’s great if we can have a scene that takes you there. Writing for the air is different than writing for the page. At the end of the day, I think we’re looking to tell good stories.


QUINTON: [“This American Life” host] Ira Glass says audio is the most visual medium. You’re not just writing something on a page: You’re creating a picture in someone’s head; you’re trying to take the listener somewhere. That is something I try to do in each and every episode.

RUSS SHARP: I think it’s also about emotion. You’re looking to move people in some way. Maybe it’s tears, maybe it’s laughter. When I’m listening to something, I want to be moved. And I want to learn something. At the end of the day, we’re hoping that people are kind of in the room with us taking part in that conversation.

QUINTON: One of our goals when making the podcast was to make sure that it was for a lay audience. We didn’t want it to just be a podcast by researchers for researchers.

RUSS SHARP: Amy is really good at looking at it very holistically. It’s not just about speaking to one researcher; it’s about looking at the human side of things and including a very full picture of the story.

QUINTON: And it’s always been important to me to make sure that we have people in the story who are affected [by the topic we’re covering]. For example, this past season where we focused on health care, we had patients in almost every episode, if not all of them.


QUINTON: The podcasts I like are NPR shows, or they started that way. One I particularly like is “Hidden Brain.” It is a science podcast, but it’s so interesting because of the storytelling. I really like “Radio Lab.” Another one I really like is “Endless Thread” out of WBUR in Boston. They get their story ideas from Reddit threads.

“It’s not just about speaking to one researcher; it’s about looking at the human side of things and including a very full picture of the story.”
Above: Wayne Tilcock, UC Davis Health / Below: Trina Wood, UC Davis
Amy Quinton gathering sound at a UC Davis One Health veterinary clinic in Knights Landing for Season 4 of “Unfold” Marianne Russ Sharp

RUSS SHARP: I have listened to “This American Life” for many years, so that’s always in the background. I have an 11-year-old, so I’m always looking for podcasts that are good to listen to together. We like “Wow in the World” and also “The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel.” I also love “Hidden Brain” and “Radio Lab,” which is a perennial favorite. I always wish that we had the production abilities of “Radio Lab.”


QUINTON: We’ve known each other for a very long time. Marianne was my managing editor at Capital Public Radio. We know each other’s personality, so that helps in having the conversational style. But even though we have this great back and forth, we also have to stick to a script, because otherwise how do you tell the story? So it’s a delicate balance you have to have.

RUSS SHARP: Getting the rapport down wasn’t hard work because, as Amy said, we’ve known each other for a long time. We work really well together, so it feels very natural and the work is very fun, to be honest. There’s a lot of laughter when we’re working. The recording sessions would probably go a lot faster if we didn’t know each other, but they wouldn’t sound as good.


QUINTON: I’m so lucky that I have Marianne for an editor. The editing process for audio is a little different than it is for print. I will read the script to Marianne, and if there’s something she doesn’t understand, she’ll call it out.

RUSS SHARP: I think it’s a real challenge. When you’re the one doing the reporting, you already know so much about the subject, you can’t unknow it. That’s why the editor is the listener’s advocate. And it’s why we take the editing process really seriously. If we don’t quite understand it, then there will be listeners who don’t quite understand it. The other thing is that Amy makes a real effort to let people tell the story in their own words as much as possible. I think that adds to understanding and adds to the impact of the podcast.


QUINTON: I’ll speak for myself personally, not the university. When I think about why we are interviewing UC Davis experts, it’s that these scientists and scholars have spent their entire careers trying to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. So why wouldn’t we put them out front? We’re also a public institution, and one of our major tenets is public service in addition to teaching and research, so I think the podcast fills that role as well.

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Above: Karin Higgins, UC Davis / Below: Wayne Tilcock, UC Davis Health
“We always ask: How is that research actually impacting people?”
Amy Quinton interviewing an almond farmer in rural Yolo County for upcoming episode of “Unfold” Amy Quinton

Building a


Mark your calendar. Sacramento’s 11th annual Big Day of Giving is around the corner. May 4 to be exact. It’s our communal moment to help build a better Sacramento.

Last year, Sacramentans donated $13 million to local charities. This year (a tough one financially for families and charities alike), coordinators at Sacramento Region Community Foundation say they sense people will top that amount.

“We don’t have Fortune 500 companies here,” director Kerry Wood says, “so the majority of our giving comes from individuals. Sacramentans have been generous. We are a community that cares about helping others and forging a brighter future for all.”

The community foundation was launched 40 years ago to inspire philanthropy year-round in Sacramento. Big Day of Giving, though, is the spotlight moment, the only day, in fact, that many small local charities formally ask for donations.

Your options for giving are many. Some 700 charities with needs are listed on the foundation’s website. To give you a sense, here’s a look at a few of them, and what’s on their wish lists this year.


The BIG DAY OF GIVING on May 4 is your chance to put your stamp on the region’s future.


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Artist’s conceptual rendering of the new Sacramento Zoo. Final design subject to change.

A Whimsical Place With Serious Ambitions

Fairytale Town, the beloved 64-year-old storybook park for children, is widening its welcome. The William Land Park venue has launched a multiyear effort to mold itself into a more culturally inclusive educational park to reach an increasingly diverse Sacramento.

CULTURAL INCLUSIVITY: The park was founded with a European folklore theme. Now, it has added an Anansi’s Web play set based on a popular African folktale, and officials plan play sets from Mexican, Chinese and Native American literary traditions.

THE ASK: Big Day of Giving donations will allow the park to host more literacybased multicultural events at the park’s new Story Center, such as the recent

Artist’s conceptual rendering. Final design subject to change. The newly completed Story Center Sketches of Story Center interior

Support Your Local Giraffe

The nearly century-old Sacramento Zoo in William Land Park is a local institution, home to 500 animals including a new celebrity: a baby giraffe born in January. But the animals and visitors are packed into an antiquated 14.7-acre site. Zoo director Jason Jacobs says the zoo desperately needs more elbow room.

BIG PLANS: The Sacramento Zoological Society is laying plans for a far larger and more modern zoo in Elk Grove, one that will offer visitors a “transformative” experience. Jacobs’ dream: Sacramento would boast the best zoo per acre in the United States, hosting 1 million visitors a year.

THE ASK: The nonprofit zoo society will need millions of dollars over time to make that happen. This year’s Big Day of Giving is a start, says Jacobs. Any contribution of any size helps, he adds. “We got $100,000 last year. We’d love to see it double this year.”

ZOO’S PITCH TO YOU: “Our region needs a new zoo that can care for populations of rare species as well as provide a unique and wonderful educational experience . . . helping foster a meaningful and inspiring connection with animals, and empathy and care in people.”

THE GIRAFFES: The zoo’s logo animal is suffering what biologists call a silent extinction in the wild.

“People aren’t aware,” Jacobs laments. The zoo’s plan is to highlight its giraffe herd and other herbivores as the centerpiece of the new zoo in a state-of-the-art savannahlike domain. “We want to inspire a million people a year to make a difference for the giraffes,” says Jacobs.

Chinese New Year story readings. The park also is looking for funds to diversify its theater program and to help care for its coterie of barnyard animals.

WHAT WON’T CHANGE: In one way, Fairytale Town remains adamantly un-modern. It is designed to be an escape from the digital world of computer screens and smartphones, and an oasis from adultorganized and directed activities. Here, children use their imaginations to create their own play experiences, partnering with playmates. Park director Kevin Smith-Fagan calls that type of play “advanced problem solving” that teaches kids skills they will use in the grown-up world.

A SERIOUS EDUCATION: Fairytale Town is, yes, whimsical, but don’t let that fool you. The education it offers is more relevant than ever, Smith-Fagan says. “This is a child development center. Kids create the narrative. It gives me hope the fundamentals of imagination and creativity are still hard-wired into our kids. Problem solving later in life comes from the ability to think novelly.”

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New baby giraffe Cheyenne

Shoestring Budgets and Boot-Strap Health Care

Launched by UC Davis students, Clinica Tepati health center has for decades quietly filled a health care gap for lower-income families in the Sacramento region, many of them workers in the agriculture and service sectors. College student volunteers, some training to be doctors, conduct free health assessments and offer wellness education to all comers. They’re overseen by UC Davis Medical Center doctors and retired physicians who serve as on-site proctors.

THE ASK: The clinic in downtown Sacramento is open one day a week—Saturday—and is run on a shoestring. Donations will help support basic costs, including screenings for diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol. The clinic also needs funding for its nutrition workshops, vaccine drives and the dental hygiene kits that it hands out to families.

DIABETES CRISIS: Diabetes disproportionately hits the Latino community, clinic student administrator Alejandra Romo says. The center wants to expand its diabetes awareness and education program this year with more intensive classes for people who are diabetic and prediabetic, to be taught by medical students, offering in essence a valuable learning experience for both workers and future doctors.

ALEJANDRA’S VIEW: Romo, 21, is among those future doctors. She plans to be a gynecologist. She has acted since age 10 as a translator when her Spanish-speaking parents have sought medical treatment. But more often, she has seen her parents forgo treatment, even when seriously ill, because they lacked insurance. “Many of us are privileged in having insurance, and we can’t see the impact of not having health care,” Romo says. “It’s important for us to make sure that health care is not a privilege but a right.”

Alejandra Romo Photos by Beth Baugher

Fairy Godmothers

Dress for Success Sacramento, a boutique tucked in a North Sacramento mall, performs the role of a modern-day fairy godmother. The nonprofit takes under its wing disadvantaged women who are entering the job market and provides them with an outfit to wear to job interviews, as well as training for interviews and access to a community support network.

WOMEN IN NEED: Clients often are single mothers. Some have escaped abusive relationships or were previously homeless. Some are returning to work after years away. “Women carry a lot of responsibility in families,” Dress for Success Sacramento founder Veronica Smith says. “When you help a woman, you have the ability to change the trajectory of her family and generations to come.”

THE OUTFITS: Referred from other agencies, clients meet at Dress for Success for a private fitting with volunteer stylists who assemble a job-interview outfit. If the woman lands a job, the agency provides her with a week’s worth of outfits. “It’s about confidence,” Smith says. “We make sure women are able to step into interviews and jobs feeling good about themselves.”

THE ASK: Dress for Success recently reopened after a pandemic-related closure. The agency is seeking funding to hire two employees, a job developer and an outreach coordinator.

THAT “OH MY!” MOMENT: The fitting can be a revelatory experience. And an emotional one. “We see their faces, their gratitude,” Smith says. “They look at themselves in the mirror and sometimes they cry. We put makeup on a 60-yearold woman for the first time in her life and she just cried. She said she never imagined herself looking this good.”

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Photos by Beth Baugher Christina Catalan Laygo (far left) and Veronica Smith (far right) with clients

Wanted: Skates, Sleds for Disadvantaged Kids

For seven decades, Iceland Ice Skating Rink on Del Paso Boulevard was part of the social fabric of old North Sacramento, a bustling, year-round center that hosted generations of families. In 2010, fire destroyed parts of the historic art deco building, notably the roof. The rink, now run by a nonprofit, has been fighting to make a comeback since.

NEW MISSION: The rink managed to reopen a few years ago during the winter months, but it shut down again during the COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit has found funds to replace the roof this year so the rink can reopen year-round. Now, the rink is looking for donations for skate programs for disadvantaged youth from the surrounding neighborhoods, which have become some of the least affluent in the city.

THE ASK: Iceland wants to buy 200 new pairs of skates, as well as 12 specialized sleds for disabled youth to play ice hockey. And it hopes to fully subsidize lessons for 100 youth per month at $60 per child. That includes free evening skates for students. The entity also needs to finish paying off a small business loan.

NEW HORIZONS: “We want to focus on helping kids learn to skate, whether they can afford it or not,” says rink operator Terrie Kerth. “Learning a skill and having fun in a safe family environment is so important. It’s amazing, the simple things, like doing a spin or skating backward, the smile you get from kids and even teenagers. It’s a physical, tangible accomplishment.”

LABOR OF LOVE: For Terrie and her brother Rob Kerth, it’s about community, family and tradition. Her grandfather built the rink next to his ice delivery company. They grew up here, as did many North Sacramentans. “We didn’t want it to die,” she says. “We needed the rink to come back. The community needs it.”

Iceland Ice Skating Rink before fire

A Culinary Campus for Food Startups

Since its launch nearly two decades ago by UC Davis students, Alchemist Community Development Corporation has been working on creative ways to improve the economic and physical health of people in disadvantaged neighborhoods. That includes a food-business academy for local entrepreneurs. Now Alchemist says it’s time to up the ante with its most ambitious “food justice” program yet.

A FOOD-BUSINESS INCUBATOR: The nonprofit group plans to build Alchemist Public Market, a $9 million culinary campus north of downtown, to teach food entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities how to turn dreams into sustainable businesses. The site is next to the emerging Mirasol Village, soon to be Sacramento’s largest affordable-housing community.

THE INGREDIENTS: The centerpiece of the campus will be a certified commercial kitchen that can accommodate up to 40 startup businesses at a time at affordable rents. There will be co-office space as well. A community cafe will train workers and offer space for startups to sell their products. There will be a weekly farmers market. The site also will house food pods, similar to food trucks, where entrepreneurs can launch businesses before taking them out to the community.

THE ASK: Alchemist has purchased the site and has support from local leaders to help with state and federal grant applications. For now, Alchemist is looking for seed money to help pay staff and administrative costs during the design and permitting process.

WHY NOW: The pandemic has upended Sacramento’s restaurant and commercial food industry. “It’s created an opportunity for a new wave of food service,” Alchemist executive director Sam Greenlee says. But small businesses struggle to find and pay for commercial kitchens. Alchemist will provide that, as well as guidance on business plans, marketing, permitting, packaging and food safety. Says Greenlee, “Connecting communities to food and opportunity: That is the heart of our mission.”


It’s easy to search online for charities whose work speaks to you personally.

Sacramento Region Community Foundation’s donation website, GivingEdge, allows you to sift through the many charities participating in this year’s Big Day of Giving. It’s at bigdayofgiving.org.

Scroll down the page and click on the centered teal blue tab entitled “Find A Cause.” That takes you to a page with a series of filters on the right side, allowing you to search charities by mission category, organization need, size, location and demographics served.

Going back to the main Big Day landing page, you can also click the “Get Involved” tab to look for volunteer opportunities.

Of note: You don’t have to wait until May 4 to participate. You can sign up anytime starting April 20 to have your gift registered on Big Day.

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Artist’s renderings of planned Alchemist Public Market

April is Child Abuse

KidsFirst Counseling & Family Resource Centers is a community-based organization in Placer County providing education, resources and support for local children, young adults, parents and families. Our centers which empower, educate and strengthen families through prevention, early detection, intervention and treatment programs. All services are free, confidential and available in English & Spanish.

KidsFirst Roseville 124 Main St. Roseville, CA 95678 (916) 774-6802

KidsFirst Auburn 11960 Heritage Oaks Auburn, CA 95603 (530) 887-3536



The most important thing we can do to help children thrive is to support families before they reach a crisis.

Prevention Month


When we invest in children, we are investing in our communities. This April, help us bring attention to all the different ways we can help children and families thrive.

The purpose of the Child Abuse Prevention Council is to coordinate the community’s efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect.

CAP Month Activities

ALL MONTH LONG: PINWHEEL PLANTING Join the cause by planting pinwheels at your place of business



Signs for Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect and Ways to Build Protective Factor to Prevent Abuse

THURSDAY, APRIL 27: RESOURCE FAIR AT MAIDU COMMUNITY CENTER (3–6 PM) Working Together to Strengthen Families Resource Fair


For more information and or to sign your business up to plant pinwheels, please contact Clay Rojas at crojas@kidsfirstnow.org Scan

CAP Council

the QR code for updated information on CAP Month activities
Our Mission: Every child in Placer County has a safe place to live and grow.

Through the Lens

Looking to become a better photographer? Our region offers plenty of classes, clubs and tutorials where shutterbugs—both amateur and professional—can develop their abilities.

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0 4 2 3
Image by Justin Sotelo inside: Boost your photography skills.

Laurie Friedman’s father passed down two important traits to his daughter: an artistic eye and a love of travel. Nearly four decades ago, she bought a single-lens reflex film camera and zoom lens for a tour of ancient civilizations of Mexico, starting in Mexico City and ending in Yucatán.

Friedman has now visited 90 countries, always bringing a camera along to capture scenes of landscapes and life. “I tend not to be shy,” she says. “I’m happy to ask people, ‘May I take your photo?’ I always ask if I’m close, and every once in a while they’ll say no, I’d rather not. But most of the time it’s just fine. I also love little artistic details, like rooflines. Graphic images are my favorite, if I had to pick, but I’m kind of known for my portraits.”

Friedman—whose career was spent in hospital labs and sciences at UC Davis—had a wedding and portrait business, at one point shooting up to 25 weddings a year. Most of her photography these days is purely for enjoyment.

She is a founding member and program chair of the Gold Rush Chapter of the Photographic Society of America. The volunteer-run Sacramento club hosts workshops for photographers looking to develop their skills in areas such as portraiture, still life, smartphone, black and white, and flower photography. Gold Rush is one of many resources across Sacramento that serve photographers looking to learn the craft or boost their skills. Others include shops and galleries, formal education at local colleges and online tutorials.

While everyone may see themselves as photographers

Image by Justin Sotelo Image by Mark Howell/ Viewpoint Photographic Art Center

nowadays thanks to smartphones, and whether someone is a hobbyist or a professional, one of the most critical steps to actually possessing real talent is learning the camera. Justin Sotelo, an adjunct professor of photography at Sacramento City College, says, “There is no substitute for having knowledge, technical expertise and full control of the equipment you are using.”

OPEN TO THE COMMUNITY— When Roberta McClellan joined Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in midtown Sacramento as executive director in 2014, she already had many years of nonprofit arts management experience. She recognized that one way to advance Viewpoint, a memberoriented organization (now in its 32nd year), was to invite in the larger community, making its artwork and workshops more accessible.

“Viewpoint was started by photographers for photographers,” she says. “It was just this idea of a group of people

saying, well, we love photography and then it just evolved into what you see today.”

Viewpoint hosts two or three workshops monthly, about 22 exhibits a year in its 2,300 square feet of gallery space, artists receptions, Second Saturday gatherings and a student educational program. It also organizes Photography Month Sacramento each April. This celebration brings together between 20 and 30 partner organizations across five local counties to host about 40 events.

One workshop planned for this April is on NFTs (nonfungible tokens), which are “just blowing up” in the photography space, McClellan says. Viewpoint tries to stay up-to-date with the art form, because photography “is changing every day.” She sees growing interest in a return to old techniques, like alternative process, which developed in the mid1800s and uses large glass plates, cyanotype and other tools.


Other Viewpoint workshops throughout the year include topics like composition, lighting, street photography and how to edit in Lightroom (a type of Adobe software); post-processing topics tend to be popular. Oneday photo outings are also well-attended. Past destinations have included Cosumnes River Preserve, Tahoe and Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. The opportunity to learn from peers makes these outings successful, McClellan says. “People have their peers with them and talk a little bit about what they’re doing and how people are capturing an image, what they’re doing with that image.”

Viewpoint’s 500 members get special privileges like attendance at “print and portfolio nights,” when experienced photographers facilitate a small gathering where everyone presents one or more images and a discussion follows. “Some of these people have been doing this for 30 or 40 years. You can learn so much in an hour’s sitting with a seasoned photographer,” McClellan says.

Friedman, of Gold Rush, describes Viewpoint as a “tremendous educational resource in the community.” She is also a member of Sierra Camera Club in Sacramento. (A local monthly meetup group called Beers and Cameras stopped gathering during the pandemic.) There’s also Professional Photographers of America, a national organization that provides educational resources for members. Many photographers and videographers say they rely on internet platforms and software tutorials to develop technical skills, such as CreativeLive, Phlearn, Skillshare, YouTube and Adobe Photoshop.

After a hiatus from in-person instruction, Gold Rush is returning to this format in April with a program on abstract photography. Attendees will gather for instruction, then depart to take photos of wall art around the city. Friedman says there are benefits to being able to turn to a person next to you to ask for advice. “I found photographers are very generous at sharing their expertise,” she says.

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Image by Michael Kallweit

Sotelo agrees that a valuable way to develop one’s skills is to seek constructive criticism from peers. “It’s really easy to have tunnel vision as you’re working on your content,” Sotelo says. “You have a different relationship with it. Maybe you’re just really focused on one aspect of it. I think it’s extremely important to have other people look at your work because it’s important to see what they see first.”

There’s no shortage of help offered to photographers who visit PhotoSource in East Sacramento or Mike’s Camera in midtown. “I teach people over the counter all the time. It’s just what I do,” says PhotoSource owner Michael Kallweit. “When people come in, we help and guide people for whatever they need.”

These businesses dole out advice and answer questions, sell gear and supplies, and in some cases have processing services and facilities available. For instance, customers can rent the darkroom at PhotoSource. The business opened in 2001 as a working photo lab where people can bring boxes of old media to get developed or converted to digital. Now it does much more. The shop buys, refurbishes and sells old cameras. It offers high-end rentals, which attracts professionals. Customers also include “the kids, as I call them, who are shooting film again,” Kallweit says.

“We have experienced what we call a revival in the in-

dustry,” he adds. “The young people are finding film and analog attractive for a number of different reasons. It’s probably, for one, just the opposite of their phones.” The anticipation of waiting to see their developed photographs is a big part of the appeal, unlike the instant gratification of cellphones and other digital technologies.

PhotoSource no longer holds workshops, and Kallweit says the best way to learn photography or expand one’s skills is through college courses. He describes schools within the Los Rios Community College District and Sacramento State as having some of the best photo programs in the nation. “That’s the place to learn,” he says.

Image by Ryan Angel Meza Image by Laurie Friedman

ALWAYS MORE TO LEARN— Sotelo has had many careers—in music, education and for the state of California for about 16 years, while he also periodically took photography classes at Sacramento City College. In 2019, the college hired him as an adjunct professor for the department. He is now able to make a living through his craft.

“Collectively, the classes and just the program in general allowed me to develop the necessary skills to feel like I was ready to move forward with doing more professional or freelance work,” Sotelo says. “We’re always learning. I think we’re students for our lifetime. Things are always evolving. There’s always new technology.”

Over the years, he has taught beginning and intermediate digital photography (which cover topics such as camera operation, flash photography, post-processing, digital print preparation, video capture and editing) and portfolio development. This spring semester, he is co-teaching California coastal photography—with a field trip to Point Reyes National Seashore—with Ryan Angel Meza, another adjunct professor and freelance photographer (who has photographed for Sacramento Magazine).

Angel Meza’s road to becoming a professional photographer involved a six-year detour working for the state government. Classes at City College and then a photography degree from Sacramento State gave him the education and confidence to make the career leap. “It’s been a really long journey to really develop the craft and be patient with getting my foot in the door,” he says.

These City College professors say their broad spectrum of students includes those enthusiastic about pursuing a career in the field and retirees who do photography as a hobby but want to refine their skills. Some students want to merge photography and social media as a career opportunity; social media, Angel Meza says, “has made photography as a career really reachable” because there’s an endless demand for this type of creative content.

The students who will be best equipped to succeed in the industry will be those who have a multitude of skills, agree the professors. They both have also undertaken some degree of self-education in video and drone photography to make themselves more marketable. It’s about layering skill sets, Kallweit says. Just taking pictures doesn’t cut it.

Ultimately, a big part of growing as a photographer is simply creating habits and muscle memory—and the most critical ongoing step in one’s development is regular practice. “If you don’t really invest the time on a daily basis, if possible, you’re not going to progress,” Sotelo says. “I don’t pretend that I know everything. Every time I shoot, I walk away with some sort of knowledge.”

SACMAG.COM April 2023 71
Image by Ryan Angel Meza Above:
Photographers’ portraits L–R: Laurie Friedman, Roberta McClellan, Michael Kallweit, Justin Sotelo, Ryan Angel Meza Michael
Kallweit headshot by Jim Koenigsaecker


Silly Old Bear—

Join Christopher Robin and his favorite stuffies on a series of adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood as B Street Theatre presents “Winniethe-Pooh.” Based on A.A. Milne’s beloved children’s tale and adapted by Sean Patrick Nill, the Family Series production brings Pooh and his animal friends to life on stage. At The Sofia. bstreettheatre.org

Pop Princess—If

you haven’t heard of Sabrina Carpenter, chances are your teenage daughter has. The former “Girl Meets World ” Disney sitcom star and TV/film actor added pop princess to her CV with her 2014 debut EP. Several albums later, she keeps putting out the hits—and the Insta posts to her millions of followers. Catch her on tour at Hard Rock Live Sacramento. hardrockhotel sacramento.com

Modern Moves—

The Mondavi welcomes Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for two nights to the Jackson Hall stage. The esteemed multiracial dance company—founded in 1958 in New York by a group of young Black modern dancers led by Ailey—is a national treasure and has long served as an international ambassador of American culture. Performances include both classic and cutting-edge works. mondaviarts.org


Love Your Mother—

Mother Earth could sure use some love! Show you care at the Sacramento Earth Day celebration in Southside Park. The free annual festival features more than a hundred organizations and businesses offering information, goods and services that support a more sustainable way of living. Live music, kids’ activities and plant-based food vendors complete the go-green scene. ecosacramento.net


Go Figure—In


the Rules:

Paul Wonner and Theophilus Brown , the Crocker spotlights works by two members of the Bay Area Figurative Movement. The artist couple, who met at Berkeley in the early 1950s, joined other West Coast artists in eschewing the prevailing abstract expressionist style to embrace a more representational style, painting landscapes and still lifes. At Crocker Art Museum. crockerart.org

18 – 19
30 – AUG. 27
Top row: Dario Calmese; Tony Alosi; Bottom row: “The Referee,” by William Theophilus Brown, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Gift of Mrs. Lloyd S. Ackerman; E. P. Dutton for The World of Pooh (1958), London
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION Cover Represented by BROOKE BODTKER The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Affiliated real estate agents are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2023 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Anywhere Advisors LLC and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. The Coldwell Banker System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. CalRE License #01908304.

El Dorado Hills | $1,799,000

4br/4.5ba stunning single-story nestled in a Serrano Country Club neighborhood. Polished tile floors, hardwood & heated laminate flooring in 2 bedrooms. Other highlights include barn doors, private gym & home office. The front and back yards are ideally manicured yet low maintenance. This home is impressive and is sure to please!

Brooke Bodtker 916.529.9778 brooke.bodtker@cbnorcal.com | CalRE #02033606

Sacramento | $1,149,500

4br/3ba stunning McKinley Village gem w/extensive list of upgrades. Gourmet Chef kitchen w/sink on oversized island, beautiful hardwood flooring & upgraded carpet, built-in BBQ & fridge outside & more.

Pierre Viard 916.767.6813 pdaniel.viard@comcast.net | CalRE #02128355

Davis | $829,000

This move-in ready and stylish three bedroom, two bathroom contemporary home offers an open, spacious and updated family room/kitchen combo. Don’t miss the charming backyard with a newly installed Tuff Shed.

Sidney Poritz 916.500.1522 sidney@poritzrealestate.com | CalRE #01848054

Elk Grove | $809,000

4br/2ba single-story home w/numerous upgrades. Large kitchen, formal living room & a spacious dining room! Relaxing primary suite w/spa-like bath. Landscaped yard w/covered patio & island w/grill. 3-car garage.

Mark DeGennaro 916.849.4810 Mark@MarkDRealty.com | CalRE #01394970

Elk Grove | $740,000

Beautifully remodeled 2br/3ba home with all its grandiose improvements and serene water views! Enjoy morning coffee in the courtyard or on the porch. Don't miss Lakefront Living in the fabulous community of Laguna West!

Shanda Lusich 916.214.8479

shanda.lusich@cbnorcal.com | CalRE #01070238


Elk Grove | $729,000

Great opportunity to live in one of Elk Grove's most desirable neighborhoods – Laguna Lake. This 4br/3ba home has a formal living room with a fireplace and dining area & a separate family room with covered patio access.

Mark DeGennaro 916.849.4810 Mark@MarkDRealty.com | CalRE #01394970

Sacramento | $699,900

With a bright living room, updated kitchen and additional space for a family room or home office, this 3br/2ba home is a gem! Enjoy a beautiful fireplace and a backyard with a deck, hot tub, fruit trees and garden beds.

Elise Brown 916.715.0213 eliseivesbrown@gmail.com | CalRE #01781942

Elk Grove | $599,900 3br/2ba home recently remodeled w/newer kitchen counters, freshly painted cabinets & SPC vinyl flooring. Attractive layout w/oversized primary suite. Corner lot, great location close to club house & community amenities.

Shanda Lusich 916.214.8479 shanda.lusich@cbnorcal.com | CalRE #01070238

Elk Grove | $725,000

This 3br/3ba beauty shows true pride of ownership! Enjoy a large formal living/dining area, a separate family room with a fireplace, an updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances and a landscaped yard with a patio.

Mark DeGennaro 916.849.4810 Mark@MarkDRealty.com | CalRE #01394970

Roseville | $649,000

Imagine ultimate lifestyle living in a single-story 3br/3.5ba solar home at Heritage at Solaire, a gated, active adult community! Enjoy being close to the clubhouse with a pool, gym and tennis/pickle ball courts.

Ed Corominas 916.599.9389 Ed@EdCorominas.com | CalRE #01095218

Sacramento | $589,950

Welcome to this single-story floorplan featuring 3/4 bedrooms, 2 baths, a gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances and tile flooring. Outside, the expansive covered patio opens to a meticulously maintained yard.

Melinda Shrader 916.747.7535 melinda.shrader@cbnorcal.com | CalRE #00994757

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION guiding you home since 1906 ColdwellBankerHomes.com

Auburn | $589,000 3br/2ba spacious floorplan home w/open beam ceilings in the family room and a wide-open kitchen! The primary bedroom is oversize & accesses the patio that overlooks the low maintenance backyard.

Shanda Lusich 916.214.8479 shanda.lusich@cbnorcal.com | CalRE #01070238

Galt | $570,000

5br/3ba w/full bedroom & bathroom downstairs. Open floor plan w/living room downstairs & additional family room upstairs, gives ample space to spread out. Granite counters in the kitchen, generous room in the backyard.

Phillip Goolsby 209.256.0733

Phillip.goolsby@cbrealty.com | CalRE #02179741

Valley Springs | $535,000 4br/2.5ba single-story, ranch-style home on a large lot w/views of rolling hills & ranchland, large living room w/amazing views, primary suite w/walk-in & bathroom, Tuff Shed fire sprinklers & room for all your toys.

Tammy Goolsby 209.332.0250 tammy.goolsby@cbnorcal.com | CalRE #01987204

Elk Grove | $529,000

3br/2ba open floorplan home w/ extensive smart upgrades including owned solar, fresh exterior paint, recently installed roof, HVAC, water heater, windows & more! Functional farmhouse kitchen & generous primary suite.

Jackie Merchant 916.205.8921

jackie@jackiemerchant.com | CalRE #01322198

Ione | $529,000 3br/2.5ba in the village of Lake Camanche w/a great room, featuring an alcove for the pellet stove & a primary bedroom w/a beautiful soaking tub, near a window that overlooks the gorgeous views of the surrounding hills.

Tammy Goolsby 209.332.0250 tammy.goolsby@cbnorcal.com | CalRE #01987204

Sacramento | $499,900

Move-in ready and well cared for, welcome to this beautiful single-story 4br/2ba home with a remodeled kitchen, updated baths, high quality appliances and an easy-care front and rear yard set to be drought resistant.

Marc Traverse 916.802.4141 marc.traverse@cbnorcal.com | CalRE #00876065


Citrus Heights | $450,000

Don’t miss out on this BEAUTIFULLY UPDATED 3br/2ba single story gem in Citrus Heights. This open floorplan design features a stunning kitchen and a large living room with a cozy fireplace and views to the backyard.

Melinda Shrader 916.747.7535 melinda.shrader@cbnorcal.com | CalRE #00994757

Sacramento | $199,000

1br/1ba upstairs end-unit w/vaulted ceilings & a nice open feeling. Flooring has been updated. Gated community w/ pool, spa & plenty of parking. Close to shopping, Sac State & the American River.

Jaime Becker 916.715.7454 jaime@jaimesells.com | CalRE #01737783

Wilton | $1,049,000

5br/2.5ba in The Ranch, the popular Wilton semi-custom development featuring a country lifestyle w/pool, remodeled kitchen & more.

Diane Pennisi 916.296.6166 dpennisi@cbnorcal.com

CalRE #01179964

Sacramento | $999,950

This Fabulous 40's 3br/1ba charming brick cottage invites you home! Enjoy traditional living spaces, a private yard, and quintessential details.

Rich Cazneaux 916.212.4444

Patti McNulty-Langdon 916.761.8498

CalRE #01447558 | CalRE #01346985

Elk Grove | Price Upon Request

4br/3.5 incredibly spacious and wellmaintained home w/separated main level suite w/private entrance and washer and dryer.

Jennifer Carter 916.607.2248 JenSellsCasas@gmail.com CalRE #02142759

Ione | $679,900

4br/3ba stunning remodeled home w/hardwood floors, view of the golf course & built-in pool & outdoor room w/fireplace & grill.

Tammy Goolsby 209.332.0250


CalRE #01987204

Elk Grove | $672,000

This beautiful 3br/2ba Maggie floorplan home is in the Del Webb community of Elk Grove. Enjoy the oversized backyard under a spacious patio covering.

Brian Wright 530.908.1318


CalRE #02196621

Pollock Pines | $469,000

4br/2.5ba charming chalet on a spacious .3-acre parcel in Sierra Springs. Sly Park Recreational area nearby. Chic updated kitchen and bath!

Debi Ambroff 916.425.9930


CalRE #01017131

Sacramento | $439,000

3br/2ba well-laid-out home w/primary ensuite, oversized laundry room, generous storage, Pergo flooring, stone counters & WFH outfitted garage.

Lauren Erickson 916.759.9963


CalRE #01963249

Sacramento | $425,000

2br/2ba in active 55+ community with custom paint, newly installed carpet, granite counters, wood floors, low utility bills & much more.

Faye Roediger 916.275.1225


CalRE #01070937

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION guiding you home since 1906 ColdwellBankerHomes.com

Stockton | $379,000

In a peaceful location, this charming 3br/1ba updated starter home offers an updated kitchen with granite counters, an updated bath & a large backyard.

Laura Anderson 209.712.8361


CalRE #01732871

Sacramento | $375,000

2br/1ba w/open & spacious floorplan, newer windows, floors, appliances, kitchen, bathroom, central heat & air, fresh paint inside & out & much more.

Antonio Cardenas III 916.541.4051


CalRE #02017793

Dreaming of a place where you can pursue your passions? Work

Sacramento | $340,000

Ideal for entertaining and enjoying, this nice three bed home on a court featuring a large bonus room and backyard with plenty of room for much more.

Dale Apodaca 916.308.6161


CalRE #01233424

Citrus Heights | $190,000

2br/2ba updated home in an active over 55 community w/open floor plan, fresh paint, updates in kitchen & bathrooms, 3-car carport & storage shed.

Karene 'Gus' Schneider 916.792.9462


CalRE #01446051

with a Coldwell Banker
affiliated agent to make your dream home a reality.

Sweet Somethings

Rosevillians have a new place to get their sweet on. JULIAN’S PASTRY NOUVEAU recently opened in the Eureka Ridge Plaza shopping center, serving French pastries, cookies, cream puffs, fruit tarts and more. Owner Julian Perrigo-Jimenez once competed on Food Network’s “Holiday Wars” baking competition, so you can be sure he knows a thing or two about desserts. 1490 Eureka Road, Roseville; (916) 474-5475; julianscafe.com

SACMAG.COM April 2023 79
0 4 2 3 jyotsna bhamidipati/jb photo studios
inside: Brotherly Love / Casino Eats

Ending the Curse

With Casa East Sac, two brothers appear to have found the secret to success.

Some restaurants seem cursed. That’s how I once regarded a restaurant space at the corner of 54th and H streets in East Sac. Originally a small house, it was turned into an eatery a few years back. Its first tenant was The Neighborhood Pizzeria, from the owners of Federalist Pizza in midtown. Serving thick squares of a vaguely Detroit pizzalike product, it never quite caught on, and the place closed within 10 months. It was replaced by Joon Market, a hip spot run by a pair of talented chefs who made things like smoked yogurt and heirloom-grain bread. While I was a big fan of Joon Market, it, too, had trouble finding traction and closed after little more than a year.

But in a twist worthy of Goldilocks, the space seems finally to have found a tenant that is just right. Called Casa East Sac, it hits the sweet spot between casual and high concept with simple, delicious food that’s not too basic and not too offbeat. Within weeks of its opening for dinner in December, people were lining up in the small foyer for a table in the cozy dining room. It appears owners Steve and Ted Gibanov have cracked the code for this accursed location.

The Gibanovs are brothers, first-generation Russian Americans who learned about food from their grandmothers. “Both grandmothers were amazing cooks,” says Steve. “Cooking was their expression of love, not hugs and kisses.” One grandma made Russian meat dumplings called pelmeni, which she sold from her apartment. The other grandma babysat the boys after school and cooked dinner for them every night. Steve can still remember watching one of his grandmothers make what he calls “béchamel magic” at the stove.

Eleven years older than his brother, Steve went off to culinary school in San Francisco, then worked at a succession of jobs in restaurants, hotels and an upscale senior living development. Ted followed him into the industry, becoming the chef at midtown’s Revolution Winery. Eventually, they teamed up to run their own catering company, American River Provisions. They were working out of a commercial kitchen in Citrus Heights when they saw the empty space on H Street and decided to take a stab at running their own restaurant. The space fit their vision,

which was to serve a good burger at lunch, a nice entree at dinner—classic, no-frills, honest, straightforward food. “We’re not trying to build the atom bomb,” says Steve.

At lunch, Casa’s menu includes a handful of pizzas; small plates like deviled eggs and bruschetta; several salads, including a lovely Louie featuring plump prawns and a perfectly cooked 6-minute egg; a burger on a house-baked brioche bun; and a few sandwiches, including (if you’re lucky) house-cured pastrami, a recipe that “Teddy dialed in,” according to Steve. The evening menu has most of those things, along with four entrees: an herb-roasted half chicken with panzanella (an homage to the famous chicken and bread salad served at San Francisco’s Zuni Cafe), ricotta gnudi (based on another Zuni dish), plus a fish and a steak that both change daily. The steak, whether it’s a filet or a rib-eye, gets flavor reinforcement in the form of demiglace, compound butter, a drizzle of olive oil and a hefty sprinkle of sea salt. Dessert is something simple and homey, such as panna cotta, tiramisu or crème brûlee. There are always two or three specials; it could be a giant bowl of spaghetti with three enormous meatballs, or a 2-pound tomahawk rib-eye for two that costs $140 and comes with salad, vegetables, dessert and a bottle of wine.


The Gibanovs believe in hearty portions. It harkens back to the days when their grandmothers used to stuff them full of food. Good food, good value is what they’re all about. “We’re simple guys,” Steve explains. “I respect fine dining, but it’s not our style.”

Told that they seem to have cracked the code on creating a successful restaurant in a once-unsuccessful spot, the brothers smile. “The code is simple,” Steve says. “Don’t overdo things.”

yee CASA EAST SAC 5401 H St.; (916) 898-3702 casaeastsac.com
Casa burger with potato salad
SACMAG.COM April 2023 81
Pizza with herbed ricotta, prosciutto and arugula Deviled eggs and prawn Louie Ted and Steve Gibanov Tomahawk steak special

Get Lucky

Sky River, the Wilton Rancheria-run casino that opened last August on the southern edge of Elk Grove, is more than a cacophonous sea of slot machines and card tables. It’s also a legit dining destination with 13 eateries and enough variety to please everyone from big-fish baccarat players to penny-slot fanatics. CATHERINE

SR PRIME STEAKHOUSE is oozing with an expenseaccount vibe, replete with expansive leather banquettes, blingy light fixtures and towers of wine displayed in a massive glass enclosure. This is meat-and-potatoes territory, with a few surprises thrown in. Hard-core carnivores will gravitate toward the chef’s cuts, which include a 48-ounce Black Angus tomahawk for $128 (the priciest item on the menu). For a steakhouse, seafood gets decent billing here, with a handful of raw bar items (including scallop crudo and piquant tuna tartare) as well as lobster and salmon entrees.

A gastropub on steroids, 32 BREWS STREET serves a well-rounded menu of casual pub grub—think burgers, sandwiches (the mile-high club sandwich is stacked to impress) and crowdpleasing appetizers like wings and nachos—in a setting with too many TV screens to count. The restaurant’s spacious lounge area, outfitted with leather settees and wingback chairs, is a stylish place to watch a game while enjoying some cold ones with friends in between hands of blackjack.

and dried scallop fried rice. Don’t let Dragon Beaux’s limited hot pot options—just two types each of meat and noodles— steer you off course from an otherwise gratifying menu.


DRAGON BEAUX , with its dramatic wooden ribbed towers rising up around chic red booths, boasts Sky River’s most striking dining room. An offshoot of the popular San Francisco joint of the same name, the restaurant delivers traditional and modern dim sum dishes (highlights include abalone siu mai, Wagyu bao and fan favorite chicken paw in black bean sauce) as well as classics like Peking duck with pancakes

At The Market, Sky River’s version of a food court (without the loitering teenagers), the best bet is to focus on proven concepts from established restaurateurs. At FUKURO BY KRU , the truncated menu of sushi rolls, nigiri and small plates makes this joint a fast-casual winner. The Kru quality shines through here; just don’t come expecting the type of high-end dishes that the parent restaurant is known for. San Francisco-based ROLI ROTI excels at mouthwatering rotisserie fare, including a succulent crispy porcetta sandwich on a roll smeared with onion marmalade. The potatoes and Brussels sprouts, both doused with pork and chicken drippings and seasoned with rosemary salt and lime, are worthy accompaniments. The best things going at DESSERTS are the pies from Sacramento’s beloved Real Pie Company and ice cream from perennial favorite Gunther’s.

BEFORE YOU GO— Check skyriver.com for restaurant operating hours. Although the casino is open to gamblers 24-7, the eateries are not. Also, be forewarned: Sky River permits smoking on the casino floor, so if your meal would be spoiled by the scent of Marlboros wafting into the dining area, this is probably not the place for you. And leave the kids at home—no one under 21 is permitted inside the casino, even in the restaurants.

WARMERDAM Peking duck with pancakes from Dragon Beaux
Blue cheese burger from 32 Brews Street
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As a reader service, Sacramento Magazine offers the following list of noteworthy restaurants in the Sacramento region. This is not intended to be a complete directory, and not all restaurants profiled appear every month. Before heading to a restaurant, call or check its website to make sure it’s open.


BENNETT’S AMERICAN COOKING At this comfortable neighborhood hangout, the food is like homemade, only better: things like braised short rib with mashed potatoes, lasagna Bolognese and chicken enchiladas. There’s something for every taste, from avocado toast, available all day long, to prime rib (weekends only). 2232 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 515-9680; bennettsamer icancooking.com. L–D–Br. American. $$$

CAFE BERNARDO AT PAVILIONS The menu offers straightforward fare guaranteed to please just about everyone. Breakfast includes huevos rancheros and eggs Bernardo, while lunch and dinner feature chewycrusted pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and substantial entrees such as pan-seared chicken breast with mashed potatoes. 515 Pavilions Lane; (916) 922-2870; cafebernardo.com. B–L–D. New American. $$

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; leatherbys.net. L–D. Sandwiches/ice cream. $

LEMON GRASS RESTAURANT This chic eatery 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; lemongrassrestaurant.com. L–D. PanAsian. $$$

THE KITCHEN Part supper club, part theatrical production: This is like no other restaurant in Sacramento, and it’s Michelin starred. You need to make reservations months in advance for the multi-course dinner. The food is complex and mind-blowingly creative. 2225 Hurley Way; (916) 568-7171; the kitchenrestaurant.com. D. American. $$$$

WILDWOOD RESTAURANT & BAR At this restaurant, New American and global cuisine shares the menu with an all-American burger. The spacious patio is a great place to grab a drink and listen to live music. 556 Pavilions Lane; (916) 922-2858; wildwoodpa vilions.com. L–D–Br. American/global fusion. $$$

ZÓCALO This Mexican restaurant is one of the best places to while away an evening with friends over margaritas. The menu has regional Mexican specialties such as tacos de cazuela, a casserole-ish concoction of steak, chorizo and cheese served with house-made tortillas. 466 Howe Ave.; (916) 2520303; experiencezocalo.com. L–D–Br. Mexican. $$


RESTAURANT JOSEPHINE The seductive aroma of food roasting over a wood fire is one of the first things you notice at this French dinner house. The menu has a bistro bent, with mainstays such as steak frites, French onion soup, duck liver mousse and escargots and mushrooms “en cocotte.” 1226 Lincoln Way; (530) 820-3523; josephineauburn.com. D. French. $$$


SELLAND’S MARKET-CAFE 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. $$

TOWER CAFE This place is a hot spot on weekend mornings. Regulars swear by the New Mexico blueberry cornmeal pancakes and the thick-cut, custardy French toast. Breakfast is all-American, but lunch and dinner have a global flavor. 1518 Broadway; (916) 441-0222; towercafe.com. B–L–D. World fusion. $$

JAMIE’S BROADWAY GRILLE Open since 1959, this old-school restaurant is a favorite with long-timers and newcomers alike, serving up Sacramento history along with clam chowder, garlic steak sandwiches and daily specials such as smoked prime rib. 427 Broadway; (916) 442-4044; jamiesbroadway grille.com. L–D. American. $$–$$$


D’MILLER’S FAMOUS BBQ Ribs, hot links, tri-tip and more are served with traditional accompaniments such as cornbread, coleslaw and baked beans. The food, simple and hearty, arrives on disposable plates at this casual eatery. 7305 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 974-1881. L–D. Barbecue. $$

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; pizzamatteo.com. L–D. Pizza/American. $$


LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY For description, see listing under “Arden.” 7910 Antelope Road; (916) 729-4021; leatherbys.net. L–D. Sandwiches/ ice cream. $

Shangri-la’s fried chicken and biscuits, Brussels sprouts and grilled riblets


PANGAEA BIER CAFE While it’s known as a beer cafe and bottle shop, this casual spot also serves up tasty bar food, including a burger that has taken home top honors more than once at Sacramento Burger Battle. 2743 Franklin Blvd.; (916) 454-4942; pan gaeabiercafe.com. L–D. American. $$


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; burgersnbrew.com. L–D. Burgers. $–$$


This hip sushi bar serves its sushi with a side of sass. The dense menu offers appetizers, rice bowls, bento boxes and sushi rolls. 500 First St.; (530) 756-2111; mikunisushi.com. L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$

OSTERIA FASULO This restaurant has a beautiful outdoor courtyard, and the menu is proudly Italian, with wonderful pastas and robust meat dishes. Try the vanilla panna cotta for dessert. 2657 Portage Bay East; (530) 758-1324; osteriafasulo.com. L–D. Italian. $$$–$$$$

PASTE THAI This hidden gem, located in a busy strip mall, offers the cleanest, freshest Thai around. Everything is made in-house, including the pastes that go into the exquisite curries. 417 Mace Blvd.; (530) 564-7051. L–D. Thai. $$

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 entrees. 102 F St.; (530) 7501801; seasonsdavis.com. L–D. New American. $$–$$$


BINCHOYAKI Small plates of grilled meats, fish and vegetables are the stars at this izakaya-style restaurant. But you can also order ramen, tempura and other Japanese favorites. 2226 10th St.; (916) 4699448; binchoyaki.com. L–D. Japanese. $$–$$$

CAFE BERNARDO For description, see listing under “Arden.” 1431 R St.; (916) 930-9191; cafebernardo. com. B–L–D. New American. $$

CAMDEN SPIT & LARDER This swank brasserie in a modern, glass-walled building near the Capitol appeals to lobbyists, lawyers and legislators with its gin-forward cocktails 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; camdenspitandlarder. com. L–D. Steakhouse. $$$–$$$$

THE COCONUT ON T With Thai dishes made from fresh ingredients, this little restaurant is a popular spot for creative twists on staples such as pad thai or drunken noodles, as well as curries, rices and rolls. Sweet potato fries and fried calamari are house favorites, too. 1110 T St.; (916) 822-4665; coconutont. com. L–D. Thai. $

ECHO & RIG Situated in the lobby of The Sawyer hotel, this outpost of a Vegas steakhouse is sleek and unstuffy. Prices are considerably gentler than at most other steakhouses, but the quality of the meat is high.

In addition to standard cuts like filet, NY steak and rib-eye, you’ll find butcher cuts such as hanger, bavette, skirt and tri-tip. 500 J St.; (877) 678-6255; echoandrig.com. B–L–D–Br. Steakhouse. $$$

ELLA This stunning restaurant is an elegant oasis compared to the gritty hustle and bustle outside. From the open kitchen, the staff turns out innovative dishes and old favorites. The emphasis is on seasonal, local and artisanal. 1131 K St.; (916) 4433772; elladiningroomandbar.com. L–D. New American. $$$$

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 chicken. This is Chinese cuisine at its most sophisticated. 806 L St.; (916) 442-7092; frankfats.com. L–D. Chinese. $$$

GRANGE RESTAURANT & BAR Located in The Citizen Hotel, Grange proves that a hotel restaurant doesn’t have to be pedestrian. The menu changes frequently and spotlights some of the area’s best producers. At dinner, the ambience in the stunning dining room is seductive and low-lit. 926 J St.; (916) 492-4450; grangerestaurantandbar.com. B–L–D–Br. Californian/American. $$$$

KODAIKO RAMEN & BAR 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; kodaikoramen.com. 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; magpiecafe.com. B–L–D. Californian. $$

MAJKA PIZZERIA + BAKERY This little takeout shop offers only one style of veggie pizza per day. But oh what a pizza it is! It features organic, whole-grain sourdough crust and toppings sourced from local farmers markets and small farms. When the weather’s nice, pick up a pizza, a bottle of natural wine and a couple of chocolate chunk miso cookies and head across the street to Fremont Park for an alfresco meal. 1704 15th St.; (916) 572-9316; lovema jka.com. L–D. Pizza. $$

MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR For description, see listing under “Davis.” 1530 J St.; (916) 447-2112; mikunisushi.com. L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$

THE 7TH STREET STANDARD Located inside the Hyatt Centric, this is an unabashedly big-city restaurant. Chef Ravin Patel’s menu has a modern California sensibility, using fresh ingredients, classic French techniques and a healthy dash of South Indian flavors. 1122 Seventh St.; (916) 371-7100; the7thstreetstan dard.com. B–L–D. Modern American. $$$

URBAN ROOTS BREWING & SMOKEHOUSE At this 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. 1322 V St.; (916) 706-3741; urbanrootsbrewing.com. L–D. Barbecue. $$

WILLOW Located in The Exchange hotel, this elegant restaurant specializes in southern Italian and Mediterranean Sea cuisine, with a focus on pastas (all made in-house). 1006 Fourth St.; (916) 938-8001; willowsacramento.com. B–L–D–Br. Italian. $$$

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Binchoyaki’s duck ramen


ALLORA Modern Italian fare with a heavy seafood bent is the focus at this sophisticated eatery. Tasting menus come in three, four and five courses, with caviar service and in-season truffles offered at an additional cost. Extensive vegetarian and vegan options are also available. 5215 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 538-6434; allorasacramento.com. D. Italian. $$$$

CANON With Michelin-starred chef Brad Cecchi at the helm, this chic restaurant offers an ambitious menu of globally inspired sharable plates. Much of the menu is vegetarian, but you can also order from a small selection of hearty meat, poultry and fish dishes. 1719 34th St.; (916) 469-2433; canoneastsac. com. D–Br. Global/New American. $$$–$$$$

THE HOUSE OF AUTHENTIC INGREDIENTS The food here is simply first-rate. Everything from soups and salads to curries and stir-fries is made with care and precision. 4701 H St.; (916) 942-9008; thai atsac.com. L–D. Thai. $$–$$$

KAU KAU Hawaiian soul food is on the menu here, with island faves such as loco moco, house-made Spam musubi and lomi-lomi salmon bowl. 855 57th St.; (916) 431-7043; kaukau916.com. L–D–Br. Hawaiian. $$

KRU Chef/owner Billy Ngo produces high caliber, exciting Japanese fare. The restaurant has a craft cocktail bar, outdoor patios and an omakase bar. (An omakase cocktail pairing is also available.) 3135 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 551-1559; krurestaurant.com. L–D. Japanese. $$$–$$$$

MATTONE RISTORANTE When Sacramento’s famed Biba restaurant closed its doors, a few alums struck out on their own to open this Italian eatery. It’s a worthy successor to Biba, serving freshly made pasta and classic Italian fare such as calamari fritti, veal marsala and chicken cooked under a brick. 5723 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 758-5557; mattonesac.com.

L–D. Italian $$$–$$$$

THE MIMOSA HOUSE This local chain offers a comprehensive lineup of breakfast fare: omelets, Benedicts, crepes, waffles, burritos and, of course, mimosas. The rest of the menu is similarly broad, with burgers, salads, grilled sandwiches and Mexican “street food.” 5641 J St.; (916) 400-4084; mimo sahouse.com. B–L. 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. But the stars of the menu are the freshly made pastas and wood-oven pizzas. There’s also a full bar. 3145 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 822-8720; oboitalian.com. L–D. Italian. $$

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

ORIGAMI ASIAN GRILL This fast-casual eatery serves Asian-flavored rice bowls, banh mi, 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; ori gamiasiangrill.com. L–D. Asian fusion. $–$$


ALMIGHTY BISTRO This all-gluten-free restaurant has a large menu that includes salads, sandwiches

and lots of meatless options. You’ll find tuna poke, kale Caesar salad, avocado toast on an everything bagel, grass-fed burgers, short ribs, falafel, shiitake beans & rice—a tremendous variety for every dietary need. 4355 Town Center Blvd.; (916) 510-1204; al mightybistro.com. L–D–Br. Gluten-free global. $$

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; cknightssteakhouse. com. D. American steakhouse. $$$$

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; milestoneedh. com. L–D–Br. New American. $$–$$

THE MIMOSA HOUSE For description, see listing under East Sacramento, 2023 Vine St.; (916) 9340965; mimosahouse.com. B–L–D. American. $$

SELLAND’S MARKET-CAFE For description, see listing under “East Sacramento.” 4370 Town Center Blvd.; (916) 932-5025; sellands.com. L–D–Br. Gourmet takeout. $$

SIENNA RESTAURANT 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. 1006 White Rock Road; (916) 941-9694; siennarestau rants.com. L–D–Br. Global. $$–$$$


BOULEVARD BISTRO 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) 6852220; blvdbistro.com. D–Br. New American. $$–$$$

JOURNEY TO THE DUMPLING This Elk Grove eatery specializes in Shanghai-style dumplings, along with Chinese dishes such as green onion pancakes, garlic green beans and salt-and-pepper calamari. 7419 Laguna Blvd.; (916) 509-9556; journeytothedump ling.com. L–D. Chinese. $$

LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY For description, see listing under “Arden.” 8238 Laguna Blvd.; (916) 691-3334; leatherbys.net. L–D. Sandwiches/ice cream. $


For description, see listing under “Davis.” 8525 Bond Road; (916) 714-2112; mikunisushi.com. L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$



For description, see listing under “Davis.” 4323 Hazel Ave.; (916) 961-2112; mikunisushi.com. L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$

SHANGRI-LA A fun restaurant reminiscent of Palm Springs in the ’50s, this Fair Oaks Village establishment boasts an expansive, retro resort-style patio and a menu teeming with beautiful, inventive cocktails. Come for Baja fish tacos, ahi poke or a tower -

Kau Kau’s French toast Gabriel Teague

ing burger, and find plenty of other vibrant dishes made from local, seasonal ingredients. The space was formerly a mortuary, and the owner, Fair Oaks native Sommer Peterson, saw to its transformation, which revealed original concrete floors and brick walls. 7960 Winding Way; (916) 241-9473; shan grilafairoaks.com. D. American. $$


BACK BISTRO A warm pocket of coziness and urban sophistication, this place offers an appealing menu of casual nibbles and swankier entrees. 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; backbistro.com. 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) 984-0140; chicagofire.com. L –D. Pizza. $

FAT’S ASIA BISTRO AND DIM SUM BAR This glamorous restaurant looks like a set from an Indiana Jones movie. The menu focuses on Asian cuisine, from Mongolian beef and Hong Kong chow mein to Thai chicken satay served with a fiery currypeanut sauce. 2585 Iron Point Road; (916) 983-1133; fatsasiabistro.com. L–D. Pan-Asian. $$

LAND OCEAN The menu hits all the steakhouse high notes: hand-cut steaks, lobster, seafood and rotisserie, entree salads and sandwiches. 2720 E. Bidwell St.; (916) 983-7000; landoceanrestaurants.com.

L–D–Br. New American/steakhouse. $$$–$$$$

THE MIMOSA HOUSE For description, see listing under “East Sacramento.” 25075 Blue Ravine Road; (916) 293-9442; mimosahouse.com. B–L. American. $$

SCOTT’S SEAFOOD ROUNDHOUSE This restaurant offers a solid menu of delicious seafood, from crab cakes and calamari to roasted lobster tail. 824 Sutter St.; (916) 989-6711; scottsseafoodroundhouse. com. 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. Try the fried banana with ice cream for dessert. 2770 E. Bidwell St.; (916) 984-8988; thai paradisefolsom.com. L–D. Thai. $$


CRAWDADS ON THE RIVER This riverfront restaurant draws crowds looking to party on the water during warm-weather months. Boats pull up to the restaurant’s deck, where you can sip a cocktail. The Cajuninspired menu includes fish tacos and several fun entrees. 1375 Garden Highway; (916) 929-2268; sac crawdads.com. L–D–Br. Cajun/American. $$


BIBI’S ENCHILADAS & GRILL This casual spot specializes in crispy tacos so addictive they probably ought to carry a warning label. Try the quesa-taco: a street taco with a layer of mozzarella cheese grilled into the tortilla, giving it a crispy, salty coating. 2220 Gold Springs Court; (916) 559-4309. L–D. Mexican. $


HAWKS Known for its elegant cuisine and beautiful interior, this restaurant features framed photos of farmscapes that remind diners of owners Molly Hawks and Michael Fagnoni’s commitment to locally sourced ingredients. The seasonal menu is full of delicious surprises, such as seared scallop and sea urchin. 5530 Douglas Blvd.; (916) 791-6200; hawksrestaurant.com. L–D–Br. New American/ French. $$$–$$$$


CACIO This tiny sliver of a restaurant has only a handful of tables. The fare is high-quality Italian comfort food, with an emphasis on pasta. Service is warm and homey, prices are gentle, and reservations (even at lunch) are a must. 7600 Greenhaven Drive; (916) 399-9309; caciosacramento.com. L–D. Italian. $$

SCOTT’S SEAFOOD ON THE RIVER Located in The Westin Sacramento, Scott’s has a patio and a view of the river. For dinner, splurge on a lobster tail or choose a more modestly priced grilled salmon. 4800 Riverside Blvd.; (916) 379-5959; scottsseafoodon theriver.com. B–L–D. Seafood. $$$–$$$$


LONE WOLF RESTAURANT & LOUNGE If classic steakhouse cuisine is your thing, try this nicely appointed restaurant at Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort. Enjoy a prawn cocktail or Caesar salad to start. In addition to steak, entrees include ribs, gumbo and salmon. 12222 New York Ranch Road; (209) 2239653; jacksoncasino.com. D. Steakhouse. $$$$


MASULLO This gem of a pizzeria serves up superbly blistered, thin-crusted Neapolitan-style pizza with names like the Eileen (cremini mushrooms, bacon, mozzarella and cream) and the Jacqueline (potato, fontina and oregano). 2711 Riverside Blvd.; (916) 443-8929; masullopizza.com. D. Pizza. $$

MEET & EAT This casual neighborhood gathering spot offers something for everyone, from breakfast in the morning to a plentiful selection of salads, sandwiches, burgers and mains for the rest of the day. 3445 Freeport Blvd.; (916) 476-3082; meetand eatsac.com. B–L–D. American. $$


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. Side dishes range from sweet potato casserole to five-cheese macaroni. 1200 Athens Ave.; (916) 408-8327; thundervalleyresort.com. D. Steakhouse. $$$$

LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY For description, see listing under “Arden.” 610 Twelve Bridges Drive; (916) 209-3757; leatherbys.net. L–D. Sandwiches/ice cream. $

RED LANTERN This attractive restaurant serves Asian fusion, dim sum and noodle dishes such as chow fun and Hong Kong pan-fried noodles. Lunch and dinner specials are good deals at this Thunder Valley eatery. 1200 Athens Ave.; (916) 408-8326; thundervalleyresort.com. L–D. Asian. $$–$$$

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Ahi poke nachos from Scott’s Seafood on the River


ADAMO’S This cozy, family-run trattoria serves up heartwarming Italian food such as house-made pastas, risotto and meatballs. 2107 P St.; (916) 4409611; adamoskitchen.com. L–D. Italian. $$

BEAST + BOUNTY The beating heart of this chic restaurant is its open hearth, where meats and vegetables are roasted over a wood fire. The meaty rib-eye, served over potatoes roasted in the meat’s fat, is meant to be shared. So is the pizza, thin, flat and seductively charred from the wood-burning pizza oven. 1701 R St.; (916) 244-4016; eatbeastand bounty.com. L–D–Br. American. $$$

CAFE BERNARDO For description, see listing under “Arden.” 2730 Capitol Ave.; (916) 603-2304; cafe bernardo.com. B–L–D. New American. $$

CENTRO COCINA MEXICANA Owned by the Paragary group, this is the restaurant that introduced Sacramento to authentic regional Mexican cuisine. Standout main courses include cochinita pibil, vegetables in pipian verde sauce and Oaxacan enchiladas. 2730 J St.; (916) 442-2552; centrococina. com. D–Br. Mexican. $$$

HAWKS PUBLIC HOUSE The food at this sophisticated gastropub is rustic Mediterranean, with beautifully executed dishes like country pate and house-made baked rigatoni. 1525 Alhambra Blvd.; (916) 588-4440; hawkspublichouse.com. D. Mediterranean gastropub. $$$


Located in a Quonset hut, this restaurant is both hip and cozy. Despite the barlike ambience, Hook & Ladder is serious about food. All the pastas and desserts are made in-house. 1630 S St.; (916) 4424885; hookandladder916.com. L–D–Br. Californian. $$

LOCALIS Only the second restaurant in Sacramento to receive a coveted Michelin star, this little restaurant is known for its prix-fixe menu of inventive, ingredient-driven dishes. Chef Christopher Barnum-Dann works with local farms to source most of the menu within 100 miles. 2031 S St.; (916) 737-7699; localissacramento.com. D. Californian.


MULVANEY’S B&L Distinctive and cozy, 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 in warm months. The menu changes frequently and is focused on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. 1215 19th St.; (916) 441-6022; mulvaneysbl.com. L–D. Californian. $$$

PARAGARY’S This legendary restaurant focuses on elegant, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. During the warm months, the serene patio behind the restaurant is the place to be. 1401 28th St.; (916) 4575737; paragarysmidtown.com. L–D–Br. New American/Californian. $$–$$$

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.; (916) 441-7463; therindsacramento.com. L–D. American. $$

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, highcaliber 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. You’ll also find French classics such as veal sweetbreads. 2000 Capitol Ave.; (916) 498-9891; waterboyrestaurant.com. L–D. Mediterranean. $$$$

ZÓCALO For description, see listing under “Arden.” 1801 Capitol Ave.; (916) 441-0303; zocalosacra mento.com. L–D–Br. Mexican. $$


EL BRAMIDO There’s nothing highfalutin’ about this taqueria—just good, fresh, authentic Mexican food. El Bramido makes great burritos, quesadillas, tostadas and more. Tacos come two ways: in a warm, soft corn tortilla or a crispy fried tortilla lashed with savory sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Meat choices include carnitas, beef and chicken, along with cabeza (head), lengua (tongue), buche (pork neck) and tripita (tripe). 2394 Northgate Blvd.; (916) 565-1552. L–D. Mexican. $

HIMALAYA VEGAN ORGANIC RESTAURANT Situated in an out-of-the-way strip mall, this fast-casual eatery offers a side of peace with your vegan meal. The owner, a former Buddhist monk from Tibet, changes the menu twice daily; you get a combination plate with six separate vegetarian dishes, plus a cup of soup. Everything is fresh, simply prepared and clean tasting. 4160 Northgate Blvd.; (916) 622-5728; himalayavegan.com. L–D. Vegan. $$

MEZCAL GRILL This excellent restaurant offers regional cuisine that draws from all 32 Mexican states. In addition to tacos and burritos, you’ll find “platillos especiales,” such as mole, and shareable “mocajetes”: volcanic rock bowls filled with protein, rice

and beans. 1620 West El Camino Ave.; (916) 6464826; mezcalgrill.net. L–D. Mexican. $$–$$$

YUE HUANG The dim sum here made Michelin Guide inspectors sit up and take notice. They gave this Cantonese restaurant a Bib Gourmand award, calling it a “hidden treasure.” The extensive menu includes pork buns, dumplings, shrimp balls and much, much more. 3860 Truxel Road; (916) 6213737; yuehuangdimsum.com. L–D. Chinese. $$–$$$


THE BUTTERSCOTCH DEN You’re the chef at this dimly lit supper house, where you cook your own steak on a massive gas-fired grill in the middle of the dining room. Prices are gentle and the action wild as you compete with your friends to see who can come up with a perfectly medium rare hunk of meat. 3406 Broadway; thebutterscotchden.com. D. Steakhouse. $$

FARIA On Wednesday evenings, this wildly popular artisan bakery turns into a dinner destination with a concise menu of hyperlocal, produce-forward dishes. Pizza is a mainstay (toppings change with the season), along with thoughtfully composed salads and small plates. 3417 Broadway; (916) 204-8726; fariabakery.com. D (Wednesdays only). Bakery. $$

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. fixinssoulkitchen.com. B–L–D–Br. Southern. $$

Pizza from Faria


THE FIREHOUSE Since opening in 1960, this has been Sacramento’s go-to restaurant for romantic atmosphere and historic charm. Located in a 1853 firehouse, it’s white tablecloth all the way, and the outdoor courtyard is one of the prettiest in town. The food is special-occasion worthy, and the wine list represents more than 2,100 labels. 1112 Second St.; (916) 4424772; firehouseoldsac.com. L–D. Californian/American. $$$$

PILOTHOUSE Housed in the history-steeped Delta King riverboat, this is one of the most romantic restaurants in the city. On Sundays, it puts on one of the prettiest champagne brunches around. 1000 Front St.; (916) 441-4440; deltaking.com. B–L–Br. 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 solid dishes. 1110 Front St.; (916) 442-8226; riocitycafe.com. L–D–Br. New American. $$


CATTLEMENS This classic Western steakhouse serves up big slabs of prime rib, porterhouse, T-bone and cowboy steaks, plus all the trimmings: shrimp cocktail, loaded potato skins, deep-fried onions and more. 12409 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 985-3030; cattle mens.com. D. Steakhouse. $$$

J.J. PFISTER RESTAURANT & TASTING ROOM In addition to a tasting room where you can sample locally made premium gin, vodka and rum, this family-owned distillery also operates a restaurant

serving lunch and dinner. The alL–Day menu features salads, sandwiches, tacos and boozy desserts. 9819 Business Park Drive; (916) 672-9662; jjpfister. com. L–D. Casual American. $$


AMY’S DRIVE THRU From the company behind Amy’s Kitchen prepared foods comes this fast-food operation serving healthy versions of your favorite burger-joint fare. The menu includes plant-based burgers, vegetarian chili, organic fries and milkshakes, as well as gluten- and dairy-free options. 1119 Galleria Blvd.; (916) 957-5868; amysdrivethru. com. L–D. Fast food. $

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; laprovence roseville.com. L–D–Br. French. $$$–$$$$


For description, see listing under “Davis.” 1565 Eureka Road; (916) 797-2112; mikunisushi.com. L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$

THE MIMOSA HOUSE For description, see listing under “East Sacramento” 761 Pleasant Grove Blvd.; (916) 784-1313; mimosahouse.com. B–L. American. $$

NIXTACO Singled out by The Michelin Guide for a Bib Gourmand award, this taqueria is known for its authentic nixtamalized blue-corn tortillas (made fresh in-house), high-quality ingredients and inventive taco fillings. 1805 Cirby Way; (916) 771-4165; nixta.co; L–D. Mexican. $$

PAUL MARTIN’S AMERICAN GRILL The bustling, comfortable restaurant is a local favorite. The kitchen offers a great list of small plates and robust, approachable entrees. 1455 Eureka Road; (916) 783-3600; paulmartinsamericangrill.com. L–D–Br. New American. $$$

ZÓCALO For description, see listing under “Arden.” 1182 Roseville Parkway; (916) 788-0303; zocalosac ramento.com/roseville. L–D–Br. Mexican. $$


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; baconandbuttersac. com. B–L. Breakfast/American. $–$$

MEZCAL GRILL For description, see listing under “Natomas.” 5701 Broadway; (916) 619-8766; mez calgrill.net. L–D. Mexican. $$–$$$


DRAKE’S: THE BARN Located in a stunning indooroutdoor structure along the river, Drake’s serves 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 lawn chair, find a spot at the sprawling outdoor taproom and order a pizza to go. 985 Riverfront St.; (510) 423-0971; drinkdrakes.com. L–D. Pizza. $$

FRANQUETTE This contemporary French café from the owners of Canon is an open-all–day, drop-in-fora-glass-of-wine kind of place. You can order a freshly baked croissant or tartine at breakfast, a salad, quiche or baguette sandwich for lunch, and something a little more filling—say, duck meatballs or a crock of boeuf bourguignon—at dinner. 965 Bridge St.; hellofranquette.com. B–L–D. French. $$–$$$


L’APERO LES TROIS This chic, French-inspired wine tasting bar offers simple little bites, such as gougeres and black olive tapenade, to enjoy with locally made, small-batch aperitifs. 22 Main St.; (530) 402-1172; laperolestrois.com. Wine bar. $$

BUCKHORN STEAKHOUSE Hefty steaks and highquality cocktails are the name of the game at this long-running steakhouse. The Angus steaks are aged and butchered in-house. Pricing is a la carte; sides include sautéed mushrooms, garlic truffle fries and Buckhorn’s justly famed roadhouse onions. 2 Main St.; (530) 795-4503; buckhornsteakhouse.com. D. Steakhouse. $$$–$$$$

PUTAH CREEK CAFE Settle into a cozy booth and order from a menu of elevated American fare, from country-fried steak to pan-seared cod. There’s also a massive oven out on the sidewalk pumping out fine pizzas. 1 E Main St.; (530) 795-2682; putahcreek cafe.com. B-L–D. American. $$–$$$

SACMAG.COM April 2023 89
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Spanning the Decades

Train tracks can be seen running down the center of the Tower Bridge in this circa 1949 photograph, which was taken facing west toward Yolo County. The tracks were removed in 1963 because the Sacramento Northern Railway’s rights to operate a rail line over the bridge had expired.—DARLENA BELUSHIN MCKAY

Center for Sacramento History, Sacramento Bee Collection, 1983/001/11771

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Articles inside


pages 84-90

Ending the Curse

pages 80-83


pages 72-79

Prevention Month

pages 65, 67-71

A Culinary Campus for Food Startups

page 63

Wanted: Skates, Sleds for Disadvantaged Kids

page 62

Fairy Godmothers

page 61

Shoestring Budgets and Boot-Strap Health Care

page 60

Support Your Local Giraffe

page 59

A Whimsical Place With Serious Ambitions

page 58

Building a BET T E R

pages 56-57


pages 53-55


pages 46-53


page 45


page 44

Because of all the drama

pages 42-43


page 41


page 40

to leave town to taste flavors from around the world

page 40

B e c a u s e i t ’s C o l o r f u l

pages 39-40

8 because we LOVE ANIMALS

page 38

Because you can shop locally for almost anything

pages 37-38

fun and games

pages 36-37


page 35


pages 25-31, 33-34

Find your way back to the little things that matter.

pages 24-25

Unload Your E-Waste

pages 22-23

Now That’s Italian

pages 21-22

New Mid-Mod Life

page 21

Plates To Remember

page 20

Exploring Sacramento One Bite at a Time

pages 18-20


pages 4-7
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