Sacramento Magazine February 2021

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FOCUS ON THE FACE Dr. Kenneth M. Toft is considered Sacramento’s expert in facial plastic surgery. Focusing entirely on the face, Dr. Toft has a reputation of giving patients natural appearing results with a quick recovery utilizing the most modern techniques available. Dr. Toft uses his expertise to minimize the signs of surgery so his patients can return to their active lifestyle looking refreshed, youthful and balanced. Not ready for surgery? Dr. Toft also personally performs all fillers, Botox®, Dysport®, and Photofacial treatments. In addition, a licensed Medical Esthetician can provide expertise in corrective peels, Dermasweep treatments, and pharmaceutical-grade skincare. If you are considering facial plastic surgery or would like to attend a informational seminar, make an appointment with “the expert” in Facial Plastic Surgery, Kenneth M. Toft, M.D.

Kenneth M. Toft, M.D. 959 Reserve Drive • Roseville • (916) 782-TOFT (8638) •

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Like nowhere else The new Rancharrah is a serene yet spirited residential retreat comprised of luxury villages throughout the community. Here, every imaginable definition of life at its most sublime is beautifully and thoughtfully realized. A place that feels both personal and shared. A graceful sensibility, painstakingly crafted to inspire and surprise.


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S A C R A M E N TO / R O S E V I L L E / G R E E N B A C K / N ATO M A S / FO L S O M / R A N C H O C O R D OVA / C A LV I N E / E L K G R OV E / VA C AV I L L E KCDO_SacMag_Feb21.indd 1 Kid's Care dental.indd 6

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February Table of Contents / Staff Box / Editor’s Note / Contributors

) Lamb shank from Canon


TOP TAKEOUT We reveal some of our favorite spots for takeaway food right now. By Marybeth Bizjak


LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONA Dating in a pandemic? Some locals have given it a go. By Luna Anona


CLEARING THE SIERRA A snowplow ride-along shows the pileup.

SACMAG.COM February 2021




Plowing Sierra snow )


Blossom Bathhouse delights

20 SARAH MIZES-TAN CapRadio’s equity reporter

21 COFFEE WITH PURPOSE Onit Coffee does good


How we,re dating these days )

Newborn wildlife






Doctor-patient communication

Black Artists Fund recipients



59 WOODLAND WONDER A stylish farmhouse

90 STRONG BREW Chocolate Fish prevails


92 GROWING A BETTER BURGER Burger Patch update

92 THE LOVE IS BAKED IN Smells like Grandma’s cookies


Dancer Jalen Tyre



Restaurant guide

Reflect 98 RUNWAY READY Sac Fashion Week

ON THE COVER f r a n c i s c o c h av i r a

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The expertise that gave conjoined twins a new life In a case rarer than one in a million, conjoined twins Abigail and Micaela Bachinskiy who were born connected at the head at UC Davis Children’s Hospital were given an extraordinary beginning. After months of planning and high-tech preparation, the ninemonth-old twins successfully underwent our hospital’s first-ever 24-hour separation surgery that was conducted by a multidisciplinary team of more than 30 experts. As the Sacramento region’s only nationally ranked, comprehensive children’s hospital, our experts work to uncover new treatments and develop novel innovations that improve lives in new ways. We’re honored to offer their expertise and discoveries to make life-changing impacts for high-risk pregnancies, pediatric patients and their families at home and beyond.

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HAPPY 2021



In this issue and online / February 2021


Timeless Treasures from over 120 dealers

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The Daily Brief Newsletter

Get a Sacramento update sent directly to your device every weekday. We’ll send you the latest news, food, events and articles.




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PUBLISHER Dennis Rainey EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Krista Minard ART DIRECTOR Gabriel Teague E D I TO R I A L MANAGING EDITOR Darlena Belushin McKay DINING EDITOR Marybeth Bizjak CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sasha Abramsky, Luna Anona, Daniel Barnes, Diana Bizjak, Cathy Cassinos-Carr, Ed Goldman, Jennifer Berry Junghans, Angela Knight, Elena M. Macaluso, Reed Parsell, Kari L. Rose Parsell, Anna Quinlan, Steph Rodriguez, Thea Marie Rood, Mari Tzikas Suarez, Catherine Warmerdam, Sara E. Wilson ART GRAPHIC DESIGNER Debbie Hurst CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Kat Alves, Gary and Lisa Ashley, Beth Baugher, Francisco Chavira, Debbie Cunningham, Wes Davis, Terence Duff y, Tim Engle, Kevin Fiscus, Aniko Kiezel, Ryan Angel Meza, Tyler and Christina Mussetter, Rachel Valley A DV E R T I S I N G NATIONAL ACCOUNTS MANAGER Lisa Bonk ADVERTISING MANAGERS Duff y Kelly, Victor Obenauf, Carla Shults SENIOR ADVERTISING DESIGNER John Facundo MARKETING & WEB DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND DIGITAL MEDIA Dan Poggetti MARKETING AND DIGITAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Nicole Kern

SAVE THE DATE: MAY 20, 2021 UCP’S 2021

Humanitarian of the Year CELEBRATING ARLEN ORCHARD




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TO S U B M I T M AT E R I A L 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 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. WRITERS, PHOTOGRAPHERS AND ILLUSTRATORS If you are interested in contributing to Sacramento Magazine, please send information to (writers) Krista Minard, or (photographers and illustrators) Gabriel Teague, Include a cover letter, résumé and links to previously published work. ADVERTISING Interested in advertising or a digital media package? Please contact Dennis Rainey, ALSO PUBLISHED BY SACRAMENTO MEDIA LLC:





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Editor’s Note

Personal Toll


start this month’s column a bit heavyhearted. As we were shipping out this issue, on Friday, Jan. 8, California experienced its highest daily COVID-19 death toll: 676. Among those, one of our dear family members: My 83-year-old mother-in-law, Penny Minard, died at Kaiser in San Jose after four days of illness. She had been doing all right until suddenly she couldn’t breathe, and she passed away before any of her kids could get there and gown up in PPE to tell her goodbye. (Yes, Kaiser would have allowed this.) Penny was in many ways the textbook patient to die of COVID: elderly, living in a nursing facility, with already-sick lungs and other health issues that didn’t help. She had advanced dementia and had been in too many ways gone for years. Still, we miss her like just yesterday she was playing with her grandchildren (and overspending on them), telling stories about growing up with her sisters—including her identical twin—in Ohio, and enjoying an icy can of Pepsi given exactly 25 minutes in the freezer. It’s fitting, too, that the last “Jeopardy” show hosted by the late Alex Trebek aired the Friday she died. In her right mind, Penny never missed an episode. “It feels like it’s closing in,” managing editor Darlena Belushin McKay had remarked to me as we’d talked about COVID on our Zoom the day before. Too true. One of our co-workers had been ill with it, at least one freelancer continued to recover from it, and a couple co-workers were awaiting test results because of exposures to other people who had tested positive. The pandemic is all over our magazine coverage as well, from our cover story on takeout (it’s the thing in dining right now) and a feature about dating right now (would you brave it?) to pieces about doctor-patient communication (more important these days than ever) and how one local coffeehouse has fared as restaurants have suffered. (Hint: it helps to sell an addictive substance.) I so hope we can change our focus soon—to enjoy our community and start bringing it back to life. We’re ready for some events and festivals, dinners out and nights on the town, gallery openings, live performances and big-screen movies with surround sound in recliners that aren’t our own. We’d like to see each other in person at those events that define life in so many ways: birthday parties and baby showers and holiday gatherings, weddings and, yes, funerals. Soon, we hope. Meanwhile, as we’ve said too many times already, stay safe out there.

AND THERE’S MORE . . . Correction—In “15 Minutes With Bobbie Singh-Allen” (January 2021), we should have identified Elk Grove’s new mayor as the first directly elected Sikh woman in the nation to hold the office of mayor.

Thank you for your emails— I would love to receive more! What would you like to read in Sac Mag? Email me at krista@ and let us know what you’d like to see in the pages of the magazine this year. The Daily Brief—Sacramento Magazine’s free daily newsletter goes to email subscribers every weekday. Catch the latest updates in dining, arts and entertainment, wine, recreation, health (including daily COVID counts) and more. You’ll also find links to other community resources and social media posts that have caught our eye. Subscribe at sacmag. com/newsletters.



Francisco Chavira

Mexico-born and Sacramento-raised, photographer Francisco Chavira, who shot images for “Top Takeout,” focuses much of his work on color, a nod to his Latin roots. He has worked with Visit Sacramento, Ginger Elizabeth, Paragary’s Restaurant Group, and Nugget Markets. When not taking photos, he enjoys tending his indoor jungle of 200+ plants; he also hopes to soon return to traveling the world with his wife. “Sacramento is an incredible city to eat your way through,” he says. “Supporting our local restaurants is more important than ever before.”



Luna Anona

Before she met her fiancé on Bumble, Luna Anona—who wrote this issue’s “Love in the Time of Corona”—had been on 50-something dates with “pathological liars, people in undisclosed relationships, soon-to-be stalkers, those I ultimately had nothing in common with, and the rare gem who would then promptly ghost,” she says. “Getting to talk to people going through the same thing with the added complication of a pandemic was personally cathartic, but also uplifting: No matter what’s going on in the world, love tries to find a way.”

Kevin Fiscus

Photographer Kevin Fiscus was curious about the operations of the Sierra Snowfighters, stationed on Highway 80 at Kingvale, so he set up a ride-along for this issue’s photo essay. “Seeing the process makes you realize the coordination and teamwork required to safely allow traffic to flow,” he says. “If you’ve ever traveled during a heavy snowfall, you know these teams are the heroes that make it possible to get home safely. They work day and night, often sleeping at the on-site dorms and eating at the cafeteria for days while storms drop snow.”

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The year 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the personal injury firm of Ashton & Price. Whether the loss is minor, or catastrophic, Christopher A. Price and Craig F. Ashton, as well as the other lawyers and staff at Ashton and Price, are deeply honored by the trust bestowed on them by their clients as they shepherd them through some of the most challenging times of their lives. With every action, on every case, Ashton and Price strives to make sure that the trust bestowed on them is earned every single step of the way. Everyone at Ashton and Price would like to thank our clients, past and present, for their trust over the decades and is hoping that the Sacramento region continues to not “Think Twice” and calls on “Ashton and Price” for decades to come.

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i n s i d e: CapRadio’s Equity Reporter / Coffee Helps / Baby Wildlife / PPE Costs

It's the Bomb These beautiful gold-flecked blue bath bombs make up just a small portion of the vibrant inventory at Blossom Bathhouse, which recently opened in Old Sacramento Waterfront. See the next page for more information about the store, which is owned by Oak Park sisters Jazmine and Toni Bonnett. w e s d av i s SACMAG.COM February 2021


The 916

Keep Blossoming

Jazmine Bonnett



C AT C H I N G U P W I T H . . .

Sarah Mizes-Tan CapRadio’s Race and Equity reporter joined the station a year ago. For a full-time position in radio, she moved to It’s become almost cliché to say that COVID-19 the Cape Cod NPR station CAI; although small, the has laid bare the racial and economic inequality in station is well-regarded and has served as a crossAmerica, but one reason we can even talk about roads for reporters who have gone on to larger that fact is that intrepid journalists interpret data markets. One thing it lacked? People of color. Mizfor us. On a local level, Capital Public Radio’s firstes-Tan, who is Asian American, says she may have ever Race and Equity reporter, Sarah Mizes-Tan, been the first person of color ever to work there. has been producing multiple stories each week on During her two years in Cape Cod, she mined the the intersection of race, health and politics. stories of the small communities of color that did Mizes-Tan moved to Sacramento to take the job exist, but she longed to return to California’s more at CPR in February 2020. When asked about her diverse environment. most memorable story in her relatively brief tenure After she accepted the post at CPR, she and her thus far, she mentioned an April piece on inequity husband moved to midtown, eager to explore their in the City Council’s distribution of pandemic-relief new community. Then came the panloans to small businesses. Her story demic. Mizes-Tan fashioned a socially contained the shocking fact that not SHE FASHIONED A a cent of the $1 million in loans went to SOCIALLY DISTANCED distanced boom mic from a broomstick and got to work. The murder of George any business in the Little Saigon district BOOM MIC FROM A Floyd in late May and the subsequent along Stockton Boulevard. Nick Miller, BROOMSTICK AND mass demonstrations only made her the managing news editor (who hired position feel more necessary. Mizes-Tan), also highlighted the power of GOT TO WORK. In addition to her reporting duties, that piece, saying, “Since that story, the Mizes-Tan has started an affinity group for emcity has been much more proactive about making ployees of color at CapRadio. “CapRadio’s emgrants and COVID-relief funding equitable.” ployees of color are diverse in their backgrounds Mizes-Tan and Miller came up with the concept and lived experiences,” wrote Mizes-Tan in an of a full-time position devoted to race and equity essay about inclusivity in public radio published in late 2019 during an extended job interview over on in November, “but I wanted the lunch at Quán Nem Ninh Hòa—in Little Saigon. affinity group to bring us together because I think Miller knew it was time for CPR “to commit” to rawe can all relate to the particular hurdles those of cial justice reporting; Mizes-Tan had been preparus who are non-white face in entering the public ing for this opportunity for years. radio sphere.” Graduating with a master’s degree from CoShe is proud to be contributing to the dialogue lumbia School of Journalism in 2012, she started a about race and equity at the station, in the Sacracareer in print media in New Orleans at The Timesmento community and nationally. “I think that for Picayune. Her desire to break into radio led her to a person of color, trying to make it in public media, quit and take an internship at Bay Area NPR staa lot of it is believing in yourself and taking what tion KQED; after that came years of freelance print you deserve.” and radio gigs in the Bay Area and nationally. —Becky Grunewald

Jazmine Bonnett: Wes Davis / Sarah Mizes-Tan: Kevin Gomez

Sisterly love and sensitive skin led fourthgeneration Oak Park sisters Jazmine and Toni Bonnett to create nourishing bath products for themselves, friends and family. The pair, who have sold their wares at a local farmers market and were finalists in the 2018 Calling All Dreamers contest, recently opened a storefront, Blossom Bathhouse, in Old Sacramento Waterfront. The charming Second Street shop smells of eucalyptus and mint, lavender and orange, sage and lemon grass. Using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, and leaving out parabens or detergents, the sisters create nontoxic handmade—and notably vibrant— soap products, including bath bombs, shower steamers and sugar scrubs. “We are a soapery,” says Jazmine. “Like a bakery but for soap. We keep our best-sellers in stock and create new scents and products regularly—very farm-to-tub.” After using Blossom Bathhouse’s products on a particularly stressful day, customer Kathryn Hunt shared her appreciation on Instagram. “Everything feels much more doable with some self-care and a reminder of how many brilliant people we have in our community, like yourselves,” Hunt wrote in a message to the Bonnetts. “Thank you for sharing your gifts and making Sacramento a wonderful place to be.” 1106 Second St. Open Tuesday–Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m.;; Instagram @BlossomBathhouse —Cherise Henry

Coffee With Purpose At this coffee truck, drink purchases can help benefit local nonprofits. BY STEPH RODRIGUEZ AT ONIT COFFEE, a coffee truck in Elk Grove, you can get

a great cup of coffee. You also can benefit local nonprofit organizations. “For me, it’s much more than just a coffee company,” says Onit CEO Shadi Khattab. “Our motto is ‘Impacting lives, one cup at a time.’” This past March, Onit Coffee donated $1 from every drink sold that month to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, raising $1,000. Later, Onit donated roughly $1,300 to My Sister’s House, a local nonprofit that serves Asian and Pacific Islander women and children impacted by domestic violence and sex trafficking. Khattab also

partnered with Sacramento Street Medicine, gathering warm clothes and blankets and serving fresh coffee to unsheltered folks battling winter. Like many business owners, Khattab has had to change his plans because of the pandemic. He originally wanted to launch Onit as a drive-thru a few miles away from his alma mater, Sacramento State. Instead, he sells coffee, milkshakes and smoothies from his mobile truck. To enjoy a red velvet latte or a plant-based protein shake, customers flock to the parking lot of Precision MD Cosmetic Surgery Center at 9250 Big Horn Blvd. Khattab has 16 employees who serve up to 3,000 customers a week, and he looks forward to opening new dine-in and drive-thru locations in Elk Grove as well another drive-thru off Howe and Marconi this summer. A Syrian-American immigrant, Khattab notes that “Syrians are very big on coffee and tea. It’s one way we bond as a family, as a community. When I was a kid, my uncles, my cousins, we’d come together and bond over tea or coffee.” Now, he says, “we really put our heart and soul into treating our customers like family.” Open daily 7 a.m.–10 p.m. (916) 616-0106;

Onit CEO Shadi Khattab w e s d av i s

SACMAG.COM February 2021


The 916

Springtime Babies

LEAVE YOUNG BIRDS ALONE (UNLESS THEY LOOK INJURED). It’s natural for young birds that have left the nest to spend time on the ground for a few hours or even a few days. “The parents are usually somewhere nearby,” says Muzik, “and that’s the part that people usually miss.” Unless the bird is limping, its feathers are broken or it is clearly injured, don’t interfere—the parents will come and feed it, and soon the young bird will take flight.

REUNITE YOUNG MAMMALS WITH MOM. If a tree that served as a den for raccoons or a nest for squirrels is cut down, place the young in a box with a blanket or a towel to help keep them warm at the tree’s base. Often, parents will look for them. “You’ve never heard the kind of excitement in someone’s voice (as) after they’ve watched a mother squirrel come and carry her babies away to another nest,” says Muzik.

RE-NEST YOUNG BIRDS. If a young bird that doesn’t yet have all its feathers has fallen out of the nest, it’s OK to place it back in. The common belief that mothers will not accept their young if touched by a human is wrong, says Muzik. If the nest has fallen or it can’t be reached, you can Google how to build a substitute. Safely secure it in the same tree and place the baby inside. For guidance, call WCA’s hotline.

USE QUIET VOICES AND MINIMIZE CONTACT. “If your instinct is to put (an animal) up next to your chest and under your chin, that animal is thinking, ‘When is this predator going to eat me?’” says Muzik. Instead, place it in a secure box with access to fresh air in a dark, quiet environment and avoid touching, talking or peeking at it. And don't take selfies with it, either!

DON’T TRIM TREES DURING SPRING. Some 80–90% of baby birds and squirrels brought to WCA are the result of tree trimming, says Muzik. If springtime trimming or removal can’t be avoided, look for nests that may be affected and make a plan.



KEEP YOUNG ANIMALS WARM. Very young animals—those without feathers or hair—can’t regulate their body temperature. Provide a blanket or a makeshift nest (such as a washcloth inside a bowl) for comfort and warmth. A sock filled with uncooked rice and heated in the microwave for about 45 seconds will stay warm for about an hour, and a heating pad on low

Wildlife photos: Wildlife Care Association



The Environmental Cost of PPE BY REED PARSELL


can be used overnight. Place a box with very young animals on the heating pad. For older ones that can move around, place half of their box on the heating pad.

DON’T GIVE FOOD OR FLUIDS. “The well-meaning public can do a lot of damage by giving these animals the wrong kind of food,” says Muzik. Instead, focus on getting the animal to a rehabilitation center where staff will hydrate and provide proper food. GIVE MOM A CHANCE TO COME BACK. Mammal mothers, like rabbits, raccoons and deer, leave their young to forage or hunt but return to feed them. People often find these babies, believe they’ve been abandoned and bring them to WCA, says Muzik. Leave them alone, keep an eye on them and wait for mom to return, she says. But keep your distance so you don’t spook mom. Only after you’re certain mom hasn’t returned for 24 hours (four hours for fawns) should you consider bringing the young to a rehab center, she says.

side from the obviously horrible impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (the deaths, the job losses, the toll on schoolchildren, the loneliness, the shuttered businesses and blown-up traditions), there are many other unfortunate effects. One is the environmental impact of mass quantities of disposable personal protective equipment, abbreviated as PPE. To slow the spread of the virus and protect ourselves and others, we have been urged and, in many cases, commanded to wear face masks, some of which are made of cloth and reusable. Many of us also have donned plastic gloves, which typically are a “one and done” item. The journal Science in September ran a story that shared the cringe-worthy news that a worldwide drop in the price of oil, a decrease triggered by people commuting and traveling less due to pandemic restrictions and concerns, has meant that the manufacture of “virgin” plastics is cheaper than recycling. “This cost incentive, along with lifestyle changes that increase plastic use, has complicated the challenge of overcoming plastic pollution,” Tanveer M. Aydel wrote in Science. To illustrate the problem, he shared many alarming statistics, including, “If the global population adheres to a standard of one disposable face mask per day after lockdowns end, the pandemic could result in a monthly global consumption and waste of 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves.” Aydel also pointed out that the surge in people ordering takeout or “to-go” restaurant food, and all the online ordering of other goods, has created an enormous amount of one-use plastic containers and boxes. “This global health crisis puts extra pressure on regular waste management practices,” Aydel wrote, “leading to inappropriate management strategies, including mobile incineration, direct landfills, and local burnings.” continued on next page

For more information, visit found-animal or call WCA’s hotline at (916) 965-9453. SACMAG.COM February 2021


The 916 Closer to home, The Washington Post in December published a piece headlined “A pandemic side effect: Used masks polluting California coastal waters,” which reported that along the state’s 840-mile coastline, PPE “are ending up on sidewalks, skittering into storm drains, blowing onto beaches and ending up in the Pacific Ocean and its bays.” Reporter Scott Wilson pointed out that “many types of masks, including the most common surgical variety, contain plastics that taint ocean ecosystems and disrupt marine food chains.” What can we do about this pollution problem? Back in May 2020, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency encouraged citizens to recycle PPE to whatever extent possible, as “recycled materials are used to make new products as well as the boxes that these and other essential supplies are shipped in for the everyday needs of hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies and American homes.” Cloth masks and washable gloves help reduce waste, and in the past year have been widely used throughout the world. Disposable masks and gloves are as prevalent, probably more so. Can they be washed and reused?

Medical personnel, the doctors and nurses and other hospital workers who are doing all they can to help coronavirus patients recover, in normal circumstances must dispose of PPE after one use. Sadly, especially during the pandemic’s earliest days and alarmingly in many overrun hospitals this winter, a PPE shortage forced longer-thanmandated use, and even reuse. But what about the rest of us? Can we put used masks in the washing machine and confidently re-wear them out in public? It just may be a possibility, strange as it sounds. A French consumer group claimed in November that “surgical-style face masks that are described as ‘single-use and disposable’ are actually able to be reused and washed up to 10 times without losing their effectiveness.” One thing Sacramentans can do to ease their PPE guilt is to drop used surgical gloves off at Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op so they can be recycled. That might not seem like much, but every little thing we can do to curb the coronavirus and lighten its negative impact gets us closer to where we want to be.

Cloth masks and washable gloves help reduce waste, and in the past year have been widely used throughout the world.

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cuter than the rest? PRESENTED BY

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i n s i d e: Dialogue with your doc

Talking About Health Effective communication between patients and physicians improves health outcomes, but how do we better connect? Read on.—Cathy Cassinos-Carr

SACMAG.COM February 2021

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few months ago, when an internal medicine vet called to discuss the results of our sick kitty’s ultrasound, I put my cell on speaker phone so my boyfriend Paul and I could both participate. After we exchanged perfunctory hellos, the doctor plunged into the clinical findings. About two sentences in, when he mentioned “reactive lymphocytes,” Paul promptly stood up, mouthed, “I don’t know what the F he’s talking about,” and walked away. The call continued for another 15 minutes, with me taking copious notes and attempting to process the information so I could try to ask some pertinent questions. Paul stood nearby, half-listening, saying nothing, and occasionally shooting me a quizzical look. Sound familiar? Most of us have likely had similar communication bungles with our medical providers, leading to the $6 million question: How can doctors and patients declutter the dialogue and build better relationships? The unique challenges ushered in by COVID 19, notably an increased reliance on telehealth, add yet another layer to that question: How can we partner effectively when the pandemic pushes us physically apart? A TWO-WAY STREET— Effective doctor-

patient communication has been shown to improve patient outcomes, making it one of the most critical aspects of successful health care. But it’s a two-way street, full of obstacles and some gnarly twists. One of the biggest and most obvious issues: short appointment times. How much good communication can happen in 15 or 20 minutes? A lot, actually—as long as you prepare in advance, says Anthony Jerant, M.D., a family medicine physician and chair and professor of the UC Davis Department of Family and Community Medicine. Physician-patient communication is a pet topic of Jerant’s: He’s conducted research about it and has also taught medical interviewing and communication techniques to UC Davis med students in such courses as Doctoring 1. It may not sound revelatory, but the simple act of making a list prior to a medical appointment can make a huge difference, Jerant says. “Think ahead of time, make a list, prioritize the top two or three items, and know that you probably won’t be able to get through more than three in a single visit,” he suggests. This strategy works well for everyone, he says, “but especially those who tend to get flustered. Physicians can be intimidating for some people.” Doctors also need to do their prep work, Jerant says, such as closely reviewing patient charts prior to appointments. Modern technolog y, including electronic medical records, has vastly simplified this task, he notes. Making that list (and checking it twice) also helps to address the common issue of


mismatched doctor-patient expectations, says Kelly Herbelin-Farrar, M.D., a family medicine physician for Sutter Medical Group in Sacramento. She should know: She is a clinician communication coach and co-facilitates a class, The Art of Communicating With “I’M NOT THE BEST Patients, for Sutter ARTIST IN THE WORLD, clinicians. “When BUT I’VE BEEN KNOWN patients and cliniTO DRAW SEROTONIN cians don’t feel like RECEPTORS, LIPIDS, they’re connecting, CHOLESTEROL, it’s often because DIAPHRAGMS, LUNGS there’s been a misAND OTHER THINGS TO match of expectaEDUCATE PATIENTS,” tions,” she says. If a SAYS CHRISTINE patient comes to an BRAID, D.O. appointment with a list of items (something Herbelin-Farrar says she loves, and the longer the list, the better), sometimes the simple question “What are you most worried about right now?” can help to clarify priorities, she says. Asking such questions also helps to demonstrate empathy for patients, which can sometimes be challenging for doctors, she finds. “Physicians are problem solvers,” she says. “When people come in with their problems, and we’re listening and calculating and thinking about how to help them, clinicians don’t always know how best to express their empathy. Often we’re so ready to just jump in and tell them all the things we can do to help them, when really they just need to know in that moment that we’ve heard them.” Another classic conundrum in doctorpatient communication is the one illustrated at the outset of this article. “Medical mumbo jumbo,” as one friend calls it,

flies over the heads of many patients, leading to misunderstandings and frustration. But this can be tricky terrain for doctors, too, says Jerant, as patients have varying levels of what he calls “health literacy.” “General literacy doesn’t necessarily mean health literacy,” he says. “We’ve been taught not to make any assumptions.” For that reason, Jerant says, he tries to explain things to everyone in the same way, and also takes care not to be condescending. To gauge health literacy, he finds it’s helpful to ask a patient to tell him what they know about the condition. “You’ll get a huge range of answers,” he says. If the diagnosis is cancer, for example, one patient might say, “It’s a death sentence,” while another says, “I believe it’s treatable.” Showing, not telling, is also a powerful way to communicate with patients, says Christine Braid, D.O., a family medicine physician for Mercy Medical Group in Citrus Heights. “I’m not the best artist in the world, but I’ve been known to draw serotonin receptors, lipids, cholesterol, diaphragms, lungs and other things to educate patients and to help things make sense for them,” she says. As Dignity Health’s medical director of virtualcare services, Braid has recently expanded that “show and tell” approach to the virtual world, with promising results. “With virtual patient visits, I can screen share so we can look at X-ray films together, for example,” she says. “I can even draw on it to show them what I’m looking at.”

HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR TALKING TO YOUR DOC: l Ask questions. If you don’t, your doctor may assume you understood everything that was said. l If possible, bring someone along (or, if it’s a virtual visit, have someone else in the room). A second set of ears may be able to hear or understand things you don’t. l Consider asking your doctor if you can record the conversation. l If you need more time, let the doctor know. If the doctor is unavailable that day, you may be able to speak to another medical team member. l If you have questions after the appointment, call.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality


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Another advantage of virtual visits, says UCD’s Jerant, is the laserlike focus on talking. “Since there’s not a physical exam happening during a video visit, you spend all your time talking, which works quite well for the communication part,” he says. “The visits are more focused, and I think that’s one of the reasons doctors like it.” Sutter’s Herbelin-Farrar has found video visits “more or less amazingly positive, especially for our seniors,” she says. “Right now, of course, many of them are staying home most of the time.” But the physical distance also comes with a cost. “One of the things that’s a real challenge right now is that the way we express empathy or connection is through human touch—a handshake when we meet someone for the first time, for example,” says Herbelin-Farrar. But pandemic protocol has, sadly, changed all that. “In my clinic, I’m not supposed to touch you anymore,” she says. “So a hand on your shoulder is not something I can do when you’re really hurting. And you can’t see my facial expressions as well behind my glasses, my face shield and my mask.” TECHNOLOGICAL TRIBULATIONS—




But by far the biggest bugaboo for virtual visits is—you guessed it—technology, which can be unreliable (ya think?) and can also trip up new users. “Not everyone is being able to get through [on video],” says Herbelin-Farrar. While she admits this can be “really frustrating” for end users, she’s optimistic the technology will get easier for everyone in time. Braid believes the success of medical video visits rests partly with the physician. “A lot has to do with the energy of the physician doing it,” she says. Communicating with patients in advance to outline expectations and provide technical guidance is something she and her team do routinely, she says, and it makes a big difference. But when technology fails for whatever reason, a phone appointment— though not ideal—is the next option. “Phone isn’t as good as video simply because you can’t see the person,” says Jerant. “People react differently to the phone versus video visits. I think you don’t see as much of a payoff in terms of human

interaction on the phone, and most people just don’t want to stay on the phone for as long.” Many argue that FLAWED THOUGH THEY nothing can replace MAY BE, VIRTUAL the old-fashioned, VISITS ALLOW face-to-face office DOCTORS TO CONNECT visit. But f lawed WITH PATIENTS though they may WHEREVER THEY ARE—A PLUS ANYTIME, be, virtual visits allow doctors to BUT ESPECIALLY IN connect with paPANDEMIC TIMES. tients wherever they are—a plus anytime, but especially in pandemic times. FINAL THOUGHTS— What else can pa-

tients and doctors do to ease and improve communication? Braid asks that patients be honest. “If you feel your doctors aren’t communicating with you effectively, let them know,” she says. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re confused, “because they may think they’re being super clear,” she says. “Sometimes doctors don’t know what they don’t know.” On the fl ip side, some doctors may be frustrated by patients who use Google to self-diagnose or brainstorm treatment plans. Jerant, however, sees this as a good thing—with one caveat. “I think it’s generally a great thing for people to do their own research,” he says. “I’m in the camp that the more information people have, the better.” But please stay open to what the doctor has to say, he asks. “As long as people are flexible and open to listening to the physician, as long as they don’t come in with a fi xed mindset, it’s all good.” Patients feel the same way, in reverse. They, too, want to be heard. “Many of us have enough medical knowledge that we can engage with doctors, and not all doctors like it,” says my pal Denise. “Several times I’ve cured myself, and when I told the doctor what I did, they dismissed it, saying things like, ‘Whatever works.’” As with all relationships, the success of a physician-patient partnership depends on both parties. But if it’s not a love match, don’t be afraid to move on. “I tell my patients that all the time,” says Braid. “I’ll say, ‘You know what? This is your health. If I’m not the right doctor for you, find somebody you feel comfortable with. It’s your health. It’s your life.’”


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The Sacramento region is fortunate to have health care professionals who continuously strive to attain ever-higher levels of patient satisfaction through a blend of the latest technologies and careful listening. The following medical professionals stand out in our community.

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Health Care Professionals A Special Advertising Section

Kenneth M. Toft, M.D. Toft Facial Surgery

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

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1/8/21 5:14 PM

Health Care Professionals A Special Advertising Section

Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Northern CA Pioneers of Ageless Beauty

FOCUS: Suzanne L. Kilmer, M.D., one of the world’s most celebrated laser surgeons, leads a team of six board-certified dermatologists, nurse practitioner, physician assistant and six registered nurses, who specialize in lasers, injectables and body-contouring treatments. With more than 40 lasers and devices on-site, Laser & Skin provides comprehensive care that is customized to each individual patient. WHAT SETS THEM APART: Unsurpassed patient care and groundbreaking research, including more than 300 clinical trials onsite. This research led to many popular devices, including laser hair and tattoo removal, laser resurfacing, Fraxel, Thermage, Ulthera, Sofwave, CoolSculpting, and Emsculpt. AFFILIATIONS: American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Academy of Dermatology, AMA, AOA Medical Honor Society. CHARITABLE WORK: Shriners Hospitals for Children, Physicians for Hope, New Beginnings: Radiation Mark Removal Program. PHILOSOPHY: The truth always wins. CONTACT INFORMATION: 3835 J Street, Sacramento • (916) 456-0400 • • From L to R: Rebecca Sprague, NP-C, Susan Silva, M.D., Suzanne Kilmer, M.D., Vera Chotzen, M.D., Marla McClaren, M.D., Anne Zhuang, M.D.

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1/12/21 4:33 PM

Health Care Professionals

Daniel L. Monahan, M.D.

A Special Advertising Section

FOCUS: Our goal is to help people enjoy better self-esteem, happiness, and health by treating unwanted varicose veins and spider veins. Dr. Monahan is Board Certified in General Surgery and Phlebology and specializes in vein disorders. EDUCATION: UC Davis, BA, Zoology, 1976. MEDICAL SCHOOL: University of Hawaii, 1981, M.D. MEMBERSHIPS: American Venous Forum; American College of Surgeons, American College of Phlebology. PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT: Marrying my wife, adopting my kids. Spearing a 100+ lbs. grouper while free-diving in Baja. (These are ‘gifts’ more than ‘achievements’.) 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 and cost, resultant problems 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. CHARITABLE WORK: Long-time member of the area YoungLife committee; participate in YoungLife activities. ADVICE: People may think the treatment of vein disorders is purely for appearance or just for vanity. But how you feel about yourself is much more than “cosmetic.” It’s meaningful, confidence boosting and part of an overall health equation. Reach out for a consultation. You’ll be glad you did. CONTACT INFORMATION:

Monahan Vein Clinic 1211 Pleasant Grove Blvd., Ste.120, Roseville (916) 791-8346 (VEIN) •

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. CONTACT INFORMATION:

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

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David Kaufman, M.D., FACS Drew Davis, M.D. Plastic Surgery

FOCUS: Kaufman & Davis Plastic Surgery 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. EDUCATION: Dr. Kaufman and Dr. Davis are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Kaufman received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and subsequently attended Stanford University for his Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery residency. He is, however, most proud of his time at the U.S. Naval Academy and his active duty service as a Navy SEAL. Dr. Davis attended medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and also, completed his residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University. WHAT SETS THEM APART: A combination of exceptional training, extensive experience and a passion for excellence differentiates Kaufman & Davis Plastic Surgery. Supported by a team of caring, fun and energetic professionals, our goal is to make patients feel confident they are in the right place. For that reason, we strive for patients to feel like “extended family” and to be excited about the prospect of self-enhancement. OFF-HOUR ACTIVITIES: Both Dr. Kaufman and Dr. Davis are family men who love spending time with their wives and young children—preferably playing and exploring outdoors. CHARITABLE WORK: Dr. Kaufman and Dr. Davis work closely with Medical Missions for Children to provide life-changing surgeries for children born with cleft lips and palates in the developing world. Dr. Davis is also a volunteer surgeon for ReSurg International. CHECK US OUT: Still a single location practice, we invite you to visit us at our newly built, state-of-the-art, Folsom office. CONTACT INFORMATION: 1841 Iron Point Road, Folsom • (916) 983-9895 •

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1/13/21 2:41 PM

TOP TAKEOUT With the pandemic wreaking havoc on indoor dining, restaurateurs have had to up their to-go game. Here’s a guide to some of the best takeaway food in town. BY MARYBETH BIZJAK




uring COVID-19, few industries have suffered as mightily as the restaurant business.

Unable to offer dine-in services for most of the past year, restaurants have turned to takeout in order to survive. In the process, they’ve managed to keep us well fed with fun, interesting, delightful food in boxes, cartons and bags.



SACMAG.COM February 2021


Majka Pizzeria & Bakery WHY WE IT: Because, with one pizza flavor per day, there’s no dithering over what to order. Only one style of veggie pizza per day—what’s up with that? According to Alex Sherry, who owns Majka with his wife, Chutharat Sae Tong, it’s so they can use the freshest ingredients possible without any waste. The couple previously worked at The Cheese Board Collective in Berkeley, famed for its vegetarian pizza (and the hordes of people who lined up for it). At Majka, the pizza comes on an organic, whole-grain sourdough crust, using wild yeast from a mother starter. Toppings are sourced from local farmers markets and small farms, including Twin Peaks Orchard in Newcastle. When the weather’s nice, pick up a pizza, a bottle of natural wine and a couple of chocolate chunk miso cookies from Majka’s takeout window and head across the street to Fremont Park for an alfresco meal. 1704 15th St.; (916) 572-9316;

Mikuni WHY WE

Bacon & Butter WHY WE IT: Because breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This popular breakfast house has had to pivot—hard— during the pandemic. Owner Billy Zoellin shut down his East Sac restaurant and turned the Tahoe Park eatery into a takeout-only operation. (The crowds proved too large and unruly for patio dining.) But the menu remains the same, an alluring selection of a.m. comfort foods such as biscuits and gravy, French toast, flapjacks and B&B’s famous gut bomb, the grilled cheese Benedict. Breakfast foods don’t always travel well, so Zoellin got creative. The house potatoes, for instance, get extra time in the frying pan in order to stay crispy in their takeout container. On weekdays (Tuesday–Thursday), there’s a nice little perk: free coffee or tea when you order online. 5913 Broadway; (916) 346-4445;



IT: Because they do takeout right.

Drive past Mikuni’s big picture windows overlooking 16th Street at dinnertime and you’ll see quite a sight: dozens upon dozens of bags filled with takeout orders lined up on tables, bar tops and every other horizontal surface. In the before times, Taro Arai’s famed rock ’n’ roll sushi joint, with its hip design and pulsating music, may have been the ultimate dine-in experience for local sushi freaks. But in the age of COVID, it quickly figured out how to swivel to the takeout space. These days, Mikuni’s to-go business is run like a military operation. When a customer in a car pulls up outside, a staffer promptly runs the order out for wham! bam!, thank you ma’am! service. That means you’re home before you know it, enjoying your Zig Zag Soft Shell Crab hand roll or your DMC sushi roll (named for DeMarcus Cousins). 1530 J St.; (916) 447-2112;

Canon WHY WE

IT: Because it’s Michelin quality to go.

In a few short years, Brad Cecchi has made his mark on Sacramento’s dining scene with his young East Sac restaurant Canon, which received a Michelin Bib Gourmand award in 2019—not quite a Michelin star, but not bad for a Sacramento newcomer. When you pack up elevated fare to go, it often loses something in the car ride between restaurant and home, but the talented Cecchi has mastered the art of making inventive fare that travels well. His Sunday-night prix-fixe dinners are particularly successful. The $35 meal, which changes weekly, includes a starter, entrée and dessert. It’s not your typical takeout: A recent dinner featured a stuffed pasilla pepper, beef cheek tacos on beet-juice tortillas, plancha potatoes and, for dessert, pumpkin mousse. 1719 34th St.; (916) 469-2433;

SACMAG.COM February 2021


Binchoyaki Izakaya Dining WHY WE

IT: Because it serves pupu platters for the 21st century.

As parents of small children, Craig Takehara and Toki Sawada know how challenging it is to have to put dinner on the table—stat. So the couple behind Binchoyaki came up with several “mixed platters” that answer the age-old question “What’s for dinner tonight?” The kids’ platter ($40) features fun foods such as edamame with sea salt, arabiki corn dogs, Japanese fried chicken and French fries. Other options include a poke and tako wasabi dip platter ($35) and a veggie sumiyaki platter ($96). Platters are available with 24 hours notice. 2226 10th St.; (916) 469-9448;

Taylor’s Kitchen WHY WE

IT: Because the burger can’t be beat.

Last spring, when COVID shut down indoor dining, this upscale Land Park eatery began selling humble smash burgers 4–7 p.m. on Mondays, dubbing it “Burger Madness.” What started out as a way to keep the staff employed turned into a neighborhood community builder as people flocked to Taylor’s for the tasty diner-style burgers. Last summer, the place was routinely selling 200 burgers a night. Even now, people still clamor every Monday for the burger: a 1/3 pound beef patty (an 80–20 blend from the butcher at next-door’s Taylor’s Market), American cheese, red onion and house-made pickles on an Acme bun, plus fries. The price: $10.99 for one, $35.99 for a four-pack. Makes you almost wish Monday would hurry up and come. 2924 Freeport Blvd.; (916) 443-5154;



LASAGNA FOR DAYS I love lasagna, but I hate making it. What a production: You have to parboil the noodles, make a marinara sauce, whip up a béchamel, grate a bunch of cheese, then assemble the whole contraption. Unless I have a lot of time on my hands, it’s just too much work. One happy result of the pandemic is that many local restaurants now offer takeout versions of this time-consuming dish. Here are a few of the best.

ALLORA This upscale modern-Italian restaurant in East Sac makes a lasagna Bolognese that’s definitely company worthy—if you’re having company, which of course you shouldn’t these days! Tender sheets of house-made pasta are layered with ricotta, mushrooms and a delicate, wine-tinged sauce of ground pork and beef. It’s sized for a family—and a hungry one at that. For $85, you also receive salad, freshly baked focaccia and your choice of dessert. In addition, Allora offers crab lasagna ($95) and vegetarian lasagna ($75). 5215 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 538-6434;

Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine WHY WE

IT: Because it’s considered Sacramento’s finest sushi.

In the pre-COVID era, Kru owner Billy Ngo had a strict dine-inguests-first policy: “We only took takeout orders if we had time,” he explains. Since the restaurant was generally packed, that meant no takeout for you. But all that changed with the pandemic. Now, you can take enjoy Kru’s exquisite sushi in the comfort of your own home. Order the colorful Firecracker roll (crab and avocado topped with salmon, spicy garlic sauce, tempura crisps and jalapeño) or a five-, 15- or 25-piece assortment of sparkling-fresh sashimi. Ngo has a few other takeout tricks up his sleeve, offering grab-and-go bento boxes at lunchtime and dumpling-and-broth meal kits that can be warmed up at home or frozen for future consumption. They come in two varieties: duck dumplings with mushroom dashi and kabocha squash agnolotti with squash dashi. 3135 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 551-1559;

Bawk! Chicken + Bar WHY WE

Allora’s lasagna Bolognese

Lasagna: Rachel Valley

THE WATERBOY Late last year, owner Rick Mahan filmed a Facebook video to demonstrate how he makes lasagna at his midtown Mediterranean eatery. Mahan layered large egg pasta sheets (made in-house) with pork and beef ragu, béchamel, massive handfuls of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and chopped chard. If watching that video doesn’t make you hungry, you must be dead inside. Mahan’s lasagna is available by the single-serving slice, both hot and ready to eat or cold for reheating at home. $18. 2000 Capitol Ave.; (916) 498-9891; PANGAEA BIER CAFE This Curtis Park gastropub is known for its award-winning burger and on-point beer selection. Who knew it also made a smashing lasagna? The meat version features a ragu of sausage, beef and pork, along with three cheeses: ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan. It comes with a house salad and can be ordered as a single serving ($16) or as a family meal for two ($30) or four ($56). A vegetarian option is also available. 2743 Franklin Blvd.; (916) 454-4942;

IT: Because who doesn’t love fried chicken?

When Rob Archie, Josh Nelson and Tamera Baker teamed up to open Bawk! on the R Street Corridor, they already had major food cred: Archie is the guy behind Pangaea Cafe and Urban Roots Smokehouse, while siblings Nelson and Baker practically grew up in the food business. (Their parents are Randall Selland and Nancy Baker of The Kitchen fame.) This hip chicken joint was ideally situated to shift to takeout: A bucket of fried fowl is, after all, the perfect moveable feast. Theirs is a fusion-y version that marries Southern fried chicken with Japanese karaage—each piece has a crisp, almost glassy exterior and a moist interior. Note: If you’re watching your waist, Bawk! recently added rotisserie chicken to the menu. 1409 R St.; (916) 376-7531;

Brasserie Capitale WHY WE

IT: Because the owner himself delivers food to your door.

The pandemic has forced restaurant folk to adjust in new and unusual ways. To keep his downtown brasserie afloat, Aziz Bellarbi-Salah summoned his inner hustle and personally delivers takeout orders to customers all over the city. It allows him to bypass the thirdparty delivery services like Doordash and Grubhub, which take as much as 30 percent off the top of each order. The food he’s delivering is classic French fare: steak frites, cassoulet, coq au vin, mussels. Some customers are surprised when the owner shows up at their door. But he always gets a good reception: At one home in Elk Grove, a pit bull named Veronica greeted him happily, sniffing and wagging her tail. 1201 K St.; (916) 329-8033;

SACMAG.COM February 2021


Thai Farm House BBQ & Bistro WHY WE

IT: Because the Thai flavors are clean, fresh and authentic.

Local foodies swear allegiance to this small Broadway Thai spot. It’s owned by Sacramento native Bradford Promkesa and his wife, Ice, who came here from Thailand in 2008. Many of the dishes are from her own family recipes. Kao soi, for instance, is a noodle dish from her native Chiang Mai province. “A lot of people come back from a trip to Thailand and say it tastes just like what they ate there,” says Bradford. The food is fresh, with a heavy emphasis on organic produce and high-quality meats. 1049 Broadway; (916) 382-9448;

El Bramido WHY WE

IT: Because the crispy tacos are the bomb.

You won’t find anything fancy or highfalutin’ at this Natomas taqueria, just good, fresh, authentic Mexican food. El Bramido makes great burritos, quesadillas, tostadas and more—the whole enchilada, if you will. Meat choices include carnitas, beef and chicken, along with cabeza (head), lengua (tongue), buche (pork neck) and tripita (tripe). Tacos come two ways: in a warm, soft corn tortilla or a crispy fried tortilla lashed with savory sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. On weekends, people line up on the sidewalk out front for hot churros right out of the fryer, made to order by a guy working at a cart on the sidewalk. Jaunty Mexican music plays while you wait, adding to the merry atmosphere. 2394 Northgate Blvd.; (916) 565-1552



Camden Spit & Larder WHY WE IT: Because the fish and chips are made by a real Englishman. At this chic downtown chophouse, owner Oliver Ridgeway is known for serving elevated versions of pub staples and British schoolboy fare. (His sausage rolls are a kick.) When the pandemic struck, he started a new takeout tradition: Fish and Chip Friday. A native of Britain, he uses a recipe he’s tweaked over the years, coating Pacific cod fillets in a foamy ale batter that, when fried, stays crisp for hours. The fish comes with thick, hand-cut chips (those are fries to you, Yank) and tangy house-made tartar sauce. In a pandemic lockdown, it’s the next best thing to crossing the pond. 555 Capitol Mall; (916) 6198897;

Origami Asian Grill WHY WE IT: Because it’s fast-casual fare made by a pair of talented chefs. Scott Ostrander and Paul DiPierro aren’t your typical fast-food slingers: They’ve worked at some of the best restaurants in the country, including Chicago’s Alinea (Ostrander), Meadowood in Napa (DiPierro) and Park Winters (both). In 2018, they opened Origami in East Sacramento to serve affordable fare created through a finedining prism. Origami loosely follows the Chipotle mix-and-match, assembly-line model, with the diner choosing format (sandwich, ramen, rice bowl or salad), protein (chicken, pork belly, tri-tip or tofu) and sauce (onion glaze, chili miso or hot). Specials periodically make an appearance; look for the Origami double burger and fries, or the Saturday cream puff pop-up from pastry chef Ramon Perez of Puur Chocolat. 4801 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 400-3075; SACMAG.COM February 2021


Restaurant Josephine WHY WE

IT: Because the food is French—and delicious.

Graduates of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, N.Y., Eric Alexander and Courtney McDonald ran the kitchen at Auburn wine bar Carpe Vino before leaving to open their own finedining restaurant. Unfortunately, COVID-19 put a hitch in their plans, so they’re temporarily running Restaurant Josephine (named for their young daughter) as an upscale, weekends-only takeout operation. The menu is largely French bistro fare: things like beef cheek daube Provençal and chicken à la Normande. Hot, ready-to-eat main courses are designed to feed two and cost around $45. For committed DIYers, there’s an oyster “kit”: a dozen oysters in their shells, washed and ready to shuck at home, served on a bed of crushed ice with lemon, cognac cocktail sauce and mignonette ($24). For an extra 12 bucks, they’ll even sell you a shucking knife. 1226 Lincoln Way, Auburn;

And There’s More… ADAMO’S Gently priced Italian favorites: risotto, meatballs with polenta, and lotsa pasta. 2107 P St.; (916) 440-9611; adamos AZUL MEXICAN FOOD + TEQUILA BAR Ceviche, fish tacos and the best green enchiladas in town. 1050 20th St.; (916) 447-4040 CABALLO BLANCO Burritos, chimichangas and other Mexican favorites, plus the healthful Avocado Fresco Bowl, a partnership with Sacramento’s Food Literacy Center. 5604 Franklin Blvd.; (916) 428-6706 CÉLESTIN’S RESTAURANT Soulful versions of French Creole fare: gumbo, jambalaya, chicken Creole and more. 3610 McKinley Blvd.; (916) 258-4060; celestins COCONUT ON T Superb Thai food; don’t miss the avocado yellow curry or Drunken Noodle. 1110 T St.; (916) 822-4665; thecoconut COOKIE’S DRIVE IN Oldschool fast-food joint serving burgers, fries and shakes. 5640 H St.; (916) 457-8353 FISH FACE POKE BAR Fresh fish fast—seafood salads and grab-and-go hand rolls—from Kru’s Billy Ngo. 1104 R St.; (916) 706-0605; FRANK FAT’S Upscale takes on Chinese-American faves like honey walnut prawns, plus Fat’s signature New York steak and banana cream pie. 806 L St.; (916) 442-7092; FISH & THINGS Poke bowls, sushi, seared ahi burger and that Hawaiian staple, Spam masubi. 7423 Laguna Blvd., Elk Grove; (916) 647-3047;



JOURNEY TO THE DUMPLING Shanghai-style dumplings (try the soup-filled xiao long bao), along with Chinese dishes such as green onion pancakes, garlic green beans, salt-and-pepper calamari. 7419 Laguna Blvd., Elk Grove; (916) 509-9556; journeytothe JUNO’S KITCHEN Friendly East Sac sandwich shop that bakes its own bread; open for lunch only. 3675 J St.; (916) 456-4522; KASBAH Middle Eastern fare such as shawarma, falafel and gyros; the mezza platter includes hummus, lebne, baba ghanoush and more. 2115 J St.; (916) 4424388; KATHMANDU KITCHEN Excellent Nepali and Indian fare. 234 G St., Davis; (530) 756-3507; KINTARO SUSHI BAR Superfresh sushi, sashimi and nigiri. 8355 Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove; (916) 684-6933; kintaro LEMON GRASS RESTAURANT Upscale Vietnamese and Thai food from the incomparable Mai Pham. 601 Munroe St.; (916) 486-4891; MADAR Modern Afghani street food such as chapli kabob burger, naanwich and Sultan fries (with crispy chicken and feta sauce). 2654 Marconi Ave.; (916) 827-0009; madarstreet

Pot Pie: Gabriel Teague

MOM & POP CHICKEN SHOP Buttermilk fried chicken, plus fries, burgers and doughnuts. 4355 Town Center Blvd., El Dorado Hills; (916) 673-9563; OBO’ ITALIAN TABLE & BAR Wood-fired pizzas, house-made pastas and specials such as $29 dinner and a bottle of wine for two (changes weekly) and $10 Meatball Monday. 3145 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 822-8720;

NASH & PROPER Originally a food truck, now a restaurant serving Nashville-style hot fried chicken; you choose the heat level, from mild to “clucken hot.” 3270 Northgate Blvd.; nashand NIXTACO Inventive tacos such as the Porky Shrimp (shrimp with beer and cheese sauce and chicharron powder) and the Octopus (with serrano-infused butter and peanut chipotle sauce). 1804 Cirby Way, Roseville; (916) 771-4165;

PANDEMIC POT PIES Chicken pot pie is perhaps the ultimate takeout food. Small, tasty and easy to transport, it’s comfort food for these uncomfortable times. Check out these three exceptionally worthy pot pies.

REAL PIE COMPANY Best known for its sweet pies, this midtown shop also makes a marvelous savory chicken pot pie. It’s a dainty-looking concoction, designed for one eater. But when you turn it out onto a plate and cut into it, the resulting tsunami of chicken, vegetables and gravy may make you question the wisdom of that big lunch you ate earlier in the day. Owner Kira O’Donnell Babich has a way with pie crust; hers is all butter and flaky to the max. Also available: Italian meatball pot pie, chili pot pie, shepherd’s pie. $8.75. 2425 24th St.; (916) 838-4007;

ORCHID THAI All the greatest hits from the Thai canon, plus vegetarian and gluten-free options. 1609 16th St.; (916) 4763681; PIZZA SUPREME BEING A limited menu of whole pies that includes cheese, pepperoni and Hawaiian (Spam, jalapeño and pineapple). 1425 14th St.; (916) 917-5559; pizzasupreme RELISH BURGER BAR Options far beyond the basic burger: bison, lamb, ahi tuna and a peanut butter bacon cheeseburger. 1000 White Rock Road, El Dorado Hills; (916) 933-3111; SOUTHPAW SUSHI Lou Valente’s hip take on sushi, nigiri and hand rolls. 1616 Del Paso Blvd.; (916) 550-2600; TACOA TACOS Y TEQUILA Authentic Mexicanstyle street tacos, great carne asada fries and cocktails to go. 6350 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 4763407 TRES HERMANAS Known for its generous servings of topnotch crab enchiladas, prawns a la diabla and al pastor (grilled pork). 2416 K St.; (916) 443-6919; YUE HUANG Exquisite dim sum that earned this Cantonese restaurant a shout-out in the 2019 Michelin Guide. 3860 Truxel Road; (916) 621-3737;

Real Pie Company’s chicken pot pie

PECHAL’S POT PIES Working out of a ghost kitchen, Adam Pechal makes a mean pot pie. At just over 2 pounds, this rectangular monster is big enough for two. The former Tuli Bistro owner prepares his all-butter crust with a bit of vodka instead of water for increased flakiness; his filling features loads of shredded Mary’s free-range chicken, a bit of veg and a nicely seasoned sauce. Pop the take-and-bake pie in your oven and, 45 minutes later, dinner is ready. Also available: gluten-free Guinnessbraised beef pie, vegan mushroom pie. $18. V. MILLER MEATS This whole-animal butcher shop in East Sacramento has a freezer case filled with goodies to go, including a spectacular chicken pot pie, ready to go into your oven at a moment’s notice. The puff pastry dough poufs up into layer upon layer of delightfully crispy crust, and the filling is mostly chicken. This hefty pie is big enough for two eaters, with leftovers to boot. Buy a couple and stash them in your freezer for a rainy day—it’s like money in the bank! Also available: individual short rib Wellington. $19. 4801 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 400-4127;

SACMAG.COM February 2021




IN THE TIME OF CORONA Meet some intrepid people who dared to date during the pandemic.



SACMAG.COM February 2021


ating is hard. In a pandemic, it’s even harder: If you manage to find someone worth spending time with, when is it OK to meet in person, and what can you even do together? These five people were looking for love in the time of coronavirus, navigating the front lines of pandemic dating with as much caution as they had optimism. From interstate online dating and disappointing matchmaking to finding a connection while battling COVID-19, here’s a peek into the new normal of romance.

MARIE ROSSI While sick with COVID and quarantined, she met her now-boyfriend on a dating app. Age: 32 | Occupation: Physician | Status: In a relationship WHAT DID YOUR LOVE LIFE LOOK LIKE BEFORE THE PANDEMIC? I was on dating apps and would go on a few dates here and there, but it’s difficult with residency because when we’re on inpatient rotation, we only get one day off per week. During my outpatient months, I’d use Hinge, Tinder and Bumble, but nothing serious came of it. I’d meet someone, talk to them for a month, and things would fizzle out. HOW SOON AFTER THE PANDEMIC BEGAN DID YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE TO START DATING? I was working in the hospital

in March and contracted COVID-19. I was out from work for a full month. I didn’t have to be hospitalized, but I did have to go to the emergency room at one point because my oxygen levels were getting low. While I quarantined at my house, I got on Tinder and Hinge out of boredom, and during that time, I met my current boyfriend. I told him right away, “I have COVID, so we won’t be meeting up any time soon.” HOW MUCH/OFTEN DID YOU TALK? We talked and FaceTimed for a month before we saw each other. We would FaceTime for two or three hours a day, which I had never done in any relationship before. WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO MEET IN PERSON? I tested negative

twice, but I was still a little nervous, so we had a socially distanced date in my backyard. We sat six feet away from each other and just talked.



He’s in paramedic school and works as an EMT, and he’s been deployed to help community facilities around the state, so we didn’t see each other again until the end of May. We actually didn’t spend time together seminormally until after we had already been talking for two months. DID YOU TALK TO ANYONE ELSE ROMANTICALLY DURING THE PANDEMIC? I had messaged a couple of other people from

the apps in the beginning, right before I got sick, but my boyfriend is the first person I actually talked on the phone with and went on a date with during the pandemic. WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING ABLE TO DO WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD?

We both have large families and family is really important to us, so we’re really looking forward to being able to spend time with our extended families together.

ANTHONY CRAWFORD He’s dating during the pandemic but keeping it as safe and simple as possible: If you won’t get tested, he won’t meet up. Age: 22 | Occupation: UPS package handler | Status: Single WHAT DID YOUR LOVE LIFE LOOK LIKE BEFORE THE PANDEMIC? I wasn’t in a relationship. I dated from time to time. HOW SOON AFTER THE PANDEMIC BEGAN DID YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE TO START DATING? I started trying to talk to people around August. I wasn’t necessarily feeling comfortable with meeting people, but I was looking to talk to people and see if we had [similar views] on staying safe during the pandemic. HOW DID YOU MEET PEOPLE? I met people on Twitter and Tinder, about three people. With two of them, it kind of fizzled out. We had different interests. With one woman, we talked for about a month before we met up. HOW MUCH/OFTEN DID YOU TALK? For a few hours every day. WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO MEET IN PERSON? We both got tested right before we met, so we felt comfortable not distancing from each other in person. We met at a park and just went for a walk and talked, which was nice. We haven’t seen each other since then. We had a lot of different interests, so it just fizzled out.

WHAT ARE YOUR PANDEMIC DATING DEAL BREAKERS? I can’t deal with people who don’t take the pandemic seriously, so if they aren’t interested in getting tested, don’t believe in masks, or don’t believe in the virus. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER PEOPLE TRYING TO DATE DURING THE PANDEMIC? Stay safe, seriously. It’s not a joke. You don’t want to hurt your friends or your family just because you want to have a little bit of fun. WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING ABLE TO DO AGAIN WITH A DATE IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD? I’m looking forward to going to fun places where there are other people, particularly movie theater dates or amusement park dates.

Pandemic Dating Etiquette

DO give your date (and yourself) time to get to know each other before deciding to meet.

DO pick a first-date spot that allows you to keep a safe distance from each other and other people.

DON'T remove your mask without making sure it’s OK with your date.

DO be honest about your mask usage and social behavior before meeting with your date.

DO ask your date if they’ve had any symptoms before meeting in person, and disclose any symptoms that you’ve had as well.

DON'T hug hello or goodbye if you haven’t gotten their consent.

DON'T jump from an in-person date with one person to an inperson date with another.

SACMAG.COM February 2021


ACCORDING TO A RECENT STUDY, the top metros for pandemic dating include Austin, Texas; Boston; and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Meanwhile, Sacramento is in the top 10 worst cities in the country for pandemic dating, with only 20.5 percent of those surveyed reporting dating-scene satisfaction. Source: Apartment List

pandemic DatingRed Flags

 Resistance or refusal to wear a mask

 Proposing that the first date be in their house  Recent photos on social media of them at large gatherings

 Asking to meet up in person during the first text conversation  Suggesting that the virus is a hoax

 Admission of toilet paper or food hoarding

Beware of Romance Fraud!

Catfish (noun): A fake or stolen online identity created or used for the purposes of beginning a deceptive relationship. Catfish (verb): To lure someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona. The first time Nicole Schallig was catfished was six years ago. She tried to video call a guy she had been chatting with, but when he answered the phone, he had the camera pointed at his wall instead of his face. He said he had just taken a shower and was insecure about his hair. “I told him I felt uncomfortable, so then he showed me his forehead,” Schallig recalls. Sensing something was up, she ended the call. A few minutes later, he messaged her to confess: The pictures he had been using were actually of his cousin. His identity had been a lie. According to the FBI, in 2018, 18,000 people were victims of catfishing, or romance fraud. Schallig says Facebook Dating seems to be a playground for catfish, where she has sidestepped seven so far. Recently, she began talking to a man who claimed to be an engineer and CEO of a Bay Area elevator company. She thought it was odd that his profile was full of spelling and grammatical errors, but she gave him the benefit of the doubt. But there were more red flags: his name was along the lines of “Steve Jones” or “Tom Smith,” but he claimed to be a native Parisian who had moved to Texas from France when he was 8. When she asked him what his favorite thing about Paris was, he told her it was . . . the Eiffel Tower. Finally, she asked to video chat, but he said he was having problems with his phone. Instead, he agreed to a voice call, where there was another surprise: His accent was not French, nor was it American. “He had a nonspecific Asian accent,” Schallig says. They never video chatted. Oddly, when she Googled his name, she did find that he was the CEO of a Bay Area elevator company. Or was he? “I did some research and found out that these guys will hack into Facebook profiles and take the pictures and information, so it’s a real person,” Schallig explains. “Then they use WhatsApp or Google Voice to create their own phone number, and that’s what they message you from.” While some catfish are motivated by insecurities to craft false online identities, others are motivated by something more nefarious: They hope to eventually swindle money from people they’ve identified as “desperate” for love. It’s just another online scam, this time preying on people who may be too eager to believe they’ve found romantic companionship online. “I think they are profiling to find women with careers who are of a certain age,” Schallig says. “I also put down that I’m ‘curvy,’ and I think that they think that means I’m desperate.” (Dear reader, she is not.)

NICOLE SCHALLIG’S TIPS FOR CATCHING A CATFISH If two or more of these are true, you may be talking to a catfish. Their profile reads like a Hallmark movie. “They’re always established homeowners and looking for something serious, they’re done playing games, and they ‘love to listen,’” Schallig says. They message you in the middle of the night. “They’ll drop you messages at 2:30 a.m. because that’s a normal time to chat in the country they’re in,” Schallig says.



They only have one photo, or take photos of photos. “It’s easy to steal one photo, and a little bit harder to steal a series of photos,” Schallig says. “Sometimes they have one picture, sometimes they have a couple that they repeat over and over to fill all of the photo slots. Or they take pictures of magazine photos that have very poor photo quality to try to gather as many photos as possible.” They never want to video chat.

They come on really strong. “We had only been talking two days when one [catfish] started calling me ‘love,’ ‘honey’ and ‘baby,’” Schallig says. Their phone numbers aren’t real. “I would save their numbers in my phone under a new contact, but the calls would never register as the contact, just the number—because they’re ‘fake’ numbers through WhatsApp or Google Voice,” Schallig says.

NICOLE SCHALLIG With two autoimmune conditions, she’s considered “high risk,” so she has had to get creative with socially distanced dating. Age: 43 | Occupation: High school teacher | Status: Single WHAT DID YOUR LOVE LIFE LOOK LIKE BEFORE THE PANDEMIC? I broke up with someone last fall and was single for a few months. The online dating thing wasn’t really working for me, so I joined a matchmaking service in February. HOW HAS THE MATCHMAKING SERVICE BEEN SO FAR? Not great. I was matched with one person and essentially got ghosted. Part of the rules of this matchmaking service are that the gentleman is supposed to reach out to the woman first, so I waited a month and a half for a fiveminute phone call that never came. I was matched with another person and waited more than two months for him to call, which still hasn’t happened. HAVE YOU MANAGED TO TALK TO ANYONE FROM THE SERVICE? One guy. We met for coffee, and he came in his sweats. We talked for 20 minutes and there was no chemistry. HAVE YOU TRIED ANY OTHER FORMS OF MEETING PEOPLE? I’ve used Bumble, Hinge and OkCupid. Recently, I’ve also tried Facebook Dating. I’ve had five Zoom dates, which I really like doing. Before the pandemic, dating was a bigger investment of energy. I’d get dressed up to meet and have to drive and spend money just to find out if we had chemistry. With Zoom, I can be wherever I’m choosing to be and we can chat while reading each other’s faces and body language to see if that chemistry exists, but it isn’t the same investment as meeting in person. WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING THING THAT HAS HAPPENED?

I’m shocked at how many people are still propositioning me for something very casual and physical during a pan-

demic. One person was in a committed polyamorous relationship, and I was just like, “I can’t meet you. I don’t know who your wife is dating. How can you possibly open your marriage right now?” WHAT’S THE BEST SOCIALLY DISTANCED DATE THAT YOU’VE HAD? We had been talking for a few weeks and he came over to meet me in my backyard. I made us two separate bowls of popcorn, he brought chocolate, and we projected a movie to watch together. HOW HAS YOUR DATING CRITERIA CHANGED SINCE THE PANDEMIC BEGAN? Between the pandemic and the election, I used to be a little bit more open-minded toward people who have different views than I do, and I’ve kind of decreased [that open-mindedness]. I tend to stick toward liberal, college-educated people, which makes things easier. I’ve also raised my age criteria more and I’m talking to an older group than I used to in the past. I’m looking for guys in the low 50s, because many men my age (43) still want to have kids. I’m already a single mom and the sole provider for my household, so I can’t have another young child.

Favorite Pandemic Date Spots

Lili: Elk Grove Park. It’s a great place to have a picnic. The park is huge, so you can spread out, and there are a lot of options for where you can set up.

Nicole: I really like going on walks, so just a walk in the neighborhood or walks on the levee. It’s really public, too, which I like—please don’t “Dexter” me!

Maximillian: Meet & Eat on Freeport has a lush covered patio filled with tons of greenery. There’s plenty of open space as well as accommodations for any weather condition. It’s obvious that they put a lot of time, effort and affection into that space. The menu is extensive, the servers are exceptional and the bartenders are skilled.

Anthony: Regency Park in Natomas, where you can just be one-on-one with the other person. I don’t really think I would go to a restaurant with a whole bunch of people. Marie: Right now, it’s a little harder because it’s cold, but over the summer, I loved hiking dates at Bassi Falls.

SACMAG.COM February 2021


MAXIMILLIAN SULLIVAN The pandemic created a lull in his work, so he finally had the time to ramp up his love life. But after a few missed connections, he’s still looking for a special someone. Age: 29 | Occupation: Personal trainer | Status: Single HOW DID YOU MEET PEOPLE? Instagram, Facebook and Tinder, with Tinder actually being the least used of the three. Instagram is [the easiest] to get a dialogue going and figure out whether we are interested in the same things, and just talking back and forth about story posts. ARE THESE RANDOM PEOPLE ON INSTAGRAM, LIKE IT WOULD BE ON A DATING APP, OR PEOPLE WHO YOU KNOW OF? Mostly randoms—people that follow me or that I follow. But in the gay community, everybody is a friend of a friend. HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE YOU FOUND A ROMANTIC CONNECTION WITH SO FAR? Probably five people. It started with chatting and then that sometimes progressed to video chatting. I met three of those men for an outdoor coffee date. WHAT KIND OF SAFETY PRECAUTIONS DID YOU TAKE? I get tested for COVID pretty regularly; I’ve been tested six times. I talked to people for a week or two before meeting outdoors. I was comfortable meeting because we had been taking similar precautions. DID YOU HIT IT OFF WITH ANY OF THE PEOPLE THAT YOU MET? With one person, it just wasn’t a match. With the other two guys, we dated for one month each. There was no overlapping; I was seeing one person at a time. Nothing became long term. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM DATING DURING THE PANDEMIC? Because of the pandemic, things moved a little bit more quickly since a lot of our typical social interactions were removed. We were basically the most interesting thing going on in each other’s lives at the moment. One characteristic that became apparent is that



sometimes people think they want to date, but really they want to be soothed because they are not self-soothing. So they just want someone to be there for them, but they don’t actually want to be in a relationship. HAVE YOU NOTICED ANY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PRE-PANDEMIC DATING AND NOW? Elitism is a little bit more apparent during this time because there are so many serious issues being discussed by so many people. I’ve noticed people speaking negatively of people who are less fortunate than they are, or unknowingly making judgments about people doing what they can with what they have. It has been really apparent. WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING ABLE TO DO ON A DATE IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD? I like kisses! So I would like to be able to kiss my dates. I like physical touch and holding hands, and that isn’t really something you can do right now. Right now, instead of focusing on the moment or thinking about what they smell like, you’re actively turning away and counting in your head, like, “OK, I touched this person,” for contacttracing purposes. It adds another level of self-preservation to dating, so I’m excited about not worrying about physical interaction.

LILI KOPONEN She met her perfect match on a streaming app during the pandemic. The only catch: He lives in Georgia. Age: 33 | Occupation: IT trainer | Status: In a relationship WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST THING ABOUT PANDEMIC DATING? People that I dated in the past have been popping out of the woodwork, like, “Hi!” For most people, we ended on good terms, but there are a few people where we went on one date and we didn’t have good energy who are also messaging me, and I’m like, “No! Why?!” If we were not going to date when I wasn’t risking my life to see you, we are definitely not going to date now. WHAT LESSON DID YOU LEARN FROM THIS EXPERIENCE? The importance of video chatting. I was talking to someone online before I met my boyfriend at the beginning of the pandemic and we were vibing, but then we had a video chat and it was really awkward and bad. HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR BOYFRIEND? I met him through a streaming app called Likee. We both host and go live. We’re both dancers, and he found me first. For one of my lives, I was playing music and dancing, and he was watching for a while. Then I picked a song, I think it was “No Guidance” by Drake and Chris Brown, and watched him do a freestyle [dance]. I thought he was pretty good. We started talking on the app and getting to know each other, and after about a week, we started exploring more of a romantic relationship. The other thing is that he actually lives in Georgia! But since dating during quarantine was virtual anyway, it was worth exploring.

pandemic First-Date Ice Breakers HAVE YOU . . .

❄ Adopted an animal?

❄ Done a TikTok dance?

❄ Used a sourdough starter? ❄ Gone more than five ❄ Attended a protest?

days without wearing “real clothes”?

❄ Been to a Zoom happy hour? ❄ Gone three months ❄ Been to a Netflix Party? ❄ Started and abandoned a new hobby?

without a haircut?

❄ Taken up day drinking? ❄ Watched “Tiger King”?

HOW OFTEN DID YOU TALK? On a day that we didn’t talk much, we talked for an hour and a half. We’ve talked for 10 hours in one day before. DID YOU MEET IN PERSON? Yes. He came to visit for 10 days. Before he came to visit, I wouldn’t have called him my boyfriend, but after his visit, I definitely feel comfortable saying that now. GIVEN THAT HE WAS TRAVELING ACROSS STATES, WHAT MADE THAT RISK FEEL OK FOR YOU? He got tested right before he came. I had gotten tested a bit before then as well. WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE TWO OF YOU? He has plans to move from Georgia to California. He actually got a job offer and is going to be training for that. He is going to be moving an hour and a half away, so still somewhat long distance, but more manageable. SACMAG.COM February 2021


A yard plow truck at Donner Summit heads toward Donner Lake.



CLEARING THE SIERRA IT’S A TOUGH JOB, BUT SOMEBODY’S GOTTA DO IT. It’s also cold, wet and dangerous. It’s the mission of Caltrans’ Sierra Snowfighters, who are based in Kingvale, to skillfully scrape snow off asphalt, thereby keeping stretches of Interstate 80 in drivable condition during the winter. Here, we show them in action.


SACMAG.COM February 2021


At a chain control checkpoint, a worker waves on 4x4 and allwheel-drive vehicles.

A motor grader clears the Interstate 80 onramp at Boreal.

The communications center

Changing a motor grader’s blade

Traffic stops for road clearing.



Loading a yard plow truck with sand

Rotary snow plow

Top: Tony Valadez, Scott McClendon. Bottom: Miguel “Gus” Medina, Gary “Wally” Wallace, Joseph Desmond, Cody Jernigan, Pete Labrenz, Jason Jones

A team works to plow the entire road.

SACMAG.COM February 2021


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i n s i d e: From ranch house to modern farmhouse

Woodland Wonder How do you turn a nondescript house into a stylish home for a young family? Designer Lori Brazier accomplished that goal. —Catherine Warmerdam

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hen Ronnie and Jenn Mafrici moved to Woodland from the Bay Area, they wanted a modern farmhouse that reflected their style and their lifestyle, says the couple’s interior designer, Lori Brazier. “They were looking for something durable for them, functional for their two girls, and a place to entertain because they like to have a lot of friends and family over.” The house they purchased—a 4,000-square-foot 1995 ranch house with builder-grade cabinets, outdated vinyl flooring and a suboptimal floor plan—was big on space but had little going for it in terms of style. “It is a gorgeous property,” Brazier explains, but the inside cried out for an overhaul.

Dining room (previous page): “The art in the dining room is one of the last pieces that got decided on,” says designer Lori Brazier. “I knew I wanted to do something that was an unexpected contrast.” Entry (right): Brazier tied together the black and white elements in the entryway by hanging a mirror that spans both sections of the wall. Great room (above): The great room’s distinctive fireplace is covered in a custom paint finish and features a mantle crafted with wood sourced from a friend of the owners. Great room (opposite page): A transitional space between the kitchen and the great room features a waterfall bench in black soapstone, the same material used for the fireplace hearth and the bar and dining room countertops.



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“We really wanted the home to be sophisticated but also feel very welcoming and inviting.” —Lori Brazier

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The top-to-bottom remodel started in the kitchen. “The layout was horrible, so we gutted the room and completely reconfigured everything,” says Brazier. An awkwardly situated island and eating nook gave way to expansive double islands, one for prepping, the other for dining. “This way, everyone can hang out in the kitchen and not be in the way of the chef.” The great room, with its vaulted ceilings and shiplap walls, is spacious enough to seat a crowd comfortably but also allows for armchair seating in the corners for a more intimate experience. “Because the room is so long, we wanted to cover the whole space with areas to hang out,” says Brazier. In the dining room, Brazier introduced color and sophistication with a bold giclee print and green velvet chairs. “That deep green runs through the entire home and pairs so nicely with all the black and white that’s typical of a farmhouse,” says the designer. The wood cabinets here were a no-brainer: “I didn’t want any more white cabinets because there were already so many in the kitchen, and that light wood was exactly what I had in mind. It let us pull in a little more of an organic element here.” The entryway’s 6-foot-high board-and-batten wainscoting makes a dramatic statement. “This space sets the tone for the whole house, with the black and white paint, the warm woods, the brass chandelier,” explains Brazier. “I can’t imagine a better welcome than this.” Kitchen : The kitchen’s finishes—black and white cabinets, quartz marble countertops, touches of brass on the plumbing and light fixtures—lend the space a classic feel.



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Cover Represented by JANE MILLER 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. Š2021 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell BankerŽ System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group 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.

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LOOMIS | Price Upon Request This Custom home was built in 2001 and has been lovingly updated since 2015 and features approximately 3,600 square feet of livable area with 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, expansive kitchen featuring stainless appliances, breakfast nook & great room, formal dining room, office, bonus room & attached garage. Enjoy a custom pool, spa, covered outdoor kitchen and outdoor living room plus a pond. Jane Miller 916.799.7397 | CalRE #00640671

SACRAMENTO | $3,200,000 Situated on approx. 1.2 acres, this exquisite waterfront estate boasts incomparable quality & design, and features a park-like setting studded by majestic Heritage Oaks trees & water frontage.

SACRAMENTO | $1,749,000 Luxurious home offers a grand marble foyer, family room, living room, dining room, Chef's Kitchen with granite counters, Master Suite with en suite bathroom and private outdoor living with pool, covered patio & cabana.

Rich Cazneaux 916.212.4444 | CalRE #01447558 Maggie Sekul 916.224.5418 | CalRE #01296369

The Tom & Nancy Harvey Team 916.599.3018 | CalRE #01864883, #01894135

SACRAMENTO | Price Upon Request A true mid-century modern, this custom home is situated on a rare approximately .46 acre double lot. It has 5 large bedrooms and 5 baths, amazing storage, a pool, a large back yard, a finished basement and a guest house.

ROSEVILLE | $1,200,000 Resort style living in the gated, luxury community of Castle Creek. This spectacular 5br/4ba single story home is located in a large approx. 1.1 acre, lush and private, park-like setting. Enjoy the Pebble-tech pool w/waterfall, covered patio w/built-in BBQ & putting green.

Dale Smith 916.524.3205 | CalRE #00944086

Bob Fewell 916.712.0673 | CalRE #01298348 Coldwell Banker.indd 64

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FOLSOM | $1,075,007 Welcome to this four-bedroom home that also features a separate office and bonus room. A stunning and updated kitchen overlooks the pool and spa. The home backs to a greenbelt and does include a first-floor guest suite.

SACRAMENTO | $948,000 Tastefully remodeled high-end 4br/3ba turnkey home in the sought-after neighborhood of Wilhaggin. Backyard has solar-heated pool, garden, covered patio and versatile, detached glass-enclosed structure. Great location!

Steve Ostrom 916.308.2446 | CalRE #01344154

Angela Heinzer 916.212.1881 | CalRE #01004189

ELK GROVE | $889,990 4br/2.5ba home features separate living & family rooms, kitchen with custom cabinetry & granite counters, dining room w/fireplace, all situated on 4.77 acres. 1,300 +/Sq. Ft., detached garage/workshop.

IONE | $798,000 4br/2ba custom home w/open layout in great room & private layout in bedroom area. Outdoor area w/stamped concrete, play structure, fire pit, horseshoe pit, raised beds, built-in seating & low maintenance landscaping.

Lisa M Steele 916.743.5611 | CalRE #01237871 Jaime Hayes 916.947.2809 | CalRE #01409330

Tammy Goolsby 209.332.0250 | CalRE #01987204

SACRAMENTO | $785,900 Space, Style and Comfort! East Sac 3br/2ba home with updated gourmet kitchen with white cabinetry and KitchenAid stainless appliances, beautiful hardwoods, two jetted tubs, inside laundry and a 2 car garage.

SOMERSET | $749,900 This quality home is peacefully set amongst the vineyards of some of the best wineries in Fairplay. The home features a great room concept, master bedroom on one side and manicured approx. 5 acres that is fully fenced.

Roza & Kirsch Realtor Group 916.730.7705 | CalRE #01365413, #01483907

Marc Traverse 916.802.4141 | CalRE #00876065 Coldwell Banker.indd 65

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ROSEVILLE | $695,000 This stunning single-story E. Roseville home on nearly half an acre features 4br/2ba and an updated gourmet kitchen. The spectacular backyard entertainer's paradise has a Pool and mature landscaping.

ELK GROVE | $679,900 Well-kept, spacious home features a tranquil pool, RV section and a beautiful side yard. It offers a large family room, separate living room, dining room and sweeping staircase leading to the comfortable Master Bedroom.

Melinda Shrader 916.747.7535 | CalRE #00994757

Shanda Lusich 916.214.8479 | CalRE #01070238

GOLD RIVER | $625,000 Beautiful 4br/3ba Gold River home has a desirable floor plan, entertainer’s kitchen with granite counters and a private backyard with covered patio and pool.

ROSEVILLE | $620,000 4br/2ba single-story home in Kensington Greens backing to golf course. Features open floor plan, remodeled kitchen & bathroom, 3 car garage, double-sided fireplace & spacious master suite. Low HOAs and golf course views!

Kathleen O'Neill 916.832.0333 | CalRE #01440748

Carla Layton 916.580.8018 | CalRE #01395619

SACRAMENTO | $595,000 Charming 2br/1ba bungalow offers wood floors, original fixtures, a built-in hutch in the living room, a spacious kitchen, custom driveway gate, backyard w/pergola & patio & a bonus room w/living area & glass shower.

ELK GROVE | Price Upon Request Gorgeous home in the desired Foulks Ranch neighborhood features a loft, bonus room, stone fireplace, granite counters, covered patio and beautiful pool.

Sue Olson 916.601.8834 | CalRE #00784986

Destiny Slothower 916.806.2207 | CalRE #01883204 Coldwell Banker.indd 66

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SACRAMENTO | $579,000 This classic East Sac bungalow features an inviting living room, beautiful fireplace & large dining room. The bright & charming kitchen offers plenty of cabinet space. Enjoy the large backyard with freshly painted deck.

AUBURN | $560,000 Rare Find! This three bedroom, two and one-half bath home has amazing views. You will love the expansive living room with a cozy fireplace, the cheery kitchen with an island dining bar and multiple entertaining areas.

Elise Brown 916.715.0213 | CalRE #01781942

Melinda Shrader 916.747.7535 | CalRE #00994757

SACRAMENTO | $549,900 Impeccable 2br/2ba Arden Park home features a living room w/sunny window, wood floors & fireplace, a formal dining room, a family room & remodeled kitchen w/stainless appliances. Enjoy the park-like backyard & deck.

AUBURN | $549,000 Brand new charmer in a historic neighborhood offers an open floor plan, gourmet kitchen and luxury baths. Enjoy sweeping views from the front deck.

Erin Stumpf 916.342.1372 | CalRE #01706589

Jennifer Berry 916.508.0898 | CalRE #02097085

GALT | $549,900 This beautiful single story home features 3br/3ba plus office, open floor plan, formal living & dining room, family room, chef’s kitchen, 3-car tandem garage and professionally landscaped backyard.

SACRAMENTO | $539,950 This welcoming home offers high ceilings, crown moldings, private junior suite and spacious kitchen with upgraded appliances & walk-in pantry that opens to the family room. Outside features a covered patio & garden area.

Karen Tolliver-Jones 916.825.8465 | CalRE #01743516

Angela Heinzer 916.212.1881 | CalRE #01004189 Coldwell Banker.indd 67

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SACRAMENTO | $535,000 This 2br/1ba home features a large living room with wood-burning fireplace, dining room and quaint kitchen. Enjoy the backyard with a newer sparkling pool, an expansive stamped patio area and shade trees.

FAIR OAKS | $519,900 Rare opportunity to own 2 homes at the end of a private road. The main home is approximately 2,233 sq. ft. with 3br/3ba. The 2nd home is an approximately 280 sq. ft. 1br/1ba apartment.

Elise Brown 916.715.0213 | CalRE #01781942

Jaime Hayes 916.947.2809 | CalRE #01409330

SACRAMENTO | $514,800 UCD Med Center two-bedroom, one bath home lives large with fab layout and is nestled on a tree-lined street. Stunning 1915 craftsmanship with newly refinished floors.

IONE | $505,000 This beautifully cared for home in Castle Oaks features upgrades including hand scraped hickory hardwood floors, fireplace, custom-built bar, French door, professional landscaping, stamped concrete, two patios & spa.

Roza & Kirsch Realtor Group 916.730.7705 | CalRE #01365413, #01483907

Tammy Goolsby 209.332.0250 | CalRE #01987204

ELK GROVE | $499,900 Gorgeous 4br/3ba home offers a remodeled kitchen with quartz counters, stainless steel appliances and island, remodeled bathroom, covered patio and more!

LINCOLN | $499,900 4br/2ba upgraded single story home on a peaceful court. Master suite has doors to backyard featuring a hot tub and covered patio with misters.

Destiny Slothower 916.806.2207 | CalRE #01883204

Kim Frkovich 916.532.1157 | CalRE #01365584 Coldwell Banker.indd 68

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IONE | $489,900 Beautiful 4br/3ba home overlooking 2nd green loaded with upgrades. Exceptional backyard with swim spa, lanai and fruit trees. Plus many updates in kitchen.

FOLSOM | $470,000 Charming 3br/2ba home shows true pride of ownership! Open kitchen overlooks the oversized family room. Backyard is generous in size w/a vegetable garden. The home boasts not one but two RV access points.

Tammy Goolsby 209.332.0250 | CalRE #01987204

Alison Traverse Warren 916.690.6960 | CalRE #01733854

ORANGEVALE | $460,000 4br/2ba single-story w/open floor plan with adjacent family room & kitchen, a formal living room, bonus room & master bedroom w/2 closets & updated bath. A private backyard features fruit trees, a patio & a BBQ space.

SACRAMENTO | $450,000 4br/3ba home features quartz counters, stainless steel appliances, updated bathrooms, family room, exquisite master suite and generous size backyard.

Suzanne Volkman 916.773.1028 | CalRE #00702179

Marian Thai 408.313.6977 | CalRE #02118944

RANCHO CORDOVA | $449,900 Opportunity knocks w/this Rare gem of duplex which features 3 Beds & 2 Baths on both sides. Each unit enjoys its own automatic garage & private backyard. Roof replaced in 2017 & sewer line replaced in 2020.

ELK GROVE | $439,900 3br/2ba home features a spacious living, formal dining area, family room with fireplace, dining nook and an open kitchen with granite countertop & newer gas range. Primary bedroom suite offers a walk-in closet & bathroom.

Tim Comstock 916.548.7102 | CalRE #01879462

Thanh Velez 408.209.4102 | CalRE #02081558 Coldwell Banker.indd 69

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SACRAMENTO | $435,000 4br/2.5ba two-story Larchmont Riveria home w/high ceilings and tons of natural light. Separate living room & family room & updated kitchen w/custom cabinets. Established neighborhood near the American River trails.

ELK GROVE | $430,000 Opportunity is knocking at your door. This is your chance to get into a beautiful neighborhood and own a highly sought-after single story with great curb appeal. Add your personal touch & TLC, you won’t be disappointed.

Crystal Lopez 916.743.8832 | CalRE #01978732

Shanda Lusich 916.214.8479 | CalRE #01070238

TRUCKEE | Price Upon Request Great 2br/1ba Tahoe mountain cabin with a beautiful Donner Lake View! It features a large front deck ideal and plenty of parking, and Storage Sheds. It offers a fully fenced back yard!

ROSEVILLE | $419,000 Located on a serene street off Pleasant Grove, this 3br/2.5ba home offers a welcoming front courtyard, open layout, gourmet kitchen w/granite counters, high-end appliances, chandeliers & updated laminate flooring.

Kathy King 530.913.8145 | CalRE #01958783

Tiegen Boberg 916.747.0773 | CalRE #01964215

SACRAMENTO | $415,000 Stunning 3br/2ba ranch-style home in the Autumnwood of Rosemont w/brick fireplace, large yard, updated HVAC & flooring & a remodeled kitchen w/stainless steel appliances & ample cabinetry & counter space.

ELK GROVE | $400,000 Charming 4br/3ba single-story home offers a spacious laundry room, formal living room, formal dining room, family room with fireplace, relaxing master suite, functional kitchen and covered back patio.

Shaun Dashti 916.380.8172 | CalRE #01975061

Tecca Wysk 916.205.8973 | CalRE #01308218 Coldwell Banker.indd 70

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CARMICHAEL | $400,000 3br/3ba approx. 1,667 sqft. home features newer flooring, 3-car driveway, 2 fireplaces, living room w/exposed beams & tall ceilings, den with skylight & a spacious backyard with a built-in pool, deck & gas fire pit.

PIONEER | $335,000 This log home has beautiful wood floors, a huge laundry room, an open kitchen with lots of counter space, jacuzzi bathtub, and large bedrooms. The walkout basement area has just been updated and remodeled.

Carly Meyers 916.955.7814 | CalRE #02085090

Tammy Goolsby 209.332.0250 | CalRE #01987204

SACRAMENTO | $540,000 Rare opportunity to own at the exclusive Huntington Sierra Oaks. Enjoy 2 master suites, a private balcony and an open concept kitchen.

ROSEVILLE | $525,000 4br/2ba home on approx. ¼ acre lot w/a living room, formal dining room, remote master suite, large backyard & an updated kitchen.

ELK GROVE | $485,000 Sitting at the end of a cul-de-sac this home has all that you are looking for offering 4br/2.5ba w/a loft plus a sparkling pool & spa.

ROSEVILLE | $470,000 4br/3ba JMC Vineyard home w/quality finishes, open concept island kitchen, downstairs bedroom/full bathroom & spacious master suite.

Wendolyn Villanueva 530.312.2765 CalRE #02088446

Greg Larson 916.223.1500 CalRE #00838126

Destiny Slothower 916.806.2207 CalRE #01883204

Jacqueline Nance 916.300.6510 CalRE #02027555

CARMICHAEL | $410,000 3br/2ba home w/a 2 car garage, remodeled bathrooms, galley kitchen & family room opens to a covered patio & landscaped backyard.

SACRAMENTO | $375,000 Wonderfully updated ranch home w/updated kitchen & bathrooms, hardwood floors, spacious kitchen & dining room & large backyard.

IONE | $99,900 Well cared for 2br/2ba home features a beautiful dining room, large kitchen, master bathroom w/a soaking tub & landscaped backyard.

IONE | $99,000 Nice approx. .71 acre parcel backs to large farm w/beautiful views of surrounding area. Power, water & sewer connection are at the site.

Leticia Santana 916.835.9327 CalRE #01893056

Veronica Hunter 916.398.0128 CalRE #01905685

Tammy Goolsby 209.332.0250 CalRE #01987204

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ENERGY. PASSION. COMMITMENT. Karen’s love of people, genuine concern, exuberant personality and great business sense have made her one of Sacramento County’s Top Residential Real Estate Brokers year after year. For over 30 years, her clients have recognized her market knowledge, tireless attention to detail, and unwavering commitment to results. Throughout the years, generations of families remain loyal and utilize Karen’s talents and expertise to help them buy and sell again and again. Karen enjoys living and selling homes in Rancho Murieta, and is the Top Producing agent in her community. She also has a proven track record throughout Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Amador Counties. It’s very important to Karen to give back; she continues to contribute to her many favorite charities: Weave, Red Cross, Kiwanis, Happy Tails, Jacob’s Angels and to firefighters and victims of fire throughout Northern California.


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Gil A. Albiani The Albiani Group.

Brian Kassis

Gloria Knopke

Albiani Real Estate Group DRE# 00584962 | SAR (916) 425-0330

RE/MAX Gold DRE# 00989626 | “Your REALTOR® for Life!” (916) 539-9555

Lyon Real Estate DRE# 00465919 | SAR (916) 616-7858


We have been blessed with clients who continue to call upon us to help with their real estate needs. Again this year lots, land, estate homes and small commercial properties comprised a major part of our business. We look forward in 2020 to providing professional real estate services to our loyal and new clients.

Judy Black

Coldwell Banker Realty CRS, GRI, PMN, AHWD, GREEN, ABR, SRES Military Relocation Professional DRE# 01129479 | SAR (916) 533-3344

Linda Wood

Patty Gillette

Maggie Frisch

Lyon Real Estate Broker-Associate DRE# 00472483 (916) 601-3678

DRE# 01000718 | SAR Lyon Real Estate (916) 996-8050

Julie Burks

Dana Miller

Tim Comstock

Ann Caminiti

DRE# 01019816 | SAR Riverpoint Realty (916) 225-0707

RE/MAX Gold DRE# 01472899 | PCAR, SAR (916) 716-9046

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage DRE# 01879462 | SAR (916) 548-7102

GRI, Masters Club Cal BRE# 00498200 Broker-Associate (916) 591-9999

Josh Blackwood

Kathy Papola

Victoria Witham

Steffan Brown

Granite Creek Realty DRE# 01801610 | SAR (916) 741-8720

Network Real Estate DRE# 00498457 | PCAR (530) 271-3815 | (530) 913-9879 Cell

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Dunnigan REALTORS® DRE# 01129438 | SAR PRESIDENT 2018 (916) 802-8042

Witham Real Estate DRE# 01456452 | SAR (916) 718-1751

Personable. Knowledgeable. Professional.

DRE# 01882787 | SAR Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage (916) 717-7217

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Andy Thielen

Shelly Long-Welborn Shelly Long ROCKS! She absolutely LOVES what she does and it shows ... Google her. Her honestly and integrity shine through in every transaction. Consistently selling homes locally for over 20 years she can honestly not think of a more fulfilling position. She’s committed to equally serving people from all walks of life, including the LGBTQ community. Realty ONE Group DRE# 01219426 | PCAR, SAR (916) 806-HOME (4663)

Toddy Schultz

DRE# 01483530 SAR OUTSTANDING LIFETIME MEMBER Lyon Real Estate (916) 342-3573

Jan Detrick

Angela Heinzer

Lisa Rothfels

Erin Stumpf

DRE# 01004189 | SAR Coldwell Banker (916) 212-1881

Lyon Real Estate DRE# 01726096 | SAR (916) 996-8877

DRE# 01706589 | SAR Coldwell Banker (916) 342-1372

DRE# 01227077 | SAR Lyon Real Estate (916) 230-3778

DRE# 01208861 | SAR Outstanding Life Member Coldwell Banker Realty Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) (916) 812-8180

Sherri Patterson

Franco Garcia

Physician Relocation Specialist DRE# 01273462 | EDCAR, SAR, DRS (916) 801-1105

DRE# 00925201 | SAR | Past President Garcia Realty (916) 206-3802



Steve & Sue Galster As owners of Galster Real Estate Group, Sacramento’s premier real estate company, Steve and Sue have built their sterling reputation on the personal bonds they make with their agents, office support staff, friends, neighbors and you! They offer a level of personalized agent support that is unmatched. When you combine Steve’s enthusiastic style and business savvy and Sue’s caring follow-through and attention to detail, it’s easy to see how they’ve made such a lasting impact with their agents and in the market.

Angela Gitt

Carla Layton

DRE# 01132561 | SAR Lyon Real Estate (916) 224-5843

DRE# 01395619 | PCAR Coldwell Banker Realty (916) 580-8018

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DRE# 01325532 | SAR Galster Real Estate Group (916) 718-1471

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

— Helen Keller

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Tiffany Tate Tiffany is a Top Producer at Newpoint Realty. She prides herself on creating a low-stress, top quality buying and selling experience for all of her clients. She enjoys working with firsttime home buyers looking for their first big purchase as well as retirees who are ready to slow down and find the perfect forever home. Tiffany also works with numerous out-of-thearea clients who are relocating to the Sacramento/El Dorado/ Placer region. Her dedication to these clients through constant communication and previewing homes sets her above the rest. Tiffany is proud of her 2019 success and is looking forward to another fun year of Real Estate in 2020. Newpoint Realty DRE# 02009988 | PCAR, SAR (916) 541-8813

Lisa Auble Lyon Real Estate DRE# 01369531 | SAR (916) 719-6381

Kelly Upchurch Broker, SRES, REALTOR®, StoneBrook Realty Group DRE# 01040512 | SAR (916) 601-4225

I have been in real estate in the Sacramento area for more than 47 years and with Lyon RE over 37 years, moving here from Georgia in 1970. I have worked in New Home sales for Robert Powell in Campus Commons, East Ranch, Wyndgate and Maddox Ranch. Prior to real estate I was in banking and in the 60’s a Flight Attendant for Eastern Airlines, which nurtured my love for people and eagerness to assist them. I’m lucky to be doing what I love and strive to be the BEST for my clients. Let us all keep an attitude of gratitude. Lyon Real Estate, Vice President DRE# 00475888 | SAR (916) 849-7314

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Vivian Daley

Cynthia Woods, Broker DRE# 01749720 | SAR Galster Real Estate Group (916) 743-6611

1/13/21 3:21 PM

Tanya is a top producing REALTOR® of 14 years with Lyon Real Estate. She has a positive mindset and is committed to providing high-touch, superior service. Tanya has represented hundreds of buyers and sellers and has a passion for helping others that sets her apart. She is active in multiple local charities. Learn how Tanya can help you realize your real estate dreams at

Representing buyers and sellers throughout the Sacramento region and Northern California LIFE


Joel Perez

RE/MAX Gold DRE# 01467711 | PCAR, SAR Top Achiever for EDCAR Cell: (916) 997-7393 Office: (916) 537-2400

Brandon E. Lower

Mark Delgado

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Sacramento Association of REALTORS® Masters Club member Has sold homes in five Sacramento-area counties • Available to customers anytime, day or night


Broker Associate with Coldwell Banker Realty who has been helping buyers and sellers through the real estate process since 2004. Your home is a huge part of your life, both financially and emotionally. So the decision to sell a house is not one to be made lightly. When you hire me as your listing agent, I will be putting my 16+ years of experience as a Realtor to work for you. As a Broker Associate with Coldwell Banker Realty, I approach the sale of every property with the highest level of professionalism and care. Coldwell Banker Realty DRE# 01411594 | SAR (916) 705-2298

Brandon has been involved in various facets of real estate for nearly 20 years, including property management and home mortgage loans. In just his second year of selling homes, he became a member of the Sacramento Association of REALTORS® Masters Club. Brandon has sold homes in Sacramento, Colusa, El Dorado, Placer, Sutter and Yolo counties. Born and raised in Sacramento, he has a lifetime of knowledge about the area and vows to work day or night to get you the best deal. Whether you’re looking for your first home or are experienced in buying real estate, his passion for real estate and helping his clients makes him a great candidate to get you the house you’re looking for.


Nadia Zierke

Coldwell Banker Cal DRE# 01721230 | SAR (916) 206-0063 Masters Club Life Member



REALTOR® BRE #02033008 | (916) 812-0209

1/13/21 10:42 AM

Win this House Built by Woodside Homes in Eucalyptus at Cypress, Rancho Cordova, CA. Estimated value $500,000.

Giveaway Date: April 8, 2021

Tickets on Sale Prize

Get your ticket by January 22, 2021 for a chance to win an Original Peloton Bike and one year All-Access Membership, courtesy of Catalyst Mortgage. Ticket Outlets: Patelco Credit Union​​

St. Jude patient Morgan

Get Tickets | 800-564-8758 National Sponsors Local Sponsors

Giveaway is conducted by and benefits ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. St. Jude’s audited financial statement is available upon request to St. Jude by calling 1-800-822-6344 or by email at Your payment may be deducted under Federal and State income tax laws only to the extent that it exceeds the cost of the tickets you purchase. ©2020 ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. (DMH-75) St. Jude's audited financial statement is available upon request to St. Jude by calling 1-800-822-6344 or by email at Your payment may be deducted under Federal and State income tax laws only to the extent that it exceeds the cost of the tickets you purchase. CA R-0061

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Erica Zakrzewski

A Place at the Table Launched this past summer, the Black Artists Fund has already doled out two rounds of grants, with more contributions and camaraderie planned for 2021.—Steph Rodriguez

i n s i d e: Meet five Black Artists Fund grantees.

Dancer Jalen Tyre’

SACMAG.COM February 2021

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t began with a vision: to build a community of Black artists who collaborate on projects and work together to lift the talents of fellow creatives across all mediums. This past summer, the Black Artists Fund was launched to much acclaim, awarding more than $15,000 in grants to local Black artists. Founder Faith McKinnie, as well as other Black creatives, started BAF to address the stark inequity they experienced in arts funding by raising money through a GoFundMe campaign to help Black artists sustain their careers. BAF completed its second round of applications in December, raising $22,000 that was awarded to 26 artists in $500 to $2,000 grants. “We had everything: a nail artist, a few artists that draw on shoes, a lot of fashion and clothing designers, makeup artists and a lot more dancers this time,” McKinnie says. “Going through the apps, I just realized how many really creative people are living in our community.” With the success of the first two rounds, the next application process for grants is set for June. In the meantime, the BAF board looks forward to hosting workshops that will teach Black artists how to write about their work, create grant proposals, build websites and, most importantly, continue to foster the growing community BAF has brought together. “I think what’s important for me is to continue to grow and build our community,” says McKinnie. “For 2021, I want to foster these relationships and introduce this artist to that artist. I want to be able to take the 130 artists that have applied and get us all together, whether that’s through Zoom, and build on what first started with an application.” Here are some artists who were awarded Black Artists Fund grants.

Joha Harrison His brushstrokes bathe the canvas in color. But paint isn’t Joha Harrison’s only medium. An experienced photographer, Harrison captures thought-provoking, black-and-white images and colorful portraits. He also used film as a means to express his vast artistic capabilities with his debut documentary, “Humanity and the Mural,” which premiered at The Guild Theatre in Oak Park in January. Harrison says the Cultivation grant he received from the Black Artists Fund gave him the push he needed to continue creating, especially during the pandemic. “It was one of the best feelings I ever felt,” he says. “It gave me supreme confidence. So if you can take that and give that to another Black artist, to give even just the confidence to push them to make what they’re doing better—that’s awesome.” Influenced by artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson and André 3000 from the hip-hop duo Outkast, Harrison says he used his time in isolation to lean into his craft, painting more than 30 pieces for clients. “The isolated time with COVID, it allowed me to go deeper into my own creativity,” he says. “I feel more comfortable collaborating with a client’s wants and blending that with the creative side of what I can do—and not just with the mechanical side.”


Ted Labissiere of Caravan Film Crews



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Jalen Tyre’

Professional Dancer From Sacramento to Puerto Rico, Jalen Tyre’ has danced on stages alongside Reggaeton superstar Daddy Yankee, and he was just in Miami on the set of a music video. Tyre’ says his time spent on tour with Daddy Yankee in Puerto Rico made him want to return to Sacramento and encourage other creatives to thrive in their hometown. “I was on tour in Puerto Rico for about a month or two; we did 13 to 14 shows in his hometown,” he says. “It was so amazing. The energy I received as a dancer on stage was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It gave me more drive to do more things like that in Sacramento, actually. Because of what I felt in Puerto Rico performing with Daddy Yankee, I want to be able to also use this as a steppingstone to create a platform for people in Sacramento just to stay in Sac and live their dreams.” Tyre’ is part of a couple of dance crews, @VT916Fam and @VibeTribeSac, that simply like to gather outdoors and dance. When he moves to the music, it’s fluid and free-form, but with a hip-hop aesthetic that makes you bob along to the rhythms he creates with his body. “I think it’s very important that artists continue to be artists, because without the arts, we would honestly be so lost,” Tyre’ says. “A lot of us wouldn’t be able to tell our full story. We all connect through art. The fact that I was able to connect with so many people because we just wanted to dance—it shows that Sacramento is a city full of love and connectivity and community.”

Aliyah Sidqe Painter/Muralist

She’s played with paint and color since she was a little girl, and now artist Aliyah Sidqe says she holds onto that childlike spirit while she teaches art classes to students through Zoom. For the past two years, she’s taught art at several elementary schools and recently completed a two-story mural at Washington Elementary with her grant from the Black Artists Fund. “The kids at Washington Elementary gave me their input. They wanted the mural to represent strength, empowerment, Black Lives Matter, and to keep a spirit of moving forward,” she says. In shades of calming blue, Sidqe painted a Black girl meditating, a scene inspired by the yoga classes the kids take during school. Sidqe hopes the mural encourages her students to heal. “I think art captures moments in time,” she says. “I’m just kind of going with the flow, which I’m OK with. But I definitely want to continue with murals, because I feel like it’s the most impactful right now.” Her goal for 2021 is to paint five murals that resonate with people and evoke some form of emotion, especially during a time —Aliyah Sidqe when art exhibits are so scarce. “I want people to be moved in one way or another, whether that’s being happy, maybe tapping into sadness, or just feeling something,” she says. “I think that’s important. Also, just to empower people to be their authentic selves and embrace themselves is always a goal for me, especially for the kids.”

Left: Alyssa Keys

“I want people to be moved in one way or another, whether that’s being happy, maybe tapping into sadness, or just feeling something.”

SACMAG.COM February 2021

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Shonna McDaniels Painter/Muralist

Keia Kodama

Stylist/Fashion Designer She embraces her love for sneaker culture and rocks men’s clothing better than they do. Keia Kodama is a stylist and fashion designer who creates funky home décor and customized, limited-edition clothing as The Kodama Project. “I’m very sporty and I’m still a little punk. That’s something you don’t see a lot in Black culture, especially on women, because those two are still anti-feminine,” she says. “I’ve always been a girl’s boy when it comes to fashion. A lot of my influence comes from guys’ reactions to how I would style their clothes. I’m about to take over the boys’ club and show you guys how to do it right.” From pink basketball-shaped planters that hang like decorative chandeliers to gaudy, oversized fuzzy jackets adorned with a swoosh, Kodama designs for those who seek to wear confidence on their sleeve. “I think there’s just this rebel in me. It’s about individuality and expressing myself,” Kodama says. “I think beauty and fashion are the only things that you can do that are not harmful to yourself when it comes to reinventing who you are. All you have to do is change your style or your hair color. That’s the beauty of fashion.”


As a working artist in Sacramento for more than 30 years and the founder of Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum in South Sacramento, Shonna McDaniels says she’s finally landed her seat at the artists’ table. In August, McDaniels completed a mural on the SMUD wall at 1423 19th St. It depicts an African-American woman confidently taking her rightful place at a table—a piece she says speaks to her journey as an artist. “I’ve been through a lot of trials and tribulations as an African-American artist just not being able to have a seat at the table,” she says. “But I got to do what I wanted to do. My vision came true. I got to have my seat at the table. It was just a very empowering experience.” McDaniels says she’s looking forward to using her BAF grant to buy art supplies so in 2021 she can focus on creating more paintings on canvas and building a website where she can sell prints of her work. As the founder of the Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum, McDaniels stays plenty busy with arts education and outreach to more than 12,000 kids annually. In honor of Black History Month, the museum tentatively plans to host an in-person celebration called “Black Lives Matter Then, Black Lives Matter Now” with a new permanent installation of a three-dimensional wooden ship as well as artwork from local artists on display. “What I want for 2021 is just to create art without being rushed to create art. Just in my own time, I get so busy with admin work at the museum and other programs that my work is kind of secondary sometimes,” McDaniels says. “I really want to just focus on my work, give myself more time for me as an artist to create, create, create.”


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Keisha KeishaM. M.Mathews Mathews Broker Broker Make Make Money. Money. Save Save Time. Time. Sell Sell Fast. Fast.

• Single-family • Single-family residential residential listing listing expert expert

• Move • Move Safe™ Safe™ certified certified — best — best equipped equipped to serve to serve youyou during during COVID-19 COVID-19

• Winner • Winner of prestigious of prestigious Century Century 21 Quality 21 Quality Service Service Award, Award, 2014 2014

• Lifetime • Lifetime member member of SAR of SAR Master’s Master’s Club Club

WithWith overover 16 years 16 years in real in real estate, estate, Keisha Keisha “Kee”“Kee” Mathews Mathews is theis broker the broker and and owner owner of of Mathews Mathews & Co.&Realty Co. Realty Group Group and and Urban Urban CoreCore Rentals Rentals Property Property Management Management and and hosthost of “Selling of “Selling Sacramento,” Sacramento,” a weekly a weekly real real estate estate radioradio broadcast broadcast on 97.5 on 97.5 FM KDEE. FM KDEE. She She also also hostshosts “Sac“Sac CoreCore Explore,” Explore,” a social a social media media TV Show TV Show withwith her video her video co-host co-host Vincent Vincent Schedrick. Schedrick. In January In January of 2020, of 2020, she she founded founded Anchor Anchor Home Home Ownership Ownership Academy, Academy, Sacramento’s Sacramento’s first fihomebuyer rst homebuyer preparedness preparedness conference conference withwith an emphasis an emphasis on debt-free on debt-free living, living, creditcredit restoration, restoration, downdown payment payment assistance assistance and and investing. investing.



Whether Whether representing representing sellers sellers or buyers, or buyers, Kee’sKee’s primary primary goalgoal is toisbeto the be the strongest strongest advocate advocate on her onclient’s her client’s behalf. behalf. Her professionalism, Her professionalism, workwork ethic,ethic, designations, designations, extensive extensive marketing marketing and and construction construction background background give give her her an advantage an advantage that that anyone anyone she she represents represents benefi benefi ts from ts from and and deeply deeply appreciates. appreciates. Five-year Five-year winner winner Keisha Keisha M. Mathews M. Mathews

UsingUsing her passion her passion for real for real estate, estate, her deep her deep knowledge knowledge of the of Sacramento the Sacramento region region and and the most the most innovative innovative and and cutting-edge cutting-edge technology, technology, Kee isKeecommitted is committed to helping to helping people people buy,buy, sell and sell and retain retain real real estate. estate.

770 770 L Street, L Street, SuiteSuite 950 950 • Sacramento, • Sacramento, CA 95814 CA 95814 Phone: Phone: 800-674-7303 800-674-7303 • Cell: • Cell: 916-370-1803 916-370-1803 • •



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Sheena SheenaReithmeier Reithmeier Realtor, Realtor, DREDRE 01790507 01790507

Committed Committed To To Your Your Success Success • Represents • Represents buyers, buyers, sellers sellers andand investors investors • Exemplifies • Exemplifies integrity, integrity, honesty honesty andand trust trust • Supports • Supports local local 501(c)(3) 501(c)(3) charities charities

I am Idriven am driven by mybyclients’ my clients’ trusttrust withwith whatwhat is oftentimes is oftentimes the largest the largest purchase purchase or sale or they sale they will make will make in in theirtheir lifetime. lifetime. BeingBeing mindful mindful of myofclients’ my clients’ goals,goals, listening listening carefully, carefully, exercising exercising discretion, discretion, providing providing solutions solutions and being and being an accomplished an accomplished negotiator negotiator is what is what keepskeeps my clients my clients returning returning and sending and sending me me a constant a constant stream stream of referrals. of referrals.


Legacy Legacy Properties Properties 30173017 Douglas Douglas Boulevard, Boulevard, SuiteSuite 300 300 Roseville, Roseville, CA 95661 CA 95661 Phone: Phone: 916-803-7776 916-803-7776


Donna Donna Judah Judah

Sonya Sonya Dixon Dixon

SalesSales Associate, Associate, DRE DRE 00780415 00780415

Expert Expert Network Network Distinguished Distinguished Realtor, Realtor, CDPE,CDPE, CDAT™, CDAT™, DRE DRE 01828462 01828462

Fair Oaks Boulevard, 36203620 Fair Oaks Boulevard, SuiteSuite 300 300 Sacramento, CA 95864 Sacramento, CA 95864 Direct: 916-595-5704 Direct: 916-595-5704

15001500 Del Webb Boulevard, SuiteSuite 101 101 Del Webb Boulevard, Lincoln, CA 95648 Lincoln, CA 95648 Phone: 916-412-9190 Phone: 916-412-9190



YourYour Premier RealReal Estate Resource Premier Estate Resource

• Over 31 years of experience • Over 31 years of experience • A top in Placer County • A producer top producer in Placer County • Free lightlight staging of your listing • Free staging of your listing • Focusing on active adultadult communities • Focusing on active communities I bring a variety of experience to the including lending, appraising, marketing I bring a variety of experience to table, the table, including lending, appraising, marketing and and teaching decorative arts.arts. WhenWhen you you add add thesethese experiences withwith my negotiating teaching decorative experiences my negotiating skills,skills, you can I have become so successful. My background provides you with you see can why see why I have become so successful. My background provides you with a partner for allforofallyour buying and selling needs. ThatThat is hard to beat! I have a team of of a partner of your buying and selling needs. is hard to beat! I have a team talented professionals behind me that helphelp makemake youryour experience the best it canit be. talented professionals behind me that experience the best can be. FIVEFIVE STARSTAR REALREAL ESTATE ESTATE AGENT AGENT AWARD AWARD WINNER WINNER



Trusted Estate Resource, YourYour Trusted RealReal Estate Resource, Dedicated to Your Goals Dedicated to Your Goals

• Winner of prestigious the prestigious CENTURY 21® National Quality Service Award • Winner of the CENTURY 21® National Quality Service Award • Lifetime member of PCAR the PCAR Masters Clubs • Lifetime member of the and and SARSAR Masters Clubs • Honored a Distinguished Realtor by National the National Expert Network • Honored as aas Distinguished Realtor by the Expert Network • Knowledgeable skilled in residential, commercial • Knowledgeable and and skilled in residential, commercial and and landland salessales my success to the loyalty of valued my valued clients. My business I oweI owe my success to the loyalty and and trusttrust of my clients. My business and and reputation on exceeding expectations through award-winning service, reputation are are builtbuilt on exceeding expectations through award-winning service, personalized attention an unwavering dedication to achieving I apply personalized attention and and an unwavering dedication to achieving youryour goals.goals. I apply my vast market knowledge, expert marketing negotiation my extensive my vast market knowledge, expert marketing and and negotiation skillsskills and and my extensive network of industry resources to strategically my proven expertise to meet network of industry resources to strategically tailortailor my proven expertise to meet unique needs. my experience commitment to excellence to guide youryour unique needs. TrustTrust my experience and and commitment to excellence to guide you you smoothly through the real estate process, ensuring exceptional results! smoothly through everyevery step step of theof real estate process, ensuring exceptional results! FIVEFIVE STARSTAR REALREAL ESTATE ESTATE AGENT AGENT AWARD AWARD WINNER WINNER


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Laurel Laurel Davies Davies

Liz LizHunter Hunter

Realtor, Realtor, DRE DRE 01049869 01049869

Realtor, Realtor, DREDRE 01323362 01323362

• Over • Over 31 years 31 years of real of real estate estate experience experience • Assisting • Assisting buyers buyers andand sellers sellers in West in West Sacramento Sacramento as as wellwell as the as the Greater Greater Sacramento Sacramento areaarea

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925925 Highland Pointe Drive, Suite 140140 Highland Pointe Drive, Suite Roseville, CA 95678 Roseville, CA 95678 Phone: 916-276-9097 Phone: 916-276-9097




15551555 Riverpark Riverpark Drive,Drive, SuiteSuite 109 109 • Sacramento, • Sacramento, CA 95815 CA 95815 Phone: Phone: 916-952-6813 916-952-6813 • • FIVE FIVE STAR STAR REAL REAL ESTATE ESTATE AGENT AGENT AWARD AWARD WINNER WINNER

Hunter by by Name, Hunter Name, House Hunter by by Nature. House Hunter Nature.

LuAnn LuAnn Shikasho Shikasho

• Professional associations: California Association of Realtors, Placer County • Professional associations: California Association of Realtors, Placer County Board of Realtors, National Association of Realtors, Lifetime Master’s Club Board of Realtors, National Association of Realtors, Lifetime Master’s Club member member I have recently formed a partnership withwith Cathy Christiansen called TLC.TLC. We We pride I have recently formed a partnership Cathy Christiansen called pride ourselves on on listening to our clients’ needs andand offering consistent communication ourselves listening to our clients’ needs offering consistent communication throughout thethe process. throughout process. OurOur strong attention to detail, knowledge of the market andand keeping up up withwith thethe strong attention to detail, knowledge of the market keeping market trends keepkeep ourour clients well-informed. We We know thatthat buying or selling a home market trends clients well-informed. know buying or selling a home is one of the biggest andand most emotional decisions youyou willwill everever make. WithWith my my 20 20 is one of the biggest most emotional decisions make. years in real estate andand Cathy’s 35 years in real estate withwith mortgage experience, we we years in real estate Cathy’s 35 years in real estate mortgage experience, know what it takes to successfully negotiate thethe bestbest home offeroffer to fittoyou. Finding thethe know what it takes to successfully negotiate home fit you. Finding rightright home for for youyou is our toptop priority. home is our priority.

Realtor, Realtor, DRE DRE 01764898 01764898

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Linda Linda Wood Wood

Vivian Vivian Daley Daley

Broker Broker – Associate, – Associate, DRE DRE 01129438 01129438

Realtor, Realtor, Vice Vice President, President, DRE DRE 00475888 00475888

• Sacramento • Sacramento Association Association of Realtors of Realtors — Master’s — Master’s Club, Club, outstanding outstanding life life member member • Sacramento • Sacramento Association Association of Realtors of Realtors — 2018 — 2018 president president



24252425 Fair Oaks Fair Oaks Boulevard, Boulevard, SuiteSuite 1 • Sacramento, 1 • Sacramento, CA 95825 CA 95825 Cell: Cell: 916-802-8042 916-802-8042 • Offi• ce: Offi916-484-2030 ce: 916-484-2030 • • FIVE FIVE STAR STAR REAL REAL ESTATE ESTATE AGENT AGENT AWARD AWARD WINNER WINNER

LuAnn LuAnn is anis established an established realreal estate estate professional professional whowho has has served served the the Greater Greater Sacramento Sacramento areaarea overover 11 years. 11 years. LuAnn LuAnn believes believes thatthat her her clients’ clients’ success success is the is the key key to her to her own.own. She She thanks thanks her her clients clients for their for their continued continued trust. trust. Experience Experience the the dedicated, dedicated, knowledgeable knowledgeable andand professional professional service service you you deserve. deserve. Call Call today today for aforfree a free consultation consultation or estimate or estimate of your of your home’s home’s value! value! eXp eXp Realty Realty of California, of California, Inc. Inc. 31253125 Dwight Dwight Road,Road, SuiteSuite 400A400A • Elk• Grove, Elk Grove, CA 95758 CA 95758 Direct: Direct: 916-585-3788 916-585-3788 • •


LindaLinda has been has been a licensed a licensed real real estate estate agent agent sincesince 19821982 and and a licensed a licensed real real estate estate broker broker sincesince 2001.2001. She She has the has Graduate, the Graduate, Realtor Realtor Institute Institute (GRI)(GRI) and and Seniors Seniors RealReal Estate Estate Specialist® Specialist® (SRES®) (SRES®) designations. designations. Her Her business business is built is built on repeat on repeat and and referred referred clients clients and and she continually she continually addsadds newnew clients clients to that to that group. group. She She works works in Sacramento, in Sacramento, Yolo,Yolo, Placer Placer and and El Dorado El Dorado counties. counties.

My My client-first client-first philosophy philosophy has has always always beenbeen my my approach, approach, andand it it requires requires me me to continually to continually improve improve my my skillsskills andand waysways of doing of doing business. business. In addition, In addition, I’ve I’ve found found thatthat the the latest latest technologies technologies are are enabling enabling me me to do to everything do everything I’ve I’ve always always done, done, onlyonly much much moremore quickly quickly andand efficiently. efficiently.

• Attitude • Attitude of gratitude of gratitude

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I have I have beenbeen serving serving the the Greater Greater Sacramento Sacramento areaarea for for 48 years 48 years andand LyonLyon RealReal Estate Estate for for 38 years. 38 years. My My experience experience andand business business development development in banking in banking in Minnesota in Minnesota andand California, California, andand previous previous experience experience as aasflight a flight attendant attendant for Eastern for Eastern Airlines Airlines in the in the 1960s, 1960s, nurtured nurtured my my lovelove for for people people andand my my eagerness eagerness to assist to assist them. them. I love I love whatwhat I doIand do and I keep I keep an attitude an attitude of gratitude. of gratitude. 25802580 Fair Oaks Fair Oaks Boulevard, Boulevard, SuiteSuite 20 •20Sacramento, • Sacramento, CA 95825 CA 95825 Direct: Direct: 916-849-7314 916-849-7314 • Fax:• Fax: 916-535-5223 916-535-5223 FIVE FIVE STAR STAR REAL REAL ESTATE ESTATE AGENT AGENT AWARD AWARD WINNER WINNER

Victoria Victoria Witham Witham Broker, Broker, Owner, Owner, DRE DRE 01913021 01913021



• Among • Among 1% of 1%agents of agents in the in the market market to receive to receive the the FiveFive StarStar RealReal Estate Estate Agent Agent award award • Seniors • Seniors RealReal Estate Estate Specialist® Specialist® (SRES®) (SRES®) • Master’s • Master’s ClubClub life life member member (SAR) (SAR) • Short • Short Sales Sales andand Foreclosure Foreclosure Resource Resource certification certification (SFR®) (SFR®) • Certified • Certified Distressed Distressed Property Property Expert Expert (CDPE) (CDPE) A gentle A gentle forceforce in the in the real real estate estate arena, arena, Victoria’s Victoria’s passion passion is toishelp to help her her clients clients successfully successfully accomplish accomplish theirtheir real real estate estate goalsgoals and and objectives. objectives.

Hire Hireaaprofessional professionalwho who finds findsaaway waywhen when there thereisisaabump bump ininthe theroad. road.

39413941 ParkPark Drive,Drive, SuiteSuite 20-665 20-665 • El Dorado • El Dorado Hills,Hills, CA 95762 CA 95762 Phone: Phone: 916-718-1751 916-718-1751 • • FIVE FIVE STAR STAR REAL REAL ESTATE ESTATE AGENT AGENT AWARD AWARD WINNER WINNER


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The TheEd EdFontes FontesTeam Team

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WINNER WINNER LeftLeft to right: to right: Maria Maria Fontes, Fontes, Office Office Admin; Admin; Ten-year Ten-year winner winner Ed Ed Fontes, Fontes, Branch Branch Manager, Manager, NMLS NMLS 233325; 233325; Jorge Jorge Lombera, Lombera, Processor Processor

Over Over4040Years YearsofofQuality QualityExperience ExperienceToToService ServiceYour YourNeeds! Needs! • FHA, • FHA, VA, VA, conventional conventional • Jumbo • Jumbo loans loans with with nono mortgage mortgage insurance insurance • Reverse • Reverse mortgages, mortgages, purchases purchases and and refinances refinances • RELO • RELO

915915 Highland Highland Point Point Drive, Drive, Suite Suite 135135 • Roseville, • Roseville, CA CA 95678 95678 Phone: Phone: 916-712-8509 916-712-8509 • • #TeamAmeriFirstRoseville #TeamAmeriFirstRoseville

I would I would likelike to take to take thisthis opportunity opportunity to thank to thank God,God, mymy wife, wife, ourour families, families, friends, friends, clients clients andand Realtors Realtors for for their their continued continued support! support! TheThe greatest greatest compliment compliment ourour clients clients cancan givegive is the is the referral referral of their of their friends friends andand loved loved ones! ones! Thank Thank youyou for for youryour trust. trust. Please Please accept accept ourour sincere sincere thanks thanks for for having having hadhad thethe opportunity opportunity to serve to serve youyou all in allyour in your financing financing needs! needs! WeWe pledge pledge to provide to provide thethe highest highest quality quality personal personal service service for for ourour clients. clients. WeWe want want to help to help them them advance advance their their personal personal goals goals of achieving of achieving thethe American American dream dream of homeownership of homeownership andand meet meet all their all their real,real, perceived, perceived, psychological, psychological, emotional emotional andand personal personal needs. needs. With With a little a little overover 40 years 40 years of quality of quality experience, experience, Ed and Ed and his his team team cancan structure structure thethe right right typetype of fiofnancing. financing. 40%40% of Ed’s of Ed’s business business is turn-downs is turn-downs from from banks, banks, brokers, brokers, lenders lenders andand credit credit unions. unions. Don’t Don’t youyou think think it’s it’s timetime to go to with go with someone someone whowho hashas been been a Five a Five StarStar Wealth Wealth Manager Manager featured featured in the in the Forbes Forbes March March 2020 2020 issue issue as one as one of of thethe TopTop 500500 Mortgage Mortgage Professionals Professionals across across thethe nation? nation? CallCall meme today! today! AmeriFirst AmeriFirst Financial, Financial, Inc., Inc., 15501550 E. McKellips E. McKellips Road,Road, SuiteSuite 117,117, Mesa,Mesa, AZ 85203 AZ 85203 (NMLS (NMLS # 145368). # 145368). 1-877-276-1974. 1-877-276-1974. © 2020. © 2020. All Rights All Rights Reserved. Reserved. This This is notis an notoffer an offer to enter to enter into into an agreement. an agreement. Not all Notcustomers all customers will will qualify. qualify. Information, Information, rates,rates, and and programs programs are subject are subject to change to change without without priorprior notice. notice. All products All products are subject are subject to credit to credit and and property property approval. approval. Not all Notproducts all products are available are available in allinstates all states or fororallforloan all loan amounts. amounts. OtherOther restrictions restrictions and and limitations limitations apply. apply. AmeriFirst AmeriFirst Financial, Financial, Inc. isInc.anis an independent independent mortgage mortgage lender lender and and is notis affiliated not affiliated withwith the Department the Department of Housing of Housing and and Urban Urban Development Development or theor Federal the Federal Housing Housing Administration. Administration. Not intended Not intended for legal for legal or financial or financial advice. advice. VisitVisit for allforstate all state licenses licenses information. information. VisitVisit NMLSNMLS Consumer Consumer Access Access at at Licensing Licensing Information, Information, please please visit visit AmeriFirst AmeriFirst Financial, Financial, Inc. isInc.anisindependent an independent mortgagelender mortgagelender and and is notis affiliated not affiliated withwith the Department the Department of Housing of Housing and and Urban Urban Development Development (HUD) (HUD) or theor Federal the Federal Housing Housing Administration Administration (FHA). (FHA). Licensed Licensed by the by California the California Department Department of Financial of Financial Protection Protection and and Innovation Innovation underunder the the California California Residential Residential Mortgage Mortgage Lending Lending Act. Act. FIVE FIVE STAR STAR MORTGAGE MORTGAGE PROFESSIONAL PROFESSIONAL AWARD AWARD WINNER WINNER FIVE FIVE STAR STAR REAL REAL ESTATE ESTATE AGENT AGENT AWARD AWARD WINNER WINNER


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i n s i d e: Coffee for the Win / Ultimate Cookie / Growing a Better Burger

Good Times Roll There’s nothing stingy about a po’ boy, the Depression-era sandwich that originated in New Orleans during the 1929 streetcar strike and was served free to out-of-work conductors. We’ve got our own problems now, but POOR BOYS in West Sacramento has stepped into the breach with its version of the original. A French roll is stuffed with fried seafood, chicken or meat, along with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and spicy remoulade. It’s enough to make you forget your cares . . . for a while, anyway. 319 Sixth St., West Sacramento; (916) 666-3948; r a c h e l va l l e y SACMAG.COM February 2021

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Strong Brew COVID is no match for coffee. Just look at Chocolate Fish.



ompared to restaurants, coffee shops appear to be weathering the pandemic pretty well. “We feel so lucky compared to our restaurant friends,” says Edie Baker, who owns Sacramento’s Chocolate Fish Coffee with her husband, Andy. Why the difference? For one, a huge part of the coffeehouse business was grab and go even before the pandemic. Sure, plenty of people camp in their local cafe for hours to work, visit with friends or just hang out. But plenty more use the cafe as a quick stop for a takeaway morning jolt before heading out to their daily life. As a result, government-ordered shutdowns didn’t have the massive effect on cafes that they did on restaurants, which rely on people dining—and spending money—indoors. Another factor: Compared to dinner in a restaurant, coffee is an affordable indulgence. In fact, for many coffee drinkers, it’s more a necessity than a luxury. Basically, they’re addicted. All of which means that cafes ultimately may prove to be highly resistant to the coronavirus. Take Chocolate Fish, for example. Since 2008, when the Bakers opened their first coffeehouse in downtown Sacramento, the company has grown steadily to include three stand-alone shops, a roastery, four in-store Raley’s cafes (with more to come) and a licensing agreement with the airport. In March, when the first stay-at-home order went into effect, Baker and her husband cut their stores’ hours, laid off employees and took on extra duties. But within a month, they were exhausted and burned out. “We realized we were going to make it, so we brought people back,” says Baker. In the past year, the Bakers closed one shop but opened another. With downtown virtually deserted as state employees worked from home, they shuttered their original cafe at Fourth and P for good. But they jumped when they were offered an already-built-out space on Blue Ravine Road in Folsom. “The hardest part of opening a cafe is laying out $250,000 to build a new space,” says Baker. “This one was

already done. For us, it was a smart move.” It felt a little scary to make the leap in the middle of an economic and public-health crisis, she says, but “that’s business: You’ve got to take risks and try to move ahead.” The other two Chocolate Fish locations— in East Sacramento and Land Park—have held their own in the pandemic. The East Sac store also houses the company’s roastery, which is kept busy supplying coffee for grocery stores, espresso bars and web customers. (Online sales have doubled during the pandemic.) The Land Park shop, open only two years, has found its footing. “You go over there on a weekend and it’s crazy,” Baker says. “There are people everywhere.” The pandemic, catastrophic as it has been, has even brought some positives to the business. The COMPARED TO Bakers have had to DINNER IN A tighten their belts, RESTAURANT, COFFEE eye every expenditure IS AN AFFORDABLE and create new poliINDULGENCE. FOR cies and procedures. MANY COFFEE They’ve improved DRINKERS, IT’S their website, added MORE A NECESSITY drinks to the menu THAN A LUXURY. and tweaked their point-of-sale system to allow online ordering. “It’s made us look at our business completely differently,” Baker says. “We’ve had to think outside the box.” Thinking outside the box has been part of Chocolate Fish’s business plan from the start. It introduced Sacramento to two New Zealand espresso-house staples: the flat white—a double shot of espresso with steamed milk and a finger of foam—and the long black—a double shot of espresso over hot water. (Andy is from New Zealand.) It was the first Sacramento coffeehouse to serve nitro brew. To promote specialty coffee, the Bakers helped start Specialty Coffee Week and SPLAT, Sacramento Public Latte Art Tournament. As for whether cafe culture—the gathering together of people in a “third place” over a cup of expertly brewed coffee—will survive COVID -19, Baker is optimistic. “I think we will all embrace it like mad when we’re back to normal,” she says.


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Andy and Edie Baker


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The Love Is Baked In

Burger Patch founders Phil and Danea Horn

Growing a Better Burger Burger Patch founders Phil and Danea Horn are on a path to upend the fast-food industry with their local chain of plant-based restaurants. (A third location is set to open near Sacramento State early this year.) The couple chatted recently about the power of food memories, big-time competition and what the future holds for the company. The phrase “nostalgic taste” is part of the company tagline. What do those words mean to you? PHIL: I grew up in a single-parent household and was often on my own for

meals when my mom was working, so I was a fast-food junkie. I grew up on every brand of burger you can think of. I’d eat that at least once, sometimes twice or even three times a day. So the idea of a good fast-food burger and the nostalgia around that, as we transitioned to become 100% plant based in our own diet a decade ago, it was something I missed. DANEA: Burgers and fries weren’t quite the thing for me. I grew up with primarily vegetarian parents. When we would go to fast food, I would get the side salad. With Burger Patch, we recognized the need for something that brings back memories but is healthier and more friendly to the environment and animals and our bodies. Fast food is notorious for the waste it produces, particularly all the packaging. How are you addressing that? PHIL: Being kind is core to our ethos, and that’s not just to animals and

people but to the planet. From the beginning, it was a conscious decision on our part to create as sustainable packaging as possible. Our trays are compostable; our bags are made with 100% recycled materials. The challenge is for the packaging industry to keep up with what we’re trying to accomplish when it comes to sustainability.

Lori Diaz doesn’t mince words when it comes to her baking. “I somehow accidentally stumbled upon making the best chocolate chip cookies there ever has been, and I say that with equal parts humility and bragging, and understanding that anyone who bakes cookies is going to want to fight me for those words,” she says. Diaz makes her cookies in her home kitchen in East Sacramento and sells them through her website (hue Her version of the classic gets an upgrade by way of a disk of dark chocolate that’s placed in the center before baking, creating a luscious “river of chocolate” that melts over the top of the cookie. Then, the crowning glory: a sprinkle of sea salt. “I want your mouth to water just thinking about these cookies,” says Diaz. “You just need the smallest little sprinkle to balance out the richness and give you a break from the other flavors.” Diaz’s cottage business, Huele THE NAME HUELE A a Wela’s, is a product of the WELA’S —SPANISH FOR COVID era, when her part-time SMELLS LIKE GRANDMA’S— job in a dental office came to a IS AN HOMAGE TO LORI halt. The name—Spanish for DIAZ’S GRANDMOTHER, Smells Like Grandma’s—is an HER ANCHOR DURING A homage to Diaz’s grandmother, TURBULENT CHILDHOOD. Milagro, who died in 2019 and was Diaz’s anchor during a turbulent childhood. “My mom was an addict, so the time I spent with my grandmother probably saved me from going down the path that some of my family members did,” explains Diaz. “I found a lot of solace and peace in that kitchen, but what I really learned in that kitchen was how to cook.” Her grandmother wasn’t much of a baker, says Diaz: “She was more about rice and beans and roasted pork, a lot of traditional Puerto Rican dishes. We called it poor man food.” But everything Milagro cooked conveyed the message that food can make a bad day better. “Serving someone a good meal is a way of saying I love you without the words,” Diaz says. “That is why I named my business what I did, because there is something truly soothing and heartwarming about my memories of walking into her apartment in Brooklyn. It was warm, it was familiar, it was comfortable.”—CATHERINE WARMERDAM

McDonald’s recently announced that it will be testing out a plant-based burger 2021. Do you have concerns about the competition? PHIL: We’re excited that all the big chains have started to adopt this. Our

goal was never to be a niche product. It was to create something that would become mainstream. We hope that someday soon you’ll go to a Burger Patch not because it’s plant based, but because it’s the best burger.

make sure we have a really smart and successful business model before we grow too fast. We’ve been very clear on focusing in Northern California for the foreseeable future. I get weekly requests not just from around the country but from around the world from people who want Burger Patch in their town. We’ll continue to listen. Right now, it’s really important that we grow smart and steady. DANEA: From the first moment that we sat down to write the business plan, we wanted Burger Patch to be a values-based business. This was never about how quick or how big we could get Burger Patch to be. We want Burger Patch to amplify the values that we hold and that our customers hold, too.—Catherine Warmerdam


Lori Diaz

Gabriel Teague (2)

Where do you see the business 10 or 20 years from now? PHIL: I think our growth will continue to be dictated by demand. We want to


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Dine When this issue of Sacramento Magazine went to print, restaurants were closed for indoor dining. Meanwhile, many were offering takeout. Before heading to a restaurant, call or check its website to make sure it’s open.

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

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

CITRUS HEIGHTS LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY For description, see listing under “Arden Arcade.” 7910 Antelope Road; (916) 729-4021; L–D. Sandwiches/ice cream. $ SAM’S CLASSIC BURGERS At this drive-up burger shack, the shakes are great and the burgers wonderfully straightforward. 7442 Auburn Blvd.; (916) 723-7512. L–D. Burgers. $

CURTIS PARK Margherita pizza from OneSpeed

ARDEN ARCADE CAFE VINOTECA Located in Arden Town Center, Cafe Vinoteca serves some of the loveliest Italian-inspired cuisine in the city. 3535 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 4871331; L–D. Italian. $$$

Ryan Angel Meza

DUBPLATE KITCHEN & JAMAICAN CUISINE One of the few places in Sacramento where you can get Caribbean food, this restaurant serves Jamaican specialties such as curry goat and jerk chicken. 3419 El Camino Ave.; (916) 339-6978; dubplatekitchen L–D. Jamaican. $$ LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY Go for the ice cream, all made on the premises and used in shakes, malts and towering sundaes. 2333 Arden Way; (916) 920-8382; L–D. Sandwiches/ice cream. $ TEXAS WEST BAR-B-QUE This no-frills establishment serves slow wood-cooked meat in big portions. Dig into the tender Western-style pork spareribs and beef

brisket or the smoky chicken. 1600 Fulton Ave.; (916) 483-7427; L–D. Barbecue. $–$$

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



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

BURGERS AND BREW The casual, publike restaurant uses high-quality, locally sourced ingredients and serves an interesting selection of beers and ales. 1409 R St.; (916) 442-0900; L–D. Burgers. $

REAL PIE COMPANY In addition to dessert pies such as jumbleberry and butterscotch banana cream, you can order savory pot pies, shepherd’s pies and dishes like mac and cheese. 2425 24th St.; (916) 8384007; L–D. American. $

CAFE BERNARDO For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 234 D St.; (530) 750-5101; cafeber B–L–D. New American. $

SELLAND’S MARKET-CAFE High-quality takeout food including appetizers and hot items along with crowd-pleasing side dishes and pizza. 915 Broadway; (916) 732-3390; L–D–Br. Gourmet takeout. $$

CREPEVILLE This bustling creperie serves many variations on the crepe theme, from entrée to dessert. 330 Third St.; (530) 750-2400; B–L–D. Crepes. $ THE HOTDOGGER A well-loved Davis institution, The Hotdogger dishes up a delectable assortment SACMAG.COM February 2021

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Dine of frankfurters and sausages. 129 E St.; (530) 7536291; L–D. Hot dogs. $ YAKITORI YUCHAN This busy little restaurant focuses on skewered grilled meats, seafood and vegetables. Most items are meant to be shared; bring an adventurous palate and a group of food-loving friends. 109 E St.; (530) 753-3196; yakitoriyuchan. com. D. Japanese. $–$$ ZIA’S DELICATESSEN This casual, Italian-style deli makes hot and cold sandwiches, salads and hot entrées such as lasagna, penne with creamy tomato sauce and tortellini with pesto-cream sauce. 616 Third St.; (530) 750-7870; L. Deli. $

DOWNTOWN BAWK! CHICKEN & BAR Along with crispy chicken coated with a red spice mix that kicks it up a notch, you can order salads, oysters on the half shell and collard greens. 1409 R St.; (916) 465-8700; bawk L–D–Br. Southern. $$ BRASSERIE CAPITALE This beautiful restaurant is based on a traditional French brasserie. The menu hits the high points of the brasserie canon, everything from onion soup to steak frites. 1201 K St.; (916) 3298033; L–D. French. $$–$$$ CAMDEN SPIT & LARDER Highly regarded chef Oliver Ridgeway opened this swank brasserie in a modern, glass-walled building near the Capitol. It appeals to lobbyists, lawyers and legislators with its ginforward cocktails (martini, anyone?) and a menu that’s an interesting mash-up of British chop-house classics, English schoolboy favorites and elevated pub fare. 555 Capitol Mall; (916) 619-8897; camden L–D. Steakhouse. $$$–$$$$ DE VERE’S IRISH PUB Don’t head to de Vere’s if you’re seeking a quiet evening—the raucous, high-energy pub is noisy and packed with revelers. The wood bar (imported from Ireland) is enormous, and the food is high-quality pub fare. 1521 L St.; (916) 231-9947. L–D. Irish pub. $$ ECHO & RIG Located 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; B–L–D–Br. Steakhouse. $$$ FOX & GOOSE PUBLIC HOUSE This tavern plates up some of the best breakfasts in town, along with pub staples like beer-battered fish and chips, a Cornish pasty or Welsh rarebit. 1001 R St.; (916) 443-8825; B–L–D. English pub. $ FRANK FAT’S Downtown Sacramento’s oldest restaurant, Fat’s is a favorite of the Capitol crowd. The restaurant is well known for its steaks—especially Frank’s Style New York Steak—and its brandy-fried chicken. This is Chinese cuisine at its most sophisticated. 806 L St.; (916) 442-7092; fatsrestaurants. com. L–D. Chinese. $$$ KODAIKO RAMEN & BAR Partly owned by Kru’s Billy Ngo, this below-ground ramen shop takes the Japanese noodle soup to a whole new level. Ingredients are organic, and almost everything is made in-house. 718 K St.; (916) 426-8863; L–D– Br. Japanese/ramen. $$–$$$ MAGPIE CAFE This restaurant has a casual, unassuming vibe, and its hallmark is clean, simple fare that tastes like the best version of itself. 1601 16th St.; (916) 452-7594; B–L–D. Californian. $$


Echo & Rig’s lamb porterhouse chops MAS TACO BAR Tasty little tacos are the headliners at this casual eatery. They come with all sorts of delicious fillings: braised short rib, Korean fried chicken, banh mi shrimp and roasted cauliflower. You can also get Latin-flavored rice bowls, salads and starters. 1800 15th St.; L–D–Br. Mexican. $$ MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR There are three sushi bars and a dense menu of appetizers, rice bowls, bento boxes and sushi rolls. 1530 J St.; (916) 447-2112; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$

It comes in six varieties, including chicken, vegetarian and seafood. 3610 McKinley Blvd.; (916) 258-4060; L–D. Cajun/Creole. $$ CLUBHOUSE 56 The food is classic sports-bar fare: burgers, sandwiches and apps such as tacos and jalapeño poppers. 734 56th St.; (916) 454-5656; ch56 Br–L–D. Sports bar. $$ KRU Kru turns out exciting Japanese fare, and there’s a craft cocktail bar, outdoor patios and an omakase bar. 3135 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 551-1559; krurestaurant. com. L–D. Japanese. $$$–$$$$

URBAN ROOTS BREWING & SMOKEHOUSE At this brewery, a 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, yams and poblano cheese grits. 1322 V St.; (916) 706-3741; urbanrootsbrewing. com. L–D. Barbecue. $$

OBO’ ITALIAN TABLE & BAR At this casual Italian eatery, there are hot dishes and cold salads behind the glass cases, ready for the taking. But the stars of the menu are the freshly made pastas and woodoven pizzas. There’s also a full bar serving Italiantheme craft cocktails. 3145 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 8228720; L–D. Italian. $$

ZIA’S DELICATESSEN For description, see listing under Davis. 1401 O St.; (916) 441-3354; ziasdeli. com. L. Deli. $

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 open bistro has a tiled pizza oven that cranks out chewy, flavorful pizzas. 4818 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 706-1748; B–L–D. Pizza. $$

EAST SACRAMENTO CANON With Michelin-starred chef Brad Cecchi at the helm, this chic restaurant offers a menu of globally inspired sharable plates. Much of the menu is vegetarian, vegan or gluten free, but you can also order from a small selection of hearty meat, poultry and fish dishes. 1719 34th St.; (916) 469-2433; canoneastsac. com. Global/New American. D–Br. $$$–$$$$ CELESTIN’S Gumbo is the signature dish at this charming restaurant specializing in Creole and Cajun cuisine.

ORIGAMI ASIAN GRILL This fast-casual eatery serves Asian-flavored rice bowls, banh mi sandwiches, salads and ramen, along with killer fried chicken and assorted smoked-meat specials from a big smoker on the sidewalk. 4801 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 400-3075; origami L–D. Asian fusion. $–$$ SELLAND’S MARKET-CAFE For description, see listing under Broadway. 5340 H St.; (916) 736-3333; L–D–Br. Gourmet takeout. $$


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trées. But it’s the wine program that really knocks this charming little bistro out of the park. 230 Palladio Parkway, Suite 1201; (916) 986-9100; backbis D. New American/Mediterranean. $$–$$$ CHICAGO FIRE Oodles of melted cheese blanket the pizzas that fly out of the kitchen of this busy restaurant. Here, you get to choose between thin-crust, deep-dish and stuffed pizzas. 310 Palladio Parkway; (916) 984-0140; L –D. Pizza. $ FAT’S ASIA BISTRO AND DIM SUM BAR The menu at this glamorous restaurant focuses on Asian cuisine, from Mongolian beef and Hong Kong chow mein to Thai chicken satay served with a fiery curry-peanut sauce. 2585 Iron Point Road; (916) 983-1133; fats L–D. Pan-Asian. $$ LAND OCEAN The menu hits all the steakhouse high notes: hand-cut steaks, lobster, seafood and rotisserie, entrée salads and sandwiches. 2720 E. Bidwell St.; (916) 983-7000; L–D–Br. New American/steakhouse. $$$ SCOTT’S SEAFOOD GRILL & BAR This restaurant offers a solid menu of delicious seafood, from crab cakes and calamari to roasted lobster tail. 824 Sutter St.; (916) 989-6711; L–D. Seafood. $$$–$$$$ THAI PARADISE Standouts on the extensive menu include spring rolls, tom kha koong (coconut milk soup with prawns), green curry, spicy scallops and pad thai. Try the fried banana with ice cream for dessert. 2770 E. Bidwell St.; (916) 984-8988; thai L–D. Thai. $$

GRANITE BAY Aji Japanese Bistro’s yatto maki sushi roll STAR GINGER ASIAN GRILL AND NOODLE BAR Offering affordably priced dishes inspired by the street foods of Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore, this restaurant serves a spicy Thai chicken soup that is a delicious bargain. 3101 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 231-8888; L–D. Pan-Asian. $

EL DORADO HILLS AJI JAPANESE BISTRO This restaurant offers an innovative menu of Japanese street food, interesting fusion entrées, traditional dishes such as teriyaki and tempura and sushi. 4361 Town Center Blvd.; (916) 941-9181; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $–$$ C. KNIGHT’S STEAKHOUSE An upscale dinner house serving steaks, chops and seafood, this restaurant offers classic American fare that’s stood the test of time. 2085 Vine St.; (916) 235-1730; cknightsteak D. American steakhouse. $$$$

supporter of local farmers and winemakers, and his innovative food sings with freshness and seasonality. 8941 Elk Grove Blvd.; (916) 685-2220; blvdbistro. com. D–Br. New American. $$–$$$ MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 8525 Bond Road; (916) 714-2112; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$ PAESANOS For description, see listing under “Midtown.” 8519 Bond Road; (916) 690-8646; paesanos. biz. L–D. Pizza/Italian. $ THAI CHILI This plain restaurant offers an entire menu just for vegetarians, plus interesting meat and fish dishes. 8696 Elk Grove Blvd.; (916) 714-3519; L–D. Thai. $$


HAWKS One of Placer County’s best restaurants, owners Molly Hawks and Michael Fagnoni are commitment to elegan cuisine and locally sourced ingredients. The seasonal menu is full of delicious surprises, such as seared scallop and sea urchin. 5530 Douglas Blvd.; (916) 791-6200; L–D–Br. New American/French. $$$–$$$$

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


MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 4323 Hazel Ave.; (916) 961-2112; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$

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

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

SUNFLOWER DRIVE IN This casual spot serves healthful, wholesome vegetarian and vegan fare. Faves include the Nutburger, the egg salad sandwich and fruit smoothies. 10344 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 9674331; L–D. Vegetarian. $

TAYLOR’S KITCHEN Step inside the cozy space and you’ll notice the focal point is an open kitchen where the chefs prepare meats and produce sold at Taylor’s Market next door. 2924 Freeport Blvd.; (916) 4435154; D–Br. American. $$$




BOULEVARD BISTRO Located in a cozy 1908 bungalow, this bistro is one of the region’s best-kept dining secrets. Chef/owner Bret Bohlmann is a passionate

BACK BISTRO A warm pocket of coziness and urban sophistication in a retail center, this place offers an appealing menu of casual nibbles and swankier en-

AÏOLI BODEGA ESPAÑOLA Aïoli features lusty Spanish cuisine. Tables are covered with burlap and brown butcher paper, and the patio is intimate. The main

MILESTONE This eatery serves great takes on comfortfood classics like pot roast and fried chicken. It’s straightforward, without pretense or gimmickry. 4359 Town Center Blvd.; (916) 934-0790; mile L–D–Br. New American. $$–$$

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Dine focus of the menu is tapas, and the selection is broad. 1800 L St.; (916) 447-9440; L–D. Spanish/tapas. $$ BEAST + BOUNTY The heart of this chic restaurant is its open hearth, where meats and vegetables are roasted over a wood fire. The meaty rib-eye, served over potatoes roasted in the meat’s fat, is meant to be shared. So is the pizza, thin and charred from the wood-burning pizza oven. 1701 R St.; (916) 244-4016; L–D–Br. American. $$$ BRODERICK MIDTOWN This midtown outpost of West Sac’s divey Broderick Roadhouse serves the same fare, but in slightly nicer digs. The menu is dominated by burgers. Wings, fries and beer round out the bro-friendly menu. 1820 L St.; (916) 469-9720; L–D–Br. Burgers. $$ CHICAGO FIRE For description, see listing under “Folsom.” 2416 J St.; (916) 443-0440; chicagofire. com. L–D. Pizza. $ ERNESTO’S MEXICAN FOOD This midtown favorite offers robust Mexican fare in an exuberantly cheerful environment. 1901 16th St.; (916) 441-5850; ernes L–D. Mexican. $ HAWKS PUBLIC HOUSE At this sophisticated gastropub, the menu includes beautifully executed dishes like country pâté and baked rigatoni. The pastas are made in-house, and even the burger is top-notch. 1525 Alhambra Blvd.; (916) 588-4440; hawkspublic L–D–Br. Mediterranean gastropub. $$$ HOOK & LADDER MANUFACTURING COMPANY Located in a Quonset hut, Hook & Ladder is serious about food. All the pastas and desserts are made in-house. 1630 S St.; (916) 442-4885; hookandlad L–D–Br. Californian. $$ KUPROS This fun gastropub is housed in a beautifully renovated 1910 Craftsman building. Upstairs in the dining room you can order steak frites or pot roast. 1217 21st St.; (916) 440-0401; kuproscraft L–D–Br. New American/gastropub. $$ LOWBRAU BIERHALLE This chic yet casual watering hole serves house-made sausages, duck fat fries and stand-out beers. 1050 20th St.; (916) 706-2636; low L–D–Br. Beer hall. $ MIDTOWN SUSHI This intimate restaurant has the feel of a convivial dinner party. On the menu: traditional sushi rolls, nigiri and house specialties such as seafood nachos. 2801 P St.; (916) 451-4700; mid L–D. Sushi. $$ MULVANEY’S BUILDING & LOAN This topflight restaurant exudes the generous affability of its owner, chef Patrick Mulvaney. The menu changes frequently and is focused on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. 1215 19th St.; (916) 441-6022; mulvaneys L–D. Californian. $$$ PAESANOS Paesanos is a festive spot to settle in for a casual meal of pizza, pasta or salads with friends or family. 1806 Capitol Ave.; (916) 447-8646; paesan L–D. Pizza/Italian. $ THE RED RABBIT KITCHEN & BAR The menu is a playful jumble of dishes, some robustly American, others with an Asian, Latin or Mediterranean influence. 2718 J St.; (916) 706-2275; L–D–Br. New American. $$ RICK’S DESSERT DINER This diner has a playful ’50s vibe, with red booths and a jukebox. The ever-present line of customers in front of the display case can make it difficult to see the mind-boggling assortment of sweets. 2401 J St.; (916) 444-0969; ricksdessert Dessert. $


Salmon from Zócalo THE RIND The menu includes variations on macaroni and cheese, cheese boards and creative grilled cheese sandwiches. 1801 L St.; (916) 441-7463; the L–D. American. $$ SAIGON ALLEY KITCHEN + BAR This hip restaurant and bar serves modern versions of Vietnamese street food, such as a “Pho-rench” dip (a French dip with pho flavors) and a “banh mi” burger (a rib-eye burger garnished with pickled daikon and carrot on a baguette). 1801 L St.; (916) 758-6934; L–D. Vietnamese. $$ SAMPINO’S TOWNE FOODS This old-world Italian gem is part market, part deli, part restaurant. Everything’s prepared on the premises, from fresh pastas and sauces to sausages made in a hand-cranked grinder. 1607 F St.; (916) 441-2372; sampinostownefoods. L–D. Italian. $$ SQUEEZE INN This fast-food place regularly tops polls for the best burger in town. 1630 K St.; (916) 492-2499; L–D. Burgers. $ TANK HOUSE This midtown ’cue joint offers a limited menu of ribs, brisket and sides along with a thoughtful selection of craft beers. 1925 J St.; (916) 431-7199; L–D. Barbecue. $ THE WATERBOY This Mediterranean-inspired restaurant produces perhaps the finest cooking in the region. Chef/owner Rick Mahan honors local farmers with his commitment to simply prepared, high-caliber food. You can’t go wrong if you order one of the lovely salads, followed by the gnocchi, ravioli or a simple piece of fish. You’ll also find French classics such as veal sweetbreads and pomme frites. 2000 Capitol Ave.; (916) 498-9891; waterboyrestaurant. com. L–D. Mediterranean. $$$$

ZELDA’S ORIGINAL GOURMET PIZZA Zelda’s is legendary for the greatness of its pizza and its attitude. But that’s part of Zelda’s charm, along with the dark, dingy atmosphere. It’s all about the food: old-school, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza that routinely wins “best pizza” in local polls. 1415 21st St.; (916) 447-1400; L–D. Pizza/Italian. $$ ZÓCALO This Mexican restaurant is one of the best places to while away an evening with friends over margaritas. The menu has regional Mexican specialties such as tacos de cazuela, a casserole-ish concoction of steak, chorizo and cheese served with housemade tortillas. 1801 Capitol Ave.; (916) 441-0303; L–D–Br. Mexican. $$

NORTH SACRAMENTO SOUTHPAW SUSHI Famed sushi chef Lou Valenti, former owner of Lou’s Sushi, opened this new operation in 2019. Here, the rolls are simpler and the fish, simply first rate. 1616 Del Paso Blvd.; (916) 550-2600; D. Sushi. $$$

OAK PARK FIXINS SOUL KITCHEN This bustling place, partly owned by former mayor Kevin Johnson, serves up friendly Southern hospitality along with delicious Southern fare, including chicken and waffles, gumbo, fried catfish, and shrimp and grits. 3428 Third Ave.; (916); 999-7685. B–L–D–Br. Southern. $$ LA VENADITA This inviting, casual taqueria has a concise menu that includes inventive street tacos, a


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RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE For description, see listing under “Roseville.” 501 Pavilions Lane; (916) 286-2702; L (Fridays only)–D. Steakhouse. $$$$ WILDWOOD RESTAURANT & BAR This restaurant serves New American and global cuisine, with naan, ahi poken and rock shrimp risotto sharing the menu with an all-American burger. The spacious patio is a great place to grab a drink and listen to live music. 556 Pavilions Lane; (916) 922-2858; wildwood L–D–Br. American/global fusion. $$$

SOUTHSIDE PARK 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; L–D. Japanese. $$–$$$ SOUTH In a town of great fried chicken, this casual restaurant may serve the very best fried chicken of all. It’s moist on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and comes with braised greens and a flaky biscuit (made from a secret family recipe). Other delights include a fabulous hamburger and traditional Southern desserts such as sweet potato pie. 2005 11th St.; (916) 382-9722; L–D. New Southern. $$


Honey walnut shrimp from Fat’s Asia Bistro and Dim Sum Bar brightly flavored ceviche and an enchilada with rich mole sauce. It also boasts a full bar and an enticing menu of craft cocktails. 3501 Third Ave.; (916) 4004676; L–D. Mexican. $$

ROSEVILLE CATTLEMENS For description, see listing under “Dixon.” 2000 Taylor Road; (916) 782-5587; cattle D. Steakhouse. $$$ CHICAGO FIRE For description, see listing under “Folsom.” 500 N. Sunrise Ave.; (916) 771-2020; chi L–D. Pizza. $ FAT’S ASIA BISTRO AND DIM SUM BAR For description, see listing under “Folsom.” 1500 Eureka Road; (916) 787-3287; L–D. Pan-Asian. $$

SQUEEZE INN For description, see listing under “Midtown.” 106 N. Sunrise Ave.; (916) 783-2874; L–D. Burgers. $ ZÓCALO For description, see listing under “Midtown.” 1182 Roseville Parkway; (916) 788-0303; L–D–Br. Mexican. $$

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

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

ETTORE’S This bakery is a great spot for a casual meal. It’s hard to take your eyes off the dessert cases long enough to choose your savory items. But you’ll soon discover the kitchen’s talent extends to the wonderful pizzas, cooked in a wood-burning oven, hearty sandwiches and burgers, and fresh salads. 2376 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 482-0708; B–L–D. Bakery/New American. $–$$

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

LEMON GRASS RESTAURANT Lemon Grass serves delicious, upscale Asian fare such as salad rolls, green curry and catfish in a clay pot. Everything tastes fresh, light and clean. 601 Munroe St.; (916) 486-4891; L–D. PanAsian. $$$

RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE This swanky dinner house serves some of the tastiest meat in town. Expertly cooked steaks are seared at 1,800 degrees. Don’t miss the cowboy rib-eye or the fork-tender filet mignon. 1185 Galleria Blvd.; (916) 780-6910; ruths D. Steakhouse. $$$$

ROXY RESTAURANT AND BAR The innovative New American menu is seasonal and locally focused, with many of the ingredients sourced from area farms and ranches. 2381 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 489-2000; L–D–Br. American/ Californian/steakhouse. $$

BACON & BUTTER Lively and delightfully urban, the place is packed with fans of chef Billy Zoellin’s homey flapjacks, biscuits and other breakfasty fare. 5913 Broadway; (916) 346-4445; B–L. Breakfast/American. $–$$ MOMO’S MEAT MARKET This family-run business serves simply first-rate barbecue, smoked over wood in huge drums in the parking lot. Sides include pepper Jack mac ’n cheese, cornbread and deep-fried cabbage. 5780 Broadway; (916) 452-0202. L–D. Barbecue. $$

WEST SACRAMENTO DRAKE’S: THE BARN Located in a modern indooroutdoor structure along the river, Drake’s serves excellent thin-crust pizzas, along with a few salads and appetizers. 985 Riverfront St.; (510) 423-0971; L–D. Pizza. $$ LA CROSTA PIZZA BAR This casual pizza joint serves first-rate pies baked in a wood-burning oven, along with inventive flatbread s=andwiches and a small selection of Italian entrées. 330 Third St.; (916) 389-0372; L–D–Br. Pizza. $$–$$$

Subscription rates: $18 for one year, U.S. only. All out-of-state subscribers add $3 per year. Single copies: $4.95. Change of address: Please send your new address and your old address mailing label. Allow six to eight weeks’ advance notice. Send all remittances and requests to Sacramento Magazine, 5750 New King Drive, Suite 100, Troy, MI 48098. Customer service inquiries: Call (866) 660-6247. Copyright 2021 by Sacramento Media LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. Prices quoted in advertisements are subject to change without notice. Sacramento Magazine (ISSN 0747-8712) Volume 47, Number 2, February 2021. Sacramento Magazine (ISSN 0747-8712) is published monthly by Sacramento Media, LLC, 231 Lathrop Way, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95815. Periodical postage paid at Troy, MI and additional offices. Postmaster: Send change of address to Sacramento Magazine, 5750 New King Dr., Suite 100, Troy, MI 48098 SACMAG.COM February 2021

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Runway Ready 2012: Models wearing designs by Janelle Cardenas prepare for the catwalk at Sacramento Fashion Week’s Designer Showcase in the Elks Tower Ballroom.

Tyler & Christina

2021: A style-packed virtual event called Fashion in the City takes place Feb. 15–20. Learn more at And if you’re engaging in some post-COVID planning, mark your calendar for September 2022, when the live Sacramento Fashion Week is slated to return.—Darlena Belushin McKay



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Knowledge is power. Eskaton has been a trusted advisor and provider of senior living and services in Northern California for over 50 years. As a local nonprofit, we are committed to empowering older adults and their families with resources and information to help them understand their options and which services are best suited to meet their needs and preferences.

Discover The Eskaton Difference.

916-604-8745 |

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CENTENNIAL · 1921–2021 A lot can happen in 100 years. For The Niello Company, what started as a small independent Packard specialist and repair shop has turned into the region’s only privately held dealership group spanning over nine of the world’s finest automotive manufacturers. We are proud of our legacy and look to the future with excitement and optimism for all that’s to come. The Niello Company. Driving what’s good for a century.


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