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



We profile six women who came through adversity into notable careers.

SACMAG.COM January 2023 7
January )Mendocino Headlands
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8 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE January 2023 Contents 73 50 ON THE COVER The 916 20 COLD LOVE Plunge in 21 CHECK THIS OUT! Library of Things expands 22 SHOW AND TELL Interpreter Sharon Ramsey 23 FLORAL NOTES Edible petals 23 SUSTAINABLE SAC Few Happy Returns 27 Bravo 73 ARTISTIC LICENSE B Street’s Lyndsay Burch ) Taste 81 SMALL BUT ALMIGHTY New in El Dorado Hills 82 GOOD SIPS Fortified wines 82 15 MINUTES WITH SARAH WASSON Mulvaney’s B&L 84 DINE Restaurant guide Reflect 90 DOWNTOWN STYLE Zukors women’s clothing store 81 gabriel teague B Street, s new artistic director ) Sonya Harris Mendocino Headlands Wellness 27 SEEING CLEARLY Laser vision correction Almighty Food Co. )

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In this issue and online / January 2023

Women Who Move Sacramento Special Section

Meet some female executives, medical professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners who are making strides in our community. See the Women Who Move Sacramento section on pages 58–71. 

Lisa M. Brown, M.D., M.A.S., F.A.C.S., Associate Professor, General Thoracic Surgery, UC Davis Health, General Thoracic Surgery


Dennis Rainey


Krista Minard


Gabriel Teague


Darlena Belushin McKay


Marybeth Bizjak


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


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

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Organized and produced by Barrett Barrera Projects. [image] Alexander McQueen (British, 1969–2010), Gown with Mother Mary Print from Angels and Demons, Autumn/Winter 2010. Photo by Sarah Carmody. Courtesy of Barrett Barrera Projects & RKL Consulting.


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STORY IDEAS Have you spotted something appropriate for editorial coverage in Sacramento Magazine? Please submit as much information as possible about the subject to Darlena Belushin McKay at 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.

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Every Day is a Work
of Art

Dreams of Sunlight

Afew months back, I started routinely watching the sunset. It began as a sleep remedy—paired with getting early-morning sunlight and staying o the evil blue-light screens after dark, it was part of a hope-filled plan to reset my circadian rhythm and improve my too-often-di cult sleep. A sleep expert recommended this, and it sounded more pleasant—and less risky—than drops or tablets or edibles.

I won’t reveal my sunset-watching spot. It would be ruined if everybody came. (Don’t be o ended: My husband doesn’t even know.) It’s high on a hill, overlooks the valley and, in among a little grove of native oaks, there awaits a perfectly shaped rock just my size. From my vantage point, I observe the sun dropping, dropping, dropping, streaking the sky orange and yellow and pink. Then it melts behind the coastal mountain range way out there. The clouds—if any are floating by—light up from below, and by the time I leave, the sky is a near-colorless purplish gray. On clear nights, if I’m lucky, when I head back to my car, the moon is rising over the eastern hills.

At first it felt prescriptive, this practice of watching the sun. In the morning, sometimes it still does. It can be tough to drag myself outdoors in the cold to trudge toward watery first daylight. (Fleece-lined leggings help!) But I look forward to my evenings on my rock, sometimes with a book—or a journal if I feel like playing with words—and the quiet time of reflection. That the rods and cones in my eyeballs might get the right light-mix for a good night’s sleep—well, that’s an extra benefit (and might actually be helping). Mostly, though, it’s just beautiful and relaxing, and gives me a little sense of vacationing right here at home.

In this issue’s cover story, we travel to four locales where it’s easy to relax, take care of yourself and see a sunset or sunrise or both. Recently, on an anniversary trip to the North Coast, my husband and I watched the sun dip into a bank of storm clouds—an amber glow among an array of peach and purple and silvery blue—and then, much like at home, the Cold Moon rose over the ridge, shining on us like a spotlight. These natural wonders beg us to slow down and pay attention to the moment.

These days, many inns are bringing in wellness programs, but you don’t have to leave home to piece together a retreat weekend. Either way, the beginning of the year is an ideal time to focus our energies inward. Not as resolution, necessarily, but as a reset after an overbusy holiday season. Your body—and soul—will be grateful.

Happy New Year!


Ryan Angel Meza

When photographing the women profiled in “Stronger Than Ever,” Ryan Angel Meza says, “It was my goal to capture their strengths through their posture, demeanor and overall presentation of themselves, and important for me to retain each of their personality subtleties. These women are so inspiring in their own right. With equality and inclusiveness ever so important in the climate we are in today, [I feel it is] our duty as creators to highlight their struggles and achievements.”

Kara Chin


Coming soon, for newcomers and visitors, Explore Sacramento published by Sacramento Media—is a guest and relocation guide packed with information about the region. For copies, go to sacramento-guest-relocation-guide.

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

Marcus Crowder

“It was a joy to bring Little Saigon to life through photography and writing,” says Kara Chin, a creative storyteller who covers the local food scene, among other topics. “This humble area is full of hardworking people who are dedicated to sharing a bit of their Vietnamese culture with the Sacramento community. Explore beyond pho and banh mi to discover dishes like banh cuon, and take a look inside the many shops to find unexpected treasures.”

“I met Lyndsay Burch when she was a first year intern, and there was already a sense of someone with a plan,” says writer Marcus Crowder, who has covered arts in Sacramento for more than 25 years and was the theater critic at The Sacramento Bee for 17 years. “The idea that she would work her way up was firmly in place but her ambition was so balanced by her work ethic that you had to respect it.” His work has appeared in American Theatre, Diablo Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle and 7x7.

Editor’s Note

Killer Cereal

At CEREALISM , a recently opened café in Old Sacramento Waterfront, you can build your own bowl (from a lineup of cereals, toppings and milks) or order a specialty bowl such as The Cookie Monster (shown), full of Oreo Cereal, Cookie Crisp, Mini Oreos and Chips Ahoy, topped with blue oat milk. The space is delightfully Instagrammable—bright with all the Fruity Pebbles colors, and then some. Fun for any time of the day.

The 916

SACMAG.COM January 2023 19 inside: Cool Down / Check Things Out / Open to Interpretation / Floral Love 01 23
francisco chavira

Cold Love

To Michael Garrett’s thinking, there’s more to a good long life than just living a good long time.

“It’s about feeling young longer,” says Garrett, co-founder of PLUNGE , a Sacramento-based company that offers clean, reliably cold and relatively portable cold-plunge technology for about $5,000 a tank.

Dipping oneself into ice-cold water might sound more like torture than therapy. Garrett came to understand it quite another way on a van trip from Utah to Banff National Park in Canada, when jumping into Rocky Mountain lakes and rivers daily made him feel “invincible.”

Cold therapy’s No. 1 benefit is its proven effectiveness against inflammation, which is thought to be aging’s primary engine. Other benefits include improved immune function—great for those with autoimmune disorders such as lupus and Crohn’s disease—and increased metabolism.

It also triggers the release of norepinephrine, also known as noradrenaline. “That’s the most powerful chemical process that’s happening” during a plunge, says Garrett, who also owns Reboot Float and Cryo Spa, which has three Bay Area locations, two of which feature cold tubs. Asha Urban Baths in midtown Sacramento offers cold plunges locally.

Garrett began building tub prototypes in June 2020 and sold his first two tubs two months later. He convinced cofounder Ryan Duey to do a limited run of 20 tubs; they sold out in a month.

Theirs remains the only product of its technology available for its price. “That’s why we’ve grown so much,” says Garrett, whose operation began in the back of a bike shop and this past May moved to a 40,000-square-foot space in Lincoln, quadrupling its previous space.

If an icy dip sounds like simply too much, Garrett says any water below 60 degrees provides benefits. Just 90 seconds will create the cold-shock response necessary to produce norepinephrine.

But, he says, “Obviously, the colder it is, the shorter time you have to do it.”—AHMED V. ORTIZ

The 916 20 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE January 2023
benjamin fargen

Check This

Going to the public library doesn’t mean just checking out a copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird” anymore.

It’s where you can go to check out an oat-rolling machine or a post hole digger or a lawn mower—for nothing more than flashing your library card.

Since 2015, the Sacramento Public Library has o ered the Library of Things, a collection of hundreds of items, including yard tools, sewing machines, telescopes, GoPros and guitars.

Because it’s an idea that proved popular, two more library branches will house items to borrow beginning this February. In addition to the Arcade Library and Fair Oaks Library, the Library of Things will expand to branches in Walnut Grove and Valley Hi-North Laguna. Physical space mainly determines where the unique library can expand, but patrons anywhere in the county can check out items.

“Anything that gets our patrons through the door is a success for us,” says Matt Hill, library systems supervisor for the library, showing o the brightly colored electric lawnmowers stored at the Arcade branch. They’re just waiting for weekend gardeners, along with battery-operated hedge trimmers and other garden tools, some of the most popular checkouts.

An online and paper survey last summer of about 1,500 library patrons found they wanted yard games in Sacramento County’s southern neighborhoods. In the Delta region, water pumps were in demand. Patrons also asked for document shredders and enchroma glasses that correct color blindness. The call for

KitchenAid stand mixers didn’t go unheeded: They will be available soon, Hill says.

Although anyone older than 18 can check things out, the Library of Things has benefited people who cannot a ord to invest in expensive equipment, Hill says. Immigrant women have used the sewing machines to make items to sell or clothe their families. One family took a guitar to a father in a nursing home so he could once again play his favorite songs.

Hill says patrons are often surprised at the inventory, but it’s part of the library’s evolution as a community resource. And this is no longer your mom’s library: Shelved books, DVDs and other materials, such as Library of Things items, account for a little more than half of checkouts. Digital o erings such as e-books make up the rest.

SACMAG.COM January 2023 21 gabriel teague
Out! Several library branches are now offering loans on a lot more than books.
CARD. BRANCHES WITH LIBRARY OF THINGS Arcade 2443 Marconi Ave. Fair Oaks 11601 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks Walnut Grove 14177 Market St., Walnut Grove Valley Hi-North Laguna 7400 Imagination Parkway

Show and Tell

If you’ve caught a concert at the California State Fair, you’ve probably seen Sharon Ramsey at side stage swaying to the music, signing her heart and soul out not only with her hands but with her entire body.

As a performance interpreter, Ramsey has worked with Cher, Paul McCartney, Maroon 5, Metallica and hundreds of other artists. She learned sign language when her daughter befriended a Deaf family as a child.

Ramsey once took a Deaf friend to a Doobie Brothers concert and signed for her.

“At the end of the show, she was crying and I thought, was I that bad? She said, ‘No! You remind me of when I was younger and had my hearing. When I watch you sign, I can hear the music again.’ She told me, ‘You need to do this all the time,’ so I started volunteering for different things and it just took off from there.”

Ramsey went on to land gigs at music venues throughout the Sacramento area. For the past 30 years, she has worked the concert series at the state fair and has had some “very cool” moments.

“When I worked with Maroon 5, Adam Levine asked about my (teleprompter) system. I told him I had the set list and all the lyrics and he said, ‘Oh, good, because there’s one song that’s brand new and I haven’t learned it yet. Can I come and stand by you and read the lyrics?’ And he did!”

She tries to emulate each artist as much as possible, capturing not just the words to a song but the feeling of it, too. “It’s really therapeutic,” she says. “The love songs: I get to feel those for the people I care about. The hate songs: I get to get that off my chest."

Ramsey’s last season at the fair was 2022. She’s now retired, and daughter Patrisha Montantes will take over.

“She’s signed for me for a few shows and she’s better than me! The Deaf can tell by my signing that I’m hearing, but when Patrisha signs, they think she’s hard of hearing. She’s going to be great!”

Granddaughter Alexis Montantes also is learning sign language and will run the teleprompter system for her mom.

Ramsey’s plans for retirement? “I’d like to watch some of the concerts that I interpret for—to just sit down and enjoy them.”

Maybe she’ll catch her daughter signing at one of these shows? “I’ll probably cry, but, yeah—it’s going to be great when that happens.”—LAURA MARTIN

The 916 22 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE January 2023 beth baugher
Sharon Ramsey (middle) with daughter Patrisha Montantes (left) and granddaughter Alexis Montantes (right)

Floral Notes

If jasmine sticky buns or a lilac-infused margarita sound intriguing to you, then you might want to follow @decotartelette, the florally focused Instagram account of Sacramento author Cassie Winslow. Decotartelette is a collection of Winslow’s charming photos (the color pink dominates) and her creative recipes—everything from cocktails and appetizers to breakfasts and desserts—that spotlight edible flowers.

Winslow has published two florally themed cookbooks; her most recent is “Floral Provisions” (Chronicle Books), which includes 45 recipes that use edible blooms, many of which she plucks from her own carefully cultivated garden. Winslow and her family recently returned to the area from Santa Cruz, and they packed up their established plot and moved many of their prized plants—soil and all—with them. “My husband is actually the one with the green thumb. He grows and I harvest,” she says.

Of all of the flowers and herbs that she uses in her two cookbooks, Winslow is partial to the good old-fashioned rose. “I love to use dried rose petals, and one of my favorite recipes is rose salt,” Winslow notes. “It’s so good on everything, from rimming cocktail glasses to adding a unique flavor to meat dishes.” She’s even made a rose-salted citrus cheesecake, a riff on a New York Times recipe, to celebrate Father’s Day.

Winslow buys some of her treasured heirloom roses locally from and gathers other blooms from farmers markets. She is always careful to use only flowers that are grown organically and not sprayed with pesticides, and she encourages others to pay attention when buying flowers for culinary applications. “Please make sure they are not sprayed, since we are eating these flowers,” she says.

Flowers and food are natural partners, and Decotartelette will inspire you to have fun and play around with bits from the botanical world. Perhaps you will clink glasses at parties with Winslow’s kumquat-chamomile whiskey sour, or you might casually sprinkle a few calendula petals on charcuterie or butter boards. Either way, you’ll be harnessing the power of an edible flower.

Few Happy Returns

Phew! We have made it to another new year, and the frenzied spending many of us did during the holiday season is a fading memory—except perhaps in our credit-card balances. There, the many pleasures of our capitalistic bacchanal have been stripped down and starkly reduced to unforgettable, dream-crushing debt.


But wait! There’s more to feel crummy about than mere impoverishment. If we have the courage to do so, we also can assess the environmental costs that some of our holiday-season decisions create. No, that is not in reference to wrapping paper and tape, nor directly to ingredient/component sourcing, manufacturing, packaging and distribution.

Let us instead focus on something that explodes onto the scene starting Dec. 26 and can last well into January: returns.

Amazon, as most of its many millions of customers know, makes the return process super-easy. Take whatever the unwanted item is to Whole Foods, Kohl’s or UPS and you will receive a full refund whether or not you re-boxed the item or brought a printing label. Such a customer-friendly service creates a situation in which people order things to sample or as a “maybe.”

SACMAG.COM January 2023 23
continued on next page
Cassie Winslow

In an investigative story, CNBC reported that Amazon purchases are at least three times more likely to be returned than items bought in a store. According to the National Retail Federation, a record $761 billion of merchandise was returned in 2021, and about 10 percent of those returns were fraudulent. Amazon third-party sellers end up throwing away about a third of returned items, CNBC said.

In early 2021, British broadcasting outlet ITV buttered no crumpets in describing how Amazon treats returned items in Europe. “Undercover filming from inside Amazon’s Dunfermline warehouse reveals the sheer scale of the waste: Smart TVs, laptops, drones, hairdryers, top of the range headphones, computer drives, books galore, thousands of sealed face masks—all sorted into boxes marked ‘destroy,’” ITV reported. “Products that were never sold, or returned by a customer. Almost all could have been redistributed to charities or those in need. Instead, they are thrown into vast bins, carried away by lorries (which we tracked), and dumped at either recycling centres or, worse, a landfill site.”

ITV acknowledged that the global online giant, which legend has it was germinated in Je Bezos’ garage, is pushing back against this

notion that it embraces waste in its business model: “Amazon told ITV News that the landfill site also has a recycling centre and that none of their items go to landfill in the U.K.”

On its website, Amazon says the company uses “software to identify and sort eligible items that are fit for donation. We partner with local community organizations to collect these items from Amazon facilities and distribute them to people in need. By donating surplus inventory to charitable organizations, we keep usable products out of the waste stream and help strengthen our local communities.”

In a recent blog post, Kristine Nguyen of the sustainability-promoting website laid out the grim fate of many if not most returned online orders. One way to avoid the waste and guilt associated with such returns, Nguyen wrote, is “to really think about what you’re purchasing before you actually buy it. Make sure you’re only buying what you really love and need.”

And if, even after deep thought, you end up owning something you don’t need or want? Nguyen urges you to consider one of four alternatives to returning the item: regift, donate, fix or resell it.

The 916 24 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE January 2023
If we have the courage to do so, we also can assess the environmental costs that some of our holiday-season decisions create.
January 30–June 25, 2023 Mike Henderson, Love it or Leave it, I Will Love it if You Leave it, 1976. Mixed media, 69 × 108 in. © Mike Henderson. Courtesy of the artist and Haines Gallery. Photo: Robert Divers Herrick.
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0 1 2 3

Seeing Clearly

Laser vision correction is safer and more effective than ever before. Could you be a candidate?

SACMAG.COM January 2023 27
inside: LASIK for better vision
Debbie Hurst

Je Varrella will not soon forget the burning smell as the laser carved a flap on the surface of his cornea, or the bright, white light that preceded his sudden—though brief—vision loss.

But with a reassuring hand on his shoulder and hope that his 57 years of very poor vision would soon end, he remained calm as the surgeon reshaped his cornea, transforming his vision from severe nearsightedness to close to 20/20. When it was over, Varrella peered through the tiny holes in the protective patches covering his eyes and nearly cried.

“I could see the whole room for the first time in my life,” he says. “I looked up at the doctor, and I could see her clear as day.”

Varrella recently traded out his toothick glasses and suboptimal contact lenses for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, or LASIK . He made the decision only after traditional corrective lenses began to fail him and he found a wellestablished surgeon who would perform the surgery at a reasonable price.

LASIK can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, but it is not a good choice for everyone, such as those with unusual curvatures to their corneas or degenerative eye conditions, and complications from the surgery still occur. Still, the procedure has stood the test of time, and about 95 percent of patients say they are satisfied with their results. Area ophthalmologists agree that, thanks to technical innovations, the refractive eye surgery is safer and more effective than ever for up to 85 or 90 percent of people who need corrective lenses.

In 2021, an estimated 800,000 Americans chose LASIK for vision correction, according to Dr. Stephen Wilmarth, medical director of Horizon Vision Center. While LASIK ’s popularity waxes and wanes, the COVID-19 pandemic brought a noticeable uptick in LASIK surgeries, as people tired of their glasses fogging up when they wore a mask. In addition, business closures and travel cancellations meant more money in the bank, so some people who for years put o the elective surgery could now a ord it.

“I have been doing LASIK for 20-plus years,” says ophthalmologist Nilu Maboudi of Griffin & Reed Eye Care, who per -

formed Varrella’s surgery. “It’s really an elegant procedure. I still come home after doing this surgery and say, ‘That is so darn amazing.’”

FROM BLADES TO LASERS—The first refractive surgery, approved by the FDA in 1995, was called photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, in which ophthalmologists use a blade or brush to remove the outer layer of cells on the surface of the cornea, then an excimer laser to reshape the cornea and correct the vision. Surgeons place a temporary contact lens on the eye to reduce pain and aid in healing, which can take three to four days followed by gradual improvements for a month. Dr. Peter Wu of Sacramento Eye Consultants says PRK is still used for some patients with high corrective prescriptions or for athletes or military service men and women who are at greater risk of cornea damage.

LASIK was the next generation, approved by the FDA in 1999. LASIK is di erent because surgeons cut a flap on the surface of the cornea, leaving a hinge on its edge. As with PRK, they use a laser to reshape the cornea, changing the way light focuses on the retina to improve vision. They lay the flap back onto the eye and leave it to heal naturally. Maboudi says most patients feel comfortable enough to drive the next day.

In 2001, Sue Christian was a busy private-practice attorney. Very nearsighted, she was at the point where she was wearing both contact lenses and

glasses. She longed to be rid of them. She studied the data on LASIK , knew the potential risks and side e ects like dry eye, halos and glare, and talked to others who’d had success with LASIK before taking the plunge.

It was late August, just days before the World Trade Center attacks. She found a surgeon she liked with several years of experience. The procedure seemed to go as planned. She went home to rest, assuming she would wake up with good vision. But that’s not what happened. Her vision was cloudy and her eyes very painful.

Back at the eye center, her surgeon told her that both flaps had wrinkled. Surgeons say this typically happens if the patient rubs their eyelids after surgery, but Christian hadn’t touched them as they had been covered, and when the covers were removed, she couldn’t see. She says her surgeon was stumped. To correct it, he saw her over several weeks, each time gently massaging and smoothing the wrinkles in the flap (technically called striae) over the cornea.

Unable to return to work for weeks, Christian was at home on the morning of the World Trade Center attacks and remembers struggling to witness the events of 9/11 unfold on live television.

“I had to sit two feet from the TV to see it,” she recalls.

After about four treatments, Christian’s vision returned—without the need for glasses or contacts. Exuberant, she wrote her surgeon with gratitude.

“It was horrible not knowing if I would

28 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE January 2023 Wellness

ever get my vision right,” says Christian, now 72. “But it meant so much to me to not have to wear contacts or glasses anymore.”

Christian’s surgeon was Wilmarth, one of the region’s fi rst to perform LASIK . He says that while the incidence of striae was relatively rare 20 years ago, these days the complication requires follow-up treatment in fewer than 1.5 percent of cases. That’s thanks to newer technology, specifically the Femto laser, which in most cases has replaced the blade for creating the corneal flap with short, infrared pulses.

Wilmarth uses a kitchengadget analogy to describe the di erence in technique. Think of the eye as a cantaloupe with a round edge, he says. When you use a knife to cut the fruit, your piece will have varying degrees of thickness. The laser works more like a cookie cutter, slicing a disk shape with a constant depth across the cornea.

“This means that when we put the flap back down, it’s recessed and can’t move around,” he says. “This is why we don’t see the striae that we used to see sometimes.”

Innovative diagnostic and treatment planning devices have further improved LASIK . The Pentacam gives the doctor a 3D image of the patient’s cornea and measures its thickness, which makes choosing good candidates for LASIK more accurate.

“It takes 22,000 data points of your eye, which helps us look for any weak points in the front or back of the eye that might make the outcome of the procedure unpredictable,” says Maboudi. “In that case, we don’t do the surgery.”

In addition, ophthalmologists now use programmable treatment lasers that tailor each treatment to the individual patient. This is known as wavefront technology, approved for use in 2003.

“With wavefront, we can scan the whole optical system and determine even minor variations in the prescription that normally are not corrected with glasses, but that we can correct with the laser, such as an asymmetric astigmatism,” says Dr. Je rey Caspar, director of Cataract and Refractive Surgery at the UC Davis Eye Center. “We can also correct corneal curvatures that cause glare at night.”


Why more people don’t get LASIK is both simple and complicated. One is the cost; LASIK isn’t covered by insurance. At

reputable eye centers in the Sacramento region, a patient can spend upward of $2,600 per eye. In the Bay Area, Varrella was quoted $4,000 to $5,000 per eye.

Misinformation also contributes to fewer people choosing LASIK . Optometrists, for example, might tell a patient they are not LASIK candidates when they are.

“There is pushback from other eye care professionals because they don’t want to lose their contact lens or glasses business,” Wilmarth says. “The most common lie is that LASIK doesn’t correct an astigmatism. We have been able to do that for over 20 years.”

Fear may be the biggest obstacle, especially in light of controversial new draft guidance by the Food and Drug Administration describing dry eyes, visual disturbances and other possible side e ects of LASIK .

“People are nervous about their eyes,” says Wu. “Vision is precious. You don’t want to take chances with it. But this is a very safe procedure.”

Adds Maboudi: “My observation is that the more blind they are, the more trepid they are. They don’t believe it works, and they don’t think they’re a good candidate. I fi nd patients do best when they have a lot of information on board.”

By the same token, says Caspar, LASIK is not appropriate for patients with unrealistic expectations.

“LASIK can greatly reduce or eliminate the need for glasses for most,” he says.

“For those who see great with glasses, it’s great. But if you are looking for better vision, it’s not likely going to happen. LASIK only does what glasses do.”

Caspar adds that LASIK can’t prevent the loss of focusing ability as patients get older, so many will require readers at some point. And LASIK doesn’t prevent cataracts and can complicate cataract surgery later. Christian says she started wearing reading glasses about five years ago and had cataract surgery in recent years, as well.

SELECTING A SURGEON— When selec ting a surgeon or surgery center for LASIK , longtime providers urge people to choose a board-certified ophthalmologist whose standard approach is to perform custom LASIK , who performs thorough tests to determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure, and who provides any needed follow-up care.


When an accident left Evan with a broken back and an X-ray that showed he may never walk again, his UC Davis Health orthopedic surgeon and physical therapists refused to give up on him. Driven by an unfailing care plan and nonstop determination, today Evan is back on his feet and back in the gym. Find a doctor you connect with today.

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With the new year comes the longing for a reset, a recommitment to self, and a desire to recharge after what’s often a hectic holiday season. Carve out a little time, whether it’s just for you or for you and a special someone else, and head for one of these slower, quieter destinations. For each location, we’ve curated a collection of ways you can prioritize you—nurture your whole being, inside and out, with nutritious food, soul-cleansing hikes, deep sleep and some creative thinking. You’ll come home rejuvenated, energized and ready to tackle 2023.

When it’s time to take care of yourself
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Alila Ventana Big Sur Photo courtesy of resort

Sleep Good Perched over the Big River where it dumps into the big, blue ocean, Stanford Inn by the Sea is a prime place to soothe your inner spirit. Choose from a variety of room and suite types—all different from one another—and you’ll be treated to cushy beds, wood-burning fireplaces, wood floors and paneling, decks and views, views, views. Also included in your stay: chefprepared, plant-based breakfasts. The on-site Ravens restaurant serves all-vegan cuisine, with many ingredients plucked straight from the property’s biodynamic, organic gardens. It’s a renowned experience; the dinner menu includes such specialties as sea palm strudel, wild-mushroom crepes and a tasty Thai red curry.


For a peaceful getaway, Mendocino perhaps comes to mind fi rst, with its whitewashed charm and ready access to Northern California’s wild coastline and its fog-draped redwood and fern groves just inland. Trails cut through the deep woods and crisscross windswept blu s, and restaurants and inns invite solo and paired-up travelers in for nutrient-dense meals and sweet sleep.

Russian Gulch State Park Thai red curry from The Ravens

The resort offers plenty of health-enriching opportunities. In addition to touring the lush gardens, guests can sign up for gardening and vegan cooking classes, yoga and Pilates sessions, breathwork lessons, massage, Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine treatments, nature tours, and art experiences through something called Creative Playshop. Take a dip in the saltwater pool in the greenhouse, then slip into the dry sauna or hot tub to fully unwind. Stanford Inn by the Sea is an all-vegan resort, the only one of its kind in North America, with environmental sustainability practices that will help your conscience sleep well at night.

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Stanford Inn by the Sea

Forest Bathe The Japanese say the practice of shinrin-yoku—forest bathing—is deeply destressing. The Fern Canyon Trail at Russian Gulch State Park is an ideal place for this; you’ll trudge deep into the greenest-of-green redwood forests, through a fern-walled canyon, past waterfalls. Part of the trail may be closed for renovation, but there’s still plenty to take in. Long pants, long sleeves and careful steps will prevent one big potential stressor: poison oak.

Juice Up Find locally juiced juices at several locations in town including GoodLife Café & Bakery, The Waiting Room at Café Beaujolais , Corners of the Mouth (in the old red church) and Harvest at Mendosa’s. Time for a flu shot!

Rough It Jughandle Creek Nature Center has a variety of accommodations options—farmhouse, bunkhouse, cabin, campground—set in the forest near the beach, with easy access to trails (including the Ecological Staircase that leads to the Pygmy Forest).

Power Up the Paddle or Pedal

Get a wicked upper-body workout paddling on the Big River, or use your legs with a rental from Catch a Canoe & Bicycles, Too, part of Stanford Inn by the Sea.

Get a Caffeine

Buzz At Bay View Coffee Company in Mendocino Village, buy a creamy latte or cup of joe, then carry it into the Wi-Fi room, if it’s open, or up the hill to the little outdoor seating area tucked behind the building.

Be an Artist Sign up for a plein air painting workshop Jan. 21-22 at Mendocino Art Center and discover your creative side while you paint an outdoor landscape—outdoors!

Fern Canyon Trail Green juice from Juice Me Cabin at Jughandle Creek Nature Center Canoeing on the Big River

Eat Cheat It’s hard to see the line outside The Brickery—also on the Café Beaujolais compound— without joining up for a fresh woodfired pizza. Last we looked, there’s one with kale!

Pick Up a Good Book Gallery Bookshop, facing the headlands, always has a big selection of local authors’ books—and all the latest best-sellers plus lots of great gifts. Pick up a novel to read by the fire back at the inn. If you’re lucky, you might come upon the black-andwhite cat, The Great Catsby. They say he’s a little cranky, but we’ve never been swatted.


Let the Sun Go Down Pick just about any bluff on the Mendocino Headlands and wander out—not too close!—to see the sun ribbon the sky with peach, pink, purple and gold.

Mind Your Meditation

Behind the restrooms on Heeser Drive (within Mendocino Headlands State Park), follow the trail on foot into a cozy grove of trees, then beyond to overlook one of many small bays. This area is perfect for a quiet moment of deepbreathing sea breezes while you let your mind empty out.

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Pampered Go for a Hot Green Jade Stone Massage at Nahara Healing Arts
The Brickery Nahara Healing Arts Gallery Bookshop


Could there be a more replenishing spot on Earth than Big Sur? To get there, you pass one of the most beautiful parks in the world (Point Lobos State Natural Reserve) and then you cross one of the most iconic bridges (Bixby Creek) and continue your spectacular drive to arrive at one of the greatest scenic wonders ever, where land cascades down to the crashing sea. Let the attitude adjustment begin.

Splurge for the Night

A stay at Alila Ventana Big Sur resort, which starts at more than $1,000 a night, includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, non-alc beverages and access to pools—including clothing-optional Japanese baths. The property includes all kinds of gorgeous nooks for meditation or setting up a yoga mat, trails for walking, and the spa menu has body treatments described with all the magical buzzwords: cleanse, detoxify, purify, energize, relax, rejuvenate. You can even get an astrology reading.

Alila Ventana Big Sur photos courtesy of resort McWay Falls Japanese baths at Alila Ventana Alila Ventana Big Sur

Sunset 1.0 From the parking area, it’s a short walk to the McWay Falls Overlook at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park , an ideal position from which to view the sunset on a clear or cloud-striped evening. This month, the sun melts into the horizon between 5:03 (Jan. 1) and 5:33 (Jan. 31) p.m.

Sunset 2.0 Same time, different place: The deck at a restaurant called Nepenthe enables you to pair the sunset with a healthpromoting Bitter Ginger Seasonal Shrub or pot of Gunpowder Green tea.

Hike Among the Giants Forest bathe beneath the redwoods with a walk along the Pfeiffer Falls trail at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park . Be ready for some stairs.

Empty Your Head To hike to Partington Cove, which in the late 1800s was a shipping supply access for the area, map it before you lose cell coverage. Follow the road on foot down through the tunnel, then off to the right toward the beach. Most people go the other way. Park your butt on a boulder, face the water and start timing your breath with the waves.

Veg With a View

Not everything’s vegetarian at COAST restaurant, but if you’re choosing plant-powered for your getaway, it’s a great option for inventive salads and tarts, possibly even an all-plant stew. Plus, it’s got a fabulous view of the coastline.

Treat Yourself

You can’t be good all the time, so grab a cookie from Big Sur Bakery

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Forest photo: Onyx & Ash COAST restaurant

Sleep by the River

For a more rustically beautiful stay, Glen Oaks’ one-bedroom “Big Sur Cabin” by the Big Sur River is warmed by a cast-iron stove and includes two side-by-side clawfoot tubs in a private courtyard under towering redwoods. It’s tempting to crack jokes about re-enacting a Cialis commercial, but you’ll mostly just want to sink into the tub and gaze up at the tree canopy.



Head The Henry Miller Library, named for the late Big Sur artist and writer Henry Miller, is a thought-provoking place to read, write, listen to music, sit in the redwood grove, and help yourself to some coffee and tea.

Omega 3s With a View Plunk down $75 for a prix-fixe lunch at Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn and get whatever seafood is among the main-course choices. You can be sure it’s done right, and there’s nothing like gazing out at the sea while you enjoy a proper fish dish.

Sierra Mar might have the best restaurant view anywhere

Glen Oaks: Onyx & Ash / Sierra Mar: Kodiak Greenwood Sierra Mar Henry Miller Library Glen Oaks’ Big Sur Cabin


It’s snowy this time of year, and will remain so for another few months. It’s a perfect time to head for the mountains, especially the North and West shores of Lake Tahoe. Quiet snowfall, cozy nights by a fi re and short-short days mean soul-warming meals and deep-deep sleep—at altitude. Add some winter activity to the itinerary, and your body and mind will thank you.

Get Your Om

On Drop in to the Yoga Room in Tahoe City and take a class for $22. It’s perfect for the day after you’ve fried your calves while strapped into cross-country skis or snowshoes, when some stretching is in order.

Work Out in the Forest Is there anything more strenuous than snowshoeing or cross-country skiing? Bundle up and head out to one of the area’s Nordic ski areas, including Tahoe XC, Sugar Pine Point or Granlibakken


Coffee Connexion in Tahoe City makes a great little stop for a good coffee and a crepe. Maybe skip one of the sugar-bomb ones, but the turkey pesto will give you a hit of protein. Plus, hey, you’ve got to eat.

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Tahoe XC

Stock Up At New Moon Natural Foods on the outskirts of Tahoe City, you can inspire yourself to do better. Between the sweet little produce area (organic!), the neatly displayed packaged goods and tons of locally made foodstuffs and products, the inventory will enable you to fill your bag with options you’ll feel good about.

Sleep In At The Cottage Inn , every room has a fireplace. Get a room with a jetted tub, and you’ll be glad you did if you’re ready to stew your bones after a day on the slopes. Every cottage is different (no cookie-cutter décor here), but they’re all mountain luxurious with thick bedding, paneled walls like a log cabin, and all the hygge charm you could ever dream about.

Be an Artist Muse Art Reclaimed runs drop-in art classes for adults every Friday night. Dabble in watercolor, acrylic, pen and ink, charcoal and other mediums as a way to tap into your creativity. Light appetizers and wine (or a cocktail) are provided.

Shop Virtuously Tahoe City’s Pass It On Thrift is a hopping-busy little shop that helps keeps goods in circulation and out of the landfill. Find your latest pre-loved jacket, pair of jeans or boots, sleeping bag, book or lamp here.

Energy Therapy Come to SAGE Spa & Apothecary in Tahoe City for hands-on energy healing, try an intuitive insights session (it never hurts to check in with yourself), or pick up some herbs and essential oils to add to your home practice.



Maybe you want to drive up, check in and stay in one place for a few days while you unwind. Following are a few places where you can have a well-rounded wellness experience without moving your car.

Wilbur Hot Springs, Williams

This geothermal springs and nature preserve, long known as a clothingoptional sanctuary (baths only—you’ve got to be dressed everywhere else), really takes you off the grid with limited cell coverage, no Wi-Fi and plenty of wildlife. Tote in your own groceries to prepare in the community kitchen and be ready to clean up your own mess.

Power Up Your

Bowl Also in Tahoe City, Fat Cat Bar & Grill serves a paleo bowl that’s loaded with cruciferous veggies—broccoli, kale, green cabbage and Brussels sprouts—along with peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms, all topped with tri-tip. It’s done in avocado oil, too, so no scary seed oils to slow you town.

Up With the Sun

If you’ve got a room at The Cottage Inn , you could catch the sunrise from a private beach. Also, if conditions allow, it’s worth driving about 15 miles south to watch the sunrise over Emerald Bay View it from the Eagle Falls Trailhead parking area, or go a bit farther up the road to Inspiration Point Overlook.

The Esalen Institute, Big Sur Famous for its hot mineral springs, its stunning location on the edge of Big Sur’s southern coastline and its reputation as a sacred space for spirituality seekers and free thinkers, Esalen provides an all-inclusive retreat experience. What’s in the mix: buffet-style meals; workshops in mindfulness, healing touch, nature, communication and creativity; as well as access to the gorgeous gardens and grounds and the famed go-naked baths perched on the sheer mountainside above the roiling sea.

Canyon Ranch Woodside

Into the woods you go, to sleep, stretch and eat well among centuries-old redwoods. Design your own retreat or seek help from an expert; either way, you can curate your bundle, choosing from such activities as yoga, equine therapy, hiking, mountain biking, journaling and other healing therapies, including a dip in the saline pool or sauna session following a massage.

Mount Madonna Center, Watsonville Book a personal retreat at Mount Madonna and take part in Ayurvedic healing practices including yoga and wellness treatments. You’ll also have access to the property’s dining room (vegetarian meals), trails, temple, bookstore and Ayurveda World Store.

Ananda, Nevada City

Take a personal retreat on the Ananda compound in Nevada City and you’ll discover the joy of having no scheduled activities but plenty of time to soak in the silence of the surroundings. A noon meditation session takes place six days a week—optional—and otherwise you can sleep, hike, read, journal, wander the gardens. Simple meals are available by pre-reservation.



Santa Barbara

After the Silent Stay structures burned down outside of Vacaville in 2020, the organization relocated to Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. Primarily a meditation retreat, Silent Stay is, in fact, silent, with guests indulging in walks, journaling, napping, sunbathing, thinking—the practice of “non-doing.” Meals are provided by Seasons Catering.

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Ah, Calistoga, where the waters bubble forth from the land and time slows down. You might have to battle Highway 29 tra c to get there—unless you come in past Lake Berryessa and/or Silverado Trail (recommended!). But this end of the Napa Valley is beautifully lush. Fire has burned some favorite locations in recent years, and signs thanking first responders still stand. It’ll warm your heart and make you happy you’re here. This is wine country, of course, where your wellness e orts might go down easier with a side of chardonnay. Do what feels right.

Hike A few miles outside of Calistoga’s downtown, Robert Louis Stevenson State Park trails beckon with ups and downs, dramatic views from Mount St. Helena, and some astonishing rock formations at Table Rock and the Palisades volcanic cliffs.

Waters and Mud

At Indian Springs , a hotel/ spa resort near downtown Calistoga, you can reap the benefits of the property’s four thermal geysers. Swim in the mineral pool, dunk in the Buddha pond or take a bath in mud made of volcanic ash and geyser-supplied mineral water.

A Bike Ride and a Little Wine

While the goal of this trip isn’t to get hammered on wine, combining a bit of tasting with a bike ride on a Calistoga Cool Wine Tour seems congruous with the spirit of the self-care getaway. Make reservations with Calistoga Bike Shop and pick up bikes (fully outfitted with insulated rear rack bags) there when the time comes. The bike shop will make all your arrangements.

Table Rock

Plant Strong

A pretty plant and garden store on Calistoga’s main drag will motivate you to bring more greenery into your space. At Field Trip, pick up something verdant, or build your own dry bouquet.

Coffee and

a Scone The Swedes call it fika—coffee with cake, or a little something sweet. At Calistoga Roastery it’s the house-made scones. Especially the blueberry cream cheese one. Don’t feel guilty; blueberries are loaded with polyphenols and are rumored to increase life span.

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Indian Springs More Waters and Mud—With a New Look Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs has been providing treatments, including mineral baths and “The Works” mud baths, since 1952. With a recent ownership change and revamp, the property has renovated its guest rooms and common areas and opened the House of Better restaurant, all while maintaining its mid-mod charm. Field Trip Mud bath: Mark Compton

Sleepy Time—

Solage, an Auberge resort, is Calistoga at its finest, with a comprehensive experience available if you so choose.

Luxury accommodations include suites and studios, some with outdoor showers and fire pits, all appointed with natural materials and clean lines that won’t cloud your thinking.

Five on-site geothermal pools invite guests to take the waters: a cold plunge, ambient temp, a

98-degree relaxation dunk, and two jetted pools—one saline, one mineral. Take a sauna or a steam, get a massage, pedal around the property or into town on a twowheel cruiser, or just lie around and relax.

Solbar Restaurant has a menu of farmto-fork fare and an expansive outdoor seating area, where you’ll want to linger by a fire pit, and Picobar serves Napa Valley Mexican fare adjacent to the big pool.


Be Petrified—

Head a few miles up Petrified Forest Road to The Petrified Forest , where you can take a nature walk to admire redwoods that were buried—and fossilized—beneath volcanic ash some 3.4 million years ago. (Mount St. Helena is what remains of that volcano.)

Healthy Lunch—

At Solbar Restaurant at Solage, the menu includes some options that will feed your hungry, goodness-seeking soul: the black cod rice bowl, with brown rice, kimchi, cucumber and carrot; marinated tofu as a salad protein add-on; and zero-proof beverages including a beet soda and a turmeric “cure-all” with house-made turmeric elixir.


Calistoga Wellness Week is coming up in April. Kicked off with an endurance run on April 16, it will include lots of “only in Calistoga” experiences at wellness resorts, spas, restaurants and shops. It culminates on Earth Day (April 22) with a 10K run, as well as a concert and wine garden party.

Pick Up a Journal—

Copperfield’s Books has a location in downtown Calistoga. Pop in for a Moleskine to record your deepest thoughts—and maybe pen a poem or two.

Get Your Polyphenols

— Run by mother-daughter duo Ana and Marcela Hernandez, Grove 45 Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s tasting room is soon to open on Silverado Trail in Calistoga. Grove 45 has a business mission focusing on legacy, sustainability and philanthropy, plus the olive oils are delicious—and come in a brushed aluminum bottle.

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The Petrifi ed Forest

Little Saigon

Nestled between Fruitridge and Florin roads on Stockton Boulevard you’ll find Sacramento’s Little Saigon. Ocially established in 2010, this bustling 2-mile stretch hosts a Vietnamese microc osm that includes restaurants, grab-and-go lunch spots, mom-and-pop shops and Asian markets. Whether you’re looking for a steaming-hot bowl of pho or a selection of beautiful silk fabrics, Little Saigon fulfi lls your needs while also giving you a chance to enjoy a wide range of Vietnamese cuisine and culture.

Starting on the south end of Stockton Boulevard near 65th Street, you can begin by exploring a diverse set of shopping centers. On the west side, at the far end of Pacific Rim Plaza, is B NH CU N T Y H RESTAURANT (6840 65th St.). While it serves a variety of Vietnamese dishes, it is aptly named after a specialty called bánh cu n, a Northern Vietnamese dish of freshly steamed rice wrappers that are rolled around fi llings like pork, mushrooms and shrimp.

Explore Vietnamese cuisine and culture in this South Sacramento neighborhood. Story and photos by Kara Chin

Just up the street, Stockton Square Shopping Center is home to GIÒ CH Đ C HƯƠNG SANDWICHES (6825 Stockton Blvd.). Be sure to get there early for the best selection from an amazing variety of fresh banh mi sandwiches, spring rolls and Vietnamese pastries to go. Sandwiched between a soft, crisp yet chewy bread roll, the banh mi is layered with pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, jalapeños and your choice of pork or chicken fi lling. A large sandwich is only $6, and many customers order multiples as they keep well for lunch the next day.

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ò Ch Đ g a hes

A few doors down is ĐỆ NHẤT KHÔ BÒ (6825 Stockton Blvd.), a small, bright store with rows of containers fi lled with pickled mangoes, candies, dried fruit, seafood and jerkies. With more than 20 jerky flavors, from BBQ to spicy papaya, this is a must-stop for jerky fanatics or people seeking to explore new snacks, sweet treats and pantry staples. You’ll also fi nd a freezer section stocked with freshly fi lled steamed buns and seafood.

At one end of Stockton Square Shopping Center, with outdoor seating and soothing cafe music, lies PEGASUS BAKERY & CAFE (6825 Stockton Blvd.). This Hong Kongstyle bakery is a dessert lover’s dream, o ering treats such as soft buns fi lled with coconut and custard, a build-your-owncrêpe station and macaron ice cream sandwiches. This family-owned bakery makes everything fresh daily, including beautifully decorated cakes with fi llings like mango, pandan or durian.

If you’re looking for vegetarian or vegan-friendly options, across the street you’ll fi nd HƯƠNG SEN TOFU (6830 Stockton Blvd.) and BODHI BOWL (6511 Savings Plaza). Hươ ng Sen Tofu o ers a wide variety of tofu products that include mushroom tofu, fried tofu, fresh soymilk and tofu pudding. Tucked among the shelves you’ll also fi nd cooking sauces and other pantry staples. Bodhi Bowl is a vegetarian restaurant that serves hot and cold Vietnamese noodle and rice dishes. Many of the dishes feature tofu or jackfruit as a meat alternative, along with a lot of fresh vegetables. A number of vegan options are clearly depicted on the menu.

Đệ Nhất Khô Bò Pegasus Bakery & Cafe

produce section is green

of Asian vegetables and fruits

Traveling north toward Fruitridge Road is MINH PHAT FABRIC STORE (6428 Stockton Blvd.), a family-owned fabric and craft store that is packed with rolls of silks, vibrant textiles and shimmering sequined fabrics along with tassels and beads. This is a hidden gem for those who enjoy craft and sewing projects.

On the next block is KITCHEN PLUS (6340 Stockton Blvd.), a well-organized kitchen supply and home decor store with row upon row of pots, pans, bakeware, kitchenware and gadgets that will have restaurateurs and home cooks delighting in the variety. You’ll also fi nd clothing and kids’ toys.

For everyday grocery shopping, visit VINH PHAT SUPERMARKET (6105 Stockton Blvd.). This well-stocked store carries dried goods, sauces and Asian cooking staples such as frozen dumpling wrappers and fi sh balls. A whole wall is dedicated to fresh meat, poultry and hot foods like roast duck and pork. Adjacent to the meat section, the produce section is green and lush with piles of Asian vegetables and fruits that are often di cult to fi nd at a conventional grocery store.

Rounding out our tour of Little Saigon is PHO BAC HOA VIET (6645 Stockton Blvd.), which routinely wins awards for best Vietnamese food in Sacramento. With plenty of space to accommodate many diners and a bright dragon mural, this casual eatery is a fun spot for a group lunch or family dinner. Try the comforting pho or the fresh spring rolls along with chow fun, grilled plates, banh mi and stir-fries.

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and lush with piles
that are often difficult to find at a conventional grocery store.
Minh Phat Fabric Store Pho Bac Hoa Viet



The pandemic’s particular impact on women placed a stark highlight on gender disparities in both the workplace and at home, all while many women have also continued to battle against other struggles—like chronic illness, poverty, prejudice, death of a loved one or career changes. But this also means women have plenty of experience with pushing through and overcoming, often working to help others along the way.

Here we profile six powerful women whose trials and tribulations did not deter them, but only made them stronger and more e ective business leaders and public servants.

STRONGER than ever

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Liz Salmi, communications and patient initiatives director, OpenNotes
Sonya Harris


Sonya Harris was 8 years old, sitting in the living room of her family’s house in Arboga, when she heard a knock on the front door. A firefighter warned the family that a nearby levee had burst and their house in this part of unincorporated Yuba County would flood.

Her family fled to safety. Harris saw the good life her parents—her mother, a Korean immigrant, and her father, a builder and restorer of cars as a small-business owner— had worked so hard to build tragically taken away. But not for long. While living in an RV in their backyard, her parents ripped their house down to the studs, cleaned it out and rebuilt. Others pitched in to help.

Through this experience, Harris says she had a front-row seat to resilience, which shaped how she views problems and informed her career as a public servant for more than 15 years in California state government.

Harris worked in the o ces of a lieutenant governor and two governors, Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom. While in Newsom’s o ce, she served as chief of sta on the Census 2020 outreach e ort to motivate Californians—especially immigrant families—to get counted. She helped create a model of trusted messengers, people like pastors, local business owners and PTA presidents, to share census information in their own communities.

Harris helped apply this same model when she joined the California Department of Public Health to oversee the state’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign. “We tested this model; we saw that it worked and was really e ective, especially with our most vulnerable communities,” she says.

The success of this community engagement led to the state’s new Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications. Harris recently left government employment but is helping the o ce get up and running as a consultant with her new business, Sage Strategies.

“I’m probably too much of an optimist, but I think there’s nothing that is too hard for us to tackle,” Harris says. “If you put the hard work in as required, if you can see a vision that is brighter . . . if you have a team behind you or that supportive network, you can do anything. I really believe that.”


Darcy Totten is often the only one of something in any room, whether she’s the sole woman, queer person, adoptee or adult who once dealt with poverty. During her teenage years in the mid-1990s, feeling di erent gave her the strength to come out to her parents at the age of 15.

“I was pretty much the only queer person I knew,” she says. “We weren’t on TV, we didn’t really have internet yet, it wasn’t the kind of thing you saw in a magazine. The only time you heard about any members of the LGBTQ community was usually on the news because somebody’s been murdered.”

Totten’s parents were split about her sexual orientation, which she says led to a period of housing instability and a sense that she’d never have a real job, get married or own a house. She didn’t even know if she’d live past 30. “Fifteen-year-old me thought I was going to have to run away and join the circus, either literally or figuratively, and just hope for the best,” she says.

Totten lived for a while in a van and then in an unheated warehouse with too many roommates. She now has a house in Sacramento and a wife of 16 years. (Eventually, both parents embraced her being queer.) She has also had a long career in communications, public policy, advocacy and external a airs, which began with political work in Texas in the early 2000s. In 2019, she became communications director of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.

In November, CCSWG released the California Blueprint for Women’s Pandemic Economic Recovery, and Totten served as the primary author in collaboration with others. The blueprint adopts “a gendered lens on the state economy,” she says, and recognizes how women have been uniquely affected by the pandemic and how their economic recovery impacts all Californians. She sees her involvement in the project as one of her greatest career accomplishments.

“I find that the things I’ve done that I am most proud of are usually done as part of a team, usually in collaboration and usually to a greater end. The goal was to make something better for as many people as possible,” she says.

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Lilly Cortés Wyatt was headed to the hospital on an August day in 2016—preparing to deliver her baby several weeks early—and on the phone with a reporter about a wildfire happening in the Sacramento region. This was for her job as director of regional communications and marketing for a local chapter of the American Red Cross.

Four weeks later, while visiting her premature baby in the neonatal intensive care unit, she began planning to return to work. She prayed about how she would manage having a baby in the NICU, a 4-year-old at home and a demanding full-time job. Then three potential freelance clients fell into her lap.

“I decided to give it a go as an independent contractor, serving as a communications professional, helping clients basically amplify their brand and their stories,” Wyatt says. She founded her own business, recently rebranded as SociosPR. (Socios is the Spanish word for partners.) SociosPR is a full-service multicultural communications company with a “deep fluency in the nuances of cultural competence” that works with private, nonprofit and government organizations, she says.

Wyatt began her career in broadcast journalism, working for nearly 16 years in newsrooms as a host, reporter, assignment editor and executive producer for NBC Universal, ABC, Univision and Telemundo a liates, primarily in the Bay Area and Sacramento. “I loved every minute of it,” she says. She launched “Sacramento & Co.” on ABC10 and later hosted a political show on Telemundo 33, called “Enfoque California.” Not long after having her first child, Wyatt went to work as a public information o cer for the California Governor’s O ce of Emergency Services before moving to the Red Cross.

At SociosPR, Wyatt oversees a team of seven subcontractors; she says her biggest challenge now is finding qualified job candidates passionate about the work. But Wyatt, who describes herself as solutions-oriented, isn’t dismayed. “We all face di erent challenges, and these challenges always help us get better,” she says. “So whenever there’s a challenge, I always see it as an opportunity for growth.”



Tina Lee-Vogt remembers, as a child, attending her grandmother’s church and the pastor telling young girls how they needed to find a man to take care of them. “My father taps me on the shoulder and he goes, ‘You take care of yourself,’” she recalls.

She realized right then and there the importance of strength and self-direction,


a value she has held closely in the face of adversity several times over.

In 2000, her brother was shot and killed by a Los Angeles Police Department o cer. At the time, he was a 39-year-old actor and she was working as an administrative o cer for the Sacramento Police Department in their hometown. She says the department provided “great support” during a heartbreaking time. In 2011, her husband died, and since then she has often thought of her brother, who practiced Buddhism and whose mantra was “be absolutely happy.” That motivates her to be grateful for the time she had with loved ones.

“You learn the strength that you didn’t know you had,” Lee-Vogt says. “Sometimes people will say things like, ‘Oh, you’re so strong.’ And I’m like, ‘Sometimes that’s all you can be.’ So what I really learned was the importance of really being strong, being resilient.”

In her professional life, Lee-Vogt has worked for more than 30 years for the city of Sacramento in various departments, including the Community Development Department, Finance Department, Police and several others. Since October, she has been in a newly created role for the city as nighttime economy manager. She acts as a liaison

with business owners, business improvement districts, city departments and neighbors impacted by nightlife activities with the overall goal of growing the nighttime economy.

“The one thing that I really learned throughout my journey, especially with my city career, is the importance of just really being true to yourself,” she says, adding that her career blossomed when she stopped trying to be what others expected. “It’s really freeing, just being able to say, you know what, I’m just gonna be Tina, because once I’m Tina, that’s when the magic happens.”

SACMAG.COM January 2023 55
Liz Salmi




Liz Salmi has never been traditional. Once a punk rocker, she has spent the past six years working in some capacity for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Since April 2022, she has been the communications and patient initiatives director of OpenNotes, in the medical center’s Division of General Medicine. (She works remotely from Sacramento.) The project has long aimed to get medical systems to voluntarily share doctors’ notes with patients.

Salmi is not a trained academic. She is not a doctor. Her vast expertise comes from being a patient. In 2008, at the age of 29, Salmi was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. She soon found herself blogging about brain cancer, advocating for patients and landing a job in public health at the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California.

For OpenNotes, Salmi works on getting the word out about the organization’s research and translating it to a lay audience so they can make informed decisions. She preaches the value of transparency and patients having access to their own health information. Federal policies now require medical systems to provide electronic access to most kinds of notes.

Salmi is proud to be part of this culture change, and she recognizes her unique role in this advancement. “I used to say I was like a baby researcher. I wouldn’t identify as a researcher,” she says. “Now I’m like, no, I am a legit researcher.” She has had several articles published in peer-reviewed journals, including one this past December in The New England Journal of Medicine about her first-person, patient perspective of having awake brain surgery.

In 2021, Salmi’s brain cancer returned, and she has had two more surgeries. And although her career journey has been nontraditional, it’s one that allows her to fulfill her rebel instincts. “The punk-rock ethos is DIY, do it yourself,” she says. “It’s not about the institution, the man telling you how to do things, but it’s finding your own path and voice and staying true to what you believe in.”


Rachel Zillner knew she was taking a big risk. After a 20-year career in banking, she gave six weeks’ notice at a job she enjoyed, with bosses she appreciated at a company she loved, to leap into—well, those exact details remained unknown. But Zillner realized she couldn’t pursue her new professional vision unless she was fully devoted to the task.

“I just felt like maybe I could try something di erent,” Zillner says. “Maybe I could do it myself. Once I got to thinking about that line of what if, then it became almost like an encouragement to myself: Would I invest in my own startup? I thought, heck yes, I would.”

In late 2019, Zillner left her position as vice president of community banking and membership at SAFE Credit Union and co-founded Clutch, a business services consulting firm with o ces in Folsom and Roseville. (Clutch also owns and manages the BOLD Speaker Series, which features women telling their stories of overcoming struggles.)

Clutch has roughly 150 employees and a diverse clientele. “We’re continuing to grow in a way that honors our vision and purpose,” says Zillner, who became CEO in November. Zillner has a long history of entrepreneurship, inspired by her dad. Growing up in Sacramento, she hustled any way she could. She sold her artwork out of an old-fashioned suitcase, bred hamsters and started a babysitters’ club and car-washing, lawnmowing and baseball card trading businesses.

Being an entrepreneur as an adult, she says, will give her the opportunity to retire early and spend a year traveling with her husband and two daughters. While she says leaving SAFE Credit Union was one of the hardest decisions she ever made, she has no regrets.

“Something I’ve embraced in my life, and I think it’s why Clutch has been successful, is I believe in a limitless space in business,” Zillner says. “We can achieve whatever we want to as long as we will allow ourselves, and that mindset is where the growth comes from.”

SACMAG.COM January 2023 57

They’re providing health and wellness, selling real estate, and running restaurants, shops, salons and other lucrative businesses.

Women working in Sacramento are creating all kinds of opportunities for themselves and others.

We’re pleased to present this special section showcasing successful female professionals in a variety of fields. Meet some of the women who move our community.


Kellie DeMarco spent 20 years in broadcast journalism, nearly half of that time as the 3-time Emmy award-winning news anchor at KCRA 3, before launching her own business, Kellie DeMarco Communications in January 2020. DeMarco now helps businesses and non-profits with all of their media needs—on-camera training, media placement, video production, social media, makeup and image consulting.

“My time on television really prepared me for this chapter in my life. It takes much more than a press release to get attention in today’s world. My clients need someone who knows how to navigate the media landscape and get their stories told more e ectively. It’s been a dream come true to help them grow.”

You’ll also find DeMarco on stage emceeing events, filling in on KFBK News Radio, and hosting local and national TV shows. “Kellie brings a level of professionalism, class, and fun to our show and we’ve seen incredible results, “ says Dan Ahmad, President of Peak Financial Freedom Group. “She has a way of connecting with us and our audience that is unmatched.”

DeMarco is now o ering courses, group programs and one-on-one training to help you look, sound, and feel your best in front of an audience. From companies like Five Star Bank and New York Life to non-profits like Saint John’s, Girl Scouts, and St. Vincent de Paul, Kellie is grateful to work with people who are truly making a di erence in our community.

Kellie DeMarco President Kellie DeMarco Communications (916) 747-3231 Instagram: @kelliedemarco Facebook: Kellie DeMarco Communications SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Jennifer Shaw is the founder of Shaw Law Group, PC and a 2019 recipient of the Sacramento Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” award. Employers throughout the country rely on Jennifer and her team for their workplace law needs.

A well-respected expert in employment law for almost 30 years, Jennifer advises leaders on a broad range of employment law issues. Jennifer’s practical guidance covers subjects such as wage-hour compliance, anti-discrimination and harassment policies and procedures, reasonable accommodation/leave of absence issues, and hiring/separation processes. She is a trusted advisor to in-house counsel, HR professionals, and leadership across a broad spectrum of public sector and private sector employers.

Jennifer also has considerable expertise conducting neutral investigations. Other attorneys and employers frequently engage her to assist with challenging and high-profile matters. Jennifer also teaches HR professionals how to conduct e ective investigations.

Widely recognized for developing and conducting innovative, e ective training for executives, management and non-supervisory employees, Jennifer uses case studies, audience participation, and storytelling to bring employment law to life. Through private, on-site sessions, open public sessions, and webinars, she trains thousands of people each year. She also trains and coaches senior executives on an individual basis.

Jennifer is a regular contributor to the Daily Recorder and other publications, is often quoted in print media, and appears frequently on radio and television as a subject matter expert. Her weekly podcast, “Workplace Wake-Up,” is a “must do” for hundreds of employers.

An active member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Legal and Legislative Group of the Sacramento Area Human Resources Association, Jennifer often delivers keynote addresses at their conferences.

Jennifer is the founder of 100+ Women Who Care Sacramento Valley, a local giving circle, and active in many legal pro bono activities.

Jennifer Shaw

Founder Shaw Law Group, PC

425 University Avenue, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95825 (916) 640-2240 • (916) 640-2241 (Fax)


Problems with heartburn, indigestion, and swallowing can greatly a ect our daily quality of life. Dr. Lisa Brown is a general thoracic surgeon—and Sacramento Magazine Top Doc—who specializes in treating these complex problems when caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), diaphragm hernias, achalasia, and other non-cancerous diseases of the esophagus. Her expertise allows for a minimally invasive surgical approach and an in-depth understanding of the disease processes from diagnosis to surgical repair. She also has a master of advanced study degree in clinical research, and closely studies data from UC Davis and hospitals nationwide to help improve pain management and the overall surgery patient experience. Dr. Brown is highly rated by patients for her thorough listening, informative explanations, and her caring, reassuring manner.

Lisa M. Brown, M.D., M.A.S., FACS

Associate Professor, General Thoracic Surgery

UC Davis Health General Thoracic Surgery

Info: (916) 734-5994

Appointments: (916) 734-5959 thoracic

Since 2003, Spine & Nerve Diagnostic Center has been providing care to the Sacramento community and beyond. Dr. Ethelynda Tolentino, a team member since 2007, is double board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and in Pain Medicine. She is a Physiatrist with experience in Pain Management and Musculoskeletal Disorders. Dr. Natalya Shtutman, who joined the team in 2015, is a Physiatrist who is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She has extensive experience in Pain Management and Musculoskeletal Disorders. The most recent female doctor to join our team is Dr. Julie Hastings who joined in 2021. Dr. Hastings is board-certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician with a special interest in Interventional Spine.

Please visit our website at www.spinenerve. com to learn more about our practice

Spine & Nerve Diagnostic Center

Elk Grove: (916) 478-0112

Folsom: (916) 306-1112

Roseville (916) 772-5325

Sacramento: (916) 419-9900

Granite Bay: (916) 461-9004


The women faculty physicians of UC Davis Health’s Department of Emergency Medicine play a uniquely central role in helping UC Davis Health to deliver and advance lifesaving care across our region and a major portion of California.

Women make up more than 40 percent of the emergency department faculty at UC Davis Health, versus 27 percent nationwide. And their medical and leadership skills help UC Davis to provide state-of-the-art emergency departments, the only level I trauma center for both

adult and pediatric emergencies in inland Northern California, and an accredited geriatric emergency department to serve our seniors.

Meanwhile, their extraordinary breadth of expertise in key fields such as medical research, health technology, and diversity and equity advance solutions for some of society’s most pressing health challenges.

This group of resilient, progressive and strong physicians is advancing health care in our shared community.

The women faculty of UC Davis Health’s Department of Emergency Medicine UC Davis Health Emergency Medicine 4301 X St., Sacramento, CA 95817 (800) 282-3284 emergency SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Sarina Paulson has over 15 years experience in the retail and personal care industry. In 2020, just four months before the start of the global pandemic, she became the owner of Willo Salons. Working side by side with her team, Willo Salons has become Northern California’s premier Aveda Salon. In addition, Willo Salons is the largest Aveda account in Northern California, winning Best of Sacramento in 2021 & 2022, along with adding a 4th location in Elk Grove this last year.

“We are laser focused on providing the highest level of service for each guest, with each visit. We understand that our guests have many choices when choosing a hair salon. Our focus is on the points of di erence we o er, from the continued education we provide our stylists, to the scalp and hand massages we o er our guests during their time with us. We o er our guests a sense of renewal when they are in the salon.”

Sarina is passionate about investing in her team, customer service, and developing future leaders in the region. “Sense of community is so important. Giving back to the areas we serve is our responsibility. As an Aveda salon it is our mission to give back to the communities we serve. I am honored to be a board member of Impact100 Greater Sacramento working side by side with amazing women equally focused on serving our nonprofit community.”

Willo Salons is now o ering alternative hair solutions for those experiencing hair loss, extensions, along with haircut and color services. “I would like to thank our amazing team at Willo Salons. I am proud to be working alongside our talented professionals. Thank you, Sacramento, for your support. We look forward to serving you soon.”

Sarina Paulson Owner/CEO Willo Aveda Salons Elk Grove Fair Oaks Roseville Sacramento (916) 282-4700

Living by the mantra ‘Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe,’ Melissa Allman has surrounded herself with a remarkable team. A mix of seasoned agents, administrative sta and interns, each member of MegaBliss Real Estate brings with them a set of unique talents and skills. They are all united by one goal: providing mega real estate service and a blissful experience to everyone they serve.

Melissa started the company in 2017, after selling her family home and purchasing another. “I remembered how stressful it can be, not knowing where you’re going to move or what happens next,” she explains. Having had her real estate license since 2003, previously worked as an appraiser and property manager, Melissa knew she could make an impact on the real estate world by becoming an agent full-time. Her passion

for creating genuine connections formed the foundation of her business, and success quickly followed.

MegaBliss is not just a name, it’s a feeling. The team’s positivity, expertise and love for what they do is apparent to every buyer and seller. Melissa explains, “Buying and selling real estate is a big commitment, we are going to be in a relationship while we go through this process, so working with a team that you vibe with, who communicates, keeps it transparent and positive, and has your back is key to a MegaBlissful experience.” Serving the greater Sacramento region, their knowledge about this city’s real estate market is unparalleled.

For more information about Melissa Allman, please call 916-949-6929 or email

Melissa Allman REALTOR® CAL DRE#01397300 MegaBliss Real Estate Inc. 1007 7th Street, Suite 400 Sacramento, CA (916) 949-6929 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Tanya is a top producing REALTOR® of 15 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

Wild Flower Design Group is a 3rd generation family business founded in 1986 by Brie’s mother, Carolyn. After growing up alongside her mother in the business, Brie then embarked on a career of her own in the hotel business working at Tacoma Dome, the Delta King Riverboat and Prince Charles where she honed her skills in business, sales, catering, hospitality, customer service and events. In 2015 Brie bought the family business and subsequently grew revenue by 300%.

Today, Brie’s Wild Flowers Design Group produces about 400 events a year and continues to grow with a design studio, a myriad of designers, independent contractors, family helpers.

Brie’s knack for interpreting a client’s vision coupled with exacting attention to detail results in events of a lifetime. Every detail is scrutinized and prepared, along with back-up plans, leaving no room for error because you only get one shot to be perfect.

Brie Williams
Designer Weddings & Events Wild Flowers Design Group (916) 899-1289

Angelica Whaley grew up on the Sacramento Delta in Courtland, CA. She attended Saint Francis High School and continued on to Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. She studied Music: Vocal Performance, graduating as a classically trained opera singer. While she very much enjoyed the opportunities a orded during her time spent there, she decided that she was going to move back to Sacramento to take on the project of revitalizing and revamping her parents’ industrial property on the Delta. Channeling her entrepreneurial spirit and her parents’ years of running successful small businesses, The Willow Ballroom and Event Center was launched in the quaint town of Hood, on the Sacramento River.

The Willow Ballroom is a unique and urban warehouse space that exudes

character, originality, and old-world charm— adorned with 20+ eclectic chandeliers, bistro lighting, and gorgeous unique furnishings (designed by Angelica’s mom, Donis of Porta Bella Interior Design) The Willow Ballroom’s opening has helped revitalize and drive commerce to Hood and throughout the Sacramento Delta. It was just voted “Sacramento’s Best Wedding Venue” by Sacramento Magazine.

Angelica recently became a licensed realtor working under her powerhouse aunt, Kim Pacini-Hauch of RE/MAX Gold, Sacramento Magazine’s Women Who Mean Business 2015 honoree. Angelica’s passion for the arts, commitment to her clients and community, combined with her vibrant eclectic personality certainly makes her a woman on the move.

Angelica Whaley Owner The Willow Ballroom & Event Center at the River Road Exchange 10724 CA-160, Hood, CA 95639 (916) 209-0309 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Christine grew up in Sacramento and has an abundance of knowledge of the city and surrounding areas—its neighborhoods, schools and organizations.

Christine has been a licensed real estate agent since 2007. In 2018

Christine joined forces with longtime Sacramento broker, Jerry Bringham, to form Bringham|Dariotis, combining 50+ years of real estate experience. Whether representing buyers or sellers, their goal is to provide the utmost client satisfaction through experience, service and results.

When not selling real estate, Christine enjoys family time with her husband, son, and three dogs; church and community volunteer work; travel; cooking and interior design.

Marlene von Friederichs-Fitzwater

is the founder of Joshua’s House Volunteer Hospice, California’s first facility dedicated to caring for homeless, terminally ill people. The facility will provide free end-of-life comfort care for up to twenty patients. Joshua’s House is named after Ms. Friederichs-Fitzwater’s grandson, a homeless person himself, who passed away on the streets in Omaha, NE. The facility’s sta will o er comfort care–including meals, clothing, and therapy–at no cost to the care recipient. Local health system partners will provide quality hospice care.

Please take a moment to learn about ways in which you can provide funding to help terminally ill homeless people in our community. Personal and corporate donation information can be found at www.

Christine Dariotis
CA DRE# 01173106 Nick Sadek Sotheby’s International Realty Bringham | Dariotis (916) 412-8112
Marlene von FriederichsFitzwater
CEO & Founder Joshua’s House Compassionate Care (916) 502-0946

Tri Counties Bank o ers strategic products and services designed to improve the financial success of people and businesses throughout California. “Helping our local communities grow and thrive is very important to us, and the Sacramento region is one of our top priorities at Tri Counties Bank,” says Bindu Jaduram, Senior Vice President and Regional Manager for the Sacramento Valley region.

The di erence lies within the superior level of service that Tri Counties Bank provides for their customers, something they call Service With Solutions®. “We’re able to make quick decisions because we truly are local. That’s not always the case with larger financial institutions. For example, when a business needs access to funds, they need a local partner that can be nimble and react quickly,” says Janelle Hopps, Senior Vice President and Commercial Lending Division Manager.

The executive management team at Tri Counties Bank has committed to hiring diverse, local talent. That commitment is shown through their hiring and promoting of women throughout the organization. “We invest in our people. Our employees make all of the di erence, and I’m proud to lead a team of amazing people who truly care about their local communities,” says Gretchen Hritz, Senior Vice President and Commercial Lending Division Manager.

Established in 1975 and with assets of nearly $10 billion, Tri Counties Bank has headquarters in Roseville and Chico, plus seven locations in the Sacramento area.

Tri Counties Bank Locations throughout California, including seven in the Sacramento area. Roseville Corporate Center 3700 Douglas Blvd. Roseville, CA 95661 (916) 788-8200 Member FDIC SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

“positivity is contagious.” Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, no other agent more perfectly combines local market knowledge, negotiation skills, and savvy

I’ve had the pleasure of serving wonderful clients throughout California in my real estate career. Every client is important to me, and I strive to provide excellent service and attention to every client. During a life-changing transaction, the little details matter the most. I aim to be the source of information and professional advice for customers unsure of what steps are necessary. Let me help you achieve your goals.

I am fluent in French and Portuguese.

Mercedeh Sheik REALTOR®, SRES®, PSA CA DRE #02047874 Nick Sadek Sotheby’s International Realty (916) 741-2344
M. Hoberg Broker/Owner DRE# 01813926 Rancho Murieta Homes & Land, Inc (916) Nancy TeixeiraJenson REALTOR® DRE #02009731 | SAR Coldwell Banker Realty (916) 350-0602 nancy.jenson@cbnorcal. com ENERGY. PASSION. COMMITMENT. Karen’s love of people, genuine concern,
personality and great business sense have made her
Top Residential Real Estate Brokers
was the Top Producing Residential Real Estate Agent in Sacramento County in 2020.
Mercedeh Sheik is a locally-renowned REALTOR® with a passion for all things real estate. With Mercedeh, real estate is personal. She builds a relationship with each client, o ers white glove service that transcends the transaction, and celebrates the joys of homeownership with her clients after every transaction. Clients time and time again testify that she embodies her motto:
one of Sacramento County’s
Season Premiere January 8 at 9PM

Artistic License

Lyndsay Burch, the new artistic director of The Sofia: Home of B Street, shakes things up while respecting tradition.

SACMAG.COM January 2023 73
Bravo 01
wes davis
inside: A new season for B Street Theatre

Last August, Lyndsay Burch delivered and experienced a night of firsts. Burch was six weeks into her new position as artistic director of The Sofia: Home of B Street. The title is necessarily a mouthful as it covers a number of constituencies Burch oversees. Mainly, she is the artistic director of B Street Theatre, the Sacramento region’s pre-eminent professional theater company, which has its performance, rehearsal and administrative spaces in The Sofia building. She also is essentially the last word on what does and does not happen throughout the performing arts complex at 27th Street and Capitol Avenue.

That hot summer evening, Burch announced the theater’s upcoming 2022–23 season. It’s a slate of seven productions she and B Street sta worked together to select. Included are the chamber folk musical “The Last Wide Open,” an intimate family drama called “Broke- ology” and the acclaimed modern British farce, “The Play That Goes Wrong.” This is the first time in more than 30 years that B Street has ever announced a full season of its Mainstage shows.

“I wanted to make a statement about what my handprint on the theater was going to be,” Burch tells me later in her modest, knickknack-filled o ce. Though she has been with B Street most of her professional life, Burch is taking over from the company’s cofounder. From tech to the arts, taking over from a founder is a thing.

Her predecessor, Buck Busfield, never scheduled seasons. To his credit, he created a unique subscription model for the arts. Subscribers might know what the next play or two would be, but those were subject to change and often did, depending on what Busfield felt the company’s needs were at the moment: a smaller cast because revenues had fallen short or a funnier play because there was darkness and uncertainty in the previous o ering.

It was a nimble way to produce theater if you had the actors and production team who could pull it together on short notice. Busfield had recruited and developed his people over the years. All that was needed was an audience who would go along with all that. Busfield had nurtured them as well.

Burch arrived in Sacramento 10 years ago as an

intern, during the early stages of what would become a marathon capital campaign. She saw the company raising money for a new building but wondered how the “we’ll let you know” schedule actually worked.

The patrons knew they had signed up for seven shows and that they’d enjoy most of them. Ultimately, the audience would love the actors in the intimate setting they saw them perform in. Most importantly, there was a casual, unstu y informality about it.

“I saw that the brand they had cultivated was so strong, people didn’t care what they were coming to see,” Burch says. “I understood what was building this building,” she says, leading me up a set of stairs.

When Burch first came to B Street, shows were frequently punctuated by the sound of passing trains behind the old theater building. If the company wanted to stage an event, they put up tents in the parking lot. At The Sofia, they have state-of-the-art acoustics in the performance spaces and large, work-ready rehearsal spaces on-site, not halfway across town.

Burch’s ascension to artistic director was not preordained, but it was not a huge surprise, either. She had pointed herself this way since she started taking theater classes in middle school in North Carolina. Her parents were both accountants who always supported her artistic aspirations. Burch was just 12 when her theater teacher told her she should be directing. She’s been on that road ever since.

Lori Bluett, the B Street board president, tells me Burch is one of those people who always shows up to do the behind-the-scenes work that needs to be done. “For years and years, she’s been the person who says, ‘OK, if the janitor didn’t show up to clean the toilets, I’ll clean the toilets. You need help writing the script, I’ll write the script.’ She’s helped produce plays in India and at the Kennedy Center. Whatever opportunity, no matter how high or low, she was that person who would say to Buck, ‘Look at me, I’ll do it.’” The board did its due diligence with a national search for Busfield’s replacement after he announced his retirement, but Burch always seemed like the natural successor.

“She has the institutional résumé,” Bluett says. “But she also created through her work ethic a very expanded résumé for her youth by saying, ‘Show me, show me, teach me. I’ll work 24/7.’”

Burch leads me through an elegant hallway above the lobby, which has been elevated into an art gallery with a series of moody watercolors across the long, white wall. I tell her how nice it looks. “I think so,

Bravo 74 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE January 2023

too,” she says. “It seemed like a wasted opportunity not to put anything here.”

Many things changed when B Street moved into the $20 million complex next to the late Randy Paragary’s Fort Sutter Hotel. Paragary was a longtime B Street supporter who had eagerly anticipated the possibilities of the new building. There are now two medium-size, audience-friendly performance spaces: a 257-seat Mainstage thrust-style theater and a 365seat Sutter Theatre for Children proscenium-style venue. Both spaces have 30-foot ceilings, fly space for sets and space below the stage for lifts, trap doors and special e ects that could never be considered in the old space.

The scale of the Sutter stage makes it a great fit for touring musicians. Regional veteran musical presenter SBL Productions was initially hired to oversee bookings. Once audiences started returning to live music after pandemic shutdowns, B Street began doing most of the booking itself, with Busfield having significant involvement in identifying the talent.

“We need to move past just keeping the building warm,” Burch says. “How can we curate? It’s a place where we haven’t previously had bandwidth.”

Given how much the artistic director has on her plate, the board began searching for a managing director for B Street in the traditional American regional theater management model. B Street last had a managing director when Bill Blake was there handling Sofia fundraising and financing. He’ll be advising as they look for the company’s new business executive.

Performing organizations like Sacramento Ballet and Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus had productions that worked better in The Sofia’s midsized space than in larger city-run halls. Burch and B Street like having those types of e cient building rentals where organizations will put up and manage their own product in the space. “If we are able to add these elements, that’s going to greatly contribute to the long-term sustainability of The Sofia,” Burch says.

While there is certainly much more space onstage and o for everyone, Burch notes there is also much more space to fill.

were no longer a small little motorboat that

SACMAG.COM January 2023 75

could really easily pivot and shift in the waters,” Burch says as we look through the windows of the lobby out onto Capitol Avenue. “The Sofia had many more demands productionwise—sets doubled in budget and the plays themselves got bigger because you couldn’t just constantly do one-person shows or two-handers downstairs.”

She also sensed the audience’s expectations of what they were going to see had changed. The new theater had been promoted in part through the idea that higher production values would follow with state-ofthe-art technology.


“I realized as an organization we needed more stability. Also, there was the fact that back at the old space, the company, frankly, was a bit younger. People aren’t 25 anymore. They make plans and they also want to be able to financially plan what their income is going to be.

“This ability to pick a script two to three weeks out and put it into production was much, much less feasible,” Burch says. “I don’t think staying in that model was really going to grow us to where we ultimately want to be in terms of the production quality or the national visibility of our work.”

Burch thought the season announcement was best for the sta a nd the actors, not just production but marketing and development as well. Everyone would benefit from having timelines in place.

Having a season scheduled had so much to recommend it, but the announcement could be an important event as well.

“I wanted it to feel very B Street; we opened it with a sketch, the whole acting company. There were some scenes read from the plays, there was catering, there was artwork,” Burch says. “I think it was successful.”

She wanted attendees to think, “Oh, we’ve never seen B Street do something like this.”

It was an opportunity to bring in donors and subscribers and generate excitement around the season that not only would result in subscription renewals or purchases, but also production support. They were able to say, “We’re doing ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ next year,” and then go out and recruit sponsors for the season’s highlight production, which they did two months later.

“Now we’re a year out and we know that we can set aside this funding to do this production. I saw this avenue

to do some bigger things that were previously not available. I realized outside of maybe a couple titles, we’re still doing plays no one’s ever heard of.” Burch laughs. “That’s still the brand.”

At the season announcement event, Burch also told attendees the company was moving its New Play Festival (directed readings of new plays yet to be produced) from the upstairs rehearsal space to the downstairs theater because they had maxed out capacity the previous year. The company was also going to be producing three plays developed at this year’s festival.

Burch was having a good night that was about to get better.

“A couple came up to me and said, ‘We want to purchase this sponsorship for the new play festival,’” Burch says. “It was at this moment—my first big donation that someone was coming and giving to me. I said, ‘Oh, well, yes, that’s great. Would you like to schedule lunch or co ee?’ They said, ‘Well, we have our credit card right here. Can’t you just charge it?’”

Burch, who is usually poised and in control, was f lummoxed for a moment. Then she realized it was an a rmation of the plan and direction she had just laid out to everyone there at the event. “It was exciting to know that whatever we had done had convinced people this is something we’re investing in.”

The new era of B Street was unfolding.

“I think that people have always invested in B Street,” Burch says. “But now that The Sofia’s built, how can we then get them to invest in the growth of the programming? This felt like the first step toward that.”

Bravo 76 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE January 2023

Cool Show—

Winter’s favorite fairy tale comes to life onstage when the North American tour of Frozen comes to SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center. Based on Disney’s animated megahit starring sisters Elsa and Anna of Arendelle, the musical features powerful performances, lavish costumes and sets, special effects and a soaring score, including the Oscar- and Grammywinning “Let It Go.” broad

Dress To Express

Anime fans, it’s time to put on your finest cosplay frocks and flock to SacAnime Winter 2023 . The popculture convention, which attracts thousands of anime and manga devotees, provides a weekend of cosplay, gaming, contests, art, music, exhibitors and more, plus a lineup of celebrity anime voice actors ready to grant autographs and photo ops. At SAFE Credit Union Convention Center.

Nobody Does It Better—

Itzhak Perlman , one of the world’s most celebrated violinists, returns to delight audiences at the Mondavi. The Israeli-born virtuoso, who moved to the United States at age 13 to study at Juilliard, is the winner of 16 Grammys, four Emmys and numerous accolades for his work as a musician, conductor, educator and humanitarian. Perlman performs with renowned pianist Rohan De Silva


Trio—Three extraordinary artists—pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Leonidas Kavakos and cellist Yo-Yo Ma—join forces for a night of musical magic at the Mondavi. The superstar trio, who are friends, frequent collaborators and chamber music fans, perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60 (arr. Shai Wosner) and Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97 (“Archduke Trio”).

Fashion in Focus—

Crocker Art Museum presents Lee Alexander McQueen & Ann Ray: Rendez-Vous , an exploration of the creative collaboration between McQueen, the late British fashion designer, and Ray, the French artist/photographer. Ray’s photographs, including backstage images of McQueen’s avant-garde runway shows, offer an intimate portrayal of the designer at work during their 13-year friendship until his death in 2010. In addition to photographs, the exhibition displays more than 50 McQueen garments.

SACMAG.COM January 2023 77
JAN. 4 – 15 JAN. 6 – 8 JAN. 14 JAN. 24 THROUGH APRIL 2 Above left: Deen van Meer; above right: “Birdy” by Ann Ray; below left: Joshua Sabillon; below right: Nigel Parry Events JANUARY
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Pasta Perfect

Sacramento is weirdly deficient when it comes to Italian restaurants. Aiming to address that shortage is WILLOW , a new restaurant in The Exchange hotel downtown. Willow specializes in southern Italian and Mediterranean Sea cuisine, with a focus on pastas (all made in-house). 1006 Fourth St.; (916) 938-8001;

SACMAG.COM January 2023 79
01 23 francisco chavira
No Preaching /
Sippers /
Cavolo campanelle with pesto alla Genovese and Parmigiano-Reggiano Boss
inside: Taste Sexy B&L’s New
Taste 80 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE January 2023
Baby kale Caesar salad with pulled chicken; salmon crudo and caulifl ower steak Duck fat confi t chicken cassoulet Spicy ahi tuna tostada

Small But Almighty

Healthy food, big flavors in El Dorado Hills

When the hottest eatery in Brooklyn is a place called Slutty Vegan, one thing is for certain: Healthful restaurant food has gotten a major reputational upgrade.

Places serving so-called healthy fare used to be no-fun, good-for-you, crunchygranola outliers. Nowadays, they’re mainstream, cool, even sexy.

Almighty Food Co. is the latest local entry in that category. It opened this past summer in El Dorado Hills Town Center, a bustling suburban shopping complex with the typical retail mix of boutiques, restaurants and movie theaters. Almighty Food stands apart from its neighbors for its size (small) and its menu (gluten free and organic).

About that menu: It doesn’t read as ostentatiously healthy. There’s a cheeseburger and a Cubano sandwich, baked brie and dirty rice, risotto and cassoulet. It’s definitely not vegan, nor even vegetarian. That’s by design, says Nick Dedier, who owns the restaurant with his fiancée, Alexa Hazelton. “We don’t shove healthy in your face,” he says. “We smuggle it in without being preachy.”

An Elk Grove native, Dedier began working in restaurants when he was in college. Originally he planned to become a lawyer, but upon graduating from Sac State, he decided his heart was really in the restaur ant business. So instead of law school, he enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and ended up working as a maitre d’ and manager at a succession of high-profile restaurants: Daniel Boulud’s DB Brasserie in Las Vegas, Gary Danko in San Francisco, Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc in Yountville. Later, he traveled the world as food and beverage director for Auberge Resorts, a luxury hotel company.

Dedier had promised himself he’d own a restaurant by the age of 35. He beat that promise by two years, opening Aji, a modern Japanese bistro in Town Center, with a partner when he was 33. The partnership fizzled (although Aji is still open), but he went on to open Milestone, a popular 130-seat New American restaurant in the same complex.

During the pandemic, Dedier and Hazelton became interested in the idea of a healthy restaurant after meeting Joel Salatin, a Virginia farmer and lecturer made famous in Michael Pollan’s book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” Taken with Salatin’s philosophies on regenerative farming and respect for animals, they decided to open an eatery with the same ethos, serving local, organic produce and sustainable, pasture-raised proteins. The pair stumbled upon the gluten-free format by accident. After Dedier wrote Almighty’s first menu, Hazelton pointed out that almost nothing on it had gluten. If they just used glutenfree buns for the cheeseburger and glutenfree bread for the Cubano, she said, Almighty would be a gluten-free restaurant. So they did.

The wide-ranging menu changes monthly and, at first glance, doesn’t seem to have much of an organizing principle: You can order avocado toast bagel, blackened Loch Duart Scottish salmon or anything in between: wedge salad, cauliflower steak, okonomiyaki, even caviar. But there is a common denominator, says Dedier. “This is a workshop for big flavors,” he says. A dish called Chicken Rice is his spin on dirty rice, the chicken confited in duck fat. Potato croquettes are served in a puddle of rich lobster bisque, and spicy ahi appears in a “sexy” tuna tostada.


With only 32 seats, Almighty Food is a much smaller operation than its big sister up the street, Milestone. That’s also by design, says Dedier, who always wanted to own a little bistro—“a place where you have to squeeze in,” as he describes it. “I’m so in love with this place,” he says.


4355 Town Center Blvd., El Dorado Hills; (916) 510-1204

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francisco chavira

Good Sips

If you thought vermouth was merely a bit player in a martini or that sherry is strictly the domain of genteel grandmother types, think again. These fortified wines are seeing a revival of sorts in the bartending world, thanks to their versatility and retro cachet.

“We see a lot of people fall in love with these drinks, especially if they’ve never had them before,” says Kaela Hayes, a manager at midtown’s Good News Wine, which o ers three styles of vermouth and sherry—a dry, a medium-dry and “a sweeter, richer option”—from labels like Bodega Hidalgo, Mommenpop, Buona Notte and Artemis Botanical.

The beverages do raise a few eyebrows among the uninitiated, according to Hayes. “The sherry and vermouth part of our menu defi nitely brings up more questions than the other areas of our menu. A lot of people sit down and say, ‘I thought sherry was just for cooking,’ and that gets the conversation going. Of course, we’re always happy to give tastes for educational purposes.”


Hayes says customers especially like the flexibility of vermouth. “It can be served neat, on ice or as a spritzer with sparkling water or wine,” says Hayes. Good News also o ers a rotating Sunday spritzer as well as a fl ight of three vermouths—a steal at $13—so that customers can get a sense of its breadth. “Once they experience the variety, people are sold on vermouths and will often leave with a bottle.”

As for sherry, it’s all about slowing down. “Because of the intensity of the flavor of sherry, you tend to take slower, smaller sips of it. It’s a beverage for relaxing and defi nitely more of an acquired taste than vermouth.”

Hayes says sherry and vermouth are a natural fit for the low-key wine bar, which takes its inspiration from Euro cafes and bottle shops. “You see them served frequently in places like Italy or Spain, so they go perfectly with the vibe we’re trying to create here.” 1050 20th St.; (916) 400-0533;—CATHERINE WARMERDAM


Sarah Wasson

AGE: 35

DAY JOB: Managing partner at Mulvaney’s B&L HONORS: Participant in the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program

Your family has a long history in the restaurant industry. How did that upbringing shape your notions of hospitality?

My lineage is that my grandmother owned a diner in the Central Valley and my mom [Bobbin Mulvaney] ran a catering company before teaming up with my stepfather [Patrick Mulvaney] to run the B&L. When I was little, I played underneath my mom’s prep table all day, so it has always been part of who I am.

I feel very fortunate to have had much of my foundation be at the B&L. The culture there is steeped in the feeling of welcome, the feeling that ‘you belong here.’ Through my upbringing in hospitality, I’ve been hard-wired to be aware of the vibe in the room, and I have this anticipation of needs before they surface. I think that has translated into my vision for community betterment and my own unique path of service.

You’ve already established a name for yourself in terms of activism within the hospitality industry. Why was that important to you?

My upbringing taught me how important it is to stand up for yourself and your people at the same time as taking care of guests. My big debut was just a few months ago with our Friends of Roe fundraiser at Mulvaney’s. It was an incredible first event and just magic how everything came together. I brought on the perfect partner, Rosa Leonardo, and many ladies at B&L pitched in to help. We organized the event in three weeks, had 250 guests and raised more than $30,000 for Planned Parenthood and Access Reproductive Justice. It was a real testament to our community.

For you, does running a restaurant have to be fueled by a greater sense of purpose?

I literally can’t do anything without a sense of purpose. I can’t go to the grocery store without thinking about it. I’m just fascinated by the bigger connection there is to us all.

As a parent, when you think about leadership and purpose, what do you imagine passing on to your family?

It’s a huge, important piece of who I am. I gave birth to my daughter around the time of the pandemic and a few days after George Floyd’s murder. We were in the beginning of highlighting what’s not working in our society. My daughter was born into an explosion of chaos and truth. That defines who I am as a mother. I’m here to push for change to make it a better world for her and for everyone else. My intention is to do more work for community betterment, and I feel fortunate to be able to do that work through the restaurant.—CATHERINE

Taste 82 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE January 2023
Right: Rachel Valley
2023 & fine spirits festival spring 2023 Sacramento’s favorite ice cream parlour for 35+ years. Our award-winning ice cream and sauces are made fresh daily and served in generous portions. We also offer a large variety of delicious sandwiches–from our specialty crab sandwich to great burgers. Leatherby’s is the perfect old fashioned ice cream parlour for families, friends, large groups or parties. Sun–Thur: 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri–Sat: 11 a.m.–12 a.m. Sacramento | Arden Way | 916-920-8382 Citrus Heights | Antelope Road | 916-729-4021 Elk Grove | Laguna Blvd | 916-691-3334 LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY


As a reader service, Sacramento Magazine offers the following list of noteworthy restaurants in the Sacramento region. This is not intended to be a complete directory, and not all restaurants profiled appear every month. Before heading to a restaurant, call or check its website to make sure it’s open.


ABYSSINIA ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT If you can’t decide on one of the Ethiopian stews, served with injera bread, opt for a grand sampler that includes four di erent stews, along with spicy red lentils, split yellow peas, collard greens and cabbage. 1346 Fulton Ave.; (916) 481-1580. L–D. Ethiopian. $$

BENNETT’S AMERICAN COOKING This neighborhood hangout has an approachable menu and a familiar, “Cheers”-like ambience that makes diners feel right at home. The food is like homemade, only better: things like braised short rib with mashed potatoes, lasagna Bolognese and chicken enchiladas. There’s seemingly something for every taste and diet, from avocado toast, available all day long, to prime rib (weekends only). The lengthy menu features notations for dishes that are vegetarian, heart healthy, nut-free or “gluten-free friendly.” 2232 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 515-9680; L-D-Br. American. $$$

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. $$

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

LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY Go for the ice cream, all made on the premises and used in shakes, malts and towering sundaes. 2333 Arden Way; (916) 920-8382; L–D. Sandwiches/ice cream. $


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. $

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

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

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


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. $–$$


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 wonder-

fully straightforward. 7442 Auburn Blvd.; (916) 723-7512. L–D. Burgers. $


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


SEASONS This attractive, upscale restaurant showcases seasonal products; the menu changes every three months. Pizzas are great; so are the bountiful salads. But you’ll find the kitchen’s real talent in its creative appetizers and limited entrées. 102 F St.; (530) 750-1801; L–D. New American. $$–$$$

YAKITORI YUCHAN This busy little restaurant fo -

Pulled pork tacos from Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse

cuses 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. $


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


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, red beans and rice, cornbread and collard greens. 1409 R St.; (916) 465-8700; L–D–Br. Southern. $$

BRASSERIE DU MONDE This beautifully designed restaurant is based on a traditional French brasserie. The menu hits the high points of the brasserie canon, everything from onion soup to steak frites. 1201 K St.; (916) 329-8033; L–D. French. $$–$$$

CAFE BERNARDO The menu o ers straightforward fare guaranteed to please just about everyone. Breakfast includes huevos rancheros and eggs Bernardo, drizzled with housemade hollandaise sauce. Lunch and dinner feature chewy-crusted pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and substantial entrées such as pan-seared chicken breast with mashed potatoes. 1431 R St.; (916) 930-9191; B–L–D. New American. $

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. $$$–$$$$

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

ECHO & RIG Located in the The Sawyer hotel, this outpost of a Vegas steakhouse is sleek and unstu y. 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. $$$

ELLA This stunning restaurant (owned by the Selland family and designed by award-winning European architects) is an elegant oasis compared to the gritty hustle and bustle outside. From the open

kitchen, the sta turns out innovative dishes and old favorites. The emphasis is on seasonal, local and artisanal. 1131 K St.; (916) 443-3772; elladining L–D. New American. $$$$

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

KODAIKO RAMEN & BAR Partly owned by Kru’s Billy Ngo, this ramen shop takes the Japanese noodle soup to a whole new level. Ingredients are organic, and almost everything is made in-house. For a fun experience, sit at the six-person ramen counter and chat with the chefs. 718 K St.; (916) 426-8863; kodaiko L–D–Br. Japanese/ramen. $$–$$$

MAGPIE CAFE This restaurant has a casual, unassuming vibe, and its hallmark is clean, simple fare that tastes like the best version of itself. 1601 16th St.; (916) 452-7594; B–L–D. Californian. $$

MAS TACO BAR Tasty little tacos are the headliners at this casual eatery. They come with all sorts of delicious fillings: braised short rib, Korean fried chicken, banh mi shrimp and roasted cauliflower. You can also get Latin-flavored bowls, salads and starters such as elote (Mexican street corn) and habanero fire balls (a mixture of roasted chilies, bacon and pepper jack, rolled into balls and fried). 1800 15th St.; L–D–Br. Mexican. $$


This hip sushi bar serves its sushi with a side of sass. There are three sushi bars and a dense menu of appetizers, rice bowls, bento boxes and sushi rolls. 1530 J St.; (916) 447-2112; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$

MORTON’S THE STEAKHOUSE From cozy, candlelit booths and stunning, glass-enclosed wine room to the crisply outfitted chefs, Morton’s oozes Special Occasion. Red meat is the star here. 621 Capitol Mall; (916) 442-5091; D. Steakhouse. $$$$

NASH & PROPER The owners first rocked Sacramento’s food scene with a food truck featuring Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches. Now, they have two brick-and-mortar locations serving their famous sandwiches, along with quarter and half birds, impressive sides and chicken and wa es (weekends only). You pick the heat level for your fowl, ranging from naked (no heat) to cluckin’ hot. 1023 K St.; (916) 426-6712; L. Fried chicken sandwiches and plates. $

URBAN ROOTS BREWING & SMOKEHOUSE At this brewery, a massive smoker turns out succulent meats—brisket, ribs and turkey—in the tradition of the great barbecue houses of Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee. Sides include collard greens, mac and cheese, yams and poblano cheese grits. Sit indoors or out at long picnic tables. 1322 V St.; (916) 706-3741; L–D. Barbecue. $$


ALLORA Modern Italian fare with a heavy seafood bent is the focus at this sophisticated eatery. Tasting menus come in three, four and five courses, with

SACMAG.COM January 2023 85
Colorado lamb porterhouse chops from Echo & Rig

caviar service and in-season tru es o ered at an additional cost. The menu changes with the seasons, but you’ll always find fresh pasta and balsamic-glazed polpo (octopus). Vegetarian and vegan options are also available, along with a wine list weighted with classic Italian wines and new-world expressions of Italian varieties. 5215 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 538-6434; D. Italian. $$$$

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

KRU Long considered one of Sacramento’s best restaurants, chef/owner Billy Ngo produces high caliber, exciting Japanese fare. The restaurant has a craft cocktail bar, outdoor patios and an omakase bar. (An omakase cocktail pairing is also available.) 3135 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 551-1559; krurestaurant. com. L-D. Japanese. $$$-$$$$

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

THE MIMOSA HOUSE This local chain o ers a comprehensive lineup of breakfast fare: omelets, Benedicts, crepes, wa es, burritos and, of course, mimosas. The rest of the menu is similarly broad, with burgers, salads, grilled sandwiches and Mexican “street food.” 5641 J St.; (916) 400-4084; mimosa B–L. American. $$

OBO’ ITALIAN TABLE & BAR This casual Italian eatery is beautifully designed and e ciently run. There are hot dishes and cold salads behind the glass cases, ready for the taking. But the stars of the menu are the freshly made pastas and wood-oven pizzas. There’s also a full bar serving Italian-theme craft cocktails. 3145 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 822-8720; L–D. Italian. $$

ONESPEED Chef Rick Mahan, who built his stellar 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. $$

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. 4801 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 400-3075; 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. $$


AJI JAPANESE BISTRO This casually elegant restaurant o ers a menu of Japanese street food, interesting fusion entrees, traditional dishes such as teriyaki and tempura and—yes—sushi. There’s an approachable wine list, sakes and a full bar serving handcrafted cocktails. 4361 Town Center Blvd.; (916) 941-9181; L-D. Japanese/sushi. $-$$

ALMIGHTY FOOD CO. This all gluten-free restaurant

has a large menu that includes salads, sandwiches, tapas, large plates and lots of meatless options. You’ll find bluefin tuna poke, baby kale Caesar salad, avocado toast, grass-fed burgers, short ribs, falafel, shiitake beans & rice—a tremendous variety for every dietary need. 4355 Town Center Blvd.; (916) 510-1204; L–D–Br. Gluten-free global. $$

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



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

This unstu y eatery serves great takes on comfort-food classics like pot roast and fried chicken. It’s straightforward, without pretense or gimmickry. The setting is like a Napa country porch, and the service is warm and approachable. 4359 Town Center Blvd.; (916) 934-0790; milestoneedh. com. L–D–Br. New American. $$–$$


THE MIMOSA HOUSE For description, see listing under East Sacramento, 2023 Vine St.; (916) 9340965; B–L–D. 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 supporter of local farmers and winemakers, and his innovative food sings with freshness and seasonality. 8941 Elk Grove Blvd.; (916) 685-2220; D–Br. New American. $$–$$$

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

NASH & PROPER For description, see listing under Downtown. 9080 Laguna Main St.; (916) 897-8437; L. Fried chicken sandwiches and plates. $



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

SHANGRI-LA A fun restaurant reminiscent of Palm Springs in the ’50s, this Fair Oaks Village establishment boasts an expansive, retro resort-style patio and a menu teeming with beautiful, inventive cocktails. Come for Baja fish tacos, ahi poke or a towering burger, and find plenty of other vibrant dishes made from local, seasonal ingredients. The space was formerly a mortuary, and the owner, Fair Oaks native Sommer Peterson, saw to its transformation, which revealed original concrete floors and brick walls. 7960 Winding Way; (916) 241-9473; shan D. American. $$

SUNFLOWER DRIVE IN This casual spot serves healthful, wholesome vegetarian and vegan fare. Faves include the Nutburger, egg salad sandwichand fruit

Dine 86 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE January 2023
Classic hamburger from Leatherby’s

smoothies. 10344 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 967-4331; L–D. Vegetarian. $


BACK BISTRO A warm pocket of coziness and urban sophistication in a retail center, this place o ers an appealing menu of casual nibbles and swankier entrées. But it’s the wine program that really knocks this charming little bistro out of the park. 230 Palladio Parkway, Suite 1201; (916) 986-9100; backbis D. New American/Mediterranean. $$–$$$

CHICAGO FIRE Oodles of melted cheese blanket the pizzas that fly out of the kitchen of this busy restaurant. Here, you get to choose between thin-crust, deep-dish and stu ed 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; 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. $$$

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


o ers a solid menu of delicious seafood, from crab cakes and calamari to roasted lobster tail. 824 Sutter St.; (916) 989-6711; scottsseafoodroundhouse. com. L–D. Seafood. $$$–$$$$

THAI PARADISE Standouts on the extensive menu include spring rolls, tom kha koong (coconut milk soup with prawns), green curry, spicy scallops and pad thai. Try the fried banana with ice cream for dessert. 2770 E. Bidwell St.; (916) 984-8988; thai L–D. Thai. $$


CRAWDADS ON THE RIVER This riverfront restaurant draws crowds looking for a great place to party on the water during warm-weather months. The Cajun-inspired menu includes fish tacos and several fun entrées, and roll-up doors blur the line between indoors and out. 1375 Garden Highway; (916) 929-2268; L–D–Br. Cajun/ American. $$


HAWKS One of Placer County’s best restaurants, Hawks is known for its elegant cuisine and beautiful interior. The dining room has clean lines, soothing colors, and crisp white tablecloths. Framed photos of farmscapes remind diners of owners Molly Hawks and Michael Fagnoni’s commitment to locally sourced ingredients. The seasonal menu is full of delicious surprises, such as seared scallop and sea urchin. 5530 Douglas Blvd.; (916) 791-6200; L–D–Br. New American/ French. $$$–$$$$


CACIO This tiny sliver of a restaurant has only a handful of tables—and more than a handful of people who want to dine here. The fare is highquality Italian comfort food, with an emphasis on pasta. Service is warm and homey, prices are gentle, and reservations (even at lunch) are a must. 7600 Greenhaven Drive; (916) 399-9309; caciosacra L–D. Italian. $$

SCOTT’S SEAFOOD ON THE RIVER Located in The Westin Sacramento, Scott’s has a patio and a view of the river. 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; scotts B–L–D. Seafood. $$$–$$$$


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

CHICAGO FIRE For description, see listing under “Folsom.” 2416 J St.; (916) 443-0440; chicagofire. com. L–D. Pizza. $

HAWKS PROVISIONS & PUBLIC HOUSE This sophisticated gastropub is the latest o ering from the owners of Granite Bay’s upscale Hawks. The food is rustic Mediterranean, with beautifully executed dishes like country pate and baked rigatoni. The pastas are made in-house, and even the burger is top-notch: Wagyu beef is served on a house-made brioche bun with hand-cut French fries. In addition to the restaurant (the “public house”), there’s a casual takeout shop next door serving co ee, pastries and sandwiches (the “provisions”). 1525 Alhambra Blvd.; (916) 588-4440; L-D-Br. Mediterranean gastropub. $$$

KUPROS This fun gastropub is housed in a beautifully renovated 1910 Craftsman building. Belly up to the ground-floor bar for a pint of beer, or head upstairs for a seat in the dining room or the outdoor balcony, where you can tuck into fare such as steak frites or pot roast. 1217 21st St.; (916) 440-0401; L–D–Br. New American/ gastropub. $$

THE LIMELIGHT A Sacramento institution since 1975, The Limelight bar and café is local watering hole, casual cafe and cardroom, combined. It’s a spot for hearty breakfast, with omelets, pancake stacks and a wicked bloody mary; for lunch or dinner, you’ll find a varied menu of old favorites, including burgers, sandwiches, salads, pizza and drink-friendly starters such as wings, tacos, nachos, potato skins and calamari. 1014 Alhambra Blvd.; (916) 446-2236; B–L–D–Br. American. $$

LOCALIS This upscale restaurant is a pleasant surprise. Localis (Latin for “local”) is a dinner-only restaurant with an inventive, prix-fixe menu of ingredient-driven dishes. Chef Christopher BarnumDann works with local farms to source most of the menu within 100 miles. 2031 S St.; (916) 737-7699; D. Californian. $$$–$$$$

LOWBRAU BIERHALLE This chic yet casual watering hole serves house-made sausages, duck fat fries and stand-out beers. Long communal tables make for

SACMAG.COM January 2023 87
Dungeness crab Louis salad from Scott’s Seafood Roundhouse

an experience that’s noisy and convivial. 1050 20th St.; (916) 706-2636; L–D–Br. Beer hall. $

MULVANEY’S BUILDING & LOAN Distinctive and cozy, this topflight restaurant exudes the generous a ability of its owner, chef Patrick Mulvaney. It’s housed in a brick firehouse from the late 1800s, and the lush patio is a popular spot in warm months. The menu changes frequently and is focused on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. 1215 19th St.; (916) 441-6022; . L–D. Californian. $$$

PARAGARY’S This legendary restaurant focuses on elegant, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. 1401 28th St.; (916) 457-5737; L–D–Br. New American/Californian. $$–$$$

THE RED RABBIT KITCHEN & BAR The menu is a playful jumble of dishes, some robustly American, others with an Asian, Latin or Mediterranean influence. 2718 J St.; (916) 706-2275; L–D–Br. New American. $$

THE RIND At this cheese-centric bar, you can savor cheese in a number of ways. The menu includes variations on macaroni and cheese, cheese boards and creative grilled cheese sandwiches. 1801 L St.; (916) 441-7463; L–D. American. $$

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 o ers a limited menu of ribs, brisket and sides along with a thoughtful selection of craft beers. 1925 J St.; (916) 431-7199; L–D. Barbecue. $

TAPA THE WORLD The dark space is packed practically every night. The best seats are along the windows that look out onto J Street—perfect for peoplewatching as you savor classic tapas along with a Spanish cava or tempranillo from the lengthy, exciting wine list. 2115 J St.; (916) 442-4353; tapa L–D. Spanish/tapas. $$

THE WATERBOY This Mediterranean-inspired restaurant produces perhaps the finest cooking in the region. Chef/owner Rick Mahan honors local farmers with his commitment to simply prepared, highcaliber food. You can’t go wrong if you order one of the lovely salads, followed by the gnocchi, ravioli or a simple piece of fish, finished with butter and fresh herbs. You’ll also find French classics such as veal sweetbreads and pomme frites. 2000 Capitol Ave.; (916) 498-9891; L–D. Mediterranean. $$$$

ZÓCALO This Mexican restaurant is one of the best places to while away an evening with friends over margaritas. The restaurant is high-ceilinged, with a wood bar and roomy booths. During warm months, the wraparound sidewalk patio is one of the most popular spots in town. 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. $$


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 wa es, gumbo, fried catfish, and shrimp and grits. 3428 Third Ave.; (916); 999-7685. B–L–D–Br. Southern. $$

Pancakes with bourbon coffee from J.J. Pfister Restaurant & Tasting Room

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


THE FIREHOUSE Since opening in 1960, this has been Sacramento’s go-to restaurant for romantic atmosphere and historic charm. Located in a 1853 firehouse, it’s white tablecloth all the way, with crystal wine glasses and top-notch service. The outdoor courtyard is one of the prettiest in town, and its canopy of trees sparkles at night with tiny lights. The food is special-occasion worthy, and the wine list represents more than 2,100 labels. 1112 Second St.; (916) 442-4772; L–D. Californian/American. $$$$


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

J.J. PFISTER RESTAURANT & TASTING ROOM In addition to a tasting room where you can sample locally made premium gin, vodka and rum, this family-owned distillery also operates a restaurant serving lunch and dinner. The all-day menu features salads, sandwiches and tacos, along with the whimsical “Adult Lunchable”—an assortment of cheeses,

deli meats and accompaniments. Desserts get the boozy treatment: Order cheesecake topped with bourbon caramel and whipped cream, or fudge clusters made with Pfister’s Navy Strength rum. 9819 Business Park Drive; (916) 672-9662; L–D. Casual American. $$

THE MIMOSA HOUSE For description, see listing under East Sacramento, 3155 Zinfandel Drive; (916) 970-1761 and 2180 Golden Centre Lane; (916) 8224145; B–L. American. $$


ANATOLIAN TABLE The menu here is lengthy, with an enticing lineup of kebabs and “oven foods” such as kusbasi pide, a Turkish dish similar to pizza. 6815 Lonetree Blvd.; (916) 772-3020; L–D. Turkish. $–$$

RUBINO’S RISTORANTE This intimate, dimly lit restaurant serves classic Italian fare such as veal scallopine, fettuccine Alfredo and shrimp scampi. It also o ers a fine selection of steaks. 5015 Pacific St.; (916) 624-3401; L–D. Italian. $$$

ZEST KITCHEN Everything served at this casual cafe is vegan, and most of the dishes are gluten-free. 2620 Sunset Blvd.; (916) 824-1688; zestvegankitchen. com. L–D. Vegan/vegetarian. $


CATTLEMENS This classic Western steakhouse serves up big slabs of prime rib, porterhouse, T-bone and cowboy steaks, plus all the trimmings: shrimp

Dine 88 SACRAMENTO MAGAZINE January 2023

cocktail, loaded potato skins, deep-fried onions and more. 2000 Taylor Road; (916) 782-5587; cattle D. Steakhouse. $$$

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

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


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

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

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

P.F. CHANG’S CHINA BISTRO The extensive menu o ers dishes whose origins spring from many regions in China but that reflect a California sensibility. 1180 Galleria Blvd.; (916) 788-2800; pfchangs. com. L–D. Chinese. $$

RUEN THAI Simple and serene, Ruen Thai is a family-owned restaurant that o ers a surprisingly large selection of fresh-tasting food. 1470 Eureka Road; (916) 774-1499; L–D. Thai. $

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

ZÓCALO For description, see listing under “Midtown.” 1182 Roseville Parkway; (916) 788-0303; L–D–Br. Mexican. $$


CAFE BERNARDO AT PAVILIONS For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 515 Pavilions Lane; (916) 922-2870; B–L–D. 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 For description, see listing under “Roseville.” 501 Pavilions Lane; (916) 286-2702; L (Fridays only)–D. Steakhouse. $$$$

WILDWOOD RESTAURANT & BAR Owned by the Haines brothers of 33rd Street Bistro fame, this chic

restaurant serves New American and global cuisine, with naan, ahi poke, pancetta prawns and rock shrimp risotto sharing the menu with an all-American burger. The spacious patio is a great place to grab a drink and listen to live music. 556 Pavilions Lane; (916) 922-2858; L–D–Br. American/global fusion. $$$


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. $$–$$$


BACON & BUTTER Lively and delightfully urban, the place is packed with fans of chef Billy Zoellin’s homey flapjacks, its and other seasonal breakfasty fare. 5913 Broadway; (916) 346-4445; bacon 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. $$


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

DRAKE’S: THE BARN Located in a stunningly modern indoor-outdoor structure along the river, Drake’s serves excellent thin-crust pizzas, along with a few salads and appetizers. You can get table service indoors or on the patio. But if you prefer something more casual, grab a folding lawn chair, find a spot at the sprawling outdoor taproom and order a pizza to go. It’s fun galore, with kids, dogs, fire pits and a tap trailer serving beer. 985 Riverfront St.; (510) 423-0971; L–D. Pizza. $$

FRANQUETTE This contemporary French café from the owners of Canon is an open-all-day, drop-infor-a-glass-of-wine kind of place. You can order a freshly baked croissant or tartine at breakfast, a salad, quiche or jambon sandwich on a baguette for lunch, and something a little more filling—say, duck meatballs or a crock of boeuf bourguignon— at dinner. It’s grandma food—or, in this case, grandmère food: warm, satisfying and homey. 965 Bridge St.; B-L-D. French $$–$$$

Subscription rates: $19.95 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 2023 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 49, Number 1, January 2023. Sacramento Magazine (ISSN 0747-8712) is published monthly by Sacramento Media, LLC, 1610 R St., Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95811. 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 January 2023 89
Gabriel Teague Catfish in a clay pot from Lemon Grass Restaurant


Downtown Style

Zukors, a K Street store that operated from 1930 to the 1970s, was part of a New York City-based chain of women’s clothing shops. For its 20th anniversary, the Sacramento store gave away one free pair of nylon hose to each person who made a purchase. That was a treat for women in the years after the World War II, when nylon was in short supply. The store is shown here in 1947.—DARLENA BELUSHIN MCKAY

From the Special Collections of the Sacramento Public Library



The year 2023 marks the 27th 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 sta 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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