Sacramento Magazine November 2020

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THE BIG PIVOT How the pandemic changed our restaurants

A Great, Invention: ) Snug Jr. s Deluxe Junior cheeseburger SACMAG.COM NOVEMBER 2020  $4.95


504 Pavilions Lane | Sacramento, Ca 95825 | 916-927-2300

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

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

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

Discover the Eskaton Difference.

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Little Miracles Happen Everyday at Northern California Fertility Medical Center


Northern California Fertility Medical Center Physicians and IVF Lab

FOCUS: Our vision is your future family. If you are experiencing difficulty becoming pregnant, we offer a full range of infertility services including in vitro fertilization, family balancing, egg donation, egg freezing, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, gestational surrogacy and vasectomy reversal. EXPERIENCE: Since 1992, our physicians, Dr. Laurie Lovely, Dr. John Gould, Dr. Michael Murray, Dr. Manuel Doblado, Dr. Sahar Stephens have helped create thousands of families. WHY NCFMC? We are the largest fertility center in the region. We are proud of our high success rates and commitment to the highest quality care in our state-of-the-art facility. Our exceptional team of nurses, embryology, laboratory, clinical, and administrative staff are here to help you reach your family goals.

4320 Auburn Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95841 • (916) 773-BABY • NorCal Fertility.indd 5

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patient – Pediatric Cochlear Implant

The science that gave a girl who couldn’t hear an ear for music open enrollment is here. When Gianna was born blind and deaf, UC Davis Health gave her the gift of sound. After you choose a health plan, remember to also choose personalized primary care and world-class specialty care at UC Davis Health. Discovering healthy has never been easier, with 17 local clinics that bring life-changing health care to your front door — including the expertise of our region’s only nationally ranked, comprehensive children’s hospital.

Comprehensive children’s hospital | 150 specialties | 17 clinics in 10 communities

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Contents NOVEM B ER 2 02 0



DINING IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS Restaurants have pivoted to stay alive during the pandemic. By Marybeth Bizjak


A WELL-COMPOSED LIFE Painter Wayne Thiebaud turns 100 this month. By Marcus Crowder


SACRAMENTO HOME Gather ideas from makers, designers and homeowners who have created meaningful items and beautiful spaces.

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THE 916 Plasma for COVID Next Big Move Thanksgiving Footprint Plant Daddy


IN EVERY ISSUE 16 EDITOR’S NOTE Pivot by the Plateful

67 ARTS & CULTURE Bringing the Jokes


How Sweet It Is


A Real Pip Third-Party Blues

ON THE COVER Snug Jr.’s Deluxe Senior cheeseburger

D E PA R T M E N T S 29 HEALTH The Impact of Race By Thea Marie Rood




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


1841 Iron Point Road, Folsom, CA 95630 • 916.983.9895

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In this issue and online / November 2020



2020 Top Dentists Ad Section Featuring some of the region’s most notable dentists. See pages 54–66.




Sacramento Home Showcasing the unique visual style and aesthetic of the capital region. 23 pages of beautiful homes, great ideas and more! Beginning on page 77.




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

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PUBLISHER Dennis Rainey EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Krista Minard ART DIRECTOR Gabriel Teague E D I TO R I A L MANAGING EDITOR Darlena Belushin McKay DINING EDITOR Marybeth Bizjak CALENDAR EDITOR Kari L. Rose Parsell

Home Furnishings | Full Service Interior Design Flooring & Handmade Area Rugs | Lighting Custom Window Treatments | Custom made Upholstery 5601 H Street Sacramento 916.476.6190

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sasha Abramsky, Luna Anona, Daniel Barnes, Diana Bizjak, Cathy Cassinos-Carr, Ed Goldman, Jennifer Berry Junghans, Angela Knight, Elena M. Macaluso, Reed Parsell, Anna Quinlan, Steph Rodriguez, Thea Marie Rood, Mari Tzikas Suarez, Catherine Warmerdam, Sara E. Wilson ART GRAPHIC DESIGNER Debbie Hurst CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Kat Alves, Gary and Lisa Ashley, Beth Baugher, Debbie Cunningham, Wes Davis, Terence Duffy, Kevin Fiscus, Aniko Kiezel, Ryan Angel Meza, Tyler and Christina Mussetter, Rachel Valley A DV E R T I S I N G NATIONAL ACCOUNTS MANAGER Lisa Bonk ADVERTISING MANAGERS Duffy Kelly, Victor Obenauf, Carla Shults SENIOR ADVERTISING DESIGNER John Facundo MARKETING & WEB DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND DIGITAL MEDIA Dan Poggetti MARKETING AND DIGITAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Nicole Kern C I R C U L AT I O N CIRCULATION MANAGER Riley Meyers PRODUCTION PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Stephen Rice SALES OFFICES SACRAMENTO 231 Lathrop Way, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95815; (916) 426-1720



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or make changes to an existing subscription, please call (866) 660-6247 or go to SINGLE COPIES AND BACK ISSUES

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



The Most Powerful Business Leaders in Metro Sacramento




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Pivot by the Plateful FINALLY, WE HAD PLANS TO GO OUT TO DINNER. Our older daughter, Anna, was turning 24, the new Scott’s Seafood had just opened on Sutter Street in Folsom—at last—and the smoke had cleared, so an evening on a patio sounded inviting rather than stifling. COVID cases had gone down, too. It had been months since we’d eaten out. We usually go out for birthday dinners. My last birthday, in December, had gotten consumed by our participation in the Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade. When we grabbed some late-lunch Argentinean burgers and stiff Brazilian coffees in San Francisco before crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to board Mike’s brother’s boat in the Sausalito Marina, we called that my birthday meal. (So it goes with the holiday-season birthday.) Mike and younger daughter Melissa’s summer birthdays, during peak pandemic times, had come and gone while Mike and I traversed Oregon helping my parents through a tough situation. Time marched on, and we just kept never scheduling a dinner out. Despite the pandemic, life has remained busy for the four of us: Anna and I have been working full time, Melissa is Zooming college, and while Mike was laid off, he tackled long-deferred household maintenance and a weight-loss odyssey that involved hours on the Johnny Cash and American River trails, a lot of bent bicycle rims and pounds of salad. Between shelter-in-place orders and our own schedules and dietary limitations, eating at home just made more sense. Still, I’ve read dining editor Marybeth Bizjak’s stories with eager enthusiasm—and pride in our region’s innovative restaurant community. The pandemic’s early days brought Family Meal Sacramento and pop-up markets for chicken, flour, yeast, even toilet paper. Then came the Great Plates program for seniors and lots of inventive takeout and meal-delivery systems. By summer, Farm to Fork Al Fresco filled our sidewalks and streets with tables. For the restaurant community, it’s been one pivot after another, and they’ve certainly risen to the occasion! On Anna’s birthday, we eagerly awaited our outing. Mike planned his splurge: many baskets of bread and butter, some oysters to start and no salad. Then Anna texted. She’d gone bouldering that day, taken a fall and rolled her ankle. Swelling quickly, it couldn’t bear weight (even for driving), Kaiser couldn’t see her till the next day and we had no crutches. So we pivoted. Melissa picked up Anna from her apartment in Curtis Park while I hit Whole Foods and bought enough wild salmon for four. Anna hopped into the house, and we gathered for another homemade dinner and plenty of celebration. But next time, we’re going out.

AND THERE’S MORE . . . Saying I Do—Watch for Sacramento Magazine’s Our Wedding section, coming up in the December issue. You’ll find stories about getting married in the time of coronavirus, as well as a great list of spots to elope—or just take some beautiful engagement photos—all around the region. The Daily Brief—We’re a daily, too, with our newsletter that goes to email subscribers every weekday. Catch the latest updates in dining, arts and culture, wine, recreation, health (including the pandemic) and more. You’ll also find links to other community resources and social media posts that have caught our eye. Subscribe at



Marcus Crowder

A writer who has covered arts in Sacramento for 25 years, Marcus Crowder was the theater critic at The Sacramento Bee for 17 years. His work has appeared in American Theatre, Diablo Magazine, Sactown, San Francisco Chronicle and 7x7. “I’ve known about Wayne Thiebaud for years,” says Marcus. “When I started at The Bee, my office mate was Bill Glackin, Wayne’s longtime tennis partner.” Marcus travels to beach towns around the world with his wife, Laura Compton, and is devoted to his cat, Dafnis.



Rachel Valley

For this issue’s Dining in the Time of Coronavirus feature, photographer Rachel Valley captured images of the region’s resilient restaurant community, showing many of the dishes that have landed in our cars and on our doorsteps and on outdoor tables these past six months. “I wanted to approach this in the most positive light and challenge myself,” she says. For the Last Supper Society photo, for example, she shot against sparks. “Like a phoenix rising from the ashes!” said Last Supper Society co-owner Byron Hughes.

Catherine Warmerdam

“I appreciate design that is understated,” says Catherine Warmerdam, associate editor for Sacramento Home and a regular contributor to Sacramento Magazine. “The Whitson residence in Auburn is a beautiful example of that. Designer Mela Breen deserves a lot of credit for renovating a home in which every space is comfortable and thoughtfully planned—not a square foot is wasted—and where energy efficiency is the real luxury. I hope we see homebuilding continue to move in this direction.”

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w our employees why donated over

$500,000 $ last year?

We’re community-owned, not-for-profit. SMUD employees (left to right) Eric, Laura, Felicia

SMUD employees support the causes they care about through personal donations to local nonprofits. Giving back to our community is a key part of SMUD’s culture. And, we keep you at the heart of all we do.

Learn more at

Powering forward. Together.

©1047-20 ® A trademark of Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.

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The 916 i n s i d e: Plasma for COVID / Big Moves / Thanksgiving Footprint / Plant Daddy

“I Vote” With local donations and a grant from the Julie A. Soderlund Memorial Fund, muralist Maren Conrad and a team of female artists have created the “I Vote” mural wrapping around three sides of the WEAVE building at 19th and K streets. The interactive mural celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and showcases 19 suffragists of various races, backgrounds, religions and sexual identities.Other artists involved in the project were Nissa Harvey, Sandra Hernandez, Marcela Servin and Faith J. McKinnie. “Our wish is that this mural can be used as a place to register future voters,” says Conrad, “and as a destination where women can gather in unity.” Shown above: Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin, a Metis Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians attorney and Native American rights activist; and Mary Church Terrell, a Black suffragist who helped found the National Association of Colored Women in 1896.

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The 916

A Treatment for COVID? It seems the world has been holding its breath while awaiting a cure, vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19. And while a cure may never come, the United States has made strides toward both a treatment and a vaccine. Local blood centers are collecting convalescent plasma from previously infected individuals who had COVID-19 to give to seriously ill patients with active COVID disease. The treatment is still controversial as information is preliminary, but there’s enough hope that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed for the emergency use of convalescent plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients. Some of that hope comes from the successful use of convalescent plasma to treat other illnesses over decades. “We believe this form of investigational treatment may give the body an extra boost to fight COVID-19 by using antibodies that are active against the disease,” says Larry J. Dumont, Ph.D., vice president of research and scientific programs at Vitalant Research Institute. “With our network of hospital partners and experience, we are helping patients fight a novel infectious disease.” Daisy Marquina, 22, had COVID-19 this past spring and recovered. The first time she donated plasma, she was nervous. “I am not a fan of needles,” she admits. But her donation could save up to three lives. During a typical plasma donation procedure, two needles are inserted, one in each arm. Blood comes out of one arm, a machine filters it, and the rest of the blood goes back into the other arm. “Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 may have immune-boosting antibodies in their plasma,” says Drew Fowler, marketing and communications manager for Vitalant. To be a donor, individuals must have a prior laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19, either by a positive nasal/oral swab test or a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, be a minimum of 28 days removed from symptoms, and meet all other donor eligibility requirements for an automated plasma donation. Those who are able to donate should expect to spend about two hours at the blood center. One hour is for the plasma donation while the other hour is used for medical screening and a health history review. “We use a specialized process called apheresis that allows Vitalant to separate and collect only specific blood components—like plasma—while safely returning the remaining components to the donor,” Fowler says. After donation, most people feel ready to go after a 15-minute break in the company’s snack room. —Nora Heston Tarte

Inside Job Going to work can be dicey for those whose jobs take them inside other people’s homes. The pandemic has forced many people to weigh the personal risks they are willing to take in exchange for employment and, in some instances, completely altered how they perform their work. Angelina Singer, an estate planning attorney who serves clients—many of them elderly—by meeting in their homes, saw work screech to a halt at the beginning of the pandemic. People were wary of having a non-family member in their personal space. “I lost almost all of my business immediately,” she says. As information spread about how to avoid infection, work began to pick up. Singer adjusted by adopting strict safety protocols for in-home appointments. “When I meet clients, they wear a mask, I wear a mask, I always bring gloves, we sit at least six feet apart, and even then, some clients prefer to sit on a porch or patio rather than inside,” she says. In spite of these precautions, Singer has to place a measure of trust in her clients. “You



don’t know how careful other people have been, so when you’re entering their home, you really have to rely on the fact that they have been careful and that the exposure risk remains low.” Christina Gregorio, who works as a nanny for a toddler, was forced to take a break from her job as she quarantined at home with her husband, a nurse, who tested positive for COVID-19. Prior to that, however, her daily practices on the

job hadn’t changed dramatically from what they were before the pandemic began. “There is more hand washing. We are better about covering our mouths when coughing or sneezing. We wipe things down more,” she explains. However, she does not wear a mask inside her employer’s home. And distancing is pretty much out of the question when caring for a young child. Gregorio takes her cues from her employer, who she says is practical but not overly cautious. “If they’re comfortable with me being there, then I’m comfortable being there. If I’m not feeling well, I’m OK with saying that. Of course, I felt a moral obligation to tell her when my husband wasn’t feeling well.” Gregorio believes she would feel safer at her job if the rate of infection in the community wasn’t so high. “Things opening back up and everybody rushing around to get back to regular life was stupid. I think it was premature and selfish. I understand that businesses weren’t doing well, but look at the outcome.” —Catherine Warmerdam

The Next Big Move? As the global pandemic stretches on and on, some area residents are considering what’s next in career or education. BY CHERISE HENRY


he pandemic has forced nearly two-thirds of Americans to now work remotely, according to a Gallup poll. The number has doubled since mid-March, shining a light on whether a global pandemic—when everything is unknown and constantly changing—is a good time to go back to school or change careers. Working from home has benefits—exchanging a commute for cooking dinner and using lunch hours for a creative project, for example—and disadvantages. For JOSHUA PIERCE , a local graphic designer and photographer for the Sacramento Kings, it was the latter. “I started working from home, and over a couple months, working from home turned into a furlough, thus proving my job was disposable,” Pierce says. “Once the furlough came, the wheels started spinning in my head that I should start thinking of my next move.” RACHAEL MARSHALL, PH.D. , assistant professor of counselor education and career counseling specialization coordinator at Sacramento State, says that we can study a few different times in our nation’s history to see impacts on education and career development: The Spanish flu led to career changes, for example, and recessions have often been motivators for people to reach for higher education. “More people apply to graduate school hoping to be more competitive in a market with more supply of workers than demand, and to discover different work and meaning,” Marshall says. But she also points out: “The first and easiest thing to cut in government spending is education. This could mean higher tuition and more student debt.” Still, she says, the advancement of online teaching broadens access, which might make now a good time for some to return to school.

SARAH TUROLD , a work-from-home mom of three in Lincoln and assistant director of special education at Inspire Schools, will do just that. She intends to complete her administrative credential to strengthen her current employment position and widen her network opportunities. “The program has been adapted to an online platform, opposed to in-person, which makes it more self-paced and easier to schedule around my work and home life,” Turold says. Experiencing a global pandemic has caused people to pause and evaluate what’s important to them in terms of values and how they spend their time, says Allison Moore, a women’s life coach at Allison Moore Coaching. “If you’re looking to make a change right now, take a personal and professional inventory of your skills, talents and dreams and see where they intersect. Search for a job opportunity in your city or expand your search nationwide,” Moore says. She recommends people take an online class, read a book or set monthly goals and start working through action items. “We don’t know when the pandemic will end,” she says. “You don’t want to look back and regret the time you had to make a big—or small—change.” Pierce, the former photographer and designer, plans to go back to school to pursue a medical career as a nurse practitioner in an operating room. This aligns with the findings that, according to Marshall, industries needed to support COVID-19 are seeing increases in interest while those that could put others at risk are decreasing. “While it’s not a great time to start a bar or restaurant, more innovative-based work in technology—social, new products, consultant work, etc.—as well as medical-based jobs could work better for the needs of the nation,” Marshall says. Pierce hopes to help patients he will care for in “this new world we’re living in,” but he also seeks a career that will provide him financial and job security, even in a pandemic. SACMAG.COM November 2020


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


Cutting Edge During the pandemic, you’re probably cooking more than you used to. In turn, that may cause you to look askance at your dull knives and rant when your ancient serrated bread knife can’t slice through your homemade sourdough loaf. Luckily, there’s a new knife business in town: Crocker Cutlery. Unluckily for owner Gabriel Crocker, he opened his tiny dream store in February 2020 and, well, you can picture the rest. He has had a peripatetic career in the restaurant industry for three decades, in the South, the Bay Area and in Sacramento, starting at Magpie about a decade ago. Over time, he came to be fascinated with knives, and with the myths about their care passed down by cooks. He went down a “rabbit hole” of knife knowledge that led him to discover a new passion. This interest, coupled with the fact that, as he puts it, “I’m getting old and my body is broken,” led him to open Crocker Cutlery. Things were going well until shelter-in-place. Since then, he’s struggled to figure out a business model that will keep him, his customers and his 2-year-old daughter safe. For now, chefs and knife enthusiasts both locally and nationally are buying his custom knives, at prices up to $2,000. With layered wood handles and intricate designs on the metal, some of them take their makers weeks to craft and can double as works of art. Byron Hughes, chef of Last Supper Society, is a fan. He worked with Crocker at Canon, and posted an Instagram video of himself unboxing a purchase from Crocker Cutlery. He called the shop the “best outside of the Bay.” Chef Matt Masera, of the late, great Mother Restaurant (currently working as culinary director for celebrity chef Tyler Florence), bought a knife that he couldn’t stop thinking about as a birthday present to himself. “Some of the knives Gabe finds are incredible!” he says. —Becky Grunewald



let us carve out a little time amid the strangeness to reflect on the sustainability of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. As a place to start, let us consider a state-by-state comparison of the carbon footprint imposed by the ultra-American feast. The Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences of Carnegie Mellon University four years ago reported that in California, one person’s meal of roasted turkey stuffed with sausage and apples, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie is, on average, responsible for 22.2 pounds of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. That might at first blush sound alarming, but having that same meal in West Virginia would result in a CO2 emission of 80.1 pounds. However, if you were to partake of those same festive things in Vermont, only two-tenths of a pound of CO2 would be emitted. ONE PERSON’S MEAL OF ROASTED Why the disparity? TURKEY STUFFED WITH SAUSAGE AND The research team “based their calculations APPLES, GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE on the way the meal is cooked (gas versus electric AND PUMPKIN PIE IS, ON AVERAGE, range), the specific state’s predominant power RESPONSIBLE FOR 22.2 POUNDS OF source and how the food is produced in each CARBON DIOXIDE BEING RELEASED area,” Carnegie Mellon explained. “States that INTO THE ATMOSPHERE. rely mostly on renewable energy emit the lowest amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that is tied to climate change. States that use coal power . . . have the highest carbon dioxide emissions.” If you drive to someone else’s home for Thanksgiving (a pre-pandemic ritual that probably will not be happening as often this fall), count on your car adding one pound of CO2 emission for each mile you drive. Taking a plane? “Four people who fly 600 miles round trip have a carbon footprint 10 times that of an average prepared Thanksgiving meal, before they even sit down at the table,” Carnegie Mellon reported. Last year, the Huffington Post agreed that “your food isn’t the biggest holiday culprit of carbon dioxide emissions—traveling for the meal is.” Regarding the food, a typically prepared Thanksgiving turkey releases the same amount of CO2 as “turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, roasted Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, rolled biscuits and apple pie combined.” The good news about turkey and its poultry-dish cousin, chicken? Their environmental impact has been judged to be lighter than beef (by far) and pork (by a little). The bad news, of course, includes the fact that turkeys’ lives are constrained and shortened so that you can indulge in the traditional dish. Also worth noting is that Thanksgiving feasts can result in quite a bit of food waste. How many of us have left things as they are on the table—serving bowls half-filled with gravies and veggies, unfinished glasses of sparkling ciders or pitchers of milk, carved-up turkey bits already more than an hour removed from the oven—to assemble around the TV to watch football, or venture outside to walk it all off ? A lot of that stuff we left on the table probably will end up getting tossed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that between 30 and 40 percent of the nation’s food supply goes to waste. Surely we can do better than that, and quickly putting Thanksgiving foods in the fridge before you start watching yet another Detroit Lions loss seems like a reasonably responsible and easy thing to do.

How Much Is That Fiddle-Leaf Fig in the Window? Millennials and Zoomers love houseplants. I know this because my millennial Zoomer daughter says so. She also says you aren’t cool unless you have at least five houseplants. That explains the overnight success of Plant Daddy Co., a hot new East Sac store selling tropical houseplants. The shop is the offspring of self-proclaimed plant daddies Jake Dill and his husband, Luke Swanson, a pair of millennials with a passion for houseplants. Billed as “the greenest and gayest plant shop in Sacramento,” the store is filled with plants from floor to ceiling, everything from a tiny African violet to a 13-foot Norfolk Island pine with spindly branches that droop elegantly toward the ground. Why houseplants? And why now? “There are a lot of new plant people because of the pandemic,” explains Dill, who spent 15 years working in the luxury retail industry. “People are home and need something to fill the void. They also want something to take care of.” Instagram, too, plays a role, with people showing off their newly spiffed-up quarantine quarters, replete with the de rigueur fiddle-leaf fig tree seen in every design mag these days. The shop has a number of eye-popping plants, such as an Alocasia gigantea that looks like something out of Jurassic Park, with thick, jutting stalks and leaves the size of a baby elephant’s ears. Prices range from $15 for a 4-inch plant to almost $600 for the largest specimens. Dill and Swanson can hardly keep up with demand, selling out their inventory every week. Their customers include kids whose parents bring them in to pick out a plant to brighten up their desk in this era of distance learning. “It’s been insane,” says Dill. “We can’t keep up.” With people coming from as far away as San Francisco to shop at Plant Daddy, Dill and Swanson are looking to expand their customer base by offering nationwide shipping. Meanwhile, they are happy to inject light and life into a very dark time. Says Dill, “Houseplants bring calmness and tranquility to your home.” —Marybeth Bizjak

Jake Dill and Luke Swanson



With its exotic perforated leaves, this plant almost singlehandedly started the houseplant trend. bet h b augher


This low-maintenance plant is easy to care for, nontoxic to animals and purifies the air to boot!


This undemanding plant has trailing vines with variegated green leaves. I remember it well from my fern bar days back in the 1980s.

ALOCASIA “SILVER DRAGON” This slowgrowing plant is very on-trend right now; as it grows, its leaves acquire an otherworldly variegation.


Handsome, pricey and challenging to care for, it’s probably the most Instagrammable houseplant today. SACMAG.COM November 2020



MCCONNELL BOTANICAL GARDENS 844 Sundial Bridge Drive • Redding, CA This holiday season, begin a whole new tradition of lights and festivities and discover an immersive experience for the entire family with the Redding Garden of Lights at Turtle Bay’s McConnell Botanical Gardens next to the Sundial Bridge in Redding, California. Explore winding paths leading though 10-acres of artfully illuminated and immersive displays exhibiting world-class design. Enjoy cheerful amenities and community spaces throughout the gardens, including holiday-themed drinks, gifts, and food.

Tickets are limited!

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Step aboard the River Fox Train and take off on an adventure inspired by the magic of the holidays! The

Christmas Train is a seasonal experience kids of all ages look forward to each year and one you don’t want to miss. Seating may be limited, so book your tickets now to make sure you and your family get to attend this wonderful holiday tradition. Please visit our website for ticket pricing and more detailed information.

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J. Bianca Roberts, M.D., Dignity Health’s family practice department chair, returned to her South Sacramento community to make it a healthier place.


The Impact of Race People of color have disproportionately contracted COVID-19— but that is just the most recent health disparity.



ne of the most curious—yet widely acknowledged— characteristics of COVID -19 is its ability to reveal an issue in a way many of us have never considered before. The virus has been devastating, but it’s also functioned as a glaring flashlight on our society’s biggest, deepest problems, even those we seek to hide or downplay. This may be especially true with regard to race—and while inequities in how people of color are treated at the hands of police are garnering the biggest headlines right now, there is an equally life-threatening issue: the way the color of our skin, and the ZIP code in which we live, directly affects our health and well-being—and can significantly shorten our lifespan. Racial disparities with regard to COVID data exploded earlier this year, as researchers quickly determined people of color are nearly three times more likely to catch the virus, five times more likely to be hospitalized and twice as likely to die. “Latinx, African Americans and Pacific Islanders are disproportionately infected by COVID,” says Hendry Ton, M.D., UC Davis associate vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion. “They t yler & christina

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are also dying because of COVID at greater rates than we would anticipate given the overall population.” Why? Well, experts who study these issues say it is tragic, but not surprising. “COVID -19 ripped the Band-Aid off structural inequities in our society and health care systems,” says Stephen Lockhart, M.D., Ph.D., Sutter Health’s chief medical officer. “It’s known as the new coronavirus, but what it’s exposing is not new.” This month, we look at the factors that increase the risk of COVID, but also the centuries-long practices that have resulted in higher rates of all disease for people of color—as well as maternal death in Black women—and what some dedicated medical professionals are doing about it. HISTORY OF MEDICAL BIAS—“The relationship between the

medical field with Black people and people of color has often been racist,” says J. Bianca Roberts, M.D., Dignity Health’s family practice department chair. “Experts in medicine are telling the community what to do, how to be safe, and there is a lot of mistrust.” SACMAG.COM November 2020

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Health Roberts, who also serves as the Health Equity Advisory Committee chair for the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society, gives several examples. Forced sterilizations, primarily of people of color, went on for most of the 20th century, only ending in the 1980s. They happened in Mississippi and other parts of the Deep South, under the guise of appendectomies, but also in California, where 20,000 men and women were sterilized without their consent and often without their knowledge. Another example is the Tuskegee Study, which began in the ’30s and ran 40 years: Black men were told they were being treated for syphilis, but in reality, their disease was left to run its course so physicians could study its progress. Lastly, Roberts cites a recent article called “Hidden in Plain Sight,” which appeared in the June issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, that suggests the diagnostic algorithms that “adjust for race” and have been used by physicians for decades actually direct attention and resources to white patients and significantly reduce the care of patients of color. They include kidney and lung function calcula-

tions, for instance, that show Black patients ly accept about populations of color in in particular can have lower acceptable just about every health story? numbers than whites. “It puts us further “It’s not about the color of your skin—it’s down a kidney transplant list,” Roberts truly about what happens in our society,” confirms Bechara Choucair, says. “It means a Black patient M.D., Kaiser Permanente’s chief with lung issues isn’t treated “IT’S VERY DANGEROUS TO BE health officer. “The reality is for as aggressively.” A PREGNANT BLACK too long inequality has existed This type of bias also exWOMAN IN AMERICA,” for people of color in this country. plains why maternal death SAYS STEPHEN . . . This is our moment in time to rates are twice as high for LOCKHART, M.D. address this.” women of color—particularly In fact, a slew of studies show non-white Black women—than their white counterparts, a statistic that crosses all education patients routinely receive poorer quality health care for very concrete reasons. “No. and income levels. “It’s very dangerous to 1 is language and communication,” says be a pregnant Black woman in America,” Ton. “And No. 2 is bias within the health says Lockhart. care delivery system. Health access is also Experts also emphasize these disparia big challenge. In communities of color, ties cannot be explained by genetics, despite centuries of research that tried—and the rates of health insurance are much failed—to prove genetic differences be- lower, especially since (insurance) is tied tween Caucasians and people of color. to jobs.” There is also important history to these “Race is a social construct, not genetic,” Roberts says. “The Human Genome Proj- communities: Many were determined by “redlining” that prevented people of color ect has shown we are 99.9% alike.” from buying in more economically stable SOCIOECONOMIC FACTORS— If it isn’t neighborhoods that include “walkways, genetics, then, what explains those “unplaces to play, grocery stores,” says Roberts. derlying health conditions” that we blithe- “Taxes from those (higher income) com-

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Health munities also go into the schools . . . which impacts their education and health literacy.” She adds that in a neighborhood like South Sacramento, where she grew up in one of the infamous ZIP codes that predict a lower life expectancy, “another issue we see is there are higher rates of asthma and allergies, other lung issues, in people of color because there is more pollution.” THE EVERYDAY BURDEN OF RACISM—

Studies also show that just living your life in a society where you and your loved ones are considered “minorities” and may not be given the same opportunities and protections as other racial groups takes a toll— even for people who seemingly have overcome barriers and achieved success. For example, Roberts went to medical school because she wanted to return to her South Sacramento community and make it a better, healthier place. “But I can walk in a room (of other physicians) and a doctor of color still is not assumed to be a doctor, too,” she says. “At UC San Diego, where I was a student, I was pulled over by campus police. ‘What are you doing here?’” Similarly, Lockhart has personal reactions. “I’m 62 and I’m Black,” he says. “I

experienced the civil rights movement, the protests, the tear gas, the loss of life, the police violence—and here we are again. I feel like I have PTSD. . . . As the great Charles Barkley has said, ‘Being Black in America is exhausting.’” Lockhart’s and Robert’s feelings are borne out by research, says Ton. “Racism in and of itself can be damaging—it increases stress levels and cortisol and it can impact mental and physical health.” WHAT’S TO COME— Despite these bar-

riers and biases, equity health professionals are actually hopeful and, ironically, credit COVID with bringing many of these decades-long issues to light. As a result of this new intensity, all the Sacramento-area health systems are currently taking a deep dive into forming community partnerships and opening up dialogues with diverse and underserved groups. They are also forming health equity initiatives and ramping up training for physicians and other health care providers. They are making great effort to involve people of color in research trials. Lastly, they are using their formidable institutions to affect the neighborhoods

they are embedded in—by hiring locally, sourcing locally and working with small businesses owned by people of color. “Health systems employ thousands of people. We need to think about how we’re getting money to redlined communities, who we are hiring, because we can do something incredible and change the socioeconomic reality of a family,” says Ton. There is also direct investment in what may not immediately seem like a medical concern, such as Kaiser’s $200 million affordable housing initiative. “There is an interconnection between health and the community . . . where people live, learn and play,” says Choucair. “We strongly believe health care organizations have a special and unique role in lifting people up.” Even on a personal level, there seems to be a sense that societal change—frustratingly long in coming—may finally be here. “I see this as an awakening, especially among young people,” Lockhart says. “It’s not just about Black or Brown people, because everyone, particularly young white people, are seeing it as human rights. And are saying, ‘This is not the world I want to live in.’”

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By Marybeth Bizjak | Photography by Rachel Valley

DINING IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS THE PANDEMIC PIVOT: How restaurant dining has changed in the months since COVID-19 shook our world.

THE PAST EIGHT MONTHS HAVE BEEN BRUTAL FOR SACRAMENTO RESTAURANTS. SINCE COVID-19 STRUCK LAST SPRING, THE INDUSTRY HAS ABSORBED BLOW AFTER BLOW: FIRST THE SHUTDOWN, WITH ITS ATTENDANT LOSS OF REVENUES AND JOBS, THE LIMITED REOPENING FOLLOWED BY A SWIFT SECOND HALT TO INDOOR DINING. FOR RESTAURANT OWNERS AND FOR DINERS ALIKE, THE 2020 COVID ROLLER COASTER HAS BEEN A WILD RIDE. But counterintuitively, the pandemic period, tough as it has been, may end up being the most innovative and creative period in the history of Sacramento dining. To keep the lights on, restaurant folk have been forced to improvise. The word on everyone’s lips: pivot. Pivot to takeout. Pivot to family meals. Pivot to cooking classes led by Zooming chefs. Pivot to . . . anything that might help keep our restaurant scene alive. In the process, the dining public benefited from these fascinating new ways to dine. Here’s a look at some of the ways Sacramento’s restaurant scene has changed in response to COVID-19.



Beast + Bounty set up an outdoor pizzeria on 17th Street.

West Sacramento Urban Farms grows thousands of pounds of produce. SACMAG.COM November 2020


MEET THE “STREATERIE.” When it became clear that indoor dining might not return for a very long time, restaurateurs took their show on the road, setting up tables on city sidewalks, in parking lots and even, in some cases, on the street. The city of Sacramento helped out with its Farm to Fork Al Fresco program (F2FAF, for short), which eased the permitting process for outdoor dining. Entire streets were shut down

to vehicle traffic so that restaurants like LOWBRAU and BEAST + BOUNTY could set up beer gardens. What started as a public health necessity became a net positive as city streets filled with people looking to eat and drink. What will happen when the weather turns wet and chilly? Nobody quite knows yet, but it’s hard to imagine Sacramento losing its vibrant new streetscape.

Beast + Bounty

Don’t touch me! Some restaurants have made an art out of curbside pickup and contactless delivery. Take SELLAND’S MARKET-CAFE (with three locations) and its sister restaurant, OBO ITALIAN TABLE in East Sac, where a handsome numbered sign marks each parking spot. When you arrive for your takeout order, simply pop your trunk and call the restaurant to let them know you’re there. A staffer soon appears with your food and deposits it in your car. No muss, no fuss, no touch.

Pickup at OBO

New ways to get your drink on. In response to the pandemic, the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control eased its rules, allowing restaurants to sell beer, wine and cocktails to go. That opened the floodgates as restaurants competed for fun, innovative ways to package booze. SOUTH restaurant in Southside Park created a sensation with its South Sippers, adult versions of Capri Sun kiddie fruit drink pouches. And in the heat of summer, South pioneered the boozesicle—basically an alcoholic Otter Pop—in flavors such as margarita and hibiscus lemon. Meanwhile, the owners of de Vere’s Irish Pub and THE SNUG were pioneering in their own way, creating makeat-home craft cocktail kits, with all the ingredients (including garnishes), instructions and a branded large-format ice cube for a bit of made-by-a-mixologist realism. Over at THE DOOBIE BAR, their yachtrock-bar pop-up that replaced The Snug over the summer, they served Pina Coladas and Hurricanes in hilarious plastic barware—collect your own set of palm tree glasses!

Mariposa from Snug Jr.

South Sippers



Those who can, teach.

Anna Wick

Some sidelined chefs turned to online cooking classes to augment their unemployment checks and keep their skills tight. Under the name HOMESKOOL_D, Chris Lombardi (owner of The Burger Saloon in Woodland) and Ricky Yap (a sushi chef at Kru) host weekly cooking classes via Zoom on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, demonstrating how to make hamachi hand rolls, Japanese donburi bowls and orange chicken with garlic noodles. The price of the class (generally around $55) includes a box of ingredients available for pickup at a local drop-off spot. You make the dishes along with the instructors from the comfort of your own home. It’s fun, interactive and a little crazy as you try to keep up with these fast-talking, fast-moving chef buddies, who share professional tips and tricks along the way. Box of ingredients

Ricky Yap hosting cooking class

Burgers are big, and fried chicken reigns supreme.

Snug Jr.’s Deluxe Senior cheeseburger

In these very uncomfortable times, people crave good, simple, comforting fare—food that doesn’t challenge them or cost an arm and a leg. Perhaps that’s why burgers and fried chicken dominate so many menus these days. During the closure, Simon and Henry de Vere White turned de Vere’s, their downtown Irish pub, into SNUG JR., serving sacks of fast-food burgers and fries to go. SHAKE SHACK, the New York-based burger chain, opened its first Sacramento outlet on R Street at the height of the pandemic, and business has been gangbusters ever since. Fried chicken is another portable feast that’s tailor-made for the COVID-19 era. SOUTH, FIXINS SOUL KITCHEN, HAWKS PUBLIC HOUSE, KODAIKO RAMEN and the newly opened MOM & POP CHICKEN SHOP in El Dorado Hills all offer excellent fried chicken by the bucket. Add a bottle of champagne and you’ve got a party.

STAY IN YOUR SWEATS. If you’re feeling lazy, you don’t have to budge from your sofa. Just let the food come to you. TAKA WATANABE, a classically trained sushi chef who used to own midtown brick-and-mortar Ju Hachi, delivers gorgeous platters of sushi, nigiri, sashimi and specialty rolls all over the region on a rotating schedule, hitting areas from Gold River to Folsom once a week. The food is beautifully plated and arrives at your doorstep in the late afternoon or early evening. Select your favorites or let Watanabe do the choosing with an omakase platter: $50 for small, $100 for large.

South’s fried chicken bucket SACMAG.COM November 2020




Chris Barnum-Dann carefully plates and packages a watermelon and Haloumi salad for takeout.



When the pandemic struck, Chris Barnum-Dann could have pivoted to pizza. It would have been so easy: LOCALIS, his upscale tasting-menu restaurant on midtown’s S Street, already had a wood-burning oven. But he said an emphatic no to that idea. “When I opened this restaurant five years ago, it was for the sole purpose of giving people an experience,” he explains. “I didn’t get into this business to make food that everybody else makes.” Instead, Barnum-Dann decided to package his three- and four-course tasting menus for curbside takeout. It was a risky proposition, given the difficulties of transporting the delicate, exquisitely plated tweezer food for which he’s known. He had to ask himself: What dishes will travel well? Will the food arrive at its destination at the correct temperature and texture? Will it look appetizing? Through experimentation, Barnum-Dann discovered that foods that need to be served really hot were not a good option. Neither were fried things, like crispy-skinned fish, which tend to get soggy the longer they sit. A fan of sorbets and ice creams, he figured out a hack: Pre-portion it by the scoop, then freeze it solid with liquid nitrogen. Takeout boxes proved problematic, so Barnum-Dann switched to compostable plates with see-through plastic covers in six shapes and sizes. That enables him to arrange the food artistically, taking the guesswork out for the customer. Optional wine pairings come in little jars, and every order receives a printed menu with descriptions of the dishes and wines. “We don’t want to confuse the diner,” he says. The menu changes every two weeks. The cost is $50 for three courses, $64 for four courses. Each order includes an amuse bouche, a palate-cleansing sorbet and a pate de fruit (a small candy). Diners can also order add-ons, such as Localis’ signature fire-roasted octopus, for an additional price. Barnum-Dann says there will always be a need for the kind of elevated dining that Localis offers, pandemic or no pandemic. “We’re here for people who want something special,” he says.

Ryan Royster and Byron Hughes

TV Cooking in the Pandemic Age Byron Hughes and Ryan Royster know all about pivoting. The pair had just launched a company called LAST SUPPER SOCIETY to produce pop-up dinners and other events when COVID-19 brought in-person dining to a screeching halt. “We didn’t know how long the pandemic would last,” says Royster, an event planner and entrepreneur. “So we said let’s figure out a way to connect with our audience without being in the same room with our audience.” The answer: “THE COOK IN,” an interactive cooking demo livestreamed on YouTube. Hughes, a chef who once worked at Chez Panisse, leads the classes, which are a cross between a TV cooking show and a meal kit. (It’s like Food Network and Blue Apron had a baby.) Participants pay a fee (usually around $40), which gives them access to the livestream demo and a box of curated ingredients. At the appointed time, Hughes demonstrates how to make a restaurant-caliber meal as students cook along from home.

The meals are complex and intriguing, utilizing cheffy ingredients and techniques. One dinner featured tomato tonkatsu ramen with caramelized pork belly, blistered heirloom cherry tomatoes, smoked tomato and burnt garlic oil, a seasoned egg and house-made noodles from Oakland’s Ramen Shop. “We package everything you need to make the meal, but we do a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of prep,” explains Royster. “But you’re still learning the techniques and doing the knife work.” Each episode of “The Cook In” also features a non-chef guest and a segment called “The Sip,” in which a local bartender shows how to make a cocktail or a sommelier talks about a wine to pair with the meal. YouTube’s live chat function allows students to chime in with comments and questions. Calling it “a community-building experience,” Royster says that “it’s a way to have a social experience in the time of COVID.”

SACMAG.COM November 2020


Allora’s take-and-bake lasagna Bolognese

COVERING ALL THE BASES. While Allora is known for its spendy menu (see page 43), the East Sac restaurant actually aims to hit every segment of the dining market. Its takeout program, Allora to Go, features party-style meals such as beef short ribs with whey polenta ($75 for two) and takeand-bake lasagna ($75; feeds four to six). Allora also recently began Eatable, a meal delivery service for everyday consumption—things such as turkey meatballs with bucatini ($11.99), chicken lettuce wraps ($12.99) and chimichurri prawns ($14.99). Conceivably, you’ll never need to cook again.



RESTAURANT? WHO NEEDS A RESTAURANT? With indoor dining halted, some chefs turned to ghost kitchens—aka virtual restaurants—to put food on the table. Under the name THE MICHELIN MINIVAN, local restaurant worker and bartender J.D. Snead prepares tasty, inexpensive plates of food such as Korean barbecue and chicken adobo, which he personally delivers to customers using a 2009 Dodge Journey van. Another ghost kitchen operator, CRISP CATERING’S Joe Thompson, started offering family-style meals when his downtown restaurant was forced to close. He makes a different homey meal every day—think chicken parmesan with penne, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, or teriyaki chicken skewers with steamed rice. The food is dropped off at your doorstep, cooked but cold, in a disposable aluminum pan, along with heating instructions. The benefit of a ghost kitchen? For the chef, it’s a low-overhead way to stay in business. For the diner, it’s restaurant-quality food without having to leave home.

Doubling down on upscale. While some upscale restaurants adopted a pared-down menu to appeal to the masses, others placed their chips on satisfying the expectations of their regular clientele. The Waterboy, Rick Mahan’s popular Mediterranean boite, offers its entire menu to go—everything from sweetbreads to oysters on the half shell. Allora, a modern Italian seafood restaurant in East Sacramento, created a pandemic prix-fixe dining experience at three price levels: $85 for three courses, $105 for four courses, $125 for five courses. Selections include dishes such as bucatini with crab and sea urchin, as well as add-ons such as Kampachi crudo, fresh oysters and caviar service for an additional fee. Diners also receive a complimentary amusebouche, intermezzo (sorbet) and mignardise (tiny sweet). Just because we’re in a pandemic doesn’t mean we have to eat like animals, right?

For more than a handful of local restaurants, COVID-19 struck a fatal blow. Here, we remember the eateries that closed for good during the pandemic.

BIBA Open since 1986, this nationally renowned Italian restaurant shut its doors in May, less than a year after the death of founder Biba Caggiano. End of an era! BUD’S BUFFET This downtown hof brau-style lunch place, whose enormous portions made it a favorite with state workers, closed in May after 33 years in business. P.F. CHANG’S In the summer, the downtown location of this national chain boarded up its windows following protest-related vandalism. In July, the company announced it would remain closed permanently. The Roseville location, however, remains open. ESPAÑOL Almost a century old, this classic ItalianAmerican restaurant in East Sacramento survived the Great Depression and World War II but couldn’t beat COVID-19. MARLEY AND MOO In July, this Folsom gastropub closed temporarily after one of its workers tested positive for COVID-19. A couple of weeks later, it announced it was closing permanently. MADISON STATION CAFE This Carmichael cafe closed in April after the state’s stay-at-home order halted indoor dining. The owners said they couldn’t survive on takeout business alone. JIM’S GOOD FOOD Michael Thiemann’s hotly anticipated midtown diner concept opened just a few weeks before the stay-at-home order. In July, the restaurant said it would not reopen.

The incredible shrinking menu. MAGPIE, one of Sacramento’s most popular farm-to-fork restaurants, closed for two months as owners Ed Roehr and Janel Inouye wrestled with how to change their business model from dine-in to takeout. When Magpie reopened in mid-May, it was with one significantly smaller menu, down from the three menus (lunch, dinner and brunch) that used to be available. It includes some of Magpie’s greatest hits, including the sublime BLT, a grass-fed burger, pan-roasted quail and chocolate avocado mousse. The menu is available all day, so you can order gnocchi with walnut pesto at 11 a.m. or a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich at 7 p.m. While you’re there, grab a pint of house-made pickles or a container of Magpie’s famed forbidden rice salad, made with black rice from Rue & Forsman Ranch.


EMPRESS TAVERN This high-design rathskeller on K Street paused operations “indefinitely” in August, citing lack of traffic caused by the coronavirus. AJI DORI In mid-August, this R Street Japanese restaurant closed its doors “indefinitely.” Its Folsom location remains open. MA JONG’S ASIAN DINER The owners of this Asian fast-food joint attributed its August closure to the pandemic and lack of business downtown. CIELITO LINDO This highly regarded regional Mexican restaurant in East Sac closed in March; owner Ramiro Alarcon now cooks at Antojo Street Taco Bar in midtown. PIZZERIA URBANO This quick-serve pizza joint in midtown’s MARRS building closed in August when business dried up during the pandemic. Magpie’s BLT

SACMAG.COM November 2020


FINDING A PASSION FOR PIZZA. Lou Valente has long been associated with rock-’n’-roll sushi, first at cult favorite Lou’s Sushi and now at SOUTHPAW SUSHI. So when the pandemic forced him into takeout mode, Valente found himself creatively bereft. Sushi making, after all, is performance art—and it requires an audience. “All of a sudden, I was putting food in boxes, and that’s not what I signed up for,” he says. “I felt like my passion was gone.” But Valente rediscovered his passion while playing around with pizza. First for his wife, then for friends, he started making Detroit-style pizza, known for its thick, airy crust enclosed in a crispy frame of cheese. Before he knew it, he was running Sunday evening pizza pop-ups, selling a limited number of his rectangular pies (cheese or pepperoni) to customers who preorder on Facebook. Sometimes, just for fun, he raffles off a pair of pizzas; tickets cost $4 apiece. The once-dispirited sushi master now has his groove back, thanks to the alchemy of dough, sauce and cheese.

MEETING CUSTOMERS WHERE THEY ARE AT. Lou Valente and his Detroit-style pizza



What’s a business to do when the customer can’t come to them? Why, they go to the customer. When COVID put the brakes on activity around the region, PUSHKIN’S BAKERY delivered more than 30,000 pastries to people in more than 50 ZIP codes, from Elk Grove to El Dorado Hills. GINGER ELIZABETH CHOCOLATES created a delivery app and did up to 60 drop-offs a day during the shutdown. And BACON & BUTTER offers its entire menu— everything from a single peanut butter and jelly doughnut to a Denver omelette—for delivery, tossing in a free coffee with every order.

Lyda Mock

Get a bag of flour with your burger. At the beginning of the COVID shutdown, basics such as toilet paper and flour vanished from grocery store shelves in a flurry of panic buying. Some enterprising restaurant owners filled the void, turning their eateries into pandemic pantries for the public. Midtown’s AIOLI BODEGA ESPAÑOLA shifted to bodega mode, selling eggs, flour, sugar, pasta, rice and other staples. While Aioli is now back operating as a full-time Spanish restaurant, OLD SOUL COFFEE CO. still runs a little corner store business it calls Community Commissary, offering baked goods, whole quiches, baker’s yeast, cold-brew coffee concentrate, coffee dry rub for meats, and house-made salmon-skin dog treats. The commissary is set up like a grocery store at Old Soul’s Alley cafe (its largest); other locations carry a limited selection of items near the cash register. Commissary goods from Old Soul

Gabriel Teague

Hitting the road. Located in the picturesque foothills town of Plymouth, TASTE is a fine-dining destination restaurant, known for upscale fare such as grilled rack of lamb and its signature appetizer, mushroom cigars (cremini and shitake mushrooms wrapped in filo dough). But when the pandemic

hit, Taste owners Mark and Tracey Berkner hit the pavement in their new food truck, TASTE A GO-GO. Open for business five days a week, the truck serves burgers, “dirty” fried chicken sandwiches, bacon mac ’n’ cheese, salads and flatbreads. In concept, it’s a 180 from

the original Taste, but everything’s fresh, local and delicious. (You even get truffle butter on your corn on the cob.) The truck is parked where Highway 49 meets Main Street on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, then moves to C.G. Di Arie Winery on Saturdays and Sundays.

Dirty Bird fried chicken sandwich and fries from Taste a Go-Go SACMAG.COM November 2020


Gabriel Teague

Allyson Harvie assembling meals

Home Cooking From a Top Chef Allyson Harvie had been thinking about opening her own restaurant when the pandemic hit. For years, she’d worked in other people’s kitchens— highly regarded places such as Absinthe, Aqua, Michael Mina and Salt House, all in the Bay Area. Suddenly sidelined from her job as the chef de cuisine at Sacramento’s swanky Ella, Harvie finally had time to evaluate her life—and found it wanting. “The grind was no longer appealing,” she says. Looking for the kind of work-life balance that’s hard to find in a restaurant kitchen, Harvie started a business called MEALS AT HOME, preparing affordable family-style dinners. Customers choose from a weekly menu of entrees that include a vegetarian pasta, soup with salad, a grain bowl and



several meat-centric dishes. Available for pickup on Monday afternoon, the meals come in an insulated shopping bag with instructions for reheating. Prices range from $14 for a single serving to $50 for a meal that serves four. It’s accessible, family-friendly fare—things like meatloaf, carnitas, veggie lasagna and Thai chicken curry. Cooking for families is a sea change for someone who has toiled in Michelin-starred kitchens. But Harvie relishes her newfound freedom. She shops on Saturdays, cooks on Sundays and assembles meals on Mondays with the help of her wife and stepdaughter. Pastry chef Jamie Rathburn assists with the cooking and makes desserts such as carrot cake cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies. “It’s

PANDEMIC PIVOTS a family affair,” Harvie says. “On Mondays, we work all day, then have a big family dinner.” Her clientele includes elderly people who can’t cook and working parents looking to outsource the chore. Feeding people is her love language, says Harvie. “I can help out with the cooking and make a difference in people’s lives.” She believes the restaurant industry will undergo a pandemic paradigm shift as chefs like her realize there are other ways to make a living. “After the pandemic is over, we’re going to have to re-evaluate the business model,” she says. “I don’t want to open a restaurant any more—at least not now. I want to enjoy life, and all its beauty and pleasures.”

FROM VAGABOND CHEF TO CREATOR OF BRANDS Most chefs find opening one restaurant hard enough. In the past few months, Adam Pechal has opened three, with plans to open several more. His pandemic pivot is something he calls a “restaurant incubator.” Operating out of TIGER, a K Street cocktail bar that closed during the pandemic, he has been rolling out new takeout concepts. His goal: to turn Tiger into a food hall with multiple eateries. Pechal once owned two popular Sacramento restaurants: Tuli Bistro and Restaurant Thir13en. He left town a few years ago and had just taken a job working for Hog Island Oyster Company in Larkspur when COVID-19 upended his life. Returning to Sacramento, he started hosting pop-ups out of Tiger. An early concept was a state fair pop-up for people looking for their corndog fix. He followed that up with pop-ups based on popular dishes from Tuli: Atom Burger and Cali Bird (a crispy fried chicken sandwich). The pop-ups’ success proved to Pechal that people still craved his food. So he turned them into permanent “brands” and added a third, TULI BISTRO, reviving some of the classic dishes—bucatini amatriciana, braised short ribs, beef stroganoff with wild mushrooms and porcini cream—from the original menu. Pechal’s next project, EggWitch, will serve portable breakfast sandwiches and burritos. A Tuli brunch program could follow. Meanwhile, Tiger also offers a bottle club, selling prebatched cocktails to go. It’s a big change for someone who has spent his career in traditional restaurants. “I call it surviving,” Pechal says. “Literally everything goes in a box or a bag. I’ve done everything already, so this seems like a natural progression in my crazy vagabond chef life.”

Adam Pechal with a plate of bucatini amatriciana

SACMAG.COM November 2020



“I’m one of the lucky ones,”

Wayne Thiebaud says as he first comes on the phone. The icon of late 20th century modern art could be referring to several things. He turns 100 years old on Nov. 15, so there’s that. He goes to his Sacramento studio nearly every day. It’s his favorite thing to do. Once there, he paints or sketches—often both for as long as he wants. To mark his centennial, the Crocker Art Museum has assembled a 100-work, career-spanning retrospective, “Wayne Thiebaud 100: Paintings, Prints and Drawings,” with pieces from the museum’s collection and many rare or never-before-seen works donated by the Thiebaud family. The exhibit runs through Jan. 3, 2021. Concurrently, Laguna Art Museum will host an exhibit of newer works: “Wayne Thiebaud: Clowns,” which debuted in San Francisco at Paul Thiebaud Gallery last year. This exhibit contains more than 40 paintings, drawings and etchings made during the past five years. Finally, the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis will open “Wayne Thiebaud Influencer: A New Generation” on Jan. 31, 2021. This group exhibition pairs Thiebaud works with ones by contemporary artists and former students. While Thiebaud has long been highly regarded around the world, somehow his oeuvre still gains appreciation from collectors and scholars. Wayne Thiebaud has much to be thankful for. Luck has nothing to do with it.

Wayne Thiebaud at his Whitney Museum of American Art exhibition in 2001




Thiebaud at age 4


At Mather Field working on a comic strip

Wayne Thiebaud, Pies, Pies, Pies, 1961. Oil on canvas, 20 x 30 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Philip L. Ehlert in memory of Dorothy Evelyn Ehlert, 1974.12. © 2020 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), N.Y.

SACMAG.COM November 2020



Thiebaud in the studio and at his first New York exhibition

He became an “overnight sensation” in the summer of 1962, when a solo show of his early food paintings at the Allan Stone Gallery in New York sold out and rave reviews rolled in from the East Coast art press. “That was my fortunate association with something called pop art, which I don’t ever find myself to be a part of, but they put me there anyway,” Thiebaud says. Thiebaud’s New York coming-out actually preceded by six months the now-watershed moment of the “pop art” explosion. Pop art returned fine art to representational figures after a period of abstract expressionism. However, the new take practiced by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Jim Dine rejected classical images, finding inspiration in advertising copy, comic books, mass market packaging and Hollywood movies. “I think his attitude toward his subject matter was different from them,” says Scott Shields, curator of the Crocker exhibit. “You sense they’re elevating these ordinary things into fine art in a spirit of almost mockery and irony. Whereas I don’t think those things are a part of Wayne’s attitude.” Two major group shows in 1962 placed pop art in mainstream consciousness. “New Paintings of Common Objects” at Pasadena Art Museum in 1962, which included Thiebaud, Warhol, Lichtenstein and others, was the first American museum show dedicated to the new art movement. Later that same year, the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York also showed Thiebaud in “An International Exhibition of the New Realists,” which included many of the same artists from the earlier Pasadena show. “I was happy to be called anything,” Thiebaud says. He had labored most of his adult life for that moment—to be called something. Thiebaud wanted his work and his art taken seriously. He wasn’t necessarily seeking the acclaim or even the financial windfall that followed his breakthrough, though he certainly appreciated both. What he had pursued was respect and validation. He got there by building his own stairs to the platform.


acramento writer Victoria Dalkey and her husband, artist Fred Dalkey, have been longtime friends of Thiebaud and his late second wife, Betty Jean. Fred estimates he first saw Thiebaud’s work in 1957 in a show at Tower Drugs, where Russ Solomon sold books and records in the back of his father’s store. Solomon had an interest in art, and he sometimes hosted work of local artists in the intimate space. Fred believes Thiebaud should Wayne Thiebaud, Boston Cremes, 1962. Oil on canvas, 14 x 18 in. Crocker Art Museum purchase, be considered one of the most important Amer1964.22. © 2020 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), N.Y. ican painters of the 20th century. “The quality of the work for one thing,” Fred says. “The more I look at it, it just continues to grow in terms of my ability to understand it. Wayne has a very significant range.” Thiebaud’s genius has been to take traditional painting forms and make them specifically his own through subtle creative innovation. Victoria has written and published often on her




Visiting with Elaine de Kooning in New York

Wayne Thiebaud, Betty Jean Thiebaud and Book, 1965–1969. Oil on canvas, 36 x 30 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Thiebaud, 1969.21. © 2020 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), N.Y.


Demonstrating painting at Rice University in Houston

friend’s work, and Thiebaud has said she is one of his most unfashionable, he’s not given enough credit for what he has insightful observers. done to perpetuate and innovate within that realist tradition.” “He really blends abstraction and I would call it realism or Thiebaud’s presentation of pies and cakes doesn’t really naturalism—but he calls it actualism,” Victoria says. “You compare to Warhol’s presentations of soup cans or Coke bottles. look at them and you think, ‘That’s an ice cream cone.’ All of Thiebaud’s paintings unmistakably bear his hand. Then the more you look at it, the more you see the underlying “That’s one of my favorite things about him: the quality the abstract shapes that he’s dealing with in the more complipaint application has,” the Crocker’s Shields says. “He’s a painter.” cated still lifes.” The most innovative aspect of Thiebaud’s Though Thiebaud has famously claimed, “I work may be his use of shadows. “He has this way of throwing in a shadow that on the face am not a colorist,” his understanding and use of it, if you don’t think about it too much, it of color have been both clinical and instinctual. —Victoria Dalkey Artist Josef Albers developed an influential seems to be logical,” observes Malcolm Warner, theory of color, which Thiebaud employed, stating color “is curator of the Laguna Museum exhibit. “Yet they are derived almost never seen as it really is” and it “deceives continually.” from a dramatic unseen light source in subtly shaded hues. They give the paintings weight and depth.” In her recent insightful short essay “Reflections on ‘Cup of Warner says the shadows add an unreal element. “He’s reCoffee, 1961’” Rachel Teagle, founding director of the Manetti Shrem Museum, wrote, “Thiebaud discovered that the creating the world in the act of painting it in a way that it does smallest amount of electric color enlivens an entire canvas, reflect his playful, joke-loving personality.” Thiebaud’s witty sense of humor and his deep, scholarly knowledge of art hisgiving the most commonplace of objects new life.” tory are fundamental pillars of his creativity. The ideas are clearly seen in the painting “Boston Cremes” from 1962, in which the circles of the plates hold the angled When Thiebaud’s Allan Stone show hit, he was a 41-year-old triangles of the dessert, and the slivers of color around each art professor from Northern California. He had previously pop the images off the canvas. worked as an illustrator, cartoonist and advertising art director. “There is just amazing geometry and rhythm . . . they dance,” He had just started teaching in the newly formed art department Victoria Dalkey says. “He is a very American painter. He adat UC Davis, where he would spend the next 40 years. dresses America in ways that I don’t think very many people Just two years before, in 1960, Thiebaud was hustling up do at all.” solo shows at the Nut Tree in Vacaville and the art gallery at Teagle thinks Thiebaud is not given enough credit for his Humboldt State University. He was not unknown and had celebration and conservatorship of painting. actually achieved a certain level of success, having placed work “Wayne did more than hold onto a tradition of realist paintin a 1960 group show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern ings—he championed it,” Teagle says. “Because realism is so Art and also at galleries in New York. Still, he was eager and


SACMAG.COM November 2020


exceedingly democratic in seeking opportunities to exhibit his Fred Dalkey notes, “These are very traditional forms, and work. In 1961, he won honorable mention at an invitational each time he’s touched them, he’s reinvented them.” exhibit at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco Thiebaud is famous for his discipline in getting his work done. and first prize at the 36th annual Kingsley Art Exhibit at the “I was fortunate to have a family that let me be neurotic about Crocker. His paintings and drawings showed up often around it,” Thiebaud says. The discipline is perhaps a nod to his Mormon Northern California. Still, he looked at the center of the art upbringing. His father was a bishop in the church while he was world—New York—as the place he wanted to be known. growing up. He also maintains a healthy suspicion around the idea of being an “artist,” preferring the term “painter,” with its Thiebaud had spent a year in New York in 1956 on an unpaid connotation of someone who works at a craft. sabbatical from his teaching job at what was then called Sac“You just have to take it seriously,” Thiebaud says. “You have ramento Junior College. He became friends with artists Willem to make lots of mistakes. It’s a difficult thing to and Elaine de Kooning, Barnett Newman and do. Lots of times it’s agonizing, and you have to Franz Kline. They were abstract expressionists paint 12 pictures to get one if you’re lucky. It’s a while Thiebaud was representational and figureoriented, but they were also serious art theorists. challenge beyond challenge where you can never Shields says, “He, I think, was given some be good enough.” —Wayne Thiebaud freedom by their discussions about art and art Thiebaud’s life in Sacramento has been crucial history, which in California at that time, art history was looked to his art in many ways. Besides being apart from the main art down upon. I think what he found in New York was it’s OK to marketplace of New York, the regional geography has been a look backward as well as forward.” constant inspiration. He first came here when he was in the Army Air Forces and Perhaps the most important lesson was de Kooning’s instrucstationed at Mather Field. “Sacramento was a much different tion to find subject matter that fit his sensibility and then apply place,” Thiebaud says. “It was quiet. Beautiful trees, but also his mastery of craft to tell unique stories. little trolley cars. This was in 1942. I fell in love with the fall Shields says, “Once he hits on his mature style and has a show leaves changing colors.” in New York that is still life, he quickly decides he doesn’t want to become known as just a still-life painter, so he turns to the When he finally did settle here with his young family, he figure. Then he goes to landscape, and those landscapes then became a part of the developing city. He hung art at the state evolve into the San Francisco city scenes. Those evolve into fair and designed sets for theater productions at the Eaglet these Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta subjects, and those turn Theatre. In 1958, he co-founded the Artists Cooperative Gallery into mountain paintings, and now he’s moved onto clowns.” (later Artists Contemporary) in Sacramento with other re-



Wayne Thiebaud, Street and Shadow, 1982–1983/1996. Oil on linen, 35 3/4 x 23 3/4 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of the artist's family, 1996.3. © 2020 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), N.Y.



At his Sacramento studio


Receiving the National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton

gional artists including Patrick Dullanty, Gregory Kondos, Jack Ogden, Mel Ramos and young, art-loving businessman Russ Solomon. Thiebaud’s 1959 show at ACG included some of his first publicly shown food paintings. Of his adopted hometown, Thiebaud says, “I’ve taken advantage of its closeness to San Francisco, also to the wonderful area of the Delta, where we lived in a historic mansion for four or five years. Each of those have afforded me subject matters of quite different characters. San Francisco cityscapes are very much different from the rural and beautiful landscapes of the Delta. They were so moving—each region, including Tahoe, when I later began to paint mountains.” Thiebaud’s recent “Clowns” series represents if not a departure, then even more remarkably an extension and development Painting “Jolly Cones,” of his previous work. His hand and signature are there in the which appeared on the cover of The New Yorker painting, but there is much more. Satire and pathos are palpable; so is a sense of melancholy. Beyond that, though, are feelings of grace and humanized spirituality. The Laguna show contains 40 of the recent works that were first shown at the Paul Thiebaud Gallery in San Francisco. The highly regarded gallery was founded by Thiebaud’s late son, Paul, in part to show artists he felt deserved wider recognition. Fred Dalkey is represented by the gallery. The Laguna exhibit circles back emotionally to Wayne Thiebaud’s formative years in Southern California. It was there, as a teenager, that he worked backstage for Ringling Brothers Circus and first encountered clowns and the focused spotlights that followed them around. “He thinks a lot about his boyhood, all the pleasures and the excitement,” Warner says. “Circuses were a part of them. I think that’s why he loves that breakfast place in Sacramento, Pancake Circus.” The walls at Pancake Circus on Broadway proudly display an array of kitschy clown paintings. Thiebaud’s are not that. Not even close. There is obvious whimsy in his scenes but also gravitas. In “Clown Angel and Dog,” a robed clown with angel wings, whose face is indistinct, appears to reach out toward a little dog Wayne Thiebaud, Beast and Clown, 2018-2019. Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 1/16 in. © 2020 whose back is to us. In “Clown Boots,” a pair of old Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), N.Y. ankle-high lace-up boots have clown faces on them, recalling the theater masks of “comedy” and “tragedy.” “Comedy” has an expression of genial bemusement, while “tragedy” worriedly looks to the sky as if asking, “What’s next?” In a 1962 essay Thiebaud wrote about his work, he stated, “My interest in painting is traditional and modest in its aim. I hope it may allow us to see ourselves looking at ourselves.” At the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation At 100 years of age, Thiebaud has outlived family, friends, gala in Santa Rosa colleagues and peers. Despite his outsized success, his genuine humility and respected work ethic seem to have neutralized potential rivals. He still finds his work meaningful and challenging. He still transforms commonplace objects in unique personal visual terms. He’s obsessive about the details. Teagle remembers, “Once when I was driving Wayne into the city, I said to him, ‘This is my favorite time of year. The hills, these are truly the golden hills of California.’ And Wayne said, ‘No, the color is palomino.’”



SACMAG.COM November 2020



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ASHLEY K. JOVES DDS SMILE & CO. DENTIST PRACTICE: Dr. Ashley Joves had a vision to do dentistry, differently. Three years ago, she started Smile & Company, a dental practice that merged her love for people, food & wine, art and culture with her passion for dentistry. She also has a secret: “I’m terrified of the dentist. So I took what I fear about the experience: pain, judgment, pressure, and I created Smile & Co, a place where we take our dentistry seriously, but not ourselves.”

ATMOSPHERE: Smile & Co. doesn’t feel like your typical dental office, because it isn’t. The vibe is fun and casual, where dancing takes place in the hallways, and laughter is heard from the treatment rooms. “I was always told that in order to be taken seriously as a young, female doctor, I had to act a certain way and wear a white coat. Based on our Google reviews and the fact that we have grown by word-of-mouth and our social media presence, I’d say we’re doing something right. I’m truly humbled and honored to be recognized as a top dentist in our area.”

PASSION: Dr. Ashley is passionate about creating beautiful, healthy smiles. She invests hundreds of hours of continuing education every year to be able to create life-changing smile transformations, in an environment where patients genuinely love coming to the dentist. Follow her IG account @ashleyjovesdds to see her smile gallery and watch her stories to get to know her as a mother, small business owner and foodie dentist.

309 Natoma St., Folsom, CA 95630 (916) 500-4577

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Jason Scorza Stanford Ranch Family Dentistry Rocklin 916-435-4222

Kenneth T. Yasuda Howe Dental Care Sacramento 916-929-8928

Grace Lee Valley Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Sacramento 916-283-8818

Thais Booms Giannetti & Booms Orthodontic Specialists Sacramento 916-452-3584

Gregory A. Senter Capitol Dental Group Sacramento 916-565-1300

Bianca Y. Yee Complete Health Dentistry of Sacramento Sacramento 916-482-7886

Steven F. Brizendine Steven F. Brizendine, DDS, MS Lodi 209-368-5101

Sahil Sethi Sutter Terrace Dental Group Sacramento 916-736-6750

Joseph You Laguna West Dental Care Elk Grove 916-683-7300

Donald R. Liberty Golden Foothills Oral & Facial Surgery Center El Dorado Hills 916-941-9860

Cindy Y. Shen Cindy Y. Shen, DDS, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry Sacramento 916-929-2841

Karl M. Zander Karl M. Zander, III, DDS Sacramento 916-391-4848

Edwin J. Sims Edwin J. Sims, DDS Sacramento 916-447-1731


Leo Townsend Laguna View Family Dental Elk Grove 916-683-1335

Craig X. Alpha Heise & Alpha OMS Sacramento 916-442-1882

Steven Tsuchida Reflections Family Dentistry Granite Bay 916-365-9262

Alexander V. Antipov Galleria Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Roseville 916-783-2110

Aashima S. Vaid Chirag Vaid, DDS Sacramento 916-444-2957

Nanlin Chiang Valley Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Sacramento 916-283-8818

Chirag R. Vaid Chirag R. Vaid, DDS Sacramento 916-444-2957 Gary Vedenoff Dr. Gary Vedenoff, DDS Sacramento 916-489-1720 Wayne E. Walters Wayne E. Walters, DDS Sacramento 916-929-5544 Nancy Welch Nancy S. Welch, DDS Sacramento 916-929-3115 Joel Whiteman Smile Art Dental Sacramento 916-446-0203 Edward Wiggins IID2O Dental Sacramento 916-442-7000

James F. Connors II Sacramento Oral Surgery Sacramento 916-448-4500 Margaret Delmore Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics Roseville 916-780-6300 Reza Fouladi Sacramento Oral Surgery Sacramento 916-423-4092 Gregory Hailey Gregory Hailey, DDS Fair Oaks 916-723-1111 Brian C. Harris Sierra Foothills Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Roseville 916-786-3930 Jagdev Heir Sacramento Surgical Arts, PC Sacramento 866-930-5837

Daniel A. Martin Placer Oral & Dental Implant Surgery Roseville 916-773-1188 Richard Moorhouse Pleasant Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics Roseville 916-782-4500 Gregory G. Olsen Folsom Oral Surgery and Implant Center Folsom 916-983-6637 Gregory S. Pluckhan Gregory S. Pluckhan, DDS Roseville 855-402-9178 Michael H. Preskar Sacramento Oral Surgery Sacramento 916-482-3444 Terrence E. Robbins Terrence E. Robbins, DMD, Inc. Carmichael 916-961-1902 Brian L.Royse Davis Oral Surgery Davis 530-297-7000 Voltaire Sambajon Oral & Facial Surgery Center Folsom 916-817-8000 Jason A. Straw El Dorado Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Dental Implant Center Placerville 530-626-3300 J. Alex Tomaich Tomaich Oral Surgery Davis 530-753-0550 David Trent Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics Sacramento 916-391-2101 Woodland Oral Surgery Woodland 530-207-5288

Brian Crawford Crawford Orthodontics Lincoln 916-408-8688 Kent Daft Daft and Stamos Orthodontics Sacramento 916-441-3925 Andrea DeLurgio DeLurgio Orthodontics Citrus Heights 916-953-6798 Jennifer Drew Jennifer Drew, DDS, MSD Sacramento 916-489-0852 Marc Dunn Dunn Orthodontics Roseville 916-788-0202 Jeffrey Elenberger Elenberger Orthodontics Rocklin 916-621-5869 Gregory W. Evrigenis Evrigenis Orthodontics Sacramento 916-923-9168 Reginald Fulford Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics Elk Grove 916-683-7645 Kelly Giannetti Giannetti & Booms Orthodontic Specialists Sacramento 916-452-3584 Michael B. Guess Dr. Michael B. Guess Sacramento 916-392-5670 Mark Holt Holt Orthodontics Folsom 916-983-5321 Douglas Jaul Chapa-De Indian Health Auburn 530-887-2800

Ryan Wilgus Dr. Ryan Wilgus Dental Practice Sacramento 916-457-7710

Gregory J. Heise Heise & Alpha OMS Sacramento 916-442-1882

Steven Wong Steven Wong, DDS Sacramento 916-737-8383

Loche M. Johnson Capital Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Sacramento 916-483-4379


Jeffrey Kwong Jeffrey Kwong Orthodontics El Dorado Hills 916-933-0532

Sirak Workneh Unique Dental Care Sacramento 916-428-4325

Don Kim Serenity Oral Surgery & Implant Center Roseville 916-787-1515

Gregory L. Adams Laguna Orthodontics Elk Grove 916-684-4886

Tim Lyons Lyons Orthodontics El Dorado Hills 916-933-8820

Lynn Yamamoto Yamamoto & Lee Family Dentistry Roseville 916-783-5241

Sarah Kuo Sacramento Oral Surgery Sacramento 916-482-3444

Steven D. Anderson Dr. Steven D. Anderson, DDS Sacramento 916-929-5991

David Markham Markham Orthodontics Sacramento 916-924-8970

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Kenneth Wong King Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center Rocklin 916-797-2700

Stephen Kineret Kineret Orthodontics Rocklin 916-772-5832

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GENERAL & COSMETIC DENTISTRY SPECIALTY: Dr. Crippen has been practicing general and cosmetic dentistry for over 15 years. She has focused her practice on delivering high-quality, comprehensive oral health care that is specifically catered to each of her patients’ individual needs and concerns. ARTISTRY: She understands that dentistry is a combination of science and art, and her passion for both enables her to blend them seamlessly. Working in a group practice alongside other dedicated general dentists gives her the ability to focus on the best care for each of her patients under one roof. PHILOSOPHY OF CARE: Dr. Crippen is dedicated to making the delivery of dental care as comfortable as possible. Her gentle touch and other modalities such as nitrous oxide and aromatherapy help put her patients’ minds and bodies at ease. ADVICE: Not only does a healthy mouth contribute to a healthy body but a beautiful smile can have a tremendously positive effect on our emotional well-being.


2831 G St., Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95816 916-441-5800



DENTISTRY FOR CHILDREN | PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY FOCUS: Pediatric Dentistry with an emphasis on the disabled and special needs patients. EDUCATION: BA, MFA Brigham Young University, DDS Georgetown University School of Dentistry, Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry UNMC. HONORS: Maimonides Scholarship Georgetown University, Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, Fellow of the Academy of Dentistry International, Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Dentists, Life Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Dentists. PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS: American Dental Association, California Dental Association, Sacramento Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, American Board of Pediatric Dentists’ College of Diplomats. Member of Sutter Health Cleft Palate Panel. WHAT SETS US APART: Dr. Work and her team are experienced and trained to work with all children, including special needs and disabled children. To make the patients more at ease the office was designed with a friendly atmosphere. There are video games, large TV’s, Legos and comfortable chairs for the children and parents. 9045 Bruceville Road, Suite 180, Elk Grove, CA 95758 • (916) 683-PEDO (7336) •

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Dwight Miller Blue Oak Dental Roseville 916-786-6777 Matthew Molitor Matthew Molitor, DDS, MS Davis 530-758-6420 John Oshetski Oshetski Orthodontics Elk Grove 916-684-0520 Michael H. Payne American River Orthodontics Sacramento 916-486-4233 Paolo Poidmore Poidmore Orthodontics Folsom 916-988-1744 Richard H. Portalupi Portalupi Orthodontics Woodland 530-662-9191 Donald Rollofson Elk Grove Orthodontics Elk Grove 916-685-2164 Benton Runquist Benton Runquist, DDS Davis 530-756-0220 Matthew Sanders Sunrise Orthodontics Elk Grove 916-512-3600 Matthew Sandretti Elk Grove Orthodontics Elk Grove 916-685-2164 Steven Scott Markham Orthodontics Sacramento 916-924-8970 Damon Szymanowski Szymanowski Orthodontics Sacramento 916-993-4171 Richard D. Talbot Richard D. Talbot, DMD, MS, Inc. Citrus Heights 916-965-8026 Alan C. Tan Tan Orthodontics Woodland 530-662-5240 Garri Tsibel Olympus Pointe Orthodontics Roseville 916-789-1100 G. Vic Vicari Jr. G. Vic Vicari, Jr., DMD Sacramento 916-641-5658 Melvin Walters Walters Orthodontics Sacramento 916-575-9990 Peter Worth Peter W. Worth, DDS, Inc Roseville 916-782-3161 Jamson Wu Laguna Creek Orthodontics Elk Grove 916-392-1885

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PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY Jessica Alt Rocklin Pediatric Dentistry Rocklin 916-435-9100 John C. Birch Sac Kids Dental Sacramento 916-929-5534 Mark Choi Mark Choi, DDS Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics Woodland 530-662-3915 David Crippen Capital Pediatric Dentistry Sacramento 916-476-3972 Jared Danielson Smile Pediatrics El Dorado Hills 916-573-3387 Lisa Elenberger Davis Kids Dentist Davis 530-756-7516 Brenda Ho Greenhaven Pediatric Dentistry Sacramento 916-594-9444 Paul A. Johnson Pediatric Dentistry of West Sacramento West Sacramento 916-277-8055 Richard Keilson Sac Kids Dental Sacramento 916-929-5534 Richard Knight Richard Knight, DDS, MS & Cassandra Krupansky, DDS, MS Roseville 916-782-2278 Cassandra Krupansky Richard Knight, DDS, MS & Cassandra Krupansky, DDS, MS Roseville 916-782-2278 Lisa Nielsen Laptalo Lisa Nielsen Laptalo, DMD - Dentistry for Children Sacramento 916-221-4321 Garrett Lee Dr. Garrett Lee, DDS Sacramento 916-896-1285 Jenny McCarthy Surfside Kids Dental Elk Grove 916-943-4175 Sydney J. Moore Moore Pediatric Dentistry Roseville 916-782-1209 Dmitriy Pivnik Gold River Pediatric Dentistry Gold River 916-638-8778 Rohini Rattu Dimples Pediatric Dental Folsom 916-260-5127 Lora Foster Rode Rocklin Pediatric Dentistry Rocklin 916-435-9100

Jeffrey Saladin Children’s Choice Dental Care Sacramento 916-515-0005 Joelle C. Speed Smile Gallery Pediatric Dentistry Roseville 916-782-5503 Jeffrey Sue Weideman Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics Citrus Heights 916-962-0577 Kevin Vo Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics Elk Grove 916-683-7645 Cynthia Weideman Weideman Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics Citrus Heights 916-962-0577

PERIODONTICS Dean N. Ahmad INNOVA Periodontics & Implant Dentistry Roseville 916-772-0112 Sean P. Avera Sean P. Avera, DDS Inc. Auburn 530-885-0953 Jenna Cha Prosthodontic Dental Group Fair Oaks 916-596-3313 P. Kevin Chen Capitol Periodontal Group Elk Grove 916-684-3379 David Du Davis Perio & Implant Center Davis 530-758-1530 Debra S. Finney Folsom Periodontics Folsom 916-984-8404 Kenneth Frostad Sierra Periodontal Group Citrus Heights 916-962-0545 Nicky Hakimi Nicky M. Hakimi, DDS, MSD Auburn 530-888-7155 Behdad Javdan Charles Dental Group Fair Oaks 916-236-4311 Matthew Korn Aria Dental Implants and Periodontics Sacramento 916-446-9100 Leland H. Lee Leland H. Lee, DDS Sacramento 916-444-1121 Clifton E. Nakatani Clifton Nakatani, DDS, MSD Sacramento 916-421-5555 Robert W. Pretel Capitol Periodontal Group Sacramento 916-971-3461

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DIMPLES PEDIATRIC DENTAL PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY FOCUS: Pediatric Dentistry EDUCATION: Dr. Rohini obtained her B.S. from UC Davis and went on to graduate from Columbia University School of Dental Medicine and completed her Pediatric Dental training at Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. She is a Board Certified Diplomate with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. WHAT SETS US APART: Dr. Rohini’s practice is a solo practice, so you will always get the Doctor’s personal attention. For the more apprehensive children or those with special needs, we offer Nitrous Oxide, in-house sedation with an Anesthesiologist, and sedation in a Surgery Center. IF YOU COULD GIVE ANY ADVICE TO PARENTS, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Think prevention! Bring your child in to see us on his or her first birthday so we can prevent any issues before they begin.



1665 Creekside Drive, Suite #103, Folsom, CA 95630 (916) 260-5127


ENHANCED DENTAL CONCEPTS | COSMETIC & COMPREHENSIVE DENTISTRY SPECIALTY: First-class cosmetic and comprehensive dentistry and smile makeovers in a relaxing, spa-like environment. Painless dentistry is our motto! EDUCATION/HONORS: Dr. Khodai grew up in Davis and attended U.C. Davis for his B.A. in physiology. He went to Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Besides being a Top Dentist year after year, Dr. Khodai and his team are a five-star dental office on Yelp, Google and Facebook. INNOVATIONS: We offer state-of-the-art technology, including CEREC same-day crowns, iTero digital impressions, digital X-rays and laser gum therapy. We use only the best quality materials and the most modern implant restoration techniques. BEDSIDE MANNER: We respect our patients’ schedules and see them on time. Patients say how relaxed and pampered they feel in our spa-like setting. Patient comfort is our No. 1 priority! 1420 East Roseville Pkwy., Suite 210, Roseville • (916) 791-2907 •

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Sean Rhee Sean Rhee, DDS Sacramento 916-444-7460

Ash Vasanthan Ash Vasanthan, DDS, MS Roseville 916-788-1114

Brock E. Hinton Prosthodontic Dental Group Fair Oaks 916-596-3313

Elaheh Samsani Sierra Periodontal Group Citrus Heights 916-962-0545

Rosemary Wu Capitol Periodontal Group Sacramento 916-971-3461

Daesoon Kim Daesoon Kim, DDS Sacramento 916-482-4000

Caton J. State Caton J. State, DDS, MS Periodontics & Dental Implants Placerville 530-626-6320

Mark H. Zablotsky The Academy for Reconstructive Periodontics and Implant Dentistry Sacramento 916-641-1200

Ronald R. Larsen Ronald R. Larsen, DDS Sacramento 916-484-0000


Jeffrey G. Light Sacramento Prosthodontics Sacramento 916-451-9400

C. Thaddeus Szymanowski Campus Commons Periodontics Sacramento 916-999-1305 Jonathan C. Szymanowski Campus Commons Periodontics Sacramento 916-999-1305

Paul Binon Prosthodontics Paul Binon, DDS, MSD Roseville 916-252-9928

Michael Mikitka Alhambra Dental Plaza Sacramento 916-455-3247

Shaunda Thomas Sacramento Periodontics Sacramento 916-999-1085

Jefferson Lee Clark Jefferson Lee Clark, DDS, MS Roseville 916-783-0122

Jeffrey Y. Nordlander Prosthodontic Dental Group Fair Oaks 916-596-3313

Paul P. Towfighi Capitol Periodontal Group Sacramento 916-971-3461

Herlin K. Dyal Herlin K. Dyal, DDS Sacramento 916-788-7400

Jeffrey C. Vernon Jeffrey C. Vernon, DDS Sacramento 916-448-5333

Ching-Yin Tsai Natomas Periodontics & Implantology Sacramento 916-515-0008

Diana C. Fat Diana C. Fat, DDS Sacramento 916-800-1878

Craig Wada Placer Prosthodontics Inc. Rocklin 916-630-9048


FOCUS: Thank you for voting Dr. Holt one of the Best Orthodontists! The doctor you choose matters. Dr. Holt has been a specialist in orthodontics for more than 25 years and is the leading provider in the Sacramento area for Invisalign for adults and teens. Having completed additional specialized training, Dr. Holt has taught classes to other doctors in over 40 cities across the country. He is a top 1% provider and an AlignTech Faculty member. Invisalign or braces are not the same at every office. The doctor and team make a difference. Dr. Holt has participated in scientific studies in his practice including two studies showing shortened treatment times. The office offers the latest technological advancements to complete your treatment in 30–50% less time. Dr. Holt and his associates Dr. Jina Annello, and Dr. Tyler Holt have over 60 years combined experience.Today, they and their friendly, educated and experienced team provide complete orthodontic care. In their practice over 50% of teens and 90% of adults are treated with Invisalign. They can help you decide between braces or Invisalign to see what treatment options works best for you. Call Holt Orthodontics today to schedule your complimentary Orthodontic Consultation!


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Sacramento | (916) 481-6424 Roseville | (916) 786-9282 Folsom | (916) 983-5321

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FOCUS: General Dentistry, including cosmetics, implant restoration, and emergency dental care. EDUCATION: Dr. Homer completed his B.A. at Sacramento State and earned his Doctorate of Medical Dentistry from Washington University. Dr. Grove received a B.S. from Pacific Union College and a Doctorate of Dental Surgery from Loma Linda University. PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS: Drs. Homer and Grove belong to the ADA/CDA/SDDS. Dr. Grove is also an active participant in the SDDS. WHAT SETS THEM APART: Dr. Homer’s and Dr. Grove’s patients’ appreciation is evident in client loyalty, with 40-year plus patients bringing their children and grandchildren in for treatment. CHARITABLE WORK: Dr. Homer supports Save Ourselves, an organization that provides counseling and peer support to people living with breast cancer. Dr. Grove has participated in overseas dental mission trips and also participates in the Smiles for Big Kids program in Sacramento. FREE ADVICE: Studies have linked diabetes, heart disease and stroke to gum disease. Oral health is a significant part of overall well-being.



9216 Kiefer Blvd., Suite 5, Sacramento (916) 363-9171


PRACTICE: Dr. Binon is a Prosthodontist, a dentist with three years of advanced training beyond dental school. His training focused on function and appearance and includes dental implants, crowns, bridges, veneers, dentures and partials. He graduated from Creighton University with a DDS and was inducted in Omicron Kappa Upsilon dental honor society. He received a three year National Institute of Health Fellowship to Indiana University and also completed a residency in Prosthodontics. Former academic appointments include Medical College of Georgia, Indiana University and as a research scientist at the University of California San Francisco. He is recognized as an authority on biomechanics and implant components. He has published some 50 articles involving research and clinical techniques. Dr. Binon trained under Dr. P.I. Branemark, the inventor of modern implant dentistry at U. of Washington in the early 1980s. He has also received additional implant surgical training at Montefiore Hospital in New York. He has the distinction of being the first recipient of the Academy of Osseointegration Certificate in Implant Dentistry. He currently has a private practice in Roseville that is focused on implant dentistry, aesthetic and functional complex dentistry. He is proud to be a Sacramento Magazine Top Dentist for 8 years in a row.

1158 Cirby Way, Ste A. Roseville, CA 95661 (916) 786-6676 •

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HONORED AS ONE OF SACRAMENTO’S TOP DENTISTS* Your HEALTH and SAFETY is our top priority… Many things have changed, but one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety. Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice. While we have always had high standards regarding infection control, we have incorporated additional CDC recommendations to keep our patients safe and healthy. The care and quality that our patients have come to appreciate remains a source of pride for our office. Having loyally served the Sacramento community for the past 25 years, Doctors Amy Woo, Kristine Balcom, Kelly Brewer and Patricia

Amy M. Woo, DDS

Kristine E. Balcom, DDS

Kelly A. Brewer, DDS

Patricia Murphy, DDS

Murphy look forward to continuing in our tradition of putting the health and safety of our patients first.


Dr. Amy Woo Dental Care 2627 K Street, Sacramento 916.443.8955

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NOVEM B ER 2 02 0

Arts & Culture

The multitalented comedian Lance Woods can be seen in the film “A Clear Shot.”

Bringing the Jokes BY CATHY CASSINOS-CARR LANCE WOODS FIRST STARTED doing comedy in church—yes,

really, church—and has taken it big time, performing at top venues around the country and even for U.S. Marine Corps troops in Japan. So how cool is it that he’s still true-blue to Sacramento? Way cool, we think. Born in San Francisco and raised in Sac (he moved here with his family at “around age 6 or 7,” he recalls), Woods performs regularly at local clubs such as Punch Line and Laughs Unlimited when he’s not jet-setting. Sometimes, between gigs, he also talks to reporters. We caught up with this very funny fella by phone. t er e nce du f f y

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When did you first realize you were funny? I was young—very young. I was always making jokes with my family, getting in trouble at school, getting kicked out of class. But I didn’t realize you could make a career out of it. When did you realize you could make a living at it? I still don’t know if you can make a living at it. I’m trying to find out if that’s a possibility. You mean you can get paid to do this? Was there an “aha” moment when you decided to pursue comedy professionally? Not an aha moment. But I always knew I had star qualities. I’m not shy about public speaking. I don’t get intimidated by big crowds. I knew I had those things early on, SACMAG.COM November 2020

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Arts & Culture

but it wasn’t until I started doing things at my church [Spirit and Truth Church] that I started into comedy. It wasn’t planned. They would just put me on the spot. I would host anniversaries and things like that, but last year I was actually putting on comedy shows at the church.

Can you give me an overview of what’s happened in the 10 years since? Highs, lows, lessons learned? When you start out, you don’t know anything—you’re just having fun. When I did my first show ever at the Punch Line, it went so well that I thought, “Well, HBO should be calling me any time. Should I leave my number at the bar? Because Comedy Central’s gonna be calling me any time, based on those great six minutes I just spent on the stage.” I can’t really think of any lows with comedy. I tell people my worst day in comedy is better than my best day at any 9-to-5. I’ve had a lot of highs, and a lot of them are just moments, like the camaraderie I share with other comics. Sometimes we’ll just hang out until 6 in the morning, talking and laughing, and I remember those moments, especially now that we can’t hang out like we used to.


Speaking of the COVID pandemic, how has it impacted your career? I think it has forced me to get out of my comfort zone and find different ways to create and get my name out there. The whole world has had to make adjustments, and there have been times where it’s been tough, but you have to go through tough things to grow, and there’s a blessing at the end of all of this. How would you describe your comedy to someone who’s never seen you perform? [In jest] The best ever. The best of all time. Amazing. I always wanted to be someone who got onstage and told the truth. That’s how I describe it: my truth disguised as comedy. Any new developments to share? I recently did my first feature film, “A Clear Shot.” It’s out now on all the on-demand platforms. I also filmed my first comedy special, which will be on all platforms soon. I’m really excited about being able to take comedy and combine it with my other love, sports, in my work with the Sacramento Kings. I frequently do their pre- and post-game shows, and also do media work with NBC Sports. What are your goals for the future? I have a few goals. I want to get at least 100,000 followers on all of my social media platforms. No—wait! Why should I sell myself so short? I want 1 million followers on all my social media platforms! I’m also writing a movie right now, a feature film. It’s a collaboration with Tony Roberts, one of my favorite comedians and closest friends. OK, I gotta ask: What’s this “International Sex Symbol” moniker (seen on his Facebook page) all about? Moniker? It’s not a moniker. It’s just a fact. I didn’t choose this life. It chose me. Learn more about Woods at, subscribe to his YouTube channel at SirLanceWoods, or follow him on Instagram or Twitter @SirLanceWoods.

Opposite page: Nick Larson (2)

Can you take me back to June 2010, your first gig at Punch Line Sacramento? It was a showcase—an open mic where they pick and choose who’s going up—and it was my first time doing a showcase outside of my church. I didn’t make any money doing it, though I should have, if I’d known then what I know now. I remember I didn’t know anything. I remember being wideeyed. It was like: “Look at the crowd! They’re so amazing! Look at them doing this! They’re so amazing!” At that time, I wasn’t really using social media for this. I had told everybody by word of mouth I was gonna do this comedy show, and they were like “Really?” And on the day of the show, I walked up to the manager and told him, “I’m Lance Woods. I’m ready to sign up.” And he said, “Who the hell are you?” It was a nice sunny day, but in my head and in my heart it started raining. I walked back to my car, and I was gonna leave, but I had told 100 people I was “MY WORST DAY IN COMEDY IS BETTER going to be there. So I THAN MY BEST DAY AT ANY 9-TO-5.” went back in there, and I was literally begging him, “Just give me five minutes! I’m gonna be good, I’m tellin’ ya.” And 40 or 50 people came to see me on that Wednesday night, and I made them a lot of money. So they had no choice but to put me on stage.


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Keeping the Laughs Going BY CATHY CASSINOS-CARR

n a grim news year like 2020, wouldn’t it have been nice if comedy clubs were deemed “essential” and allowed to stay open? Imagine how therapeutic it might have been for those who’d been stuck for months in a claustrophobic COVID cocoon. That didn’t happen, darn it. But thankfully, comedy club owners in the Sacramento region found other ways to offer the masses some much-needed comic relief.

Laughs Unlimited

At Laughs Unlimited, the socially distant audience wears headphones.

Sure, they could have offered livestream shows. But the folks at Laughs Unlimited had a different goal. “We wanted to keep comedy alive and give people a place to go and have a good time,” says Jennifer Canfield, owner of the Old Sacramento club. With outdoor dining permitted this summer, the Laughs team looked for ways to create comedy al fresco. Their ingenious solution? Silent comedy, patterned after silent disco. After getting permission from the city of Sacramento to shut down a mini-block around the club to create an outdoor showroom, it was on. “Inside Jokes, Outside Laughs” involves headphones—lots of headphones—distributed to patrons as well as the comedians themselves. With ticket buyers seated at tables in the makeshift outdoor nightclub, the show goes on, with the comics working from a platform in front of the club. Opening night was July 23. It was an instant hit, selling out (or close to it) most nights, according to Canfield. As of this writing, the series continued on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, with no end date. To ensure safety, headphones are sanitized, employees wear masks, and safe distancing is enforced. Capacity is limited to 70. In addition to providing laugh therapy and a night on the town for cooped-up locals, taking it to the streets has had an unexpected benefit: It’s great advertisement. “A lot of people have stopped by and said, ‘I never even knew this place was here!’” says Canfield. It’s about time the word got out: Laughs Unlimited celebrated its 40th anniversary in August. 1207 Front St., Old Sacramento; laughsun; (916) 446-8128 SACMAG.COM November 2020

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Arts & Culture

Sacramento Comedy Spot

Brian Crall

It didn’t take long for the Sacramento Comedy Spot to kick into Plan B when COVID hit. “We saw the writing on the wall,” says founder/general manager Brian Crall of the midtown comedy club/theater. “We shut down the second weekend in March, and within about a week we made a decision to do online classes and shows.” It took a while to work out the kinks. But their calendar is now robust, with livestream shows six nights a week. Their comedy classes, such as Improv and Stand-Up 101, are also available online. One key to the success of their livestream effort is the creation of new shows tailored for an online medium, says Crall. They’ve even created one specific to the times: “Quarantine Couples,” in which two THE COMEDY SPOT pairs of comedians and their guests compete by answering questions LIVESTREAMS SHOWS SIX to uncover who knows their partner the best. NIGHTS A WEEK. It is only through livestreaming and donations, says Crall, that the Comedy Spot—which is due to celebrate its 15th anniversary in November—has been able to survive. Their expanded online presence in recent months has also grown their fan base, Crall notes, with participants popping in from around the states and even around the world. For the Comedy Spot’s roster of 70-plus performers who have been sidelined for most of 2020, such developments offer a ray of hope. “Those performers are the ones keeping the dream alive,” says Crall. 1050 20th St.;; (916) 444-3137

Blacktop Comedy When Blacktop Comedy became a COVID casualty, permanently closing the doors of its Rocklin club in April, it could have been the end of its nine-year run. But Blacktop was never “just” a club. It’s also a comedy school—and owner Paul Burke is working hard to keep it going. “Closing the club was obviously very sad, but what I still have left is my passion to teach improv,” he says. After learning the ropes with Zoom, Burke started offering virtual classes twice a week, and as of this writing was continuing in that vein, with improv on Tuesdays and a “hangout session” on Thursdays—a space where people can simply hang out and talk. “We have a very supportive group here, and a sense of community,” says Burke. “It’s important to me to keep that going.” While Blacktop’s online classes are currently limited to its established community of students and newsletter subscribers, Burke hopes to find ways to involve more people, and maybe even do some audience-interactive shows online, moving forward. Stay tuned.; (916) 672-1617

Other Comedy Clubs Other local comedy clubs to offer livestream content during the COVID shutdown are Punch Line Sacramento (; (916) 925-8500) and STAB! Comedy Theater (; (916) 970-7822).


Paul Burke


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good wood

WHEN THOMAS CANNELL was furloughed from his job as a chef last spring, he turned to woodworking. “I’ve been doing carpentry since I was a kid,” says Thomas, who apprenticed with cabinetmakers in his native United Kingdom as a young man before working in kitchens. What began as a hobby making cutting boards for friends and family turned into a bona fide business, Block and Bowl, selling goods on Etsy to delighted customers across the country. Wife Rosemarie, a pharmacist by day, works behind

the scenes as merchandise stylist and photographer. Crafted in his Land Park workshop from a variety of woods (maple, walnut, cherry), his products, which also include rolling pins, serving boards, egg holders and muddlers, are not only beautiful but useful. “Whenever I’m making something new, I think about how I would want to use it in the kitchen,” Thomas explains. “Because of having worked as a chef, I have a good idea what chefs would like.” BLOCK ANDBOWL.COM —catherine



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obsessed This time of year, when seasons are transitioning, I always love a good mid-weight linen blanket. It works so well as a decorative piece in a living room or bedroom and adds an element of coziness. My favorite is the Mojave Linen Blanket from Coyuchi, which is soft and made from organic linen. I keep ours tossed effortlessly over the couch and love the relaxed look. JESSICA WRIGHT BLOGGER, @BONTRAVELER

MADE IN SACRAMENTO YOU CAN NOW REST YOUR FEET on a piece of Sacramento while doing something good for the environment, thanks to Room & Board, which is selling coffee tables made of salvaged wood from our region. The Minneapolis-based furniture company teamed up with Sacramento’s Urban Wood Rescue to produce 100 coffee tables from downed local trees. The tables come in two styles: Truxel ($2,299), crafted from redwood trees that once grew along Truxel Road in Natomas, and Wheatland ($1,999), made from English walnut trees from a small family orchard in Wheatland. The tables are branded on the underside with a code denoting their place of origin. A Sacramento Tree Foundation program, Urban Wood Rescue keeps downed trees from being mulched or ending up in landfills. That has major implications for the environment: Living trees capture carbon in their wood, and the carbon is locked down as long as the wood remains in whole form. But if it’s chipped or burned, the carbon is released back into the atmosphere. These 100 coffee tables capture 13 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere—the equivalent of 1,463 gallons of gas consumed, 14,325 pounds of coal burned or 1.6 million smartphones made. That’s a green choice you can be proud of.—marybeth bizjak


Wheatland table


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SPREADING ITS WINGS The Feathered Nest goes national with an online store. The Feathered Nest, a popular

modern farmhouse look for which

home furnishings store in Loomis,

The Feathered Nest is known.

is dipping a toe into the national market with a new online brand

“What people love about The Feathered Nest is that it feels

called 31 Chapters. Launched this

like an experience,” says Amy

past summer, the online retailer

Bangs, who oversees 31 Chapters

features a curated selection of

and writes a lifestyle blog for the

furnishings, lighting, rugs, pillows and tabletop accessories that combine transitional décor with the

brand’s website ( “We’re trying to create the same experience online with recipes and styling tips.”

Furniture, rug and accessories from 31 Chapters



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Home Equity Line of Credit Loan 5 YEAR FIXED RATE

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FIXED RATE for 5 Years Local Processing & Servicing No Closing Costs on Qualifying Transactions Flexibility and Convenience Have Funds Available for Current and Future Needs Home Improvement, Debt Consolidation, College Tuition Interest May be Tax Deductible (Please consult your tax advisor)

Serving our local communities since 1958 SACRAMENTO • 4768 J Street • 916-454-4800 SACRAMENTO • 5500 Folsom Blvd. • 916-452-2613 CARMICHAEL • 4701 Manzanita Ave. • 916-481-0664 RANCHO MURIETA • 7248 Murieta Drive • 916-354-2661 ELK GROVE • 9003 Elk Grove Blvd. • 916-685-3936 CITRUS HEIGHTS • 7895 Lichen Drive • 916-729-1100 FOLSOM • 300 E. Bidwell Street • 916-983-3600 SHELDON • 8973 Grant Line Road • 916-686-0200 Se Habla Espanol • 800-874-9779 loan which is called the draw period. After the initial 5 year period, the APR can change once based on the value of an Index and Margin. The Index is the weekly average yield on U.S. Treasury Securities adjusted to a constant maturity of 10 years and the margin is 3.50%. The current APR for the repayment period is 4.25%. The maximum APR that can apply any time during your HELOC is 10%. A qualifying transaction consists of the following conditions: (1) the initialAPR assumes a maximum HELOC of $100,000, and a total maximum Loan-to-Value (LTV) of 70% including the new HELOC and any existing 1st Deed of Trust loan on your residence; (2) your residence securing the HELOC must be a single-family home that you occupy as your primary residence; (3) if the 1st Deed of Trust loan is with a lender other than El Dorado Savings Bank, that loan may not exceed $200,000 and may not be a revolving line of credit. Additional property restrictions and requirements apply. All loans are subject to a current appraisal. Other conditions apply. A $525 early closure fee will be assessed if the line of credit is closed within three years from the date of opening. An annual Rate Home Equity Line of Credit Disclosure Notice” for additional important information. Other HELOC loans are available under different terms.

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Katy Hardeay Murals & Decorative Painting LIC# 1012294

Custom Hand-Painted Murals Custom Interiors | Children’s Rooms & Nurseries Pediatric Medical & Dental Offices

Amy describes 31 Chapters as a lifestyle brand. “We’re selling furniture to last through all of life’s

“Offering quality furniture is important, but it’s got to be functional for how you live in your space. It’s the sofa your kids can jump on or have movie night with pizza on.”

Chair, pillow and side table from 31 Chapters

chapters,” she explains. “Offering quality furniture is important, but it’s got to be functional for how you live in your space. It’s the sofa your kids can jump on or have movie night with pizza on, but where you can also entertain company.” The company plans to furnish a home in Newport Beach and open it to the public, so that shoppers can see the 31 Chapters brand in person. “We’ll invite guests and infl uencers into the house for an overall 31 Chapters experience,” Amy says. —marybeth bizjak

Table, chairs, rug, chandelier and cabinet from 31 Chapters



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Stylish, Comfortable, Reliable, Functional

Fenwick Slide on to soft leather and into your perfect level of relaxation with the Fenwick collection. Handsomely dressed in heavy-thread cross-stitching detail with power reclining and power headrest comfort, this contemporary collection is the ultimate package of comfort and good looks with the reliability exclusive to Flexsteel®.

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O T C K K C I T Working on a strict deadline, a local designer transforms her bedroom suite.

Eight weeks to design and execute a complete room redo? That’s a heavy lift. But Rebecca Plumb, principal of Sacramento’s Studio Plumb, did just that, creating a dream bedroom in just two months as a featured designer for Better Homes & Garden’s One Room Challenge. Every April and October, the magazine invites 20 design influencers from around the country to transform a space in just weeks—and blog about it in real time. For the challenge, Rebecca chose to renovate the principal bedroom suite of the midcentury ranch house she shares with her husband and young daughter. The challenge was made even more, well, challenging because it took place during the quarantine and COVID-19 shutdown. As a result, products were on backorder, local home stores were closed and Amazon deliveries were slooow. Nevertheless, she managed to turn a vanilla white box of a bedroom into a luxurious retreat inspired by her favorite boutique hotel in Vegas. Read on to see what she did. by marybeth bizjak photography by nicole dianne



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Rebecca replaced a blah ceiling fan with this showstopping chandelier, a customized piece from Blueprint.


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1. Geometric, tone-on-tone wallpaper from Pacific Designs International adds texture and shimmer. 2. Rebecca replaced dated bifold closet doors with jib doors, using wallpaper and wood molding for a seamless look. 3. The bed linens and dog bed are from Tuft & Needle.




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6 4. On the bed wall, Rebecca created an arched niche that serves as the room’s centerpiece, with space for a headboard, an art ledge and wall-mounted sconces. 5. Local artist Erica Avila created the large abstract painting, “Vibrant Dreaming,” with input from Rebecca. 6. Rebecca’s mom made the small throw pillow out of a piece of embroidery found at an antique barn sale.


7. Rebecca worked with Calico to design the ripplefold velvet, fully lined drapery, then added sheers for extra privacy. 8. The bed—a hand-me-down from Rebecca’s parents—was reupholstered in a nubby tweed chenille.

For more about Rebecca’s bedroom transformation, go to



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Photography by Kat Alves



Good Energy A successful home addition proves that efficiency need not come at the expense of beauty. By Catherine Warmerdam

Design and Construction: Atmosphere Design Build



Exterior (above): “We did want the addition to be a modern response, but it’s tucked back a bit so that it’s playful but in a way that’s respectful of the neighborhood,” says designer Mela Breen. RIGHT PAGE Entry (top left): Owner Nate Whitson designed and built the open storage system near the front door where a traditional closet was removed to create a more spacious entry. Living room (top right and bottom): The living room is stylish and decidedly unfussy. “They struck a nice balance of wanting a lovely, well-designed space that kids aren’t excluded from,” says Breen.




ome of the most noteworthy features of the residential addition and remodel that Mela Breen designed for her clients’ Auburn home are things you don’t see. Like the energy-saving heating and cooling system that was tailored specifically for the site. Or the whole-house re-insulation and air sealing that makes easy work of maintaining a comfortable temperature in the home year-round. “Efficiency is integral to our approach,” explains Breen, founder and principal designer at Atmosphere Design Build in Grass Valley. “All of the design decisions we make are informed by a deep knowledge of building science and energy efficiency.” That ethos is one of the reasons homeowners Nate and Maren Whitson hired Breen. “Other firms we looked at didn’t have her level of experience or focus on the functional aspects of the house,” says Nate. It also helped that Breen and the homeowners were simpatico when it came to style. “I felt like she got us right away. In terms of her aesthetic choices and the way she thinks about doing things, we were on the same page from the very beginning.” The clients wanted to preserve the home’s California modernist feel, but they desired additional space where the couple could work from home and their children, 7 and 10, could sprawl out. Unable to build onto

the back of the house due to the location of the septic tank, Breen conceived a decidedly bold two-story addition that occupies a sliver of one side of the parcel while leaving the structure’s original footprint largely intact. Inside, the home is a study in practical beauty. “My general approach—and this fit with the desires of the homeowners—is to have really good function and design and keep the material simple,” says Breen. In the kitchen, for example, she removed outdated tile and opted to refinish the existing concrete slab instead of installing new flooring. Maple plywood cabinets are another “beautiful but simple” design solution. The homeowners, who chose not to hire an interior designer, selected furnishings themselves. “My background helped out a bit there,” says Nate, a graphic designer. A hobbyist woodworker, he also put his fingerprint on the remodel by designing and crafting the built-in storage in the home’s entryway—one of many examples of how the owners worked in partnership with the design-build team. “This house is a good example of relationships, especially between client and designer,” says Breen. “The best outcomes come from good collaborations.” Nate agrees wholeheartedly. “They were so awesome to work with for both design and build. Mela perfectly hit all the goals that we had for the house. We really can’t imagine it working any better for our family.”



Office (left top and bottom): A bookcase door leads to Nate’s office in the addition. “I’ve dreamt about having a secret door like this since I was a kid, and this seemed like my one chance to get it,” says Nate. “When our kids’ friends come over, it’s like their favorite thing.” Kitchen (below): The kitchen, with its flat-front cabinetry and concrete floors, is pragmatic and understated. “The biggest thing that we wanted out of it was to keep the finishes simple and as durable as possible,” says Nate. RIGHT PAGE Backyard (top): The backyard, which sits above the north fork of the American River, includes a climbing wall built by Nate and a workshop where he does woodworking.





PERMAN E VACATION By Catherine Warmerdam Photography by Kerrie Hertel


hired landscape designer Bliss Gonsalves to make over the yard of their South Land Park home, their list of wants was long: designated areas, including a sport court, where their four kids could play; a patio where guests could linger around a long farmhouse table; an outdoor kitchen where Tim could command the grill; a fire pit for evening gatherings; and seating areas where Corinne could relax with a glass of wine. All of these amenities needed to be situated around the existing pool and not detract from the home’s traditional architecture. “They wanted to be able to use every part of the yard,” says Gonsalves, who created zones for the various ways the family would use the space, tying them all together with a variety of natural materials that complement the aged brick on an oversized chimney facing one side of the yard. “That brick was really the starting point for everything.” Maximizing usable space typically means lots of hardscape, but Gonsalves cleverly avoided a monolithic look by installing different surfaces throughout the yard: decorative gravel for the seating area, brick and concrete on the patio, no-fuss artificial turf in one of the play areas. Plant selection was limited to easy-care shrubs, blooming perennials and new trees that will eventually provide muchneeded shade, explains Gonsalves. “And everything is low maintenance. The last thing any client wants to do is worry about their landscape when they are trying to relax in it.” “Being back here is like being on vacation to us,” says Corinne. “We use every single space, moving around the yard as we follow the shade. The kids do well having all these designated spaces. And Tim and I can sit at the outdoor kitchen in the evening and feel like we’re going out. We couldn’t be any happier.”




Landscape Design: Bliss Gonsalves, Oliver John Partners Construction: Sergio Valencia, MAS Concrete



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Food & Drink i n s i d e: How Sweet It Is / A Real Pip / Third-Party Blues

Drink Up! LOVE CHILD, the new eatery from the owner of LowBrau, is all about plant-based options, with a menu that includes a vegan version of In-N-Out’s Double-Double burger and cold-pressed juices. Served in a groovy 16-ounce bottle, the juice mixtures come in both alcoholic and nonalcoholic versions. Ryan Schroth, who oversees the cocktail program, says Love Child lets you feel good about your dining decisions: “Rather than smokehouse barbecue and beer, you can have cold-pressed juice with your vegan Double-Double.” 1050 20th St.; Instagram @lovechild916

f r a n c i s c o c h av i r a

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SACMAG.COM November 2020

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Food & Drink

Fruit basket cake

Let Them Eat Cake Freeport Bakery rolls with the pandemic punches. BY MARYBETH BIZJAK MARLENE GOETZELER WAS surprised

when she learned this publication wanted to do a story on Freeport Bakery. “Sacramento Magazine never writes about us,” said Goetzeler. “We’ve never understood it.” Goetzeler and her husband, Walter, have owned the bakery since the late ’80s. It has since become a local institution, many Sacramentans’ first choice for cake when it comes to celebrating everything from a baby’s first birthday to an over-the-top wedding. In that regard, it’s a victim of its own success and longevity. In my family, Freeport’s decadent three-layer fudge cake has long been the default dessert for every meaningful occasion. Still, in the many years I’ve written about Sacramento’s dining scene, it never even occurred to me to do a story on Freeport Bakery. It’s like New York Magazine doing a story on the Statue of Liberty. Everybody already knows about it, don’t they? Food writers naturally have a bias toward covering what’s new and different—what’s newsworthy. We’re always on the lookout for the Next Big Thing: a quirky new food truck, a yet-to-be-discovered ghost kitchen, a dazzling chef flying under the radar. It took these borderingon-apocalyptic COVID times to make me recognize how lucky we are to have a place like Freeport Bakery in Sacramento. As I watch businesses struggle to survive dur-


Cookies and treats in the pastry case

ing the pandemic, I’ve come to realize that nesses. When the pandemic hit last spring, we can’t take anything for granted—not the bakery’s wedding cake and special even the fact that a beloved operation like events business evaporated overnight. Freeport Bakery will always be with us. People weren’t buying a lot of fruit basket In 1987, Marlene and Walter Goetzeler cakes or Boston cream tortes, either. “I were living in San Diego when they travwas scared, so scared,” Goetzeler recalls. eled to Sacramento to visit friends and The couple applied for federal PPP funds spied a tiny bakery for sale on Freeport and dipped into savings to keep the bakery afloat. Boulevard. Walter had grown up in BaWhen things started to return to norvaria, where he’d worked in his parents’ bakery and trained as a baker. The couple mal (or, rather, normal-ish), Goetzeler decided to take a chance on the bakery, decided the bakery needed to find a new and on Sacramento. Walter niche for these crazy times: IT TOOK THESE BORDERINGdid the baking; Marlene helping people celebrate ON-APOCALYPTIC COVID TIMES tiny wins and simple pleahandled the business and TO MAKE ME RECOGNIZE HOW oversaw guerrilla marketing sures. “Your child ties his LUCKY WE ARE TO HAVE A stunts like bringing Danish PLACE LIKE FREEPORT BAKERY shoe for the first time—get pastry samples to commuta cookie,” she says. “Every IN SACRAMENTO. WE CAN’T ers as they waited for the TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED. day, there’s some little light rail train across the thing you can celebrate. street. By the early ’90s, the bakery was Now the focus is on celebrating just sweeping local “Best Bakery” awards with getting your laundry done.” its cakes, cookies, pies and breads. As the holidays draw near and the panFreeport Bakery was never the trendiest demic persists, Goetzeler is adjusting to bakery in town. If you wanted labneh the fact that big parties are not in the cheesecake or chai lavender macarons, cards this year. Instead of a gingerbread you went somewhere else. But over the house, she’s planning to sell a DIY ginyears, the bakery grew and consolidated gerbread house kit. Holiday cupcakes will while managing to stay both consistent come “naked” so kids can decorate them and relevant. In 2016, the bakery created on their own. a gender-bending Ken doll cake—a twist But it’s a pretty good bet that customers on the classic Barbie doll cake—at a cuswill still come to Freeport Bakery for tomer’s request. When Goetzeler posted pumpkin pie, Yule log cakes and egg bread a photo of the cake on Facebook, it went shaped like Santa. Pandemic or no panviral, attracting a small amount of homo- demic, cake makes life a little sweeter. phobic vitriol and much greater support from all over the world. She printed TFREEPORT BAKERY shirts that read “More cake, less hate.” But COVID has managed to shake the 2966 Freeport Blvd.; (916) 442-4256 foundations of even the strongest


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Pumpkin cheesecake

Walter and Marlene Goetzeler

Lemon cooler cake

debbi e cu n n i ngh a m

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Mixed berry pie

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Food & Drink

When Takeout Bites

Pip Pip Hooray! Amy Grabish was in high school when she learned that a friend’s mom called her a pip—not exactly a term of endearment as far as she was concerned. So it was a bit of a clapback when Grabish opened The Pip Wine Bar & Shop in downtown Dixon in March. “A pip is the seed you find in a grape, so it was only fitting,” says Grabish. For Grabish, wine was a calling she couldn’t ignore. “My parents would ask me, ‘Why wine?’ I told them I have the rest of my life to have a desk job.” She worked in wine sales and marketing on the East Coast for several years before putting down roots in California in 2003. Grabish admits she hadn’t heard of Dixon until she started dating the man who’s now her husband, who owned a home there. She eventually moved to the tight-knit community while continuing “MY SELECTION IS NOT to sell wine to fine restaurants and local PREDOMINANTLY FROM ANY ONE shops around the region. But the long work COUNTRY. MY GOAL IS TO HAVE A commutes were wearing on her. NICE BALANCE,” INCLUDING BOTTLES “I loved my job and my customers, but FROM GREECE, HUNGARY, SLOVENIA, being on the road and putting 200 miles on PORTUGAL AND SOUTH AFRICA. the car in a day was getting old,” she says. As Grabish observed more and more people move to Dixon from the East Bay and elsewhere, she saw an opportunity. “The more I thought about downtown Dixon, I realized it was going somewhere.” While The Pip’s wine bar is temporarily closed due to the pandemic, the shop, which offers delivery, caters to customers who appreciate what Grabish describes as a “groovy selection” of wines that shoppers won’t find at Costco. “My selection is not predominantly from any one country,” she says. “My goal is to have a nice balance,” including bottles from Greece, Hungary, Slovenia, Portugal and South Africa. Launching a new business days before the stay-at-home order was issued wasn’t ideal, but Grabish has capitalized on the opportunity to cultivate relationships with her wine shop clientele. “I’m able to focus on customer service. They can tell me what they like and don’t like,” she explains. “Even though some of these relationships are virtual, it’s really nice to be able to chitchat with people about wine and food.”—CATHERINE WARMERDAM


Top: Rena Nicole Photography

Amy Grabish

Is there a wrong way to do takeout? Some restaurateurs say yes. The issue involves third-party apps—think Postmates, Grubhub, DoorDash and the like—that provide convenience to customers but don’t always give restaurants a fair shake. “My particular issue with these apps is that we have not provided permission to partner with them,” says Clay Nutting, owner of Canon, the upscale East Sacramento restaurant that has pivoted to doing a brisk takeout business in the wake of the pandemic. “Our restaurant is better suited for a different type of service than the third-party apps can provide.” Nutting detailed how certain apps post outdated menus, leaving customers and delivery drivers in the lurch. The restaurant is then burdened with explaining to the driver—who often shows up unannounced to place an order—that it is unable to fulfill the request. The restaurant might then get dinged with a negative review for something that was completely out of its control. “It creates a customer experience that is not one that we invited,” explains Nutting. There’s also the issue of commission. The app companies take a sizable bite out of every sale, sometimes to the tune of 30% of the bill. That’s a huge cut in an industry known for its slim profit margins. “Some consumers don’t realize how much of a commission these apps are taking from restaurants,” says Nutting. “There are people out there wanting delivery but don’t know that it could be hurting a business.” That’s not to say delivery apps are always a bad thing. “I think third-party apps are a perfect solution for many restaurants,” says Nutting. “If the restaurant wants more delivery business and they think something like Postmates is a good market for them, then that’s the price that they pay.” So where does that leave diners who want to enjoy chicken curry on a Wednesday night without the aftertaste of a guilty conscience? Nutting says ordering directly from the restaurant, either by phone or a platform on their website, is the answer. “If you order through those restaurants directly and pick up curbside, you are likely helping that business immensely.”—Catherine Warmerdam


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

1110 T ST. SACRAMENTO | 916.822.4665 River Park

5489 CARLSON DR. | 916.993.8942


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

ARDEN ARCADE ABYSSINIA ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT If you can’t decide on one of the Ethiopian stews, opt for a grand sampler that includes four different stews, along with spicy lentils, split peas, collard greens and cabbage. 1346 Fulton Ave.; (916) 481-1580. L–D. Ethiopian. $$ DUBPLATE KITCHEN & JAMAICAN CUISINE One of the few places in Sacramento where you can get Caribbean food, this restaurant serves Jamaican specialties such as curry goat and jerk chicken. 3419 El Camino Ave.; (916) 339-6978; dubplatekitchencui L–D. Jamaican. $$ LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY Go for the ice cream, all made on the premises and used in shakes, malts and sundaes. 2333 Arden Way; (916) 920-8382; L–D. Sandwiches/ice cream. $ TEXAS WEST BAR-B-QUE This no-frills establishment serves slow wood-cooked meat in big portions. Dig into the tender Western-style pork spareribs and beef brisket or the smoky chicken. 1600 Fulton Ave.; (916) 483-7427; L–D. Barbecue. $–$$

BROADWAY 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. $

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

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

CARMICHAEL D’MILLER’S FAMOUS BBQ Ribs, hotlinks, tri-tip and more are served with traditional accompaniments such as cornbread, coleslaw and baked beans. The food, simple and hearty, arrives on disposable plates


Petey’s fried chicken from South at this casual eatery. 7305 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 974-1881. L–D. Barbecue. $$ MARK & MONICA’S FAMILY PIZZA The pizzas here are belly filling and hearty. 4751 Manzanita Ave.; (916) 487-1010; L–D. Pizza. $$ MATTEO’S PIZZA & BISTRO The menu is compact, and there’s no skimping on first-rate ingredients. The pizza crust is damned good, attaining that chewycrispy-airy trifecta. You also can order pasta, steak or a burger. 5132 Arden Way; (916) 779-0727; pizza L–D. Pizza/American. $$

DAVIS BURGERS AND BREW The casual, publike restaurant uses high-quality, locally sourced ingredients and serves an interesting selection of beers and ales. 1409 R St.; (916) 442-0900; L–D. Burgers. $ CREPEVILLE This bustling creperie serves many variations on the crepe theme, from entrée to dessert. 330 Third St.; (530) 750-2400. B–L–D. Crepes. $


THE HOTDOGGER A well-loved Davis institution, The Hotdogger dishes up a delectable assortment of frankfurters and sausages. 129 E St.; (530) 753-6291; L–D. Hot dogs. $

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; pangaeabier L–D. American. $$

OSTERIA FASULO This restaurant has a beautiful outdoor courtyard bordered by trellised grapevines and punctuated by leafy trees strung with tiny lights. The menu is proudly Italian, with wonderful pastas and robust meat dishes. 2657 Portage Bay East; (530) 758-1324; L–D. Italian. $$$–$$$$

Gabriel Teague

REAL PIE COMPANY Here, you’ll find the pies of your dreams, made with all-butter crusts and seasonal fruit sourced from local farms. In addition to dessert pies such as jumbleberry and butterscotch banana cream, you can order savory pot pies, shepherd’s pies and dishes like mac and cheese. 2425 24th St.; (916) 8384007; L–D. American. $


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2021 FIVE STAR WEALTH MANAGERS Who will be named? Find out in a special section inside the March issue. To share your opinion, go to


Michael A. Yee YEE LAW GROUP, INC. 4010 S. Land Park Drive, Suite B, Sacramento CA 95822 1024 Iron Point Road, Suite 1008 Folsom, CA 95630 919 Reserve Drive, Roseville CA 95678 PH: (916) 927-9001 | FX: (916) 927-900 Attorney Michael Yee is a descendent of Sacramento pioneers and a long line of professionals serving the community. His great-great grandfather, herbalist Dr. Wah Hing (born Yee Fung Cheung), arrived in California during the Gold Rush. Michael’s grandfather, retired dentist & long-time Land Park resident Herbert Yee was a commercial real estate investor, community leader and the official dentist for the staff of two governors—Pat Brown and Ronald Reagan. Michael chose the legal field to better serve his family’s commercial property investments and help families looking for legal expertise in estate planning. Michael enjoys sitting down with families to educate them on the benefits of having an estate plan in place and guide those who’ve lost loved ones as they navigate the process of probate.

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

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

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

DOWNTOWN BRASSERIE CAPITALE Owned by the family behind midtown’s Aïoli Bodega Española and The Grand wine bar, this beautifully designed restaurant is based on a traditional French brasserie. The menu hits the high points of the brasserie canon, everything from onion soup to steak frites. 1201 K St.; (916) 329-8033; L–D. French. $$–$$$ BURGERS AND BREW For description, see listing under “Davis.” 1409 R St.; (916) 442-0900; burgers L–D. Burgers. $ CAFE BERNARDO The menu offers straightforward fare guaranteed to please just about everyone. Breakfast includes huevos rancheros and eggs Bernardo, drizzled with hollandaise sauce. Lunch and dinner feature chewy-crusted pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and substantial entrées such as pan-seared chicken breast with mashed potatoes. 1431 R St.; (916) 9309191; B–L–D. New American. $ CAFETERIA 15L Go to Cafeteria 15L for modern, approachably priced comfort food in a casual yet stylish environment. The menu emphasizes fun fare, such as mac ’n’ cheese, truffle tater tots, and fried chicken and waffle with gravy and pecan butter. 1116 15th St.; (916) 492-1960; L–D. Californian. $$ CAMDEN SPIT & LARDER Highly regarded chef Oliver Ridgeway’s swank brasserie appeals to lobbyists, lawyers and legislators with its gin-forward cocktails, and has a menu that’s an interesting mash-up of British chop-house classics, English schoolboy favorites and elevated pub fare. 555 Capitol Mall; (916) 619-8897; L–D. Steakhouse. $$$–$$$$ ECHO & RIG Located in the lobby of The Sawyer hotel, this outpost of a Vegas steakhouse is sleek and unstuffy. In addition to standard cuts like filet, NY steak and rib-eye, you’ll find butcher cuts such as hanger, bavette, skirt and tri-tip. 500 J St.; (877) 678-6255; B–L–D–Br. Steakhouse. $$$ FOX & GOOSE PUBLIC HOUSE This tavern plates up some of the best breakfasts in town, along with pub staples like beer-battered fish and chips, a Cornish pasty or Welsh rarebit. 1001 R St.; (916) 443-8825; B–L–D. English pub. $ FRANK FAT’S Downtown Sacramento’s oldest restaurant, Fat’s is a favorite of the Capitol crowd. The restaurant is well known for its steaks—especially Frank’s Style New York Steak—and its brandy-fried chicken. This is Chinese cuisine at its most sophisticated. 806 L St.; (916) 442-7092; fatsrestaurants. com. L–D. Chinese. $$$


Grange’s burger GRANGE RESTAURANT & BAR Located in The Citizen Hotel, Grange proves that a hotel restaurant doesn’t have to be pedestrian. The menu changes frequently and spotlights some of the area’s best producers. At dinner, the ambience in the stunning dining room is seductive and low-lit. 926 J St.; (916) 492-4450; B–L–Br. Californian/American. $$$$ MAGPIE CAFE This restaurant has a casual, unassuming vibe, and its hallmark is clean, simple fare that tastes like the best version of itself. 1601 16th St.; (916) 452-7594; B–L–D. Californian. $$ 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 squash. You can also get Latin-flavored rice bowls, salads and starters. 1800 15th St.; L–D–Br. Mexican. $$ MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR This hip sushi bar serves its sushi with a side of sass. There are three sushi bars and a dense menu of appetizers, rice bowls, bento boxes and sushi rolls. 1530 J St.; (916) 447-2112; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$ PUBLIC HOUSE Belly up to the bar, where you can watch sports on multiple TV screens or gab with the bartender. Order a giant Bavarian pretzel or pulled pork nachos, topped with pickled jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, guacamole and sour cream. 1132 16th St.; (916) 446-0888; L–D–Br. American. $$ TIGER This casual, late-night hangout serves casual salads, sandwiches, burgers and bowls, along with a

nice selection of craft cocktails. 722 K St.; (916) 3829610; L–D–Br. $$ URBAN ROOTS BREWING & SMOKEHOUSE At this casual brewery, a massive smoker turns out succulent meats—brisket, ribs, turkey and sausage—in the tradition of the great barbecue houses of Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee. Sides include collard greens, mac and cheese, yams and poblano cheese grits. Sit indoors or out at long picnic tables. 1322 V St.; (916) 706-3741; L–D. Barbecue. $$ ZIA’S DELICATESSEN For description, see listing under Davis. 1401 O St.; (916) 441-3354; ziasdeli. com. L. Deli. $

EAST SACRAMENTO CANON With Michelin-starred chef Brad Cecchi at the helm, this chic restaurant offers an ambitious menu of globally inspired sharable plates. Much of the menu is vegetarian, vegan or gluten free, but you can also order from a selection of hearty meat, poultry and fish dishes. 1719 34th St.; (916) 469-2433; canoneastsac. com. Global/New American. D–Br. $$$–$$$$ CELESTIN’S Gumbo is the signature dish at this charming, minuscule restaurant specializing in Creole and Cajun cuisine. It comes in six varieties, including chicken, vegetarian and seafood. But the pièce de resistance is the namesake Celestin’s gumbo, chock-full of chicken, sea scallops, wild shrimp, rock cod and sausage. 3610 McKinley Blvd.; (916) 2584060; L–D. Cajun/Creole. $$ CLUBHOUSE 56 This is your classic sports bar, serving burgers, sandwiches and apps such as tacos and jalapeño poppers. The place is dark, casual and convivial,


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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; milestone L–D–Br. New American. $$–$$ RELISH BURGER BAR This burger place offers so many enticing choices, it’s hard to avoid order paralysis. We’ll make it easy on you: Get the teriyaki burger, embellished with slices of grilled pineapple, fried onions and melted Swiss cheese. 1000 White Rock Road; (916) 933-3111; L–D. Burgers. $ SELLAND’S MARKET-CAFE For description, see listing under “East Sacramento.” 4370 Town Center Blvd.; (916) 932-5025; L–D–Br. Gourmet takeout. $$ SIENNA RESTAURANT A luxurious Tuscan interior features a large bar and pretty patios. The menu includes a playful melange of global cuisine, including seafood, hand-cut steaks, stone hearth pizzas, inventive appetizers and a French dip sandwich. Sunday brunch includes a made-to-order omelet bar and unlimited mimosas. 3909 Park Drive; (916) 941-9694; L–D–Br. Global. $$–$$$

ELK GROVE BOULEVARD BISTRO Located in a cozy 1908 bungalow, this bistro is one of the region’s best-kept dining secrets. Chef/owner Bret Bohlmann is a passionate supporter of local farmers and winemakers, and his innovative food sings with freshness and seasonality. 8941 Elk Grove Blvd.; (916) 685-2220; blvdbistro. com. D–Br. New American. $$–$$$

Sashimi mix from Kru Sacramento’s very own Cheers. 734 56th St.; (916) 454-5656; Br–L–D. Sports bar. $$ JUNO’S KITCHEN AND DELICATESSEN This tiny eatery serves some of the best sandwiches in town. Owner Mark Helms also offers an intriguing selection of salads and “pan” dishes such as shrimp mac ’n’ cheese. But you can’t go wrong with the smoked trout sandwich or the grilled chicken sandwich. Though there’s only a handful of tables, takeout is a tasty option. 3675 J St.; (916) 456-4522; L. Bistro. $ KRU Kru turns out exciting Japanese fare, and there’s a craft cocktail bar, outdoor patios and an omakase bar. 3135 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 551-1559; krurestaurant. com. L–D. Japanese. $$$–$$$$ THE MIMOSA HOUSE This small local chain offers a comprehensive lineup of breakfast fare: omelets, scrambles, Benedicts, crepes, waffles, burritos and, of course, mimosas. The lunch/dinner menu is similarly broad, with burgers, salads, grilled sandwiches and Mexican “street food.” 5641 J St.; (916) 400-4084; B–L–D. American. $$ OBO’ ITALIAN TABLE & BAR This beautiful Italian eatery is casual yet efficiently run. There are hot dishes and cold salads, ready for the taking, but the stars of the menu are the freshly made pastas and woodoven pizzas. There’s also a full bar serving Italiantheme craft cocktails. 3145 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 8228720; L–D. Italian. $$ ONESPEED Chef Rick Mahan, who built his stellar reputation at The Waterboy in midtown, branched out with a more casual concept at his East Sac eatery. The open bistro has a tiled pizza oven that cranks out chewy, flavorful pizzas. 4818 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 706-1748; B–L–D. Pizza. $$

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 from a big smoker on the sidewalk. 4801 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 400-3075; origami L–D. Asian fusion. $–$$ SELLAND’S MARKET-CAFE For description, see listing under Broadway. 5340 H St.; (916) 736-3333; L–D–Br. Gourmet takeout. $$ STAR GINGER ASIAN GRILL AND NOODLE BAR Offering affordably priced dishes inspired by the street foods of Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore, this restaurant serves a spicy Thai chicken soup that is a delicious bargain. 3101 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 231-8888; L–D. Pan-Asian. $

EL DORADO HILLS C. KNIGHT’S STEAKHOUSE An upscale dinner house serving steaks, chops and seafood, this restaurant offers classic American fare that’s stood the test of time. Make sure to order the Green Phunque, a tasty side dish that’s like creamed spinach on steroids. 2085 Vine St.; (916) 235-1730; cknightsteakhouse. com. D. American steakhouse. $$$$ EARLY TOAST MIMOSA HOUSE This local chain offers a comprehensive lineup of breakfast fare: omelets, Benedicts, crepes, waffles, burritos and, of course, mimosas. The lunch/dinner menu is similarly broad, with burgers, salads, grilled sandwiches and Mexican “street food.” 2023 Vine St., El Dorado Hills; (916) 934-0965; B–L–D. American. $$ MILESTONE This unstuffy eatery serves great takes

LEATHERBY’S FAMILY CREAMERY For description, see listing under “Arden Arcade.” 8238 Laguna Blvd.; (916) 691-3334; L–D. Sandwiches/ice cream. $ MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 8525 Bond Road; (916) 714-2112; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$ THAI CHILI This plain restaurant offers an entire menu just for vegetarians, plus interesting meat and fish dishes. 8696 Elk Grove Blvd.; (916) 714-3519; L–D. Thai. $$

FAIR OAKS MIKUNI JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 4323 Hazel Ave.; (916) 961-2112; L–D. Japanese/sushi. $$ SUNFLOWER DRIVE IN This casual spot serves healthful, wholesome vegetarian and vegan fare. Faves include the Nutburger, the egg salad sandwich and fruit smoothies. 10344 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 9674331; L–D. Vegetarian. $

FOLSOM BACK BISTRO A warm pocket of coziness and urban sophistication in a retail center, this place offers an appealing menu of casual nibbles and swankier entrées. But it’s the wine program that really knocks this charming little bistro out of the park. 230 Palladio Parkway, Suite 1201; (916) 986-9100; backbis D. New American/Mediterranean. $$–$$$ CHICAGO FIRE Oodles of melted cheese blanket the pizzas that fly out of the kitchen of this busy restauSACMAG.COM November 2020

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Restaurants rant. Here, you get to choose between thin-crust, deep-dish and stuffed pizzas. 310 Palladio Parkway; (916) 984-0140; L –D. Pizza. $ FAT’S ASIA BISTRO AND DIM SUM BAR This menu at this glamorous restaurant focuses on Asian cuisine, from Mongolian beef and Hong Kong chow mein to Thai chicken satay served with a fiery curry-peanut sauce. 2585 Iron Point Road; (916) 983-1133; fats L–D. Pan-Asian. $$ LAND OCEAN The menu hits all the steakhouse high notes: hand-cut steaks, lobster, seafood and rotisserie, entrée salads and sandwiches. 2720 E. Bidwell St.; (916) 983-7000; L–D–Br. New American/steakhouse. $$$ SCOTT’S SEAFOOD GRILL & BAR This restaurant offers a solid menu of delicious seafood, from crab cakes and calamari to roasted lobster tail. 9611 Greenback Lane; (916) 989-6711; L–D. Seafood. $$$–$$$$ THAI PARADISE Standouts on the extensive menu include spring rolls, tom kha koong (coconut milk soup with prawns), green curry, spicy scallops and pad thai. Try the fried banana with ice cream for dessert. 2770 E. Bidwell St.; (916) 984-8988; thai L–D. Thai. $$

GARDEN HIGHWAY CRAWDADS ON THE RIVER This riverfront restaurant draws crowds looking for a great place to party on the water during warm-weather months. Boats pull up to the restaurant’s deck, where you can sip a cocktail, and roll-up doors blur the line between indoors and out. The Cajun-inspired menu includes fish tacos and several fun entrées. 1375 Garden Highway; (916) 929-2268; L–D–Br. Cajun/American. $$ THE VIRGIN STURGEON This quirky floating restaurant is the quintessential Sacramento River dining experience. Best known for its seafood, The Virgin Sturgeon also offers weekend brunch. 1577 Garden Highway; (916) 921-2694; L–D–Br. Seafood/American. $$


Banana cream pie from Fat’s Asia Bistro and Dim Sum Bar Blvd.; (916) 448-9988; L–D– Br. American/New American. $$ TAYLOR’S KITCHEN Step inside the cozy space and you’ll notice the focal point is an open kitchen where the chefs prepare meats and produce sold at Taylor’s Market next door. 2924 Freeport Blvd.; (916) 4435154; D–Br. American. $$$

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



BRODERICK MIDTOWN This midtown outpost of West Sac’s divey Broderick Roadhouse serves the same fare, but in slightly nicer digs. The menu is dominated by burgers. Wings, fries and beer round out the bro-friendly menu. 1820 L St.; (916) 469-9720; L–D–Br. Burgers. $$

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; scottssea 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 rib-eye, served over potatoes roasted in the meat’s fat, is meant to be shared. So is the pizza, thin, flat and seductively charred from the wood-burning pizza oven. 1701 R St.; (916) 244-4016; L–D–Br. American. $$$

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


CREPEVILLE For description, see listing under “Davis.” 1730 L St.; (916) 444-1100. B–L–D. Crepes. $

RIVERSIDE CLUBHOUSE The busy kitchen focuses on a solid menu of American classics. Beautifully designed, the restaurant features a stunning outdoor waterfall and a tri-level fireplace. 2633 Riverside

ERNESTO’S MEXICAN FOOD This midtown favorite offers robust Mexican fare in an exuberantly cheerful environment. 1901 16th St.; (916) 441-5850; L–D. Mexican. $


THE GOLDEN BEAR Remember the adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Keep it in mind when you come here. You may have to wave cigarette smoke away from your face as you cross the patio, and you might even have to dodge a leashless dog to get in the door. But once inside the dim bar, you’ll find a surprisingly sophisticated menu. 2326 K St.; (916) 441-2242; L–D–Br. Gastropub. $$ HAWKS PUBLIC HOUSE At this sophisticated gastropub, the menu includes beautifully executed dishes like country pâté and baked rigatoni. The pastas are made in-house, and even the burger is top-notch. 1525 Alhambra Blvd.; (916) 588-4440; hawkspublic L–D–Br. Mediterranean gastropub. $$$ HOOK & LADDER MANUFACTURING COMPANY Located in a Quonset hut, this restaurant is both hip and cozy. Despite the barlike ambience, Hook & Ladder is serious about food. All the pastas and desserts are made in-house. 1630 S St.; (916) 442-4885; L–D–Br. Californian. $$ INK EATS & DRINKS Drop by this hip lounge for a first-rate meal. The kitchen whips up some of the best huevos rancheros in town, and the restaurant stays open late. 2730 N St.; (916) 456-2800; inkeats. com. L–D–Br. New American. $ KUPROS This fun gastropub is housed in a beautifully renovated 1910 Craftsman building. Belly up to the ground-floor bar for a pint of beer, or head upstairs for a seat in the dining room or the outdoor balcony, where you can tuck into fare such as steak frites or pot roast. 1217 21st St.; (916) 440-0401; kuproscraft L–D–Br. New American/gastropub. $$ LOCALIS This upscale restaurant is a pleasant surprise. Localis (Latin for “local”) is a dinner-only


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TANK HOUSE This midtown ’cue joint offers a limited menu of ribs, brisket and sides along with a thoughtful selection of craft beers. 1925 J St.; (916) 431-7199; L–D. Barbecue. $ TAPA THE WORLD The dark space is packed practically every night. The best seats are along the windows that look out onto J Street—perfect for people-watching as you savor classic tapas along with a Spanish cava or tempranillo from the lengthy, exciting wine list. 2115 J St.; (916) 442-4353; L–D. Spanish/tapas. $$ THE WATERBOY This Mediterranean-inspired restaurant produces perhaps the finest cooking in the region. Chef/owner Rick Mahan honors local farmers with his commitment to simply prepared, high-caliber food. You can’t go wrong if you order one of the lovely salads, followed by the gnocchi, ravioli or a simple piece of fish, finished with butter and fresh herbs. You’ll also find French classics such as veal sweetbreads and pomme frites. 2000 Capitol Ave.; (916) 498-9891; L–D. Mediterranean. $$$$ ZELDA’S ORIGINAL GOURMET PIZZA Zelda’s is legendary for the greatness of its pizza and its attitude. But that’s part of Zelda’s charm, along with the dark, dingy atmosphere. It’s all about the food: old-school, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza that routinely wins “best pizza” in local polls. 1415 21st St.; (916) 447-1400; L–D. Pizza/Italian. $$ ZÓCALO This Mexican restaurant is one of the best places to while away an evening with friends over margaritas, and 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. $$

Debbie Cunningham

The Rind’s large cheese plate


restaurant with a tiny, inventive menu of ingredientdriven dishes. Chef Christopher Barnum-Dann works with local farms to source most of the menu within 100 miles. 2031 S St.; (916) 737-7699; localissacra D. 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. $$

LOWBRAU BIERHALLE This chic yet casual watering hole serves house-made sausages, duck fat fries and stand-out beers. Long communal tables make for an experience that’s noisy and convivial. 1050 20th St.; (916) 706-2636; L–D–Br. Beer hall. $

RICK’S DESSERT DINER This diner has a playful ’50s vibe, with red booths and a jukebox. The ever-present line of customers in front of the display case can make it difficult to see the mind-boggling assortment of sweets. 2401 J St.; (916) 444-0969; ricksdessert Dessert. $

LUCCA RESTAURANT AND BAR The popular restaurant serves an eclectic, Mediterranean-inspired menu. The food is flavorful and prettily presented. Start with a plate of the fabulous zucchini chips, which are hot, salty and addictive. 1615 J. St.; (916) 669-5300; L–D. Mediterranean. $$

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. $$

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

SAIGON ALLEY KITCHEN + BAR This hip restaurant and bar serves modern versions of Vietnamese street food, such as a “Pho-rench” dip and a “banh mi” burger. A big draw is the happy hour, featuring snacks like banh mi tacos, fish sauce chicken wings, taro fries and sugarcane shrimp for $3 each. 1801 L St.; (916) 758-6934; L–D. Vietnamese. $$

THE FIREHOUSE For 60 years, this has been Sacramento’s go-to restaurant for romantic atmosphere and historic charm. 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; firehouseold L–D. Californian/American. $$$$

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

SAMPINO’S TOWNE FOODS This old-world Italian gem is part market, part deli, part restaurant. Everything’s prepared on the premises, from fresh pastas and sauces to sausages made in a handcranked grinder. 1607 F St.; (916) 441-2372; face L–D. Italian. $$

PILOTHOUSE Housed in the history-steeped Delta King riverboat, this is one of the most romantic restaurants in the city. On Sundays, it puts on one of the prettiest champagne brunches around. 1000 Front St.; (916) 441-4440; B–L–Br. 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. $

RIO CITY CAFE Located on the riverbank, the bustling restaurant offers stunning views of Tower Bridge. The menu changes seasonally and offers a wide selection

THE PORCH RESTAURANT AND BAR The menu here is built on a core of Lowcountry staples and Southern fare: shrimp po’ boy, crawfish, fried chicken, and smoked brisket. 1815 K St.; (916) 444-2423; the L–D–Br. Southern. $$

FIXINS SOUL KITCHEN This bustling place, partly owned by former mayor Kevin Johnson, serves up friendly Southern hospitality along with delicious Southern fare, including chicken and waffles, gumbo, fried catfish, and shrimp and grits. 3428 Third Ave.; (916); 999-7685. B–L–D–Br. Southern. $$ LA VENADITA This inviting, casual taqueria has a concise menu that includes inventive street tacos, a brightly flavored ceviche and an enchilada with rich mole sauce. It also boasts a full bar and an enticing menu of craft cocktails. 3501 Third Ave.; (916) 4004676; L–D. Mexican. $$


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Restaurants Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (Requester Publications Only) 1. Publication Title

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of creative, solid dishes. 1110 Front St.; (916) 4428226; L–D–Br. New American. $$

1182 Roseville Parkway; (916) 788-0303; zocalosac L–D–Br. Mexican. $$



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

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

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

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

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HEYDAY CAFE The restaurant’s lunch menu offers salads, pizzas and sandwiches. Dinner entrées range from a coffee-glazed pork chop to citrus-marinated chicken. 325 Main St.; (530) 626-9700; heydaycafe. com. L–D. New American. $$–$$$ THE INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT AND BAR The atmosphere here is lively and convivial, both indoors and on the patio. The kitchen takes traditional dishes such as Southern fried chicken and gives them a twist. 629 Main St.; (530) 344-7645; independent L–D. New American. $$–$$$

POCKET/GREENHAVEN CACIO This tiny restaurant serves high-quality Italian comfort food with an emphasis on pasta. Service is warm, prices are gentle, and reservations (even at lunch) are a must. 7600 Greenhaven Drive; (916) 399-9309; L–D. Italian. $$


5,399 4,451 28,941




i. Percent Paid (15c divided by 15f times 100)

RANCHO CORDOVA CATTLEMENS For description, see listing under “Dixon.” 12409 Folsom Blvd.; (916) 985-3030; cattle D. Steakhouse. $$$

ROSEVILLE CATTLEMENS For description, see listing under “Dixon.” 2000 Taylor Road; (916) 782-5587; cattle D. Steakhouse. $$$ FAT’S ASIA BISTRO AND DIM SUM BAR For description, see listing under “Folsom.” 1500 Eureka Road; (916) 787-3287; L–D. PanAsian. $$ PAUL MARTIN’S AMERICAN BISTRO The bustling, comfortable restaurant is a local favorite. The kitchen offers a great list of small plates and robust, approachable entrées. 1455 Eureka Road; (916) 7833600; L–D–Br. New American. $$–$$$ P.F. CHANG’S CHINA BISTRO The extensive menu offers dishes whose origins spring from many regions in China but that reflect a California sensibility. 1180 Galleria Blvd.; (916) 788-2800; L–D. Chinese. $$ RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE This swanky dinner house serves some of the tastiest meat in town. Don’t miss the cowboy rib-eye or the fork-tender filet mignon. 1185 Galleria Blvd.; (916) 780-6910; ruths D. Steakhouse. $$$$ ZÓCALO For description, see listing under “Midtown.”


PIATTI Muted colors and dark wood provide a comfortable, contemporary vibe. The culinary focus is on Italian cuisine with an American influence. The menu includes delightful variations on Italian staples—margherita, pesto or roasted chicken pizzas; ravioli, pappardelle and fettuccine pasta dishes. 571 Pavilions Lane; (916) 649-8885; mento. L–D. Italian/American. $$ ROXY RESTAURANT AND BAR From the cowhide booths to the sparkling light fixtures in the bar, Roxy is a class act that happens to also serve chili and fried chicken. The innovative New American menu is seasonal and locally focused, with many of the ingredients sourced from area farms and ranches. 2381 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 489-2000; roxyrestaurantandbar. com. L–D–Br. American/Californian/steakhouse. $$

8,017 7,137 23,543

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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. Pan-Asian. $$$

RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE For description, see listing under “Roseville.” 501 Pavilions Lane; (916) 286-2702; L (Fridays only)–D. Steakhouse. $$$$ WILDWOOD RESTAURANT & BAR This chic restaurant serves New American and global cuisine, with naan, ahi poke and rock shrimp risotto sharing the menu with an all-American burger. The spacious patio is a great place to grab a drink and listen to live music. 556 Pavilions Lane; (916) 922-2858; wild L–D–Br. American/global fusion. $$$ ZINFANDEL GRILLE Open for more than two decades, Zinfandel Grille is an enduring dining favorite, serving wood-fired pizzas, pasta, fish and other Mediterranean entrées. 2384 Fair Oaks Blvd.; (916) 4857100; L–D. New American. $$$

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

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


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

TAHOE PARK 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. $$

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

WEST SACRAMENTO BRODERICK ROADHOUSE Burgers rule at this appealingly scruffy bar/restaurant. In addition to the juicy beef burgers, there’s also a selection of more avant-garde versions, including the duck burger. 319 Sixth St.; (916) 372-2436; L–D–Br. Burgers. $ BURGERS AND BREW For description, see listing under “Downtown.” 317 Third St., (530) 572-0909; L–D. Burgers. $ DRAKE’S: THE BARN Located in an indoor-outdoor structure along the river, Drake’s serves thin-crust pizzas, along with a few salads and appetizers. You can get table service indoors or on the patio. But if you prefer something more casual, grab a lawn chair, find a spot at the sprawling outdoor taproom and order a pizza to go. It’s fun galore, with kids, dogs, fire pits and a tap trailer serving beer. 985 Riverfront St.; (510) 423-0971; L–D. Pizza. $$ LA CROSTA PIZZA BAR From the people behind The Rind in midtown Sacramento, this casual pizza joint serves first-rate pies baked in a wood-burning oven, along with inventive flatbread sandwiches and a small selection of Italian entrées. 330 Third St.; (916) 3890372; L–D–Br. Pizza. $$–$$ Subscription rates: $18 for one year, U.S. only. All out-of-state subscribers add $3 per year. Single copies: $4.95. Change of address: Please send your new address and your old address mailing label. Allow six to eight weeks’ advance notice. Send all remittances and requests to Sacramento Magazine, 5750 New King Drive, Suite 100, Troy, MI 48098. Customer service inquiries: Call (866) 660-6247. Copyright 2020 by Sacramento Media LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. Prices quoted in advertisements are subject to change without notice. Sacramento Magazine (ISSN 0747-8712) Volume 46, Number 11, November 2020. Sacramento Magazine (ISSN 0747-8712) is published monthly by Sacramento Media, LLC, 231 Lathrop Way, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95815. Periodical postage paid at Troy, MI and additional offices. Postmaster: Send change of address to Sacramento Magazine, 5750 New King Dr., Suite 100, Troy, MI 48098

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Retail Madness!


THRONGS OF SHOPPERS ATTENDED the Oct. 20, 1989 grand opening of Nordstrom at Arden

Fair, as seen in this Sacramento Bee photo by Jay Mather. That same day, the mall unveiled a second story, but Nordstrom clearly stole the show, with a Sacramento Bee article calling it “the crown jewel of the remodeled Arden Fair.” This past May, Nordstrom announced the store, which in March had temporarily closed along with the rest of the mall due to the pandemic, would not reopen.—DARLENA BELUSHIN MCKAY

Center for Sacramento History, Sacramento Bee Collection, 1983/001/SBPM02191



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