Though all the food at Nola's is modeled after the Cajun and Creole cuisine of the Big Easy, the restaurant?s housemade ingredients give it a personalized spin. Chefs toss fried wings in a special tangy hot sauce, serve popcorn shrimp with a signature honey-chipotle sauce, coat 10-ounce catfish fillets with a special blend of seasonings, and cook fried chicken for 20 minutes.
When it comes to classic dishes such as jambalaya, the cooks approach from various angles, adding shirmp and crab claws to create a seafood version. For vegetarians, they've come up with a version that uses tofu sausage and fresh veggies. Rounding out the jambalaya variations, there is also a breakfast jambalaya souffl?, for those who love breakfast at all hours of the day. For lunch, they specialize in shrimp, oyster, and catfish po' boys, which are drenched in a cornmeal-and-flour batter, fried, and served with housemade roasted-garlic tartar sauce.
To complement feasts, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails, including a tequila-and-watermelon-juice blend called the Witch Doctor, inspired by the witch doctor that lives on the roof. Beneath the chandeliers and wooden beams of the rustic dining room, meals unfold as live musicians serenade diners with the sounds of New Orleans?style blues and jazz.
The bottle service and decadent cuisine attract their own legions of fans, but U-31 Bar is perhaps best known for its dance floor. That's where DJs and bands catalyze all-night parties practically every single night of the week. From Rad Karaoke Tuesdays, to live sets from the likes of The Disco Villains and Audrey Napoleon, U-31's agenda book is almost always full. This affords party lovers ample opportunities to meet, mingle, show off their new club duds, and acclimate the horses they ride everywhere to the presence of strobe lights. While nocturnal revelry is U-31's specialty, many visit for the grub, such as burgers, steak fajita nachos, and deep-fried pizza. Yes, deep-fried pizza?the slice, already topped with bacon and extra-sharp Monterey, is battered and fried to order.
Rosie McCann's specializes in twists on traditional Irish fare, tweaking classic Celtic dishes and drinks in a traditional pub setting. The menu showcases plates of irish nachos, sliced spuds slathered in jack and cheddar cheeses, olives, fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and jalape?os. The Americanized version of shepherd's pie simmers grass-fed Humboldt beef and vegetables in a rich irish stock before adding a helmet of mashed potatoes au gratin. Heftier appetites can get satisfaction with bangers & mash, a Celtic take on the English classic, that douses irish sausages and garlic mashed potatoes in Guinness gravy. 10 premium imports or 4 microbrews stand ready on tap, and malt mixologists also pour specialty beer drinks such as the Black Velvet, a whistle-whetting blend of Blackthorn hard apple cider and Guinness.
The dining room echoes the colors of the Irish flag, with burnt-red walls and bright-green stained-glass windows. Guests can cozy up in plush booth seats bedecked in plaid and gaze at glass chandeliers that hang from the ceilings as they sip on mimosas or savor lunch and brunch fare.
The Name: Pisco is a Peruvian grape brandy, popularized in San Francisco for its use in sweet punches.
The Chef: James Schenk’s mother is originally from Peru, and he draws on that culture to create menus at Pisco Latin Lounge and Destino, the larger restaurant next door.
Awards and Accolades
Churrascaria: Brazilian-style barbecuing where the meat is skewered and cooked over an open flame or on a grill; the meat itself is called churrasco.
Gomme syrup: a simple-syrup-like mixture of sugar, water, and gum arabic, commonly used as a sweetener in mixed drinks.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Browse mid-century furnishings, collectibles, and apparel at Stuff (150 Valencia Street).
After: Belt out tunes at The Mint karaoke lounge (1942 Market Street).
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
Choosing a seat is the first step at 3 Fires Lounge. The jet-black bar stools give patrons the best views of the room's 52-inch, high-definition televisions. The high-top tables line a window that gazes directly out onto Capitol Park. Additionally, the space features oversized couches that invite guests to sink into their helium-filled cushions. All three of these options are available within the trendy, lounge, which was recently remodeled to have a more colorful atmosphere with more seating, beers on draught, and comfortable new patio furniture. CBS Sacramento praised the space's casual vibe and low-key ambiance, placing 3 Fires Lounge on its list of the Best Hotel Bars in Sacramento.
Although glasses of wine, pints of beer, and rounds of cocktails are all readily available for patrons hoping to relax with a drink in hand, 3 Fires Lounge also tempts diners with a menu of hearty international cooking. While the chefs incorporate recipes from across the globe, their main source of inspiration is the bounty of seasonal, locally sourced produce that is so readily available. Using these Californian ingredients, the team creates hummus with vegetables and baked pita chips, crab cake sandwiches served on sourdough bread with melted white cheddar, and grilled flatbreads topped with everything from caramelized onions, mushrooms, and goat cheese to pulled pork and honey-chipotle barbecue sauce.