A beautiful flower and a lucky number. Looking for an auspicious beginning to life as restauranteurs, the culinary minds behind Lotus 8 combined these two elements into a name. Like its title, the restaurant's cuisine is a combination, too, blending authentic Chinese flavors with plenty of contemporary twists. Nothing here is precooked or parachuted down as a care package from the kitchen of Air Force One–chefs prepare dishes to order using fresh seasonal ingredients and less salt and oil than traditional Chinese cooking. The result is a menu packed with popular entrees, such as honey walnut shrimp, sizzling black pepper beef, and Mongolian lamb. Lotus 8 also boasts a special tasting menu with dishes crafted from the chef's secret recipes.
Burgerocity's menu evokes one ideal of hearty American grub: meaty beef patties on buttery buns, Chicago-style hot dogs topped with relish, and fries smothered in Texas chili. Each burger upholds the restaurant's strict sourcing standards, culled from 100% Hereford beef raised on a grass-and-grain vegetarian diet and free from hormones and fillers. Sides round out meals with fries hand cut from Idaho-grown spuds and shakes made with homemade chocolate ice cream. Aside from beefy burgers, the bill of fare bursts with modern takes on diner favorites, from the vegetarian Nutty Burger—made with almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds—to sandwiches with ingredients such as all-natural chicken, smoked tri-tip, or grilled pastrami.
A piping hot pocket of corn dough stuffed with tender pork and slathered with verde sauce and cheese. This is the homemade pork tamale at Felipe's Mexican Restaurant, and what a sight it is to behold. The dishes on Felipe's menu have stayed the same for the most part in its 30 years of existence. Since Paul and Adela Lee—who met while working there—took over as owners in 1988, they have updated the menu but only slightly. They also moved the original restaurant to its current location and opened another in Folsom. One thing hasn't changed, however. Crowds still come from all over to try Felipe's famous tamales and chimichangas.
The chefs at DJ’s Grill and Deli know that some of the culinary world’s greatest triumphs have been sandwiched between two slices of bread. As such, they follow suit, stacking juicy, charbroiled burger patties, deli meats, and fresh veggies into burgers, sandwiches, and cheesy melts. To pump up the flavor, they top these handhelds with a variety of toppings, such as sweet teriyaki sauce and grilled pineapple. They also serve up burger and corndog kids' meals to sate the pintsize appetites of children and retired astronauts looking to fit into their first spacesuits.
Smashburger isn't just the name?it's the way chefs, otherwise known as Burger Smashers, cook every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. Each slab is then sandwiched in an artisan bun and is turned into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market.
This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the restaurant does, from blending handspun shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded from one restaurant in 2007 to 220 today, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.
The chefs at Sushi Unlimited combine their eye for artistry with fresh ingredients to create sushi rolls and hearty entrees. Their signature rolls pay homage to elements of nature as well as local sports teams. For instance, chefs pack the Raiders roll with deep-fried shrimp and spicy tuna before hacking it into pieces with a cutlass and serving it on a wooden plank. As for traditional cooked dishes, the culinary team charbroils fresh salmon steaks for teriyaki plates and deep-fries tempura-style shrimp and vegetables.
At the Davis location, a red accent wall behind the bar vivifies the selection of Japanese sake and beer. The Folsom restaurant boasts a marble-topped sushi bar and wooden columns painted in a whimsical purple. Dotted with flat-screen televisions, the Roseville location has a casual vibe.