Since he was 13 years old, helping his parents in the kitchen of their restaurant, Jose Silva dreamed of building a place like Flaming Grill Cafe. So when he finally got the chance, after 20 years in the restaurant industry, he wasn't about to blow it by making the same burgers everyone else does. Instead, alongside beef and sirloin patties, Chef Silva grills up antelope, elk, gator, and wild boar?guests might even find camel or llama if they arrive on the right day or accidentally wander into the desert. After sizzling over an open flame, these meats rest under a cover of bacon or avocado, creating what Sacramento News & Review's Kate Washington praised as a "big, oozing, cheesy, overstuffed lunch." To wash down such a meal, Flaming Grill serves up craft beer: drafts of Lagunitas, Knee Deep, Dogfish Head, and New Belgium.
Malabar owner John Cook has teamed up with executive chef Jose Luis Garcia to add a contemporary flair to time-honored American staples. The menu, which amalgamates influence from Asian, Latin American, and Italian traditions, and spares no expense in terms of ingredients. In order to make his culinary fusions work, chef Garcia relies on USDA Choice beef, hand-cut veggies, and made-from-scratch marinades and sauces.
Large plate-glass windows and modern hanging lights cast a buttery glow across Malabar's elegant dining room, illuminating plates filled with Louisiana-style wings, hickory-smoked pork, and rib-eye steaks cured over a wood fire. While perusing the restaurant's separate gluten-free and vegetarian menus, diners can quiz the bartender about the wine and beer selection.
The writers at CBS Sacramento must have a taste for Habesha Restaurant's spicy beef and housemade chili sauce, since they chose the eatery as one of the city's two best Ethiopian restaurants. As the outlet writes in its recommendation, many of Habesha Restaurant's traditional dishes are prepared with the Ethiopian seasoning berbere, and condiment selections include nitir kibe, a purified butter. The scope of the menu is wider than a single country, though, as it also crosses the border to Eritrean and Mediterranean territory. After indulging in beef samosas or vegetarian entrees such as the split-pea-based kirk wot, diners may surf free WiFi or order dessert via smoke signal with flavored puffs off of one of Habesha?s hookahs.
At Anatolian Table, your entree's ingredients are either grown locally or in the Mediterranean—as is the case with the royal dorado, a fish that's served whole after being lured from the Mediterranean Sea. Regardless of their origins, however, each plate is prepped in-house without any additives. Yogurts, sauces, and breads are all homemade, and meat kebabs derive their flavor from signature marinades. Traditional Turkish entrees appease both vegetarians and omnivores alike: there's vegetable guvec, a mix of veggies baked with spices in a casserole pot, as well as sucuklu pide, Turkish garlic salami served atop crispy dough. There's even a kids' menu, which features child-friendly meals such as lamb burgers and chicken fingers that merge together to give a high-five after every bite.
Recognized time and again as one of Sacramento's finest fish markets, Fins Market & Grill slaps down never-frozen filets of swordfish, salmon, mahi-mahi, and catfish. Catering to those looking to fill their own larders as well as those in search of a quick bite, the fishmongers preside over a menu of fish tacos, seafood salads and sandwiches, and hearty entrees with scalloped potatoes or rice pilaf as well as their brimming fish market. Flown in from across the country daily, the bistro's selection gives guests access to seafood freshness and diversity without the burden of living on a houseboat captained by Ernest Hemmingway.
Business was booming for Original Mels Diner in the late 60s and early 70s. The restaurant, which started in 1947, had ballooned to 40 locations across the west coast, one of which, with its neon lights and retro look, played a prominent setting in American Graffiti. In the years following the film's debut, however, the restaurant experienced hardships symbolically capped off by the sale of the very location used in the film. Since then, the diner has been slowly rebuilding itself by focusing on its original blueprint: classic American diner food and 50's nostalgia. The result is a fun atmosphere flanked with neon signs and ads for classic cars and sodas where customers can stop in for burgers, fries, milkshakes, and breakfast all day.