THE LATEST SCOOP
Keeping you informed of local food and drink news.
WRITTEN BY FRANK DOMPE
ILLUSTRATION BY GREG BRADY
Welcome to edible Sacramento’s Edible Updates column. Here, we share the latest news from our area’s restaurants and food purveyors, updates from regional agricultural producers, and more details about our burgeoning food-and-drink scene.
’Tis the season … for poke? That might sound counterintuitive, but several new spots serving the Hawaiian specialty have surfaced in the area, giving diners the option of a light counterpoint as winter menus turn toward heartier fare.
Just below the southeast corner of William Land Park, Delilah’s Market Café sets out an expansive range of island favorites with salmon, tuna, and octopus poke in nine flavors; several types of the seaweed-wrapped bundles of rice and meat known as musubi; and sandwiches that include crab, lobster, and even freshwater eel.
On Truxel Road north of I-80 in Natomas, The Poke Fix takes the contemporary approach of having diners choose a base of rice or greens beneath seafood or tofu, along with a variety of sauces and toppings, or rely on a selection of bowls crafted to house specifications. Those averse to raw fish can try the Poke Bake, which also can be made to order.
Poke Noke is one of the latest additions to The UV, the remodeled shopping center on Fair Oaks Boulevard. Scallops join the fresh-seafood roster for those opting to choose their own adventures, and six signature bowls round out the menu. Appetizers include crispy garlic chicken and vegetarian bites.
You can give Thai ice cream a whirl at Icicles on Howe Avenue near Habit Burger. The Bay Area chain’s name might suggest stalactites of frozen confection, but what the place serves is far more delicate. Each serving’s custard base is thinly poured onto a deeply chilled surface, curled into rolls, carefully garnished, and served in a cup. Flavors range from basic — including vanilla and fruit — to more interesting varieties such as cookies, cereal, and more.
In a similar vein, employees at Arctic Fox Shaved Snow and Desserts scrape thin sheets from blocks of ice cream and pile them artfully with an array of garnishes at the shop’s location on Sunrise Boulevard in Rancho Cordova. The ingredients of the shaved snows run from conventional standbys to more exotic tastes, including melon, taro, and, yes, avocado.
Doughnuts will join the ice cream at Milk Money, alongside Beast + Bounty in the Ice Blocks project on R Street. Both establishments are the work of the team behind the 20th Street hot spot LowBrau, and each will feature items created by noted pastry chef Edward Martinez. Like the restaurant it will share a wall with, the creamery will aim to make unique food approachable. Seasonal flavors will dictate the scoops’ varieties, and every day, a brioche doughnut will be offered as the flavor of the day.
How about treats so good they’re bad — BAD Bakers, that is? The first part of the name is an acronym for the bread and doughnuts that have been warmly received at the Palisades Plaza shopping center in Roseville. Sweet and savory baked goods include Spanish rolls, cookies, empanadas, and doughnuts of the cake, raised, and croissant-derived sorts. A transgressive motif pervades the menu: One doughnut is named for Breaking Bad character Walter White, and syringes loaded with fillings are on hand for those who crave added hits of flavor.
The selection of potable stimulants continues to expand in Davis. At its new tasting room on Olive Drive, Dunloe Brewing is pouring its first efforts, which include Belgian beers, a saison, and a barrel-aged sour. Across town, Super Owl Brewing is close to completing a large brewery in Westlake Plaza. The style of the beers produced primarily will include ales and Belgians.
Kathrin’s Biergarten in Rocklin is taking up the torch passed through the purchase of its location from the Black Vinyl Ale Project (formerly Boneshaker Community Brewery) by combining an enthusiasm for craft brewing with a family-friendly setting. The sample menu lists sausage, schnitzel, and pretzels, as well as currywurst, which just might be Germany’s favorite street food.
Sacramento artist Christopher Williams nabbed second-place honors during an art contest marking the 100th anniversary of salsa maker La Victoria. Williams presented art pieces celebrating Northern California culture during the dinner party held in San Francisco, earning a prize of $1,500. His artwork can be seen on his website, Theblackdavinci.com.
Elizabeth-Rose Mandalou is the first woman in Sacramento to earn the Court of Master Sommeliers’ advanced level of certification, a qualification held by only a handful of people in the area. Mandalou co-owns Woodlake Tavern and Uptown Pizza Kitchen in the Del Paso neighborhood, with her husband and business partner Deneb Williams, a former executive chef at The Firehouse in Old Sacramento. Their next venture, Allora, will concentrate on pairing seafood and wines. Its East Sacramento opening is expected in early 2018.
A new pastry chef has been appointed at The Firehouse. After years of apprenticeship at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, Ian Cornelius joined The Firehouse’s dessert team in 2014 and has worked his way to the top. Matt Azevedo also is taking a leading role, in this case at LowBrau, where he is now chef de cuisine after having acted as a co-founder to get V. Miller Meats established on Folsom Boulevard.
Winter is a time of festivity, and the many people in our region who bring us great food and drink are putting in plenty of hours to keep the party going. We live in an area full of interesting, dynamic businesses, and as you start to make your new year’s resolutions, put trying some of them at the top of your list!
Frank Dompe is a freelance writer and former McClatchy Co. editor with a longtime interest in cooking and coffee. He lives and works in Sacramento’s Alkali Flat neighborhood.