Best of Sacramento 2007



Regional Winery

• Bogle Vineyards

2. Boeger Winery
3. Renwood Winery
Runners-Up: Frasinetti Winery, Lava Cap Winery, Villa Toscano

Place To Order a Martini

• Bandera
2. The Firehouse
3. Morton’s, The Steakhouse
Runners-Up: Bailies, Crush 29, Esquire Grill, Ruth’s Chris Steak House


• Treasured Tea Time
2. Partea Time
3. An Afternoon to Remember
Runners-Up: Earl Grey Manor, A Maad Tea Party Cafe, Peet’s Coffee & Tea

Casino Restaurant Within 90 Minutes

• Austins Steakhouse, Thunder Valley Casino
2. Feast Buffet, Thunder Valley Casino
3. Harvest Buffet, Cache Creek Casino Resort
Runner-Up: Forest Buffet, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe

Candy Store

• See’s Candies

2. Snooks Chocolate Factory
3. Jelly Belly
Runners-Up: Godiva Chocolatier, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Grocery Store

• Raley’s/Bel Air
2. Nugget Markets
3. Safeway
Runners-Up: Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market

Health Food Store

• Whole Foods Market
2. Trader Joe’s
3. Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op
Runners-Up: Elliott’s Natural Foods, GNC, Sunrise Natural Foods

Place To Buy Fruits and Veggies

• Raley‘s/Bel Air
2. Whole Foods Market
3. Nugget Markets
Runner-Up: Denio’s

Place To Buy Wines/Spirits

• BevMo!
2. Trader Joe’s
3. Costco
Runners-Up: Corti Brothers, Cost Plus World Market, David Berkley Fine Wines & Specialty Foods

Place To Buy Bread

• Panera Bread
2. Raley’s/Bel Air
3. The Bread Store
Runners-Up: Grateful Bread Company, Trader Joe’s


The Hotdogger: Best High-Brow Hot Dogs

You go to the Davis Farmers Market for heirloom squash and organic arugula. But did you know you also can get a dang-good hot dog? Every Saturday morning, The Hotdogger of Davis serves up foot-long franks from its wienie wagon at the Central Park market. This is not your ordinary dirty-water dog: The all-beef frank (made by Schwarz Fine Sausages of Fairfield) comes swathed in a soft, doughy, fresh-baked roll from Davis’ Village Bakery and has a satisfying snap when you bite into it. Condimentize it yourself at the extensive mustard bar. All for only $4&emdash;hot diggity dog. 129 E St., Davis; (530) 753-6291;


Bowl of Soul From Tupelo Coffeehouse and Roasting Company: Best Way To Soothe Your Soul

Made with chamomile tea, vanilla soy milk and honey and sprinkled with specks of cinnamon, Tupelo’s Bowl of Soul is pure, frothy goodness. This warming drink is served in a latte bowl&emdash;sans handle&emdash;so you have to wrap both hands around it to take a sip. And for those 10 to 30 seconds, you get to look away from your laptop or set down you pencil and simply savor the experience. Ah . . . 5700 Elvas Ave., Sacramento; (916) 454-3977;


Fire Cracker From Kamon Japanese Restaurant: Best Explosion of Flavor:

Snap! Snap! Snap! Breathe. Ah, just like a firecracker, the spiciness of Kamon Japanese Restaurant’s Fire Cracker catches the body’s senses by surprise, especially the taste buds. Fried tofu skins are stuffed with tuna that’s breaded and deep-fried, then finished off with spicy mayo and a dot of chili sauce for pungent perfection. For $9.95, you can celebrate Fourth of July most any day of the year. 2210 16th St., Sacramento; (916) 443-8888; 


Taqueria Garibaldi
Best Late-Night Reason To Venture Off the Grid

Taqueria Garibaldi challenges the notion that midtown is the post-midnight epicenter of Sacramento. Tucked into the corner of Howe Avenue and Alta Arden Expressway and open until 3 a.m. on weekends, family-friendly Garibaldi’s is as lively as any grid-based hot spot. Want to check out the taqueria this side of midnight? The place hops with the music of Mariachi Los Gallos Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m.  1841 Howe Ave., Sacramento; (916) 924-0108


Dominick’s Italian Trattoria
Best Expansion Since the Louisiana Purchase

Fans of Dominick’s Italian Market & Deli were delighted when Dominick and Raquel Bellizzi opened their Trattoria last year, with a full bar and dinner menu, right next door. While the restaurant offers impeccable service and a casually elegant atmosphere, its claim to fame is the food. Most evenings, Dominick himself is there, recommending this dish or that in his New Jersey accent. Locals pop in for a quick drink and bowl of pasta, but it’s also the perfect spot for dinner with that special someone or out-of-town guests. 8621 Auburn-Folsom Road, Granite Bay; (916) 786-3355;


Oto’s Marketplace: Best Sashimi-Grade Grocer

In their striking new superstore a few blocks from William Land Park, the Oto family brings the flavors of Tokyo to Sacramento. The store carries sushi cuts so fresh and beautiful, they look like they leapt from the ocean into the display case. In-house sushi master Ray Yamamoto whips up custom orders for patrons while they shop. Oto’s also stocks an abundance of Japanese foods, from miso paste and seaweed to Kobe beef, along with local produce, USDA meats and organic products. But Yamamoto and the fish are the stars. We really take good care of our fish, says store manager Russell Oto. 4990 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento; (916) 424-2398;


Eve’s Market: Best Sign of World Peace on Aisle 5

Newly opened Eve’s Market in Carmichael is doing its part to bring all the peoples of the world together&emdash;through their cultures’ cuisines. In addition to traditional supermarket staples and name-brand goods, Eve’s features ethnic foods from all around the globe. In one aisle, you’ll see Israeli cocoa spread on the shelf next to Moroccan tahini, Greek peppers next to Egyptian mango pickles. If we can all shop together, we may start eating together, then perhaps drinking together, which leads to dancing together, which may lead, eventually, to world peace. And who doesn’t want that? 5025 Marconi Ave., Carmichael; (916) 974-7300;


Garden Center

• Capital Nursery

2. Lowe’s
3. The Home Depot
Runners-Up: Green Acres Nursery & Supply, OSH, Windmill Nursery

Retirement Community

• Sun City Lincoln Hills

2. Eskaton
3. Heritage Park
Runner-Up: Sunrise Senior Living

Real Estate Company

• Lyon Real Estate

2. Coldwell Banker
3. Keller Williams Realty and RE/MAX Gold (tie)
Runner-Up: Century 21

Place To Buy Furniture

• Naturwood Home Furnishings

2. Ikea
3. Beck’s Furniture and RC Willey (tie)
Runners-Up: La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries, Macy’s, McCreery’s Home Furnishings

Place To Buy Garage Cabinets

• The Home Depot

2. We’re Organized
3. Alpine Garage Cabinets
Runners-Up: Ikea, Lowe’s, Organize It

Place To Buy a Rug

• Mansour’s Oriental Rug Gallery

2. Macy’s
3. Ikea
Runners-Up: Costco, Pottery Barn

Place To Buy Art

• Ventana Art Gallery

2. Z Gallerie
3. Abreu Gallery Art & Framing
Runners-Up: American Visions Art Gallery, Solomon Dubnick Gallery

Pool Builder

• Geremia Pools

2. Premier Pools & Spas
3. California Backyard Pools & Spas
Runners-Up: Aqua Pool & Spa; Sacramento Custom Pools, Sunrise Pools


Nikki Solone: Best Doggone Painter

The dogs’ eyes may be soulful or bemused, the cats’ cool and imperious. Sacramento artist Nikki Solone catches every nuance in her masterful pet portraits, each painted in oil and set against a simple but vibrant backdrop. Solone painted her first dog portrait as a last-minute Christmas gift for her mom. Today, she routinely commands upward of $1,000 per painting, delivering a sophisticated chef-d’oeuvre and a long-lasting tribute to the family pet. (916) 457-7152;


Local Morning Drive Radio Team

• Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty, Talk 650 AM KSTE

2. Pat Still and Tom Mailey, 105.1 FM KNCI
3. Kelly Brothers and Amy Lewis, NewsTalk 1530 AM KFBK and Paul Robins and Lori Sacco, Y92.5 FM KGBY (tie)
Runners-Up: The Rise Guys, Sports 1140 AM KHTK; Rob, Arnie and Dawn, 98 Rock FM KRXQ

Local Radio Talk-Show Host

• Tom Sullivan, NewsTalk 1530 AM KFBK

2. Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty, Talk 650 AM KSTE
3. Phil Cowan, Talk 650 AM KSTE
Runners-Up: Kelly Brothers, NewsTalk 1530 AM KFBK; Jeffrey Callison, 90.9 FM KXJZ Capital Public Radio; Paul Robins, Y92.5 FM

Radio Sportscaster

• Grant Napear, Sports 1140 AM KHTK

2. Pat Walsh, NewsTalk 1530 AM KFBK
3. Gary Gerould, Sports 1140 AM KHTK
Runners-Up: Jim Kozimor, Sports 1140 AM KHTK; Mike Lamb, Sports 1140 AM KHTK; Jerry Reynolds, Sports 1140 AM KHTK

Alternative Rock Radio Station

• 106.5 FM KWOD

2. 100.5 FM KZZO The Zone
3. 93.7 Jack FM KQJK
Runners-Up: 107.9 FM KDND The End, 98 Rock FM KRXQ, 96.9 FM KSEG The Eagle, 96.1 FM KYMX Mix 96

Jazz Radio Station

• 94.7 FM KSSJ Smooth Jazz

2. 90.9 FM KXJZ Capital Public Radio
3. 96.1 FM KYMX Mix 96

Local Talk Radio Station

• NewsTalk 1530 AM KFBK

2. Talk 650 AM KSTE 
3. Sports 1140 AM KHTK
Runners-Up: 1240 AM Talk City KSAC, News Talk 105.5 FM/1380 AM KTKZ, 88.9 FM KXPR Capital Public Radio

Oldies Radio Station

• K-Hits 92.1 FM KCCL

2. V101.1 FM KHYL
3. 96.9 FM KSEG The Eagle
Runners-Up: Y92.5 FM KGBY; 93.7 Jack FM KQJK; 96.1 FM KYMX Mix 96

Radio Station at Work

• Y92.5 FM KGBY

2. 94.7 FM KSSJ Smooth Jazz and 96.1 FM KYMX Mix 96 (tie)
3. 93.7 Jack FM KQJK
Runners-Up: NewsTalk 1530 AM KFBK, 96.9 FM KSEG The Eagle, 100.5 FM KZZO The Zone

Rock Radio Station

• 98 Rock FM KRXQ

2. 96.9 FM KSEG The Eagle
3. 93.7 Jack FM KQJK
Runners-Up: 107.9 FM KDND The End, Y92.5 FM KGBY, 106.5 FM KWOD

Soft Rock Radio Station

• 96.1 FM KYMX Mix 96

2. Y92.5 FM KGBY
3. 96.9 FM KSEG The Eagle
Runners-Up: 93.7 Jack FM KQJK, 94.7 FM KSSJ Smooth Jazz, 100.5 FM KZZO The Zone

Traffic Reporter

• Adrienne Bankert, KCRA 3

2. Tina Macuha, CW 31
3. Dann Shively, KCRA 3
Runners-Up: Melissa Crowley, News10; Julie Ryan, New Country 105.1 FM KNCI

TV News Anchor Team

• Lois Hart and Dave Walker, KCRA 3

2. Marianne McClary andNick Toma, CW 31
3. Deirdre Fitzpatrick and Walt Gray, KCRA 3
Runners-Up: Cristina Mendonsa and Dale Schornack, News10

TV Reporter

• Mike TeSelle, KCRA 3

2. Brian Hickey, KCRA 3
3. Mark S. Allen, CW 31
Runners-Up: Tom DuHain, KCRA 3; Edie Lambert, KCRA 3; Cristina Mendonsa, News10

TV Sportscaster

• Del Rodgers, KCRA 3

2. Jim Crandell, FOX40
3. Ryan Yamamoto, News10
Runners-Up: Gary Gelfand, CBS 13; Bryan May, News10; Danny Pommells, KCRA

TV Weather Person

• Mark Finan, KCRA 3

2. Dave Bender, CBS 13
3. Monica Woods, News10
Runners-Up: Eileen Javora, KCRA 3; Patty Souza, News10; Julie Watts, KCRA 3

10 p.m. News Anchor

• Donna Cordova, FOX40 and Sarah Gardner, KCRA 3 on My58 (tie)

2. Sam Shane, CBS 13
3. Edie Lambert, KCRA 3 on My58

Local Newspaper Columnist

• Dan Walters, The Sacramento Bee

2. Anita Creamer, The Sacramento Bee
3. Marcos Bretón, The Sacramento Bee
Runners-Up: Rick Kushman, The Sacramento Bee; Tom Sullivan, The Sacramento Bee


• Ailene Voisin, The Sacramento Bee

2. Martin McNeal, The Sacramento Bee
3. Sam Amick, The Sacramento Bee and Scott Howard-Cooper, The Sacramento Bee (tie)
Runner-Up: Joe Davidson, The Sacramento Bee

Local Website



Country Radio Station

• New Country 105.1 FM KNCI

2. KNTY 101.9 FM The Wolf
3. KVMR 89.5 FM

Afternoon Drive Radio Personality (after 4 p.m.)

• Kitty O’Neal, NewsTalk 1530 AM KFBK

2. Grant Napear, Sports 1140 AM KHTK
3. Mike Lamb, Sports 1140 AM KHTK
Runners-Up: Craig the Dog-Faced Boy, 98 Rock FM KRXQ; Michael Savage, Talk 650 AM KSTE; Tom Sullivan, NewsTalk 1530 AM KFBK

TV Morning Anchor

• Walt Gray, KCRA 3

2. Deirdre Fitzpatrick, KCRA 3
3. Dan Elliott, News10
Runners-Up: Mark S. Allen, CW 31; Marianne McClary, CW 31; Nick Toma, CW 31

Nondaily Newspaper

• Sacramento News & Review

2. Sacramento Business Journal
3. The Folsom Telegraph
Runners-Up: Roseville Press-Tribune, The Sacramento Union


Tattoo Studio

• Wild Bill’s Tattoo & Body Piercing

2. Liberty Tattoos
3. American Graffiti

Photography Studio

• Sirlin Photographers

2. Jensen Photography
3. Gino Creglia Photography
Runners-Up: Bill Smith Photography, The Picture People, Trenton Bahr Portrait Art

Limo Service

• California Limousines

2. Neumann Enterprises
3. Limo Club
Runners-Up: Baja Limo, Carey, Top Notch Limousine & Executive Services

Place To Buy Your Dream Car

• Niello

2. Mercedes-Benz of Sacramento
3. Lexus of Sacramento
Runner-Up: Sacramento Jaguar


• Pavilions Car Wash

2. Harv’s Metro Car Wash
3. Gem Auto Wash
Runners-Up: Bob’s Car Wash, Five Star Car Wash, Folsom Glenn Car Wash

Day Spa

• Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa

2. Hoshall’s Salon & Spa
3. Blue Sky Day Spa
Runners-Up: Elysium Day Spa & Salon, Esthetics by Jeanette, Mellow Me Out, Mosaic Salon & Spa, The Spa Simply Skin

Hair Salon

• Hoshall’s Salon & Spa

2. New Attitude
3. I Want Lovely Hair and Mosaic Salon & Spa (tie)
Runners-Up: Maribou Spa Salon, Total Beauty Experience

Place for a Massage

• Massage Envy

2. Mellow Me Out
3. Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa
Runners-Up: Blue Sky Day Spa, Esthetics by Jeanette, Hoshall’s Salon & Spa

Women’s Clothing Store

• Nordstrom

2. Macy’s
3. Talbots
Runners-Up: Ann Taylor, Chico’s, Coldwater Creek

Locally Owned Women’s Boutique

• Serendipity Boutique

2. Madam Butterfly
3. Dara Denim
Runners-Up: Beyond Gotham, Blush Boutique, Brown House, Krazy Mary’s Boutique

Locally Owned Men’s Clothing Store

• Bonney & Gordon

2. Julius Clothing
3. S. Benson & Co.
Runner-Up: Patrick James

Product Made in Sacramento

• Blue Diamond Almonds

2. The Berry Factory (Shari’s Berries)
3. Crystal Cream & Butter Co.’s products
Runners-Up: Campbell’s soup, Java City coffee, Merlino’s Freeze

Music Store

• Dimple Records

2. Borders Books & Music
3. The Beat
Runners-Up: Best Buy, Skip’s Music


• Borders Books & Music 

2. Barnes & Noble Booksellers
3. The Avid Reader and Beers Books (tie)

Bookstore, Locally Owned

• Beers Books

2. The Avid Reader
3. Trent’s Bookworm
Runners-Up: The Almost Perfect Bookstore, East West Books


• Relles Florist

2. Rust Florist
3. Twiggs Floral Design Gallery
Runners-Up: Bouquet Florist and Gifts, Isolde’s Flowers, Posh Shoppe Florist

Place To Buy Jewelry

• Guzzetta & Co Fine Jewelers

2. Grebitus & Sons
3. Sharif Jewelers
Runners-Up: Jared, Kenny G & Company, Shane Co.

Wireless Service

• AT&T

2. Verizon
3. Sprint
Runners-Up: MetroPCS, T-Mobile

Gift-Basket Selection

• The Berry Factory (Shari’s Berries)

2. David Berkley Fine Wines & Specialty Foods
3. Trader Joe’s
Runners-Up: Costco, Harry & David, William Glen

Beauty Supply Shop

• Total Beauty Experience

2. Ulta
3. Sally Beauty Supply
Runners-Up: The Beauty Source, Palladio Gifts & Beauty, West Coast Beauty Supply

Pet Day Care

• Wag Hotels

2. Cha Cha’s Doggie Daycare
3. Pat’s Boarding Place for Cats

Place To Buy a  Special Gift

• William Glen

2. Sharif Jewelers
3. Guzzetta & Co Fine Jewelers
Runners-Up: Ivy House, Nordstrom, Total Beauty Experience

Place To Buy a Gag Gift

• Evangeline’s

2. Spencer’s Gifts
3. Total Beauty Experience
Runners-Up: Dollar Tree, Mixed Bag

Bath Shop

• Bath & Body Works

2. Bed Bath & Beyond
3. Total Beauty Experience
Runners-Up: The Body Shop, Calla Lily Fine Linens, Linens-‘n-Things

Place To Get a Manicure/Pedicure

• Esthetics by Jeanette

2. Hoshall’s Salon & Spa
3. New Attitude
Runners-Up: Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa, Eastern Nail Salon, Lilly’s Nails, Lovely Nails

Place To Get Something for Free

• Costco

3. PennySaver
Runners-Up: Sam’s Club, See’s Candies, Trader Joe’s

Place To Get a Tan

• California Sun Center

2. Island Tan
3. Planet Beach
Runners-Up: Amazing Tans, California Tan, Maui Tan

Place To Rent a Costume

• Uncle Fred’s Cheap Thrills/Zoots

2. Broadway Costumes
3. Capital Costumes
Runner-Up: Decades Costumes


Little Bo ‘Tique: Best Place To Shop for Your Little Lamb

If its charming name draws you here, what’s inside will keep you coming back. Little Bo ‘Tique is an upscale children’s resale store offering brand-name kids’ clothing at bargain prices. Mother and daughter owners Alexandra Leitaker and Felicia Wheeler opened the shop last fall in a 2,000-square-foot white house with a pink door&emdash;a homey departure from the surrounding strip malls. Most days, Wheeler’s 3-year-old twins help Mommy and Grandma run the place. Little Bo ‘Tique also carries designer diaper bags and offers seasonal clothing and end-of-season sales. 4201 Manzanita Ave., Carmichael; (916) 485-2229



• Tom Sullivan

2. Mahmud Sharif
3. Gavin and Joe Maloof (tie)
Runners-Up: C.C. Myers, Randy Paragary, Jeanne Reaves

Local Elected Official (Female)

• Mayor Heather Fargo

2. U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui
3. Sacramento County Supervisor Susan Peters
Runners-Up: U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully

Local Elected Official (Male)

• Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

2. State Sen. Dave Cox
3. State Assemblyman Roger Niello
Runners-Up: Sacramento City Councilman Robert King Fong, Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness, State Sen. Darrell Steinberg


Students at Grant High School: Best Homegrown Entrepreneurs

At Grant High School in North Sacramento, students learn about environmental stewardship and entrepreneurship by growing produce in an on-campus garden, developing recipes and creating marketing for their own pasta sauce and salsas. The products are sold under the brand E.A.T from the Garden at the Sacramento and Davis food co-ops, the Davis Farmers Market and online at Students also are in the seasonal floral biz; their arrangements can be purchased online, too. Proceeds from Grant’s Environmental Organization support the garden, the program and scholarships. GEO’s mentors, including college students and food-service professionals, provide the dozens of participating students with fertile ideas about health, horticulture, business and landscape design. What’s harvested, ultimately, are winners in the work force. (916) 286-1245;


Dominic D-Trix Sandoval: Best Use of One’s Head in Gaining National Exposure

Whether it’s because of his spectacularly athletic moves or his ridiculously cool nickname, Dominic D-Trix Sandoval was a fan favorite on this year’s nationally televised dance-competition show So You Think You Can Dance, making it to the top eight. An instructor at The Dance Gallery 2 in Roseville, Sandoval may waltz like Astaire, tap like Kelly and glide like Fosse, but his true calling is break dancing. Spinning, freezing and windmilling on his head, neck, back and chest, Sandoval is a ball of frenetic yet graceful energy. No wonder he wowed judges and fans alike.


Poor Boys: Best Group To Supe Up Your Jalopy

Picture Danny Zuko and the T-Birds of Grease in shop class, and you’ve got an image of The Original Poor Boys Car Club. In the early 1990s, a group of Bay Area classic-car aficionados and their friends founded the club as a way to share a love of working on vintage cars and going to shows featuring pre-1965 models. The Sacramento chapter, one of five, started in 1996. Cars are low-budget&emdash;no expensive paint jobs or electronic technology here&emdash;and custom-built by members. Check out the Boys’ rad rides at Midnight Mass, held the last Saturday in July. Can’t wait nine months? Look for them at local events throughout the year.


Richard Hemsley\: Best Creator of Cool Food

Turn down the heat and turn on your taste buds with Richard Hemsley, raw-food cook extraordinaire and founder of Synergy Chef’s Collaborative. To borrow live foodists’ vernacular, Hemsley’s healthful creations&emdash;whose ingredients, to preserve nutrients and enzymes, are never exposed to temperatures above 115 degrees&emdash;are rawsome. A groovy, mellow dude&emdash;and the darling of Sacramento’s raw/living foods community&emdash;Hemsley prepares comforting appetizers, entres, drinks and desserts using only vegan, organic ingredients. Consider, for example, his cacao pudding, a creamy blend of avocado, cacao powder, vanilla bean, agave nectar and Himalayan sea salt. The taste? Amazing. Have Hemsley cater your next party&emdash;what could be more cool? (916) 370-6100;


Local Entertainer

• Jack Gallagher

2. Mick Martin
3. Vivian Lee
Runners-Up: Mumbo Gumbo, Wonder Bread 5

Live Theater

• B Street Theatre

2. Music Circus
3. Sacramento Theatre Company
Runners-Up: Broadway Sacramento, Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre

Place To Shoot Pool

• Blue Cue

2. Players Sports Pub & Grill
3. Mandango’s Sports Bar & Grill
Runners-Up: The Corner Pocket, Country Club Lanes, Hard Times Billiards

Dance Club

• The Park Ultra Lounge

2. Faces and Harlow’s (tie)
3. Empire Events Center
Runner-Up: The Ballroom of Sacramento

Bowling Alley

• Country Club Lanes

2. Strikes
3. Crestview Lanes
Runners-Up: Folsom Lake Bowl,Land Park Lanes, Rocklin Lanes

New Downtown Hot Spot

• The Park Ultra Lounge

2. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant
3. 58 Degrees & Holding Co.
Runners-Up: Badlands, Bistro 33 Midtown, Gianni’s Trattoria, Spataro, Zócalo

Upscale Bar

• Mason’s/The Park Ultra Lounge

2. The Firehouse
3. Crush 29
Runners-Up: Dawson’s (Hyatt Regency Sacramento), Esquire Grill, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Spataro

Karaoke Bar

• Pine Cove Tavern

2. Freeport Bar & Grill
3. Zigatos Bar & Grille
Runners-Up: Cheers, The Cliff House of Folsom, Hamburger Patties, Maple Room

Concert Venue

• Sleep Train Amphitheatre

2. Arco Arena
3. Memorial Auditorium, Mondavi Center and Raley Field (tie)
Runner-Up: Radisson Hotel Sacramento

Casino Within 90 Minutes

• Thunder Valley Casino

2. Cache Creek Casino Resort
3. Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel
Runners-Up: Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Harvey’s Lake Tahoe

Church Choir

• Capital Christian Center

2. Bayside
3. Fremont Presbyterian and St. John’s Lutheran (tie)
Runners-Up: Fair Oaks Presbyterian, Sacred Heart Parish

Miniature Golf Course

• Golfland SunSplash

2. Scandia Family Fun Center

High School Marching Band

• Bella Vista

2. Elk Grove
3. Granite Bay
Runners-Up: Folsom, Kennedy, McClatchy


Stacie Eakes: Best Blues Singer Who Would Make the Surgeon General Proud

Musicians generally aren’t known for their healthful lifestyles, maintaining good diets and daily exercise routines. Yet local singer/exercise instructor Stacie Eakes manages to strike a balance. Whether she’s in front of her Sammie-award winning band, Stacie Eakes and the Superfreakes, belting out dirty, down-home blues, or in front of a class of sweat-drenched 24 Hour Fitness gym-goers, putting them through the paces at one of the most energetic step classes in town, Eakes, who has a degree in exercise science from Sacramento State, leaves those around her out of breath and feeling fine.

Catch her Nov. 4, 18 and 25 at the Torch Club, 904 15th St., Sacramento; (916) 443-2797 and Nov. 10 at the Folsom Hotel, 703 Sutter St., Folsom; (916) 985-2530.


Old Sacramento Living History Program: Best Way To Party Like It’s 1849

The 70-plus volunteer members of the Old Sacramento Living History Program re-create fictitious residents of this once-flourishing Gold Rush town down to the smallest detail. This is no costume party; volunteers are trained in period clothing, domestic arts, crafts, literature (including Victorian-era language), weaponry and politics. Each re-enactor becomes a person who would have lived between 1849 and 1870&emdash;from the Gold Rush to the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. Meet the members and brush up on local lore at Living History Day, Nov. 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Old Sac’s Waterfront Park, Front and L streets, or call to schedule a private walking tour. (916) 445-3101;


Folklorico Latino de Woodland: Best Preservation of the Original Dance Dance Revolution

Established in 1986, the dance group Folklorico Latino de Woodland was created by James Harvey-Keith, Helena Ochoa and Marina Ramirez for the purpose of passing on to the children of their community an appreciation and knowledge of folklorico&emdash;the traditional music and dances of Mexico. To date, more than 660 children, teens and adults have participated in the nonprofit organization, co-sponsored by Woodland Parks and Recreation. Performances range from solo rope dances to pulsating group performances involving intricate footsteps and the maneuvering of long, full skirts. The group performs throughout California. (916) 747-3154;

Catch Folklorico LATINO de Woodland’s annual dance showcase Nov. 17 at the Woodland Opera House Theatre, 340 Second St. in Woodland. Call (530) 666-9617 for tickets.


Motoshi Kosako: Best Jazz Hound in Tie and Tails

Just after That’s the banjo player’s Porsche, the least-heard musical phrase on the planet must be Man, I just heard this totally swingin’ harp player last night. While some in the jazz world give the harp a bad rap, local harpist Motoshi Kosako is trying to change that. The second-place winner in the 2007 International Jazz Harp Competition, Kosako plays with a fluid, modern style that evokes Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea. As principal harpist with the Stockton Symphony, he performs classical works. But when he’s not slinging Schubert, Kosako is one hepcat who can hang with the best of them.

HEAR HIM serenading travelers at Sacramento International Airport Nov. 21, 23, 25 and 30 as part of the airport’s Holiday Entertainment Program.


Stage Nine Entertainment Store and Theatre: Best New Stage in a Stagecoach Neighborhood

For a decade, Folsom city leaders and residents talked wistfully of bringing a live theater to town. Now one’s arrived in the historic district with the opening of Stage Nine Entertainment Store and Theatre, home of the Actor’s Theatre of Folsom and Young People’s Theatre of Folsom&emdash;both recipients of 2007 Elly Awards. By day, Stage Nine is an entertainment store, selling movie stills and scripts. At night and on weekends, it transforms into an intimate theater. Current productions of the Actor’s Theatre’s Off-Broadway Series include You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (through Nov. 25) and Holiday in the Hills (Dec. 1–30). The Young People’s Theatre’s Family Series, with shows appropriate for and often starring children, presents A Song of Sixpence (through Nov. 25) and Holiday Celebration in Historic Folsom (Dec. 1–30). 717 Sutter St., Folsom; (916) 353-1001;


Christian Kiefer: Best Musician With a Ph.D. Who’s Written a Pop Song About the Assassination of a President

A college writing professor by day and a respected local musician by night, Christian Kiefer has a Ph.D. in American Literature, a fascination with history and a reputation for unique music. Kiefer, who describes his work as an indie-rock thing, says, I do avant-garde compositions. I’m interested in how history appears, how history becomes the truth of pop culture. The Rocklin resident has written lyrics about Dust Bowl refugees, Russian czars and American presidents, including a pop song about the assassination of President McKinley. It’s upbeat and downbeat at the same time, Kiefer says slyly.

Catch him Nov. 9 at the Java Lounge, 2416 16th St., Sacramento; (916) 441-3945


Lipstick: Best Alternative Tuesday-Night Plans

Since April 2000, Tuesday night at Old Ironsides has seen the hippest dance party this side of the Bay Bridge. Hosted and DJ’d by Roger Carpio and Shaun Slaughter, Lipstick is a dance-till-you-drop free-for-all set to a music mix ranging from ’60s soul to electronica, The Beatles to The White Stripes. The two self-described music-obsessed DJs constantly seek out new tunes to spin (I get a high off playing something no one has ever heard before and watching people go crazy, says Slaughter) and hot bands to play 30-minute sets during the weekly party. Admission is free before 10 p.m., $3 after and $4 on band nights. 10th and S Streets, Sacramento; (916) 443-9751;


Richard March: Best Local Rambling American

Richard March is known to dance with his fans. When I play, I don’t want people to sit and listen, says the local harmonica-playing, guitar-slinging crooner. I want them up and moving around and enjoying themselves. A little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, March&emdash;who has released four albums, including his latest, Levee Road&emdash;compares his sound to The Wallflowers and Ryan Adams. In addition to performing at other venues, March hosts and plays at Americana Ramble, a bimonthly Thursday night gig downtown at Marilyn’s on K featuring local and regional roots musicians. Check it out&emdash;and be sure to wear your dancing shoes. 

Hear him Nov. 16 at Old Ironsides, 10th and S streets, Sacramento; (916) 443-9751


Clarenz Davis: Best Face for Music

Clarenz Davis sings gospel spirituals at everything from local sporting events to motorcycle dedications. A professional model on the side, Davis left a successful R&B group to return to his primary passion: gospel music. His career is reaching a new octave as his first CD, Seek Your Face, is expected out this January. The title for the CD came to Davis when he awoke one morning at 3:30 and wrote, To continue to seek face, drawing inspiration from Psalms 27:8.


Chelsea Wolfe: Best Ethereal Sacramento Songstress

Whether floating over an acoustic guitar or growling above her rock band, Red Host, Chelsea Wolfe’s achingly beautiful and emotive voice can’t be denied. Her debut solo CD, Mistake in Parting, along with a guest appearance on Sacramento-based band An Angle’s 2007 release, The Truth Is That You Are Alive, have made folks take notice of her haunting, passionate pipes and pained lyrics. Wolfe, winner of a 2007 Critics’ Choice Sammie for Best Female Vocalist, says of her album, It makes people cry&emdash;in a good way.

Hear her Nov. 16, with Red Host, at the Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Blvd., Sacramento; (916) 455-3400. 


Local Sports Team

• Sacramento Kings

2. Sacramento River Cats
3. Sacramento Monarchs

Kings Player

• Kevin Martin

2. Mike Bibby
3. Shareef Abdur-Rahim
Runners-Up: Ron Artest, Brad Miller, Corliss Williamson

Place To Buy Hiking/Outdoor Gear


2. Big 5 Sporting Goods
3. Sports Chalet
Runner-Up: Sports Authority

Local Public Golf Course

• Haggin Oaks

2. Ancil Hoffman
3. William Land Park
Runners-Up: Bing Maloney, Empire Ranch, Woodcreek

Yoga Studio

• Bikram’s Yoga College of India

2. Healthy Habits Fitness and Yoga
3. California Family Fitness
Runners-Up: East Wind, 24 Hour Fitness, Yoga Loka

Health Club

• California Family Fitness

2. 24 Hour Fitness
3. The Capital Athletic Club
Runners-Up: Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa, Fitness 19, Gold’s Gym, Rio Del Oro Racquet Club

Place To Take Dance Lessons

• The Ballroom of Sacramento

2. Arthur Murray
3. Spotlight
Runners-Up: Step 1 Dance & Fitness, Ultimate DanceSport

Martial Arts Center

• Kovar’s Satori Academy

2. Robinson’s Taekwondo

Bicycle Store

• City Bicycle Works

2. Bob’s Cycle Center
3. Performance Bicycle
Runners-Up: Bicycles Plus, College Cyclery, Mike’s Bikes, REI


Reggie Theus: Best Comeback King

It’s been 19 years since Reggie Theus donned a uniform as an inaugural member of the Sacramento Kings. (He came with the team to Sacramento in 1985 as a member of the Kansas City Kings.) This past June, the former shooting guard returned to the royal lineup, this time in the position of head coach.

High hopes ride on Theus, who played with the Kings from 1983 to 1988, to return the team to its rock-star NBA status (which included eight consecutive seasons in the playoffs) and to take home the brass ring: an NBA championship title. 

Theus’ coaching worked wonders in the NCAA world. Under his leadership, the New Mexico State Aggies turned their losing ways around and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament this past season, the first time for the school since 1999.

We hope Theus, a two-time All Star who also worked as an actor and sportscaster after hanging up his jersey, can work that same magic in the NBA


Justin Hall: Best Bet at the Track

Whatever I do, I do it full speed ahead, says Davis race car driver Justin Hall. Racing professionally for Mazda, he’s had several winning seasons, including an 18th place finish at Daytona this year. Does he have race groupies? The 35-year-old, 6-foot, hazel-eyed blond just grins with charming embarrassment. A business manager for Intel by day, Hall also is an up-and-coming poker player. He won a seat earlier this year in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, placing in the top 15 percent of thousands of players. We like his odds.


Alex Kosinski: Best Athlete Who Proves the Spirit Is Triumphant

Alex Kosinski did the remarkable this year. After an injury last season sidelined her, the Oak Ridge High School runner didn’t quit. Instead, she completed a grueling recovery program and bounced back to set a national high school record in the girls’ 1,600 meters. Because of her ability and grit, the El Dorado Hills teen received the inaugural V Award for top female high school athletes in the Sacramento area. The award honors the memory of another outstanding local athlete, Vicki Kockinis McDermott, who died this past February after a courageous battle with multiple myeloma. We’re extremely pleased to have [Kosinski] as the first recipient, says Vicki’s husband, Mark McDermott, who co-founded the award with the Sacramento River Cats.