Forget you’re in Fair Oaks Village and channel your inner Frank Sinatra. When you walk into Shangri-la, you’ll feel like you’re in Palm Springs in the late 1950s. The hip, retro-resort-style restaurant doesn’t miss a detail, from the brass peacock purse hooks under the bar to the palm-studded patio, complete with fire pits, indoor-outdoor bar and boccie courts.
About the only thing that doesn’t seem midcentury are the house cocktails and the food, which are seasonal, fresh and inventive takes on classics. The mixed green salad comes with organic greens, fennel, grapefruit and pepitas toasted with coriander and lime. The riblets are done with a nonsticky dry rub and served with a light mojo-scallion jus. And the deviled eggs, updated daily by executive chef Adam Carpenter, are not your mother’s mayo-and-mustard version. The buffalo/chickpea deviled egg combines the egg yolk with house aioli, champagne vinegar, hummus and hot sauce topped with oven-roasted chickpeas and micro celery.
On a recent evening, the cocktails, imagined and mixed by bar manager Brett Walker, included City of Beez, with Placer County distilled Darjeeling gin, Dolin Blanc vermouth, Bee Box honey, bee pollen and last-of-the-season Meyer lemon lovingly donated by local Shangri-la fans.
Shangri-la is the creation of Sommer Peterson, former owner and founder of the nationally known Mission Bowling Club and Mini Bar in San Francisco. A Fair Oaks native, Peterson transformed the building, a former mortuary, peeling back many of its façades to reveal original architectural features, including concrete floors—now polished—and vertical brick walls, now painted peacock green.
“Shangri-la is the idea of utopia, a great post-pandemic escape,” she says. “I thought, I’m going to build my own paradise.” And she has.
Address: 7961 Winding Way, Fair Oaks Village
Hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 4–8 p.m.; Friday–Saturday 4–9 p.m.
Reservations and more information: shangrilafairoaks.com
More Summer Dining
Brahma Bar and Grill
Just across the street from Shangri-la is the new casual Brahma Bar and Grill. With plenty of seating on its covered patio and an indoor bar, Brahma’s got a cheerful crew eager to introduce you to its sandwiches, burgers, steaks and fish, local and regional beers and wines and classic cocktails. Open Tuesday–Saturday 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. 10239 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks Village. brahmabarandgrill.com
General manager Tokiko Sawada and chef Craig Takehara call the food they create Japanese soul food, designed to be enjoyed casually with friends over a good drink or sake. The main attraction is the sumiyaki, skewered meat or vegetables cooked on a searing grill over imported binchotan charcoal. Beyond barbecue, theirs is pub food with no boundaries, thanks to Takehara’s French culinary background and the benefit of Sacramento’s locally grown fresh, seasonal ingredients. Open Tuesday–Saturday 11 a.m.– 8 p.m. 2226 10th St. binchoyaki.com
DOCO Al Fresco
This unique dining experience brings together six Downtown Commons restaurants—Echo and Rig, Local Eats at Golden One, Tahoe Blue Ridge Bar, Sauced BBQ & Spirits, Yard House and Polanco Cantina—with remote service on the vast DOCO patio. Patrons can order from one or all of the restaurants, pay by phone and wait for their meals to be delivered. Live music and other entertainment are provided. Operating weekends when weather permits: Friday 4–10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sunday 2–9 p.m. docosacramento.com