As a busy restaurant reviewer, I eat out a great deal. That means visiting lots of different establishments on a weekly basis, always with an eye towards the next week’s (or month’s) list. And while it is a marvelous experience to try new menu items all the time, I have a few, insistent food cravings that arise from time to time that demand to be satisfied – regardless of my review schedule. Last night, I indulged my craving for a Waterboy salad, eschewing a review in favor of one of chef Rick Mahan’s leafy masterpieces. His gorgeous bitter greens salad was just what I needed: a jumbled, colorful pile of tiny endive leaves and radicchio, tossed in a sharply sweet balsamic vinaigrette with toasted walnuts, blue cheese and big chunks of chewy pancetta. The interplay of bitter and sweet; crunchy and soft was utterly satisfying. On another night, I might order Mahan’s fabulous Caesar salad, which has just the right amount of garlic and anchovy in his brightly flavored, velvety dressing; or the popular, jewel-like baby beet salad, served up any number of ways, depending on the season.
Other cravings I cannot ignore include:
• Thai pumpkin and tofu green curry at Chada Thai Cuisine
• The enormous falafel at Sunflower Natural Food restaurant (Fair Oaks)
• Pozole verde at Zócalo
• Warm apple tarte tatin at La Provence (Roseville)
• Free-range chicken tacos with bacon and collard greens at Tucos Wine Market and
• Salmon BLT at Café Bernardo (multiple locations)
• Pikilia platter at The Greek Village Inn Restaurant.
• Paella Valenciana at Aioli Bodega Española
• Kiku manju at Osaka-Ya
What menu items do you crave in the Sacramento region? Please let us know.