Greg Sabin

Food Writer

About This Author

Greg Sabin is a nationally published food writer, actor, improvisational comedian, banjo player and financial planner. He does not wear hats.

Articles by this author

Captiol Comfort

Just steps from the Capitol, Prelude Kitchen & Bar serves a splendid lunch and dinner to more than politicians and lobbyists. “Like any Downtown restaurant, it’s a mix of tourists and locals,” says executive chef Tom Patterson. Given the diversity of culinary influences and focus on seasonal ingredients, Prelude appeals to just about anyone.

Prelude’s location is coveted real estate. Two previous eateries, Chops Steak Seafood & Bar and The Diplomat Steakhouse, both put in time at the spot. Now, Prelude looks to eclipse those previous tenants, creating a farm-focused yet innovative menu that might garner Michelin attention. At least, that’s what some involved with the project proclaimed when Prelude opened last December.

For now, the focus is on quality cooking with local bounty. “We use the freshest seasonal and highest quality ingredients we can find,” Patterson tells me. “(We take) advantage of the local bounty of products that the Sacramento area provides.”

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Island Eats

Kau Kau, the new Hawaiian hotspot in East Sacramento, has already hit its stride. Open only four months, this home-style island eatery feels like it’s been part of the Sacramento food scene for years.

I typically don’t judge a restaurant until at least six months after opening. Menus change, personnel shifts. The realities of opening a new business in any environment—not to mention a pandemic—mean things aren’t always at their best the first few months. But Kau Kau nails it.

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Street Justice

Kin Thai Street Eatery opened in December 2020, a tough time to start a restaurant. Yet the lively Midtown spot thrived from the start.

Intense flavors and novel dishes familiar to Bangkok street markets make this exceptional restaurant flourish, even in difficult times.

Street food is having a moment. Over the last decade, street food, especially Asian street food, jumped many rungs on the culinary ladder. Thanks to television personalities Andrew Zimmern and the late Anthony Bourdain, less adventurous diners have seen how some of the world’s best food comes from small stands on busy streets.

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Green Means Go

The Green Room, one of East Sacramento’s newest eating and drinking spots, brings refined cocktails and small plates to J Street. This offering from Billy Zoellin and Amber Michel, owners of breakfast standout Bacon & Butter, is a rebrand of their second B&B location.

When the pandemic shut down restaurants, Zoellin and Michel decided to try a new formula at their J Street space. Rather than a second Bacon & Butter less than 3 miles from their Broadway location, the sibling pair overhauled an East Sacramento storefront and turned it into a modern, inviting cocktail lounge and small-bite gastropub.

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Seventh Heaven

In jazz parlance, a standard is a tune everyone knows and every musician can play. An artist plays a standard to put their stamp on it, toy with it or mold it to their personality.

Downtown’s new restaurant The 7th Street Standard at the Hyatt Centric doesn’t get its name by coincidence. Chef Ravin Patel takes common food constructs and makes them his own. Familiar recipes play with unfamiliar rhythms.

He juggles flavors from multiple continents, often in the same dish. Improvisation feels like an ingredient, yet it’s born of intense study and years of perfecting his craft.

Patel worked at Michelin-starred kitchens and lent his skill to the Selland restaurant group. His knowledge of local, national and international cuisine is on display in a menu that is tight, approachable and titillating.

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