Sacramento: Beyond the city’s first Michelin star
California’s capital city finally has its first Michelin-starred restaurant, but don’t imagine that the local culinary scene runs no deeper, said Benjy Egel and Kate Washington in The Sacramento Bee. When France’s venerable Michelin Guide surveyed Sacramento restaurants this year for the first time, only the Kitchen and its $135 five-course dinners garnered even one star—on a scale in which the world’s very best restaurants are awarded three. But a handful of other places were unfairly snubbed, because they’re “better than good.” Below: three that fully merit greater recognition in future editions of the guide.
Ella Dining Room & Bar At the Kitchen’s sister restaurant, “meals unfold near-flawlessly, from raw-bar starters and the acclaimed bone marrow appetizer to seasonally changing entrées and desserts.” Thanks to elegant service and the room’s “soignée design,” no other place in town has as much of a big-city feel. 1131 K St., (916) 443-3772
Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine We’re not sure how the best omakase spot in the metro area was passed over completely by Michelin. Billy Ngo’s East Sacramento restaurant has “arguably the city’s best sushi” and also offers “a rich selection of small plates.” 3135 Folsom Blvd., (916) 551-1559
The Waterboy Michelin showed little love for any of the city’s legacy restaurants beyond the three-decades-old Kitchen. Still, “the neglect of Rick Mahan’s bistro stands out” because Mahan “pioneered the farm-to-fork and snout-to-tail movements that have shaped Sacramento’s modern culinary scene.” Though the Waterboy is now 23, dishes like the veal sweetbreads “haven’t faded.” 2000 Capitol Ave., (916) 498-9891 ■