Centro Cocina Mexicana
2730 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95816 916-442-2552
The food at Centro is, in a word, impeccable. Go for regional specialties you won’t find anywhere else in Sacramento, such as cochinita pibil—an achiote- and citrus-marinated pork dish—and Oaxacan enchiladas served with mole negro. Everything is made with a heightened attention to detail, like the black beans simmered with epazote and the guacamole sprinkled with cotija cheese. The heat level has been dialed down for the gringo clientele, however, so tell your waiter if you like it spicy. Nice touch: the tortilla chips are fresh and hot and come with a bowls of bright-tasting green salsa. The space has a funky vibe, with walls painted shades of pink, orange and blue, and a vintage motorcycle hangs in the semi-private dining room.