Author: Hillary Louise Johnson

Just Add Water

Before you can go from farm to fork, you’ve got to go from land to farm. On a plot in West Sacramento, start-up Farm from a Box is seeding an innovative way forward for new agriculturists.

Now Hear This

Listen up, Sacramento. Whether you’re a beer lover or a political junkie, here are four locally produced, locally focused podcasts worth iTuning into.

Mirror Image

A shiny new object in West Sacramento strives to reflect its evolving surroundings, shifting with the changing elements and combining sculpture with nature along the waterfront.

Eat Drink Play Love

If you think you know Napa and Sonoma, think again. We’ve got the skinny on the region’s newest hot spots (and updates on a few old favorites), just in time to celebrate the harvest season. Discover the movie mogul’s swimming pool where you can make a splash, the glampground where you can sleep in a yurt, the fried chicken shack where you can sample a Michelin-starred chef’s finger-lickin’ fare and, of course, the coolest watering holes, from a bike-themed tasting room to an organic cider house that rules. Scroll down, and get ready to wine and unwind.

Bavarian Rhapsody

Building on the success of their popular Oak Park taqueria La Venadita, Tom and David Schnetz open Oakhaus nearby, serving up German comfort food with a side of nostalgia. Get set to tuck into a Teutonic Thanksgiving (yes, in the middle of summer) with all the fixins.

Northern Comfort

A husband-and-wife team of fine-dining veterans elevate the art of comfort food at their inviting new North Sacramento restaurant. Pull up a chair under the old oak tree on the patio and sit a spell. Supper’s almost ready.

Hot New Hoods

It’s no secret that Sacramento is at a tipping point. Amidst all the construction dust, however, there are a few areas, such as R Street, Oak Park and West Sacramento, that are ready for their close-ups right now, and they are where you should be heading this weekend if you want a taste or a sip of the buzziest neighborhoods in the region (a flaming Sex Panther cocktail, anyone?). Consider the next 18 pages your insider’s guide to these hot hubs, where new restaurants, bars, boutiques and one-of-a-kind urban experiences await your arrival. Ready, set, go out!

The Place Maker

If you felt the pulse of the city quickening the last time you spent an evening out dining, shopping or gallery hopping in midtown, Oak Park or the R Street Corridor, Ron Vrilakas likely had a hand in that. With an uncanny ability to transform historic structures into modern gathering spaces, and to create new buildings that blend seamlessly into their surroundings, he has helped define the look and experience of our most exciting—and most livable—neighborhoods. Meet Sacramento’s busiest architect and its scrappiest developer, whose goal is to turn our city into an urban paradise, one innovative project at a time.

Amaro Amore

The team behind Shady Lady has crossed R Street to open Amaro, serving up classic Italian fare inside a playfully elegant dining room. Its name may mean “bitter,” but for foodies, the new restaurant hits the sweet spot.

Actor Keith Powers

Sacramento native Keith Powers boasts a half-million swooning Instagram followers, thanks to his roles in two critically acclaimed musical biopics, Straight Outta Compton and The New Edition Story. Now the 24-year-old actor is romancing Bella Thorne in the new television drama Famous in Love, which premieres April 18 on Freeform (formerly ABC Family). He shares a few choice anecdotes, like how he learned to bust a move from Ronnie DeVoe and that awkward moment when he met Dr. Dre.