Author: Leilani Marie Labong

Planting Ideas

At Burger Patch’s new Land Park location, husband-and-wife owners Phil and Danea Horn think outside the vegan bun and launch an innovation lab, where they’ll be cooking up new creative plant-based concepts. Fishless fish tacos, anyone?

Summer Travel from A to Z

From airstreams near Yosemite to zinfandel rosés in wine country and everything in between, here’s our ultimate guide to 26 must-visit Northern California destinations this summer. Just make sure your belly is empty and your tank is full: we’ve got a veritable alphabet soup for the soul.

From Paris with Love

Channeling the cafe culture of the City of Light, the team behind Canon—including a husband-and-wife duo who trained in Paris—launch Franquette in West Sacramento.

Our French Connection

The French Laundry may be a celebrated Napa Valley restaurant, but its origin story began over 60 miles away in co-founder Sally Schmitt’s childhood home in Citrus Heights. In a new culinary memoir, the pioneering chef honors her Sacramento roots.

The Magnificent Seventh

East meets west for one of the best meals in town. Former Ella chef Ravin Patel draws from both his Indian heritage and French culinary background at downtown’s new 7th Street Standard restaurant. 

From the (Uncluttered) Desk of Dr. Robin Zasio

Feeling a new type of winter blues? Over the past two years, many of us have become increasingly plagued by a host of pandemic-related mental health issues, ranging from burnout to PTSD to depression. As we navigate our second holiday season under the cloud of Covid, Dr. Robin Zasio—a Sacramento clinical psychologist who has appeared on the long-running A&E series "Hoarders" for more than a decade—talks about the importance of living a “value-driven life” and pressing play at the end of a workday in our effort to go from Anxiety to Zen.

A Leap of Faith

A pair of hospitality veterans make the career jump from working for national chains to launching a local supper club named Frog & Slim. It’s time to “get social.”

A Star Is Born

Nearly 15 years in the making, the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity is ready to open a portal to both the past and the future on the banks of the Sacramento River, pairing a historic 1912 power station with Northern California’s most advanced planetarium. Its mission: Reinvigorate the waterfront, position our region as a tech and health sciences powerhouse, and ultimately inspire generations of kids from all walks of life to dig deeper, reach further, dream bigger and discover for themselves that the sky’s the limit.

Best of the City 2021

If there’s one thing we’ve learned during the pandemic, it’s that the human spirit perseveres through the darkest times. The dozens of Sacramentans featured here—struggling like all of us over this past year and a half—have found ways to shine some much-needed light into our lives, whether with charmingly anachronistic TikTok videos or a winning French pastry made with Top Ramen or an eco boutique that’s trying to help save the planet one bottle-free shampoo bar at a time. They bring smiles to our faces, good food to our bellies and taps to our toes. And if you haven’t already met, we’re thrilled to introduce you.

Stronger Together

Patrick and Bobbin Mulvaney are arguably Sacramento’s First Couple of Farm to Fork. With Sacramento celebrating our region's agricultural bounty in September, we sit down with the owners of Mulvaney’s B&L to talk about the impact of the pandemic on the restaurant industry, the life lessons learned from Bobbin’s bouts with cancer, the controversy surrounding local caviar purveyor Michael Passmore, the importance of openly discussing mental health issues in the workplace and the community, and their efforts to lend a helping hand, one loving spoonful at a time.

Birds of a Feather

Auberge alums and Milestone owners Nick Dedier and Alexa Hazelton team up again to launch Mom & Pop Chicken Shop. The result? Twenty-hour-brined chicken with 20 herbs and spices that’s finger lickin’ great.

Getting Back on Track

Five years ago, Sacramento Regional Transit was on the verge of derailing. Riders felt unsafe, staff morale was low, and the agency was flat broke. Then Henry Li stepped in. He cut costs, launched innovative programs targeting climate change, equity and customer service, and built a $30 million reserve—leading him to be named, effectively, America’s public transit CEO of the year in 2019. But when Covid hit, ridership plunged, a key funding mechanism was pulled from the ballot, and now the future of commuting is a looming question mark. Whether you ride public transit or not, his decisions will affect your commute, the air you breathe and, in many ways big and small, the future of Sacramento. Henry Li is now arriving.

Perfect Picnics

We’ve filled our wicker baskets with the best takeout en route to eight sonnet-worthy spots across the region for your alfresco dining pleasure. Whether you’re unpacking a gourmet BLT on toasted artisan bread while gazing upon a sweeping view of Gold Country or digging into a bucket of crispy fried chicken while smelling the roses at McKinley Park, we prove that life in the wake of a pandemic can be a picnic after all. (Just don’t forget the sunscreen.)

Nut Tree Forever

If you lived in Northern California any time from the ’50s to the ’90s, your memories likely contain vivid flickers of Vacaville’s Nut Tree—the roadside oasis that lured generations of kids and adults alike. Was it an amusement park so wondrous that even Walt Disney himself visited? Or was it California’s original farm-to-fork capital? Or a modern art and design mecca that was first to bring mid-century Eames furniture to the NorCal masses? It was all of that and more. It was also, as it happens, the creative vision of a group of Sacramento artists, designers, architects and, yes, candymakers. And now, in 2021, it’s turning 100. Let’s all jump on that miniature train—you know the one—and take a ride back in time for a Kodachrome encounter.

Field of Dreams

On the first day of spring, Ruhstaller Farm—our region’s only brewery designed in the spiritual mold of a soil-to-sip winery—officially opened, with a hop yard surrounding towering twin kilns inspired by 19th-century California pioneers and 20th-century Parisian postmodernism. The Farm, with its mission to produce beer defined by the Sacramento Valley’s rich agricultural heritage, is the fruition of a decade-long vision for J-E Paino—brewer, farmer, storyteller and a tenacious optimist who runs decidedly against the grain.

A Lasting Impression

The Manetti Shrem Museum celebrates Sacramento painter Wayne Thiebaud’s remarkable legacy with a group exhibit featuring works by the longtime UC Davis professor alongside those by former students and other artists influenced by him.