Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Oct. 20

Photo by Heather Goodspeed
The Rainbow Bowl with poke at Kaliko’s Hawaiian Kitchen

This week's food news from around the region: Surf's up at Nevada City's new Hawaiian restaurant, while Auburn gets set to welcome a hip watering hole with 28 rotating taps. Plus, a Mexican restaurant and healthy cafe both open in Davis and two new breweries launch in the region, including one inside a barn in Newcastle.

Cilantro’s Mexican Restaurant

On Oct. 1, downtown Sacramento Mexican restaurant Cilantro's expanded its operations to Davis, with a new location on G Street. General manager Valerie Cervantes says that while the eatery's college town location is smaller than the Sacramento establishment on J Street, the space feels more intimate and includes a patio perfect for sipping margaritas provided by neighboring bar Blondie’s. At the new Davis spot, expect Cilantro’s signature menu of Mexican breakfast, lunch and dinner classics, like chile verde burritos and the Rey Asada Salad topped with grilled beef, corn tortilla strips, corn and pico de gallo. Patrons can also choose from nontraditional items like California burritos and the popular nacho fries with meat or shrimp, sliced jalapeños and scoops of sour cream and guacamole on the side. 330 G St. Davis. 530-231-5868. cilantrosrealmex.com

Cilantro's tacos al pastor (Photo courtesy of restaurant)

Hillenbrand Farmhaus Brewery

On Oct. 7, Patric Hillenbrand set beer taps flowing inside his new barn-turned-brewery, situated on a bucolic 13-acre farm in Newcastle, where donkeys, horses and goats roam in a nearby barnyard. Each of his handcrafted beers use fruits and honey harvested on-site, including the Juicy Fruit IPA made with pineapple purée (a beer-pairing menu is currently in the works to serve this brew with teriyaki beef marinated in pineapple glaze), the Farmhaus Saison, which contains notes of lemon zest and toasted coriander, and the tart Sour Passion made with passion fruit purée. The 2,400-square-foot wooden barn accommodates brewery tanks and an adjacent tasting room, while barrels and antique wagon wheels line the exterior. Twinkling lights hang from the roof over the patio, where guests can take in views of the farm’s 1-acre hop field, haystacks and rows of sprawling oak trees that encircle the property. 5100 Virginiatown Rd. Newcastle. hillenbrandbrewery.com

Photo of Hillenbrand Farmhaus Brewery by Lauren Nihen of LD Photography

Kaliko’s Hawaiian Kitchen

Husband-and-wife duo Tyler Freeland and Megan Sasaki opened their cozy counter-service Hawaiian restaurant in historic downtown Nevada City on Sept. 8 inside the space that formerly held Treats Ice Cream. The eclectic menu includes the popular Ahi Poke Bowl, made with sashimi-grade ahi marinated in sesame shoyu sauce on brown rice with macadamia nuts, scallions and sriracha aioli, as well as a deconstructed homemade Spam musubi that’s served in a bowl instead of its usual wrap. Named after the couple’s 1-year-old son Kalikoali’ilani, the restaurant also serves plenty of vegetarian options like the Rainbow Bowl, a colorful array of soft-boiled eggs, avocado, carrots, cubed beets and seaweed topped with miso-sesame-ginger dressing. Freeland, who recently retired his apron after three years as a kitchen manager at Jernigan’s Tap House & Grill, and Sasaki, a practicing attorney, decided to open the 300-square-foot space last year after serving Hawaiian cuisine at their baby shower. Eventually, the couple plans to introduce beer, wine and boba teas to Kaliko’s menu. 110 York St. Nevada City. 530-470-6035. facebook.com/KalikosHawaiianKitchen

Porchlight Brewing Company

This new neighborhood pub, owned by husband-and-wife team Manny and Heather Cardoza, opened Sept. 8 on the corner of J and 57th streets in East Sacramento in a building that once housed Twelve Rounds Brewing Company. The lineup of 12 craft beers on tap includes pale ales like the tart, fruity Tropicalis, as well as the bourbon-barrel-aged Russian imperial stout BBA Franxis, and the Knockout Stout made with coffee and cocoa nibs. Hungry barhoppers can order pies from nearby Evan’s Kitchen and Hot City Pizza or pick up fare from one of the food trucks, like Cousins Maine Lobster, that stop by the brewery almost nightly. Porchlight’s pet-friendly, 900-square-foot space features barrel-legged tables, a foosball table and arcade machine, and a marble-topped bar lit overhead with Edison bulbs. 866 57th St. 476-5384. porchlightbrewingcompany.com

Photo of Porchlight Brewing Company by Vu Chau

The Pour Choice

Auburn natives Jordan and Melinda Minyard hope to open this new watering hole in a historic building in Old Town Auburn by mid-November. The Pour Choice will offer third-wave coffee from Santa Cruz's Verve Coffee Roasters and 28 taps, which include a rotating selection of 18 regional beers, like those from Auburn's “big four”: Auburn Alehouse, Crooked Lane, Moonraker and Knee Deep. The remaining 10 taps will flow with hard cider, local craft soda, Napa Valley wines and organic kombucha from Nash's Natural Brewing Company. The menu at the inviting space—which features exposed wooden beams, a twinkle-light-studded patio and a second floor balcony overlooking Auburn’s 1898 courthouse—will feature breakfast bites like avocado toast and pastries from Auburn’s The Baker and the Cakemaker, along with small lunch and dinner offerings like mac-and-cheese and charcuterie and cheese plates featuring local goat cheese. 177 Sacramento St. Auburn. 530-906-0848. thepourchoice.com

Smoothies at Three Ladies Cafe (Photo courtesy of cafe)

Three Ladies Cafe

This new cafe, which opened Oct. 2 near UC Davis, was inspired by co-owner Beizhi Pan’s visit to a London smoothie shop. She and fellow locals Lia Perroud and Julie Cross (the former food and education director at the Davis Co-op) created a light fare menu that is almost entirely vegetarian and includes four signature smoothies with cheeky names, like It's the Great Pumpkin with toasted pecan and cardamom, and the Hungry Hungry Caterpillar with mint, greens, pineapple and coconut milk. Three Ladies Cafe also offers coffee from Temple Coffee Roasters and cold brew delivered via bike by Davis’ two-wheel-powered roaster, The Pepper Peddler. Patrons will also find smoothie bowls, house-made buttermilk biscuits, gluten-free cornbread and vegan scones, alongside spreads like white bean hummus. The bright and airy atmosphere bills itself as family friendly with a kids' play area that hosts activities like story time and arts and crafts lessons. 130 G St. Davis. 530-302-3434. threeladiescafe.com

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