It is no secret that Sacramento has a ton of great restaurants. After all, with the tourism in California alone, you have a ton of people going in and out of the city on a regular basis. But if you can get them hooked on your restaurant, then they will have a reason to come back. Fortunately for me, I live here so I get to eat at as many Sacramento restaurants as I want. My wife disagrees.
First up, there’s Station 16. Quite possibly my favorite restaurant in Sacramento, there isn’t a single thing that this restaurant can get wrong. You’ll find Station 16 in downtown Sacramento, which is actually where all of the great food here is located. I think downtown Sacramento has more great restaurants than all other areas in the city.
The food here is top notch. Even though the premise of the dishes themselves may be simple, each one has its own little flair that the chefs add. My favorite two dishes are the Mac and Cheese with lobster, and the Korean BBQ short ribs. If you have never been to Sacramento, I would highly encourage to both eat at Station 16 and order one of the two dishes.
Macaroni and cheese isn’t the classiest dish ever, but the lobster adds a whole new taste to it. I have been to my share of restaurants where the chefs haphazardly throw lobster into dishes in an effort to make it seem of higher quality, but the lobster has to be cooked right. It’s a delicate ingredient, and you can’t just microwave and throw a pile of it on top of macaroni. Station 16 has the best Mac and Cheese I have had anywhere.
And then there’s the Korean short ribs. It’s not totally unhealthy, since they are served on rice. Everything about this dish just screams care and effort. I feel as if the chefs really care about me individually, and they only want me to be happy with my food. Whenever you nail the taste of a food, customers are far more likely to come back. The chefs didn’t just stop there, though.
On top of all the food, Station 16 also adds a Southern flavor to a lot of the food. That might have been a little obvious by the fact that there’s ribs at a seafood restaurant, but now I am clearly stating it. In addition to the quality of the food, after eating at Station 16 a few times you will begin to notice how clean the restaurant is.
Sanitation is important in restaurants, since it can shut down your restaurant in an instant, but you would be surprised at how many restaurants have staff who neglect their duties. Sacramento has no trouble in this area, but I have been to some other unnamed California cities that grossed me out. One of the most important parts of a kitchen that needs to be maintained is the exhaust hood.
I actually have a cousin who works at a restaurant hood cleaner in Sacramento, so if the management was interested then I could slip them his number. He tells me sometimes about all these services they offer, like commercial kitchen equipment cleaning.
They don’t focus purely on hoods, which is good. I don’t know a ton about what else he does, but the website has an about page so I could probably study up if I wanted to. I want to say more about Station 16, but you’ll have to go online and read one of the amazing reviews that I left to see more in-depth analysis.
Ramen House Ryujin is another one of my favorites in Sacramento. I like that they don’t just serve sushi or Japanese food, because that seems like kind of an oversaturated market. This time around, you’ll be eating in Richmond Grove in Sacramento. It’s only a building or two away from Safeway, so you could get your groceries before or after eating if you wanted? Here, the chefs decided to make ramen instead.
Admittedly, ramen isn’t one of my favorite foods. But there’s something about this Sacramento restaurant that really pulls me in. It might be the great service or the beautiful interior, but I just know that I love it. The restaurant has multiple windows that add nice natural lighting to the interior, but only while the sun is still out.
Ramen House Ryujin opens at 5pm, so don’t expect to eat ramen for breakfast. Having different hours than most restaurants is by no means a bad thing, however. Especially when your restaurant has friendly, helpful servers and great food. I need to find out where the chefs get all of their ingredients from, because then I won’t need to eat out as often.
Ramen dishes are filled with healthy vegetables, so vegans are welcome here. I’m not a vegetarian myself, but I know for a fact that these dishes don’t need meat to taste great. I know that I’m not alone in my thoughts, because I have read the many positive online reviews lots of times before eating.
Last but not least, there’s Cafeteria 15L. You can eat all the breakfast and brunch you want here, and still come back for more. Cafeteria 15L is in downtown Sacramento as well, and meets the bar set by Station 16. What’s next, “Diner 17”? You’ll also be right next to the Sacramento Convention Center, so if there’s some kind of event going on in the morning then you could stop by Cafeteria 15L for a meal before or after.
I have ordered the majority of the items on the menu, and I can say that so far my favorites were the country scramble and the Western burger. Both have always been spectacular. It’s unfortunate that I can’t order both, but if I bring my wife then she can order one and share with me.
Don’t worry if you’re new to Sacramento though, because the great wait staff knows how to help newcomers find something that they will like on the menu. Both my wife and I wrote great reviews online, and they were well-earned.