Last month I received an email inviting me to a media dinner at Northern California's first Sammy's that is located in the brand new Stones Gambling Hall in Citrus Heights. My first inclination was, "why do I want to go to some restaurant in a card room?" Luckily I did just a little bit of research first. As I read the press release I caught upon the fact that there are 20 Sammy's locations throughout Southern California and Las Vegas. And looking a little closer, it seemed that it was a pretty popular brand at that.
I emailed back the PR firm and asked them, "Why is this first Northern California location going into a card room?!" It turns out that the owners of Stones Gambling Hall are from the San Diego area, love Sammy's, and know Sami himself.
Since 1989, Sammy’s has been firing up award-winning cuisine that has taken Southern California and Nevada by storm. Recognized for its innovative, Healthy Global Cuisine, Sammy’s Restaurants offer menu selections made with local, organic and nutritionally balanced ingredients. Sammy’s at Stones Gambling Hall is the first Northern California location, featuring a modern touch on classic tavern fare, paired carefully with a local brew list and hand-crafted cocktails, making it an instant crowd favorite.
Sami Ladeki opened the first Sammy's Woodfired Pizza in 1989 in La Jolla. That means they are celebrating their 25th anniversary. Back then he was one of the first to bring Italian style wood fired pizza to the dining scene. He continued to expand and open more restaurants and add international favorites to the menu.
This event was, as I said, a media dinner that was overseen by Sami and his Executive Chef. Therefore, it cannot be considered a review so much as an introduction. Who's to say the quality will be the same under the local staff? We certainly hope so. And my San Diego transplant friends are hoping so too. When I Facebooked that I was at Sammy's, my friend replied, "I love that place!"
Here are a few of the menu items we tried. One entree that I didn't get a picture of and have to mention is the Pad Thai. I judge Thai restaurants by their Pad Thai and this was better than many Thai restaurants serve! It had such a great amount of ingredients with a nice kick of heat that I ended up taking the leftovers home. Luckily it was one of the last items and everyone was so full that there was a lot left. Yum!
One more thing. Since it is in a gambling hall, this restaurant will be open 24/7 with limited late night menu.
Organic Arugula & Pear Pizza
love me some burrata!!