This octopus dish was the only thing not local and not on the tasting menu
The current restaurant with bragging rights for getting the most raves from all foodies in town would be Localis. Located in the space formerly occupied by Tuli Bistro and Trick Pony (21st & S), Localis has been getting the most buzz — all of it great.
It's actually easy to understand why for two reasons. First is that it's focusing on seasonal farm to fork dishes. More on this in a moment. The second and more important reason is that Chef Chris Barnum is in the kitchen.
Prior to Localis Chris Barnum was at Cibo 7 in Roseville and that restaurant had also been getting rave reviews under his stewardship. It also got high marks from Sacramento Magazine and Sacramento News & Review. In fact, I have to think the owners are pretty bummed that he left. Roseville's loss is Sacramento's gain.
I went Saturday with a friend and the server did a very good job of covering every detail of each dish. So detailed, in fact, that there's no way for me to do justice to describing the pictures below. I asked them if they might email them to me, so I might add those later.
The tasting menu is $77 and covers everything you see below except the octopus. For $30 more they upgrade it for two people. My recommendation, get it for yourself. After three courses we knew we would want more, so we added the octopus. I like that they up it by just $30 for two, but we both left hungry, so just hog it all for yourself if your budget allows.
Someone joked on my tweet of the octopus that it was not local. True. It's imported from Spain because the Pacific octopus they were getting just didn't cut it. I don't care. The octopus was fantastically tender and if it had to come from Spain, good for me!
So that brings us to the whole farm-to-fork local thing. Localis will be changing the menu daily depending on the seasonal items available. Now true, a lot of restaurants, especially here, are doing that already. Here's the thing. I would have to say this was the absolutely closest thing to farm fresh my taste buds have had lately in a restaurant. What do I mean by that? Every bite tasted fresh, clean, bright, earthy...everything your imagination thinks of farm to fork. There was creativity and uniqueness while letting the flavors of the ingredients shine through. Only one item didn't hit with us. (We thought it needed salt and some acidity).
My two favorites were the octopus (best I've ever had) and the braised lamb belly.
So with that said... time to drool....
(Current descriptions are my own drab ones)
|zucchini with poached quail egg|
|ceviche and pluots|
|squash 3 ways|
|bacon and eggs|
|blistered padron peppers|
|rabbit with blueberry risotto|
|braised lamb belly|
|sweet amuse bouche|
|panna cotta w/ brulee watermelon|