Play with Your Food: Interactive Eats
Level up your next meal out and play with your food; think peak social interaction, capital “E” experiences, and eating with your hands but in grown-up ways. From fondue and hot pots, to hibachi, molcajete, and more, anything is on the table—as long as it’s memorable, enjoyable, and delicious.
HURRAY FOR HOT POT
MOLCAJETE IS MUY BUENO
Nothing says “abracadabra” like molcajete—a traditional stone bowl, heated and piled high with grilled meats, vegetables, and much (much!) more, plus tortillas (and oftentimes beans and rice) on the side. Think of it as a bigger, better version of fajitas, where you can build-your-own delicious bite. The version at Taqueria La Nueva Vallarta comes with steak, chicken, shrimp, nopales, and chorizo (10305 Fairway Drive, Roseville, 916-749-3791, taqueria-la-nueva-vallarta.business.site); Vallarta Mexican Restaurant & Cantina serves their rendition with chicken, steak, shrimp, and a creamy chipotle sauce (263 Placerville Drive, Placerville, 530-626-0841, vallartarestaurantplacerville.com); El Agave Taqueria has both a meat molcajete—topped with grilled cheese and nopales—and a seafood version with El Agave’s specialty sauce (1285 Grass Valley Highway, Auburn, 530-823-8292, elagavetaqueria.com); while the crowd-pleasing bowl at La Calle is chock-full of marinated carne asada and grilled queso fresco (6608 Folsom-Auburn Road, Suite 1, Folsom, 916-293-9677, lacallefolsom.com). Wherever you order it, we guarantee everyone in the restaurant will want to have what you’re having.
LOST & FONDUE
Does your love language include romantic walks through the cheese department? Are your restaurant decisions motivated by questions like: “Where’s the fondue?” Enchanted Forest Dining Experience is indeed an “experience” and offers a dedicated four-course fondue menu (gasp!) alongside a true fairy tale setting (complete with foliage and twinkly lights). Your adventure begins with cheese fondue, followed by the main course (meatballs, chicken, shrimp, and filet mignon in a seasoned broth, plus dipping sauces), and ends on a sweet note with chocolate fondue (372 Main Street, Placerville, 530-303-3078, enchantedforestdining.com). C’mon get happy at Friar Tuck’s Restaurant & Bar with their cheese fondue—a special only offered during happy hour—that comes complete with pickled carrots, local pork sausage, and baguette (111 North Pine Street, Nevada City, 530-265-9093, friartucks.com).
HURRAY FOR HOT POT
A huge bowl of seasoned broth with a medley of meats, seafood, vegetables, and condiments, all bubbling away at your table…what’s not to love? Tao's HotPot & Shabu has an all-you-can-eat option (aka, the dream); try the spicy tonkotsu broth and Australian lamb (510 Natoma Station Drive, Suite 100, Folsom, 916-510-1745, taoshotpot.com). Tasty Pot serves a set menu; the kimchi dumpling hot pot is the ultimate winter warmer (1020 Pleasant Grove Boulevard, Suite 170, Roseville, 916-749-4236, tastypotusa.com). At Hotpot Express, you can choose your own broth (we love their chef’s special lemongrass) and add self-serve meats and vegetables (6456 Antelope Road, Citrus Heights, 916-735-8512).
CHEERS TO CHURRASCO
Looking to live out your carnivorous fantasies and have a literal parade of Brazilian barbecued meats (churrasco) brought to your table on swords (yes, swords!) then carved in front of your face? Flame & Fire offers the rodizio grill fixed menu with a multitude of mouthwatering meats like picanha (marinated top sirloin), bacon-wrapped filet, and tri-tip, plus all the lip-smacking sides you can stomach (963 Pleasant Grove Boulevard, Suite 100, Roseville, 916-790-5750; 380 Palladio Parkway, Suite 305, Folsom, 916-839-3535, flameandfire.com); Galpão Guacho also offers a fixed menu that boasts 17 cuts of meat like filet mignon, lamb chops, salmon, and pork sausage, along with over 40 gourmet salads and sides (1400 Eureka Road, Roseville, 916-909-7707, galpaogauchousa.com).
KOREAN BBQ BLISS
Get your grill on! Korean BBQ is the ultimate hands-on dining experience. Choose from a vast array of vegetables, meats, and accompaniments, then grill it yourself right at the table. Blue House Korean BBQ has all-you-can-eat on lock with choices like pork belly, galbi, and spicy brisket, but leave room to try the Korean pancake dessert (2030 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 22, Roseville, 916-472-6598, bluehousekbbq.com); Gangham Ave. is all-you-can-eat, and we’re all about their marinated short rib, bulgogi, and curry pork, with the Korean ice cream for dessert! (2216 Sunrise Boulevard, Rancho Cordova, 916-840-5645, gangnamavebbq.com).
T IS FOR TEPPANYAKI
Teppanyaki and hibachi are akin to an edible magic show at your table—complete with knives, flames, and plenty of fun. Shogun Hibachi Grill & Sushi offers hibachi combos like filet mignon and shrimp (1870 Prairie City Road, Suite 600, Folsom, 916-985-9888, shogunatfolsom.com); Soho Sushi & Teppanyaki serves crowd-pleasers like steak and scallops, but be sure to save room for the fried banana dessert (1811 Douglas Boulevard, Suite A1, Roseville, 916-771-4749, sohoteppanyaki.com); Kobe Teppanyaki & Sushi is known for their kobe beef (naturally), but try the Maine lobster tail and the crab rangoon (131 Ferrari Ranch Road, Lincoln, 916-543-6888, kobeteppanyakilincoln.com).
DINNER & A SHOW
Disappear a meal right into your belly at Mystique Dining: a five-course feast featuring entrées like aged slow-roasted prime rib or Cornish game hen (during November, upgrade to the “Chef’s Showcase” osso bucco for an additional $20) followed by an award-winning magic show (611 Sutter Street, Folsom, 916-293-9000, mystiquedining.com). Get a dose of movie magic while dining in luxury in front of the silver screen! Feast your eyes on November releases like The Marvels, Napoleon, or The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes: Studio Movie Grill has super-comfy recliners and plenty of to-die-for dishes, like warm salted pretzels, burgers on toasted brioche, and brownie sundaes (5140 Commons Drive, Rocklin, 279-999-7632, studiomoviegrill.com); Palladio LUXE Cinema serves delectable deep-fried cheese curds and an equally appetizing prosciutto flatbread (400 Palladio Parkway, Folsom, 916-984-7469, cinemawest.com). If you prefer your food with a side of live music, then The Green Room Social Club delivers‚ with impressive acts (both local and national) alongside tasty bites five days a week (251 Main Street, Placerville, 530-957-3030, clubgreenroom.com).
by Sharon PennyTaqueria La Nueva Vallarta photo by Leo Beas of CK Marketing. Vallarta Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, Tao’s HotPot & Shabu and Enchanted Forest Dining Experience photos by Taylor Allred ©stylemediagroup. Tasty Pot photo courtesy of Tasty Pot. Flame & Fire photo by Ray Burgess ©stylemediagroup. Galpão Guacho photo courtesy of Galpão Guacho. Gangham Ave. photo by Ray Burgess ©stylemediagroup. Soho Sushi & Teppanyaki photo by Dante Fontana ©stylemediagroup. Blue House Korean BBQ and Shogun Hibachi Grill & Sushi photos by Taylor Allred ©stylemediagroup. Other photos courtesy of thier respective companies or organizations.
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