I’m Back, Baby!

Surprise! It’s me, Sean! It’s been a little over 4 years, I’m still here in Roseville, and wow have things changed. I’ve been feeling that itch for almost a year now and I already found over 50 new restaurants to check out. I posted a while back on the Facebook page to gauge interest and see what restaurants people were excited about. Got some great responses and I’ll be checking those places out soon! Let me know in the comments what new restaurants you are curious about but haven’t had a chance to try yet.

I was curious the other day and looked up the date of my very first post, about Hot Dog King. Turns out I just barely missed the 10 year anniversary, oops! That would have been a fun way to fire this back up, oh well.

I doubt my format will change much at all here. I might loosen the rule on chains a little bit, specifically to check out some restaurants that generally have not had a presence in CA or the Sacramento area and are starting to break into the market.

Anyway not much to say here except I’m really excited to be back at it and check out all the new eats we have here and share them with you! Stay tuned, I’ll be checking out my first place this weekend!

For now I’ll leave you with a photo of some fried chicken from a great new spot that I’ve really been digging since they opened, Vons.

Also, please welcome my new co-pilot, Salted Butter!

So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish!

Hi All!  This post has been a few months coming, I just hadn’t worked up the nerve to make it “official” until now.  Also I am quite lazy, but we’ve covered that multiple times now.

I started this blog about 5 and a half years ago and have visited over 270 restaurants since then.  If you include things like food trucks and Roseville Square events it probably approaches 300.  That’s a LOT!  It really grew into something much bigger than I had originally imagined, which was just to take some photos and post them on my personal Facebook page as a sort of record of having actually gone everywhere in Roseville.  Little did I realize I would be at it so long that I would eventually be waiting for new places to open so I could check them out, and even expanding my reach into the surrounding areas.

It has been a blast exploring all kinds of food that I never tried before.  Would you believe that I never had sushi, Indian, ph√≥ (or Vietnamese food of any kind for that matter) or even a freaking cheesesteak before this blog?  These are now some of my favorite things!  It has really reinforced the idea to me that you should try everything, at least once (or many times!  I’m looking at you kimchi, one of these days I’m going to understand your appeal and learn to appreciate you).

Lately my creative energies (what little I do contain) have drifted away from writing.  Rather than let this blog languish and be updated less and less frequently I have decided to throw in the napkin and bring it to a close.  Thank you to everyone for reading along all this time and giving me great suggestions and knowledge along the way.  It’s been amazing.

I leave you with a challenge.  Go try a restaurant or cuisine you know nothing about.  Don’t read anything about it first, just go and experience it!  Take a moment and look into the shopping centers that you drive by but never go into.  See what little places are hiding in the corner.  There are more of them than you may realize!

Once again, thank you and happy dining!

Oh, Rupert also says farewell ūüėČ

#256: Koi Garden

I received an in-person request this morning by a co-worker to check this place out.  Having had a small and early lunch I was more than eager to please.  I was headed out the door with my camera before 5PM.

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This is Koi Garden, an Asian Cuisine restaurant located on Roseville Parkway at North Sunrise. ¬†Some Yelp reviews give the impression that this is a rebranded and downsized iteration of the previous tenant here, Koisan. ¬†Although I can find no official evidence of this, I do believe it to be true because the friendly server greeted me and said “long time no see,” and she did seem familiar from my Koisan visit.

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They have split the big anchor space in two and now occupy the left half.  They are reusing the tables, chairs, and other than a new red wall and the obvious lack of a buffet, the dining room feels about the same.  The atmosphere was a little boring due to a lack of music.  The only sound came from a small TV at the front of the room, playing a procedural crime drama, at low volume and the droning of the kitchen exhaust, which actually was fairly loud in comparison.

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I had popped in here a couple weeks ago, while stopping next door for a quick Mango Lassi to-go from¬†Tandoori Nights, and grabbed a menu, so I had already looked over everything and picked out a few items to order prior to arriving. ¬†As soon as the server came over to see what I wanted to drink I went ahead and ordered everything ‚Äď General Chicken (lightly battered chicken in a spicy sweet sauce)[$9.50], Honey Garlic Pork Chop (in a honey garlic soy sauce)[$10.95], Walnut Shrimp (lightly battered shrimp in a chef’s creamy sauce with caramelized walnut)[$12.95] and a diet coke (because I’m trying to watch my figure)[$2.25].

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It took about 13 minutes for the first dish to arrive, and the others came one by one about a minute apart after that. ¬†Perfect timing to grab some photos of each before digging in. ¬†I started with the shrimp, which is usually my favorite. ¬†Lending itself to evidence that this is the same place as Koisan, I found the shrimp to be hot, juicy and generally tasty, but not particularly noteworthy beyond that. ¬†This is especially the case when compared to the same dish from Leo’s Kitchen, Bambu or Wong’s Garden, all of which are unbelievably good and have a crispy texture that is unmatched elsewhere, including here. ¬†The walnuts were OK, they just lacked the crunch I expect from candied walnuts. ¬†One upside to this dish is that I received¬†more shrimp here than at the previously mentioned places¬†for about the same price.

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Next up I tried the General Chicken. ¬†This was a very good sized pile of medium to large pieces of chicken doused in a thick, dark, syrupy sauce. ¬†It was nice and piping hot when it arrived. ¬†Now¬†this one was special. ¬†Flavor aside, and it was delicious, the texture of this chicken was downright magical. ¬†It had the most delicate yet satisfying crispy shell, just underneath its¬†thick coating of sauce, which gave way to the tender chicken within. ¬†The sauce was very rich, sweet and with just a hint of spice that only built over consecutive bites. ¬†I’m looking forward to my leftovers on this one for sure.

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Finally, the Honey Garlic Pork Chop.  When this was set down before me I immediately got strong aromas of sweet honey with a little bit of garlic undertones.  Interestingly, tasting it was the opposite.  The garlic was front and center and only here and there did I get little bits of honey.  This one was another excellent dish in terms of texture.  The pork was sliced thinly and the entire outside had a bit of a crunch to it.  Internally, the pork was flavorful, but not as tender as I would have hoped.  I did come across a piece here and there that almost melted in my mouth, but those were few and far between.  Most was a tad dry and chewy.  The water chestnuts did not add anything really exciting to this.

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The service throughout my visit was good. ¬†My server checked on me regularly, offered refills just before I needed them and boxed up my leftovers right at the table. ¬†The food was obviously a bit of a mixed bag. ¬†My lunch experience at Koisan faired¬†a little better than here, so they have the potential. ¬†I think I just didn’t order quite the right dishes to experience what they have to offer. ¬†Despite this I’ll likely be sticking to my go-to’s for Chinese (Wong’s Garden and Leo’s Kitchen) in the future.

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