Nestled underneath the Embassy Suites in Sacramento, this is no average hotel restaurant. In fact, it is almost a travesty it is located there, as it is certainly bypassed by many due to its concealment right inside the hotel lobby. But, then again, it's an ideal location -- there are fewer places with such a spectacular view of the Tower Bridge. That can't be beat.
About halfway into our meal, our chef that evening, Robert Martinez, swept up tableside to introduce himself and drop off a dish he specially prepared from fresh catch just brought over from Hawaii. (Steve had tipped off the restaurant that I was a food blogger.) He had spent his vacation exploring not just the waters and cliffs, but the culinary delights that came from them.
The Opakapaka, or Hawaiian Pink Snapper, came lightly grilled and cradled in a cup of iceberg lettuce over housemade buckwheat noodles. One bite revealed the delicious flavors of carrots, cilantro and fresh ginger. A slight kick of spice, from what I believe was Sriracha sauce, kept one's tastebuds alert and craving more.
Next, slices of pineapple for dipping alongside two tiny bowls of salt crystals. The one of a deeper brown color had the addition of volcanic ash, inducing a burnt flavor. I am still coming to appreciate the finer discrepancies between various sea salts, but it was certainly a treat to indulge in the volcanic variety.
The final tropical flair was a pound cake drizzled in macadamia honey, topped with fresh fruit and nuts. The honey, as was explained to us, was not honey infused with macadamia nuts, but rather, honey gathered from the macadamia tree's nectar. It held the faintest taste of macadamias inside. The dessert was sweetly spectacular and would go well with a pina colada.
To finish off this indulgent birthday dinner, a chocolate molten lava cake with oozing hot fudge was placed before me. I finished off a few bites before calling it a night.