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“Great food -- BUT . . .”
Review of The Kitchen

The Kitchen
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Ranked #14 of 2,015 Restaurants in Sacramento
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Howe Ave.
Transit: Need a driver? Call our receptionist and we will be happy to arrange a town car for you. Please call a minimum of 24 hours before your reservation.
Description: The Kitchen, a Selland Family Restaurant, serves a five-course prix fixe demonstration dinner menu based on a monthly seasonal framework that features the best and freshest ingredients available on a daily basis, mostly procured locally and regionally. Dinner service also includes an interactive intermission featuring chefs’ tasting stations, as well as a finale of fresh herb tea service and artisan coffee served with Dessert. The Kitchen Restaurant has earned every imaginable local and regional award along with an impressive list of national accolades, including the AAA Five Diamond Award five years running, a nod as a semi-finalist for the James Beard “Outstanding Restaurant” Award, the highest Zagat ratings, and honors from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, as well as inclusion in the Yelp Top 100 and the Open Table Top 100.
Santa Rosa, California
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great food -- BUT . . .”
Reviewed March 19, 2013

Absolutely the best food I've had. Every bite was a delight and with the wine pairing the food was as close to perfection as you can get. And the service was excellent. BUT -- The "show" was annoying on our more recent visit because they've changed "ringmasters." The owner is now running the show and while he's obviously a knowledgeable businessman and chef, he's a very poor host. One problem is that there were several offensive jokes and comments. (Even though we happened to agree with his political and religious views, several people were clearly offended because they did not, and any polite person should know better than to "go there" in this kind of party setting anyway.) Moreover, he was border-line narcissistic -- way too full of himself, way too loud, and way too opinionated. On top of that, he sort of bragged that the guests could have seconds, but then complained when too many took him up on it; invited everyone to have tea but complained that so many ordered tea that it was slowing down the proceedings; and so forth. The previous host/chef was a delight; this guy was a pain. Still, we'll probably go back, but I might take ear plugs next time (or better yet, hope for a replacement host). Whether you agree with the above or not, here's a tip, no pun intended: The gratuity is included and they don't tell you except in fairly small print on the bill. If you're the type to pay in cash you might not discover until the next morning (if ever) that you left a redundant tip. I saw the bill for $602 for my wife and me (I could read that part without putting on my glasses), pulled out that cash plus a $120 tip, and left, not knowing the tip had already been included. Considering that we listened to that guy babble on and on about everything from the price of truffles to the correct length of lobster antennae, you'd think they'd mention somewhere that the gratuity is included. Unless, of course, keeping it somewhat secret is part of the plan -- they do have to pay for their blankety-blank truffles, after all.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
5 Thank MichaelTMPHD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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206 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Yuba City, California
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A unique experience. Expensive but worth it”
Reviewed March 16, 2013

Hubby surprise me.. Came w another couple. We were served 8 or 9 dishes. Each one was good in its own way. If you like something, you can ask for it as many times as you like. They teach you how to pair certain wine, sake, and tea with certain dish. Watch them perform in front of you. If you have special needs, they cater to you. It you want to help cook or have a question, they r there to answer any questuion u may have. The service is outstanding! Menu changes monthly.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Loan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level 6 Contributor
675 reviews
387 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“Best in Sac”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Great experience. The staff was wonderful. The entire night was well worth the price. Every dish was amazing. The wine pairing was perfect. They even let you ask for more of anything you would like :)

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank traveller2332
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Worth the price of admission”
Reviewed February 11, 2013

Cost is $125 per person with a 20% mandatory gratuity. Drinks are extra. (if you want seconds or thirds, that is not, you just have to ask)
They are exceptionally considerate when it comes to allergies and things you do not like, looking at it more of a challenge then a bother in accommodating you.
This is a show, which is why I love it. The service I receive has been exemplary every time. They make you feel welcome as if you're a guest in their home. I tip 20% often anyway, but this service is better then most.

Most of the times most people do not take advantage of all the kitchen offers. The clients I observed are often exceptionally polite and mostly watch without actively participating which they do tell you, you are welcome to do. I admit I'm one of them!
I have gone in a group of 3 each time. I prefer sitting at the counter where you can see the action and would recommend it especially for couples. The tables just seem too far back, though I've never actually sat there... I just like being up close.
There are 2 small complaints I do have.
As someone else said, the sushi (intermezzo) offering doesn't always seem to be enough.
The other issue is when calling to making bookings or having questions. They do not get back very quickly or at all. I've been there at least 3 times now, and each time I've had minor issues with getting some questions answered.
There have been 2 highlights that seem consistent. The sushi portion where they serve real wasabi that they grate fresh and pickled wasabi (where I am from this is not common at all, though I have found more restaurants in California that have pickled wasabi). The other is their white gloved tea service where they use fresh herbs which they cut from the plant.

Even with the issues though, I still give it 5 stars (I just hope they read this and perhaps try to fix them and make this place perfect). For the price, I think you get your moneys worth. I've eaten at places like Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas, but this is my favorite(sorry Joel, I still love your dessert and cheese tray).

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Ann C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2013 via mobile

From the moment we entered the building until we left, what a blast. The food was phenomenal, the staff was excellent and the experience was great. If you go sit at the counter it gives you a great opportunity to chat with the staff and interact with them on a more personal level. Yes it's expensive but in my opinion it was worth every penny. The food is fresh and the wine excellent! A once in a lifetime experience. Would go every month if I could afford it since they change the menu monthly!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Wojo28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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