Early peek at El Rey food, drinks and ambiance as taqueria set to open near arena

As Golden 1 Center prepares to debut, one of the area's most significant restaurant projects will launch at 711 K St. El Rey taqueria opens on Aug. 31, with a menu of Mexican food and cocktails that are geared for crowds heading to and from the ar
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As Golden 1 Center prepares to debut, one of the area's most significant restaurant projects will launch at 711 K St. El Rey taqueria opens on Aug. 31, with a menu of Mexican food and cocktails that are geared for crowds heading to and from the ar
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Restaurant News & Reviews

7 moves to know about Sacramento’s downtown restaurant scene

Sacramento Bee Staff

October 13, 2016 06:00 AM

You have to work to keep up with all the changes on the downtown Sacramento restaurant scene lately. Here are seven recent moves you won’t want to miss. Stay hungry and keep your charge card handy, because by the end of 2017, more than 30 new restaurants and bars are expected to open along the K Street mall and its adjacent areas.

1.) El Rey taqueria opens on K Street

El Rey is being positioned as a high-energy Mexican restaurant catering to crowds heading to and from Golden 1 Center. The menu focuses on tacos with a range of fillings, including slow-braised beef and pork, and seafood. It gets bonus points for its drinks.

2.) Malt and Mash brings an Irish pub to K Street

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Good food, craft cocktails, lots of wood and a nice patio are all part of the appeal. Look for fun bar food, like poutine fries with duck confit and a Reuben with kimchi. And, of course, fish and chips. Bryce Palmer is the head chef for Malt and Mash and El Rey.

3. Slap on a bib, Boiling Crab is coming to town

The Boiling Crab, a Southern California-based chain with 16 locations, is bringing the seafood-boil concept to K Street this fall. It serves heavily seasoned crab and crayfish in bags with potatoes and corn on the cob.

4. A classic Jewish deli for modern times

The brainchild of several longtime and well known Sacramento women, the deli is slated to open this fall in the 700 block of K Street. It’ll feature New York-style bagels and lox sliced to order, and likely a spot to buy pastrami and bagels to take home.

5. Estelle’s moving to spot near Golden 1

Starting in the spring, you’ll find the patisserie and its lovely croissants at DoCo (Downtown Commons). Other restaurants set to open there: Punch Bowl Social, Sauced BBQ, Popbar and State Fare Kitchen and Bar.

6. Bennigan’s taking Café Bernardo’s spot

Another chain restaurant is getting in on the popularity of downtown Sacramento. Paragary Restaurant Group is selling the Café Bernardo-KBar prime location to Dallas-based Bennigan’s (“American fare with a friendly Irish hospitality”). It will offer more than a dozen beers on tap, multiple TVs, two heated outdoor patios and space for events.

7. RailBridge Cellars is out, casino and lounge are in

The swanky restaurant and wine bar in the gracious old Elks Tower Building closes to make way for a three-level casino and lounge, bar, restaurant and, yes, a “spirits library.”