Bistro 33 (Lofty Aspirations)

Great things are supposed to come from the corner of 16th and J. Just like Zeus was born of Hera’s thigh (or is it the other way around) all things hip, stylish and lofty are born from the revamped corner project. Bistro 33 was to be no exception to the rule as expectations ran high. Most Sacramentans are familiar with if not very fond of the 33rd St Bistro on Folsom and 33rd, and this new child of that restaurant enterprise was to equal and maybe even outshine its parent. (Similar to Prometheus outshining the other gods by inventing fire or something like that.)

Truth is, so far, Bistro 33 is taking some fumbly infant footsteps out in the playground and not living up to its potential on the kick ball team. (So what, I can mix mythology and childhood memory metaphors if I want.) My recent trip was less than stellar. Menu items all promised to be divine and unique, but our dishes failed to live up. My pea salad was too heavy on the mayonnaise (which, for me, was previously thought to be a statistical impossibility), my pork tenderloin was fried to within an inch of its life, the grilled flatbread was a strange concoction of flavors that didn’t quite add up (bread is not offered gratis to diners), and my mother’s cobb-esque salad was a little light on flavor and heavy on presentation. (Note to chef: you can never have too much bacon)

I’d probably go back though, to tell the truth, for drinks and snacks. The beers on tap are yummy and eclectic (Downtown Brown, Dead Guy Ale, Full Sail) and the small plates look like better bets taste wise and price wise than the full entrees. A few paninis from 33rd St are on the menu as well, and I know from experience that those are delicious. The kitchen is open til midnight most nights and til 3AM Th-Sat, so late-night eats is a distinct possibility. So, I’m not totally turned off to the idea of Bistro 33 and will probably hit it up again soon. Eventually that kid will kill at tetherball or unchain himself from a rock or something and we’ll all be better for it. Oh yeah, thanks Mom, for getting the bill.

Bistro 33
16th and J, Sacramento
Food ** Service*** Atmosphere****

10 thoughts on “Bistro 33 (Lofty Aspirations)”

  1. Dinner was an after work affair so I didn’t have time to stay until dark. I haven’t heard of the “light show” though (unless that’s some kind of slang for people in the bathroom doing lots of coke).

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  2. I definitely want there to either be a mythology-themed restaurant or a kickball-themed restaurant

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  3. Let’s urge the legislature to require tetherball poles in every restaurant in the state (that’s no sillier than many of the other bills coming out of the building.)

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  4. If you go back look up. There are serveral projectors and MAC Minis attached. The top windows are opaque and at night the projectors display a light show on these windows. I have not seen it at night to see if it is cool.

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  5. Tunel 21…Hangar 17…and now Bistro 33. Can’t you freakishly unimaginative Sacramento restauranteurs come up with more inspiring names for your businesses?

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  6. Another numerical restaurant: 55 Degrees

    “This meal is brought to you by the letters E, A, and T, and the number 17.”

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  7. Went back last night to see the light show and it was pretty damn cool. They had projectors showing colors and clouds and fish and all kinds of things up on the high-up walls and windows. It was slightly overshadowed, though, by the fake tit and glaring highlight parade that was the clientele on a Thursday night.

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