The Flaming Gaylord and the Crying of Lot 33

Some quick notes about eats to brighten your Thursday:

Gaylord Indian Restaurant, despite its lengthy resume including outlets in Beverly Hills, Milan, Atlantis, and the Sea of Tranquility, doesn’t appear to be doing so well.  The newish joint on 14th and O appears to be patronized mostly by empty chairs during the lunch and early dinner hours when I’ve walked by.  Also, a former employee of the ‘Lord told me that, even though he had severed the employer/employee relationship weeks ago, he hasn’t seen a dime of his last paycheck.  Hmmm, empty chairs and unwillingness to pay back wages, not a good recipe for business success, or nan.

A new restaurant is taking shape on El Camino, and no, it’s not another Mexican joint.  In a small drive-in, briefly the home of a coffee shop cum Thai restaurant, comes “The Flaming Grill.“  Like a phoenix rising from the coconut curry ashes, it comes together, in a burst of flame and charred feathers.  It’s got the look of a burger/chili/dog joint run by a Harley riding softie with a passion for hot sauces–the kind of place where you go to fill up before watching the Raiders game.  I, for one, am excited.  Ever since Tiny’s on Fulton closed down, the Arden/Arcade has been aching for a bomb-ass burger joint, and this might just be it.  Look for a grand opening this month or next, across from St. Philomene’s between Fulton and Howe.

Bonn Lair is not nearly as offputting as I had previously thought.  This might be helped by the fact that one of their new bartenders is a good friend.  On my one previous visit, several years ago, I felt a bit slighted and ignored.  This “regulars only” attitude seems to have lightened up a bit from personal experience and various reports.  And really, the attitude was the only thing stopping me from dropping by frequently.  Bonn Lair has one of the best selections of beers anywhere in town–two casks, about a dozen taps, and “beer by the bucket” specials.  Oh yeah, I’m there.

In his most recent story, a strangely post-modern, angular, and flowery piece, Bee writer Bob Sylva covers the meteoric rise of the Haines brothers, founders of the Bistro 33 empire.  One specific passage caught my eye.  When discussing his plans to open a nightclub, Matt Haines describes his vision: “Think Vegas, he says. Raw bar, bottle service, caged dancing girls. Like Pure or Tryst.”

Super, Matt.  Really super.  Just what we need, another goddamned douchebag magnet.  Raw bar?  RAW BAR?!?  What the f#$% is your major malfunction?  How about, just once, a set of brothers try not to pattern their lives after the Maloofs?  How about the lofty concept that adults, yes adults, with money, yes Matt, they have money too, might want a place to drink that doesn’t involve caged girls, guys with shaved chests and boom boom club tunes?  How bout you invest 10 grand in a baby grand, a few more bills on mahogany furniture, and try to find a cocktail staff that doesn’t have lip rings, tramp stamps, piano key highlights and “sass,” and open a place that appeals to someone other than the elusive American, striped-shirted, coke-snorting douchebag?  (I’m not sure if I sound passionate or just old and bitter…I’m going for passionate.)

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21 thoughts on “The Flaming Gaylord and the Crying of Lot 33”

  1. I don’t want to think Vegas… i hate Vegas. And where as i thought it was at least confined to the desert and unable to influence any real city, it’s becoming clear that what happens in Vegas is now leaving Vegas.

    I think Riverside Clubhouse could have achieved something like you describe Mr. Eats. Only with a mid-century modern feel i suppose. To bad the Land Park NIMBYs can’t see past their own parking spot. But I suppose they envy the silence of their deceased and burried neighbors in the cemetery.

    Gaylord’s does excellent food. Every meal I’ve had there has been perfectly cooked and explosive in flavor. But Gaylord’s had the worst service I’ve ever experienced – so bad it was embarassing for both the restaurant and the customer.

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  2. Re: “nightclub, Matt Haines describes his vision: “Think Vegas, he says. Raw bar, bottle service, caged dancing girls. Like Pure or Tryst.””

    Stay classy, Sacramento!

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  3. As for Gaylord:

    A) there is no menu posted, nor would the waiter let me look at one before I sat. Thus, an empty chair took my place.

    B) it’s RIDICULOUSLY expensive. The Kaveri buffet is better, and only $12. Theirs is like $25! For a BUFFET! WTF! AT LUNCH!

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  4. Not true. Or true-ish.
    The buffet is 25 bones, but it’s ALWAYS on sale for, I think, 12.

    It’s like the record store in Old Sac, where everything is too expensive, but always 20% off.

    It’s a stupid business model in my opinion, but it apparently has followers.

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  5. caged girls? come on, are you f’ing kidding me? there is something seriously, dangerously wrong with the brothers Haines…and, btw, I once actually heard Matt refer to a $20 bill as a “yuppie food stamp”…..no joke.
    what’s wrong with sactown going more towards something like LA’s Warchowsky (Venice Beach, actually) beer garden—Dilapidated old place with an overgrown patio and tons of beers on tap plus a huge and kinda ratty big screen projector that plays gnarly cult film from the 70’s…granted, not for everyone but at least original. Raw bar and caged girls……i just barfed in my mouth.

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  6. Re: Haines bros: Riverside Clubhouse sucks. I don’t go there anymore after 3 times in 3 months. Bad.

    With regard to the nightclub in Sac…Hey Matt, take your meds! Me thinks you might be bipolar and you cycle once every 3 months or so. I could be wrong.

    The Flaming Grill…I would try.

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  7. I have been known to use the “yuppie foodstamp” term to describe $20 bills, largely in the context of having to break yet another $20 working the door at some show.

    I have been watching the “Suzie Burger” project progress at 29th and Q for some time, that is also a Haines project…what struck me as odd is that when I went to a Planning meeting regarding this, Mr. Haines seemed unaware that local neighborhood associations might be interested in hearing about their project.

    That being said, I will eat the burgers and fries there. I’m kind of hoping that some of the local car clubs will start hanging out in the parking lot.

    Didn’t the Flaming Grill formerly house a kosher deli/middle-eastern food place? Farah’s Catering or some such? Or is my geography skewed again?

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  8. I didn’t know Riverside Clubhouse was theirs, too. Do they also own 33rd St. Bistro? That place isn’t too bad, but Riverside is horrible. I was there for 45 minutes before our order was taken, everything came out at different times, and half our party was finished with their food before the other half got theirs (37 minutes later – we timed it). The orders were mostly wrong, and they never apologized or knocked anything off the bill. Pretty ridiculous. I was attempting to impress my parents, who live in Berkeley and eat out 5 times a week. Needless to say, they don’t come up to Sacramento very often any more.

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  9. Riverside Clubhouse is weird… people seem to have such horrible experiences there, or just hit/miss. But I’ve gone there maybe 30 times and NEVER had anything other than a great experience. I’ve gone early, I’ve gone late… weekends, weekdays… for appetizers, drinks, brunch, or the whole dinner. They’ve always been great.

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  10. the problem with our fair city is that it catches the “craze” far too late in the game…i mean, look at the park ultra lounge/mahjongs debacle–it just screams, “MIAMI…15 years ago”. This town has so much rad potential and could seriously soar if hosebags like the Brothers Haines would go beyond the ‘Vegas, baby’ mentality.

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  11. In regards to “The Flaming Grill Cafe” on El Camino, it is the Phoenix rising from the ashes. I have been there twice since their grand opening on Friday and rhe food is INCREDIBLE!!! I left with a full stomach as well as a full wallet.

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  12. You are right about the Flaming Grill Cafe. There is a Buzz in the neighborhood about this place. Very good food and the service is great too.

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  13. If the signage being displayed at the “Best of Sacramento” party was any indication, the new Hainesoriffic “VEGAS!” style douche-a-rama will be called “Tre.”

    Please try to find a proper receptacle before vomiting.

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  14. I checked out the flaming grill and thought it was fantastic. Thanks again for giving me the scoop while I’m in Sac. The inlaws always want to go to Espanol because they can walk there.

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