The new casual fare restaurant from Waterboy owner Rick Mahan is finally open. Called OneSpeed, it’s been in the “coming-soon” stage since prohibition, which of course leads to pretty lofty expectations. Can Mahan live up? Can he deliver unlike another Sacramento over-hyped project, Hot Italian?

Damn straight he can. Stand and deliver he can. Give it to ya’ with a swift, casual kick to the culinary crotch he can.

Ok, here’s the scope. OneSpeed is a laid-back, medium-sized neighborhood bar/restaurant. The menu has a decent number of Med-inspired offerings with a predominance of pizza and salads. Entree specials seem to rotate pretty regularly and are up on the chalkboard. Prices are fair, portions are small to reasonable. Vibe is ultra-casual with ladies showing off very heavy tan lines and guys wandering in wearing their nut-snuggling bike shorts and sweaty technical fabric jerseys. Note to said guys: just because the name of the place evokes great cycling nostalgia — “one-speed” being a term for one-speed bicycles — there is no justification for spreading your cycling stink all over my pizza.

The swordfish special was a home run, with calms, coconut broth, and bizarre but tasty purple potatoes. The gnocchi were divine with a brown butter, and the beets with goat cheese were beet-a-riffic.  The one flop was a small app dish of marinated peppers, artichokes and fennel, which really had no flavor at all other than olive oil and black pepper. Desserts were great, other than the slight weirdness in numenclature on the dessert menu which made a $5.00 panna cotta look like a $50 panna cotta. Luckily I wasn’t paying so I didn’t bother clarifying with the waitstaff. Instead I just ordered the panna cotta, which was delicious, along with what may have been a $250 cup of coffee.

So, well done to Mr. Mahan. His little side project is undeniably worthy of his nameplate and, if the line out the door is any judge, an unmitigated success. Oh, there is one thing though.  The doors.  Not the band, the doors to the restaurant.  While the rest of the room has a hip, colorful, modern vibe, the doors look like they were purchased at an ’80s tract home liquidation sale, all cut glass and stained oak. Once they replace those godawful doors, the place will be perfect.

OneSpeed- 48th & Folsom, Sacramento

Food *** Service**** Atmosphere***

OneSpeed on Urbanspoon


5 thoughts on “OneSpeed”

  1. “Give it to ya’ with a swift, casual kick to the culinary crotch he can”….I will never forget this! I hope to use it one day..and will preface it with, “sabin quote…etc., etc.”.

    Is it where Milazzo used to be?


  2. I live near One Speed, and while walking to Trader Joe’s one evening before OS officially opened, I was almost literally dragged in by Rick (the owner) to try out dinner (on the house) as part of a dry run. The food was outstanding (didn’t even order the pizza!) and the waitstaff was fantastic. Seems like the place has been packed every night since then. A great asset for the neighborhood and for East Sac.


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