Formerly the Red Lotus, this space is thriving in its current avatar as the Red Rabbit. I’ve been here for happy hour, a special event (the Sac Social Media event in December 2012), and spent a few hours there tonight with a friend. Great service on all nights, from the servers to the bartenders.
The restaurant is on a little square, next to Harlow’s and Momo’s, down the street from the Blue Cue, around the corner from the UCD Extension (yes, I have come here after a night class…) The large windows and the enclosed patio on the sidewalk frame a large open loft/warehouse style space. The interior has lots of exposed brick, hardwood floors, warm lighting, gorgeous large paintings. As you walk in, there is booth seating along the wall and high tables off to the right in the bar area along the windows, each seating around 8 people: conducive to happy hour mingling with your neighbors. The bar itself is enormous, taking up a large footprint of the restaurant, but it is not overwhelming.
There are a few tables in the back and then you can go through the french doors to a private patio where there is an outdoor bar, heated lamps, and additional seating. Fun in the summer and fall, I’m sure.
On my first visit, upon hearing that I had recently tried whiskey and was a fan, the bartender referred me to the Buck Hunter, a delicious concoction of whiskey, ginger beer, blackberry jam, vanilla bitters and lemon juice. Two of those about knocked me on my ass. In a good way. I’ve tried and love the risotto croquettes, the polenta cakes and the shrimp tacos. The Ramen (with shrimp) is slurp-worthily delicious!
One of my indicators of a good restaurant is the coffee. It’s been my general experience that unless a place has an espresso machine, their coffee is subpar to mediocre. Not the Red Rabbit! They serve Temple coffee in a french press. Another delicious win.
Definitely one of my favorite restaurants on the grid.
The Red Rabbit Kitchen and Bar
2718 J St
Sacramento, CA 95816