Plot spoiler: this recommendation contains a discussion of fried chicken. Very good fried chicken in fact. From Chef Mama Kim.
With a name like Mama Kim, you might expect to find her new restaurant serving Hawaiian barbecue or lomi lomi salmon.
In fact, Kim is actually Kim Scott, a Canadian with a degree in Fine Arts who thought a restaurant job might help her buy painting canvases. She has since traded in the art of art for the art of cooking. With great success.
She began with a successful catering business and Mama Kimís On the Go food truck. This May she opened Mama Kim Eats, her creole-accented, Del Paso Blvd. restaurant in an out of the way neighborhood of Sacramento.
Now I admit being curious before my first visit. How well would Mama Kim and her staff of accredited chefs make the jump from truck food fare to fine dining? The answer arrived with the first dish. These guys know how to provide a great meal and a welcome sense of wellbeing.
We started with the house smoked salmon with herb drizzle and fingerling potatoes. The fish was plump, moist, smoky and delicious. I would come back just for this.
We passed on the day boat scallops with bourbon beurre blanc, baked oysters, rack of lamb and other adult entrees. We were in the mood for Mama Kimís take on ribs, fried chicken, fried green tomatoes with remoulade and jalapeno corn bread with chili honey butter.
And by the time we were half done, we were wishing we had skipped the salmon and saved more room for our second courses.
The chicken was steaming hot with a crunchy crust and great seasonings. The ribs were meaty and rich, with just enough bite. And the corn bread and tomatoes were the perfect accompaniments.
Mama Kim may have left her art career to focus on feeding us, but she is still surrounded by artists and theatres of all kinds who share the complex on Del Paso Boulevard. And, yes, the move from food truck to sit-down restaurant is working.