Sacramento was my home for the first eighteen years of my life. It’s interesting how much the town changes every time I stop in. Luckily, all the dirty bars I fantasized about visiting as a child are still around and thriving. I remember as a youth, sitting in the passenger’s seat of my mom’s Lincoln Continental, driving past such mesmerizing locales as Pied Piper, Glass Turtle, Ernie's Interlude, and a plethora of appropriately-named establishments on Auburn Blvd, and kicking my toddler feet in joy. There's something majestic about a half-burnt-out neon sign from the 70s, inviting me to come in and drink my sorrows away.
The Shady Lady - A saloon-style bar that perfectly merges old-timey and modern aesthetic. A rich ruby red and onyx color scheme complements the brick and wood base, and an assortment of theme-appropriate photographs adorn the walls of this Downtown Sacramento gem. I love a good themed bar (um, have you seen my list of tiki bars?!), so I enjoyed my experience here.
We didn't order food, but I took a peek at the menu. The brunch looks amazing and I kind of have a boner for the whiskey-cured lox situation.
Next stop on my visit, Tower Cafe. It's not a bar, and it's certainly not dirty, but it's super-whimsical, they serve a killer Monte Cristo and best of all, they have a lovely list of cocktails. I went here with my folks before heading to the airport for my flight back to LA. I ordered the pomegranate-blood orange margarita.
Probably the best flavored margarita I've ever had. Not too sweet, a little tart, and just right.
Back in town, Chad picks me up from LAX and we head over to a little hole-in-the-wall we spotted before my departure flight. It’s called Lei Aloha and looks pretty nondescript from the outside. Situated next door to a loud, hoppin’ sports bar, we have to dodge a mass of overly-cologned douchebags before we are able to make our way inside.
Not relevant, but we stopped by Target after Lei Aloha...