Just Lounging Around (Lounge on 20 - Sacramento, CA)

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Special Note: This was a complimentary chefs tasting menu I went to. Whether that makes me biased or not I'm not sure, but I try to taste the food from a neutral standpoint (but it rocked any way you cut it). I had been here before while working on an article for Edible Sacramento, and after trying the food and the drink, I honestly don't think my review would be much different.Champagne. Delicious cocktails. Fabulous, earth shatteringly good food. Wonderful friends with whom to socialize, chat, and gossip with. My God... why can't all Wednesday nights be like this?

I had been invited by my friend Julie to attend a special chef's tasting event for a small private party. Also in attendance was Julie's coworker Jenna, the ever fabulous Kristy with beau in tow, Amber who is the prime Yelper for the Sac Food Scene along with parents, and the diva duo of Twin Soup, Sarah and Rachel.

We had all been gathered at Lounge on 20, the newest Sacramento hotspot by the people who created Restaurant 55 Degrees (the place I had my hooker incident and some damn fine risotto). It touts itself as the new local late night lounge, reminiscent of the kinds you find in San Francisco or L.A.

The decor consists of milk white walls and chairs with dark wood and laid back white sling back leather chairs. Accented with dark wood furniture, smooth upbeat music, and good lighting; flanked by a wall of champagne it has a very shibby feel to it.
The owner, Ali, came and introduced himself and the concept of his lounge. Inspired by other wine and small plate venues in more metropolitan cities, he wanted to open a small and simple champagne bar. Eventually the idea snowballed into a 5000 sq. ft. space in the heart of Midtown with fresh, seasonal cocktails and food. The main lure is the 30 champagnes that can be ordered by the glass and then enjoyed in the suavy-chic atmosphere. Did I mention that he started this concept back in December?

The man moves fast and efficiently.

As Ali gave us the background, he poured us a delicious Schramsberg Rose, a fine bubbly with a simple, slightly sweet spirit to it. It was served alongside some roasted olives and salted almonds, both equally yummy.

The cocktails we sampled were beyond delicious. The Feminine Mystique, labeled on the menu under the "Skirts" section (more feminine drinks), seemed a bit mislabeled in our opinion. While tasty, it was a bit harsh on the vodka, so it was more of a "Hike Up Your Skirt." However the Bella Fragola was divine; sweet, cooling, and fruity from strawberries and basil. (Expect to see more about the cocktails and the mixologists in the Summer 08 issue of Edible Sacramento.)The first dish we tried was a small leaf of leek with a strawberry and Asian pear salad, accented with some mint, basil, blue cheese and toasted almonds it was a pleasant little bite. Contained and equal in all of it's parts, the only thing I have negative to say is that there was far too little of it.

The deep fried risotto was rich, dreamy, you floated off of your seat into a place where only good things can happen. Warm and homey from the risotto, slightly crunchy outside, balanced in earthiness from the white truffle oil. Accented with bits of basil, Parmesan, and a creamy tomato sauce (which I, literally, wiped the plate clean of with my finger), the sweet little dream-puff was a miracle on a plate.Fennel-spiced seared ahi was served with heirloom watermelon and sea salt. While simply decent when eaten separately, the ahi and watermelon are elevated when paired together. The subtle anise flavor with the near totally raw ahi, and the salted watermelon excites your tongue. It's an engaging combo.

Served with the ahi was a Desante Sauv Blanc, 06. Like the ahi and watermelon, it was fine on it's own but had to be paired well for it to really let it's grassy notes flourish.

The scallop matched the fried risotto for pure god damn awesomeness. I mean this was some of the best food ever. Served with a quail egg, pancetta, truffled beets, and a turnip puree that was like pastry cream due to being cooked in cream it was seafood turned to dessert practically. The chef told us that it was his take on bacon and eggs, and what a take it is.

Then suddenly, three hours had passed. The time has slipped right by us, hazy with sweet dream-like foods and great quantities of delicious liquors. Afterwards we lingered a bit, indulging in further cocktails, regaling each other with a combination of wit and tipsy joviality. It was a fabulous night.

My advice? Go. Now. Gather friends and go. Its a delightful experience fueled by delicious liquors and dishes, a perfect spot for friends to gather.
Lounge on 20
20 & K
Midtown Sacramento


  1. I sent my resume'(which is impressive) to them twice. I need an in????

    Garrett, I wanted to talk to you about a "Fall Potluck" here at my place. Could you shoot me an email with your thoughts. I was thinking of you as an assist. coordinator? Thanks! Happy 4TH! ;)

  2. I happened in there on their "soft" opening night--drinks were fantastic. They weren't serving food yet. Can't wait to go back. pics look awesome.

  3. Lounge on 20 sounds great! Thanks for the review.

  4. I agree that Lounge on 20 is a great place for hanging out with friends. The drinks are amazing and the food is 1st class. It's wonderful to see Ali increasing the culture and coolness of Sacramento again.

  5. I'm so jealous of your pics! You must teach me.

  6. totally laughing about the "hike up your skirt."


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