Congratulations to the crew at Ella Dining Room & Bar on hitting the five-year milestone -- not just five years in business, which is admirable enough, but five years as one of the city's very best restaurants.
Ella set a standard right out of the gate as an elegant, lively, cosmopolitan restaurant with very good food and polished, big-league service. Since then, the restaurant has had three chefs: David English, who now owns the impressive and popular Press Bistro on Capitol; Kelly McKown, who left to run the kitchen at Goose & Gander in St. Helena; and current head chef Micheal Thiemann, who departed Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco to return home to Sacramento. As most foodies know, Ella is owned and operated by the Selland Family Restaurants, a mini-empire that includes The Kitchen and Selland Market-Cafe (now with a second location in El Dorado Hills, in addition to the East Sac spot).
We happened upon this sign (pictured above) recently while out for a walk with the dogs. Years ago, as many locals know, K Street wasn't exactly the most appealing place for a stroll, run-down and sketchy as it had become. That's changing, and Ella has been a part of that new optimism and energy on K Street, bolstered even more by the arrival of Pizza Rock. Sometime in the next year or two, expect much more, including more housing.
Meanwhile, whether you have yet to try Ella or simply want to enjoy more of that atmosphere, food and service, this is a good time to drop by for Happy Hour or head over to enjoy a full meal. The Happy Hour anniversary specials run throughout September, as does a special $35 prix fixe dinner. To see the prix fixe menu, click here. It sure looks good.
Ella is at 1131 K St., Sacramento. (916) 443-3772.
Blair Anthony Robertson is The Bee's restaurant critic. Follow him on Twitter, @blarob.