Adam Pechal, chef and co-owner of Tuli Bistro and Restaurant Thir13en, had a good run on the ABC-TV cooking competition "The Taste" before he was shown the door on Feb. 26. His appearances were chronicled at www.sacbee.com/appetizers by my colleague, wine and food writer Chris Macias.
With that in mind, lunch pal Gloria Glyer and I walked over to Tuli to say hello. Gloria writes the weekly "Fundraisers" calendar for The Bee and is a former Dining Diva for Sacramento magazine.
Pechal wasn't in evidence, but we grabbed a patio table anyway and shared a "pollo caliente" sandwich and a Molinari salumi pizza (pictured).
The huge sandwich was tops - tender chicken breast, white cheddar, crispy onion, cabbage slaw and chipotle BBQ sauce on focaccia ($12). The accompanying skinny fries were smothered in terrific chili, chunky with succulent pork and al-dente beans, and gooey with melted cheese.
We think Tuli assembles one of the most well-balanced pizzas around, cooked in a wood-fired pizza oven that blisters the edges of the thin, chewy crust.
Ours was topped with Molinari-brand pepperoni, salami and hot coppa, rich sauce from fire-roasted tomatoes and just the right amount of mozzarella ($15).
Too bad Pechal couldn't have made those winners on "The Taste."
Tuli Bistro, 2031 S St., Sacramento; (916) 451-8854, www.tulibistro.com