Appetizers
April 10, 2013
Tex Wasabi's gets instant makeover to a Johnny Garlic's

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Tex Wasabi's, which featured a bold menu created by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, closed its doors Sunday after six years in Sacramento. But fret not Fieri fans. The location is about to open as a Johnny Garlic's (there's already one in Roseville).

What's the difference, you ask? We wondered the same thing.

"It's totally different. It's going from barbecue sushi fusion to pizzas and pastas. It's a completely different menu," said Michael Daugherty, the general manger.

Daugherty actually answered the phone "Hello, Johnny Garlic's," which pretty much took care of the reason we were calling. A reader alerted me via Twitter that this transformation might be about to happen. It is slated as Johnny Garlic's on Thursday. The restaurant is at 2234 Arden Way, Sacramento.

As fans of the personable Fieri know, the TV host has plenty of love for Sacramento. He has highlighted several local eateries on his hit show "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives." And he took culinary classes at American River College.

In 2009, my colleague Allen Pierleoni, who writes "Counter Culture," discovered he liked quite a lot about the recently opened Johnny Garlic's in Roseville.

He wrote:

"The menu is long and creative, encompassing appetizers, soups and salads, sandwiches, grilled and specialty items (Cuban pork chop, mojito chicken), pasta and six pizzas. Prices range from $3.50 to $18.95.

"We ordered Key lime calamari (which came with halves of green Persian limes, not yellow West Indian limes, which are what Key limes are; $8.95); "Brick in the Wall" bird (named after Pink Floyd's 1979 album "The Wall"? we wondered; $9.95); sloppy Joe sliders ($9.50); Mediterranean pizza ($13.95); and a frozen slice of chocolate-heavy mint pie, hiding Junior Mints inside ice cream ($4.95).

"This was a fine spread, with bold flavors, interesting textures and fresh ingredients. The sliders were startlingly spicy, the sauced ground beef (on buttered potato rolls) topped with onion straws and accompanied by crisp, house-made garlic potato chips with rich onion dip on the side."

Let us know what you think about the transformation.

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Bee's restaurant critic. Follow him on Twitter, @blarob.

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