Caffeine buzz

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Brewing in East Sac: Pachamama Coffee Cooperative expanded its Sacramento presence last week. The locally based, global co-op—owned by the thousands of farmers who grow its coffee—opened its first Sacramento cafe at the former site of the Cultured and the Cured (3644 J Street).

Whereas the building didn’t really suit a cheese-shop-slash-restaurant, it does feel perfect for a cafe, with bar seating looking out of large windows all around. With a fresh coat of cyan blue paint, the Pachamama doesn’t adopt the typical minimalist, beige and hipster look of cafes like Temple and Insight.

Still, single-origin pours abound. Affogatos will be made with organic Straus ice cream. Pastries come from Sugar Plum Vegan and Freeport Bakery, and a small refrigerator holds grab-and-go vegan lunch options from the Green Boheme. There’s also beer on tap.

Never heard of Pachamama? Most of its business lies in wholesale. Its main headquarters and roaster are in Midtown, but it also operates a cafe in downtown Davis.

Poly food: The only Polynesian restaurant in Sacramento closed its doors over the weekend—a move for the best. Sapatu Polynesian Food’s location was among the most unfortunate I’ve ever seen: a stale building better suited for an office inside a desolate business park at 3453 Ramona Avenue, across from the family courthouse. Owner Cynthia Ala is looking to open somewhere with more foot traffic—a strip mall would be a huge improvement—in South Sacramento, hopefully by December.

Charcoal-grilled: It seems fitting that an izakaya will open in the old Doughbot location (2226 10th Street), in the neighborhood that was once Sacramento’s thriving Japantown. Binchoyaki is still under construction, but its website—with sample menus—is now live. At lunch, Binchoyaki will offer plates such as miso black cod with mushrooms ($17) and flat iron steak with garlic ponzu and veggies ($20). The izakaya-style dining takes over at night. There’s a long list of charcoal-grilled skewers—chicken leg ($3.50), duck breast with wasabi ($6), potato with crème fraîche and caviar ($4)—as well as small plates, such as hamachi carpaccio ($15) and Japanese-style fried chicken ($8). On the larger side, there’s ramen ($8) and a couple of rice bowls ($9).