Three for the grid

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Trio of tastiness: The fabrics of Midtown and downtown are changing. It feels like there’s a lot of creative energy in the air, cool things are starting to happen and there’s a sense of anticipation for a number of future projects and changes. The food scene is certainly a part of these shifting landscapes. Just in the past two weeks alone, three eateries opened on the grid: Coin-Op Game Room, Brasserie Capitale and Noodles & Company.

People are already pretty psyched about Coin-Op, which opened in the old Marilyn’s on K space (908 K Street). And why wouldn’t they be? The bar sports an industrial design, 42 retro arcade games that take quarters (including Donkey Kong, Street Fighter and Super Off Road), a full bar with plenty of beer handles and pizza with dough made by nearby French bakery Estelle’s Patisserie. In other words, it’s kind of like a Chuck E. Cheese’s for hipster bro-children.

Speaking of French, Brasserie Capitale (1201 K Street), now open in the space that formerly housed The Broiler, might be a good choice for hardcore Francophiles. “Brasserie” literally means brewery—which this isn’t—but it’s also a French term for a for a relaxed, sit-down restaurant that offers a menu of single dishes (as opposed to more traditional French restaurants with prix fixe menus). It’s got a bar in the middle, traditional French food (bouillabaisse, coq au vin, cassoulet) made by chef Scott McNamara (formerly of The Kitchen, Ella and Bistro Michel), an extensive wine list with 80 varieties, and a sister spot next door called Café a Côté, which is a faster-service, more casual spot.

Rounding out the trio here is Midtown’s new Noodles & Company chain (1420 16th Street), which seemed like it was under construction on 16th Street for forever, but is now finally open. It’s kind of hard to peg this one, but it’s basically a fast-casual spot that calls itself a “world kitchen” and serves noodle bowls of all kinds (Italian pasta, pad Thai, mac and cheese)—plus soups (chicken noodle, tomato bisque and Thai curry), salads and sandwiches. The chain eatery has 150 locations nationally; this is the second one for Sacramento. Catering will also be available at this location.