Top chef

Illustration By Mark Stivers

La Bonne Soupe Cafe

920 Eighth St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 492-9506

Everyone knows Daniel Pont’s La Bonne Soupe Café (920 Eighth Street): It’s No. 1 on Yelp and one of only three Northern California restaurants to earn Zagat’s highest 2008 rating. Pont’s tops when it comes to local chefs, so how’s the view up there? On a recent weekday—10:30 a.m., line a dozen deep, Pont saying he runs out of soup by noon—I stopped to chat local eats. The chef recently dined at Hawks and Grange (“both very good”), praised Lounge on 20’s oysters but lamented the dearth of local restaurant’s shellfish offerings during the holidays. And as for an encore after dominating the quote-unquote awards circuit last year? “I don’t want to be in the sandwich biz. I want to be a small upscale cafe,” Pont hinted, citing a menu of small plates, more desserts and inventive new sandwiches as a possibility. But until then, go for the French onion soup, which Zagat claims is the world’s best.