(Last UPDATED 12/27/2021) Description and review of Frank Fat’s, an upscale Chinese restaurant located in Downtown Sacramento. With the recent closure of Espanol Italian Restaurant, it is now also the oldest restaurant in Sacramento.
About Frank Fat’s
First, a few words about Frank Fat’s. Frank Fat was 36 when the Chinese immigrant opened his restaurant in 1939. His is an American success story. Frank Fat started in the restaurant business as an immigrant dishwasher, and the Fat Family has parlayed that first restaurant into a family of successful restaurants.
Frank Fat’s is also a Sacramento institution. Located on L Street a few blocks from the State Capitol Building, decades of politicians have talked shop and negotiated deals on legislation over lunch/dinner and drinks. If only the walls could talk!
The restaurant has received a James Beard Foundation award as one of “America’s Classics”. “America’s Classics” are regional restaurants distinguished by their timeless appeal, and serving quality food that reflects the character of their communities.
Frank Fat’s Martini Hour
I recently met two friends at Frank Fat’s for Martini Hour (M-F 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.). I arrived first and secured three seats at the bar. When my friends arrived we each ordered a glass of white wine ($6) and an assortment of appetizers (1/2 off during Martini Hour).
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The food and service at Frank Fat’s is always exceptional. The bartender took our order and shortly before our appetizers were served we were provided with small plates topped with white cloth napkins folded in the shape of fan.
It was not long before our pot stickers (pork and vegetables), Yu Kwok (beef and pork dumpling), and Fats Special Spareribs (wok-fried, bite-sized pork ribs with seasoned salt) were served.
Later, before Martini Hour was over, the bartender checked back in with us to inquire if we were interested in another glass of wine or appetizer. We said yes to both and ordered the vegetable spring rolls.
When we were close to finishing our appetizers the bartender provided each of us with a heated damp white napkin on a small plate with a slice of lemon to clean our fingers. A very nice touch.
One of my friends had called in advance to order (for a birthday celebration) a whole banana cream pie – a Frank Fat’s specialty for which they are widely known. After eating lunch or dinner there is always room for banana cream pie! My solution – I share a slice with my dining companion so we each can have a few bites.
I have quite a few “favorite” Frank Fat’s dishes. But, if I had to choose my top two, I would pick the Honey Walnut Prawns (lightly fried prawns glazed with honey sauce, walnuts, sesame seeds) and the Frank’s Style New York Steak (New York steak smothered in sautéed onions and oyster sauce).
(3/18/2021) See related blog post: Exceptional Restaurants in Sacramento
(1/14/2017 and 7/13/2020) Photo’s added.
(4/22/2017) To note the James Beard Foundation award and designation of Frank Fat’s as one of “America’s Classics”.
(10/20/17) Frank Fat’s was voted #1 Chinese Restaurant in the Sacramento Magazine 2017 Best of Sacramento survey.
Comments on Frank Fat’s?
If you had to choose only two – what are your top two favorite dishes?
Frank Fat’s Snapshot:
- 806 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
- (916) 442-7092
- Check Days & Hours of Operation
- Street Parking & Nearby Public Garages
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