(Last UPDATED 10/3/2023) Description and review of La Trattoria Bohemia, a Czech-Italian restaurant located on J Street in East Sacramento. NEW: See “La Trattoria Bohemia Revisited” below.
Original Blog Post
A friend and I recently enjoyed dinner at La Trattoria Bohemia prior to a performance of An American in Paris at the Sacramento Community Center Theatre (now renamed the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center).
Parking can be an issue in the immediate area, but we found a spot on 36th Street right around the corner from the restaurant.
I did not expect La Trattoria Bohemia to be busy at 6:00 p.m. on a Tuesday, but I made a reservation anyway – just in case as we were going to the theatre. Although there were only a few people seated inside when we entered I observed that the restaurant was set up to serve two larger parties – so I was glad I did. La Trattoria Bohemia also has a small outside patio so that is always an option.
Our table was waiting and we were greeted and seated immediately.
Chef Mark Lastuvka opened La Trattoria Bohemia in 2000. The restaurant is an intimate and casual neighborhood restaurant that is both inviting and comfortable. Then there is the food! Chef Lastuvka makes all the pasta and bread from scratch.
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To start, we each ordered a glass of the House Red Wine – Blaufrankisch, Frankovka, Czech Republic ($5). It had a very unusual taste and aftertaste so later in the meal we switched to a glass of Monte Antico Rosso Sangiovese ($7.50), an Italian wine, which was more to our liking. I guess it all comes down to what your taste buds are used to.
The La Trattoria Bohemia menu offers both Czech and Italian dishes, but we decided to stick with the Czech theme.
To start we decided to share the Bohemian Potato Pancakes (or Bohemsky bramborak) (two crispy discs lightly seasoned potato pancake stacked napoleon-style with smoked salmon, capers, scallions and sour cream) ($10.50).
Next, we chose to split the La Trattoria Salad (baby spinach, apples, pears, dried cranberries and gorgonzola with house-made raspberry vinaigrette) ($12.50) and the Chicken Paprikash (or Kure na paprice) (slowly cooked chicken thighs in cream sauce with onions and sweet Hungarian paprika, served over homemade spätzle) ($19.75).
Note: Both the salad and the chicken paprikash were subject to a $2 split order charge.
The Bohemian Potato Pancakes were very tasty. They were much more substantial than the thin and crispy Polish potato pancakes I am accustomed to. We both also liked the addition of the smoked salmon, capers, and scallions.
I enjoyed the salad, containing as it did many of my favorite salad ingredients, and the chicken paprikash was a real taste treat.
To Sum Up
To sum up, we were both happy that we had shared the three dishes as we were comfortably full – unfortunately no room for dessert. My friend hit the nail on the head when she afterwards described our meal as “Czech comfort food”.
La Trattoria Bohemia Revisited x 3
#3 (10/2/2023) A friend and I recently enjoyed lunch at La Trattoria Bohemia prior to the 2023 Preservation Sacramento Historic Home Tour. It was a beautiful day so we chose to sit on the small outdoor patio.
My friend immediately gravitated to the Czech portion of the menu. After due consideration she ordered the Beef Goulash (chunks of stewed beef in dark onion gravy with red cabbage, green beans and Czech dumplings ($24).
I focused on the Panini Lunch Specials menu, Lunch Specials are served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The panini’s are served on toasted house made focaccia bread with a side of house made potato or mixed green salad.
The Marko Panini (chicken breast sauteed with mushrooms and red onions with olive oil, mayo and mozzarella cheese) ($17) caught my eye, and I am glad it did.
The Beef Goulash was a big hit. The beef was tender and the gravy was said to be delish. While the green beans were described as “just green beans”, the red cabbage earned particular praise. Needless to say, my friend was very pleased to have leftovers to take home that day.
Likewise, my Marko Panini was large enough for two meals, and I enjoyed the second half for dinner that evening. This flavorful, savory sandwich is one I am likely to order again (and again).
#2 (7/27/2022) A friend and I recently decided to catch up over a take-out pizza. I suggested that we try the Italian side of the nearby La Trattoria Bohemia menu. It seemed the perfect opportunity to try their pizza as we planned to dine in my back yard.
I ordered a Medium Vegetarian (mushrooms, bell peppers, red onion, tomatoes, olives, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce) pizza ($22) and arrived approximately 25 minutes later to pick it up. The pizza was piping hot – and heavy!
The pizza smelled great, and the toppings were piled high. Can their be too many toppings on a pizza? In this particular case the answer is yes. The very middle of the pizza was a bit soggy from the veggies. This may well not be an issue with another type of pizza.
Both of us enjoyed our pizza. A small pizza would have been perfect, but neither of us minded having a few slices leftover for another meal. Pizza crust is the most important part of a pizza to me, and while the crust was good, it was not as chewy as I like. My friend, however, found it to be just right.
#1 (3/5/2022) Two friends and I recently enjoyed a late lunch at La Trattoria Bohemia. I was pleased to introduce them for the first time to this great Czech and Italian restaurant.
The three of us each ordered a glass of the house Chardonnay – Lava Cap Winery (El Dorado) ($12). If you plan to drop by for lunch you may want to keep in mind that a variety of lunch specials are available from 11:30 to 2:00 p.m. We had arrived after 2:00 p.m. that day.
See related blog post: Lava Cap Winery
One friend ordered an antipasti to share, the Smoked Salmon (thin slices of smoked salmon fillet with capers, red onions and toasted cheese bread) ($14).
As it turns out, all three of us ordered one of the menu items listed as “Czech Specialties”. I had enjoyed the Chicken Paprikash (slowly cooked chicken thighs in cream sauce with onions and sweet Hungarian paprika, served over homemade spätzle) ($22.75) on a prior visit – so I ordered it again. One friend ordered the Chicken Picate and the other the Pork Picate (Sauteed chicken breast or pork filets in white wine sauce with capers, served with roasted rosemary potatoes and green cabbage ($23.75).
The Smoked Salmon was enjoyed by all. The attractive and tasty dish was a great way to start the meal. The Chicken Paprikash was as good as I remembered, and both the Chicken and Pork Picate received glowing reviews, as did the accompanying rosemary potatoes and cabbage. Needless to say, the cabbage was not your ordinary everyday bland cooked cabbage. The dish had been lightly dressed and expertly seasoned thus making it praiseworthy.
The portions were substantial, and all three of us were happy to take home leftovers to enjoy the next day.
To sum up, my friends loved their first experience at La Trattoria Bohemia and they are looking forward to dining there again soon. I just hope that they invite me to join them!
Comments on La Trattoria Bohemia?
What has been your experience at La Trattoria Bohemia? Do you have a favorite Czech dish? A favorite Italian dish?
La Trattoria Bohemia Snapshot (updated 3/5/2022):
- 3649 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95816
- (916) 455-7803
- Days/Hours: Closed Monday; Tuesday – Thursday (11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.); Friday – Saturday (11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.); Sunday (11:30 to 9:00 p.m.)
- Outdoor Patio
- Street Parking
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