Description and review of Polanco Cantina, an upscale Mexican restaurant located across from the Golden 1 Center in the Sacramento Downtown Commons (DOCO).
Prior to taking in a show at the DOCO movie theater, my daughter and I stopped by Polanco Cantina for lunch. Polanco Cantina opened in October 2019, and I was looking forward to checking it out.
There was an event taking place at the Golden 1 Center, so I was a bit concerned about parking availability. My plan was to park at the Downtown Plaza West parking garage (325 L Street).
Event parking was $30, but when I informed the attendant at the entrance that we were going to the Century DOCO movie theater he gave me a parking ticket and reminded me to have it validated.
The Century DOCO and XD movie theater validation is for four hours, which is as a general rule plenty of time to catch a bite to eat before or after a movie.
Polanco Cantina validates for 90 minutes at the same lot.
SacramentoRevealed.com – All Things Sacramento (from a personal perspective)
Polanco Cantina is part of the Moana Restaurant Group. The interior of the restaurant is light-filled with modern, clean lines. The ambiance of the restaurant is lively, with bright and colorful murals on the walls and other touches of bright color throughout.
Adding a chic touch – the light fixtures and leather-strap seating in the bar and dining areas which are separated by a low wall of plants.
The restaurant has an outdoor patio and balcony. Both overlook the Golden 1 Center Plaza. Outfitted with ceiling-to-floor garage-style windows, no doubt Polanco Cantina will be a very popular place to hang out on balmy Sacramento days and evenings.
On a chilly winter day, however, you may want to avoid being seated at the indoor tables located immediately adjacent to the drafty garage-style windows.
Polanco Cantina Lunch
The staff at Polanco Cantina that day were both friendly and attentive. When our waitress found out that it was our first visit she gave us the “lowdown”. This included explaining that Polanco Cantina sources primarily California-grown ingredients and makes everything in-house.
After looking over the menu, my daughter ordered the Nachos Polanco (house-made chips with salsa verde, three Mexican cheeses, black beans, crema, pickled onions, jalapenos) ($11.00) with Chicken ($6.00). She passed on adding guacamole ($4) to her nachos.
I love fish tacos, so I ordered the Baja Tacos (battered fish, mayo-crème dressing, cabbage, pico de gallo) ($12.00) with a side order of rice and beans ($4.00).
The cocktail menu has a number of intriguing-sounding exotic drinks, but both of us decided that a beer would go best with lunch. I ordered a Dox XX ($5.00/bottle), and my daughter ordered a Modelo ($7.00/draft).
My daughter liked her Nachos Polanco well enough, but they were described as nothing out of the ordinary. The $6 shredded chicken did not add a lot to the overall dish, but she commented favorably on the pickled onions.
As for my two street tacos, both had a nice-sized portion of crispy and tasty fish – but $6 per street taco? The side of what tasted like plain white rice with kernels of corn and small bits of carrot was lacking in flavor, and the same could be said of the black beans.
Note: You can order a side of rice and beans for $4 to go with your tacos, otherwise the cost for the side dish is $7.
While dining we kept an eye out on the dishes being served to nearby tables, and several looked appealing. Don’t you hate it when you try a restaurant for the first time and then wish you had ordered something else?
Next time I stop by Polanco Cantina it will likely be for Happy Hour.
See related blog posts: DOCO Al Fresco and 2020 Restaurant Review Recap and Sacramento Ethnic Restaurants
Comments on Polanco Cantina?
What has been your experience at Polanco Cantina? Do you have a dish that you would recommend?
Polanco Cantina Snapshot:
- 414 K Street, #240, Sacramento, CA 95814
- (916) 536-7250
- Hours: Sunday – Thursday (11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.); Friday – Saturday (11:30 – 11:00 p.m.) Lunch served until 4:00 p.m.
- Happy Hour – Monday – Friday (3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.)
- Children’s menu
- Outdoor Patio/Balcony
- 90 Minute Parking Validation
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