When Picazo Kitchen & Bar opened in Sonoma in April 2019, owners Sal and Kina Chavez had high hopes for the space of the former Breakaway Cafe. With community support for their other businesses, Picazo Cafe on Arnold Drive and Picazo Food Truck, it seemed a natural extension. Then came two years of fires, challenging pandemic restrictions and sagging sales, along with confusion over the cafe and the kitchen.
Needing an overhaul and a fresh start, the couple have re-christened Picazo Kitchen & Bar as Kina’s Kitchen & Bar, which reopened on April 1. The restaurant, Kina says, now better reflects her immigrant journey as a Mexican American raised on her mother’s pozole, as well as her passion for modern American cuisine.
Kina says the dark days of the pandemic gave her time to reconsider the future of the restaurant, and she turned her attention to a menu that would include more dishes from her childhood and a fresh cocktail menu featuring tequila and mezcal from Mexico.
Look for tasty menu additions, including fried Brussels sprouts with pepper jam and bacon, beet bruschetta, birria nachos, beef noodle pho and menu favorites like fried chicken with Mexican gravy, lemon cottage cheese pancakes and the Picazo burger.
Open 3 to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday; brunch until 3 p.m. on weekends. Happy hour specials 3 to 5 p.m. daily. 19101 Highway 12, Sonoma; 707-935-3287, kinaskitchenbar.com
Bragging about breakfast
Sax’s Joint, the 1950s-inspired Petaluma diner, has some hot buns. We’ve seen ’em on social media and heard about these plate-sized cinnamon rolls but were duly impressed on a recent visit when the yeasty, doughy, sugary-sweet pastries arrived warm on our table. Oh, hello, you gorgeous piece of patisserie!
Frostings change, but the salted caramel and traditional buttercream are outstanding. Rolls are available for takeout (while they last), and the restaurant occasionally has “pop-up” cinnamon roll pickups in Santa Rosa and Windsor, announced on their Instagram, @saxsjoint_. Open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, 317 Petaluma Blvd. S., Petaluma, 707-559-3021.
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