Located in a quaint shopping center in Penn Valley, CA is a hidden gem of a restaurant. From the eclectic re-purposed decor to the wildflower bouquets, every single item in this establishment has been met with absolute love for what they are trying to do here. This place is called Twelve 28 Kitchen and it is divine!
I arrived right as they were opening that evening and was seated right away. Beverages were discussed and chosen. This place offers a large selection of local craft beers and wine to pair with every dish you order and they have some of the most exotic names I’ve ever heard.
Right away I noticed each table had a small glass vase with fresh picked wildflowers. Short stems in clear water just made it seem extra special. Such a light touch and yet it felt luxurious. There were larger whimsical flower arrangements of more wildflowers located in various areas of the restaurant that added to the feeling that nothing was left unsaid. Every sweet whisper the proprietors could share was all there in the thoughtfulness of the surroundings.
It was the menu that sent me over the edge! Every single dish described made my mouth water with anticipation. I wanted one of everything and then to start all over and order one of everything again!
I started with the Salad of Beets which is described as:
“roasted red beet hummus, marinated golden beets, candy-striped beets, avocado, toasted sesame-sumac lavash crackers, micro arugula”
It arrived in a deep bowl with the bottom bathed in that decadent deep ruby red beet hummus topped with colorful golden yellow and candy-striped sliced beets, deep green sliced avocado topped with the tiniest micro greens nestled beside these beautiful lavash crackers. I almost hated to disturb this masterpiece of food, but I did and it was amazing!!
They have a signature dish called elote! and I could eat that dish every day of the week and never grow weary. Take a look at the menu and tell me that doesn’t sound like a party for your taste-buds!
I finished my meal with a vanilla bean custard that was so luscious I banged my spoon on the bottom of the dish wanting to scrape out every single dollop.
I took a picture of the menu where it tells the story behind Twelve 28 Kitchen. I’m going to let that finish my review, but before I close I just want to tell Chef Zach Sterner that he is on to something really special and unique there in Penn Valley and if I could I would belly-up to his table every night of the week for the best food in California. If you haven’t been yet, you really ought to go!
EAT. SMILE. REPEAT!