Spice Up Your Summer Solano and Yolo!

Check out these "hot" dining choices in Solano and Yolo Counties.
saffron chicken tandoor

Saffron’s Pepper Chicken Tandoor. Photo: Michelle Trippi

Saffron Indian Cuisine and Bar

FAIRFIELD – In March, Downtown Fairfield gained a new dining choice on Texas Street. Saffron, an upscale Indian Food Restaurant, opened and it didn’t take long to gain popularity. They may be new to Fairfield, but the owner, Romy, has had a loyal Solano following for many years.

After taking in the beautiful decor (including the stunning chandelier in the entryway) and settling into our booth, we ordered a Combo Appetizer which included vegetable samosa, aloo tikki, and vegetable pakoras served with mango chutney, mint cilantro, and tamarind sauces. We knew this was going to be a great beginning to a delicious meal!

Saffron Combo Appetizer

Saffron Combo Appetizer. Photo: Michelle Trippi

When learning of Saffron’s authentic tandoor oven, we ordered Pepper Chicken Tandoor, a zesty dish marinated in yogurt and spices. We also chose the Prawn Korma, a cashew nut based prawn curry with nutmeg and raisins. We had a hard time choosing from the extensive list of naan and bread but settled on the garlic and cilantro to complement our meal. Both dishes were served with rice.

All meals are prepared to order allowing diners the option to spice things up (or down). We were happy with taste and aroma at the “medium” spice level.

It was a chilly day so we ordered hot green tea, but plan on returning soon to taste a more adventurous Indian tea and a specialty cocktail. Saffron has a full bar with seating and a television. They also serve wines along with both draft and bottled beers.

For those in for lunch during the work week or have limited time, the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet is suggested. Filled with their most popular items of main dishes, sides and more, it is $11.99. Saffron also has a variety of traditional Indian desserts such as kheer and gulab jamun.

Saffron is located at 739 Texas St., and you can reach them by phone for reservations, group dining and take out at 707-434-1313.

Ocean Spicy Chicken Wings. Photo via JW/Yelp

Ocean Restaurant 

WINTERS – Chinese food enthusiasts from Sacramento to Fairfield travel to Downtown Winters to visit Ocean Restaurant. Established in 1997, this quaint, family-owned establishment focuses on simple cooking methods using fresh produce and ingredients.

Relatively new to the menu are the Spicy Chicken Wings. Large in size and glazed with a spicy sauce with a subtle sweetness, they are a finger-lickin’ must try.

Our first dinner choice was the Kung Pao Three Delight, a dish packed with chicken, beef and prawns in a delicious spicy sauce. To balance out the meats in the Kung Pao, we decided on the Satay Vegetables. This tasty dish was filled with fresh vegetables, and the sauce was nutty, sweet and spicy at the same time. We thought the spice level on our dinners was perfect, but if you really want to amp things up, you can request extra spicy when placing your order.

Ocean Restaurant is located at 104 Main Street, Downtown Winters. Phone 530-795-4336.

Tacos Jalisco’s Carnitas and Steak Tacos. Photo via Clarissa R./Yelp

Tacos Jalisco

VACAVILLE – Tacos Jalisco is an unassuming, comfortable venue with a small dining room and family-style seating. Their delicious Mexican food is served quickly, piping hot, at an affordable price.

Tables are supplied with 2 sauces; a tasty avocado tomatillo sauce and a red sauce that packs a spicy punch. We started off with the “Vuelve a la Vida” a cool, colorful and tasty shrimp, octopus and scallop cocktail. We dined on the Steak Ranchero, a tender top sirloin smothered in fresh ranchero sauce. We also ordered a variety of tacos and found them to be authentic Mexican street tacos.

If you like Menudo, Sunday is the day to go. For those late night diners, call before you head out because when the food is gone, it is closing time.

Follow the tantalizing, spicy aroma to 312 Cernon Street, in Downtown Vacaville. Phone 707-446-9206 or visit tacosjaliscovacaville.com.

Michelle Trippi writes “Tastes of Your Town”, a monthly feature in the print edition of Your Town Monthly. This article was originally published in the June 2018 Solano and Yolo County print editions.