Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The Broiler

For a good part of the last 30 years I was a regular at a restaurant in downtown Sacramento called the Broiler.   I first went there when it was on J street which was a small place with perhaps 30 seats.   About fifteen years ago it moved to 12th and K to a larger and more modern space.   The inspirations for the place came from a couple named Marilou and Larry Lords.  Marilou had been the Executive Chef at the old location but became the hostess in the new one.  Marilou died last year.

At one point, the restaurant had a 36 OZ Porterhouse on the menu - an item I never tried.   For a while they did a superb anniversary menu which had a great Beef Wellington for a ridiculous (inexpensive) price (inexpensive).

I probably ate at the restaurant about 1000 times.   Service and food were consistently good.   While it was a steakhouse as times evolved so did the menu.  I can't count the number of times when I needed to host something downtown and called late and Larry or Marilou figured out a way to make things work; of even better to make things memorable.   The last review of the place in the Bee was in 2012.

One particularly memorable dinner was with the Mayor of Aguascalientes and a group of friends from that city.   The Broiler had a night manager who was from Mexico and at the end of the evening we spent an hour or so talking his life after coming to the US.   Like many immigrants he had both good and bad experiences - he went to UCLA - but he was the Maitre d at the restaurant.   I learned a lot that night about the importance of families in Mexico.

On Monday, the place simply closed without an explanation.  The BEE published an article yesterday and today without any explanation of why the abrupt closure.   They said they would follow up to see if they could find out why the change.   Even though I have not been a regular since I retired, I will miss this great place.

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