This is the second year of a two-year revamp of the in-house food options (see our story about last year's changes here
); more changes are coming as Henry Samueli continues to convince the Sacramento Kings to moo-ve out of Cowtown.
As last year, some of the options were great, some were mediocre, and some were just plain misguided.
On the good front, there was a series of improved burgers at the new Burger Bistro near section 217, including a spicy burger with Anaheim chile and jalapeño jack and a brisket sandwich with good cole slaw.
The Jack Daniels Club on the San Manual Premium Level (you know, the good seats) served an interesting glass jar containing a bluefin tuna parfait with wakame, citrus ponzu and avocado; for dessert, there an excellent salted dulce de leche panna cotta with peanuts, which sounds like it shouldn't work but was so good I ate two.
The Mexican foods, however, were the most off the mark and the least popular with the fans. "Street" tacos with carne asada and cabbage were worse than at even the county's most gabacho Mexican-American restaurants, an avocado-citrus-jicama salad tasted like it'd been sitting in a tub on a refrigerated shelf at Costco for two months, and a chicken adobo torta was salty, messy and bizarrely creamy.
Still, that bánh mì! A little fatty, a little sharp, great bread, all the correct accoutrements. It'll be served in the Jack Daniels club. We just wish it weren't $15--which may be a new high for the price of a Vietnamese sandwich in this most Vietnamese of counties, even though it comes with fries--but it is by far the best-tasting food option at the arena and one of the better pork belly bánh mì we've had. While that doesn't excuse its price, it's also one of the few bánh mì that can be enjoyed inside with a cold beer.