Address: 4747 Granite Drive, Rocklin
So the gimmick is an eatery in a car dealership. I had to check it out.
Bistro 33 is a trendy micro-franchise of eateries in the Sacramento metro area. It recently opened up a restaurant inside the Mercedes dealership in Rocklin, which is just a few blocks from the Rocklin Road exit on Interstate 80.
Upon entering at noon, I was pleasantly surprised at how packed the place was. Truth be told, when I read about the concept, I thought the idea was doomed. But I was wrong, perhaps. I was seated at the last open table. The decor can best be described as upscale IKEA, very Northern European, simple, clean. The staff was efficient and neither friendly nor unfriendly.
As for the food-- I want to preface this review by saying that just by the mere fact that I am being very nitpicky about the food says a lot about the place. The food is good enough that I am actually comparing it to serious restaurants. So there you go.
The sweet potato fries ($5.95) were seasoned, cut, and fried perfectly. The three dipping sauces were truffle mayo (tasted like regular mayo), peach ketchup (tasted like Domino's pizza dipping sauce), and bleu cheese dressing (exactly as described).
I was eager to try the tasting sized clam chowder ($1.95). It's soup served in an espresso cup. The ingredients and presentation were excellent, but the chowder was barely lukewarm.
I had the meatloaf ($16.95) as my main course. It came with cayenne aioli on top, which didn't taste like anything but left my palate with a spicy sensation five minutes after completing my meal. It came with a side of mashed taters and a few spears of asparagus. All of the ingredients were fresh.
The meatloaf itself and the dark brown sauce which hugged the circumference of the plate were interesting, to say the least. The loaf was made of ground lamb and pork sausage. The outside was a bit burnt and the inside was soggy with an almost eggy consistency. The ponzu-like sauce smelled like Japanese curry and was uber-rich. Tiny specks of spices can be seen in the shallow pool of sauce. One taste and I knew that I was going to be thirsty for the rest of the day.
Overall, the meal was between average and decent. I think the place is worth going to if you are on your way to Reno or Sacramento.
You really don't get that great of a view of the showroom while sitting in the dining area. I did get lured into the showroom after the meal. My observations: the new E class's taillights look like those from the Mitsubishi Galant. And, the CLS really has no rear headroom, but it remains the best looking Merc sedan of the last 15 to 20 years.
At the end of the meal, I got a 2 for 1 coupon to revisit the restaurant. That may explain why the restaurant was full and why there were so many even-numbered parties.