UPDATE: CALIFORNIA FRESH HAS CLOSED.
I was sorry when the Fresh Choice restaurant chain went out of business a few months ago. Fresh Choice was always a reliable vegan stand-by, and I liked their salad bar. So when I saw in the Sacramento Bee that the Fresh Choice location at Howe and Fair Oaks was reopening as a restaurant called California Fresh, offering the same types of food and staffed by most of the same employees, I decided to check it out.
Sure enough, the lay-out was the same as it had been for Fresh Choice. I got my tray at the front of the restaurant and created a nice big salad from the great selection of salad bar items. It didn't seem as though there were as many pre-made salads as Fresh Choice used to carry, but I rarely ate those anyhow, so I was just happy to see so many individual salad ingredients.
After I paid the cashier, I checked out the remaining food stations. There is still a baked potato, pizza, and bread section, where I picked up a couple of slices of sourdough bread. The pasta and soup section offered two different vegan soups the day I was there -- a garden vegetable soup and a vegetarian chili. Since the soup selections change every few days, you'll want to ask which soups are vegan when you visit the restaurant. There are signs listing the main ingredients for each soup, but they do not indicate whether they are vegan or not.
I was too full for dessert after my salad, bread, and garden vegetable soup, but I checked to see what they had. As was the case with Fresh Choice, the only dessert option for vegans was fresh fruit.
California Fresh is located at 535 Howe Avenue, and their phone number is 916-649-8046. They don't appear to have a website yet. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.