The Harvest Bowl comes with warm quinoa and farro, hummus and roasted vegetables, which you can accessorize with your choice of protein: chicken, tri-tip, tofu or ahi. (Photos courtesy of Flora & Fauna)

Spotlight on: Flora & Fauna Provisions

Breakfast and lunch spot caters to the return-to-office crowd

Back Web Only Jul 9, 2024 By Marybeth Bizjak

From cottage food business to pop-up kitchen to caterer to brick-and-mortar cafe in two short years: that’s the swift trajectory followed by Flora & Fauna Provisions, a hip new breakfast-and-lunch spot that opened a few months ago in the Park Tower office building downtown at J and 9th streets. There, owners Angelika Feldman and Christopher Lee, romantic as well as business partners, are serving up high-quality, ingredient-focused fare while riding the small but steadily growing wave of downtown state and office workers returning to the office.

Owners Christopher Lee and Angelika Feldman are the co-owners of Flora & Fauna Provisions.

The pair are longtime food industry pros. She spent 10 years working at Nugget Markets, seven of them as a cheesemonger. He went to culinary school, then cooked at some of the best fine-dining restaurants in the region, including Hawks, Canon, Localis, Mulvaney’s B&L and Magpie. In 2022, they teamed up to start a home-based business making jams, mustards and crackers — the “provisions” of their business name. (The moniker’s “flora” and “fauna” are nods to the produce and meats they source from local farms.) They quickly attracted a following doing pop-ups at local wineries and breweries and later branched out into catering for weddings and other events.

Christopher Lee has cooked at some of the top-rated restaurants in the region, including Hawks, Canon and Localis.

Then, someone encouraged them to participate in Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s Calling All Dreamers program, a competitive business incubator boot camp whose winner gets a free year’s lease on a downtown retail space. (Previous winners include The Allspicery and Nash & Proper.) While they didn’t win, Lee and Feldman were finalists, and Downtown Partnership helped them secure a 2,200-square-foot ground-floor spot in Park Tower that previously housed an acai-bowl place and a fast-casual Mexican eatery. They opened Flora & Fauna earlier this year.

Open Monday through Friday for breakfast (served all day) and lunch, Flora & Fauna offers a slim, tightly curated menu of sandwiches, burritos, bowls and salads, along with a handful of specials. A full 85 percent of the items are made in-house, from the bagels, breads and pastries made by Feldman, who only recently taught herself to bake, to the thick-cut bacon, cured by Lee using a rub made with decaf espresso beans from local Anchor & Tree Roasting Co.

Most of the dishes come in two versions: meat and vegetarian. There’s a breakfast sandwich called The Flora (seasonal vegetables scrambled into local Vega Farms eggs topped with cheese and preserved tomato aioli) and one called The Bacon (fluffy chive eggs, Lee’s house-cured bacon and seasonal house-made jam; right now, it’s smoked peach/chipotle). Served on a freshly baked yeasted potato bun, either one is a worthy successor to Ginger Elizabeth’s popular Five Farm Breakfast Sandwich, whose abrupt removal from the midtown patisserie’s menu last summer nearly prompted a revolt from upset customers.

For breakfast, you can also order a burrito (starring either house-cured pork belly or roasted seasonal vegetables) or a baby cast-iron skillet of eggs scrambled with potatoes, onions and bacon lardons, topped with shredded cheese. At lunch, the menu offers a handful of sandwiches. Fillings include roasted chicken, bacon and house-made dill ranch; roasted tri-tip, arugula and herbed goat cheese; and house-made hummus, chipotle avocado spread and house-made pickles. 

Flora & Fauna also sells house-made sweets, like these macarons.

For salads, there’s a chopped Cobb with house-made bleu cheese dressing instead of crumbles, and an elegant sesame seed-crusted ahi tuna, lightly seared and served on mixed greens with yuzu miso dressing, topped with crispy shallots and pine nut chili crunch. The Harvest Bowl comes with warm quinoa and farro, hummus and roasted vegetables, which you can accessorize with your choice of protein: chicken, tri-tip, tofu or ahi. Specials change on a dime and can be anything from house-cured pastrami in a 10-day brine served on house-made rye to a croque madame sandwich on a bagel.

Making burritos, bowls and sandwiches is a far cry from the kind of elevated cooking Lee did at his previous restaurant jobs. These days, he scratches that fine-dining itch by holding private “chef’s table” dinners for paying customers (starting at $500 for seven to 10 courses for a couple) and ticketed tasting-menu dinners at nearby There and Back Cafe at 11th and K. 

For a spring dinner inspired by the animated films of Hayao Miyazaki, courses were themed around movies such as “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “My Neighbor Totoro.” One sea-focused course inspired by “Ponyo” featured a miso butter-basted scallop on a delicate piece of fried rice paper, topped with an edible dashi veil and finished with yuzu foam to replicate ocean waves lapping the shore.

Lee hopes someday to return to his fine-dining roots. But for now, he and Feldman are happy making top-notch sandwiches and burritos for the RTW (return to work) downtown office crowd.

Flora & Fauna Provisions, 980 9th St., Sacramento; (916) 817-0911;

Open 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Monday–Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday (hours subject to change).

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