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Carlsbad

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  1. Dining in San Diego (Part 2)

    The short answer is no. There is nothing food-wise in San Diego that is better than you can get in LA, especially if you eliminate Mexican food. There are some good places though. I think the mid-level bar and Ocean View Terrace at the top of George's at the Cove in La Jolla have a great lunch, especially on weekdays or off-hours, when it isn't too crowded. The food is great, the prices are fair, and on a nice day, the setting is excellent.
  2. I'm not a big fan of this type of food usually, but we've had several great meals at The Palace Grill over the years.
  3. Breakfast in San Fran

    Check out Bocadillos. You can take the California St. cable car to Montgomery and walk a few block to it.
  4. Paris in October

    We have dined at Taillevent twice, first when it had three stars and after it went to two. We have not been there since M. Vrinat passed away, but I believe he was ill and not there the last time we were there. He was a perfect host, and always went out of his way to make his guests comfortable. On both visits, I found the service to be extraordinary. In my experience, it was not stretched, hurried or unable to respond to our requests. Just the opposite. I also have to say that I find the Lamennais room preferable to the Trianon room. The latter does have more space, but the Lamennais room has a warmer feel and to me is more visually appealing. The wine selection is very impressive, and the prices are more than fair. The wine service is patient, enthusiastic and professional. I understand the debate about the food- it is more traditional and some may not find it exciting enough. Some may like it more.
  5. Trip to the Tarn-et-Garonne

    We spent a relaxing two weeks just outside Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in July. We stayed with friends at their old stone farmhouse. The Sunday market in the village was superb, and we did a lot of cooking and tried many of the wines from the local area and the rest of the southwest. Restaurants we tried in the area included L'Oustal del Barry in Najac, where we had an excellent, well-priced lunch. We had a very good, inexpensive lunch at the Auberge du Chapeau in Caussade. We spent the last two nights in Toulouse. He had an excellent dinner at Emile. They serve local dishes in a comfortable atmosphere with great service. Our final dinner of the trip was an outstanding and over-the-top 99 euro menu at Les Jardin de l'Opera. I think I counted 10 courses, each one excellent. Great wine list. In Paris this meal would have cost 2 to 3 times the price.
  6. Les Clos des Gourmets is a favorite of mine.
  7. Casual Eats in Laguna Beach

    Dizz's As Is is a Laguna Beach institution. Good food in a funky setting and you won't break the bank. It's the antithesis of the Montage scene.
  8. I have always liked both La Folie and Fleur De Lys, but I'm 60+. I'm not sure I would have liked them as much when I was young and lived in San Francisco. Fleur De Lys is a romantic restaurant with very good, interesting food and a decent, but over-priced wine list, and there won't be many people under 50 there. La Folie is fun and has very good, traditional French food, but it is not very romantic or inventive. I wouldn't recommend either one to my kids. (BTW. my 26 year old and his GF loved Acquerello when they went there.) I think Gary Danko is a much better upscale choice than La Folie and Fleur De Lys for people under 40. I think San Francisco excels in moderately priced restaurants, so I would have one big night out and focus on the moderate places the rest of the trip.
  9. Since it is your honeymoon, I would highly recommend Acquerello. It is the most romantic restaurant in San Francisco. The food is outstanding. The service will be perfect, especially if you tell Giancarlo it is your honeymoon when you make the reservation. Fantastic Italian wine list, and he will pick the perfect wines if you ask. It is a short cab ride from any central hotel. Cioppino is a fisherman's stew with a tomato and fish stock base with fish, crab, clams, shrimp and other shellfish. I second the suggestion that Tadich Grill, which represents the old San Francisco, and Rose Pistola, which is more youthful, are perfect places to have it.
  10. Drive from SF to Cresent City

    I would highly recommend the Albion River Inn just south of Mendocino. There are quite a few wineries in the Anderson Valley, which is a short drive away.
  11. Dim Sum in San Francisco

    Consider Yank Sing in the Rincon Center. It may cost a little more and be a little bit out of your way, but it's not a bad drive, and they have parking, excellent dim sum, and a nice location. Reserve ahead.
  12. Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence

    My wife and I had dinner there about 15 years ago. The food was outstanding. That said, it was the most pretentious place I have ever seen. We were seated in a room with all the English and Japanese speakers, and one under-dressed, young Italian couple. The servers were all very young and rather impersonal. No server ever carried more than one thing at a time, so if you ordered two of anything, they sent two servers so they could put them down in unison. We had a menu with a number of small courses. The highlight was when they brought us oversized plates with huge silver domes over them. After setting them down together, they lifted the domes and revealed a small piece of fish alone in the center of each plate. My wife and I could not help a small laugh. They did not bring us the wine list with the menus- only a card with wine pairings. They were great wines, but unbelievably expensive. I asked for the wine list and they brought it. I thought it was odd I had to ask for it. The list was very large and had some nice wines that were reasonably priced, along with great wines that were not. It was a very nice dinner. The food was inventive and delicious, even if the show was a bit much. I ordered an espresso that was almost thimble-sized, very good, and, if I remember correctly, cost the equivalent of about $15. It was a fitting end to the meal.
  13. Dining in San Diego (Part 2)

    Take a look at Avenue 5. It's is a short cab ride away.
  14. Nick-San In Cabo San Lucas

    Three of us had a blow-out lunch at Nick-San in Cabo San Lucas last month while in port from a cruise. Every dish was terrific. It can be expensive, but I thought it was well worth the cost. The grilled sea bass with mushroom sauce was outstanding. Many of the special dishes use chiles to lend a Mexican flair to sushi dishes. I found no need for the wasabi at all, and only used a tiny bit of soy with one or two dishes. The freshness of the fish was remarkable. In addition to Sake, they have a very interesting wine list that is well chosen to match the food. It's a very attractive restaurant, and the air conditioning was welcome on a very hot day.
  15. Del Mar/La Jolla

    George's casual rooftop is one of our favorites. It's better at lunch, especially a little early or late. The lunch menu is a bargain, and it's less hectic. I'm also a big fan of Tapenade and The Marine Room.
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