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tupac17616

Top 10 Tastes of California

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I have an interesting request, and hopefullty a fun one that will spark some great ideas...

First, the facts:

-- I have never been to California. I am from San Antonio, Texas, and go to school in New York City.

-- My father and I will be visiting some schools in California from Saturday August 26 to Friday September 1. We fly into LA and out of SF.

-- We will be renting a car, so mobility won't be much of an issue. The plan is to make the drive between the LA area to the SF area along the coastline highway, which I understand is beautiful.

-- The only two places we must go are Pasadena and Stanford, but those will likely be just during the day on Monday (Pasadena) and Wednesday (Stanford). All areas surrounding these cities (say, less than a 2-hour drive one way) and the environs in between are fair game. We are willing to travel for great food.

-- Nothing is set as of yet, although I plan to make reservations at Manresa in Los Gatos and Chez Panisse in Berkeley. And I've already been placed on the waiting list at The French Laundry. Also considering Lucques when in LA, but that one's not as certain, it just happens to be one of the few LA restaurants I've heard of).

Now, the question:

What are the 10 things you think it would be absolutely criminal to leave California without tasting?

-- We love all kinds of food, from fine dining to hole-in-the-wall taquerias and everything in between. That being the case, any and all suggestions are welcome. I wouldn't mind, for example, seeing Oysters and Pearls from TFL on the same list as an In-n-Out Burger. That's exactly what I'm after, in fact. Regardless of price, regardless of location we just the best food, period.

And and all help is greatly appreciated. :smile:

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I have an interesting request, and hopefullty a fun one that will spark some great ideas...

 

First, the facts:

-- I have never been to California.  I am from San Antonio, Texas, and go to school in New York City.

-- My father and I will be visiting some schools in California from Saturday August 26 to Friday September 1.  We fly into LA and out of SF.

-- We will be renting a car, so mobility won't be much of an issue.  The plan is to make the drive between the LA area to the SF area along the coastline highway, which I understand is beautiful.

-- The only two places we must go are Pasadena and Stanford, but those will likely be just during the day on Monday (Pasadena) and Wednesday (Stanford).  All areas surrounding these cities (say, less than a 2-hour drive one way) and the environs in between are fair game.  We are willing to travel for great food.

-- Nothing is set as of yet, although I plan to make reservations at Manresa in Los Gatos and Chez Panisse in Berkeley.  And I've already been placed on the waiting list at The French Laundry.  Also considering Lucques when in LA, but that one's not as certain, it just happens to be one of the few LA restaurants I've heard of).

Now, the question:

What are the 10 things you think it would be absolutely criminal to leave California without tasting?

-- We love all kinds of food, from fine dining to hole-in-the-wall taquerias and everything in between.  That being the case, any and all suggestions are welcome.  I wouldn't mind, for example, seeing Oysters and Pearls from TFL on the same list as an In-n-Out Burger.  That's exactly what I'm after, in fact.  Regardless of price, regardless of location we just the best food, period.

And and all help is greatly appreciated.  :smile:

One of my most memorable food experiences on my last trip to Southern California was eating at various taco stands, especially eating fish tacos. The flavors are amazing, fresh fish, corm tortillas, and dirt cheap. For breakfast you can't beat a chorizo and potato breakfast burrito. I was in San Diego.

Interestingly, the NY Times ran an article this past week by an author who drove from LA to San Fran tasting nothing but tacos. Since you all are driving, you may wish to check out this article (online) for places to stop on your way to TFL and Manresa.

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if you will be a california college student, you'd best have at least a passing familiarity with in and out burgers. some folks love 'em, some folks say they ain't what they used to be, but they are a CA institution, and if you arrive at college without having experienced one, you will be the object of scorn and pity.

there is one on walnut in pasadena (very near cal tech, which i assume is the pasadena destination), and i'm sure there is an outpost in palo alto as well.

happy college touring!


"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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...

One of my most memorable food experiences on my last trip to Southern California was eating at various taco stands, especially eating fish tacos.  The flavors are amazing, fresh fish, corm tortillas, and dirt cheap.  For breakfast you can't beat a chorizo and potato breakfast burrito.  I was in San Diego.

Interestingly, the NY Times ran an article this past week by an author who drove from LA to San Fran tasting nothing but tacos.  Since you all are driving, you may wish to check out this article (online) for places to stop on your way to TFL and Manresa.

Great tacos are a wonderful thing and a revelation if you've not had a good one before.

Here's the link to a thread discussing the article that davecap mentions: Tacos in CA

As I mentioned in the thread, I just recently checked out the article's recommendation for the place in Pescadero which is ~ halfway between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, right on the coast. It is a quaint land unique ittle hamlet as well and well worthy of a stop. Duarte's Tavern is also there and is a great place to have their green chile or cream of artichoke soup, home made bread and pies. I often bring visitors there.

edited to add: I realize you're coming from Texas which surely has a lot of great Mexican and TexMex food but it might still be fun to compare. A carnitas Cal-Mex burrito is also a thing of beauty; I think it might be different in style from what you might find in Texas.

Some of standby Asian restaurants in SF and envirions:

Koi Palace (Daly City, south of SF) for dim sum,

Marnee Thai (SF; Sunset district--Thai Beef Salad, Khao Soi Curry, Corn Fritters, Hor Muk, Spicy Crab and Egg noodles, Green Curry...) and

Brandy Ho's Hunan (SF; North Beach, excellent kung pao chicken, Ma Po Tofu, Dan Dan noodles, House cured ham and roasted garlic). I recently found a very good Szechuan restaurant in Mountain View which is one town south of Palo Alto: New China Delight (360 Castro St). So far I've had their spicy cold jellyfish salad, Ma Po Tofu and Kung Pao Shrimp...

Another SF classic is Swan Oyster Depot; a small place with counter seating that has been around for more than 50 years. They have a nice array of oysters but the special dish that really impressed me as unique and very good (growing up with great seafood in New England) is their Crab Louis Salad. This is a classic CA dish for which it can be difficult to find good renditions.

Tartine Bakery in the Mission district of SF is really a notch above most bakeries--excellent pastries, cakes, cookies, etc. Well worth a visit.


Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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First....why not UC Berkeley?, there really is no reason to go to Stanfurd (I assume you're shooting for grad school?), and I've heard the environment is a lot better for grads here than at Stanfurd (undergrads might be a little different, but their football team sucks right now, and the sandstone buildings look like they're made out of mud).

While they have spread like wildfire recently, In-n-Out has always been more of a So-Cal institution, in Northern California the place to go has been Nation's Giant Hamburgers...great thick slices of pie late at night are a godsend for cramming.

I'd definitely have to say Dungeness crab is a must eat, it's best simply cooked with some drawn butter.

Artichokes from Salinas/monterey area.

Cheeseboard scones/morning baked goodies (shattuck Ave. near Chez Panisse)

Dim Sum in San Francisco or Jai Yun.

Any Sort of Mexican Food....International Blvd. in Oakland is a little shady but has some of the best, go during the day. The Mission district in San Francisco is also a very good bet. As far as student food is concerned, carnitas fries down in SoCal, and then in the Berkeley area anything along Telegraph avenue is standard.

Sushi is also particularly good here, it all depends on what style you like and what you want to pay, from Urasawa on Rodeo Dr. to the junk you'll get at Todai all-you-can-eat.

As far as cuisine, its all about freshness and seasonality, and no one does this better than Chez Panisse, so you are already set up for the quintessential california experience.

There are of course many more things to put down, and some would argue over what to taste, but really you just need to go with your gut and take some chances when you're out driving around.

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I know I don't have to tell you to check out BryanZ's foodblog of a week or so ago. He traveled the same route you'll be taking, more or less.

I know some people might say it is criminal to not eat at the French Laundry, but even though I haven't eaten there, I would take the money and eat at three other restaurants which might be more worthwhile. Call me criminal :wink: .

If you can go to Julia's Kitchen at Copia in Napa, just go for desserts. I know you have a sweet tooth and I feel the pastry chef is the BEST (I'm biased as she's a good friend and mentor).

p.s. What will you be studying in grad school? Caltech is pretty serious math/sci...

Check out this thread to get familiar with Palo Alto...

More to come as I think it over.

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Boysenberry pie. Boysenberries were bred in So Cal.

Knott's makes a good one. Others can be too sweet. Boysenberries dont need extra sugar to make a good pie.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Some LA culinary landmarks include having a Steak and Martini at Musso & Frank on Hollywood Boulevard (and probably seeing some movie stars), a hotdog at Pinks, and a French Dip at Philippe's. I would save your haute cuisine dining for Northern California (and In-N-Out Burgers can be had in either city, although I much prefer Fat Burger which is more prevalent in SoCal).

Ludja's got some good SF recommendations and I second going to Swan Oyster Depot. You won't want to miss the Ferry Plaza on a Saturday morning for breakfast and people watching.

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While in Pasadena, go to Salandang Song for a modern, only in Southern California Thai experience. Or, head to San Gabriel Valley (Monterey Park, etc.) and try any of the world class Chinese restaurants -- Mission 261 for dim sum, Chung King for fiery Sichuan. Check the LA Times Calendar Live site for dining listings.

Venture west of Pasadena to downtown to Phillippe's for a dip sandwich, or go for a luxurious meal at Campanile on La Brea. It's quintessentially LA. Mark Peel is one of the best. Next door is La Brea Bakery. Drive around the area and you'll eventually hit Pinks hot dogs. Go into Koreatown or search out the kimchi burrito!

In NorCal, it's artichoke and strawberry season around the Monterey Bay so don't miss out. Go to any farmer's market. My vote is for the Alemany market on Saturday morning. It's multiethnic and fun. The Ferry Plaza is somewhat sterile, but you'll get what many consider the best of the best in NorCal foods and farms. Local dungeness crab season is over. You'll have to come back in the fall!

Have fun,

Andrea


Andrea Q. Nguyen

Author, food writer, teacher

Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors (Ten Speed Press, Oct. 2006)

Vietworldkitchen.com

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One of my most memorable food experiences on my last trip to Southern California was eating at various taco stands, especially eating fish tacos.  [...]Interestingly, the NY Times ran an article this past week by an author who drove from LA to San Fran tasting nothing but tacos.  [...]

Fish tacos are definitely on the to-do list. I've had lots of good tacos both at home in San Antonio and in NYC. But I definitely understand that any fish tacos I've had are but pale imitations of what I can get in California. I saw that article last week, by the way. Very convenient timing. :wink:

if you will be a california college student, you'd best have at least a passing familiarity with in and out burgers. [...] there is one on walnut in pasadena (very near cal tech, which i assume is the pasadena destination)

CalTech is indeed the Pasadena stop. Thanks for the specific location. That will almost definitely be our lunch on Monday.

Tartine Bakery in the Mission district of SF is really a notch above most bakeries--excellent pastries, cakes, cookies, etc.  Well worth a visit.

Thanks for all of your suggestions. Tartine rings a bell. I think I must have heard some positive things about that place some time before. I have a huge sweet tooth (as does my father), so we will definitely have to make a stop there. Do they have any specific specialities?

First....why not UC Berkeley?, there really is no reason to go to Stanfurd (I assume you're shooting for grad school?), and I've heard the environment is a lot better for grads here than at Stanfurd (undergrads might be a little different, but their football team sucks right now, and the sandstone buildings look like they're made out of mud). [...] There are of course many more things to put down, and some would argue over what to taste, but really you just need to go with your gut and take some chances when you're out driving around.

I may also stop by UC Berkeley. They are also right near the top in my field of interest (mechanical engineering). Basically, I am perhaps the most indecisive people on the planet, so I figured I should limit my options from the start. Right now, I'm only considering MIT, CalTech, Stanford, and Columbia (where I go now). Maybe I should re-consider and add UC Berkeley into the mix...

By the way, your recommendation to just go with my gut and take some chances as we drive around is a good one. Having every single detail of the trip planned out would be incredibly lame. :cool:

I know I don't have to tell you to check out BryanZ's foodblog of a week or so ago.  He traveled the same route you'll be taking, more or less.

I know some people might say it is criminal to not eat at the French Laundry, but even though I haven't eaten there, I would take the money and eat at three other restaurants which might be more worthwhile.  Call me criminal  :wink: .

If you can go to Julia's Kitchen at Copia in Napa, just go for desserts.  I know you have a sweet tooth and I feel the pastry chef is the BEST (I'm biased as she's a good friend and mentor).

p.s. What will you be studying in grad school?  Caltech is pretty serious math/sci...

Check out this thread to get familiar with Palo Alto...

I will definitely re-review BryanZ's blog. Thanks for the reminder.

I can't call your suggestion about TFL too criminal. I definitely understand that perspective (and believe me, my dad would agree with you 100%. He thinks I'm nuts! :biggrin: ).

Julia's Kitchen at Copia looks promising. Isn't that the place that was featured in an episode of Top Chef?

I'll be studying Mechanical Engineering, or maybe, just maybe Aerospace Engineering.

Thanks for the link to the Palo Alto thread, as well. I'll check it out.

Boysenberry pie.  Boysenberries were bred in So Cal.

Knott's makes a good one. Others can be too sweet. Boysenberries dont need extra sugar to make a good pie.

Did somebody say pie?

Boysenberries: check :wink:

Some LA culinary landmarks include having a Steak and Martini at Musso & Frank on Hollywood Boulevard (and probably seeing some movie stars), a hotdog at Pinks, and a French Dip at Philippe's. I would save your haute cuisine dining for Northern California (and In-N-Out Burgers can be had in either city, although I much prefer Fat Burger which is more prevalent in SoCal).

Ludja's got some good SF recommendations and I second going to Swan Oyster Depot. You won't want to miss the Ferry Plaza on a Saturday morning for breakfast and people watching.

Thanks for some great tips and the suggestion about saving haute cuisine for Northern California. I'm sure I would love a good French Dip. It's too bad I won't be able to make it to Ferry Plaza on a Saturday. I hear that's the time to go.

Venture west of Pasadena to downtown to Phillippe's for a dip sandwich, or go for a luxurious meal at Campanile on La Brea. It's quintessentially LA. Mark Peel is one of the best. Next door is La Brea Bakery. [...] In NorCal, it's artichoke and strawberry season around the Monterey Bay so don't miss out. [...]  Local dungeness crab season is over. You'll have to come back in the fall!

I've heard of Campanile and La Brea Bakery. Where have I seen the name Nancy Silverton before? Checking out the Campanile menu online, it looks interesting. I'll have to look for the eG thread.

Strawberries and artichokes: check

Too bad about dungeoness season being over. Guess that gives me a good excuse to come back some time later! :smile:

On a topic completely unrelated to any of the above responses:

Anyone have an opinion of Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles in the LA area? I've had chicken & waffles at Amy Ruth's in Harlem, and loved them. I think it's something my dad might like too, and a friend of mine had been to Roscoe's when he visited a few years ago. He's not a food guy, though, so I figure it's worth asking for the eGullet consensus. Any thoughts?

Thanks again, all, for the repsonses so far. Keep 'em coming! :smile:

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It's a bit southwest of Pasadena, but you can't leave SoCal without having a date shake while overlooking Crystal Cove. The Shake Shack was recently sold to the Ruby's chain, but I understand that they inherited the old recipes.


Deb

Liberty, MO

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I may also stop by UC Berkeley.  They are also right near the top in my field of interest (mechanical engineering).  Basically, I am perhaps the most indecisive people on the planet, so I figured I should limit my options from the start.  Right now, I'm only considering MIT, CalTech, Stanford, and Columbia (where I go now).  Maybe I should re-consider and add UC Berkeley into the mix...

By the way, your recommendation to just go with my gut and take some chances as we drive around is a good one.  Having every single detail of the trip planned out would be incredibly lame.  :cool:

well, my husband is a physicist (who always teases his best friend who got a degree in electrical engineering...you know how physicists can be) and my grandpa worked for nasa, so maybe we can help make up your mind, hehehe

Where have I seen the name Nancy Silverton before?  Checking out the Campanile menu online, it looks interesting.  I'll have to look for the eG thread.

Strawberries and artichokes: check

Nancy Silverton and Mark Peel used to be married. They opened Campanile and she started La Brea Bakery. Also, she has a book (aside from a bread one) called "Desserts from La Brea Bakery". She's a pretty highly regarded pastry chef.

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From my knowledge of foodie recommendations, but not necessarily my personal experience:

For a roadfood experience, try a double-double at In-N-Out. Remember to ask for grilled onions. It makes a huge difference. (LA/SF), Langer's for pastrami, Pink's for a hot dog and Phillippe's for French dip (the inventor).

Din Tai Fung in arcadia (LA) has the best dumpling I've ever had. The skin is like no other dumpling place. Many people prefer Mei Long Village. For dim sum, San Gabriel Valley is the real Chinatown in LA. Capital Seafood for dim sum. If you don't want to travel that far east, Ocean Seafood and Empress Pavilion are very good in Chinatown.

I've also heard but have never tried Papa Beard Cream Puffs (Hollywood/SF). They have that in NYC as well.

Persian ice cream at Mashti Malone (LA)

Persian food in SoCal is excellect. I've only tried Darya in Costa Mesa OC (which I love), but in LA there is Shiraz, Javan, and Shamshiri which all I've never tried but have heard good things about.

For Sushi, Urasawa (if you splurging $250 a person), Katsu-ya, Shibucho.

Zankou Chicken for Armenian roasted chicken.

Yongsusan for korean food.

Personally, if I had to pic just 3 of LA's strengths and unique experiences, I'd go Korean, Persian and Mexican.


Edited by savvysearch (log)

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For a roadfood experience, try a  double-double at In-N-Out. Remember to ask for grilled onions. It makes a huge difference. (LA/SF), Langer's for pastrami, Pink's for a hot dog and Phillippe's for French dip (the inventor).

Zankou Chicken for Armenian roasted chicken.

1st - Regarding the In-N-Out, the recommended secret menu request is to order it "Animal Style" where the onions are grilled, the patties are grilled with the sauce, and it is served with pickles.

2nd - Thank you for reminding of Zankou Chicken!!! I forgot how amazing it was... <snif>

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I may be a So Cal girl but let me just say, "Go Bears. Give 'em the ax!"

The only thing missing from the recs for So Cal is Central American which I'm betting is not something you can get lots of other places. Isn't Gualegetza (sp?) the place for Salvadoran food that eGers in So Cal like?


So long and thanks for all the fish.

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The Guelaguetza restaurants (there are at least two of them) serve Oaxacan Mexican food. The moles rock. But I'm guessing that regional food might not be so hard to find in Texas?


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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For a roadfood experience, try a  double-double at In-N-Out. Remember to ask for grilled onions. It makes a huge difference. (LA/SF), Langer's for pastrami, Pink's for a hot dog and Phillippe's for French dip (the inventor).

Zankou Chicken for Armenian roasted chicken.

1st - Regarding the In-N-Out, the recommended secret menu request is to order it "Animal Style" where the onions are grilled, the patties are grilled with the sauce, and it is served with pickles.

2nd - Thank you for reminding of Zankou Chicken!!! I forgot how amazing it was... <snif>

With the animal style, they grill the patties in mustard.

But for me, the secret sauce is perfect by itself for that vinegar-y taste that gives it a kick, without the pickles and mustard.


Edited by savvysearch (log)

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Reservations booked so far:

Lucques -- "Sunday Supper". We have reservations Sunday August 27 at 7:00pm -- West Hollywood

Jar -- "Mozzarella Monday". We have reservations Monday August 28 at 7:00pm -- LA

I'm thinking I need to cancel this one because I read today that the Mozzarella Monday thing is only done in the bar area. Is that information accurate?

Manresa -- Grand Tasting Menu requested. We have reservations Tuesday August 29 at 6:30pm -- Los Gatos

Chez Panisse -- 4-course set menu. We have reservations downstairs (the restaurant) Wednesday August 30 at 6:30pm -- Berkeley

Any substitutions/additions/deletions you would make?

Question marks that remain:

Lots :biggrin:

LA area:

- Dinner (and of course dessert) Saturday

- Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch/Snacks/Bread/Sweets/Ice Cream during the day Sunday

- Lunch Monday near CalTech (thinking Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles for this one)

- Dinner Monday night as possible alternative to Jar (Hopefully the new Batali/Silverton place if it's open then. But doesn't have to be a similar style of food. Doesn't have to be right in LA, for that matter. Can be a short drive there, and then we'd crash in the city for the night.)

Between LA & Los Gatos:

- Possible dinner Monday night??

- Breakfast/Lunch Tuesday

Palo Alto area:

- Lunch Wednesday somewhere close to Stanford. Is there an In-n-Out Burger nearby? Or a taqueria with fish tacos perhaps?

SF area:

- Dim Sum Thursday perhaps

- Dinner Thursday if we don't get lucky with a cancellation for TFL

- Early breakfast Friday morning so we don't have to eat crappy plane food :smile:

Places that I'm still considering:

Too many :wacko: I have a massive list I'm slowly trying to whittle down.

Some places that look the most interesting so far, though, are:

LA area

-- Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles

-- Tacos Baja Ensenada

-- Langer's

-- Philippe's

-- Doughboys

-- In-n-Out

-- La Brea Bakery

-- AOC (only if we don't do Lucques)

-- Jin Patisserie

-- Boule

-- Spago

-- La Super Rica (Santa Barbara)

-- Providence

In between LA & SF (this list is terribly short, and fine dining is probably not what we're after during the d, but hopefully it will grow once I find some of the places for the "In search of..." things I'll list below):

-- Bouchee (Carmel)

-- L'Auberge (Carmel)

-- Sierra Mar (more for the view than the food) (Big Sur)

SF area/Wine Country:

-- Ferry Building Marketplace (this is a must)

-- Tartine

-- XOX Truffles

-- Mitchell's Ice Cream

-- Aziza (menu is interesting)

-- Oliveto

-- Incanto (have read good things here on eG)

-- A16 (do I really want to try a pizza place if I go to school in NYC, though?)

-- Tadich's (want to try a true SF cioppino)

-- Koi Palace (are there better dim sum options?)

-- Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton ("salt-and-pepper" tasting menu is intriguing)

-- Boulangerie at Pine St.

-- Citizen Cake

-- Michael Mina

-- Golden Gate Bakery

-- La Folie

-- Jardiniere

-- Canteen (although perhaps too similar to Upstairs at Bouley in NYC)

-- Fleur de Lys

-- Fifth Floor

-- Gary Danko

-- Campton Place

-- Redd Napa Valley (Yountville)

-- Cyrus (Healdsburg)

-- Manka's (Inverness)

-- Julia's Kitchen at Copia (Napa)

-- Terra (St. Helena)

Yikes, that list was long :wacko:

Still in search of...:

-- Olallieberry Pie

-- Date Shake (I understand this is a SoCal thing)

-- Pick-your-own strawberries, olallieberries, etc somewhere between LA & Los Gatos. Or just a place to buy some awesome fresh tiny strawberries (there's probably a French name for them that I don't know :biggrin: )

-- Some good artichokes (Castroville the place to go?)

-- Some good avocados

Thanks again for all the help everybody. There are so many great options. The hard part now is choosing which ones. :cool:


Edited by tupac17616 (log)

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[...]

Still in search of...:

-- Olallieberry Pie

[...]

Wow! That's quite a list.

I'll try to give some recommendations re: San Francisco later today.

They have very good home style pie at Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero. They had Olallieberry when we were there earlier this summer. The seafood is also really good, if a bit expensive.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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It is quite a list. I think you're missing out by not doing Chinese in LA. From Pasadena, you're really close to the San Gabriel Valley. Or, in LA's Chinatown in the downtown area -- Phillipe's is close by.

You need not go to Castroville for artichokes. They're everywhere these days. Just get them at a good farmer's market or, depending what routes you are driving, some road side farm stand. Same is true for berries though it may be getting a little late for strawberries.

Enjoy.


So long and thanks for all the fish.

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Great list!

I highly recommend Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles; unfortunately, I had a less-than-stellar experience at the one in Pasadena (I've heard that the quality varies). I usually go to the Long Beach location, but that's a bit out of your way.

I think you'll be hard-pressed to get a fresh ollalieberry (or boysenberry) pie in August. The season for both ended around here weeks ago. Boyseberries are pretty amazing, though -- I made pies from the vine in my backyard this year and they were the most delicious pies I've ever had.

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Between LA & Los Gatos:

- Possible dinner Monday night??

If you find yourself near San Luis Obispo Monday night, I would recommend dining at Rosa's (Italian) Restaurant at Pismo Beach:

Rosa's Restaurant

(805) 773-0551

491 Price

Pismo Beach, CA

It's family run, very good Italian food, prices are quite reasonable (US$13 - $17 or so).

There is another restaurant (forgot the name now. Pomeroy and Cypress St? - the only one with long line outside) which has award-winning clam-chowder soup. Not to be missed if you pass by during the day.

-- Koi Palace (are there better dim sum options?)

There are many options for you in and near San Francisco. Koi Palace is the top on my list, but you gotta get there early to ensure a seat as that place is darn crowded and typically has long lines. No later than 10:30 am on weekends. Weekdays are easier (maybe no later than 11:15 am).

I have tried a few others:

- Fook Yuen, along El Camino Real (Millbrae)

- Zen Peninsula, along El Camino Real (Millbrae)

Both are good but a bit high price (comparable to Koi).

Don't go to Hong Kong Flower Lounge as my experience was that they had degraded from many years ago.

Within the SF city:

- May Flower, along Geary near 25th Very Good

- Parc Hong Kong, along Geary near 20th?? Not bad, price is good

- Dim Sum King, Skyline (Daly City?) So-so but price is good

Many non-Asian posters on Chowhound think highly of Ton Kiang, along Geary near 20th? I visited it but decided not to eat there.

Many people also think highly of Yank Sing in Rincon Center. I think they are too pricey for what it's worth. Some paid US$60 for a dim-sum lunch for 2? Steep.

-- Golden Gate Bakery

This bakery is on Grant Ave, with patrons being a mix of tourists and local Chinese. I always go straight to AA Bakery, Stockton Street and Jackson Street. Don't miss the "Dan Tart" (Egg Custard Tarts) and pineapple baos, and many more. Moon cakes! You may need to rub elbows with the locals. Be prepared!

I also think that you may be missing out for not having Chinese while in LA. To me the San Gabriel Valley offers much more choices at high quality within close proximity (and thus prices are quite competitive).

Best Chinese Bakery in San Gabriel Valley: Kee Wah Bakery: Atlantic Blvd and Garvey Ave. A second, smaller outlet at Valley Blvd X New Ave. Best Curry Puff, BBQ Pork Puff, Chicken Pie and many other stuff. Also Moon Cakes. Best.


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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It's an ambitious schedule, but a good one. I think you should have one dinner in San Francisco, so if TFL falls through, I would have dinner at one of your choices there. We just had a great dinner at Incanto, which would save your dad a whole lot of money over TFL. Lunch at Tadich Grill wouldn't be bad either- it has a real old-time SF feel. I love Fleur de Lys and La Folie, but you might like Gary Danko better is you want something more upscale. Hard to go wrong with that list. I wouldn't even think about changing Chez Panisse though.

As far as In-n-Out, keep in mind we are talking fast food burgers, but they are fast and good and cheap. Personally, I think the pickles overwhelm everything in the animal style burgers, so I just get them with grilled onions. And to be honest, their fries pretty much suck.

Another vote for Cal over the Trees, or whatever they call themselves now. (I was going to give my class, but then everyone would know how really old I am.)

Finally, from Pasadena to Los Gatos, it's about 6 hours if you stay on 101 and traffic isn't bad. If you venture over on Highway 1 for parts of it, it can take a lot longer. If you get out of town early Tuesday or have dinner north of LA Monday night, it would be better.

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Finally, from Pasadena to Los Gatos, it's about 6 hours if you stay on 101 and traffic isn't bad.  If you venture over on Highway 1 for parts of it, it can take a lot longer.  

Really? It always seems to take me much longer along 101 (then I-5). I think distance-wise it is about 420 miles along 101 - quite a bit longer than along I-5 because of the 101's windiness. 6 hours would assume absolutely no traffic (hard to come by unless travelling in the middle of the night), no stop plus an average of 70 MPH. No sight seeing. I think in reality it takes much longer going that route. I always plan to take a whole day driving along 101. And 2 days if I take highway 1, with many sight-seeing stops along the rugged coastline, and some part of highway 1 you can only drive through at 20 MPH - or prepare for an extremely long driving day. :smile:


Edited by hzrt8w (log)

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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