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Gut Reaction - Drinks after work in Oakland

The Lake Chalet on Lake Merritt of course - this park is really rocking these days - give it your support.

http://www.thelakechalet.com/

Happy hour menu - beautiful deck over the water - watch the sunset.
http://www.thelakechalet.com/userfile...

HAYWARD - SAN LEANDRO Eat 14th Street: Padi - Indonesian

Padi: Between Hayward ad San Leandro on East 14th Street is a familly run Indonesian casual restaurant - table service or take-out with a small selection of Indonesian spices and cooking products.

http://www.padibayarea.com/

We had the multic-ourse Rijstaffel for two - good sample of lots of classics and all were excellent. The hits were the beef, chicken satay, green beans and fried kecap noodles. With a great sticky black rice and coconut cream dessert.

Lovely Indonesia teas - jasmine hot or cold along with other SEAsian flavors. No beer or wine. Off street parking and close to 880 - 238 freeway access.

This place is a find - about a year old and we wish it every success.

Omaha Steaks; a good deal??

We were gifted some and they were terrible. Way, way over-priced for poor supermarket quality meat. They must survive as corporate gift box items only. Do not waste your money on anything in their package and prepare for a huge disappointment if you end up with them as a gift.

No flavor, no marbeling, weird texture -- like eating mushy cardboard or a rice cracker. I suspect, but don't know, they take unrecogniable cuts of beef and run them though one of those prong tenderizer apparatus thing and get this weird textured thing they call "steaks".

The steaks are cut into squares and don't seem to follow any muscle pattern or grain. Make up a big batch of chimmichurri sauce and be prepared to enjoy what you put on them instead of what is in them.

Aug 28, 2014
glbtrtr in General Topics

New in Santa Barbara

I think SB Public Market needs to be identified more as a food court than a "public market".

I suspect they were required to put in the grocery market part because they were tearing down a prior large chain store than served the surrounding neighborhood.

But the title SB Public Market is not a concept that immediately resonates with its primary draw, which is being a darn good food court. And like you say, a very good place to take people who have differing tastes.

Aug 24, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Food at Hearst Castle

This is a bit of a wasteland for recommendations. Cambria is your best shot. Don't think there is much at all in the vicinity of the Castle itself. Ragged Point Inn might be your best shot for the rugged ambiance:

http://raggedpointinn.com/restaurant.php

Aug 24, 2014
glbtrtr in California

One night in Santa Barbara - Where to Eat?

Recent newspaper review of the Santa Monica Fishmarket, also in the Santa Barbara Public Market along with Empty Bowl, gave it high praise value for the dollar.

These blocks along State Street - 1000-1300 State Street and surrounding side blocks are the best target for anyone wanting to sample a wide variety of SB dining experiences: high-end to humble.

Aug 24, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Dogs OK in CA restaurants

Gov Brown signed bill that allows dogs in California restaurants - 8/22/14

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Ca...

Aug 22, 2014
glbtrtr in California

One night in Santa Barbara - Where to Eat?

Backing off a bit from my prior enthusiasm for Scarlett Begonia - lunch today was not particularly inspired. Value no longer there Sorry. Nice spot and interesting selections but not enough for a special visit.

$16 for a kale salad that seemed to go on endlessly with no variation of taste or texture. Kind of gluey instead of perky and robust. It became chore to eat, but to expensive to cast away.

Aug 21, 2014
glbtrtr in California

One night in Santa Barbara - Where to Eat?

Crab Louie at SB Shellfish is generous too and an outdoor table gives you one of the best waterside views. This is at the end of the wharf at the very bottom of State Street and is a hefty walk but there are city shuttles for 50cents that go up and down this distance. Then you have to walk to the end of the wharf.

Aug 19, 2014
glbtrtr in California

One night in Santa Barbara - Where to Eat?

Lark is a bit of a walk but you have excellent choices within a few blocks of your hotel - ground zero for good restaurants are the 1000 to 1300 blocks of State Street and their side streets - take your pick. We like Juliene a lot which is a few blocks away in the other direction on the corner of Canon Perdido and Santa Barbara streets.

But also love Sama Sama and Scarlett Begonia. Can't go wrong with either - both small and casual.

For old school Santa Barbara where locals still come to celebrate their big events, our own favorite remains Downey's which you find in this same Ground Zero 1300 block of State Street area as well. it is more staid, but a true Santa Barbara classic.

Paradise Cafe is another far more casual but oldtime Santa Barbara spot - no one can beat their chocolate moouse pie and well prepared basics - outdoor setting if the night is warm.

You ask a challenging question and I don't have a good answer - what says Santa Barbara best for a single night's dinner. Actually, I might say Sushi Teri for their combo plate, La Superica #15 special, or the Carnitas Super Nachos at Super Cucas with a tall horchata, (!)

Aug 18, 2014
glbtrtr in California

New in Santa Barbara

Service was young and friendly and they seemed to be proud to be working there. I did not pick up any of the early and edgy hautiness reported but we also made very few demands on them since it was just lunch and the dining setting was very uncrowded.

I would rank it as more eager to please than polished or professional as the setting, clientele or prices may warrant. But it was welcoming, which I had feared it would not be.

Made it feel okay to be just a mere local going back to visit one for their former favorite haunts. In fact talking about it right now makes me want to run back up the hill and have another burger!

Aug 17, 2014
glbtrtr in California

New in Santa Barbara

Here you go - the El Encanto lunch menu (Aug 2014). Hope you enjoy it - the serenity of the view and strolling around the grounds still makes it a worthy Santa Barbara destination.

Was pleased how faithful they were to the look and feel old interior lobby since they gutted this place down to the newly installed steel girders. (But miss the squeak of the old floor boards!)

The extended dining terrace was an excellent improvement. A trip up the lobby stairs takes you to an even higher level view deck.

http://4c6c364fdf1082a37bcf-54493dc0d...

Aug 16, 2014
glbtrtr in California

New in Santa Barbara

My first taste of SB for lunch was a glorious vegetarian eggplant sandwich - and I am really no fan of vegetables but this place did magic.

Aug 15, 2014
glbtrtr in California

New in Santa Barbara

I think both those choices will deliver for you and your son. Toma gets great reviews and Lark gets mixed but very high marks too when it works. Looking forward to your report when you get back -- have not been to either one myself and am going only on local reviews.

Aug 15, 2014
glbtrtr in California

New in Santa Barbara

Agree, the El Encanto got such mixed reviews at first we never wanted to go but decided lunch would be a good time to try since it is almost in our back yard - and were very nicely surprised. We did only have the hamburger with fries, but we really enjoyed the wait staff and were greeted nicely during the entire experience.

So for the best view, ambience and reasonable lunch for the price spot I would certainly put it back on your list of places to enjoy when you come back this way. Not sure I want to try dinner, but definitely this is a prime lunch spot for us now to return to again and again ... and we can walk to it so that makes it even better.

Aug 13, 2014
glbtrtr in California

New in Santa Barbara

Juliene and Buchon are not fancy - more casual chic but assume families would feel okay there and lots of variety to chose from. This town is geared towards vegatarians and all the other prohibited food lists too and will try to accomdate them, particularly if you call ahead of time.

Might want to try TomaToma on Cabrillo Blvd or Stella Mares by the Bird Refuge which is close by. The new Funk Zone is in your backyard where the Lark and Lucky Penny are located. Lark has "family style" serving items. An LA chef was brought in to take over the restaurant at the Hotel Indigo right by the train station which was getting some good (and mixed) reviews but this is down in the Beach front area too.

Might want to explore Scarlett Begonia in the Victoria Courtyard by Buchon and for sure visit the new Santa Barbara Public Market on the corner of West Victoria and Chapala for a lot of inticing food court variety.

For a special treat try the newly refurbished El Encanto Hotel view patio for lunch - great hamburgers and a casual setting even in its remodeled opulence -they were welcoming and not crowded.

Worth a drive up to Cold Springs Tavern on the San Marcos Pass - woodsy, very historic logcabin setting - good lunch spot so you can see the scenery during the day.

When classes are in session, you might want to try the SBCC Gourmet Dining Room on Thurs and Friday for dinner or everyday during lunch time - call the college for reservations - this is a student run operation which is always fun and often quite spectacular.

Website "Santa Barbara Dining" will give you more info and some reviews which are not CH level, but occasionally helpful.

You almost can't go wrong as you will be well-fed most everywhere in this area. Stroll and decide what looks appealing. There is a nice cluster of casual spots in the 1200 block of State Street - Indonesian, Vietnamise, Brazillian casual and other more substantial choices. Anderson's Bakery and Cafe for Danish is my favorite sidewalk people watching place. Petit Valentin in La Arcada is also good as well as new choices in this area too.

Aug 13, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Central Coast Updates

Thank for the update to this unique destination area.

Sadly no hope for the reopening of the wonderful La Simpatia Cafe in Guadalupe, even though the sign beckons that it will be re-opening soon ---which is no several years old and looks like no earthquake repairs have even been started.

A new Simpatia would not be the same anyway. Good buy counter stools, kitsch on the walls, formica countertops and tuck and roll naugahyde booths. And the best chile rellenos on the planet, thanks to ToodieJane's CH tip.

Aug 05, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Italian food in Fresno!

Trelio in Clovis.

Aug 01, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Sorry, another I-5 and Hwy 99 question!

Jack Ranch Cafe in Cholame on 146 - tuna melt and peanutbutter pie. Ummm, umm, ummm

Jul 27, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Sorry, another I-5 and Hwy 99 question!

Kingsburg on 99 is a delight - the town with the Swedish Coffee pot water tower you can see from the freeway - Dala Horse Restaurant serves swedish pancakes before 11am and Swedish plate lunches after that, plus has some Swedish food supplies - lignonberry jam and the large rounds of hard tack.

Tout Sweet in Stockton is another nice deli/bakery with tables stop - a few blocks off 99. http://www.tootsweetsbakerycafe.com/

Jul 27, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Donuts in Santa Barbara?

Spudnuts won a local newspaper article blind taste-off a few years ago during the KrispyKreme craze. There are several loctions in town.

I really like the Spudnuts on West Carrillo and De la Vina, where the new (old) Italian Market will soon be moving into the old Carrows location. This little shopping complex is looking like a nice new specialty stop for locals - inclusing those on a Spudnut's donut run.

Local reviews - mainly very good but also some clinkers - splurge the $1.50 and and try it for yourself ;-)- plus you might like looking at more of the local Santa Barbara Dining reviews on this website. Not as good as Chowhound but far better than Yelp for local recommendations:

http://www.santabarbara.com/dining/re...

Jul 26, 2014
glbtrtr in California

White Wolf Lodge Update, 2014

Maybe you already planned this, but I can recommend getting Glen Aulin to pack you a lunch (surcharge) and hike down to WaterWheel Falls.

A group of guys had wine hauled in by mule - I think it was only $5 a bottle to provide this service, but not sure. The friendly family style meals meant they were willing to share and no reason to not drink it up if it was going to cost them another mule to haul it out. Drinking in the pine scent was good enough for me. Water was at a premium at Glen Aulin - cold wash ups only during a short time period - probably worse now. But you can always dip into the lovely falls and pool next to the camp. Brrrrr. Bringing some water treatment device might be a good suggestion if you want to rely on any left over flowing spring water. I loved this hike, did it as a kid and then 55 years later. Hiking poles a must for me now.

Jul 21, 2014
glbtrtr in California

White Wolf Lodge Update, 2014

Thanks for your reprt. Have always been intrigued with White Wolf for a short stay. Having done one of the Sierra High Camps (Glen Aulin) a few years back we can endorse the very good food we had there as well. Mules haul in fresh supplies every few days and it was pretty spectacular what the cooks/chef was turning out in these highly remote settings.

Jul 21, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Gonna be in San Simeon tomorrow night

They are seriously running out of water in the Cambria area.Plan accordingly.

Jul 18, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Uni in Santa Barbara

Arigato could be your best bet, on State Street in the 1200 block. Or try the restaurants in the SB Harbor area. I don't have first hand knowledge about this but know Arigato gets the best reviews of sushi here.

Jul 18, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Ojai for the weekend?

Both - price is good for the food. This is chow, rather than fine dining please understand. But their heart is in the right place and you will be fed well. Fresh food, full flavors for simple and hearty menu items.

Jul 09, 2014
glbtrtr in Los Angeles Area

Ojai for the weekend?

Boccali's has old fashion strawberry short cake and reasonable Italian dishes in a great casual indoor/outdoor setting .Feels really local. Strawberry season is almost over but give it a try. On the outskirts of town heading east.

http://www.boccalis.com/

Jul 09, 2014
glbtrtr in Los Angeles Area

What Pastries and bakeries makes your mouthwater the most in Denmark and the greater Europe?

Bornholm Island has the best danish pastries in Denmark. See if you can get out there - worth the trip because the ones in Copenhagen on the same trip tasted like they were cutting corners.

Jul 04, 2014
glbtrtr in Europe

Roadfood along the 5 btwn SF and LA?

Agree, skip Harris Ranch. Nothing wrong with a MacDonald's fish sandwich, fries and coke when you are traveling in fast food land and there is no IHOP.

Jul 04, 2014
glbtrtr in California

South Shore Lake Tahoe

The venerable old school Swiss Chalet is definitely worth a visit.

Jul 04, 2014
glbtrtr in California