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Ultimate OC Restaurants, 2008

It may be too late...but here are my favs, not in order:

Over $25
1. Marche Moderne (consistently wonderful, lunch or dinner)
2. Studio at the Montage (wonderful tasting menu for special occasion)
3. Mastro's Ocean Club (I think that is the name...Crystal Cove, not the other location--great Char)
4. Stonehill Tavern
5. Napa Rose (fun, consistent, good wine list)

Less formal, not necessarily under $25 but reasonable:
1. Javier's (mmmmm Mango Margaritas and camarones, Crystal Cove location)
2. Zov's Bistro (lunch, Tustin location)
3. Ramos House (but, sadly, not open for dinner)
4. Gabbi's (Orange Circle)
5. Felix (great Cuban food, Orange Circle)

Jan 03, 2009
gaa in Los Angeles Area

St. Louis---anyone been to SLeeK?

Have tentative reservations at Keller's new place SLeeK. Would appreciate any comments. It is in the casino---do you have to walk past all the smoke to enter? Other suggestions?

Aug 16, 2008
gaa in General Midwest Archive

Panchos, Bora Bora, Petra or ? in Manhattan Beach

Thanks, will have a car...appreciate the recs. Will definitely try Glacier's for a treat! Heard Bora Bora has closed. Petros is sounding pretty good from the other post...time to pack, so thanks again to those who responded

Aug 03, 2008
gaa in Los Angeles Area

Help with dining next week Manhattan Beach

Just found out that Bora Bora is closed, guess that is off the list anyhow. thanks for the replies! I'm outta here....

Aug 03, 2008
gaa in Los Angeles Area

Panchos, Bora Bora, Petra or ? in Manhattan Beach

Staying at the Marriott for a conference, looking for some good places for dinner 5 nights with colleagues. Have never been to these places, but am considering: Mucho, Bora Bora, Petra (is that how you spell it? The Greek Place)...would appreciate your comments. Need dinners for Sunday through Thursday night, would prefer no repeats. I know that Il Forniao, Houstons, and PF Chang are supposed to be nearby, but looking for some other options. While I always appreciate the local "hole in the wall", some in my group might not. Thanks!!!

Aug 03, 2008
gaa in Los Angeles Area

Help with dining next week Manhattan Beach

Staying at the Marriott for a conference, looking for some good places for dinner 5 nights with colleagues. Have never been to these places, but am considering: Mucho, Bora Bora, Petra (is that how you spell it? The Greek Place)...would appreciate your comments. Need dinners for Sunday through Thursday night, would prefer no repeats. I know that Il Forniao, Houstons, and PF Chang are supposed to be nearby, but looking for some other options. While I always appreciate the local "hole in the wall", some in my group might not. Thanks!!!

Aug 02, 2008
gaa in Los Angeles Area

Any Chowish spots in Burbank?

Will be in Burbank (near the airport) for a meeting mid-week and thinking about going with colleagues for dinner to avoid the traffic back to OC. Any suggestions? Looking for upscale, with a bar, probably 4-6 people. Thanks.

Jul 11, 2008
gaa in Los Angeles Area

stl--bday dinner (for 12) washu college girls

thanks everyone for all of the great recs! We are going to do the dinner for 12 on Sunday night, and I am giving her all of your suggestions to ponder. We have dinner for just 3 of us on Monday night at Jimmys on the Park, and we are thinking about where to go (for 3 of us) for yet another birthday dinner Sat nite...I would just take the daughter and her boyfriend. She said she heard Lucas Park Grille and Bar Italia are both good, so I did a separate post to get some opinions. I will have to roll back onto the plane after these three dinners! Again, many thanks.

Apr 13, 2008
gaa in General Midwest Archive

Lucas Park Grille in STL? Bar Italia in Clayton?

Any comments would be appreciated. Thinking about dinner next Saturday night, and those are the two places my 20 year old daughter suggested for her birthday dinner.

Apr 13, 2008
gaa in General Midwest Archive

stl--bday dinner (for 12) washu college girls

In town next month to take daughter and her girlfriends to dinner for daughter's 20th birthday. The group will probably be 10-12, on a Monday night. It should be fairly close to campus (Wash U) as she told me she has to put in a few hours after dinner because she has a test the next day. She loves the Cheesecake Factory (great salads!) but I would like suggestions for something else, since that is a place she goes to already. We were also talking about PF Changs, but since that is another standby of hers, I would appreciate any other ideas. Money is not the issue, but exotic or spicy food would not work, and the tapas and thai places have already been done by this group when they go out on their own.

Another idea is to do a dessert party at Bissingers on Maryland, following dinner with the two of us at Harvest or another of our favorites. Any thoughts?

Mar 22, 2008
gaa in General Midwest Archive

Valentine's Weekend in Paris around the 6th

Would appreciate recommendations for places we can walk to from the rue de Buci flat we are renting in the 6th from Feb 15 to Feb 19, in case the weather (or our tired feet) have us stay close to home. Mainly interested in places we can go for lunch and/or dinner without reservations, dressed casually. Also looking for a nicer place for dinner Sat., Feb 15 (jacket, no tie okay for hubby, nice slacks/sweater for me). Looking for great, fresh food, simply prepared, not heavy cream sauces (but will consider a heavenly dessert!!!) We have the new Pudlow guide, but looking for recs from you hounds.

Thank you!

Feb 04, 2008
gaa in France

solo female in Barcelona 6 days in Feb

Thank you...I put that one on my list! I will report on my return. Right now I am trying to arrange for a winery/cava tour, and still waiting to hear a confirmation from a cooking class.

Feb 04, 2008
gaa in Spain/Portugal

solo female in Barcelona 6 days in Feb

These are great suggestions, though I am sorry to hear that solo diners are not as common in Barcelona as they are in other places. Still, I am a hound in search of great chow, and determined to have a wonderful and tasty adventure. Many thanks!

Feb 03, 2008
gaa in Spain/Portugal

solo female in Barcelona 6 days in Feb

Would appreciate suggestions for dining (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for first time visitor to Barcelona dining alone while husband is at conference. Only speak English, staying by train station (Barcelo Sants?). Read that last few posts and trip reports...any other suggestions? Didn't know if those would work for a single diner. Love great food and wine, don't mind paying for a great meal. Not big on game, love seafood, fresh produce, and would also love recs on cooking classes and wine tours that a solo woman could do. Many thanks!

Jan 28, 2008
gaa in Spain/Portugal

Palm Desert/Indian Wells recs needed

Thanks...that is the one I mean.

May 03, 2007
gaa in California

Palm Desert/Indian Wells recs needed

Have reservations for Firestarter's tomorrow nite. First time for Firestarter---are we making a mistake? Thanks!

May 03, 2007
gaa in California

Good "chowish" spots in Studio City/Sherman Oaks/Encino?

Haven't eaten in the SFV for a long time...any new places worth checking out for dinner? Not looking for a coat and tie/candlelight place, but hoping for something upscale. Would also appreciate any comments about Firefly. Thanks!

Apr 27, 2007
gaa in Los Angeles Area

Blue Coral--Quick Review

Went back last night. I enjoyed the lobster cobb salad (but get the dressing on the side---or better yet, ask for something other than the Green Goddess it comes with--it would not be my choice for this salad). Hubby liked his scampi, and other guest liked his cioppino.

Jan 28, 2007
gaa in Los Angeles Area

Burlingame for a week--dining recs?

Thanks for the great suggestions! We really liked Nectar. I had the "Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles" flight, and my friend had the "Anything but Chardonnay" flight. We split some small plates, including the cheese plate, the boudin with roasted beets, and artichoke pizza. The rest of the group wanted to go to Kuletos, and we wound up going there twice. I enjoyed my pork chop, but it was served on lentils that were too salty. The next visit I had wonderful sea bass on risotto. I got dragged to Gullivers (ugh) one night, and joined a group in the hotel for soup and salad the night I arrived. I found a great Thai place for lunch in Burlingame---I think it was called Coconut something. There was also a good place to get hand-made chocolates for a gift---I think it was called Aria. Other colleagues went to Pisces, but I have not had the chance to ask for their review. Thanks again!

Jan 28, 2007
gaa in San Francisco Bay Area

Burlingame for a week--dining recs?

Thanks for the great suggestions! Has anyone tried Nectar?

Jan 21, 2007
gaa in San Francisco Bay Area

Burlingame for a week--dining recs?

Staying at the aiport Marriott for a week for meetings at the hotel, will not have a car. Looking for good dinner recs (business casual)in area, easy cab ride from hotel. Thanks!

Jan 20, 2007
gaa in San Francisco Bay Area

Blue Coral--Quick Review

Although there were mixed reviews on this board, we decided to give Blue Coral a try after our friends recommended it. We were not disappointed. My starter was wonderful--a trio of crab. As I recall, it was King, Blue, and Dungeness, with three different preparations. The King was ample and sweet, with a great sauce on the side. Two of us shared it, although there was enough for three or four as a starter. Hubby was not impressed with the dressing on his salad, pronouncing it "okay." We both enjoyed our entrees--I had sea bass in parchment--very moist due to the preparation, with wonderful flavor. Hubby had their signature lobster fuego dish, which was good--a very large portion, and not as spicy as I expected. He said he would order it again. They have a great bar, specializing in vodka (you can order a flight, or try one of their specialties. I liked their vodka lemonade). We will definitely go back, based on this meal.

Jan 11, 2007
gaa in Los Angeles Area

Quick Review--Mastro's Ocean Club

Had a return visit to Mastro's Ocean Club last week and enjoyed the meal very much. Ordered Char, which was wonderful---perfectly prepared, moist and tasty. It was better than daughter's wild salmon, which was a bit bland. Husband had a steak--I think it was the bone-in ribeye this time, and he said it was good. Sides included their great snap peas, and starters were the chopped salad, and the house salad, which includes shrimp. Desserts were a bit disappointing this time..we made sure to leave room so we could enjoy some, but probably won't do that again as they have to be spectacular to assuage the guilt after a large meal! Had a great bottle of wine, and service was good. We were seated promptly, and waiter was attentive.

Jan 11, 2007
gaa in Los Angeles Area

Chinese in South OC

So sorry you had this experience! We always order the same dishes, which are very plain (chicken with veggies) and we like the light, healthy preparation. Try Peking Dragon on PCH--always crowded, very popular.

This may indeed be an issue of "to each, his/her own" because on our one visit to Bella Napoli, we thought it was terrible, and would not go back. Maybe we both caught the places on an "off" night, or have very different taste. Anyhow, sorry for steering you wrong.

Jan 10, 2007
gaa in Los Angeles Area

Perfect roast chicken in Gaslamp area?

Looking for a mid-week dinner spot, casual, in Gaslamp with plain food perfectly prepared. Daughter is a big fan of roasted chicken. I love Cafe Chloe, but don't remember if they have it on the menu. Thanks!

Dec 30, 2006
gaa in California

San Diego zoo area for a late lunch?

Will be there on Tues or Wed next week. Thanks!

Dec 30, 2006
gaa in California

Chinese in South OC

Try Peking Dragon on PCH, and for good food with no atmosphere, try Kale Yard, also on PCH. both are in Dana Point

Dec 30, 2006
gaa in Los Angeles Area

New Years' Eve in OC--Newport and south

We have reservations at Blue Coral for dinner---but are reconsidering in light of some of the reviews. We could not get reservations at Stonehill Tavern. Any other recommendations?

Dec 30, 2006
gaa in Los Angeles Area

Heading to Palm Desert...

Thanks---we just got back, tried Beefsteak, disappointed in both food and service. Will try Blend next time.

Dec 11, 2006
gaa in California

Heading to Palm Desert...

Last minute trip, thinking about dinner tonite. Concierge recommends Bing Crosby's...anyone been there? Anything new and great?

Dec 09, 2006
gaa in California