No if and’s or maybes..Please take me to Blue Daisy!!

Did you know….

The town of Santa Monica was launched by two entrepreneurs: Colonel Robert S. Baker, who made a fortune in mining equipment before taking up cattle and sheep ranching, and Senator John P. Jones of Nevada, owner of silver mines. They purchased land along the coast, hoping to develop a prosperous industrial port. An eloquent auctioneer initiated the sale of the first town lots for the new city on July 15, 1875 with evocative imagery:

… we will sell at public outcry to the highest bidder the Pacific Ocean draped with western sky of scarlet and gold; we will sell a bay filled with white winged ships; we will sell a southern horizon, rimmed with a choice of purple mountains carved in castles and turrets and domes; a frostless, bracing, warm yet languid air braided in and out with sunshine and odored with breath of flowers.

Although Baker and Jones built a wharf and railroad, their dream of a port city ultimately failed. Rather, the natural scenic and environmental assets extolled by the auctioneer set the new city in a new direction as a beach resort and an attractive place to live. (smconservancy.org)

Today’s Restaurant

Blue Daisy – Santa Monica, California

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes:

Baked egg meat sauce, Salmon Cake Scandia, Breakfast Combo, Coffee

 

Holiday weekends make great for loving memories with the family!

Whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving or even the grateful tribute day to our troops for Memorial Day.

What makes these weekends even better is when you combine a birthday celebration!

Let’s talk about my Labor Day/Birthday weekend extravaganza in Santa Monica,Ca at a new found love called Blue Daisy..

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One of my favorite dining picks..over at Rustic!!

Did you know….

The town of Geyserville retains the ambiance of a bygone era. Located in the beautiful Alexander Valley, the town owes its name and beginnings to the discovery of geothermal springs in the Mayacamas Mountains just east of town.

The area became a tourist attraction, with the town providing lodgings and provisions for the tourists. Cattle, grain, pears, and prunes thrived in the lush valley and the area’s rich, gravelly soil proved an ideal location for wine grapes. The wine boom of the 1970s led to vineyards replacing the fruit orchards, and today the valley is a verdant sea of vines.

Main Street Geyserville still holds the charm of 100 years ago in its historic buildings. From wooden boardwalks to Wild West storefronts, Geyserville charms its visitors with world-renowned wines, contemporary restaurants, quaint bed and breakfast inns, boutiques and vintage chic mercantiles. (sonomacounty.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Rustic within Francis Ford Coppola Winery – Geyserville, Ca

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes:

Lamb, Steak, Wine of course!

Wine country is a great place to visit,when you want to see exquisite gardens of vines, while sipping on the finest wines.

About an hour from the Bay Area, you can make your trip to Napa or Sonoma county and begin your decadent experience to a land of beauty and relaxation.

Not only can you find magnificent wine to taste, but also breathtaking meals to pair with it.

While visiting the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, I found a hidden gem, where I officially dined on the best lamb I have ever had!!

Let’s talk Rustic

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They just made my wish..Dining at Tin Fish!

Fried Fish Tacos

Did you know….

San Diego’s coastal seat makes it an ideal destination for adventurers and sun seekers. Whether you’re hiking along the sandstone cliffs of Torrey Pines State Reserve, walking through the frothy surf of Coronado Beach or admiring the postcard-worthy scenery at La Jolla Cove, you’ll find little reason to stray far from the city’s natural wonders. Spend a day at Balboa Park – the city’s definitive cultural hub – and soak up the stunning setting while exploring the many museums, theaters and gardens that call this 1,200-acre park home. Though it’s tempting to spend your whole vacation exploring, don’t forget to carve out some time for a San Diego history lesson: America’s Finest City proudly shows off it’s military and maritime heritage with two well-regarded (and highly interactive) museums.(travel.usnews.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Tin Fish – Oceanside

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

All fish tacos, Clam Chowder

Southern California is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

You have Hollywood, the wonderful beaches of San Diego, the Gas Lamp district and one the best places for fish tacos I have ever had.

Let’s talk Tin Fish!!

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The Destination for Romance..Over at Sundance!

Did you know….

Our modern steakhouse has two direct ancestors, the beefsteak banquet and the chophouse. Both arose, interestingly enough, in mid-19th century New York City, a town that got the best beef cuts the country had to offer because only there did diners have enough money to pay for them. Beefsteak banquets were primarily men-only political affairs, held as candidate fundraisers or to celebrate a recent victory. They got their name from what was served: sliced beef tenderloin, each piece placed upon a slice of white bread like an open faced sandwich. The bread slices, however, were rarely eaten and were mainly stacked besides each plate as an informal scorekeeping system for how much beef was consumed by the participants. No self-respecting gourmand wanted to fill up on bread when there was so much beef and beer available!

Chophouses were only slightly more civilized. They appeared in New York City in the mid-1800s to cater to merchants and clerks in need of a hot meal. By all accounts, chophouses were dark and dusty affairs: one of the more celebrated houses was named “Cobweb Hall,” after the décor. These restaurants served a more diverse menu than the beefsteaks. Mutton chops, lamb kidneys and sizzling strips of bacon were all served, alongside mealy baked potatoes and the ever-present tankards of British ale. As one reporter put it, “Those who don’t care for steaks can have chops, those who don’t care for chops can have steaks.” Dessert was apple pie, mince pie or a wedge of Stilton cheese.(history.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Sundance Steakhouse – Palo Alto

Average Cost

$31-$60

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes:

Rib-eye steak, Calamari, Jumbo Shrimp, Clam Chowder

Birthday celebrations always make my day.

Watching someone’s face glow while they anxiously open their gifts…

Or simply seeing the gratefulness of having a companion there with them to cling glasses of luscious red wine together.

Tonight we celebrate my wife’s birthday over steak and wine within an extravagant setting and memorable cuisine!

Let’s talk Sundance!!

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Oh my Word..I’m eating at Rutherford!

Did you know….

The roots of Rutherford—the historic grape growing center of the Napa Valley—actually stretch south of its central location in Napa Valley to Yountville, where George Yount settled in1838. Yount, an explorer and pioneer, was granted 11,814 acres by Mexican General Mariano G. Vallejo as repayment for a variety of services.

This land was called “Caymus Rancho,” and extended north from the western foothills of Mt. St. John to what is now the intersection of Zinfandel Lane and Silverado Trail.

Yount had three granddaughters. Elizabeth married young Thomas Rutherford in 1864. As a wedding present, the newlyweds received 1,040 acres at the northern end of Yount’s land grant.

While Yount is considered to be the first to plant wine grapes in Napa Valley, it was Thomas Rutherford who made a serious investment in grape production and winemaking. From 1850 to 1880, Rutherford established himself as a grower and producer of high-quality wines.(rutherforddust.org)

Today’s Restaurant

Rutherford Grill – Rutherford, Ca

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Iron Skillet Cornbread, Prime Rib, Burger, Trip-tip & Enchilada

Napa Valley.. Home of the grapes!!

Not just the world’s fantasy villa of grapes, but home to some of the finest dining around to pair up with those exquisite wines.

Last time I was out in Napa enjoying the view of a grape vineyard, while sipping on some aged Pinot Noir; we stopped in Rutherford,Ca and found the golden goose of restaurants.

Food so tasty it will make your head spin!

Let’s talk about it…

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Wagyu Beef that will Melt in your Mouth at Alexander’s Steakhouse!

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Did you know….

Modern Wagyu cattle are the result of crossing of the native cattle in Japan with imported breeds.  Crossing began in 1868 after the Meiji restoration in that year.  The government wanted to introduce Western food habits and culture. Brown Swiss, Devon, Shorthorn, Simmental, Ayrshire, and Korean cattle were imported during this period. The infusions of these British, European and Asian breeds were closed to outside genetic infusions in 1910.

The variation of conformation within the Wagyu breed is greater than the variation across British and European breeds. The three major black strains – Tajiri or Tajima, Fujiyoshi (Shimane) and Kedaka  (Tottori) evolved due to regional geographic isolation in Japan. These breeding differences have produced a Japanese national herd that comprises 90% black cattle with the remainder being of the red strains Kochi and Kumamoto.

In Japan there are four breeds that are considered Wagyu and those are the Japanese Black (the predominant Wagyu exported to the U.S), Japanese Brown (In the U.S. referred to as Red Wagyu), Japanese Polled and Japanese Shorthorn.  There are no Japanese Polled or Shorthorns being bred outside Japan. Wagyu strains were isolated according to prefecture (state) and breeds imported for crossing were not the same in each prefecture.

The production of Wagyu beef in Japan is highly regulated and progeny testing is mandatory. Only the very best proven genetics are kept for breeding. Realizing the value of their unique product, the Japanese Government banned the export of Wagyu and declared them a national living treasure. Zenwa is the Gov’t held entity in Japan that oversees the WAGYU registry for Japanese Black, Brown, Polled and Shorthorn.(wagyu.org)

Today’s Restaurant

Alexander’s Steak House – Cupertino, Ca

Average Cost

Above $61 unless you go for lunch

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Wagyu Burger, Steak Frites

What a wonderful day for steak!!

Steak is wonderful on a sunny day..

Steak is wonderful on a rainy day..

Heck, I’ll eat steak if aliens invaded the planet for my last meal and testament!

When you are looking for mouth watering beef within an elegant setting, I know the spot!

Let’s talk about it!!

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Hawaiian goodness with every dish to admire; at Rumfire!

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Did you know….

There is something about the nature of truffles that have captivated people for over a thousand years. Perhaps it is the dazzling, irresistible aroma that continues to draw generation after generation to this delicacy. The history of these black pearls of the Earth is often filled with mystery, superstition and, at one time, damnation.

This subterranean mushroom is found within the living roots of chestnut, oak, hazel, and beech trees. The word truffle comes from the Latin word “tuber”, which means outgrowth. It dates back to as early as the ancient Egyptians, who held truffles in high esteem and ate them coated in goose fat. A myth surrounded this gourmet entrée when people believed they came from the ground after lightning struck the earth. According to a legend, a farmer spotted his pig digging at the root of a tree, eating the mushrooms that it found. Upon seeing that the pig remained healthy, the farmer tried the mushrooms himself. Afterwards, his inability to have a child with his wife resulted in them having thirteen children. Many soon felt that there was a supernatural quality to truffles, and saw them as God’s gift to humanity. The Greeks and Romans used them for therapeutic purposes, feeling that they gave eternal health to the body and soul. Truffles were also seen has having exotic qualities in its aroma and flavor, making it more popular among the noble classes.(gourmetfoodstore.com)

 

Today’s Restaurant

Rumfire – Waikiki, Hawaii

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Truffle Burger, Korean Fried Chicken Wings

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Have you ever tasted something so good that you wanted to cry?

I assure you that, the ambiance, the view of the beautiful Pacific Ocean, and the exotic delicious flavors of the food at this new found paradise was all the way superb.

Just writing this letter makes my heart beat fast.

Time to dive into one of my favorite places on Earth; Rumfire on the glorious beach of Hawaiian waters!

Let’s talk about it…

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Tasty Grub that will Tickle your Tonsil when your Dining at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles!

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Did you know….

The earliest American chicken and waffle combination appears in Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1600’s, when home cooks made waffles and topped them with pulled chicken and gravy. A different, decidedly soul food-inspired approach to the pairing worked its way into popular culture much later with the opening of Wells Supper Club in Harlem, New York. The restaurant, known simply as “Wells” to regulars, opened in 1938. Wells became a late night hotspot for jazz musicians, who would stop by late at night after their various gigs. The musicians, arriving too late for dinner but too early for breakfast, enjoyed the appetizing compromise of fried chicken and waffles. Before long, Wells was frequented by the likes of Sammy Davis Jr. and Nat King Cole (who held his wedding reception there).

Wells managed to inspire a nationwide trend. In 1976, a Harlem native named Herb Hudson opened a Los Angeles restaurant dedicated exclusively to the pairing: Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles. Hudson’s Motown connections helped to launch the restaurant, making it a popular destination for music industry professionals and performers in the Los Angeles area. Over the years, the restaurant has become an established part of the Hollywood food landscape. Roscoe’s is so well known, in fact, that President Obama took time out of his busy schedule in 2011 to make an unscheduled stop there. In case you’re curious, he ordered the “Country Boy,” Number 9– three wings with choice of waffle, potato salad or French fries. Here’s hoping he chose the waffle.

Gladys Knight, a patron of the original Wells, started her own chain with gospel singer Ron Winan in 1996—Gladys and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles. Other soul food restaurants feature chicken and waffles on the menu, including Lo-Lo’s in Arizona and Lucky J’s in Texas. Thomas Keller’s famed restaurant Ad Hoc in Napa has been known, on occasion, to serve lemony fried chicken with crispy and delicate waffles. And in Harlem, Melba’s Restaurant serves up eggnog waffles with strawberry butter and buttermilk fried chicken. While it may sound strange, Melba’s combination is so tasty that she beat out celebrity chef Bobby Flay in a chicken and waffles “Throwdown” on Food Network.(pbs.org)

Today’s Restaurant

Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles – Southern California

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Chicken & Waffles of Course!! and the sides of your liking..

There is is a new American staple that has hit the taste waves and it’s not your normal breakfast.

We’ve heard of the Grand Slam Breakfast with pancakes, eggs and your choice of bacon,sausage or ham.

We’ve heard of Waffles and your choice of bacon, sausage or ham.

How about something different added to the waffle?

Time to invite someone else to the table..

That’s fried chicken for breakfast paired up with a glistening golden crisp waffle.

No place pairs them up better than Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles!

Let’s talk about it…

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I feel like a Billionaire Mobster when I’m scarfing at Rockin Baja Lobster!

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Did you know….

Shrimp, crab, and crawfish boils are a Louisiana Cajun tradition and can be found across Louisiana and can even now be found along the Gulf South. But it is the more popular crawfish boil that is most closely associated with Louisiana. The Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival in Louisiana has been named one of the top 10 food events by USA Today[3] and is a showcase for Cajun music and culture. Major crawfish boils are held by churches and other organizations as fundraisers throughout the spring. Tulane University holds an annual “Crawfest” in April, and the University of New Orleans holds an annual crawfish boil for all students at the end of the spring semester (Students unwinding on Crawfish and Unprecedented Fun—SUCAUF). Smaller events can be found in backyards and parks throughout April, May, and June. Locals traditionally eat crawfish, as well as crabs, without tools such as shell crackers or picks.(en.wikipedia.org)

Today’s Restaurant

Rockin Baja Lobster – Old Town, San Diego

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

9.5

Recommended Dishes: 

Lobster Corn Chowder, Signature Baja Buckets

Americans don’t gather around for just barbecue.

We flock for seafood boils as well.

What’s a seafood boil?

A seafood boil would be considered a get together where you boil potatoes, sausage, corn on the cob, some great seasonings and most of the time shrimp, crawdads or crab.

I won’t be boiling myself today, but dining at a restaurant that does.

Let’s talk Rockin Baja Lobster..

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Grab My Bib and I’m on My Way to Seafood Heaven at Crab and Cray!

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Did you know….

Escaping the incoming Communist regime at the end of the Vietnam War, many Vietnamese fled to America in the mid-1970s, and quite a large number settled in Louisiana. Recent figures put the New Orleans Vietnamese population at 14,000, making our city host to the largest, most vibrant Vietnamese community in the state.

Why New Orleans of all places? For one, the sub-tropical climate and proximity to water appealed many Vietnamese immigrants. Also, many newcomers after the Vietman War were Catholic, and both New Orleans and national Catholic charities were spearheading efforts to help new residents find jobs and housing in the city.

Many Vietnamese settled in the newer, suburban parts of the city, particularly in New Orleans East but also in parts of Algiers, Avondale, and other places on the West Bank. As their local population grew, the Vietnamese community spread to other neighborhoods and began to revitalize these areas.(neworleansonline.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Crab & Cray – San Jose, Ca 

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

9

Recommended Dishes: 

Lobster Roll, Gumbo, Fish Tacos

Something about seafood just gets me all riled up..

From cracking crab..

To sucking life out of a crawdad..

To sinking your teeth into some succulent plump shrimp…

Whatever your fancy, you haven’t had nothing yet until you try your seafood Cajun style.

When you think Cajun, the first thing that comes into your mind is New Orleans style; but did you know that Vietnamese Americans have cook Cajun New Orleans style as well…

Let’s talk about it..

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