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Oct 19, 2006 05:51 PM

Catalina - Avalon...whats the best place for dinner



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  1. Buffalo Nickel is a local favorite. It's out around the point, South of Avalon. I think they have a van service that will pick you up downtown or you can walk. It's about a mile out but a nice stroll, either to or from. Also, dinner at the Country Club is always good. Kind of nice to get away from the tourist scene. The bar there is good, too. Lots of Chicago Cubs memorabilia. For really casual eats, we love the Sand Trap at the golf course. Good cheap Mexican. A great reward for hiking up to the Wrigley Monument in the Botanical Garden is guacamole and a beer at the Sand Trap! Also good for breakfast and lunch, the Gas Dock down by the Casino.

    1. We ate at Armstrong's Fish Market about a month ago and were both very displeased with the food. Lots of burnt things, warm/oily salad dressing, funny tasting fried oysters...

      1. MunkeeCiao, you get around! You have given me some good advice on my trip to Venice and Verona this spring, I recognize the name... I am going to Catalina next month to do a whale-watching cruise and have been searching CHOW for restaurants on Catalina. I don't know if I'm searching incorrectly, but I can't seem to find much. Where did you wind up eating in Avalon? Anywhere good?

        3 Replies
        1. re: jcoz23

          I went to Catalina this summer and had a pretty good meal at the restaurant at Hotel Portofino. Not paradigm-shifting wonderfulness, but solid, reasonably priced food. The salads were probably the weak point, the meat entrees and pasta the stronger.

          Also, Rosie's Fish & Chips (I think - it's the place at the end of the pier), was pretty good. I recall the food decent and the drinks (soda) outrageously expensive. I think the fish was better than the sides. If it's cold & rainy, this will probably not be a good choice since the fried stuff probably doesn't travel well.

          Oh, and there's a gelato place in a little gourmet market on the same side street as Mi Casita that was really good. Mi Casita = okay, good margaritas. I can't remember the name of the gelato place, nor do I know if it's open off season, but I thought they made their own.

          1. re: mungus

            Thanks! That is good to know, esp. the gelato place!

          2. re: jcoz23

            jcoz23 - thank you for the compliment. Yes, we get around. But mostly because my wife makes me go so many places:).

            We went for an entire weekend and got bored on day 2. Avalon is not exactly the CHOW mecca of the world. There are plenty of mediocre places that serve standard fare. A lot of bar food too. If you have ever been to a Joe's Crabshack, then expect a lot of that type of place.
            We did like Portofino, as mentioned by Mungus below. Plopped into LA, I am not sure it would stand, but on Avalon it seems to do pretty well.

            The best part of the trip was knowing we were taking the chopper back to San Pedro and we were going to be close to good chow that much faster than if we were to take the boat.

            Have fun!


          3. The restaurant at the country club is pretty good, but our favorite thing to do is get a selection of pate/meats/cheese/bread at the gourmet shop (behind the wine shop of same name - ack, what IS that name?) and find a place to nosh.

            1 Reply
            1. re: neobite

              C.C. Gallagher
              And just had dinner at restaurant at Hotel Portofino over the holidays, think it is called Villa Portofino, and it was very good.