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Jun 16, 2009 09:28 PM

California Roadtrip Restaurants

Note: I'm reposting from the California board so I can get a wider variety of answers...

Hi all, a friend and I are making a long awaited road-trip from Napa to San Diego, stopping wherever, whenever along the way to see and eat everything in sight. Both of us have a huge appreciation for good food, regardless of how much it costs, and if anything, enjoy cheap, hole-in-the-walls as much or more than your typical 5 star place. As an example, in NYC I probably got more enjoyment out of the $1 dumplings at dirty, cheap Jessica's Dumplings in Chinatown than I did from Momofuku Ko. Given our current financial situations, we most likely won't be stopping at the French Laundry type places (as if we could get a table), but would consider one or two nice meals over our 10 day trip. What we really want to know is what places are so amazing or so famous that we should pull off of the PCH, or even make a 30 minute detour to try. We'll be going roughly: Napa, Monterey/Carmel, Big Sur, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, LA, SD, hopefully on the PCH for most of the trip. We'll spend about 4 days in LA, and most of the rest on the road, and we plan on stopping a bunch of places to see random sites. We can stop wherever we want, so I guess we're hoping people mention any must-stop places along the coast, and we'll make a point to go to as many as we can.

Any type of food is welcome, the more authentic and delicious the better, so in this case I would guess people will suggest some amazing taquerias and asian joints.


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  1. Here are several classic PCH stops in the LA Area.

    For fish and chips
    Neptune's Net Seafood Restaurant
    42505 Pacific Coast Hwy
    Malibu, CA 90265
    (310) 457-3095

    LA’s closest thing to a NJ Diner – Harbor House Café, open 24/7. Check out the menu. Burgers are great and the steak chili does not get better anyplace. The soups here are very good also.

    For a geat cheese burger on a great burger bun with a great view go to TK. Next door is a Dairy Queen for a soft serve ice cream cone.
    TK Burger
    110 Pacific Coast Highway
    CA. 92648

    If you like Cinnamon rolls the best I ever had are just ten minutes off PCH.
    Alice's Breakfast in the Park (Cinnamon rolls and breakfast served. Very nice cottage ambiance inside and great coffee. Dogs OK at outside tables on weekends. Walking distance from the Dog park located in Central Park)
    6622 Lakeview, (this place really is on the lake in the park)
    Huntington Beach, California
    (714) 848-0690

    1 Reply
    1. re: JeetJet

      Although some may dissagree, especially for the Fish & Chips, La Brea Mini Loaf (w/xtra butter) and no corkage BYOB (for me craft beer not available at Neptune's Net) along with a beach view I really prefer Malibu Fish and Seafood!

    2. On your way through Santa Barbara, you might want to consider the BrewHouse, Cold Spring Tavern, and the Minnow, as described in .

      You might want to try Saddle Peak Lodge in Malibu, but that would definitely be one of your splurges. You won't find much in Santa Monica, but as you pass through would be a good time to take a detour to Jitlada, or Koreatown, or the San Gabriel Valley for Chinese.

      1. Folks, we ask everyone to recommend places appropriate for the L.A. board, which covers L.A. / Orange / Ventura / San Bernadino Counties.

        thehamburglar has also posted this question on the California and San Francisco boards.

        For the SF Bay region (which covers the counties that touch the SF Bay), please follow this link

        For the rest of California not covered by the LA. and SF boards, please follow here:

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