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southern californian holiday with the best chowhound recomendations

I know this is a foodie site not a travel board but food is our life when it comes to holidays.. I am looking to book a holiday in southern California and if there is a main area that would be close to some great chowhound recomendations either walking or close drive is there a certain area that comes to mind???

Between our last visit to (la jolla/san diego/anaaheim we went to . Mariscus Taco truck. Georges on the cove, Alfonso's, Ropongo (la jolla) Mama Testes, Point Loma Seafood, Brigatine, and the mariachi place in old town we went to all great recommends from all of you.. Some time on the Coast and inland is good to move around..

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  1. Taking the train from Los Angeles (LAX-Union Station- SB) to Santa Barbara puts you into a varied dining area within walking, shuttle distance to various spots.

    If you want to rent a car, the California Central coast centered around Paso Robles is growing in wining and dining reputation.

    5 Replies
    1. re: glbtrtr

      We are renting a car so the Paso Robles is the area which would have many good restaurants? WE do like happy hour places and Fish Taco's and South west/mexican are our favorities.

      I will google this area thanks.

      1. re: palmtree38

        Do a search on Chowhound for this area too, as well as google. There is a nice histotric Paso Robles Inn right downtown that used to be one of the major Highway 101 road stops when it took several days to go between SF and LA. The reviews here will give you a candid assessment of the lodging, but more importantly tell you about the surrounding area and restaurants: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Revi...

        For over the top, I am finding the hokey charms of the Madonna Inn south of San Luis Obispo to be honest in their kitschy excess and classic American cooking. It is a welcome relief to the chain-food/fast food homoginization of these newl and rapidly developing parts of Central California along Highway 101.

        BTW: This is not the "southwest" for Mexican. It is California Mexican. Check out also the threads here about Highway One and Highway 101 and the Central Coast. There is a surprising collection of small gems in this often overlooked area.

        Nipomo/Orcutt alone have several worthy of a destination. And no one yet can beat the chile rellenos in tiny Guadalupe at La Simpatia. The hills are green now and it is a lovely time for a country drive though all the vineyards are now bare.

        Another worthy destination is the Santa Ynez Valley now with Hotel Corque and Root 246 restaurant and the Ballard Inn and Restaurant ranking way high on the culinary stars list. And you can have all the fish tacos you want at some of the buffets at the Chumash Casino if you want to let your hair down a bit.

        -----
        La Simpatia Cafe
        827 Guadalupe St, Guadalupe, CA 93434

        1. re: glbtrtr

          Great thanks so much.. I am starting to lean more towards San Diego now as the laguna beach/newport beach area dont seem to boost much in the way of great restaurants but more for beach..

          I loved the Fish Tacos at Georges on the cove and Brigantine.

          1. re: palmtree38

            The Los Angeles Chowhound board can help you out for these areas. There is plenty of money in the Newport/Laguna beach area. There must be a few good restaurants there. Best wishes, the weather out here lately has been downright balmy. Even a MacDonald's fish sandwich tastes good in weather like this.

            1. re: glbtrtr

              We actually booked flights and are going in the San Diego area again. I guess many of the recommendations can be all very spread out.

    2. >>Mama Testes

      ::spittake:: That would be "Mama Testa"

      4 Replies
      1. re: The Office Goat

        Maybe the OP was thinking of Bull Taco.

        1. re: Josh

          yes mama testa .... with the salsa bar with so many to choose from we end up with take out of all of them in containers to enjoy back at the hotel. (excuse the spelling) It was awesome!. We didnt make it to mariscos truck #5 but hope to on this holiday.

          1. re: palmtree38

            Laguna Beach has many great places to dine: Splashes, Sundried Tomato Cafe, Claes and the Terrace Cafe @ the Hotel Laguna, all of the restaurants at The Montage Resort (we celebrated our 25th anniversary at The Studio) Las Brisas, The Cliff, Hush, Ristorante Rumari are all wonderful places for meals in Laguna Beach. Check out the reviews on opentable.

            In San Diego 1500 Ocean @ the Hotel Del Coroando is excellent, they also have The Sheerwater there, a more casual venue with pretty oceanviews. Also in Coronado is Miguel's Cucina in the heart of the El Cordova Hotel, they have an outdoor patio there and there are Warm Churros and Mexican Creme Brulee for dessert. Enjoy you time on the coast! :)

            1. re: syrahgirl

              As far as Old Towne which mexican/california type restaurant would you suggest for value, entertainment/people watching and food quality??

              Last visit we went to Casa Guadalajaras and enjoyed the mariachi's plus the nice happy hour margaritas/beer specials along with the nibblies at the bar buffet.
              I have read about old town mexican and a coyote something or other.??