any NAPA/SONOMA, etc. suggestions? (particularly off the beaten path)
My mother moved to napa a couple years ago and we've hit most of the restaurants in and around napa including, but not limited to, ubuntu, bouchon, angele, go fish, mini mango, bounty hunter...
i am looking for some restaurants that, unlike most of those previously mentioned, are not so dainty.
any good recs for AUTHENTIC mexican?
any other ideas for good grubbing?
When I lived in Napa there were only two or three Japanese restaurants and they were all pretty bad (Sushi Mambo is SO overrated and expensive!). I was far better served driving over the Fairfield or, there was one 'decent' sushi restaurant in Sonoma (not stellar, but it fixed the cravings); Shiso in Sonoma or Masa Sushi in Novato.
For authentic mexican, try La Luna. It's a little mexican market on the Rutherford Crossroad about 1 block east of Rutherford Grill. They have a hot food counter in the back. It's ridiculous.
As far as authentic Japanese, no such luck in Napa Valley. The most delicious is a little place in the Outlet Mall in Napa. I forget the name but it's tiny and it's still there. Ambiance is non-existant. Best sushi in NV is Go Fish, hands down. But you won't be taking off your shoes and sitting on the floor anywhere in the Valley, I'm afraid. :(
Be sure and head downtown (1st St., across from that neat new hotel...) to the new Norman Rose Cafe. It's great, fun, well-priced, loud (on a Friday/Sat night) and comfort-food-y. The same people run Pizza Azzuro on Main Street. Also great (lighter). And don't forget ZUZU! Love it.
1180 Rutherford Rd, Napa, CA 94558
641 Main St, St. Helena, CA 94574
The place is called "Fujiya" and I find it quite fine for a casual meal . . . I've eaten there for over 15 years and never had any trouble with the food. Try the Sanchez roll - maybe not "traditional", but quite delicious. Their miso soup is fine and their fish is fresh since they stay fairly busy. The owner, Eiko, is almost always there overseeing the operation.
Also, if you like middle eastern food, try Small World Cafe in downtown Napa. They make a great falafel plate. Kind of hole in the wall-ish, but the owner is almost always there and the food is fresh and delicious.
La Mixteca is great for mole. I also love Villa Corona for Carnitas.
2580 Jefferson St, Napa, CA 94558
Small World Restaurant
1385 Napa Town Ctr, Napa, CA
1138 Main St, Saint Helena, CA 94574
Got to go with NapaKelly's rec of La Luna. Order your food in the back, buy drinks and pay your tab upfront, then eat at the tables in back overlooking the vineyard (and parking lot). I often take out of towners there for a non chi-chi view of Napa Valley.
Agree also that the only decent sushi is at Go Fish. But, it's not cheap or Japanese. If it's ethnic you want, you might try Neela's in Napa for delicious and not too heavy Indian food. It's next to Pizzeria Azzuro and a welcome addition to Napa dining.
Lastly, don't overlook BarbersQ in Napa. It's a clean, minimalist bbq place. It's pulled pork sandwich just made the "top 40 sandwich" list in San Francisco magazine. The brisket is amazing as well.
641 Main St, St. Helena, CA 94574
Surprised nobody has mentioned these two places for Japanese/Sushi and Mexican.
La Texanita is Santa Rosa was great when we were there last week
Hana in Rohnert Park, just south of Santa Rosa is the sister restaurant of Go Fish and very good. Again, just there last week.
Let us know where you wound up going.
Since autolinking pulled up Soscol Cafe, I'll put in a word for it as well with the caveat that it's been a few years since I've been a regular there. I liked the huevos rancheros, served Tex-Mex style in a deep-fried flour tortilla "bowl". The Napa Beef sandwich was also good, and whatever might be on the daily specials board. Any updates on this spot?
632 Soscol Ave, Napa, CA 94559