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Apr 7, 2011 08:58 PM


Hey I'm a chef from Vancouver heading down to LA to tomorrow. I have some good meals planned but I have a couple days free to do some day trips. Do you have any suggestions? Not looking for anything too high end. I am just hoping for a nice drive and some good food. Most likely for lunch. Let's say anywhere within 2-3 hours drive from West Hollywood. I know that is pretty vague but I am open to anything. Any can't miss gems?
Thanks a lot for your help...I hope!

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  1. You really don't have to drive that far to get some gems. Any reason why you want to go outside LA? What kind of good food? Ethnic? Chef driven?

    9 Replies
    1. re: yogachik

      Ya I know there is tons of good food in LA and I will be eating lots of it. I'll be there for 1 1/2 weeks so I want to try to get out of the city for at least 1 of the days to get some good scenery and go for a nice drive. As for the food, we don't get a lot of good Mexican here in Vancouver so it would be great to find some. Or some other kind of Latin food would be good. I'm always up for some BBQ. We have a few farm/restaurants that are doing some amazing things up here. Is there anything like that you can think of? As I said I am very easy to please and any suggestions would be awesome.

      1. re: bcboy1

        Hmmm... nice two or three-hour drive and possibly some good Mexican food... Drive up to Santa Barbara and chow down on some La Super-Rica. If it was good enough for Julia Child, it should be worth a taste for you.

        1. re: bulavinaka

          I second bulavinaka's rec. La Super Rica is a fabulous taco stand, and it's a beautiful drive to Santa Barbara. If you want to drive further, go on to Buelton, which is about 40 minutes past Santa Barbara, and get a steak at The Hitching Post. Another option, for tri-tip sandwiches, is in Santa Ynez. There's a place called Cold Springs Tavern in the hills behind Santa Barbara, It's an old stagecoach stop. Sunday afternoons they serve the tri-tip sandwiches outside, and they often have bands playing music.

          1. re: brandygirl

            For an all-day trip, I'd think a few wineries in SB County would make a great day...

        2. re: bcboy1

          For Mexican drive down to San Diego.

          1. re: PeterL

            Carpinteria which is about 2 hours away from West Hollywood on 101 north and about 30 miles south of Santa Barbara is a sleeper place for young chefs because the rents are lower than in Santa Barbara/Montecito. Try Gianfranco's on Linden Street for sure and stroll around some of the other places that are giving a boost to young chefs with creative ideas. The same can be said for Old Town Ventura though probably not with as much finesse as the ones closer to Santa Barbara, but there has been a very nice revitalization of Main Street Ventura and now has a lively street buzz.

            1. re: glbtrtr

              Can you expand your recs for Carp? My sister lives there and she tends to hit the same places up in SB when we visit. She's a vegan and I wonder if any of those up and coming chefs offer broad enough choices that would satisfy "normal" :) folks like me and picky-ass namby pamby :) eaters like my sister...? I'd probably be willing to visit her more often if I could rec places to her - particularly closer to her home if I knew I'd be eating more than sawdust sprinkled with Bragg's amino acids...

              1. re: bulavinaka

                Carpinteria - restaurants with local reviews (not always reliable but a good place to start):

                The Chocolate place CaliBressan is rather incredible for its unusual mix of flavors and I do think there are "vegan" chocolate combos there too.

                Here is the local list for vegetarian, but not sure which ones go all the way to vegan -- Spiritland Bistro is the only one that comes to my mind that may go a bit beyond the sawdust and Bragg's duo. ;-)

      2. Make your way east 30-40 minutes away and go to Bollini's Pizzeria, around lunch the 101 and 60 are clear. Take it to go and keep going east to the mountains for some snow--its currently snowing, yay! As you are coming from Vancouver, that might not interest, so you can also stop short and visit the parks like Rio Hondo or Sante Fe Dam. With the rain clearing the weather and green hills, its beautiful.

        Bollini's Pizzeria Napolitana
        2315 S Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

        1. I would drive down PCH and stop at Savory in Malibu. Not right on the beach but worthy of the drive.

          1. Hey thanks everyone for your advice. I ended up doing the beautiful drive up the coast to Santa Barbara and went for lunch at La Super Rica. The tacos were unreal. my favorite was the chorizo one.
            Had a lot of great food in LA as well. Here is some of what I ate:

            Umami Burger-i had the Stilton and Port burger which was great, friends had the Truffle and the Manly. i thought the truffle was the best.

            Grub-went for breakfast but ended up getting the tuna melt it was amazing, the bacon was good too.

            Had breakfast at a food cart on Fairfax between Santa Monica and Melrose. The Spanish tortilla was good but my friends got the white asparagus w sunnyside up egg and bacon which was better.

            Food cart on the corner of La Brea and Olympic. had a great azada burrito at 2am!

            Son of a Gun- This is a great restaurant. tons of interesting and tasty fish/seafood dishes. Loved the lobster rolls and the skate wing with mashed white yam. Drew Barrymore was sitting at the next table, good LA moment!

            Canters Deli- Had the rueben sandwhich. It was alright...not best ever.

            And of course had to have a double-double from In and Out.

            La Super Rica
            622 N Milpas St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

            3 Replies
            1. re: bcboy1

              Hope you repost this on the LA board as you make some great recommendations for this town. Glad you liked Superica in Santa Barbara -- I am tempted to move past my own bacon-cheese love affair with them and try the chorizo-cheese one instead and you just might push me in that direction with your report of the great chorizo - some places it is not all that good and even tastes a bit off. But you sound like you know your food and appreciate the subtleties - good excuse to go back to Superica for a new taste treat. Thanks for your follow-up report.

              1. re: glbtrtr

                Oh the chorizo tacos are awesome......makes me want to take a road trip right now.

                1. re: Phurstluv

                  Neener, neener, neener ...... they are only 5 minutes away for me. Tell you what, you take the calories, and I will run down and get me some now. ;-)