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What to eat in California

SimonSaysWoof Feb 14, 2013 05:57 AM

east coaster coming to southern ca in about a month. I would like tips on what to try while I am there. Thinking of foods that are grown in or unique to California that I am not able to get on the east coast, or things that suffer from being shipped that will blow my socks off when eaten closer to the source. Not really looking for restaurant recommendations .

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  1. Ed Dibble Feb 14, 2013 07:33 AM

    The uni in Socal is some of the very best in the world. J. Steingarten considered it worth a trip.

    1. g
      Gail Feb 14, 2013 07:54 AM

      >>>The uni<<<

      Ed, please explain

      5 Replies
      1. re: Gail
        Stephanie Wong Feb 15, 2013 09:22 AM

        Santa Barbara uni (sea urchin roe/gonads) vs. Mendocino uni

        1. re: Stephanie Wong
          Gail Feb 15, 2013 11:33 AM

          Errr, thanks Stephanie...I think.

        2. re: Gail
          Ed Dibble Feb 21, 2013 07:42 AM

          Uni is a sushi staple. Really good uni is creamy, nutty, and unique in flavor/texture. Some places it is used for soups or in a sauce for like spaghetti, but fresh uni is my favorite way to finish a sushi meal - like a savory desert.

          1. re: Ed Dibble
            Stephanie Wong Feb 21, 2013 04:04 PM

            About 18 months ago had a carbonara-style uni-sauced udon at Morimoto in Napa, tasty!

            1. re: Stephanie Wong
              Tripeler Feb 22, 2013 01:00 AM

              This sounds wonderful. I have always thought that udon noodles would be ideal with a carbonara sauce.

        3. p
          pine time Feb 14, 2013 08:51 AM

          Can only speak for So. Cal since I live there, but try fish tacos and/or street carnitas, both classics.

          1. g
            Gail Feb 14, 2013 09:42 AM

            Artichokes, avocados, dungeness crab, sand dabs (more norcal, but can be found in socal).

            1. r
              ricepad Feb 14, 2013 11:44 AM

              In-season produce of just about all kinds in nearly every part of California. Depending on where you're going to be, you could be hitting strawberry season in stride.

              1. g
                gmk1322 Feb 14, 2013 05:17 PM

                Santa Barbara Spot prawns

                1. s
                  SimonSaysWoof Feb 14, 2013 06:17 PM

                  All sound great please keep the ideas coming

                  1. Agrippa Feb 22, 2013 10:54 AM

                    I am not a Socal hound, but I agree with the other suggestions. Find a local farmers market and try local produce, and local baked goods. Not to mention a restaurant that uses local produce. A challenge will be what is in season this time of year.

                    Also, Mexican food in Socal is sometimes better than you can find in Mexico, try fish tacos (no tilapia), shrimp coctel, carnitas etc.. You will have to do your research though, there are a TON of places and most of them are mediocre to bad. One of my all time favorite Mexican seafood joints is 'El Oasis' in Pico Rivera, but I am sure there are more.

                    Seafood in California is hit or miss, and may be a disappointment compared to the quality and quantity available to east coasters, but the Dungeness Crab can be out of this world.
                    If you are in the Santa Barbara, Paso Robles area you may also want to try some 'Santa Maria' style BBQ. Typically grilled meats (Tri-tip) over local oak wood.

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