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California Trip Report Oct 2012

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Sorry for the really late report.
But here goes...

Los Angeles:
Umami Burger - love its namesake burger! yum!
Melisse - had the degustation with wine pairing. egg with caviar and lobster pasta stood out. The rest were good but not outstanding. Will not return with that kind of price tag.
Ricky's Fish Tacos - to die for!!! definitely on my must-try list for future trips.
Hatsfield - great food, nice contemporary yet cosy setting. Will return.

Wine Country:
The food
Willow Wood Market Cafe - cosy and go for the soft polenta.
Diavola Pizzeria - we had the Sonja pizza and it was fantastic. that is something after our previous italian trip.
Farmhouse Inn - hubby loves the rabbit 3 ways and lobster sausage. They have the best chocolate souffle! Overall, a good experience.
Willis' Seafood and Raw Bar - best calamari I ever had! the lobster roll is great too.
Zin Restaurant and Wine Bar - our favourite restaurant in the entire trip. casual setting and unpretentious food. love the fried good beans, porkchop and steak. however, dessert was abit disappointing. remember to have a bottle of Acorn's Zin!
Barndiva - decent fine dining at reasonable price
The wine:
Gary Farrell - good but not great wine, and kinda too commercial.
Merry Edwards - good pinots
Iron Horse - disappointing bubbly. i'll have a prosecco any day over it.
Joseph Swan - one of the worst tasting experience. no pride, no explanations whatever-so about their wines. sad that people they hire are there as 'pourers'
Benovia - decent pinots and chards
Dutton-Goldfield - fantastic chard but not cheap
Acorn - love their signature Zin.
Holdredge - in a funky garage-like place. not outstanding but good for the price.
Seghesio Family Vineyard - another commercial winery which left no positive impression
Unti, Ridge, Bella, Preston - these dry creek wineries were disappointing, Bella being the worst. As with Joseph Swan, 'pourers' were hired to man the counters, offering no explanations and taking no pride in their work.
Keenan - friendly lady who serve us. decent wine but expensive for the quality.
Paloma - best find of the trip. best merlot ever!! Barbara, the owner, is such a sweet lady.
OVID - expensive but outstanding cult wine.
John Anthony - great cabs at reasonable price. they do a mean dessert wine too.

San Francisco
Chez Panisse Cafe - great down-to-earth cooking with the freshest ingredient. the epitome of back to basics cooking with a lot of heart. everything we tried was good.

we went to a few other restaurants but nothing struck and i shall omit the mention. hope the above helps for those planning a trip to california.

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