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Apr 16, 2013 12:18 AM

Coastal Road Trip from LA to SF... Food Ideas help!

Hi, I am planning a road trip from LA to Sonoma/Napa in June. Some of our stops will include Paso Robles-wine tasting, Pfeiffer State Beach-camping, Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Francisco/Oakland-2 nights, Sonoma-wine tasting. Do you have any restaurant/food stop destinations that you could recommend? I have only been to SF once so any suggestions in the Bay area would be nice. Some cheap eats would be nice, but a couple of splurges would be okay too. I live in LA and I would say I am an adventurous eater, we like anything from traveling down to San Gabriel Valley for good Szechuan/dim sum, to Korean to taco trucks Thai street food at Night+Market, to more upscale like Ink, Animal, and Osteria Mozza. We like food from all cultural directions. In particular- good cheap oyster/crab shacks are my ideal locales! So let me know if you can help, also any vineyard/tasting rooms suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Also post this on the California board - you will get more replies regarding the central part of the state.

    There is a new food truck in the Bay Area known as Poppy's Crab Shack. You might want to search its Twitter or Facebook account to see where it is parked, but I've been seeing it on weekends around Half Moon Bay and Moss Beach. Many on coast (Half Moon Bay) go to Sam's Crab Shack which can get very crowded and I think is a bit pricey, but their lobster rolls are legendary.

    For Sonoma and Napa, you need to give us more ideas of what type of wine you like and your budget. Way too diverse a question on that topic...

    7 Replies
    1. re: CarrieWas218

      Thank you, those are exactly the types of places I like. A far as wineries, I would say we want to hit up about three that are close in proximity that many think are "must-go's" We like wines in the style of red Bordeauxs and Rhones. Some places with beautiful scenery, for me this will be pretty casual as we have one 10 year old. Bottles in the realm of $30 are what we are aiming for, not too sure of the prices of the tastings, most seem to be about $20-$30, which is okay. We are also hitting up Paso Robles which seem to be a bit less expensive. Any suggestions would be nice. But again, good food is my main focus, my son can eat me under the table in sushi, juicy pork dumplings, and crab legs. And so adventurous eating is fun for him too. Thanks again!

      1. re: Dukbokki

        The best Rhones are in the central valley. Bordeaux blends in the Napa valley tend to be in the $60 to $100 range...

        I would suggest at least one sparkling producer: Taittinger in Carneros has the best views and good wine. A lot of people like the outdoor deck and Mumm but I like Chandon's wine better.

        If you have time, consider making an appointment with Outpost up on Howell Mountain in Napa; they specialize in Rhone varietals, although it is very boutique (i.e., you may not be able to buy a bottle that day, but the wine is spectacular and you can get on their list).

        I am a broken record for my recommendations on Napa restaurants:
        Grace's Table for great quality and reasonable price (the locals eat here)
        Zuzu for tapas
        Jeanty in Yountville for bistro French
        Goose & Gander in St. Helena for anything.

        1. re: CarrieWas218

          One great name in Rhone-ish styles (not actually rhones) in the santa cruz mountains is Ridge.

          Not exactly on the coast though.

          A lot of urban wineries use grapes from Paso Robles and similar.

          1. re: CarrieWas218

            Sparkling is a great idea that I didn't think of. I am actually a big fan of Taittinger champagne and their sparkling. Thanks for the help! A lot of people have mentioned Grace's Table so I think I'll check that out as well.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Yes - silly me... I drive by it every day too!

          2. re: CarrieWas218

            Stopped by Poppy's Crab Shack (it's actually a trailer) the other weekend when we saw them parked by Montara State Beach. Had a "Naked" crab roll which is just crab and Strauss butter on a nice roll.

            It was great, lots of fresh, sweet crab meat, delicious. I will stop by again, soon I hope, because I would like to try their dressed crab roll and crab chowder.