Im hitting the road with Makana this November, as he tours Napa, the Bay, Seattle, LA and San Deigo. I've posted the venues where he will be playing and I'd love some advice on great places nearby to dine. We prefer farm-to-table style healthy cuisine. And most importantly, where are the best coffee shops. Thank you!!
recommended SonomaMake sure to stop into Sonoma! Go to the Historic Plaza. Interesting history along with great wine tasting, food and the town has an amazing charm about it.
commented on this list
Go to Yosemite and stay at our vacation home! www/yosemitegatewayrentals.com. 888-959-9177
- Cha Cha Lounge2375 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, United Statesrecommended Cha Cha LoungeMaybe my favorite bar in all of LA. The atmosphere is never pretentious, parking usually isn't bad, no cover, and I almost always spot an obscure famous person. *ahem* Aziz Ansari
- Philz Coffee748 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102-3218, United Statesrecommended Philz CoffeeMust get the mint mojito! It's one of their more popular items on the menu, but you really can't go wrong with anything you order here. =) Would definitely recommend coming here to start off your day! ... read more
- The Getty Villa17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272recommended The Getty VillaI can finally say I've been to both the Getty Center & the Getty Villa. When in Rome, do as the Romans do - enjoy life in sculptured gardens around a breathtaking pool, with exquisite sculptures & ... read morearchitecture surrounding you as if you befriended Augustus Caesar himself. The locale is perfect. Cool breezes from the Pacific flow by you as you partake of coffee or a glass of wine from the Getty Villa Cafe. The herb/fruit garden shows the benefits of edible landscaping, with grape vines trellised in a row, benches underneath to sit & contemplate how good life is. Ponds with lotuses, water lillies & koi add to the ambiance. The Gift Shop has various knick-knacks to take home & remember your visit by. There are many opportunities for your own Kodak moments, especially by the pool and the sculptures outside & in. Just remember to turn off your flash when inside. You'll be scolded, like I was. But, hey, it was all good. Admission is free but parking is $15. The entrance is only from N PCH, and keep your eyes peeled because you may pass it by. The traffic both going to & leaving was a pain in the tookis, but definitely worth it. Instead of staying home & watching reality TV, bring culture into your life & check out the Getty Villa. I highly recommend paying a visit for this SoCal treasure.
recommended Daikokuya RamenPiping hot ramen on a cold day, or so I thought (explanation forthcoming). Decided to hoof it down to Lil Tokyo before catching a matinee performance of "Backbeat" at the Ahmanson Theatre. I've heard ... read morethe masses, some partial to Shin Sen Gumi, some partial to Daikokuya. So here it is - Enter the culinary deathmatch! I arrived around 11am on Saturday, with Daikokuya already being busy. Seating is minimal, with the bar and a row of booths, with one booth beside the door. The decor made the place seem like I was transported to Tokyo, with hipsters & businessmen sititng side by side, slurping every last bit of broth. The wait wasn't too long & I was promptly seated. Of course, I had to order the Daikokuya Special Ramen Kotteri-style for $8.95 Large bowl - check! Egg - check! Pork meat - check! Green onions - check! Piping hot - huh? My bowl of ramen was warm, not hot. I'm not sure if the noodles absorbed the heat of the broth, but the piping hot goodness was instead a lukewarm, mild goodness. Naturally, I have to add pickled ginger & garlic. I just about used all the ginger in the jar & most of the garlic. My ramen was rich, fatty, spicy & quite pleasant to the tastebuds. Lots of food to put down, even for a pro like me. Sitting at the bar, I had the chance to chat with a couple seated on my right. Seeing me take pics, I was asked if I was a blogger, to which I replied "Sorta, I'm on Gogobot" :) Now for the comparison - Having now had both Daikokuya & Shin Sen Gumi, I have to give the nod to Shin Sen Gumi. Reasons are- Customization - Shin Sen Gumi allows for diners to choose their toppings whereas Daikokuya is fixed. Seating - More seating is available at Shin Sen Gumi, which makes it more convenient for large parties. Taste - While Daikokuya was good, I think Shin Sen Gumi was that much more better. The temperature of the ramen probably played a factor, too. Daikokuya, your food was good, but if I was in the area again, I'd most likely head across the way to Shin Sen Gumi to see if the wait is shorter.
- Hakata Ramen Shin-Sen-Gumi132 S Central Ave Los Angeles, CA 90013recommended Hakata Ramen Shin-Sen-Gumi3.5 stars. Like Burger King, ramen your way. My first time having ramen w/o Top in it's name, or Instant Lunch or Cup Noodles for that matter. I spent a lazy Sunday with a visit to Little Tokyo. After ... read morechecking out the Japanese American National Museum & window shopping at the Japanese Village Plaza, we worked up impressive appetites and visited the famous Shin Sen Gumi for a late lunch. As previously stated, I'm a newbie to the ramen scene. Being the adventurous foodie that I am, ready & willing to experience new food adventures, I was more than game for a steaming bowl of the Asian delicacy. Shin Sen Gumi was pretty busy when we arrived, but I used the time effectively by giving the ramen checklist a once-over. I chose- Normal amount of noodles Normal thickness of said noodles Extra oil Strong soup base Cod roe Pig ears The waitress called out my name, and we were quickly seated, but not before being welcomed with shouting, which everyone experiences entering & leaving. I gave my slip to the noodle nazi & was expecting piping hot goodness in a lil bit. Lo & behold, he said they were out of cod roe & pig ears. Awwwwwww.................. Alright, after a quick look through once more, I opted for poached egg & corn. A short wait later, it arrives. Mmmmm, so good! I'm a pho slut, but I think I've found my new food crush. The soup was very rich, tasty & flavorful. I could taste the culture & history that comes in every bowl. I love the fact that ramen can be made with different ingredients. I desperately want to try ramen with cod roe & pigs ears during my next visit. Other toppings include spicy miso & various cuts of meat. In addition, the toppings are served on the side so patrons can share if they want to. I hastily slurped up every last drop of ramen, my bulging stomach be damned! Why 3.5 & not 4 stars, you say? It's the shouting. At first, greeting & thanking every customer with shouting is cute, novel & part of the charm of dining here, but after the 10th time, it becomes quite annoying. Shin Sen Gumi is loud enough already with customers talking & the pop music playing. The shouting makes dining here a potential migraine-inducing experience. I'm assuming the staff must have sore throats & coarse voices by closing. I know I would. I enjoyed having my first bowl of ramen at the famous Shin Sen Gumi. All the variations of ramen available for me to experiment with has me giddy with anticipation. Can't wait to come back for the cod roe & pig ears Sorry pho, I've found a new love! Highly recommend!
commented on this list
These suggestions are from a UCSC Representative:
Almost every place is Farm to Fork in Santa Cruz...I recommend Asian Rose (vegetarian) and India Joze (both on Front St. downtown. There's Cafe Gratitude on Lincoln St. and if they want Hawaiian, Pono Grill on Union St. and Hula Island Grille on Cathcart. For coffee, Verve on Pacific Ave. and on 41st Ave.
- Baco Mercat408 S Main St, Los Angeles, California 90013, United Statesrecommended Baco MercatMy favorite restaurant in DTLA. I have only been there twice and tried going another two times but the wait was ridiculous! The food and services there are amazing! Few Tips: Park street parking is ... read morefree after 8pm, make reservations, order plates to share becuase you will want to try everything! few notable items... Toron Baco, Cocas, Brussel Sprouts, Ragu
- Urth Caffe2327 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405recommended Urth CaffeMy favorite cafe on the west side. Amazing espresso drinks served in big cups, mind blowing pastries and sweets, great sandwiches. The egg sandwich for breakfast, on fresh baked bread with avocado and ... read morecheese is my favorite - I get it every time I go to L.A. The bread pudding is also mind-blowingly good. The seating is all open air, so if you are there on a chilly morning, bring a jacket so you are not cold.
- Sightglass Coffee270 7th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103recommended Sightglass CoffeeGreat coffee in a very cool space. They roast their coffee on site, and have a number of different blends. Cappuccinos are beautifully made. Big windows and skylights flood the space with light, even ... read moreon a foggy day. A hotspot for SF's tech scenesters.
- Blue Bottle Coffee66 Mint Street, San Francisco, CArecommended Blue Bottle CoffeeAmazing cappuccino - a coffee lover's dream. This place is hard to find - there are no signs outside, only a line out the door to mark it's existence.
- Farmstead738 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574recommended FarmsteadFarmstead offers a true farm to table menu. They pride themselves on "Excellence through responsible farming." You'll find mouthwatering comfort food on their menu - I really enjoyed their ribs, ... read morepulled pork sandwich and potato gnocchi with beef ragu. On weekdays from 4-6pm, there is a "Growers' Happy Hour" with specially-priced cocktails, beer, and wine and a special bar menu. There are also other specialty items on specific days of the week and live music on the weekends. Farmstead has a beautiful and spacious indoor dining area and a relaxing outdoor area, perfect for enjoying drinks.
- Nopa560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA, United Statesrecommended NopaNOPA is one of my favorite late night dining spots in SF. It is a wonderful farm to table restaurant, sourcing food from a 100-mile radius and they even have a herb garden and beehive on their roof. I ... read morelove their special flatbread appetizers, which are always delicious. Their pork chop is absolutely wonderful, as is their burger with blue cheese and bacon. For dessert, their chocolate pot de creme sends me straight to dessert heaven.
- Heirloom Cafe2500 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110recommended Heirloom CafeLocated in the quiet end of the Mission, the intimate restaurant is quite open and airy with its high ceilings and has a classic Victorian feel to it. Because we didn't have reservations, we were ... read morefirst seated at the large communal table which only seats about 12. Because you really do bump elbows with people dining next to you, we jumped on the chef's counter seats that had opened shortly after. These seats, in my opinion, were the best seats in the house as we were able to watch the chefs at work. The menu, which offers only 3 mains, and 2 off the menu, and a handful of starters and cheeses may seem not to offer much variety, but as I watched the food being made, EVERYTHING looked delicious. We decided to have the bacon onion tart, the gnocchi with sausage, corn and porcini mushrooms and the off menu French styled cheeseburger. The burger was fantastic, and medium was the way to go - as our server had suggested. Each dish was well thought out, with fresh ingredients and lovely presentation. And of course, how could we skip out on the wine, which they have an extensive collection of. They offer 20 wines by the glass and bottle, and a booklet filled with older wines. We ordered two glasses of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir which actually had a better nose than its finish. Will definitely have to explore the older wines next time. Though watching the chefs prepare the desserts made my mouth water, I had to refrain from having any of the delectable treats. Every calorie counts during beach season.
- Central Market42 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, CA 94952recommended Central MarketWhat an extraordinary restaurant! An unusual and imaginative menu (very tasty chicken meatballs), using local ingredients, combined with a great wine list (Ottiminto Zinfandel was exceptional), plus ... read moregreat service and atmosphere – what else can you ask for?!? We enjoyed our dinner very much. The only ordinary thing about this place is its boring name.
- Amsdconcerts4650 Mansfield Street, San Diego, CA
- Benaroya Hall200 University Street, Seattle, WA
- Miners Foundry Cultural Center325 Spring St, Nevada City, CA 95959
- The Broad Stage1310 11th Street, Santa Monica, CA, United States
- Kuumbwa Jazz Center320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
- UCSC1156 High St, Santa Cruz, California
- Yoshi's San Francisco1330 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA, United States
- Napa Valley Opera House1030 Main Street, Napa, CA, United States