I will be in California for about a week this Fall. A couple of days I will be at a Conference and will not have a choice of restaurants. I have been reading this Board diligently for several months, doing some deeper dives when appropriate, so for the remaining days I have free I am hoping to get feedback on some spots that interest me!
I am from Minneapolis, and will be dining solo most nights. I will have a car, but will not use it to drive to dinner as I like a glass of wine or two with my meal. I will hoof it or short cab ride (will be staying at The Huntley in Santa Monica, Montage in Laguna Beach).
I adore fish and seafood, eat meat maybe once a week, not fond of truffles or caviar, but love, sadly, foie gras (“sadly” because of the recent ban.) I love Mexican, but we have a pretty good scene here, so will probably just grab a great fish taco for lunch some day. Italian is another fave. Oh, and I picked up a terrible Oyster habit a few years ago in Seattle. I have eaten at top restaurants (French Laundry, Charlie Trotter, Picasso, Everest, Oya, Topolobampo, Restaurant Alma) and like to check out places where Chef has been honored by James Beard Foundation. Last, I am passionate about Farmer’s Markets. I love every vegetable and most fruits – fresh and local rocks me. Many times at restaurants I will construct my own tasting menu out of 4-6 appetizers and salads, which most of the time I think are much more interesting than the entrees. Last, if I can get a great cheese plate for dessert, I am in heaven.
I thought carefully about, but ruled out, Melisse, Providence, and Urasawa, mostly due to distance or, with Melisse, in looking at website, didn’t feel like I would be comfortable dining solo. My Laguna Beach dinners seem uninspired, and I rarely eat in Hotel dining rooms, but I understand The Studio is an exception? So, I have a final draft of what I think I might be interested in, and would live to hear your thoughts!
Day 1 - Tuesday: Get oriented. Dinner at The Hungry Cat.
Day 2 – Wednesday: Santa Monica Farmer’s Market (any tips for eating there?) Conference rest of day.
Day 3,4 – conference.
Day 4, Friday noon: Bike to Venice (one must do this, right?) Dinner at Capo or Fig.
Day 5 – Saturday: Santa Monica Farmer’s Market; meet friend in Malibu for lunch at Neptune’s Net; meander down coastal Highway, stop at Old Tony’s Bar for a break; continue down to Laguna Beach; dine in hotel at The Loft.
Day 6 – Sunday: Farmers Market in Laguna Niguel (is there good on site eating options there? Or should I check out early lunch at The Fisherman Oyster Bar on San Clemente Pier ?), Mission San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point for dolphin/whale trip; dinner at Hotel – The Studio.
Day 7 – Monday: Hang out on beach (Beachcomber?); check out shops in Laguna Beach; dinner at Raya or The Studio.
Thanks for reading this rather long post. To close, I would like to commend you all on your Board - it's one of the top Boards I've seen!