Had 3 really good meals - all different...
1.) Romitti's on Washington around corner from Country Club. This was a very exciting find in what is otherwise a food wasteland area... Teeny little place that looks like it's closed as lattice covers the front. Small bar when you enter - seems very popular, also small restaurant - nothing adventurous, but excellent Continental/Italian in HUGE portions with not so huge prices. Relish tray to start (haven't seen one of those for awhile!), crusty warm bread & butter. Appetizers run standard Scampi, shrimp cocktail, escargot & artichoke hearts. Usually blackboard specials. We didn't have appetizers - thank God as the entrees were huge - 1 veal piccatta that was very good ($17.95), my veal chop was huge & excellent ($20.95) - you'd pay almost twice this elsewhere & 1 rack of lamb ($19.95) - very tender & tasty - cooked perfectly. All served with fresh steamed vegetables & each with a different pasta. Passed on dessert. Small Californian & Italian wine list. Very friendly service & really good food - we'll be back.
2.) The Desert Sage on Avenida la Fonda - has been reviewed before, but I will add beautiful restaurant - garden & interior rooms. Fun bar with singer/pianist. Large, but I felt very marked up wine list. Mixed service & food - I ordered the Trevisio (?) salad - proscuitto wrapped around Fontina & grilled endive with toasted pine nuts - I expected the Proscuitto/cheese to be warm & melty, but it was a separate cold block - good, but a bit of a pain shaving off slices of that, sawing through the endive, putting all together, etc to get a mouthful of how I wanted it to be. Husband had a wonderful rack of lamb in mustard/hazelnut crust & I had the foie gras 3 Way appetizer as my entree. This was way yummy - seared foie gras (only beef was a rather small piece) on top of toasty crusty sauteed bread, foie gras mousse (better than it sounds in a small egg & can't remember the 3rd part, but my plate was clean! Bus boy tried to take away my salad when plate was still half full & I had a fork in my hand. Waiter left our very finished dinner plates sitting in front of us for 10 minutes, which also irritated me a bit for quite the opposite reason. Greeting was very warm & friendly & owner came out to bid us adieu & may sure everything was fine & invite us to return. The place was packed, so it didn't seem desparate. We will be back as everything on the menu sounds delicious.
3.) Sherman's Deli - Heavily reviewed, but a few comments. Very friendly - we went to the one on Country Club. I didn't like my French dip as much as I hadn't read the menu to see that it was made out of brisket. But roll, meat & as jus still very good. Daughter proclaimed grilled turkey burger best ever. I had a bite - it was pretty darn good. On the way home, I picked up an 'Oasis Salad' to go - sounds like a wierd combination, but I loved it - mixed baby greens, dates, avocado, Feta, almonds, corn, chicken, (somewhat green) tomatoes & giant cornbread croutons in a Citrus vinagrette. Can't wait for our next trip out to get another.