Dale Williams wrote:Whoa, folks.
This wasn't intended to dis CA at all. My thoughts as I was starting were only about how much better the Vietnamese & Mexican (and Mexican-influenced like the gringo tacos) food was. But once I was writing, I threw in a few thoughts that I had that I hadn't put in wine notes.
As to Laguna dining, I never for one second thought it was representative of the best of CA (if you read my report on Manresa on WLDG, you'll see a rave - as good or better than any place I've eaten in NYC). These were just random thoughts continuing a rant I made last year (after a horrible meal at French 75, where the capper was the fact it turned out the surf & turf special Betsy ordered was $68- at a place where highest printed main course was $36) about the dangers of dining in a tourist town in summer. I've had pretty good meals at 5 Feet, but always marred by some bad experience. I really love Betsy's grandmother, otherwise I'd just go someplace else!
As to wine in groceries, I'll look to see if they have a Long's next visit. But my point still is valid I think- if the 90% of people who don't really care about wine buy their wine in big markets, it makes it harder for the speciality wine stores to survive. I know CA has LOTS of great wine stores (I shop at Winex, PC, K&L, Wine House, WHWC, and several others from NY!), but it seems comparatively low in the neighborhood wine store with a mix of big maker and more artisanal wines that seem pretty common around here).
Mike, next time I'll ask you for dining recs in Sacto. I enjoyed Biba's in the past, didn't care for Rio Cafe, and 55 Degrees was mixed. Or possible an offline. Hope you survived last week's heat!
Jenise wrote:Carl, John--Long's is one of the best kept secrets for wine shopping (at least of the kind Dale's doing) and it will always best virtually any supermarket that it shares a shopping center with. I don't understand why it's so, but it was true even in non-wine country Huntington Beach. Wonder if there's a Long's in Laguna? Hmmmm....
Dale--you say California vs. New York, but it seems what you're really doing is comparing Laguna to NYC and that's not a fair fight. In aggregate neither L.A. or S.F. is the equal of NYC, but there is certainly some great eating in both. When I lived there we used to continually say that Laguna (or fill in the OC city name) restaurants wouldn't "last a week in L.A.". We didn't have to go all the way across the country to find better examples. Why things suck so badly behind the Orange curtain was reflexively a mystery until we drove past the teeming parking lot of a Claim Jumper or an Olive Garden and reminded ourselves that Orange Countians seem to thrive on chain-store mediocrity. I'm not sure what it is about being predominantly Republican and hopelessly straight that makes people crave boring food, but it would appear to be so even to the point of infecting beautiful, artistic, semi-liberal Laguna. You'd think there, at least, there'd be hope. But all the dozens of meals I've there over a lifetime, even the most ambitious, ended up like the one you describe at Splashes--only my very first meal at Five Feet totally hit it out of the park. Oh, and there was an Indian restaurant there for a time that was great--probably didn't last, though.
Best combo in town? Ceviche, a Herradura margarita, and the view on the patio at Las Brisas.
Just as a point of reference....how often do you visit California and how many cities have you visited there?
Correct me if I am wrong, but based upon your initial post, the quality of your dining experiences seem to be based on only a select few restaurants.
TimMc wrote:In California once or twice a year.
No offense, but I think I see the problem here.
John Tomasso wrote:I thought Dale's post was fine. Why are you busting his chops?
He related his experience and offered his observations. One can do that after one visit, or one hundred.
You say, "no offense" but you call into question his judgement? On what grounds? His number of visits here? He didn't damn CA cuisine - he offered his thoughts on the places he visited
I don't think your dismissive "I think I see the problem here" brought anything worthwhile to the discussion.
TimMc wrote:a troll I am not.
I'd like to think my posts on a variety of topics on this BBS have proved as much.
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