Blairs – Silver Lake (Los Angeles), CA

Quintessential Neighborhood ItalianBlairs – Silver Lake (Los Angeles), CA Italian – Last Visit – August 2021 Blairs is the quintessential neighborhood restaurant, which has been nestled in the Silverlake community for 18 years. We visited about a decade ago, but for some bizarre reason never made it back. When friends Paul and Susan decided to venture out for their first post-COVID dining experience last year we met them at Blairs. We returned this summer, and the experience has only improved with the addition of outside dining on the sidewalk and picnic tables in the former parking lot. If you do decide to dine inside, the windows are wide open to the breezes. (Two photos below courtesy of Blairs.)     … Read more…

JOEY DTLA, Los Angeles, California

To Los Angeles … With Love … From CanadaJOEY DTLA • Los Angeles, California Delicious Cuisine For Everyone • Visited July & August 2021 Subscriber Garrett hit another one out of the ballpark with his recommendation for JOEY DTLA, our latest favorite restaurant. Garrett was the one who sent us to Hippo, Dama and Bavel. He should join our team, although he would need to keep his day job, as this website is what I jokingly refer to as non-profit!  We have been to Joey three times in the last month! It’s that good.JOEY DTLA is a chain from Canada (numerous locations), which has been expanding slowly into the United States. There are currently three restaurants in Southern California, including … Read more…

Parkers’ Lighthouse – Long Beach, CA

A Meal Fit For A Queen Parkers’ Lighthouse – Long Beach, CA Seafood – Last Visit: July 2021 Despite Tracy and I living in Long Beach for many years, we never made it to dinner at Parkers’ Lighthouse in Shoreline Village, located on the waterfront near the Queen Mary. Tracy and I had both been here for happy hour in the late 80s, but well before we met each other. We joined long-time friends Greg and Gloria for lunch on a sunny Sunday afternoon in July. The parking lot was jammed on this picture-perfect day, and we strolled along the water looking out at the Queen Mary, dubbed “The Grey Ghost” because of the grey color she was painted during … Read more…

LA Cha Cha Chá – Los Angeles, CA

L.A.’s Hottest New RestaurantLA Cha Cha Chá – Los Angeles, CA Modern Mexican Cuisine – Last Visit: June 2021 Ever since LA Cha Cha Chá opened in the Arts District of Los Angeles nearly four months ago, it has been the hottest ticket in town. Reservations are booked weeks in advance, but recently we scored a reservation at the restaurant, which is an offshoot from its original Mexico City eatery, Terraza Cha Cha Chá. It also boasts one of the best rooftop patios in town.The Arts District was swarming with people on seemingly always crowded 3rd Street on the hot Sunday evening we were there. We parked across the street (valet $12 … street parking in the area is very … Read more…

Pasadena, CA: The City Where The Cheeseburger Was Invented

“Cheeseburger!  Cheeseburger!” Pasadena, CA: The City Where The Cheeseburger Was Invented I’m proud to hail from the city that is home to the Rose Parade and the “Granddaddy Of Them All,” the Rose Bowl Game. However, the historic event that solidifies Pasadena, California, as an American treasure, is that my hometown is where an iconic food item, loved by most people around the world who have ever tried it, received its start. Yes, Pasadena is where the cheeseburger was invented! Nearly 100 years ago, in January of 1924, a transient, excited to have come upon 15 cents, visited the Rite-Spot in Pasadena and asked for a “hamburger with everything on it.”  The line cook at his dad’s roadside stand, Lionel … Read more…

Millie’s Cafe – Pasadena, CA

On Call Breakfast! Millie’s Cafe – Pasadena, CA Last Visited: December 2020 • Breakfast Every once in a while, everyone needs a great breakfast fix. Fortunately for Tracy and me, we have a nearby restaurant close by that has served us well for the past couple of years.  Millie’s Cafe has been a Silver Lake staple since 1926 and in late 2018 it opened a location in Pasadena. Millie’s serves breakfast and lunch all day until 3 p.m. and also includes a large vegan menu. In fact, the entire menu is extensive, so you have numerous choices, and believe me they are tough choices to make. From their website: “We use real butter to cook our fresh eggs. We use … Read more…

Salazar – Los Angeles (Frogtown), CA

Fabulous Frogtown Fiesta of Food  Salazar – Los Angeles (Frogtown), CA Sonoran-Stye Mexican – Last Visited: October 2020 Ever since we “discovered” Spoke Bicycle Café in Frogtown (an area located near downtown Los Angeles), we’d been hearing and reading of a Mexican barbecue restaurant named Salazar in the nearby vicinity.  In July 2019, we decided to pop over and see what all the brouhaha was about. Since then we have visited on numerous occasions for both brunch and dinner, and the results have been mostly fantastic.  (Below outdoor photos are pre-pandemic.) Opened in 2016, Salazar is located in a former auto body shop with outdoor seating.  Other than a small bar in one of the former repair bays, all the … Read more…

Bistro 45 – Pasadena, CA

Bistro 45 a Pasadena Icon! Bistro 45 – Pasadena, CA New American/French-Style Cuisine – Last Visit: August 2020 Situated in a charming, retro Art Deco building in Pasadena, Bistro 45 has provided us with many a memorable meal over the past 25 – 30 years and has consistently served delicious dinners. Over the years, in addition to special-occasion meals, we have attended many of their winemaker dinners, almost always resulting in an infusion for our wine cellar.             During the pandemic, Bistro 45 has also pivoted to curb-side pick-up, Rosti (family) dinners, Butcher Shoppe and recently, patio-only dining. We have purchased Cryovac-sealed Nieman Ranch pork chops from the Butcher Shoppe, and they are among the … Read more…

The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove – Newport Coast, CA

Beignets & Breakfast By The Beach The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove – Newport Coast, CA Last Visited: September 2020 When we get together with intrepid travel companions and friends Kim and Mary, we try to pick some place half way between our homes. Unbeknownst to us, the Beachcomber at Crystal Cove would become one of our favorite breakfast places and we don’t even mind the hour-long drive (well, as long as it is at the crack of dawn before traffic rears its ugly head). The restaurant is located on the beach in Crystal Cove, which we found out is on the National Register of Historic Places. No cars are allowed (except for handicapped parking), so you have to park in … Read more…

Fia – Santa Monica, CA

Mamma Mia … It’s Time For Fia! Fia – Santa Monica, CA California Cuisine (with an Italian Influence) – Last Visit: August 2020 Looking online for L.A. County dining establishments where we could enjoy a meal outdoors, we came upon Fia, a Santa Monica restaurant that seemed to check all the boxes. The photos of its patio looked enticing, and a few reviews stated it was socially-distanced enough to feel comfortable, so on a (plagiarizing Neil Diamond) “hot August night” we headed to Fia, where we would be joined by our temporarily-masked friends Jeff and Cecilia. We had booked an early 6 p.m. time slot to avoid any over-crowding later in the evening. The quaint patio area was surrounded by … Read more…