Tom’s Southern California Dining

Tom with Bob's Big Boy

One thing that COVID has taken from so many of us is the pleasure of the dining-out experience.  One of the most satisfying aspects of life is going out with friends to restaurants scattered throughout Southern California.  In the past two decades, the So. Cal. dining scene, especially in Los Angeles and surrounding towns, has exploded with numerous incredible eateries.  Sadly, some of these great restaurants have been forced to close, but here are our favorites that are still hanging in there and that we hope to visit again soon.

March 10, 2020

When Mai Tai Tom Met Tracy: A Night at L’Opera – Long Beach, CA

It Had To Be You! When Mai Tai Tom Met Tracy: A Night at L’Opera – Long Beach, CA Visited: May 1990 & February 2020 As I recall, it was a beautiful spring evening in May 1990. I had been researching police documents and perusing personal interviews for an article […]
December 19, 2019

Hippo in Highland Park, CA

Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Restaurant Of The Year! Hippo – Highland Park, CA Cuisine: Cal-Med Visited: February, March & October 2019 The votes have been tabulated, and Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Restaurant of the Year is now ready to be unveiled.  In the closest vote in history, Highland Park’s Hippo […]
October 8, 2019

Bacchus’ Kitchen – Pasadena, CA

Neighborhood Gem Bacchus’ Kitchen – Pasadena, CA Last Visited: August 2019 Although we walk the corgis past this restaurant nearly every weekend and always stop to check the menu, in late 2018 it had been several months … maybe even a year … since we had dined at Bacchus’ Kitchen.  […]
September 30, 2019

Bavel – Los Angeles, CA

Middle East Feast! Bavel – Los Angeles, CA Visited: September 2019 One great feature of living in Los Angeles these days is the influx of restaurants offering innovative cuisine from all parts of the world. Tracy and I had heard great reports from friends about Bavel, which features food highlighting […]
June 24, 2019

Bob’s Big Boy – Burbank (Toluca Lake), CA

Iconic & Nostalgic Burger! Bob’s Big Boy – Burbank (Toluca Lake), CA When I was growing up, the favorite words I heard from my dad on a Sunday afternoon were, “Let’s go to Bob’s Big Boy.” From the scrumptious double-decker burgers to the carhops to my Big Boy comics, there […]
April 12, 2019

Spoke Bicycle Cafe – Los Angeles (Frogtown), CA

Breakfast & Lunch With Frankie & Remi Spoke Bicycle Cafe – Los Angeles (Frogtown), CA Breakfast/Lunch Last Visit: April 2019 Being a native Angeleno I thought I knew just about every nook and cranny of the city, but while walking the dogs, a neighbor told us about having a great […]
March 21, 2019

Mint Leaf – Pasadena/Altadena, CA

Spicy Or Mild, Mint Leaf Delivers Mint Leaf – Pasadena/Altadena, CA Visited:  Numerous Times • Last Visited March 2019 (UPDATED) Restaurant Type: Indian *  (Latest Update Below Story) To paraphrase the late Mr. Rogers…”It’s another great day in the neighborhood.” That’s because we now have another great restaurant within walking […]
February 19, 2019

The Arbour – Pasadena, CA

California Fresh! The Arbour – Pasadena, CA California Cuisine Visited: 12/8/18, 2/2/19, 2/12/19 South Lake Avenue in Pasadena has become a sort of restaurant mecca in recent years with newer restaurants such as Nick’s South Lake Avenue, Magnolia House, Paul Martin’s American Grill, Del Frisco’s and Mendocino Farms joining old […]