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.

July 9, 2018

Maccheroni Republic – Los Angeles, CA

Still Our Favorite Pasta in L.A. Maccheroni Republic – Los Angeles, CA Visited twice in May of 2018 It’s comforting to know that some things don’t change in life, like my favorite pasta restaurant in Los Angeles continuing to provide the freshest pasta four and a half years after our […]
February 6, 2018

Great Maple – Pasadena, CA

Perfect for Morning, Afternoon and Evening Great Maple – Pasadena, CA Visited: 2017 & 2018 (Many times) An outing in November 2017 to the Pasadena Convention Center to see retired Los Angeles Dodger announcer Vin Scully speak resulted in our stumbling (and I hadn’t even had a cocktail yet) onto […]
December 27, 2017

Manuela – Los Angeles, CA

Travels With Mai Tai Tom 2017 Restaurant of the Year Manuela – Los Angeles, CA Visited: Brunch and Dinner • February 2017 & Dinner:  December 2017 Restaurant Type: Eclectic Contemporary Southern As the year was winding to a close, we had yet to select Mai Tai Tom’s Restaurant of the […]
October 5, 2017

South of Nick’s Mexican Kitchen + Bar – San Clemente, CA

Nick’s Strikes Again! South of Nick’s Mexican Kitchen + Bar – San Clemente, CA Visited: August 2017 Since Tracy and I had already visited and enjoyed Nick’s in Long Beach and Nick’s in Laguna Beach, we decided to head to South of Nick’s San Clemente.  We met our friends, Kim […]
May 10, 2017

Nick’s – Long Beach & Laguna Beach, CA

In The Nick’s Of Time Nick’s on Second – Long Beach, CA Nick’s Laguna Beach – Laguna Beach, CA Visited: March & April 2017 Restaurant Type: California Comfort Food…with a flair Well, you know what they say, “Two Nick’s is better than one!”   In the past couple of months we […]
May 3, 2016

Guelaguetza – Los Angeles (Koreatown)

Holy Mole! Guelaguetza – Los Angeles (Koreatown) Visited: April 30, 2016 Proof positive that Los Angeles is a melting pot of cultures:  Last weekend Tracy and I dined at a James Beard award-winning Mexican restaurant…located in Koreatown…which had been recommended recently by our waiter at an Indian restaurant.  If only […]
April 28, 2016

Officine BRERA – Los Angeles, CA

Travels With Mai Tai Tom 2016 Restaurant Of The Year! Officine BRERA – Los Angeles, CA Visited: April 2016 & July 2016 No doubt about it, we had the closest competition ever for the coveted (well, maybe someday) Travels With Mai Tai Tom 3rd Annual Restaurant Of The Year Award.”  […]
January 30, 2016

Alexander’s Steakhouse – Pasadena, CA

The Meat Of The Matter: Pasadena’s Classic American Steakhouse Alexander’s Steakhouse – Pasadena, CA Visited: January 2016 Restaurant Type:  American Steakhouse (with hints of Japanese influence in the menu) Thanks to the generosity of subscribers Joanne and Judy, we dined at a relatively new restaurant in Pasadena that is definitely […]
September 9, 2015

Café Santorini, Pasadena, CA

Mediterranean Dining In Pasadena Café Santorini, Pasadena, CA  Visited: August 12, 2015 Restaurant Type: Mediterranean Café Santorini, a Mediterranean restaurant in Old Town Pasadena, has always delivered the goods, so when our friend Doug said to meet here for dinner, it was the ultimate dinner “no-brainer.” It had been quite […]
July 20, 2015

Little Beast – Eagle Rock, CA

Beauty And The Little Beast Little Beast – Eagle Rock, CA Visited June 28th, 2015 Restaurant Type: New American Thanks to the generosity of TravelsWithMaiTaiTom subscribers Jenny and Nik (a very nice gift card), Tracy and I were treated to quite a delicious dinner at Little Beast, a quaint neighborhood […]
February 2, 2015

The Factory Kitchen – Los Angeles, CA

MaiTaiTom’s Best Of 2014 Award Winner The Factory Kitchen – Los Angeles, CA  Restaurant Type: Italian Tracy and I visited a number of very good restaurants in 2014 (which is why it’s harder for me to fit in my clothes this February than last), but we agree the one I’m […]