Mel and I had so much fun riding ATVs for the first time on the beach and dunes of Grover Beach. We paid for two hours, but because Mel, a mother and a daughter, and I were the only customers, we actually got 4 hours of playtime! That was so appreciated! If you go, ask for Pat. And if they aren't too busy, Pat may take you out and act as your guide/instructor. Mel and I were such wimps when we first started... that is until Pat came to join us and really pushed our limits. We worked our way up to a dune that was 100 feet tall and we went over the side of it. It was crazy and addictive. I just kept going up and down and up and down to experience the rush. Just be warned that you will have sand EVERYWHERE when you are done. Oh, this place also really seems to have the best prices in the area. Wear sunscreen!
This place is fantastic.
I bring my parents to Rivoli's when it's a special occasion. I think the past two times I have gone were on my dad's birthday. I called ahead to make reservations and informed them that it was my dad's b-day. They put just a sprinkle of confetti on our table. I think it made my dad feel special. :)
The decor and the ambiance is relaxed and refined. There is a huge window in place of the back wall that overlooks a garden. The window lets in a lot of natural light and the garden sets the mood for the food that they serve. While the name suggests Italian food, the menu certainly speaks to California cuisine. The service is always excellent here - knowledgeable, polite, and friendly.
Each entree is unique and has its own special blend of flavors and side dishes. You can really tell that the chef puts a lot of thought in creating each dish. I'll just paste some of the entrees here from the menu so you can see what I mean. These are dishes that my dad and my mom ordered:
grilled blue nose sea bass with grilled eggplant, summer squash and tomato gratin, roasted peppers, creamy parmesan polenta, olive , aoli and chervil butter
Moroccan plate with grilled lamb mechouia, duck b'steeya and merguez sausage with cucumber and carrot salad, saffron couscous couscous and mint yogurt
It's always fun to sample each other's food and let me tell you, everything is delicious and well prepared.
Not your average Vietnamese restaurant!
If you're looking for pho, sure, Khanh's has that, but you'd be missing out on the other wonderful Vietnamese dishes that they serve. Actually, I don't even recommend the pho because I've had better elsewhere. Instead, they have a great variety of other Vietnamese entrees that I never knew existed.
I had my first Vietnamese seafood crepes here and they are amazing. They come with a crunchy turmeric crepe stuffed with shrimp and bean sprouts. There is also a plate full of herbs like mint and basil to stuff the crepes with along with a sweet fish sauce for dipping. This is my absolute favorite thing on the menu!
I also love lemongrass chicken and the catfish claypot. The catfish is moist and tangy with caramelized onions. Mmmmm :) For dessert, they have these amazing individualized sized cakes in all kinds of tempting flavors - chocolate mousse, mango mousse, tiramisu, green tea mousse...
This place is definitely a family run restaurant with family run prices! Skip the crappy mall chain food restaurants and go to Khanh's after a day of shopping at Valley Fair. You won't be disappointed :)
For lunch, we went to the organic Earthbound Farm Stand. They have a little shop with lots of produce and packaged food items. The prices are high, but it's yuppie and enjoyable in that way. Mel bought a ton of strawberries which she ate slowly throughout the rest of our whole trip. I bought some fig jam and some pumpernickel. Tastes like nutrients. If you're kind of a healthnut, their salad bar is to die for. The ingredients are super fresh and there's just so much to pile on your salad - fresh beets, edamame, sunflower seeds, rustic croutons, garlicky broccoli, spinach, arugula, etc. They weigh it and you pay that price. Mel and I both had the salad and we also had a cup of creamy asparagus soup.
This is my family's favorite restaurant in Carmel!
It's a very small and cozy restaurant. I almost feel like I'm in someone's beautifully decorated living room. The past two times we ate here we didn't have to fight any crowds because we went early enough.
I usually order some type of seafood when we go... after all we're in a town by the sea. I've had the cornmeal encrusted trout entree which I thought was pretty good. For starters we've also had the Tequila and Lime House-Cured Salmon which was tangy and refreshing and my mom loved the Cornmeal Crusted Chili Relleno starter with rock shrimp risotto, wild mushrooms, goat cheese, and cilantro pesto.
The food is fresh and well-prepared with interesting flavors. The presentation is always beautiful and appetizing. Chef Christopher has even come around to ask how our food was on one occasion.
Prices are kind of high but it's worth it. Entrees run for $20 a plate on average.
Crystal Fish seems to be a popular place for both the locals and for visitors from out of town. It received 4 stars on Yelp and it is located away from the tourist trap restaurants of Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf. It's a cozy place with a great menu and tasty food. Mel and I ordered the Hawaiian Poke (raw fish marinated in green onions, soy sauce, & sesame oil), the Kamakaze Roll (california roll topped w/ assorted fish & crunchy topping), the Caterpillar Roll (avocado & unagi), and the Harbor Roll (fried calamari & tuna). The rolls are a bit small, but the poke appetizer is worth trying anyway so might as well order both. Total: $42.36. This was definitely a splurge and we were hungry!
First of all, Nevada City is amazingly beautiful especially now that the leaves have changed color. We had a great time walking around town and then walking through the residential area to see all of the cute historical homes.
It was such a gorgeous day so we sat on the patio which was lovely underneath that large tree. I was pleasantly surprised to see a large selection of organic food on the menu. I've also never had southern cuisine before so I was really excited to try something "creole". We were a bit disappointed that the frittatas were not offered at lunchtime, but no matter, the great selection of sandwiches and southern entrees made up for it!
I had the creole po' boy and Matt had a variation of my sandwich with seafood (crawfish) in it. My po' boy had sausage, chicken, pork, peppers, and a spicy mayo spread on a ciabatta bread-type bun. And, it had a delicious au jus sauce for dipping. The sandwich was kind of spicy and really, really tasty. You get a choice of potato salad, beet salad, or french fries. I ordered the beet salad because I LOVE beet salad. I was not expecting a balsamic vinegar based and cabbage beet salad, but it was sooo good (with candied walnuts too)! I wonder if that's a southern dish?
Anyhow, the prices are a bit expensive, around $11 for a sandwich, but it seems understandable with the kind of ingredients that they use. I would love to come back and try the gumbo with corn bread!
After our long day, we were ready for a hearty seafood dinner. Mezza Luna is an Italian restaurant with some yummy surf and some turf dishes as well. The ambiance was comfortable and inviting. We were greeted by our Italian-speaking waiter with a Betty Boop tie. :D The bread is the kind of rustic bread you can't wait to dive into once they set it onto your table. The food is simple and satisfying, but the portions are a bit small! I had the Zuppa del Pescatore, fresh assorted seafood sauted n white wine, tomato and saffron broth (18.50). It was a bunch of assorted seafood (octopus, mussles, clams, prawns, and calamari) in a thin but tasty broth. My brother had the red snapper w/ capers special. My parents shared the catch-of-the-day mixed grill for two which came with two big slabs of grilled salmon and sea bass (my fav!) with green beans and polenta on the side ($39). For dessert, I had the torte of the day which turned out to be black forest cake. Ooh, it was so moist and chocolatey with whole black cherries in the filling and a thin layer of almond paste in the middle. Delicious!
Chez Shea is an eclectic organic restaurant that doesn't skimp on flavor. It's an order-at-the-counter and find your own table kind of restaurant. Everything on their lunch menu is $8-10. My dad and I had the Torta Ugalde, "a savory blend of carnitas, ham, avocado, roasted tomato salsa, queso blanco, lettuce, tomato, and onions on a Mexican telera bun w/ a mild jalapeno mayonnaise" ($9). My mom had the East-West Fish Tac0, "fresh fish marinated with Moroccan chermoula and cooked on the griddle, served in flatbread with tzatziki, harissa, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and salsa" ($9). Finally, my brother had the Portabello sandwhich with carmelized onions, roasted peppers and braised greens, on house made focaccia bread topped w/ a piquillo-pecan spread ($8). Wow, everything tasted fantastic - really unique and rich flavors! The sandwiches even came with home-made potato chips that were very addictive. The only con...it may be difficult to find a seat!
So after reading some of the reviews of Nan Yang, it seems like some people complain that the food is not authentic enough. While it is true that I cannot vouch for the authenticity because I haven't had Burmese cuisine elsewhere, I think this place is tasty and reasonably priced.
It also seems that the menu can be quite hit or miss judging on other people's reviews, but I can't say anything about that either because I always order the same thing!
If it's possible that by luck I stumbled on the best stuff on the menu, I would not be surprised. I think this place is damn good!
This is what I always order when I'm with my family or with friends:
1. fish curry ($12?) - (it's not really curry) a big slab of juicy salmon baked in a tomato and onion sauce with coconut rice and a little serving of green salad. The salmon is so tender and moist! This gives the garlic noodles a run for its money.
2. seafood garlic noodles ($10?) - prawns, scallops, and mussels served on a bed of thick noodles in a creamy coconut, curry, and garlic sauce. sooooo gooood.
3. Curried eggplant ($10?) - I love eggplant and this has sort of a dry shrimp paste crumble on the top which I love!
I think the flavors are quite unique. There's a lot of garlic and a lot of onion, but these flavors aren't used traditionally. Mixing garlic and coconut milk, for example, is definitely not the usual way to make a sauce.
I had to estimate on those prices. For a sit down restaurant in Berkeley, I think those prices are pretty reasonable for some really great tasting food.
This place is certainly one of my favorites in Berkeley :)