What to eat (or not) at the Orange County Fair

My first strategy at the OC Fair was to follow the smoke. Where there’s smoke, there will also be good food. Or so it usually goes. I spotted the beef tri-tips smoldering on a grill. They looked awesome. They looked like real Santa Maria barbecue. I immediately got in line and ordered the tri-tip sandwich. It was gross…

Photo of the week: San Jose del Cabo

This is one of my favorite photos from my stay at the beautiful Mar Adentro in San Jose del Cabo, an incredible resort designed  (and owned) by Miguel Angel Aragones. I love the brutal simplicity of the beach chairs and umbrellas. I woke up early to catch the sunrise…

O.C. Review: Sushi Hana re

The hostess sees me peeking through the window, so she opens the front door. “May I help you?” “Two for dinner?” I ask. I can see that almost every seat in the restaurant is already taken. “Just a moment,” she says. She walks across the very small room to whisper something to the chef. He …

Where to eat (and NOT) at Disneyland

Disneyland offers lots of full-service options, most of which require reservations to be made days or even weeks in advance. After repeat visits to every such restaurant inside Disneyland, California Adventure and Downtown Disney, I can confidently say these are the five best places to unwind with a good meal.

Hotel Review: Villa Florence, San Francisco

The seven-story, turn-of-the-century building known today as Villa Florence has quite a history. It was conceived and constructed in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake, part of San Francisco’s swift reconstruction campaign. It debuted as apartments but shortly thereafter became the Hotel Manx, whose basement would become a speakeasy during Prohibition.

One Dish: keema pav at Adya, Anaheim

Apparently there’s something in Indian cuisine called “pav,” and it’s a lot like a Sloppy Joe. In fact, it’s exactly like a Sloppy Joe, only better than any you’ve ever had. At Adya, the quick-serve Indian restaurant inside the Anaheim Packing District, the pavs come in a variety of flavors, including one made with chicken …

2014 O.C. Restaurant Awards!

Chef of the year? Best new restaurant? The greatest desserts … ? To condense a year’s worth of dining into just six awards is a daunting but delicious task. The possibilities were numerous, but the awards are few. To arrive at these selections, I dined more than 400 times, driving more than 8,000 miles from …

Review: Soho House, West Hollywood

“You’re not writing about this, are you?” asks a friend who has just agreed to take me to the Soho House for dinner, my treat. He’s a member of the exclusive private club. I’m not. “Well, actually, yes,” I say. “Oh, man,” he says. “Are you going to take them down?” The backtracking begins. “I…, …