Pho Van Vietnamese Restaurant

September 23rd, 2009

2095 N. Dobson Rd., Chandler 85224

480-857-8130

Located in the strip mall housing Lee Lee Asian Market, you know they have access to the freshest of Asian ingredients.

Clean and quaint, the filet beef salad was delicious. I wish this was closer to home.

Cibo Urban Pizzeria

September 23rd, 2009

603 N. 5th Ave., Phoenix 85003

602-441-2697

Lunch M-F 11am to 2pm; Dinner M-F at 5pm; Closed Sundays

Each pizza is hand tossed and made using the best locally grown organic produce and imported Italian products.

Ask about their Thursday Specials.

Buon Appetito!

Down Under Wines

September 23rd, 2009

3305 W. Chandler Blvd., Suite 7, Chandler

480-705-7131

www.downunderwinestore.com

I met here recently for a book club and was really surprised by how good the wine and cheese platters were, as well as how few people happened to be there that night. What a shame. I do think they may be moving south soon to a better location, so call before you go, but GO! The very friendly Aussie’s deserve to survive the recession and I plan to make arrangements to meet up down under my neck of the woods to help them out. Check their web-site for various events and wine-tasting special.

Z Pizza @ Crystal Cove

September 23rd, 2009

Located on the Bluff at Crystal Cove, between Laguna and Newport beach

949-715-1117

Z Pizza is a casual pizzeria boasting the use of 100% organic wheat dough crafted daily, 100% certified organic tomato sauce and award winning Wisconsin low-fat mozzarella. Fire baked on hot bricks for crisp crusty edges , comes by the slice, 10, 14, and 18 inches. We were pleasantly surprised by this humble pie amidst it’s beautiful neighbors. This shopping/dining plaza is one of frequent stops while vacationing in So-Cal.

Kyoto-Japanese Restaurant

September 23rd, 2009

7170 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale 85251

480-990-9374

If you enjoy really great sushi bar or being entertained by a grilling chef at your table, then Kyoto is a great and inexpensive place to try when your in downtown Scottsdale. The doors open at 5pm with a line typically waiting to get in, so I suggest you make a reservation.

Sentinel

September 23rd, 2009

35 New Montgomery St., San Francisco CA

415-284-9960

Best for breakfast (about $14 for two) menu changes daily but standouts include walnut-cinnamon-streusel coffee cake

and oatmeal with dried figs.

Kitchen 1540 @ L’Auberge Del Mar

September 23rd, 2009

1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar CA 92014

858-259-1515

During the summer of ’09, I found this restaurant to be the best example of using southern California’s fresh, local, seasonal organic produce in simple yet creative ways, calling me back each time I am fortunate enough to come to the beach. Happy to stick with the vegetarian dishes, though there are offerings of seafood and a  variety of well grown meats, the restaurant at 1540 also boasts a lovely patio dining area with water falls, soft lighting, and comfortable seating, not to mention the perfect weather- accompanied by great service.

Eagle Rock Italian Bakery

September 23rd, 2009

1726 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, Ca 90041

I have been coming to this bakery since  my mom brought me here as a little girl, when it was located up the street. I still remember being fascinated by the fresh loaf bread slicer. It was just a simple bread and pastry bakery then, but for years now, they are a deli/market providing the best Italian subs,cookies, and whatever ingredients you might need for the best Italian dinner. We always grab sandwiches to take to the beach, to the Rose Bowl or for the long ride  home back to Phoenix. I also stock up on double bagged fresh bread to go in the freezer for the next family spaghetti dinner or to make into french toast when the kids are over, because nothing says home better than this.

Green Street Restaurant

September 23rd, 2009

146 S. Shopper’s Lane, Pasadena CA 91101

626-792-5020

www.greenstreetrestaurant.com

Open 7 days a week

A Pasadena tradition since 1979 explains why this is still a favorite of ours when we visit home in Eagle Rock. Famous for their Diane Salad, we return here just for that. Tender greens, chicken, almonds, sesame seeds, and a secret vinaigrette recipe coating it just lightly, served with a nutty zuccini bread-and because I am in Pasadena, I have to have a glass of Chardonnay, which their house wine does the trick. We had this catered at our wedding and it is still as good today as it was then-22 years ago!

The Cliff House Inn

September 23rd, 2009

6602 Old Pacific Coast Highway, Mussel Shoals CA 93001

Toll free @1-800-892-5433/1-805-652-1381

www.info@cliffhouseinn.com

No pets allowed

Located right on the Pacific coast just about an hour south of Santa Barbara, with a green lawn surrounding the pool which overlook the ocean, and a  restaurant and bar on site. I didn’t actually sleep here and not sure about the quality of bedding, but when we accidently found this place I took advantage of having a beer while enjoying the view and wanted to remember to come beck here another time on my way up the coast.

Rates range $140-$185 weekdays/weekends

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