Monday, February 29, 2016

When we were seated at a table in the impressive dining room with scenic views of Long Beach from harbor to downtown skyline we asked ourselves why it had taken us so long to return to Parkers" Lighthouse Restaurant in Shoreline Village.
We never did come up with a reason but vowed that we would be returning to this restaurant with its exciting, innovative seafood cuisine again in the near future.
We were there for lunch and so sat in the downstairs dining room.  On the third floor is the Queens Room, again with marvelous views and a dome ceiling that is truly spectactacular.
We were a party of three and decided to order small portions so we could taste as many of Executive Chef Jim Tate's culinary creations as possible.
A seafood platter arrived with calamari, fried shrimp, crab cake, lobster wraps of tortilla and guacamole.  We also tasted two popular favorites at Parkers', the seabass in a terriyaki sauce and the salmon also with its own special sauce.
Impressive is the two story wine room that now takes center stage in the dining room.  The restaurant has received national recognition for its wine collection.
We had the opportunity to chat with both General Manager David Maskello and Chef Tate.
Parkers' Lighthouse is located at 435 Shoreline village Drive in Long Beach.  Telephone 662 432-6500, web  Open daily at 11 a.m.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

We have become 'regulars' in attending the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show each year and 2016 was no exception.
It is taking place this weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center closing tonight at 5 p.m.  We were there yesterday and thought it the best yet in the number of exhibitions and and opportunities to learn about travel almost everyplace on the globe.
Every part of California was well represented and we were most interested in what was new in featuring the State's wine country which now stretches its entire length.
Some were elaborate and large including that of Japan and one we particularly enjoyed was Fiji Islands which included a group of native musicians and dancers.
They were featured at the Destination theater which also had programs from Cambodia, Guatemala, the Czech Republic and Australia.
If you can make it, you will enjoy it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Invitations are in the mail to the restaurants that have earned a major award from the Southern California Restaurant Writers. 
These restaurants will be honored at the 42nd annual Awards Banquet of the Writers to be held at the Center Club in Costa Mesa on Monday March 21.
Each year the event recognizes restaurants whose standards of quality, service and value have been found to be of special merit.
Proceeds from the annual banquet go to the Doris Crandall Scholarship Program which has, through the years, provided  scholarships to students in the culinary arts at Southern California Community Colleges including Orange Coast College, Harbor College, Riverside City College and San Bernardino Valley College.
One hundred per cent of all donations received are dedicated to the scholarship program.
The Banquet at the Center Club will open with a wine tasting followed by a five course dinner.  Then the individuals and restaurants selected will receive their awards.
The Center Club Orange County is located at 650 Town Center Drive, Garden Level in Costa Mesa with valet parking.
Advance paid reservations are required for this event.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

It is always a joy to be at a restaurant where it all comes together, location, decor, ambiance, a friendly efficient staff and an excellent menu with sensible pricing.  And so it was when we dined recently at Harborside Restaurant in Newport Beach.  The view is, of course, perfect with every table and booth overlooking the bay. As for location the restaurant is in the historic Balboa Pavilion which has been gracing the harbor since 1906.
There are just hints of this history and tradition when you first enter the restaurant.  The walls show the paneling of an earlier era as well as the Tiffany lamp in the corner. Also the  pattern stamped metal ceiling so common in  early 20th century restaurant decor.
Doug and Dave Salisbury took over the Pavilion in 2002 and have never looked back.  Downstairs the Harborside Restaurant offers a delightful dining experience, upstairs a large ballroom with sweeping views of the harbor from the large windows that dominate the walls. 
After meeting with Manager Sheila Corwin it was time to try the cuisine.  Naturally with its bayside location the menu offers much seafood both among  the starters and entrees.  We were a threesome and our waiter suggested we might like to try the trays with a variety of seafood, one cold the other hot
When they arrived we appreciated what a great suggestion it was.  The cold tray offered oysters on the half shell, shrimp with dipping source and a marvelous sushi served with chips.  The hot tray offered butterfly shrimp, , calamari, and skewered Korean BBQ beef short ribs.
For lunch this proved to be just the right amount of food, and most satisfying.
Harborside is open seven days a week.  The restaurant is located at 400 Main Street and with the towering Pavilion hard to miss.  Telephone 949 673-4633, on the web at

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The three of us were in complete agreement,  it does not get any better than this.
We were seated on the outdoor balcony of the Newport Landing Restaurant adjacent to Balboa Bay with a view that extended all the way to snow capped Mount Baldy. 
That snow capped mountain was the only reminder that it was February, not summer, for the temperature was in the mid eighties.  It were in the perfect place to enjoy the heat wave that was sweeping across Southern California.
Matching our surroundings was the cuisine of Jose Munoz, executive chef at the restaurant and oyster bar. Here is a menu that while emphasizing seafood offers sandwiches, burgers and light entrees.
We opened with the clam chowder, deservedly famed here.  Then to the Alaskan cod fish and chips complete with tartar and seafood cocktail sauce, cole slaw and a heaping plate of french fries.
Senior Manager John Bullard had many suggestions for us but we had to explain that, unfortunately, this day we had light appetites.  However we promised to return when we could do better justice to such an outstanding array of seafood.
There is always something happening at Newport Landing.  Yes, the Sunday Buffet Brunch, the food menu at the Oyster Bar and Library Lounge, and the extended Happy Hours five days and nights a week with a Shrimp fest night or taco night.
Newport Landing is located at 503 E. Edgewater in  Newport Beach,  open seven days a week.  Call 949 675-2373, web

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Once again it was our privilege to attend a dinner of the Academy of Culinary Professionals.  This group, now in their 16th year, visit one of the best restaurants in Orange County each month.
Last evening it was at the Royal Khyber located at 1621 W. Sunflower Avenue in the South Coast Plaza Village.
 Owner and Executive Chef Arun Puri  personally prepared the four course dinner  that opened with a gourmet salad and followed with tandoori appetizers of Reshami chicken and lamb seekh kebabs.  With a selection of entrees we had the lamb shank cooked with whole spices for 14 hours in a curry sauce.Our dessert was  a elegant rice pudding.
The Royal Khyber has been presenting an exciting Indian cuisine since 1998.  Last evening we were greeted by Manager Ali Shahid who has been with the restaurant since its early beginnings.
Over the years some changes of menu have taken place following the national trend of using lighter ingredients. 
And now Owner Puri has followed a national trend to using organic and natural foods whenever possible.  This restaurant has always showed a menu that displays classic Indian dishes as well as innovative newcomers that retain the Indian flavors
Royal Khyber is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.  Telephone 714 436-1010, on the web at