Friday, July 28, 2017

We thought Malibu Burger Co. was a good fit for a beachside community.   It is the creation of a local who has lived in Malibu his whole life.  His name, Cisco Adler, and he called on another local citizen, Matt Winter, to come up with the casual design and ambiance of the restaurant.
Under the direction of Chef Aaron May the menu is strictly burgers that can be mixed with a variety of additional condiments.  There are also bun less burger bowls and quinoa burgers.
Beverages includes some local beers and wines.
The burgers are designed to be a meal and include one with fresh fish,  the type  changing each week.  It was salmon when we were there but the week before seabass and the week following halibut.
We  had the cheese burger which was huge and yes truly a meal.  We did add some most tasty french fries.
We chatted with Chef May who has enjoyed a long career in culinary and in many parts of the country.
We liked the ambiance of Malibu Burger which has wide windows which look out on the scenic creek front of Malibu Village.
The Village includes many types of businesses and Malibu Burger is just the newest.  It is located at 3822 Cross Creek road in Malibu.
Hours for Malibu Burger are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, 10 p.m. on weekends.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Our recent visit showed that Antonello Rerstorante in Santa Ana continues its reign as the best Italian restaurant in Orange County.
Since opening in 1979 this restaurant has consistently earned top awards from the Southern California Restaurant Writers. 
Owner Antonio Cagnolo has always moved forward both in the decor and ambiance of the restaurant but also in its Italian cuisine.
Latest example is the skirt steak which we enjoyed on our visit.  The beef is rolled and then sliced with table service.  This has been added to the menu that already is three pages long.  The traditional northern Italian dishes are to be found here but also specialties by Chefs Gino Buonanoce and Salvatore Ferrara.
We opened with Mamma Pina, miniature ravioli with Bolognese sauce followed by our wonderful flavored skirt steak that came with asparagus and baby whole carrots.
The wine list offers  world wide selection of vintages with emphasis on California and Italian labels.
On first arriving at the restaurant we stepped into Antonello Enoteca lounge with its club library decor and ambiance.  Here we enjoyed cocktails that included martinis and gibsons.  With dinner we had a 2014 Austerity Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles.
The service staff here is well trained, attentive and knowledgeable with the menu items.  Our table service was perfect.
Antonello Ristorante and  Enotec lounge are located at 1611 West Sunflower Ave. in Santa Ana.  Telephone 714 751-7153, on the web at  It is open for lunch and dinner six days a week, closed Sundays.
Luncheon served from 11:30 a..m to 2 p.m. and dinner Monday-Friday 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., on Saturday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Our latest visit to Taix Restaurant reminded us once again how much we enjoy French country cooking and cuisine.
The occasion was to take part in Taix's 90th year celebration continuing its title as the oldest family owned restaurant in Los Angeles.
This celebration which continues through the month of July co insides with two French holidays--Bastille Day and French Independence Day.
Taix is now operated by the third and fourth generation of the Taix family.  Included in the celebration is a special pre fixe three course dinner as well as a different special French wine that will be available each day of July.
Our dinner opened with the restaurant's famed baked French onion soup, followed by calamari and then a house special, oven braised ox tails.  Others at our table had the Escargots de Bourgogne, baked lamb chops and NY steak.
The classic French dessert Tart Tartin completed our wonderful evening.
Our waiter was Jose Fragoso who has been with Taix for 32 years.  We also met and chatted with Bernard Inchauspe who has been with the restaurant for 52 years.  Actually there are eleven members of the staff who have been with the restaurant for at least  25 years.
But it is the wonderful French cuisine that brings people back to Taix again and again including this Writer
Taix French Restaurant is located at 1911 W. Sunset Blvd. with off street valet parking.  Telephone 213 484-1265, web

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The dedication ceremony that revealed the renovation of the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre proved a most interesting event.  The Ford has a long history, first built in 1920, then a fire required a rebuilt Ford in 1931.
The Ford now seats 1200 and new is The Zev, actually named Zev Yaroslavsky Terrace, which includes the Ford Terrace Cafe as well as new offices.  Crumble Catering will direct the Cafe operation.
The renovation included a new two tiered stage, expanded dressing rooms and new stone staircases.
The stage has been designed to look like the Gates of Jerusalem with new sound system and 522 new lighting fixtures.
An inaugural "Ignite@The Ford Series" will start a large summer series of concerts, shows and events.
The opening was well attended and included civic leaders, and those involved in the construction and renovation which started in 2012 and is now complete.  Also a large number of media were there.
Following dedication at the Theater all moved to the Zev Terrance for refreshments and luncheon prepared by Crumble. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Just as spectacular as our lodging at Pantai Inn were our culinary experiences in La Jolla.  One evening we were at the legendary Marine Room which has been entrancing diners since it first opened 75 years ago in 1941.
Literally  at surfside the dining room offers wonderful views of the beach and surf on the other side of their window view.
We met with Dexter Lacambacal, restaurant manager as well as Chef Ron Oliver.  My dining partner opened with the fennel roasted scallop with foie while I selected the signature lobster bisque.  Our entrees were the house specialty  turf and surf filet and lobster.  This restaurant has an award winning wine list and our selection was an Argentine Malbec
Just a block from Pantai Inn was Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar located in the Grande Colonial Hotel.  Here we met Summer Haines, director of food and beverage, who introduced us to Chef Jason Knibb.
I passed on what were a tempting list of appetizers saving my appetite for the sage crusted beef short ribs with arrived with artichoke and asparagus.  The short ribs were the best we had tasted in a long time.
My dining partner opened with the Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine followed by the roasted Colorado Lamb Loin.  Nine-Ten has on display a huge floor to ceiling wine rack with wines from around the world.
The Marine Room is located at 2000 Spindrift Drive in La Jolla.
Nine-Ten Restaurant at 910 Prospect Street in La Jolla.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

One of the places that we were determined to visit on this trip was the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Staying at Pantail Inn in La Jolla made this easy since it was only about a ten minute drive from the Hotel, pass  the lovely campus of UC San Diego,  to the Aquarium.  It enjoys a scenic location situated on a bluff overlooking a huge sweep of the Pacific Ocean below.
The Tode Hall of Fishes gallery starts with the Pacific Northwest Coast showing octopus, giant sun stars and  wolf eels.  Then a look at below the waves of San Diego Bay.  One exhibit shows a two story kelp forest and another some of the sea life in Mexican waters to the south.
Children enjoy the tide pools where they can actually touch some of the creatures
This is located on the plaza that also offers the majestic view of the Scripps facilities and long views of the sweeping rugged coast line of the ocean.
The Aquarium offers a full calendar of special summer events with special whale and wildlife cruises as well as a concert series.
We found the Birch Aquarium  educational but also a wonderful place to idle away some time on the serene patio with its wonderful overlooks.
Birch Aquarium is located at 9500 Gilman drive, La Jolla and road signs make it easy to find.  It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there is three hour complimentary parking.  For more information call 858 534-fish, on the web at

Friday, July 14, 2017

Our stay here at Pantai Inn in La Jolla resulted in a loss of words, well not really, but we do want to describe this remarkable getaway in detail.
Once again we were refugees from the steaming, hot San Fernando Valley and  told that we might enjoy a stay at an ocean front getaway named Pantai Inn in La Jolla.
Relatively new Pantai, with its Balinese inspired decor, offers a wide choice of  accommodations.  Ours was a two bedroom cottage fronting on La Jolla's famed rugged coastline complete with outdoor patio perfect for viewing 1. the ocean and 2. the many people that thronged Coast Avenue for 16 hours each day.
Besides our living room with its above mentioned views there was a kitchen complete with sink, micro wave and frig.
The staff here is wonderful, always most friendly and devoted to making the guest's stay an unforgettable experience.
Ranked as one of La Jolla's top hotels Pantai Inn has thirty rooms, suites and cottages, each unique and some designed for families with children. 
For us it was the perfect base for our exploration of what La Jolla and surrounding north San Diego areas have to offer the visitor.
More to come on what we did each day on this getaway where the ocean breezes kept us cool for a welcome change from  S F Valley triple digit temperatures.