CaliforniaExploring the west coast was not only a wonderful scenic vacation, but also gastronomic. A week is definitly not long enough to discover the different cities along the Pasific, nor long enough to discover as many cuisines and eateries.  Already working on my next trip back…

In Santa Barbera I would not miss out a wonderful dinner at San Ysidro Ranch‘s The Stonehouse.

A gas lamp lit dinner surrounded by trees and beautifully scented flowers give an extra flair to the already incredible meal.

Dont let the Tomato Consume fool you, it was one of the lightest yet richest cold soups I have ever had. And the Pan Seared Diver Scallops are cooked to perfection. The House-Made Fettuccini Carbonara with the trilogy of flavors eggs, truffles and “pata negra” ham was an exciting burst of flavors to the taste buds (I was told by my friend who enjoyed the dish). And one cannot forget the perfectly whipped mashed potatoes, a must side for your decadent evening meal.

Last but not least, enjoy a show and relive a little bit of your childish excitement with the Traditional Bananas Foster  prepared table side.

A wonderful dinner paired with perfect cocktails.

San Ysidro Ranch– 900 San Ysidro Ln, Montecito, CA 93108, United States

In Los Angeles we got to try out everything from In ‘n Out Burger, to a set 3 course dinner paired with wine at Gordon Ramsey at the London Hotel. But my top picks are Nobu Malibu, Neveux (ice cream) on Melrose and last but definitely not least Cecconi’s.

Nobu Malibu does not only have a breathtaking view but also exquisite menu. The Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno gives you the perfect kick to start off your meal, followed by a wonderful assortment of sushi and sashimi (DO NOT FORGET THE UNI) and my two favorite cut rolls, the Spicy Bigeye Tuna Roll and the Soft Shell Crab Roll. To end the Oceanside meal enjoy some green tea ice cream and maybe some sake of your choice.

Neveux has the most amazingly unique flavors of ice-cream from Cinnamon Date Tahini and Crème Fraîche to Espresso Caramel and Caliente Cinnamon Chocolate. I had the last 2 flavors in a bowl drowned with espresso … I learned that’s called an affogato, and it is now my favorite dessert combining my two biggest weaknesses coffee and ice cream.

Cecconi’s has amazing food, amazing cocktails and an amazing atmosphere. We had a 9pm reservation and the place was packed till we left at 11pm. The bar is always full and even their not-so-private private room had a crazy birthday party going on. The burrata, beets, avocado & pistachio is not to be missed– it was one of the creamiest burratas I’ve ever enjoyed (could have taken one to go for a post party snack). The grilled octopus was perfectly cooked, crispy and slightly smoky on the outside yet extremely tender. For our main dishes I had the special of the night with was ricotta stuffed ravioli with black truffles which was out of this world. I tried to eat as slowly as possible to savor every minute but I couldn’t. My friends had the linguine vongole which was also delicious but slightly over spiced and the pappardelle with wild boar ragout which was highly praised. To end this cream filled Italian night we had profiteroles & hazelnut gelato for dessert, epic ending to an epic dinner.

ps. every cocktail they have is tastier than the next, so better use Uber to get there and home.

Nobu Malibu -22706 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265, United States

Neveux – 7407 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, United States

Cecconi’s– 8764 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA, 90069, , United States

Also while in LA check out Bar Marmont, as well as the Hotel Lobby Bar, the vibe is great and so are the oysters, hand cut fries and of course the cocktails that come with a side of Hollywood glam.

Chateau Marmont– 8221 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046, United States


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