Tucked in at the back of an alleyway in the Rancho del Mar shopping center is a little taqueria called Sofia’s. The staff is friendly, the menu is hand-written on a white board, and they have my vote for the best chimichanga ever eaten.
California champagne—a delicious sparkling wine
Although we are a couple of weeks into 2013, it doesn’t mean that we should put away the Champagnes and sparkling wines. I love to open up a nice sparkler when friends come to visit, and a drop of bubbly always puts one in a celebratory mood.
Real Thai Kitchen updates both its look and its menu
The Seabright neighborhood’s Real Thai Kitchen, which is on my short list of Thai restaurants, has seen three owners in a year and a half. The current proprietor Ratana Bowden has made some changes, one of which is fortunately not the chef, who has dazzled me with her dishes since my first visit. There is, however, a new menu and interior.
Wining and dining in 2012
Now that 2012 is behind us, here is a partial list of local wining and dining I enjoyed last year. As you’re thinking ahead for 2013, you might want to visit some of these wonderful eateries and try their food and wines. Here’s wishing you all a very Happy New year. Cheers!
Focaccia brings a slice of Italy to Water Street
Grana Padano is popping up on menus around the county. This medieval cheese is made similarly to Parmagiano-Reggiano, but the cows graze a different terroir, and since it is not aged as long, I has a milder flavor.
Gazing out a window from the lounge at the Dream Inn’s Aquarius restaurant on a sunny mid-afternoon, the wharf stretched out on sapphire water while seagulls had the Cowells Beach sand to themselves.
Over our heads, pendant white surfboards faced the incoming waves, surrounded by soft strains of jazzy big-band music.
Oyunaa’s brings traditional Mongolian nomadic fare with a dash of Russia to midtown
In the 1970s, Mongolian barbecue chains spread like wildfire into strip malls across America. I recall gathering my choice of raw vegetables from a buffet and handing them over to a cook who would add meat and stir-fry it on a griddle; rather like the American version of Japanese teppanyaki without the cleaver acrobatics and flying shrimp.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Fandango in Pacific Grove is one of the most popular restaurants in the area. It has gained a fine reputation over the years due, in no small part, to the expertise of chef and owner Pierre Bain, who runs this upscale restaurant with his wife Marietta.
Rabelo Dessert Wine 2007
When Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard makes wine, he goes all out to make sure it is the very best product in every way. He is a talented and dedicated winemaker who likes a challenge—and he gravitates toward the more adventurous wines.
The long menu at Watsonville’s Cadillac Café offers sensory satisfaction
At any time of year, I find visiting the rural landscape rejuvenating. On a recent drive down Freedom Boulevard, cows on a hillside freely grazed on newly greened grass, while bright bundles of persimmon orbs dangled from leafless branches.