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The Many Facets of Californian Cuisine

Experiencing the flavors of a destination is one of the top reasons people travel, and California has plenty to whet the appetite from undiscovered local haunts to haute cuisine and everything in between. The story of the Golden State is waiting to be discovered one table at a time.

LOCAL GEMS


Damburger

If you’re looking for a damn good burger head to Damburger, a Redding institution since 1938. The founders started selling hamburgers from a tent outside the hiring hall for the construction of the Shasta Dam. Regulars have their order permanently written on a tag and it’s sent to the kitchen when they walk in the door. 


Wonder Women

Girl power abounds at Fort Bragg’s Princess Seafood, a restaurant and market featuring the catch of the day caught by the all-female fishing crew. You can count on the fish to be sustainably caught and sashimi grade. 


It’s a Sign

In Sausalito’s Karl the Store, an eclectic clothing and décor shop, a vintage sign advertising “Ruth’s Homemade Pies” caused so many customers to inquire about buying pies that owner Kate Green finally decided to put her baking license to use and launched Slice of Sausalito. Now her pies, all made from family recipes, are available at the home goods store for those in the know. 

 


STAR POWER


Techie Tastes

Nestled in Silicon Valley’s dining destination of Morgan Hill is the Michelin-starred farm-to-table Odeum. Odeum provides a canvas for Chef Salvatore Calisi to showcase his culinary art, as well as gallery space for a rotating line-up of local artists to display their works. The menu fuses Roman, Greek and Mediterranean eats.


Michelin Magnet

San Luis Obispo County  is a foodie paradise with three Michelin rated eateries. Score one of the 12 seats at the chef’s counter at the one star Six Test Kitchen to experience a seasonal 12-course tasting adventure. Steakhouse Ox + Anchor and , featuring classic American fare and great wine, both earned a Michelin Plate designation. Featured in the Michelin Guide, Grenada Bistro in SLO CAL is a modern spin on classic French Bistro fare. 


Carlsbad First

French bistro, Jeune et Jolie, helmed by acclaimed Chef Eric Bost scored the first Michelin star for any restaurant in Carlsbad. The unpretentious bistro reimagines French classics through the lens of California cuisine. The eatery features both a prix fixe menu and à la carte options.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS

 

Across the Border

Local restauranteurs, Chris St. Martin and Ryan Dierks, who got their start in the business at Truckee’s iconic Cottonwood restaurant, bring the flavors of Mexico to historic Truckee at Como. The unique restaurant offers elevated Mexican food and cocktails in an inspired space created in collaboration with Tahoe based artists and  designers.


French Flair

Named for local legend Lola Montez, a gold-rush era performer who tantalized and scandalized audiences across the country, Nevada City’s Lola Dining tempts diners with farm-to-table cuisine with a French twist. Don’t miss a pre- or post-dinner cocktail at the adjacent National Bar, the region’s most storied watering hole.


Italian 

Get a taste of Italy in Fresno at The Annex Kitchen.  Tapping into the seasonal offerings of farmers throughout Central California, the menu reflects the rustic and ingredient focused cooking of regional Italy. Homemade pastas, wood-fired pizzas, grilled meats and vegetables from a wood burning hearth are paired with modern crafted cocktails that pay homage to the classics.


Asian Eats

For over a century the Ishibashi family farmed the fertile land of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Today, the luxury eco-resort Terranea in Rancho Palos Verdes pays homage to the family with its restaurant bashi. The eatery blends Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asian dishes and sushi. 


 

FARM-TO-TABLE


Cornucopia of Goodness

With its large agriculture industry, Salinas is known as the “Salad Bowl of the World.” Visitors can taste the local bounty with modern Mexican cuisine at Villa Azteca, traditional Italian eats at Mangia and the recently opened James Dean Burgers & More


Hot Date

Music lovers know it for its iconic festival, but foodies know that the Coachella Valley is home to 95% of dates grown in the country. For over a century, Shields Date Garden has been serving up the delectable dried fruit in many forms, including its famous date shake. The store has a café where dates are the star of the breakfast and lunch menu. 


Harvest Time

Nestled on the 87-acre Ranch at Laguna Beach resort is the Harvest Garden, a biodynamic garden that serves as a test kitchen and supply source for the resort’s California cuisine restaurant, Harvest. Additionally, travelers can take weekly tours of the garden. 


Eat Local

Want something local to pair with Temecula wine? Head to E.A.T., a restaurant focused on locally grown, clean, sustainable food for everyone from carnivores to vegans. The eatery sources from local purveyors, ranches and small farms. 


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