Some Of Our Favorites:
Ever wish you had someone you could trust to recommend (or bash!) a local establishment? Well, we’re very adventuresome and we travel a lot, so we don’t mind taking a chance on a new restaurant or service and we don’t mind recommending our favorites. If we find a website or other information, we’ll post it here. We’ve been to a lot of places in our travels, but these are just our regular and constant local favorites.

Rarely do we find ones to bash, but when they deserve it, we’ll let you know, and we’ll let you know why! Check at the bottom, that’s where they deserve to be anyway.

 

Web Design/Hosting

EngineHosting
http://www.enginehosting.com/
As rare as a perfect diamond - personal, attentive hosting on high-performance servers with reasonable rates.

Web-Witch
http://www.web-witch.com
Laurie takes care of all the technical details. Just tell her what you want. She exclusively uses EngineHosting for hosting.

 

Bakersfield, California

Restaurants

Crest Bar & Grill at the Bakersfield RV Resort
http://www.bakersfieldrvresort.com/restaurant.html
5025 Wible Road
Bakersfield, CA 93313
Phone: 661-833-9998

We don't have an RV but we do love to eat, and since service, ambiance and menu are important to us we seek out the best. The Crest Bar & Grill at the Bakersfield RV Resort has all three. Whether it's a business get together, a bunch of friends out for dinner, a stopover with your own RV or just date night, the Crest is where you'll find it. It's name may suggest simplicity but be prepared for just the opposite, imagine dining on one of the chef's special creations in a tiny piece of Bakersfield where you wouldn't know your still in Bakersfield! Truly an experience in fine dining. (And just like some of our other recommendations, stay out of bar stool #1, it's Dave's favorite!)

Hourglass Kitchen and Bar
http://www.hourglasskitchenandbar.com/
1120 Calloway Dr.
Bakersfield, CA 93312
Phone: 661-679-1977

The best little restaurant here in the Northwest! After our first visit, the Hourglass Kitchen and Bar on Calloway became an immediate favorite. With our local areas upwardly shifting growth, its a relief to find a restaurant we would expect to find in the finer areas down south. Menu items include the typical meats, chicken and fish, but are prepared exquisitely and with flair! The staff quickly became our true friends and although wed like to think were special, were sure that the same enthusiasm were greeted with is afforded to everyone. So far the area is still changing for the better and even though the younger clientele may still be used to blue jeans, rowdy joints and fast food, Hourglass has begun the gauntlet for change. A brave and appreciated endeavor!

Macaroni Grill
http://www.macaronigrill.com/
8850 Rosedale Hwy. (In the Home Depot center)
Bakersfield, CA 93312
Phone: 661-588-2277

Located in the growing Rosedale area, it’s a fantastic place with food David grew up on. More Sicilian in flavor, not generic or from a can as the typical Italian chain restaurants are. Macaroni Grill strives for perfection. Service here is best! Always a smile and always at the ready. For the start of a fun evening, eat here first then return for a nightcap. You won’t be sorry. And do Dave a favor, stay out of barstool #1, it’s Dave’s! Michael’s the general manager, so tell him we say hi!

Sandrini's
http://www.sandrinis.com
1918 Eye St.
Bakersfield, Ca. 93311
(661) 322-8900

A menu of Italian and Basque combinations that blend naturally in a downtown basement pub atmosphere. It's close to the food David grew up on so the ordering is easy. When it comes to Italian, we're hard to impress, yet Sandrini's has become a favorite. From David's daytime meetings at the bar to late night live entertainment, we can be found there quite often. The owner Brian Sandrini has turned out to be a real friend and Chelsea, our beautiful Goddaughter will serve up smiles with your meal.

Valentien
3310 Truxtun Ave.
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Phone: 661-864-0397

It had been about a year since we first began doing business in Kern County, all the while commenting on how we should stop in for dinner one night. All we can say is that we’re sorry it took a year! Valentien’s is wonderful! Just a small place but such charm and service! Dine indoors or on the patio but be ready to try some of California’s best wines. No menu per say, since it’s fresh each day they prepare a different fare every night. Just glance up at the marker board, we’re sure you’ll find fantastic choices. On the corner of Truxtun and Oak, see you there!

 

Orange County, California

Restaurants

The Arches
http://www.thearchesrestaurant.com/
3334 W. Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Daily 11:00am- 3:00pm, 4:30pm- 1:00am
Phone: 949-645-7077     Fax: 949-645-4718

Absolutely the best in dining and service anywhere! That’s why they’re 1st on our list. They make us feel like we’re the most important guests they’ve ever had. Never a rush, never in a hurry and everything on the menu is fantastic! They’ve even picked us up at the airport! Make reservations and enjoy.

21 Oceanfront
http://www.21oceanfront
2100 W. Oceanfront
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Phone: 949-673-2100
Fax: 949-673-2101

At the entrance to the Newport pier, you’ll have a fantastic view from the lounge. People or ocean watching at its best. Any of the seafood is great and most of it’s caught right offshore. You’ll love it!

Amelia’s Seafood & Italian Restaurant
(Haven’t found a website or a redirect for ‘em yet)
311 Marine Ave.
Balboa Island, CA 92662
Phone: 949- 673-6580
Fax: 949-973-5395

Ask for John or Hetty. Here too, the service is fantastic. For thirty years they’ve catered to visitors and locals alike. Obviously the seafood is fantastic! Nice to be someplace where they care you’ve chosen them feed you.

Morton’s Steakhouse
http://www.mortons.com
1641 W. Sunflower
Santa Ana, CA 92704
Phone: 714-444-4834

Oh here we go again, David loves steak and, well…maybe carrots. His friends love chicken, fish and vegetables. Well at Morton’s we get more of either than we can eat. Steak is steak right? Nuh-uh, this is a steak! Each one made to order and always perfect. Service here is always pleasant and they’re ready to please.

Carmello’s http://www.chowbaby.com/restaurantnameMsa.asp?restid=55952451
3520 E Coast Hwy
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625-2403
Phone: 949-675-1922

So far we haven’t found their website, but the above is a redirect that will give you all the info.
By day, an Italian restaurant with valet parking and dining indoors or on the patio just to watch the traffic along beautiful Coast Highway, and at night it’s one of Corona Del Mar’s hottest nightspots. Try for a Thursday or Friday if you like Salsa music, Tino (Noted below) mixes his unique blend with Italian as well. You can make a meal out of the antipasto plate itself, but save room for the entrée, any choice is great! (And say “Hi” to Tino for us!)

Tut’s
http://www.winhotel.com/hotelDetail.cfm?LocationID=1&view=wel
900 E. Birch Street
Brea, CA 92821
Phone: 714-990-6000
Fax: 714-990-1653

Located in Brea’s Embassy Suites Hotel, Tut’s caters to guests from all over the globe as well as us locals. With a varied menu at hand, you’re free to choose among many acclaimed dishes as it was voted one of Orange County’s best Restaurants. Tut’s Lounge is open from 11:00 to 11:00 daily and has a fantastic Sunday Brunch. You never know just what eccentric world view somebody’s gonn’a have or in what accent you’re gonn’a get it, but several times we’ve solved national issues over a round of drinks! Everyone’s a local here. And we have to say, Candice makes the best Kamikaze’s we’ve ever had!

 

San Diego, California

Restaurants

Bella Luna
http://www.sandiegorestaurants.com/bellaluna/
748 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
Open Daily for Lunch and Dinner from 11:30 am to 11:30 pm

Right in the heart of the Gas lamp District, you can dine indoors or on the sidewalk patio. Since we love to people watch, the patio is our favorite. Window shop for a while to work up a hunger and prepare to be satisfied. The pasta dishes are fantastic and the evenings special is really special.

Shopping:

Horton Plaza
http://www.westfield.com/us/centres/california/hortonplaza/
At the…north? End of the Gas Lamp district you’ll find San Diego’s greatest shopping wonder. What began as a city improvement project to refurbish San Diego’s historic town plaza, wound up being one of the major downtown redevelopment plans of the 1970s and 1980s. The way it’s laid out keeps you looking for more. Lot’s to see and do and oh, bring your walking shoes!

 

San Francisco, California

Restaurants

Ristorante Fior d’Italia
http://www.fior.com
601 Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone: 415-986-1886
Mon-Sun 11:30am-10:30pm

America’s oldest Italian restaurant, on May 1, 1886, in the heart of San Francisco’s North Beach. , the pasta is among the best the city has to offer and the service is impeccable. We make an effort to stop here every trip. You won’t be disappointed!

Shopping

Ghirardelli Square
http://www.ghirardellisq.com
Began in 1893, a spectacular building program that extended over 11 years, Ghirardelli Square was the result and is now, of course, a San Francisco landmark. Plan to spend a whole day here, breakfast, lunch and dinner is available, only interrupted by the wide choice of shopping that can be done.

 

Santa Barbara, California

Hotels

Harbor View Inn
http://www.harborviewinnsb.com/about/
28 West Cabrillo Blvd,
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805-963-0780
Fax: 805-963-7967

Absolutely our favorite! You can find us there about every other month ‘cause it’s first class all the way. We recommend staying in one of the very spacious suites at the west end on the inn. Around $700.00, the views of the ocean, pool and wharf can be seen from your balcony making views in any direction worth taking in and the staff caters to your every need. In typical fashion of a Spanish villa, the landscape is beautifully manicured, inviting guests to simply stroll the grounds to take in its’ splendor. Rarely did we find reason to leave the inn but we do enjoy walking downtown, and the inn is very close. Dining in Eladio’s, the inns’ restaurant was worth the drive alone! Excellent selections of seafood, steaks and pasta dishes with a well appointed bar and lounge.

Four Seasons Biltmore
http://www.fourseasons.com/santabarbara
At the southern end of Santa Barbara, the Biltmore sits in the heart of Montecito. Originally built in the 1920’s as a private residence, it’s now a lavish beachfront resort with a staff that assures your comfort at every turn. Suites are between one and two thousand but boy are they worth it, and pets are allowed too! It’s a bit far to walk to the downtown area so you’ll need transportation. Dining is available in the Biltmore at La Marina, but we found that we enjoyed other restaurants a bit more. Maybe just because it’s so far from the heart of downtown, maybe it was just an off night for them, we’d love to give them another try though.

Restaurants

Enterprise Fish Co.
http://www.enterprisefishco.com/
Santa Barbara's favorite Seafood Restaurant has been serving the freshest mesquite charcoal broiled fresh fish and seafood for almost 25 years with one of the largest daily fresh fish and appetizer selections in the city. A couple of blocks inland from Stearns Wharf, the Enterprise Fish Co. is located in the Amtrak parking lot above State Street. Reservations are recommended but for quick seating, pull up a table in the bar. Lots to see from here and anything you order is sure to please, go for the lobster! Our favorite server is Ander, beautiful name and beautiful gal, but everyone who works there is just as friendly and ready to please.

 

Seattle, Washington

Restaurants

Morton’s of Chicago/Seattle
http://www.mortons.com
Hey! It’s Morton’s! What can we say that wasn’t said above in Orange County?

Shopping

Pike Street Market
1511 Sixth Ave
Seattle, WA 98101-1759
Phone: 206-223-0550

There's always something happening at Seattle's landmark Pike Street Market, on the waterfront just a few minutes' walk from the heart of the city's financial and shopping districts.

Ventura, California

Restaurants

Sicily By Gino
http://www.sicilybygino.com/
We stumbled upon this little place while walking the downtown area and as usual, if it's Italian we'll stop in. So glad we did! We're very picky about our meals as well as the experience as a whole...A definite recommendation here! A grateful afternoon will lead to many returns!

 

Morro Bay, California

Hotels

Blue Sail Inn
http://www.bluesailinn.com
851 Market Ave
Morro Bay, CA 93442
Sitting atop the bluff, overlooking the Embarcadero and Morro Rock with easy access to the embarcadero's main boardwalk Here you're in the hub of activity, yet secluded above it all. People watching at it's best! Our favorite room is the Point Bichon Suite although the lesser priced rooms are fantastic as well.

Inn at Morro Bay
http://www.innatmorrobay.com
60 State Park Road
Morro Bay, California 93442
Phone: 800-321-9566 805-772-5651

Located a few minutes south of the city just inside Morro Bay State Park. A private hideaway to call your own with just about every room having an ocean view. If not, the pool and gardens provide a tranquil setting as well. The cottage is ours, separated from the Inn, right at waters edge. Sure to be everyone's favorite.

Restaurants

Orchid's
http://www.innatmorrobay.com/dining.asp
Located inside the Inn at Morro Bay, Orchid's offers a dining experience unique among the Bay's restaurants. Take in a sunset over the water while listening to live music as you watch the boats return to the harbor as night falls and the moon rises over the Pacific. They serve the freshest seafood and grilled meats with a Mediterranean flair and be sure to check their wine list of more than 250 fine wines from Old World vineyards as well California.

 

Misc

Entertainer

Tino Macchia and his Orchestra
http://www.tinoproductions.com
Phone: 949-597-8466
We got to be friends with Tino around ten years ago when he was performing at a local restaurant and knew immediately he was destined for stardom. We were right, now Tino is in the spotlight himself playing for such venues as the Jerry Lewes Telethon and in 1997, Tino was invited to perform on Europe’s equivalent of our “Grammy Awards” televised internationally. He’s opened for major stars yet hasn’t forgotten his roots, he performs locally as well. Try Carmello’s (See Orange County Restaurants) in Corona Del Mar Thursday and Friday nights as well as various bookings in and around Orange County. Check the Website for details, you wont regret it!

 

Bashings

Pretty much any Jack-in-the-Box, Mc Donald’s, Taco Bell or Burger King.
We don’t ask for much, just to be served what we order without constant interruptions asking us if we’d like to super size it, cheese when we ordered a hamburger or that blank stare we get when we’ve listed everything we wanted to order only to be asked “What”? In America we believe we should be allowed to order in English and be understood as well as get a correct order. Oh, and would a “Thank you” be too much to ask?


The Chart House, Oceanside, CA
What used to be a favorite haunt for both of us, even before we knew each other, has began it’s transformation into the typical corporate entity that places emphasis on caring for the Accounting Department rather than the customer. After years of seeing its decline, we finally had it when it took eleven minutes to see our waiter, nine minutes to get the wine and another fifteen to take our order. Thirty five minutes later we just left. Really guy’s, try harder, we’d love to come back.

The Merry-Go-Round Dinner House, Lone Pine, CA
Cute little place just off Highway 395. Used to have great steaks and such but lately it’s gone about as far downhill as Death Valley’s altitude. After ordering a steak, our friend noted that it had been cooked medium, rather than medium rare. She politely informed our waitress who replied, “Do you remember me asking earlier if everything was ok?” and took the steak away in a huff. The Manager returned with the steak cut in half and pointed out that “at least the center was rare”, and left it for our enjoyment. Rare indeed, ‘bout as rare as we were when we all just stood up and walked out. We’ve related the story to other friends and have heard similar tales. From now one, we’ll just go-‘round the Merry-Go-Round and put off any hunger until we get to civilization. Besides, Furnace Creek Inn at Death Valley is worth driving by Lone Pine!