So you are in California and you want great food, service, fun and atmosphere especially for the family or with a large group? Farrell's more than provides these. After a company brand revamp in the early 2000s, Farrell's has enjoyed enormous crowds and remarkable overall success.
Farrell's is a throwback celebratory Americana establishment that originated in OR but is now known as a California institution. Both the young and old have praised Farrell's over the years for its Hot Fudge Sundae, All American Burger, fun parties and super vivacious staff. Consider to make reservations well in advance!
Prices are phenomenal inside- with about every entrée under $12.
Farrell's is located mainly in southern CA, in the following cities:
Farrell's is also in Hawaii! Check it out at farrellshawaii.com
Favorite Dish: Grown-up Grilled Cheese
Maturity of sourdough with 5 cheeses including gouda. Add tomatoes for free.
While in the greater Palm Springs area, arrive in Rancho Mirage for extended fun in the sun. When hungry, try Piero. This is a somewhat upscale Italian restaurant but is affordable and though more suitable for a romantic and adult festive, is accomodating also for families with small kids.
The pizzas are quite creative and fit that typical California style. If you like more traditional NY or Chicago style, you may be disappointed. Piero pizza is fancy and made with a lot of fuss-artsy and fun with a variety of ingredients.
Besides pizza, there are wonderful looking salad, meat/seafood dishes and desserts.
Favorite Dish: Pizza Pazza:
crisp, flat-bread pizza topped with tricolore salad, arugula
If you like enjoy the feel of eating meat but hate what it does to your health, well, you may find a solution at the Veggie Grill. Wheat meat sandwiches resembling the hamburger, as well as fake-but-hearty chicken sandwiches, salads, guilt-free sides like fries and desserts - are featured on the menu at the newly conceived Veggie Grill.
Located both in northern and southern CA, as well as in Oregon and Washington, the Veggie Grill is a cozy, little café that is vegetarian and vegan friendly hangout -- but even a meat-lover can be turned on to healthier and tasty offerings here. Service is relatively fast, smooth and very friendly. Staff is very informative about the unique Veggie Grill menu. See website for details. Expect a casual and unassuming atmosphere (which is not so, so common to say of So Cal vegetarian places)
Favorite Dish: sweet potato fries (not fried!)- this is a fun way to eat veggies!
Shopping along the Colorado Blvd near Fair Oaks, Raymond, Green, etc. area of Pasadena is a lot of fun but the restaurant choices tend to fall into two categories: high class, expensive fare or places like McDonalds. If neither of those options sounds good to you then may I suggest you head over to a little place called Jake's, which isn't more than a niche at the edge of an alley along Colorado. It's been around since 1947. Any place in business that long must be good and it really is and very reasonably priced as well.
Favorite Dish: The cheeseburgers are terrific but if you want to try something a little different, get the chicken breast on a bun and add apricot sauce. Trust me - it's delicious! And just the fact that this place offers apricot sauce as a topping shows that this is more than just your average burger joint.
There's a chain of hot dog restaurants in Chicago called Portillos and when they first came to Southern California, all the transplanted Chicagoans were REALLY excited. I didn't understand why - until I ate here.
They serve a wide variety of foods but they're known for their hot dogs for a reason - they're fantastic! They have a fun set-up here: you go stand in line and order from a counter and then move down to the pick-up area where they call your number in a rhyme, "Number 8 - You're Meal's Gonna Be Great!" or "Number 2, Who are you?" Very cute but because this place is always busy, it really keeps things moving quickly. They have nice outdoor seating too, which is great just about any day of the year here in Southern California.
Favorite Dish: Just the regular Portillo's Beef Dog is the best, in my opinion. It's flavorful and sits on a great poppy seed bun. Here's a hint - order cheese sauce on the side and they'll give it to you in a little plastic cup. The cup holds WAY more sauce than if you had them just put it directly on the hot dog so then you have some left over for dipping your fries (which are also fantastic, by the way).
Long before the theme park, back when Buena Park was mostly farms, Mr. & Mrs. Knott came to the area and needed some money so Mrs. Knott set up a little stand to sell her family's berries and jams and then she started serving lunch - fried chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes - all delicious.
The restaurant is still here and while it's most likely not as delicious as when Mrs. Knott was cooking it herself, it's still really good chicken - moist, tender chicken breasts - plus all the fixin's. If you're in the area, this should be on your Must-See list.
Just be careful - if you come on, for example, a Sunday at lunch time you're going to be in line for AGES. Try to come bright and early - 11am - or later, after the lunch rush.
The dining room is pleasant, one area has a little waterfall, but if you don't want to go in and sit down and be waited on because you just can't afford the time, then bear in mind that there is a "To Go" shop next door where you can get boxed lunches of basically all the same stuff you get in the sit down area. You have to get the soup separate and dessert isn't included but at the very least you can get that delicious chicken, those amazing mashed potatoes, and the addictive little biscuits.
Favorite Dish: You have to get the chicken dinner! I can't believe how many times I've been to this restaurant and seen someone ordering the tostada or a cheeseburger or something besides the chicken. Hello? It's the chicken dinner restaurant! Get the chicken! Like I said in another restaurant review, going somewhere famous for one dish and then ordering something else is like going to In-N-Out and not getting a cheeseburger. If you're a local, then sure, go ahead and try something else but, if you're a tourist, get what they're famous for.
The chicken dinner is HUGE. Be prepared to take some home. You get two VERY large breasts plus a lot of sides. You can choose between corn or rhubarb and soup or salad plus you get biscuits and mashed potatoes. Dessert has options as well but you definitely need to order the boysenberry pie!
And I really should stop telling you what to order but the chicken noodle soup is out of this world. Skip the salad and get the soup, you won't be sorry. The broth isn't really a broth but a creamy delight. It's just a small cup, thank goodness, so there's still a little room for the rest of your meal but some days I could eat a bottomless bowl of the stuff:-)
We had spent a lovely weekend in L.A./Hollywood so now it was time to head home. But of course, we were hungry and we let it be known to our owners that they had to stop and get us some food. Luckily, mom had a Groupon for The Best Fish Taco in Ensenada, and since the restaurant was nearby, we stopped in. Oh my, the aroma was making us drool, so as soon as mom and dad opened the hatch, we jumped out and found our place at the table.
Favorite Dish: Joseph the owner it a truly amazing guy. He made some special food for us as our owners munched down on Shrimp Tacos, Fish Tacos and Potato Tacos. Overall, a wonderful experience and we look forward to returning the next time we are in L.A.
Roscoe's is one of those places that when you first hear of it you think, "Huh?" because the combination does sound strange - they serve chicken and waffles.
Evidently, as the story goes, it was originally developed in the 1920s when people were going out dancing. They'd leave the last club so late at night that it was actually early morning. Some people were hungry for dinner, some were hungry for breakfast and so clever Roscoe combined the two meals and now we reap the benefits of that culinary creativity.
The restaurant serves other things, southern style cooking, which is very good but, really, why would you go somewhere that's famous for one thing and not get that one thing???? It's like going to In -N- Out and not getting a cheeseburger.
President Obama has stopped here and I have taken many guests from out of state to Roscoe's and, although hesitant at first, they always leave very full and very happy. It's something you have to try if you come to Southern California.
It's reasonably priced and the restaurant is comfortable, not fancy at all.
Favorite Dish: The chicken is fried and it is SO good - moist and tender on the inside, crispy and flavorful on the outside. The waffles are soft and delicious. There's just something about those two together that knocks your socks off. Dipping the chicken in the syrup? Not to be missed, trust me.
$9 as of November 2012. The inside is kinda small with only two tables and four chairs. Most people order their food to go. Hours are 10 AM to 8 PM daily. I had Beef Luleh Kabob which was pretty good. Large portions too!
Nice place to sit on the patio, listen to the music, and eat bar style food (burgers, pizza, fish and chips). They also have a number of types of beer available. Décor includes a number of posters of Rock and Rollers from the 70s and 80s (think Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin and Motley Crue), and a poster for Wounded Warriors. Since it was Halloween the waitresses were in costume and most quite cute. For some reason the waiters were not really in costume (I guess they were cute too, I am not a good judge of cute as per guys). My fish and chips was pretty good; but the best thing was hanging out with the VTers!
The decor was not so great but the service was quick and the food excellent. They advertise that they serve only hormone-free chicken, fresh seafood, and NO trans-fat. Best food I had in town. I had Clam Chowder and Cajun Grilled Catfish with a side of Rice Pilaf and fruit salad; it was all very good. $20 as of October 2012.
Favorite Dish: Great Cajun Catfish!
The décor was nothing to get excited about; but the waiters looked fancy in dress shirts and ties. The menu was varied with seafood and some European dishes. Carrasco's is associated with the Hacienda Hotel. My Sole Stuffed with Crab Meat was quite good. $15 as of October 2012.
Favorite Dish: Sole Stuffed with Crabmeat.
I was a little disappointed they did not have Pork Bulgogi; but the Beef Bulgogi was very good. Décor was similar to most Asian restaurants. I was the only non-Korean there. They also serve beer, wine and Korean/Japanese alcoholic drinks like Soju (a liquor); Makkoli (a Korean Rice Wine), and Sake. $10 as of October 2012.
Favorite Dish: The Beef Bulgogi was quite authentic and tasty.
Chili's is a chain restaurant and one is much like the others. The décor is fairly nice and the food consistently good. I started my meal with some very tasty Chicken and Sausage Soup and ordered the Cajun Chicken Pasta. Honestly, I did not taste much "Cajun" but it was still good. My waiter, Michael, was excellent. $18 as of October 2012.
Favorite Dish: The Cajun Chicken Pasta did not seem too Cajun; but was good anyway.
This place looked pretty nice outside and had nice furnishings and photos of past visitors to town (see Albert Einstein and former President Ronald Reagan in the photos). I had Penne Pasta with Shrimp and Crab in an Alfredo Sauce which was quite good and some good clam chowder as the appetizer. Recommended! $19 as of October 2012.
Favorite Dish: Loved the Penne Pasta with Shrimp and Crab in an Alfredo Sauce and the clam chowder!
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