Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Papa Lennon's

515 West El Roblar Drive
CA 93023

We rode up to Ojai and rewarded ourselves with lunch at Papa Lennons another of Mark's recommendations. The courtyard's dappled shade and ivy clad walls contributed to the laid back vibe.

We perused the menu before heading inside to order some dishes to share.

The won-ton chicken salad contained shredded romaine lettuce, cabbage, carrots, diced red onion, roma tomatoes, chicken, green onions, coriander and fried won-ton skins tossed with a Thai peanut dressing. The combination of fresh flavours and textures was great and the serving generous.

I'd never tried golden beetroot before, which was a feature of 'The Beetnik' along with spring mix, roasted red beets, candied walnuts, goat cheese rolled in fresh herbs and dried cranberries with a honey herb infused vinaigrette. The bright coloured 'roots lived up to their name and the flavours were similar to the traditional variant. The melange was also well balanced and tasty!

We also shared a Mediterranean Pizza mozzarella topped with cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, zucchini and eggplant, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, feta cheese and pesto. The base was thin and crisp and the generous portion of toppings packed with those southern European flavours.

We finished up with 'long blacks', which Mark orders by specifying the addition of  a little hot water to an espresso to get the right drink, including the crema.

Papa Lennon's was a great place to hang out and re-fuel mid ride, the service was friendly and relaxed. The bill came in at a fair $34.33 and we thought it was a great spot for a mid ride break!

Papa Lennon's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mi Amor Cafe

234 E Hwy 246
CA 93427

We stopped for lunch in Buelton, ending up at the Mi Amor Cafe.

We shared a roast veggie sandwich and an avocado wrap.  The wrap was fresh tasting, surpassing our limited expectations. The sandwich was a little heavier and more filling.

Mi Amor Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Nature's Grill

566 E Main Street
CA 93001

Mark took us to Natures Grill on the Main street of Ventura.

We visited on a Saturday lunch time and it was buzzing with plenty of the tables occupied. After  perusing the menu and ordering at the counter we found ourselves a booth and waited for our meals.

Mark had the Turkey Burger, the patty was topped with grilled red onion, lettuce, tomato and sprouts served on a locally baked whole wheat bun with Thousand Island dressing, which didn't disappear  quite as quickly as the blurry photo suggests!

The Vegetarian Tamale contained pinto beans, organic corn, peanuts, green chiles, sea salt and garlic wrapped in corn masa. It was topped with ranchero sauce and sour cream and was served with short grain brown rice and beans and proved to be a winner.

I went for the Zen Burger featured a whole grain and vegetable patty with lettuce, tomato, sprouts and garlic mayo in another locally baked bun. The package of flavours worked well together, and the patty was moist yet held together pretty well. After eating the Zen I was suitably sated.

Each of the healthy and wholesome plates came in around a fair $8 and got to us in a reasonable time given the number of patrons. Nature's Grill lived up to its name and we were happy with Marks's suggestion.

Nature's Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Rosa's Italian Restaurant

491 Price Street 
Pismo Beach
CA 93449

We stayed in Pismo Beach for a night an interesting stop, with a great stretch of sand and a diverse mix of visitors. We ended up having dinner around the corner from our motel at Rosa's 'fine dining' Italian. The interior had a bit of a Mission feel and the tables were set with white linen.

I went for the "Capellini al Naturale" featuring lots of fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, virgin olive oil atop the pasta. The dish of basic ingredients was well executed.

The "Cozze Della Casa" was packed with mussels, sea scallops, artichokes, garlic, basil in a light tomato sauce on the capellini pasta.It was an extravaganza of seafood flavors, which despite its size was fully devoured with only a little of my help.

The service veered between over and under attentive, but was always friendly. The bill came to $49 including a few drinks which didn't seem outrageous. The twilight down on the beach after was gorgeous too.

Rosa's Italian Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, September 28, 2015

Loulou's Griddle In the Middle

Municipal Wharf 2
CA 93940

Before having dinner we strolled around the Monterey foreshore including the more developed Wharf and up to Cannery Row. We returned to the quieter Wharf 2 near the beach to eat at "Loulou's Griddle In the Middle". The restaurant is small with a few tables outside.

Inside there are stools against the bar and another 4 or 5 tables, we got one of those, the decor was homely and almost kitsch. The menu featured several of the local favourites taking advantage of the proximity to the ocean.

The Sand Dabs featured "delicate white fish from the bay" served with french fries and salad looked good and went down well.

I decided to try the award winning Loulou’s homemade Clam Chowder chowder, and went the whole hog with the Sourdough Bread Bowl option. The soup was creamy as promised and full of flavours from the sea. Consuming the meal without making a huge mess was a challenge which I think I just about managed to get away with!

The atmosphere and service was pretty laid back and it felt like a nice spot to watch the world go by through the big windows. The meal came to $45 with drinks and a tip, which seemed like good value. The sunset was beautiful too.

Loulou's Griddle In The Middle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, September 25, 2015

Las Palmas Taco Bar

55 Front Street
Santa Cruz
CA 95060

The first stop on the trip south along the coast was Santa Cruz where we had lunch at Las Palmas Taco Bar, not far from the ocean. It is a fairly unprepossessing building surrounded by roads and a carpark, but we were hungry!

We both choose the regular veggie burrito featuring large flour tortilla, beans, onions, guacamole, sprouts and salsa verde. The filling was heavy on the beans, but satisfying.

Our burritos did take a while to arrive, but we did order just after a few other groups and at $3.50 each they were a great value way to sate our hunger.

Las Palmas Taco Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, September 24, 2015


4068 18th Street
San Francisco
CA 94114

We met up with Matt for dinner on 18th Street at Lark, which was pretty busy for a Tuesday evening. The exterior is fairly plain and inside the look is chic, dark and on the minimal side.

We kicked off by sharing the hummus served with pita bread which was a tasty way to start the meal.

I had the Roasted Eggplant which was topped with spring vegetables, baked mozzarella and fresh tomato and basil sauce. It was served with asparagus and roasted cherry tomatoes. The flavour combinations worked well making for an enjoyable dish.

Matt had the Tiger Prawn Skewers. The grilled house marinated prawns came with parsley, olive oil, sumac and fresh lemon. He certainly seemed to enjoy them.

The baked Salmon Stuffed fennel, leeks, spinach and mustard dill fumé sauce was a winner.

We shared a side of the Truffle French Fries. The deep fried hand-cut Kennebec potatoes were coated in house seasonal herbs and shaved Parmesan and were a great addition to the meal.

The service was friendly and our meals came at a relaxed pace. The bill came in at $121.80 including a couple of drinks each which seemed fair for some good food.

Lark Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Caffe Trieste, San Francisco

601 Vallejo Street
North Beach
San Francisco
94133 CA

We had a late lunch at Caffe Trieste on Vallejo Street in North Beach. The colourful exterior was matched by an atmospheric interior. There were a few patrons at the outdoor tables and more inside.

Both the long black and flat white coffees were good.

We both re-charged with slices of the veggie pizza, which featured a reasonably deep base and a crisp crust. The toppings were generous and flavoursome.

The staff were just a little on cool side and the pizza slices took a while to come out, but our hunger was sated...

Caffe Trieste Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, September 21, 2015

Réveille Coffee Co., San Francisco

4076 18th Street
San Francisco
CA 94114

Our first meal in San Francisco was breakfast down the street from our AirBnB apartment in Noe. We wandered down to 18th Street, then headed towards Castro, stopping at Réveille Coffee Co.  

The fit out inside was pretty cool, but after ordering at the counter we chose to sit outside at the untreated wood, bar tables on the edge of the sidewalk. Our coffees arrived first and were decent Americanos reminiscent of long blacks  from home.

We both chose the avocado and egg which came on a slice of sour-dough toast. Although a straightforward breakfast dish, it was well prepared and set us up for our day exploring the city.

The service was friendly and we didn't have to wait too long. If we are ever in the area again, we'd happily head back.

Réveille Coffee Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, September 18, 2015

Siam Square, Waikiki

408 Lewers St
Waikiki, Honolulu
HI 96815

The first time we had walked past, we'd found Siam Square closed. On our second night in town it was open so we decided to give it a try. It is up some stairs on and entered off Lewers street, near the corner with Kuhio.

Inside there was a bit of a Thai vibe with the décor, and the lit up menu downstairs certainly highlighted the countries architecture.

It was pretty busy when we showed up, and we waited a little while for our meals. The seafood with ginger and chilli paste was fine.

The Massaman chicken was good too without being a standout.

The service seemed a little haphazard, maybe just because it was busy. The bill came to $53 with a couple of beers, and our overall impression was of a competent Thai restaurant without going beyond that.

Siam Square Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato