Saturday, October 01, 2011

#LA2BAY: The Night Before Dinner and Road Trip to San Francisco

Last March, I got to meet fellow Filipino bloggers from Northern California when they came to Los Angeles to enjoy the culinary dining scene down here. They nicknamed their trip #BAY2LA with a hashtag for Tweeting purposes.  During their visit, they met up with me along with other Filipino LA Food Bloggers and Food Lovers over a delicious BBQ meal with The Park's Finest BBQ and brunch at Fraiche. Flash forward 3 months later, a few of us decided to make the trek up to San Francisco for some great eats and to reconnect with our new-found friends. Of course, as an homage to them, we called this our #LA2BAY trip.

Most of us flew up to San Francisco, but my friend and fellow blogger, Cecilia and I decided to eat our way up to San Francisco via a road trip.  Of course, any good road trip starts with a "nice" meal the night before and on that Thursday night, chicken was on our mind, specifically Dinah's Chicken.

This was my first visit to Dinah's Chicken and upon entering it reminded me of a diner.  So what's good diner food? A milkshake, of course.  Unfortunately, although the strawberry milkshake I ordered was made with fresh strawberries, it didn't taste like it. Maybe, I should have gone for chocolate.
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Thursday nights at Dinah's Chicken is All You Can Eat Chicken Night and there are three different types of chicken that you can mix and match.  I decided to get one of each. First, there was the Honey Cinnamon Chicken, which is something I wouldn't order again.  The honey and the cinnamon just didn't work together well plus the glaze was just too sweet.  Second was the Chipotle Chicken, which was also a little too sweet and had an aftertaste that wasn't appealing. Sometimes, the original is best and that was the case here.  Although a tad greasy, the crispy skin of the Original Chicken saved that meal for me.

While my dinner at Dinah's was just so-so, at least, the company was wonderful. Thankfully, our first official road trip stop at D'Angelo Pastry and Bread Shop in Santa Barbara definitely made up for the night before.

This is actually my second visit with Cecilia to D'Angelo and just like before, we went there for a specific dish. Awhile back, Cecilia saw a dish called "Eggs" Rose on a Food Network Show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate.  An "Eggs" Rose is made up of two poached eggs on Kalamata olive toast with Mediterranean artichoke spread. With my first bite, I knew that the "Eggs" Rose was definitely one of the best things I ever ate and the same was true for the second time around.  The richness of the yolk cuts into the slight saltiness from the olive bread while the warm artichoke spread was like a warm hug on bread.

For good measure, we also shared a Cafe Mocha and an Almond Croissant sprinkled with Powdered Sugar.  The croissant, by the way, was nice and flaky and I loved how they didn't skimp on the almonds.

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco
#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco

An hour and half later, we went from breakfast to dessert as we made our second stop at Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab in Arroyo Grande.  It's an ice cream shop where all the ice cream is made in-house for both humans and canines.

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco #LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco #LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco

They refer to themselves as the only nostalgic ice cream parlor in the Central Coast and I like that they present their ice cream in old-fashioned glassware plus an extra bonus is that they make all their own waffle cones.

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco #LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco

Around the perimeter of the two rooms in the ice cream parlor, there's also a model train that makes it way through tunnels and bridges.

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco #LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco 

While we were there we also got a mini tour to check out their ice cream making machine and refrigerator.

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco #LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco 

Finally, we sat down to enjoy a Mud Pie on a Stick and a Merlot Raspberry Trufflce Ice Cream Sundae with Caramel.  Note to self, wine ice cream and caramel aren't a good match, but separately, they put a smile on my face.

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco

So what should come after ice cream?  Well, our vote was for clam chowder and not just any clam chowder, but the best I've ever had.  Off we went to Pismo Beach to the Splash Cafe.

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco 

This was actually my second time experiencing Splash Cafe's clam chowder. Since that first time which was a few years ago, I hadn't found a clam chowder even close to being as good.  That day, it was even better since it was topped with fresh crab. I just loved the creaminess and richness of this soup.  It was also chock full of clams and potatoes and the crusty bread bowl was the cherry on the sundae.

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco 

By the way, during our stop at Pismo Beach, there was actually a strange round light emanating from the sky. It felt very "War of the Worlds".  You can see what I mean by the photos below.

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco #LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco #LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco 

From clam chowder to strange lights, we walked next door to Hot Lix for a type of food that many may consider a "Bizarre Foods" show topic. At Hot Lix, it's all about the bugs.

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco  

  How about a snack of scorpions, grubs and grasshoppers?

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco #LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco 

Maybe, you're more into chocolate covered bugs?

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco #LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco 

What about bug lollipops?

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco #LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco #LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco 

I personally went for the chocolate covered grasshoppers and while not my normal choice for a sweet treat, it wasn't too bad.

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco 

Believe it or not, we actually made one more stop before arriving in San Francisco and it was in King City at Tacos La Potranca de Jalisco. 
#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco 

There my friend and I shared an Al Pastor Sope. I found it a tad greasy, but the meat had a good flavor and it was a nice way to end our road trip.

#LA2BAY: Road Trip to San Francisco 

Overall, this was a great way to start our #LA2BAY trip and there's definitely more foodie adventures I'll be sharing with you, so stay tuned

Dinah's Family Restaurant
6521 S Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 645-0456

D'Angelo's Bakery
5 W Gutierrez St
Santa Barbara, CA 93190
(805) 962-5466

Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab
114 W Branch St
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
(805) 474-4068

Splash Cafe
197 Pomeroy Ave
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
(805) 773-4653

Hot Lix
179 Pomeroy St
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
(805) 773-1942

Tacos La Potranca de Jalisco
201 Broadway St
King City, CA 93930
(831) 385-7500 ^


Bianca @ South Bay Rants n Raves said...

I really liked Dinah's! It became my lunch stop when I was at a week long seminar across the street at the Culver location I believe. Anyhow the food was really good.

pleasurepalate said...

I'll have to give it another try and maybe, order something else. What dishes did you like?

PrincessGourmet said...

Great write up! I want to join you on your next trip/adventure! :)

pleasurepalate said...

Your Highness, maybe, our next #LA2BAY trip should be another road trip? :)

Gastronomer said...

I'm definitely visiting D'Angelo's on my next trip to SB. The opened face sammie looks excellent!!