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Category Archives: Food

There’s No Substitution.

While many appetizing descriptors come to mind, suffice to say this incredible mound of meat is worth every dollar, no matter how many more dollars it seems to command these days. There’s no substitution for steak tartare at the Polo Lounge. A true indulgence it continues to be!

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Posted by on March 16, 2018 in And That's My Opinion, Food, Restaurants

 

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The Dish That Never Fails

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What the Musso & Frank Grill has done for almost 100 years, it continues to do flawlessly.  There’s just no going wrong here with liver and onions!  This impeccable dish never fails; it’s a delicious classic well worth the trip on any given day,

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2018 in And That's My Opinion, Food, Restaurants

 

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Between Excellent & Outstanding…

Opt for the descending cable car ride, or choose the many terraced steps through lush foliage. Either way, you’ll soon have arrived more than halfway down a pristinely landscaped waterfront embankment to the front door of a truly unique and captivating establishment. While architecture dazzles and decor delights– both outside and in– where you end up sitting makes all the difference, not between good and bad, but rather excellent and outstanding.

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The seating decision, while a challenging one, likely came well before your arrival. After all, do you have dining reservations, might you be looking for a lighter bite, or are you simply en route to a refreshing oak-cask Negroni at the bar? In any event, all of these scenarios are welcome here at this impressive spot of social history, the one-and-only watering hole of its kind.

The tuna poke appetizer is surprisingly generous; the unfortunate fried chicken sandwich can be forgotten, and may you not be misled by the “ahi melt”– not the rare steak I anticipated, but rather just a fancier name for… you guessed it.  All this and much more is merely in the bar, on the Rock Room menu.  The main show gets underway in the dining room, with seating options spread out over three descending levels no less. (Remember: you entered mid-embankment; the water is still a ways down.) Here now to razzle-dazzle your palate comes the impeccable blackened lamb, taking the gold medal on the dinner menu, if I may say so. Alongside it comes such close competitors as “seafood campanelle”, osso bucco and the typically fail-proof prime rib, among all else– and believe me, there’s plenty “else.”

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After the last bite and sip– be it lighter bar fare or no-holds-barred dining– your satisfaction has no excuse for being any less complete than mine, unless of course you insisted on that one tired chicken sandwich.  No matter what you eat and drink here, your ingestion is just half of the total experience, maybe two-thirds with the lamb, while the remainder comes in the unsurpassed architecture, layout and decor with which you’re surrounded.  Altogether, this is the standout establishment to patronize whenever you pass through Capitola, California. This is where ‘excellent’ is trumped only by ‘outstanding’. This is Shadowbrook.

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Posted by on September 7, 2016 in Drink, Food, Restaurants, Reviews

 

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To a T.

Considering the more-than-generous portions at less-than-outrageous prices, with soup and salad courses included, alongside classicly well-poured libations, altogether it might just be the best deal in town.  After almost 60 years, this special dining spot clearly has it all down to a T.

Tee-Off Santa Barbara

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2014 in And That's My Opinion, Drink, Food, Restaurants, Reviews

 

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“Seared” Into Memory…

There’s always a first time, and in this case it’s bacon and ahi tuna in the same bite.  These two distinct yet divergent ingredients lay the foundation for the single most delicious sandwich I’ve eaten in recent memory, if not ever!  Such a successful contrast of flavors really is like no other.

The Best.

The menu wording reads quite simply:  “Seared rare ahi tuna with avocado, grilled pineapple, bacon, red onion, island slaw and greens with wasabi aioli on toasted sourdough.”  What arrives before you:  Absolute bliss. The ahi tuna club at Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach wastes no time in proving itself a unique and delightful experience on the palate.  Then with the addition of a blackberry mai-tai, the deal’s done.  This meal “seared” itself into my discerning culinary memory.

Needless to say, a repeat sitting can’t come too soon.  May your own “taste” meet mine.

 

 

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A Bite & Sip of Old-School Santa Barbara

In good company...

You’re in good company here.

Richly flavorful as expected, and while not the single greatest version I’ve ever eaten, indeed a winning incorporation of bacon– chopped into small pieces and mixed evenly among the other main ingredients:  So went my most recent liver-and-onions dinner, this time in Santa Barbara.  It’s a weekly special at this location, served hot though not-quite-hot-enough to counter a rapid drop in temperature, at least in this instance.  As such I polished off my generous plate in a good clip, against the cooling clock that is.  (The arguable and subtle infraction was not enough to send it back.)

Meanwhile, service proved consistent and attentive, once the transition from bland bartendress to talkative table server was complete.  The history is on the wall– literally– and with so many decades of photos and other classic decor to take in, an entire afternoon of “indulgence” seems perfectly reasonable. The copious cocktails runneth over, as well they should– and in this delightfully old-school, red-boothed establishment always do.  And when the time finally comes, the robust coffee will have prepared you for your exit quite comfortably, as of course it did for yours truly, dessert notwithstanding.

Despite minor forgivable hiccups during a crowded dinner hour, my first visit can be considered a success.  I’m confident my imminent second trip to Harry’s Plaza Cafe will be even better.  Join me anytime for a bite and sip, assuming you can locate this discreetly situated local hideaway.

At Harry's...

As you take a seat and get started…

 

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2014 in And That's My Opinion, Drink, Food, Restaurants, Reviews

 

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One Sure Palate Pleaser. Or Two.

IMG_6819Call it a classic dish that never gets old, in an old establishment that’s never been more classic.  At least this is how I think of it.  And by virtue of the fact my favorite mouth-watering culinary creation– custom prepared tableside of course– famously stands the test of time on an ever-changing menu, my selection has been made well before I’ve arrived and sat down.

A raw hamburger patty this is not, yet raw it is.  Ordinary it’s never been, nor boring it ever will be.  In this case there are no others, as my longstanding indulgence shall remain so.  The next time you’re near The Beverly Hills Hotel while feeling the distinct onset of carnivorous adventure– or even if you’re cities away and need to schedule a special trip as I did– drop into the Polo Lounge for the steak tartare.  One sure palate pleaser it is, ready to satisfy any discerning red meat-based taste buds.

It’s even better, I shall go so far to say, than Paradise Cove’s scrumptious seafood burger, a uniquely robust compilation of surprisingly flavorful sea meat in the form of a soft, perfectly cooked patty.  But this is another story altogether; apples and oranges if you will, though easily another sure palate pleaser of superior standing. Altogether, yet again from one part of town to another, our food bases remain well covered!  You might get right on over to Malibu for a more casual early dinner after that tartare lunch has settled!

 
 

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