good eats

We don't eat out all that often for several reasons including cost, health, and the fact that I like to cook. When we do go out, however, we like to go someplace that serves good food for a good price. I keep these pages mostly because my mind draws a blank when someone says, "Where should we go to eat?". Sort of like what happens when you walk into the movie rental place and all 20 of those movies you had in your brain just dissolve. Not every place listed here is necessarily a Good Eat, but I think it is just as important to know when a place sucks as it is to know a good place.

The rules: Each $ represents $5/person for entrees, not including alcohol. I get to say whatever I think because I am a free agent. I don't really care if you agree or disagree because I am an opinionated foodie. There are three sections to my reviews:

Boulder County restaurants (Colorado - mostly Boulder)

Good eats in Los Angeles County (California - mostly Pasadena)

Good eats everywhere else

Boulder County restaurants (mostly Boulder)

Abo's Pizza
1600 28th St., #301
Boulder, CO 80301
Pizza $

Good, cheap, greasy pizza is served here by a friendly staff. Works well in a pinch and we didn't wait long for our order. The slices are generous in size.

1685 29th St.
Boulder, CO 80301
Sushi $$$$

Ai has some cool cut rolls and a fairly nice selection on their menu. The setting is more of a young urban hipster hang out than a sushi bar/restaurant and it is located in the 29th Street Mall in Boulder. While the food here is good, it isn't quite good enough to justify the price. The other thing that makes me nuts is that the chefs make the sushi, and place it on the shelf for the wait staff to bring to you - while you're sitting at the sushi bar! That's stupid and annoying. We only ever go here when Tora is closed. You can read my review here.

1601 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Latin American $$$

The food at Aji is pretty good and fresh. I like the Central American style of fare. I didn't think their ceviche was anything special, but their hot lunches were satisfying and well prepared. The first time around I ordered the blue corn posole, which was excellent. I think the second time I ordered the pork rib enchiladas - also good. The plantain chips are tasty. Not my favorite place, but it doesn't stand out as being particularly crappy either.

6525 Gunpark Dr.
Suite #330
Boulder, CO 80301
Sushi $$$$$

This place makes me so angry. They are expensive, their sushi is mediocre, and their portions are a joke (as in, minimal). I hate this place. I refuse to dine here and you should too. You can read about my experience here.

Backcountry Pizza
20 E Lakeview Dr., #212
Nederland, CO 80466
Pizza $

Backcountry Pizza is one of the better restaurants in Nederland. They closed (to our shock and horror) for a little while and then returned (to the town's collective relief). I find their pizzas to be inconsistent these days. My favorite is the whole wheat deep dish which only comes in medium at its largest. Their bbq chicken is a little disturbing because they use a breaded chicken that gets chopped up and scattered on the pizza... that's not a bbq chicken pizza folks. They also serve sandwiches, salads, I think some pasta, and wings. We used to order take out, and now we just make our own pizzas (which are much better).

Bear Brothers Bistro
1 W. First St.
Nederland, CO 80466
American Bistro $$$

Bear Brothers Bistro is a relative newcomer to Nederland, and what a welcome newcomer it is! I'm not overly fond of the restaurant scene in Ned. I'll just say it has been somewhat uninspiring. But Bear Brothers Bistro was a delightfully nice surprise. The food is definitely a step or two above the rest in town and the quality is bang on. Burgers, pasta, steaks - all well-prepared and I have to say that I start to crave those sweet potato fries they serve alongside the burgers. It's not a cheap place, but considering where you are (Ned) and the quality, it's a good deal. Just be warned, if you go in the winter, it's cold inside - dress warmly.

Ben and Jerry's
1203 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Ice Cream $

Good old Ben and Jerry's - my good friend in high school used to work at the one in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was a very happy place. I have had mixed feelings about B&Js ever since they were bought up by multinational corporation Unilever. But when faced with the choice between B&Js or Häagen-Dazs on the Pearl Street Mall, I'll take B&Js until I find a good local dairy shop to support. Good ice cream, decent service, they take credit cards. This one seemed particularly sparse in decor and ambiance.

Boulder Cafe
1247 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
American $$

I used to frequent Boulder Cafe for their Happy Hour (3-6 daily), which is pretty solid as food goes. They have a nice selection of fondues, nachos, seafood, spicy fried calamari, and other fatty nuggets of goodness at half price along with the booze at half price. Service overall has been pretty good and it's a decent choice for food in a setting that isn't too loud while you watch all of the happenings on Pearl Street Mall.

Brasserie 1010
1011 Walnut St.
Boulder, CO 80302
French Bistro $$$

Brasserie 1010, affectionately called The Bra, is one of our favorite happy hour restaurants. Their dinner menu looks terrific and it is on my list of places to review someday. But in the meantime, we quite love the wonderful happy hour menu of sliders, crepes, moules, frites. All of the food is so well prepared and nicely plated. The place gets busy and is hopping every evening. Definitely worth trying out.

Cafe Blue
5280 Spine Rd.
Boulder, CO 80301
American $$

Cafe Blue is located in the non-descript Gunbarrel area in northeast Boulder. My friends and I come here often for lunches of hot and cold sandwiches and their most awesome mac and cheese side. The food here is realiably good (although in one freak incident, I got REALLY ill after the mac and cheese) and delicious. The place is almost always packed at lunch time, so get there early or get there late.

Cheesecake Factory
1401 Pearl St., Suite 100
Boulder, CO 80302
American Chain Restaurant $$$

This chain is so overrated and the food is so mediocre.

Chez Thuy
2655 28th St.
Boulder, CO 80301
Vietnamese $$$

With such disappointing Chinese food in Boulder, you wouldn't think there would be much hope for decent Vietnamese food. Think again! Chez Thuy serves up fresh, delicious, well-made dishes to patrons. The food is very good here, the service varies from friendly to ornery. Oh well, I'm just happy to get my fix of lovely herbs and noodles and vegetables and meats here. Read my review here.

Dairy Queen
685 30th St.
Boulder, CO 80303
Ice Cream $/2

Another chain, but one I love. I'm addicted to that soft serve - I just can't help it. Some days I like chocolate, some days I like vanilla, other days I like a blizzard mixed with crushed heath bar... DQ's parent company is Berkshire Hathaway which is run by the likes of Warren Buffett and Charles Munger (a major supporter of Planned Parenthood). This is a chain I can live with.

Daphne's Greek Cafe
1695 29th St.
Boulder, CO 80301

I had lunch here and tried the gyro, which tasted pretty good for a sort of fast food/fresh greek place. You get tsaziki and a salad and there are several other things to choose from, including fries, pita, hummus, etc. A decently priced meal and quick too.

Dushanbe Teahouse
1770 13th St.
Boulder, CO
Asian/Fusion/Eclectic $$$

I've been here several times now and I think I love the atmosphere of the beautiful building and gardens more than anything else. The food is fresh, but I think the Indonesian Peanut Noodles were just a tad lacking in... flavor. I had a taste of Jeremy's Mexican Fish Tacos and they were alright. In general the plates are beautiful and the food is average. If you're lucky, you can sometimes get the special tea room, but I've not seen those. This teahouse was a gift from Boulder's sister city in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. It is gorgeous inside and out. You should go at least once to feast upon it visually. The food doesn't do much for me.

Fatty J's (apparently now Skinny J's)
770 28th St.
Boulder, CO 80303
Pizza/Hot Sandwiches $$

It's a little tricky getting here because you have to take a not-so-obvious frontage road to get here. It is next door to the Best Western Boulder Inn. Fatty J's is a bar, but they do serve food. The staff here is ornery, slow, and not very good. But the one thing I have had here - The Green Bomber - is wonderful. It is a hot sandwich with baked chicken cutlets, pesto sauce, onions, roasted red peppers, feta, and mozzarella. It is so good, I suffered that damn staff twice more just to get The Green Bomber.

Flagstaff House
1138 Flagstaff Dr.
Boulder, CO 80302
French, American, Asian $$$$$$$$$$

Where to begin... I think Flagstaff House is the finest restaurant in Boulder and that is saying a lot considering the number of great dining establishments in town. The setting, the service, the food, the experience - so special, unique, always a pleasure. We have been lucky enough to dine here a handful of times for special occasions and every one of those meals are fond memories. The wine list is enormous. If you ever have the opportunity to pamper yourself, this is the place. You can read my review here.

1738 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Italian $$$$$$$$

Frasca serves fantastic food and wine. The atmosphere is bright, clean, pleasant. We had amazing service, wine pairings... My only real complaint would be the dessert which was underwhelming compared to the appetizers, entrees, wine, and service. Dessert aside, we love Frasca and it is in our top ten of Boulder. Read my review here.

Golden Lotus
1964 28th St.
Boulder, CO 80301
Chinese $$$

I suppose Golden Lotus and Orchid Pavilion go head to head for top ratings in Boulder. Again, that is not saying much. Golden Lotus also suffers from over fried, over sauced, Americanized Chinese food. The food is passable, but uninspired. There is nothing that really stands out and makes me say wow.

Il Pastaio
3075 B Arapahoe Ave.
Boulder, CO 80303
Italian $-$$

Il Pastaio is a teensy place that serves up great value and delicious food. Nicole introduced me to it and I loved it. The lunch deal is to select an entree (there was a choice of vege lasagne, turkey sausage lasagne, beef lasagne, asparagus ravioli, and some other pasta), then a sauce (spicy marinara, marinara, and maybe alfredo or something creamy), and a side vegetable (platains, carrots, beans, potatoes, polenta), and then they give you a delightful side salad, a yummy soft roll, and that's your meal for like $7. The food is really good and the interior is quaint and comfortable. It gets busy at lunchtime, a testament to the quality.

1855 29th St.
Boulder, CO 80301
Tacos, Sandwiches $$$

I like Islands' burgers. I can't help it. When they came to Boulder's 29th Street Mall, I was pretty excited. I still am excited... because I *love* their Kilauea burger (spicy!) despite the fact that you pay quite a lot for a burger here (but alas, they finally serve fries with their burgers). Their bottomless drinks are only bottomless if your server pays attention enough to refill them. Service is as with any chain - inconsistent. Their fries are good, but expensive. I think this was the place they told me I couldn't ask for a half order of fries. I still love it.

1136 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Sushi $$$$

Japango has a neat selection of cut maki and some modern takes on sushi. The sushi is not bad at all, although the sushi chefs and the quality of their sushi-making varies wildly, which is unfortunate. It's nothing close to the more authentic feel of Sushi Tora, but the more creative California style sushi is interesting and fun.

Jax Fish House
928 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Seafood $$$$

Jax has a reputation for serving up the best seafood in the Rockies. We have determined this declaration to be more or less true. The menu has some asian, latin, and traditional fusion inflence. The only thing that helps you overcome the guilt of eating such beautifully plated food is the fact that it tastes so good. The happy hour ceviche was somewhat of a letdown, but the lobster tempura appetizer, lobster and shrimp chowder, New Zealand bluenose, and bouillabaise were superb. Jax has a somewhat loud atmosphere as there is a raw oyster bar and a great bar to boot. You can read my review here.

John's Restaurant
2328 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
French/Italian Contemporary $$$$$$

John's is tucked away in a charming and small house on Pearl Street, removed from the busy pedestrian mall. The food here is top notch, fantastic. The chef duo is also a brother-sister team. He is the chef and she is the pastry chef. Service is excellent and the menu has far more to offer than you can possibly enjoy in one sitting. Go back, go often. Great food, great restaurant. Read my review here.

1468 Pearl St.
Suite 110
Boulder, CO 80302
Sushi $$$$$$

Kasa serves some nice sushi. My biggest problem is that it's pretty pricey for what you get, which is unfortunate. I know folks might think sushi should be expensive in Boulder, but my standard is Sushi Tora, and if your sushi costs more and isn't as good as Tora's, then you're outta luck in my book. You can read my review of Kasa here.

Katmandu Restaurant
1 W. First St.
Nederland, CO 80466
Nepalese $$

Nepalese food in Ned? The hot lunch buffet can't be beat after a morning of skiing at Eldora. Their evening fare is also quite satisfying. Considering the size of the town and where it is located, it is surprisingly good. They have a large selection off the vegetarian menu (tofu, lentils, vegetables, rice, noodles) as well as a chicken, lamb, and seafood. I love the Saag Panir, Chicken Tika Marsala, and Chicken Korma to name a few. Sometimes I wish for a little more creativity and variety in the selection, but I don't eat there often enough to tire of it. The proprietors actually live on our cul-de-sac and are a wonderful couple from Nepal.

The Kitchen
1039 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
French $$$$$

I'll get it out right now - I LOVE The Kitchen. I've been here for brunch, lunch, and for Community Night (dinner) and all were superb. It's not just that the food here is so amazingly good, it's that the restaurant and business ethics are progressive and socially responsible. The quality of the food comes not just from the way it is prepared, but what the ingredients are in the first place - organic, local, fresh - the very best they can get their hands on to serve to you. To really get a feel for how awesome it is, see my monthly review of The Kitchen here.

1739 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
French $$$$$$

L'Atelier is a very special restaurant. Jeremy and I *love* it. It's in our top 5 in Boulder - probably closer to top 3... The food is art - delicious, beautiful art. The restaurant is a small and intimate setting with great service and attention to detail. It fills up quickly and is quite popular with the locals. There is a playful creativity to the chef's work and you can not only see it and feel it, but taste it in the culinary works set before you. If you are looking for a dinner that won't let you down, go to L'Atelier and be delighted. Read about my review here.

1710 29th St. #1076
Boulder, CO 80301
Italian $$$$

Laudisio is now L, but I think everyone still refers to it as Laudisio. I ate there a handful of times before they moved from their old site on Iris and 28th to the fancy new location in the 29th Street Mall. Their food is very good and their service at the old Laudisio was unsurpassed. It felt very familial and cozy in the old restaurant. We tried the new location shortly after they re-opened and it is enormous, updated, fancy. The food was good, but not as awesome as before. I also felt the newly expanded wait staff was woefully lacking in the charm, knowledge, and attentiveness of the old place. I think the old staff moved to the new location, but without that service standard and knowledge instilled in the new staff - it makes Laudisio feel less special. I will have to give it another try because I want to believe they were getting their kinks out. I have a monthly review of Laudisio here.

2124 14th St.
Boulder, CO 80302
New Orleans $$

Lucile's boasts the best breakfast in Boulder. Only serving breakfast, brunch, or lunch, Lucile's dishes up feasts like hot beignets with powdered sugar piled on top, egg pontchartrain (pan fried trout with poached eggs and bernaise sauce), a variety of egg and potato hashes, hot Louisiana sausage, grits, blackened fish, and those amazing fluffy biscuits that come with homemade jam or Chef Mickey's sausage gravy. The lunch menu is equally tantalizing: gumbo, shrimp creole, crawfish etouffee, po'boys, and red beans and rice. They do not take reservations and there is usually a line on weekends. The place was packed when we were there - very informal and completely delicious. It is worth the wait (and you should expect a wait).

The Med: Mediterranean Restaurant
1002 Walnut St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Mediterranean/Tapas $$

Everyone in Boulder raves about The Med. Their food and beverage prices at happy hour are hard to beat. It gets crowded too. Their happy hour food is good, but I am not a huge fan of their service (very spotty). The hostesses are the typical young urban hipster female bleach blonds with less manners than IQ. The wait staff is usually competent. I thought the dinner was either overly done (too heavy on the butter) or poorly done (rubbery shrimp lacking in flavor and a filet mignon which gives new meaning to the word petit). Boulder's dinner scene puts The Med to shame, but their happy hour is the big winner in my book. You can read my review of The Med for dinner here.

Naked Fish
1346 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Seafood $$$$

This restaurant has nice ambiance and a pleasant work staff. The menu selection was quite good. Unfortunately, my order of seared scallops came to me as poached scallops. When I asked the hostess about the method of cooking, she said that the chef DID in fact sear the scallops, but cooked them in a wine sauce. These scallops were not seared - they were white, moist, and soft. Seared scallops have a nice crunchy brown crust. She looked nervous and asked if I wanted to have them taken back and seared? Why turn rubbery scallops into jerky? To overcook seafood is to blaspheme. I politely declined and made a mental note not to return here. What a waste of perfectly good (and expensive) scallops.

Orchid Pavilion
1050 Walnut St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Chinese $$$

Orchid Pavilion has been voted the best Chinese restaurant in Boulder. But... that means very little as Boulder isn't known for it's Chinese food, nor do I trust the very white population of Boulder to know a tsong yo bing from a guo tieh. Having eaten there, this is an overly Americanized Chinese restaurant that falls short of being Good. That's a little disappointing. Even their Americanized dishes were sub par with grainy sauces or heavy use of steamed broccoli (blegh). You can read my review here.

Proto's Pizzeria Napoletana
4670 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80304
Pizza $$

Mmm, Proto's makes great pizza. They have awesome salads too. I was feeling down on the pizza around town until we tried Proto's and it has since become my absolute favorite place to get pizza - real pizza. That is, if I don't make it myself. Nice.

RedFish New Orleans Brewhouse
2027 13th St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Seafood/Cajun $$$$

I was heartbroken to learn that they were out of pulled pork the night we went here for dinner. Instead, I ordered the jambalaya, which was very good. Everyone was pleased with their meal (Jeremy got the crabcakes, my FIL got jambalaya, and my MIL ordered a gorgeous salad with strawberries and nuts). The wait staff was decent - it was quiet on a Sunday night. I like how the entrance is a giant garage door. I'm gonna go back for that pulled pork.

Serrano's Southwestern Grill
6525 Gunpark Dr. #390
Boulder, CO 80301
Imposter Mexican $$

I wonder if these guys are still in business. If so, they shouldn't be. The Mexican food at Serrano's is like a midwesterner's misplaced vision of Mexican food. The pork tacos were flavorless, I mean - less flavor than water or paper. I've always complained that Colorado doesn't know how to make Mexican food and this is yet another data point to support that claim.

1035 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Latin Asian fusion $$$

Seven is a great little restaurant to get some excellent food. They have a dedicated pastry chef and combine different cultural flavors and styles to make some truly enjoyable and delicious plates. Better than that, the value here is amazing for Boulder. The prices are reasonable and the fare is on par with Boulder's best. Definitely worth a try. See my review here.

Siamese Plate
3033 28th St.
Boulder, CO 80301
Thai/Japanese $$

We got a take out order here - a combination of pad thai and sushi. Their sushi is quite tasty considering the mediocre construction (sushi chefs, they are not). The pad thai is not the best I've had. It's not the worst either. On a scale of 1-10, I rate it a 6. There is a flavor that lingers in your mouth that reminds me of the smell of pig farms when driving on the 605 in LA... The staff here is friendly and the rest of the thai selection looked great. They have tables to sit at and eat your food. They sell tofu, asian pickled things, and asian sweets in refrigerated cases. They also sell trinkets and asian gifts.

Sundance Cafe
23942 Highway 119 (Peak to Peak Highway)
Nederland, CO 80466
American $$$

The Sundance Cafe has the best views of the Indian Peaks of any restaurant in Ned. Just a few miles outside of town along the lovely Peak to Peak Highway (119), the Sundance Cafe serves up some standard salads, pasta, burgers, steaks. The food is pretty good although the prices reflect where you are... in the mountains. It's very popular in summer and I enjoy a burger there from time to time. Before Bear Brothers Bistro opened, it was my favorite place in Ned for a burger. I still like it for the "out in the mountains" feel when I want to stare out at the peaks and figure out where our next hike should be.

Sushi Tora
2014 10th St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Sushi $$$$$

After a few years, we finally got our bearings straight and found Sushi Tora. It is our favorite sushi bar in all of Boulder. Expect to pay real money here, but what you get is unsurpassed quality and mastery of sushi. Fresh, decent portions, creative, beautiful. The wait staff is totally hit or miss. Some of the people on the wait staff are complete morons, but others are fine. Nevermind that - the sushi is it here and we love it, a lot. Read about it here.

Sushi Zanmai
1221 Spruce St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Sushi $$$$

I love sushi. We have been spoiled spoiled spoiled by our sushi chef in South Pasadena for over a decade. Sushi Zanmai is a popular sushi joint in Boulder. It is alright. I give it a B- overall, and a B+ for being in a Rocky Mountain state. They have fresh fish, moderate portions, and inconsistent service. It's pricey compared to California, but these guys fly their fish in from the coast, so you have to cut them some slack. It's more of a twenty-something type hangout and there was a line on Sunday evening, but we were seated within 10 minutes and the food was very satisfying. The majority of the chefs are Japanese and they interact well with the patrons at the bar. Their sushi making skills tend to fall on the fast and sloppy side compared to the artistry of Fumito, Hiro, and Ike. I am not a regular at Zanmai.

Treppeda's Gourmet Market and Cafe
300 2nd Ave., Suite 105
Niwot, CO 80544
Sandwiches/American/Italian(?) $$

My favorite sandwich here is the Chief Niwot (roast beef). This place is quite popular as evidenced from the lack of available parking at lunch time. They have a large selection of salads, pasta, sandwiches, breads, and other tempting fare for the lunch-lover in you. The food is fresh and of good quality except the one time my salad had enough sand to make me think it had come straight from the garden. The bread is excellent. It's a nice joint in a quaint location and I love it.

Wild Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery
70 E. First St.
Nederland, CO
BBQ $$$

I can't tell you how happy I was to see this place open in Ned. The building is new and nice - it gives Ned's downtown a better look. Jeremy and I went to try it out on a couple of occasions because we both love barbecue. If you don't treat Barbecue as Religion, then you might really like this place. It has a hopping atmosphere and is a great location to hang out with friends after a hike or a ski. Problem is... barbecue is religion to me. I don't care for their barbecue. It's not falling off the bone and the sauces are less than inspiring. Hard to shell out the bucks (it's not cheap) for something that I can make much better at my own house. Still, service is friendly, the joint is clean, there is music and the setting is Ned. So now you know.

Zolo Grill
2525 Arapahoe Ave.
Boulder, CO
Southwestern $$$

Zolo Grill is okay. I've been there three times now and each time I was a little less pleased with my meal and my service. I am told by our neighbors that they have a terrific brunch. So far, I've had fish tacos (good), buffalo burger (fine), and my last time there it was so unmemorable that I can't recall. There's no authentic anything here as food goes, but it's not bad if you're hungry, although it is loud at times and the service can be spotty. I have a full review here.

Good eats in LA County (mostly Pasadena)

1013 Fair Oaks Ave.
South Pasadena, CA
Sushi $$$

This is a great sushi bar and my favorite sushi bar in South Pasadena. Forget about the slow service, the limited seating, the distracted chef and long waits - the fish is so incredibly fresh, the portions generous and the price is lower than any place else. I should mention we've been going to this place for over ten years and the head chef, Fumito, is very entertaining. There are a lot of regulars here and they fill the sushi bar quickly. Fumito has become a friend and mentor to us - teaching how to discern good from bad (sushi, that is), always introducing us to new and exciting fish. He created a wonderful clam soup just for my grandmother (small clams, green onions, special tender seaweed, and tiny pockets of tofu(?) filled with bamboo shoots and other delicious vegetables all simmered in the clearest most delicate broth). It's all good, but some of our favorites include the special roll, soft-shell crab handroll, tuna stuffed squid tempura, special avocado eel roll, the not-so-special roll (my invention), albacore tuna sashimi, sashimi deluxe, fatty tuna, hamachi (belly and back), and langoustine tempura handroll. Once we tried Tokyo Wako just to see what sushi was like elsewhere. I felt cheated ($60 for 2 people to eat lousy sushi) and I also felt like we had cheated on Fumito. Never again...

Dr. Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas Bar-B-Que
8136 Sepulveda Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA
BBQ $$$

Melinda coined the term "shrine to the slaughterhouse" for Hogly Wogly's. We don't go too often (unless we're trying to get colon cancer) but it is a big treat when we do go to "the Doctor's". There are only a couple of food items on the menu that are vegetarian: cole slaw and maybe the potato salad. Of course, what on earth are you doing at a place like this if you are vegetarian? The menu is small - I've noticed that I like places that specialize in a few dishes and do them to perfection. Our group likes to order "beans and beans" for the two sides you get with your meal. Their baked beans are awesome as are the entrees: bbq chicken, hot links, brisket, spare ribs, beef ribs. The portions are large and the hot sauce is great. This is a very greasy and very excellent meal.

Goldstein's Bagels
86 W. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA
Bagels $

Jeremy is a big fan of the chocolate chocolate chip bagel here. I like their bagel sandwiches and especially their turkey wrap (with swiss cheese and tarragon). This is not to say that other bagel places are not better, we just haven't had much opportunity to try others out.

Happy Family Restaurant
608 N. Atlantic Blvd.
Monterey Park, CA
Chinese Vegetarian $$

Happy Family serves buddhist vegetarian chinese food and it is awesome! You can order a la carte or do the "all you can eat" deal which allows you to order a few small plates, then order more as you finish. This is authentic chinese food (the kind of place where my mom and grandmother seriously discuss their orders because there are so many good choices). I like the vegetarian chicken, fried tofu, the nien-gao, vegetables wrapped in tofu skin (braised), oyster-flavored eggplant, fried bread rolls, and the list goes on. Go with at least 4 people in your group so you can make the most of ordering a selection. *Note: Last time I was in So Cal, I noticed they had moved. I don't know where they moved to, but I hear they are still around.

In-N-Out Burger
2114 E. Foothill Blvd.
Pasadena, CA
Fast Food $

I try to avoid fast food (reading Fast Food Nation helps), but if I crave a burger, In-N-Out hands down has the best drive-thru burger anywhere. Another example of a limited menu served to perfection. The fries are only good piping hot. Jeremy's a big fan of the shakes (nice malty chocolate). He even called the 1-800 number once to ask how they can have milk shakes made from real ice cream if they claim not to have any freezers (i.e. no frozen meat, only fresh meat). The guy laughed and explained the milk shake mix was frozen in the shake machine.

3533 E. Foothill Blvd.
Pasadena, CA
American $$

I know, I know, it's a chain. I like their fish tacos, and their fries. Jeremy digs the burgers. Both of the Pasadena locations are near movie theaters, so on the rare occasion that we actually go to see a movie, we like to hop over to Islands to grab a bite and take advantage of the free refills on drinks!

Killer Shrimp
Ventura Blvd. and Colfax
Studio City, CA
Shrimp $$$

We were introduced to Killer Shrimp by our pals, Shannon and Mitch. They told me it was addictive. We ate there. It is addictive. If I recall correctly, the menu consists of shrimp and pasta, shrimp and bread, shrimp and rice. The broth that comes with the shrimp is really very good, sort of spicy and tangy and just mmmmmmmmm delicious! Since I couldn't bring myself to drive to Studio City too often, I searched the web for a recipe. I discovered why the sauce is so good - there is a lot of butter. Oh well, run 10 miles and you'll be fine... Nothing like sopping up the sauce with some bread.

20 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA
Yucatan $$

I used to go here with my old group at JPL. It's been a while, but I loved their tamales. Each table is outfitted with TWO bottles of habañero sauce (one red, one green). Woohoo!!

145 Palmetto Dr.
Pasadena, CA
Mexican $$

Fast and polite service, excellent food. Last time we took our pal, Emily here for a bite. She's been transplanted to Japan and so craves good Mexican food when she has business in California. Order anything, it's all good.

Min's Kitchen
1040 Foothill Blvd.
La Cañada-Flintridge, CA
Thai $$

I found Min's by default. If you work at JPL, you have to eat at Min's once. I think they have the best Pad Thai in the world. Toi is the owner. She is a diminutive woman with a heart of gold and a work ethic that puts us all to shame. We love this little lady and she doles out the hugs and welcomes to newcomers and repeat customers (there are A LOT of them) alike. This restaurant also has the firm approval of Pailin Butterfield, our Thai friend and chef extraordinaire! What's good to order? All curries, love the fish curry, sizzling beef on spinach, pad thai (of course), shrimp and asparagus, clams, thom kah kai, mee grob, duck. This place has been hopping for 25 years and Toi hosted an incredible celebration for the occasion, inviting all of her long-time customers!

NBC Seafood
404 S. Atlantic Blvd.
Monterey Park, CA
Chinese $$

There are so many places in So Cal to get good dim sum, but I keep coming back to NBC Seafood. I hear the Chinese mafia hangs out here, so you know the food must be good... Service is awful, but Chinese people don't care about service, they care about FOOD, and the food is great. For a la carte, the squid, crab, fish, lobster, duck are all excellent. As for what to order, you'll have to bring along a native (which is why I take my parents and my grandma there). This is authentic. If you're not asian, they will give you a fork with your meal.

Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles
830 N. Lake Ave.
Pasadena, CA
Southern $$

Roscoe's is one of those places we always drove past on a daily basis and laughed about the sign. What an odd combination, chicken and waffles... Then one day at our favorite sushi bar, one of the fellow patrons told us how good the food is at Rocoe's. Then a week later, my pal, Ellen, said she had a huge lunch at Rocoe's and loved it. Okay, if my evil twin says it's good, I had to give it a try. Our waiter was friendly and engaging. Jeremy and I decided that the plates were pretty big, so we'd split the 2 waffles and 4 pieces of fried chicken. We also ordered smothered potatoes and macaroni and cheese as sides. I could live with or without the potatoes, but the mac and cheese was GOOD. The waffles were their own private recipe and had a hint of cinnamon - yum! The fried chicken is southern fried chicken done right - not greasy, but crispy outside and tender juicy inside. Good chicken. There isn't much else to the menu (omelets, liver, greens, etc.) We figured, if you goto the House of Chicken and Waffles, you'd better order the chicken and waffles.

Rose Garden Tea Room at the Huntington
1151 Oxford Rd.
San Marino, CA
Afternoon Tea $$$

The grounds of Huntington Gardens are the backdrop for the lovely Tea Room. They serve a buffet of finger sandwiches (salmon-dill-cream cheese, chicken salad, cucumber, egg, ginger-carrot, olive), fresh fruits, vegetables, cakes, and other sweets. Of course, tea isn't tea without scones. They provide a scrumptious basket of scones along with choice of teas, coffee, and juices. We love it every time we go. Just keep in mind that along with the cost of the buffet ($15 per person) you will have to pay admission to the Huntington if you are not a member ($10/adult). Reservations are required for the Tea Room and they suggest up to 2 weeks in advance. Walk off the buffet in the gorgeous gardens.

Señor Fish
618 Mission St.
South Pasadena, CA
Fish Tacos $

Okay, we've never actually been, but I have eaten the fish tacos on numerous occasions when Robert Angelino would take a lunch order from me at JPL. These are soooo good. Tender fish lightly battered and fried, then nestled in a bed of freshly shredded cabbage, wrapped in two corn tortillas and topped with pico de gallo and a wedge of lime. Delicious. Perfection.

201 S. Lake Ave.
Pasadena, CA
Buffet $$

My co-worker, JoAnne, is afraid of getting germs here, but I've not had problems to date. Sometimes you just don't feel like cooking and a trip to the giant salad bar or soup bar is in order. Souplantation is as healthy or as unhealthy as you want it to be. I love the soups and salads, feel lukewarm about the pastas and dabble lightly in the breads. Don't forget your AAA or student discount.

Wahib's Middle East Restaurant
910 E. Main St.
Alhambra, CA
Middle Eastern $$

My former supervisor at JPL is Jordanian and he would bring our group here for lunch. It used to be a small hole-in-the-wall joint that served authentic Lebanese food. Now it has expanded into a large bakery/restaurant that continues to serve terrific Lebanese food. We love the hummos topped with beef, falafel, shawarma, couscous, chicken vegetable stew, baked fish. The service is good and the employees are friendly. Be sure to order a box of their delicious pastries to take home with you.

Good eats elsewhere

Being out of town is a great excuse to try a restaurant. We have included those places that have wedged themselves firmly in our brains. Unfortunately, a handful of the better places have unwedged themselves from our memory which is too bad for all of us. Some of the dining establishments listed below were discovered on such occasions as hiking out from a 5-day backpacking trip. Water tastes sweeter, fruit explodes in your mouth, salt becomes the essence of life... Your mileage may vary.

Restaurant Balzac
141 Belmore Rd.
Randwick NSW 2031
(02) 9399.9660
Fine Dining $$$$$$$$$$

Jeremy and I brought our dear friends, Kell and Jerad (a terrific chef in Sydney) here for their Sunday degustation. This was such an incredibly special meal, prepared to perfection with the most exotic non-Asian menu I have ever tried. The wine pairings and the service were also perfect. The entire meal took 4 hours because you would die trying to eat that much food otherwise. What I love is how the chef here makes ordinarily commonplace foods into exquisite masterpieces. One of the best meals of my life.

Buck's of Woodside
3062 Woodside Rd.
Woodside, CA
Breakfast/Lunch $$$

I met Mitch and Shannon here for brunch one sunny Sunday morning. The town is beautiful. Buck's was packed, but the food was worth the wait. I don't even remember what I got. Perhaps a sandwich (I'm partial to sandwiches). Shannon got something with crab meat and said it was delish. We also got an order of their homemade coffeecake - highly recommended. This place is famous for a number of reasons. I saw a giant sneaker on the wall (belonged to Shaq) along with other nifty, expensive and rare items. I was too busy enjoying the food and meeting Shannon for the first time (she rocks), but I'd take Jeremy here in a heartbeat.

2328 First Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
New American $$$$$

Cascadia is dining brilliance. All of the food is prepared with a freshness and style that accentuates the pure flavors of the ingredients in the most elegant way. The setting is itself, gorgeous to behold. Prices are high, but the quality comes through and the service is also excellent. We relished our meal and only wished we lived close enough to dine again and sample the rest of the tantalizing menu. It's a place to go for a special meal.

The Cheese Shop
Merchants Square
424 Prince George St.
Williamsburg, VA
Best Sandwiches EVAR $

When I was in high school, I would stop by the Cheese Shop for a sandwich on the days I had classes at William and Mary. It was here that I began the habit of giving my name as Casey instead of Jennifer. It was always crowded with folks waiting for their sandwich orders. One time they called "Jennifer" and four of us walked up to get our sandwich. Did I mention they have the BEST sandwiches ever? Well, they do. The house dressing is addictive. My favorite - thinly sliced roast beef with muenster (sometimes we have to settle on provolone) on crusty french bread with house dressing. It's perfection, really. There are other goodies to be had here (gourmet cheeses, salads, dried fruit, imported chocolates, cookies, wines, beer, chips, candies), but the sandwiches are what I'm all about.

Chef Chu's
1067 N. San Antonio Rd. at El Camino Real
Los Altos, CA
Chinese $$$$

I've been to Chef Chu's several times now for special occasion banquets and with special orders put in to the kitchen from my mom's cousin who is head of catering and banquets. I've also been when we snuck in without letting my mom's cousin know. When it is good, the food is REALLY good. I used to think Chef Chu's was the pinnacle of fine Chinese dining, and it very well may be as long as you know the right people or book the proper engagement. However, on those occasions when I've gone as "one of the crowd" the service was fine and the food was okay, but nothing to make my eyes roll into the back of my head. My family knows good Chinese cooking and so do I. I guess Chef Chu's is like an upscale version of semi-Americanized Chinese food because over half of the clientele is Caucasian and a lot of them are ordering standard Americanized fare both at the tables and at the take out window. *If* you know to order the authentic dishes, you'll get them, but I can't say they're necessarily cooked as well as any of the dozens of other excellent (and probably more Chinese) restaurants in the bay area. Sorry Chef, I really love it when it's good, but I don't believe in special treatment, I want consistency too.

The Restaurant at Convict Lake
P.O. Box 1035
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Incredible food where you least expect it $$$$$

We took Amy here for Christmas dinner after a most excellent day of skiing fresh powder at Mammoth Mountain. We started with martinis (Amy and Jeremy opted for snickertinis while I had the cosmo) and then ordered the escargot en croute and a wonderful crabcake. Hey - skiing makes you hungry! For dinner, Amy ordered the Trout (delish), Jeremy ordered Ahi Tuna (delish) along with a bowl of crawfish tomato bisque, and I ordered the Beef Wellington (also delish). To top that off, we had some beautifully plated sinful desserts: chocolate ganache, creme caramel, and a fruity custard thing. Make reservations in advance as they tend to book up quickly. Next time I want to try the duck 3-ways.

The Dining Room Restaurant at Butchart Gardens
800 Benvenuto Ave.
Brentwood Bay, BC
Afternoon Tea and other fare $$$$$

What a delightful setting for an equally delightful full tea. Afternoon tea came with tiers of savory finger sandwiches, pastries, and scones. The tea itself was pleasant and there were many to choose from. You can't beat being surrounded by the most stunning flowering plants in one of the best gardens in the world.

Fat Canary
410 Duke of Gloucester St.
Merchants Square
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Diverse Regional Comtemporary Bistro $$$$$

We had dinner here with my parents to celebrate my PhD defense. The food was terrific and the service impeccable. Great place for a special meal. Fresh and creative plating, excellent wines, a lovely atmosphere. I highly recommend it.

Fish Face
132 Darlinghurst Rd.
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
(02) 9332.4803
Seafood $$$$$

An absolute delight of a place to eat if you love seafood. The restaurant is tiny and popular and packed! Watching the chefs create masterpieces in the tiniest of kitchen spaces is almost as incredible as the food you get to eat. The restaurant only serves line-caught fish and they also serve sushi (with a dedicated Japanese sushi chef behind the counter) which is fabulous. Service was on the slow side.

Crowne Plaza
82 Barrett Dr.
Alice Springs, NT
(08) 8953.7188
Thai/Indian $$$$

Hanuman serves up quite a refreshing delight in the middle of the Australian continent. The aromatic, spicy, and fresh food is plated beautifully and the service is great. Considering our disappointment (after paying a fortune) at Overlanders the day before, Hanuman's was extra special. We really enjoyed our meal and recommend the restaurant if you find yourself dining in Alice.

Happy Valley Seafood Restaurant
3432 Lougheed Highway
Vancouver, BC
Dim Sum $$$$

It's quite a wait to get into this place because everyone loves it and everyone is lined up to be seated. Once in, rather than the traditional push carts (there isn't room - it's packed!) you fill out your order and hand it to the server. The food here is sooooo good. Very well prepared and fresh and delicious. Probably one of the better dining experiences I had in BC. They also serve a lot for what you pay. Great value, great meal.

Hy's Steak House Whistler
4308 Main St.
Whistler, BC
Steak $$$$$$$$$

If Hy's in Whistler (it's a chain in Canada) is anything, it is overrated and overpriced. The food was moderately good, but not for that price (almost $50 for a filet mignon and they serve it with mushroom sauce that tastes like it came from a can?!?). The service was mediocre at best and I think the whole place is a total scam to charge tourists outrageous amounts of money for what amounts to a family steakhouse experience that belongs in a strip mall. Save yourself the trouble and dine elsewhere.

Johnny D's
17 Holland St.
Davis Square
Somerville, MA
Best Oatmeal $$

We've been here a couple of times when we visited Boston. Their oatmeal is soooo good. The other breakfast food is good (potatoes, eggs, that stuff), but the oatmeal is on a different level. It has a crunchy, chewy texture and the oats are big and fat and nutty tasting - just the best damn oatmeal I've ever had. The closest I can get to this is McCann's Irish Oatmeal, but I can't reproduce that heavenly mouth experience.

Le Yaca
1915 Pocahontas Trail
Williamsburg, VA
French $$$$$$$

The atmosphere is intimate and special in the dining room. The food is exquisite, always prepared to perfection. Jeremy and I have dined here with my parents before and it was a terrific experience. Great service, excellent food, lovely ambiance, fine wines. One of my favorite Williamsburg restaurants.

215 E. State St.
Ithaca, NY
Pacific Rim $$$$

Madeline's is our favorite restaurant in Ithaca. Graduate students on a budget can't frequent this place too often, so we saved it for special occasions. They serve pacific rim cuisine. Plated dishes are lovely and taste even better than they look. I've had seared scallops encrusted in some sort of crunchy seeds, the sashimi, red snapper, shrimp over egg noodles. They serve creative asian vegetables and green tea-infused rice on the side. The best part is when you can sit in the comfy love seats while eating such remarkable and fresh food.

The Wharf Woolloomooloo
8 Cowper Wharf Rd.
Woolloomooloo NSW
(02) 9332.3822
Seafood $$$$$$$$

It's hard for me to give a review of Manta because I was the guest of one of the chefs there. Jerad served up the most incredible tasting menu (7, 8 courses? I can't recall - it was so indulgent and magnificent). The seafood here is impeccably fresh and the setting is gorgeous if you love the water and you love Sydney - and who doesn't? Our service was wonderful and did I mention how amazing the food was? This was such a special meal for me.

Matt's in the Market
94 Pike St. Suite 32
Seattle, WA
Seaffod $$

This is as fresh as fresh gets. Matt's in the Market is a tiny little place upstairs of Seattle's bustling Pike Place Market. The food here is reasonably priced and so amazingly melt-in-your-mouth good! The menu changes often, but they offer a nice selection of fresh seafood and other fare. Seriously amazing food.

635 W. State St.
Ithaca, NY
Cajun Seafood $$$

Maxie's is our second favorite restaurant in Ithaca. They serve fresh seafood with a kick. Jambalaya, popcorn shrimp, popcorn crawdads, crabcakes, blackened snapper, oysters... I love the great big bottles of tobasco sauce on every table too. The ambiance is loud, prices reasonable and portions large. More of a party atmosphere than a romantic one.

4459 Meridian St.
Bellingham, WA
Sushi $$$$$$

This is a favorite sushi bar in Bellingham. We happened upon it by chance as we were driving from Seattle up to the North Cascades on a backpacking trip. The fish was melt-in-your-mouth fresh, and the selection was impressive. Our bill was average, but considering the quality of the sushi and the service, it was a total bargain! We loved it so much, we drove 1.5 hours back there the following night. Awesome sushi.

El Modelo Tortilla Factory
1715 2nd St. SW
Albuquerque, NM
Mexican $

Jeremy grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and on our many visits to his homestate, we have gotten take-out from El Modelo's. This place has the very best tamales I have tasted anywhere. When I have torn myself away from a tamale, I have tried the carne adovada, and burritos - also high caliber New Mexican food. It's the kind of thing you crave when you cross the state line...

90 Hay St.
Sydney, NSW 2000
(02) 9211.1774
Chicken Sandwich $

The best fast food chicken sandwich in Australia. Kell and Jerad brought me here for my initiation. It's an awesome chicken sandwich with spicy chili sauce that makes the whole thing! I just wish we had this in the States.

Overlanders Steakhouse
72 Hartley St.
Alice Springs, NT
(08) 8952.2159
Meat $$$$$$

This is one of the gimmicky places you go when in Alice Springs. Although the opportunity to eat different meats (emu, crocodile, kangaroo, etc.) is enticing, none of it is prepared particularly well. The food is mediocre at best and the service started out well enough and then nose-dived to the point where we had to request to pay because they were practically ignoring us. Do yourself a favor and go somepleace else.

5501 30th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98105
European Inspired $$$

Pair is a treat! The plates here are just smaller than a standard plate, but larger than tapas, so that two people could share 2-4 plates between them. The food is delicious and creative with a freshness and quality that is hard to beat. There is a nice selection of wines as well. A great place to go with friends and loved ones. Special and wonderful.

The Rex
2401 Montana Ave.
Billings, MT
Upscale Cowboy $$$$$$

It was August 1996 and we had just spent five glorious days in Glacier National Park. We drove to Billings for a hotel stay and on the recommendation of our hotel clerk, we walked down to The Rex for dinner. We started with calamari steak fries which were thick, tender, and slightly spicy. Then our cream of shitake soup arrived. The soup was rich and delicious! Finally, our filet mignon and buffalo steak were served, rare and amazing. We were so full we couldn't even think about dessert. Best restaurant I've been to in Montana.

Samoa Cookhouse
79 Cookhouse Ln.
Samoa, CA
Lumberjack $$

One day while we were driving to see the Redwoods in northern California, we caught a sign off the road that read "Samoa Cookhouse, this way" with an arrow pointing in the appropriate direction. You get a little punchy being in the car for many hours at a time and so we opted to try it out if it was nearby. We continued through traffic and just as we were about to give up, there was another sign for the Samoa Cookhouse. Eventually, we found ourselves on this tiny road crossing the water leading us away from Arcata. The Samoa Cookhouse is an experience. You enter a room with long wooden tables and benches and at the far end is the kitchen where the cookstaff works to send delicious odors wafting toward you. You eat whatever they are serving that day. You eat it lumberjack style. Sit down, they bring the goods, and you start chowing down. You can ask for more, if you can fit it in you. They serve homestyle cooking with real butter and real cream. Unfortunately, most of us don't burn the calories the way lumberjacks did - so eating here regularly probably isn't wise, but it is soooo good. A must.

101 4th St.
San Francisco, CA
Sushi $$$$

I've eaten here a half dozen times during the Fall AGU conferences in San Francisco. It's literally a few hundred yards from the conference center and has pretty good sushi at moderate prices. Doesn't hold a candle to Ai or Miyoshi - but they are in a league of their own. Fish is fresh, good selection, and it gets crowded (good sign).

Sol Duc Hot Springs Restaurant
Olympic National Park
Port Angeles, WA
American $$$

Everytime we backpack the Seven Lakes Basin loop, we end the trip on a delicious note at the Sol Duc Hot Springs Restaurant. My fondest memory was when we took a cab into the park and had no car when we hiked out. Jeremy and I discreetly went into their washrooms to clean up and make ourselves presentable. When the restaurant opened for business, we requested a table for two. We also asked our host if we could store our backpacks behind his desk, to which he graciously agreed. I think I had some sodium-rich breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns. It all sounds like Denny's fare, but it was a hundred times better. Jeremy probably got waffles with strawberries (also good). He gave the coffee a thumbs up too. Subsequent meals have all been positive experiences.

Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant
102, 4940 No. 3 Rd.
Richmond, BC
Chinese $$$$

My parents took us here on our way back to Whistler from the Butchart Gardens. The food is expensive as Chinese food goes, but the quality wasn't bad - although the $58 grouper wasn't all that fresh or tender to me. I think it's overrated (a common theme I encountered while in BC) and not terribly special. Not to mention that Jeremy and I both suffered food poisoning that night. My parents seemed alright - I think they have stronger constitutions having just come back from a trip to China... I'd skip this place and oh - just skip it.

La Taqueria
2889 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA
Mexican $

The first time I ate here was at the invitation of Paco's father, who had come to the San Francisco airport to pick up his son. Paco and I were on the same flights from Ithaca to SFO for the Fall AGU meeting. This meant I had to sit next to Paco and listen to him for a whole 6 hour flight. But here was my reward: his father (a sweet and charming man from Nicaragua) insisted that I join them for lunch at what he declared was "the best Taqueria around". He was right. The ingredients in the tacos were fresh, tender and so good! How can I describe it other than to say this was the best taco I had ever eaten? I headed back there two years later with some of my Cornell pals (including Paco). Yup, it was no mistake. Best damn tacos. The best.

Tiny place in Pisagua
north end of town
Pisagua, Chile
Seafood $

It was our last night of field work in El Norte Grande, 2001 and we decided to drive down the Cantilado (steep coastal cliff) to the tiny, isolated coastal town of Pisagua in northern Chile. If I recall correctly, the restaurant is at the north end of town. This adorable little woman invited us to sit down on the patio of what I think was her house, and brought out some pisco sours. For dinner, we all had the same thing, "pesce perro". She called it fishdog, but she meant some sort of dogfish. It was battered and fried, served with ensalada chilena (onions and tomatoes), and absolutely tender and delicious. From where we sat, we watched dolphins frolicking in the Pacific Ocean silouhetted by the setting sun. Okay, I could not see the dolphins as I was blinded by the setting sun, but I am told they were out there...

Umi Sushi Japanese Restaurant
5353 Almaden Expressway #46
San Jose, CA 95118
Sushi $$$

I know where to get good sushi in LA, but it was hit or miss in the bay area everytime we visited my grandma. I finally found a terrific place in San Jose that serves up great sushi and is next door to my favorite grocery store, Trader Joes (don't laugh - we don't have them in Colorado). The restaurant is small and unassuming. Run by a korean couple, the fish is served fresh and in good portions for the cost. They have an astounding selection of cut rolls listed on their menu, with pictures! I have never ordered anything I didn't like - and we have ordered A LOT here. I really like this familiy-run business. Afterthought: when the owner isn't there, the service isn't very good and the portions are pretty skimpy.

Whistler Brewhouse
4355 Blackcomb Way
Whistler, BC
Good Pub Food $$$

Good food at somewhat more affordable prices compared to the higher end traps in Whistler. I actually found everything to be well prepared and delicious. Our server was friendly, attentive, and prompt. Not bad at all.

Williamsburg Inn
136 E. Francis St.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Fine Dining $$$$$$$$

The Williamsburg Inn is a five star hotel nestled within the boundaries of historical Colonial Williamsburg. I used to hate anything related to Williamsburg because I grew up there and because I was a stupid teenager. The Inn is lovely and amazing and the quality of the food at the restaurant is only surpassed by the service. It is expensive, to be sure, but I have never paid a bill there before (thanks, Mom and Dad). You cannot go wrong with anything you order. Chateau briand, boulliabaise, duck, lobster... Make reservations, dress well and enjoy yourself, it is a treat.

Zen Whistler
2202 Gondola Way
Whistler Creekside, BC
Sushi $$$$$$

The sushi here is excellent and you will pay higher than usual prices for it because you are in that tourist trap of Whistler. The restaurant is quite large and I imagine it gets very full in winter when skiers with a lot of money to burn want sushi. Well, despite my grumblings about the exhorbitant pricing, at least the sushi didn't suck. They had a good selection of fish and it was definitely fresh and delicious.