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Recent reviews by Michael G. - Page 1 of 11
Restaurant Name City
Rating
Vesu Walnut Creek, CA
I have dined at Vesu several times since it opened. I am quite a big guy with quite a big appetite and I really love great food. I have tried almost every single thing on the menu. I think Vesu is not only the best restaurant in Walnut Creek; it is one of the best in the bay area, maybe in California. My wife describes Vesu as the MOMA, except with food. Every dish at Vesu pops with flavor. I seldom order steak at a fine dining establishment (as there is only so much one can do with steak) but as I wanted to try everything, I ordered it. Wonderful! The citrus crusted Ahi was better than tuna ought to taste. The pork belly is a marvel of both texture and flavor. The beet salad is the best we have ever had. The Halibut (with English peas, mussels and tiny bits of chorizo) is beyond words. Vesu dishes are infused with more than flavor, they have been created with emotional content. There is particular (and unusual) attention to textures. The staff is particularly well trained and friendly. After reading several of the Yelp reviews, I compared the menus of Vesu and Va da vi online and the prices seem comparable, if not identical, but for me there is NO comparison in food quality. I have dined at Va da Vi a few times but always left unsatisfied and unimpressed. Each time I leave Vesu I am simply in awe. I find the portions large enough for three adults – they might seem small only if one doesn’t appreciate all that is there. If you don’t really love great food you will likely not find Vesu worth the money. If you do really love great food, Vesu is more than a bargain, it is a treasure.
Sage Newport Beach, CA
OK, I have reviewed a bunch of places…This is, perhaps, my favorite restaurant in California. The location is quite unassuming (the corner of a non-descript strip mall). Entering Sage transports you to a hidden delightful realm. The interior is charming, and beautify lit with well selected, interesting artwork. Patio dining is wonderful during sunset in the summer, with the scent of lime and eucalyptus trees and a garden atmosphere. The cuisine has aspects of French, Californian, and Comfort Food. The burger was fantastic, as was the lamb, the scallops, the flat iron steak, and the gorgonzola steak. The beet salad, the gorgonzola salad and the Sage salad were among the best salads anywhere. The use of fresh seasonal ingredients was dazzling. The soups were each incredible. The service was absolutely outstanding and added to the experience. The servers were attentive, pleasant, not stuffy, and made excellent suggestions. The desserts were excellent. The crème brule was fantastic. The strawberry sundae was the best we have ever had. The chocolate chip bread pudding is not to be missed. Try the chocolate flavored tea with dessert. Brunch was very good but not as outstanding as the lunch or dinner. This has become a new Newport Beach tradition with us. Do not miss this place. If your first meal is not perfect, give it another try. This is one of the best chefs and fine dining values in California.
Crepevide Walnut Creek, CA
With the name and look of Crepevine I expected an upscale crepe place with a great wine list. Not so. Firstly, I did not like the ordering process, but I did not figure out why, until we talked about it during the meal. This is a walk-up, look at the board menu, and place your order style restaurant. I generally don’t mind this, but here I felt annoyed. The reason – the menu was too large for this style of dining. You actually have to get out of line to see the whole menu. Then after ordering they don’t hand you your drinks, they bring them to your table. This was just weird, they had to follow us to our table. The crepes are above average, but not gourmet (not as good as Crepes A-Go-Go down the street). The savory crepes weren’t. They were fresh and large, but uninteresting. The crepes come with potatoes (ok, but boring) and greens with vinaigrette. The wine list was pitiful. They serve a few mixed drinks but not really a full bar. The drinks we ordered were awful. No detectable alcohol in my wife’s cosmo (but it was huge – nearly 8 oz.). My margarita was nearly a solid and served in a water glass with no spoon or straw…just drinking it was difficult and not worth the effort. The Classico salad was very good and large (but nine bucks). They serve breakfast items which we did not try. I will be quite surprised if this place makes it in Walnut Creek. It seems designed for walk in regulars which is unlikely in that location.
Jane's Corndogs Newport Beach, CA
One of our regular summer dining traditions. Jane’s is a walk-in beach snack place at the Newport pier with good food and fast service. The corndogs are excellent as is the fresh squeezed lemonade (which has the peels soaking with the lemonade). Jane’s also has wide selection of excellent ice cream, and every combination of frozen banana. My wife wanted to give this place a 4 (very good) because of its inefficient selection and ordering process. My daughter and I think the process is delightfully Newport Beach.
The Sol Grill Newport Beach, CA
Sol Grill is a very small restaurant at the Newport Pier in Newport Beach. We had walked passed this place for a few years, but every time it was virtually empty, so we never went in (plus it is next door to Sharkeez, our favorite Newport Beach eatery). This year we finally gave it a try. The décor was head-shop meets modern-art swap meet (not my cup of tea). The service was uninspired at best. The food was not bad, but we are unlikely to return. The value was just not there. The best things were the really good garlic bread and my blackened Swordfish. Several other of our dishes were just boring (not bad, just boring). The sangrias were made with sprite (yech). With the service we received I could not give this place a 3 (good). With an excellent server and knowledge of what to order this place could have been a 4 (very good). As it was I am compelled to give this place a strong 2 (average).
John Ash & Co. Santa Rosa, CA
This is a very pretty restaurant with views of vineyards. The décor is light and pleasant. The service is above average. The food ranges from great to good. The Ahi Tower was great, fresh, interesting, beautiful and tasty. The Mussels were good, but far from great. There were more shells than mussels, and the sauce was too subtle for mussels. There were a lot of garlic solids with the mussels, but they were almost flavorless. The port tenderloin was very good (brined and cooked perfectly). The duck was uninteresting. The softshell crab was wonderful. The crème brule was quite good, the chocolate cake was a beautiful presentation, but disappointing (one bite was perfect, but the peanut butter and apricot spread were very uneven). The martinis were great as was the wine list.
Alouettes San Ramon, CA
This is a hard to find French place in San Ramon. It is near the Jamba Juice. Overall this is somewhere between good and very good. The escargot were boring (as is almost always the case in the US). My wife and daughter loved the pumpkin soup, but I thought it was too sweet. My duck was great, crispy with a tasty sauce. The veal saltimbocca was wonderful. The Chicken cordon blu was good but not great as was the Chicken Piccata. The chocolate soufflé was also quite good, but the bananas Foster was weak (the sauce was not quite caramelized). The atmosphere was very nice. The difference between the strip mall outside and the romantic interior was quite a surprise. The service is very good. We will definitely be back – the lunch menu looks very reasonablely priced.
In-N-Out Burger Alhambra, CA
This is by far the best of the fast food burger chains. The burgers are wonderful and the fries are the best anywhere. The service is very fast and you can customize your burger the way you want it. Everything is REALLY fresh. The tomatoes are real slices, the lettuce and onions are crisp, the meat is fresh and not frozen, you can watch as they change a real potato into their perfect fries, and the buns are fresh baked. The menu is simple burger, cheese-burger, double-double (double meat double cheese), fries and drinks. That is it. My wife likes grilled onions, extra lettuce, and extra tomato. I like double raw onions – animal style (mustard cooked meat). I have been eating at In-n-Out for my whole life and the quality and service have remained virtually perfect. We plan our road trips around In-n-Outs and have been to most of them in California (they are all in my GPS). None of us like the shakes. I get the lemonade and squeeze in a couple of extra fresh lemons. There are a few secret menu items – protein style (no bun, with an excellent lettuce wrap), NxM (N meat, M cheese), Animal style (mustard cooked meat), and grilled cheese sandwich. In-n-Out pays way above minimum wage and it really shows in the service. In-n-Out was also one of the few fast food places mentioned favorably in the book Fast Food Nation.
In-N-Out Burger Anaheim, CA
This is by far the best of the fast food burger chains. The burgers are wonderful and the fries are the best anywhere. The service is very fast and you can customize your burger the way you want it. Everything is REALLY fresh. The tomatoes are real slices, the lettuce and onions are crisp, the meat is fresh and not frozen, you can watch as they change a real potato into their perfect fries, and the buns are fresh baked. The menu is simple burger, cheese-burger, double-double (double meat double cheese), fries and drinks. That is it. My wife likes grilled onions, extra lettuce, and extra tomato. I like double raw onions – animal style (mustard cooked meat). I have been eating at In-n-Out for my whole life and the quality and service have remained virtually perfect. We plan our road trips around In-n-Outs and have been to most of them in California (they are all in my GPS). None of us like the shakes. I get the lemonade and squeeze in a couple of extra fresh lemons. There are a few secret menu items – protein style (no bun, with an excellent lettuce wrap), NxM (N meat, M cheese), Animal style (mustard cooked meat), and grilled cheese sandwich. In-n-Out pays way above minimum wage and it really shows in the service. In-n-Out was also one of the few fast food places mentioned favorably in the book Fast Food Nation.
In-N-Out Burger Anaheim, CA
This is by far the best of the fast food burger chains. The burgers are wonderful and the fries are the best anywhere. The service is very fast and you can customize your burger the way you want it. Everything is REALLY fresh. The tomatoes are real slices, the lettuce and onions are crisp, the meat is fresh and not frozen, you can watch as they change a real potato into their perfect fries, and the buns are fresh baked. The menu is simple burger, cheese-burger, double-double (double meat double cheese), fries and drinks. That is it. My wife likes grilled onions, extra lettuce, and extra tomato. I like double raw onions – animal style (mustard cooked meat). I have been eating at In-n-Out for my whole life and the quality and service have remained virtually perfect. We plan our road trips around In-n-Outs and have been to most of them in California (they are all in my GPS). None of us like the shakes. I get the lemonade and squeeze in a couple of extra fresh lemons. There are a few secret menu items – protein style (no bun, with an excellent lettuce wrap), NxM (N meat, M cheese), Animal style (mustard cooked meat), and grilled cheese sandwich. In-n-Out pays way above minimum wage and it really shows in the service. In-n-Out was also one of the few fast food places mentioned favorably in the book Fast Food Nation.
Riverboat Newport Beach, CA
Nice boat, very nice view...good food. If it were not for the view and the décor (a real river boat), this would be a easy pass. But the view is great, the décor is pleasant, and where else can you eat on a river boat. If you are going to the surfing museum next door, this is well worth the trip.
Pan Asia Mongolian Bar-B-Que Costa Mesa, CA
My favorite Mongolian BBQ. The have excellent selection and delicious pocket bread. The value is excellent. The service is excellent, and the good is great. One of my standard Newport Beach restaurants.
In-N-Out Burger Buena Park, CA
This is by far the best of the fast food burger chains. The burgers are wonderful and the fries are the best anywhere. The service is very fast and you can customize your burger the way you want it. The menu is simple burger, cheese-burger, double-double (double meat double cheese) and fries. That is it. My wife likes grilled onions, extra lettuce, extra tomato, I like double raw onions. I have been eating at In-n-Out for my whole life and the quality and service have remained virtually perfect. We plan our road trips around In-n-Outs and have been to most of them in California. None of us like the shakes. I get the lemonade and squeeze in a couple of lemons.
In-N-Out Burger Sunnyvale, CA
This is by far the best of the fast food burger chains. The burgers are wonderful and the fries are the best anywhere. The service is very fast and you can customize your burger the way you want it. The menu is simple burger, cheese-burger, double-double (double meat double cheese) and fries. That is it. My wife likes grilled onions, extra lettuce, extra tomato, I like double raw onions. I have been eating at In-n-Out for my whole life and the quality and service have remained virtually perfect. We plan our road trips around In-n-Outs and have been to most of them in California. None of us like the shakes. I get the lemonade and squeeze in a couple of lemons.
In-N-Out Burger Costa Mesa, CA
This is by far the best of the fast food burger chains. The burgers are wonderful and the fries are the best anywhere. The service is very fast and you can customize your burger the way you want it. The menu is simple burger, cheese-burger, double-double (double meat double cheese) and fries. That is it. My wife likes grilled onions, extra lettuce, extra tomato, I like double raw onions. I have been eating at In-n-Out for my whole life and the quality and service have remained virtually perfect. We plan our road trips around In-n-Outs and have been to most of them in California. None of us like the shakes. I get the lemonade and squeeze in a couple of lemons.
Basix Cafe West Hollywood, CA
This place was good but not great. The gorgonzola and mushroom pizza was fantastic…a thin crispy crust with good flavor plus excellent gorgonzola and flavorful mushrooms. Unfortunately I had to give most of my pizza away because everyone else’s dinners were boring at best. This is also a hip place that did not take well to my kind of people (middle-aged, overweight, poorly dressed, straight guy with family). I might try it again before or after the theater.
Accents Newport Beach, CA
We had and excellent meal at Accents. The sea bass with duchess potatoes was one of the best sea bass dishes I have ever had. The salad greens with avocado was outstanding. The sauces on the steak, lamb and sea bass were all fantastic. The sides were delicious. Excellent wines by the glass. The cusine was a French-California fusion with accents upon seafood. The desserts looked suspiciously like pretty-but-not-good items I have been served many times, but as the desserts came with our meal we tried three of them and all were superb. Overall I was quite impressed. The service was also wonderful. When a substantial mistake was made, they did everything they could to rectify the situation (and they did to our perfect satisfaction).
T.g.i Fridays Costa Mesa, CA
A good but not great restaurant. A wide menu of fun food. Service is also good but not great. Overall life is too short to eat here unless compelled by circumstances.
Tgi Fridays San Bruno, CA
A good but not great restaurant. A wide menu of fun food. Service is also good but not great. Overall life is too short to eat here unless compelled by circumstances.
Outback Steak House Costa Mesa, CA
I love the steaks here. The steaks are well seasoned, cooked perfectly, and are almost invariably excellent meat. The crab is simply the best I have ever had anywhere. The service is very friendly and enjoyable. Great for kids. The wings are the best anywhere. Kids love the cheesy-fries. Both the house and Caesar salads are delicious. The soups are good. The desserts are wonderful. The wait can be quite substantial at busy times.
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