Dave M.

Orange County, CA

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Recent reviews by Dave M. - Page 6 of 19
Restaurant Name City
Dave?s Diner & Sports Pub Angels Camp, CA
Small 1950?s retro style diner and burger restaurant located in the small Alta Village strip mall along with the Angels Camp branch of the Automobile Association of America (AAA) office and an H&R Block Tax Service Office. Sandwiches are under $10.00, with most items on the menu under $7. Open for lunch and breakfast only. Sandwiches and burgers are good, and there is an old style soda fountain type bar akin to Johnny Rockets and other 50s style burger diners. This is a good ?honest? type diner with decent food. Service is good to fair. Portions are fair. The menu has some interesting items on it like ?P.T.-109 S.O.S.? I have certainly never seen too many restaurants that ever bothered to make creamed, (in this case) ground beef hot open faced sandwiches. The Green Hornet - an Ortega Chile burger is good, as are some of the other more normal items on the menu. Recommended.
Gus?s Steak House Sonora, CA
Very good and affordable steak house on Mono Way within visual distance of the large Wal-Mart Shopping Center near Sanguinetti Road. 16 oz prime rib $19.95. 12 ox prime rib $15.95 16 oz tri tip $19.95, 12 oz tri-tip $12.95 Rack of Lamb $19.95 BBQ Ribs and Chicken $14.95 14 oz Ribeye steak $18.95 New York $17.95 Filet Mignon 10 oz $19.95 Scampi $15.95 Steak and Scampi $18.95 Lobster dishes at seasonal market prices. Daily specials in $12 to $18 range. Nearly all of the menu is under $20, with most items in the $12-$17 range and some items under $10. Dinner entrees come with minestrone soup or salad, choice of potato, fries, red potatoes or pasta. Pasta has a choice of rigatoni or penne with either a marinara or a garlic basil sauce. Hot bakery style bread with a cheese fondue accompanies dinner. Cheese fondue seems to be something of a local area staple at steak houses in the Sonora-Angels Camp-Jamestown area. This place actually does the fondue correctly. The cheese fondue is mild and not too sharp and properly port wined. Very good and not overwhelming. Minestrone soup is thick and hearty and home made. Very good. Service is very good to excellent. This is most certainly the best steak house or surf and turf restaurant within 50 miles. Casual dining with a separate bar area. One caution is that Mono Way is heavy with traffic and moves fast in this neighborhood. Gus? Steak House comes up on you unexpectedly fast, and is in the middle of the block. It is a small-medium sized restaurant with very limited parking on the street, but good parking behind the building ? you just have to keep you eyes peeled and be prepared to pass it by and turn around. The restaurant is very good by almost any standards. It is not the prettiest restaurant, and the building is old and reminiscent of a trucker?s dive ? but the interior is old time upscale, the owner, Gus Tasiopoulos, seems to know how to run his restaurant and give the customer an excellent meal with generous portions at a fair price. Recommended.
Potestas Pasta House Sonora, CA
Family type pasta house in The Junction shopping center. Portions are good and prices are reasonable, with nearly everything on the menu under $11.00, however, I found the meat sauce/Bolognese style pasta dishes to be poorly done and not very tasty. White sauce dishes are better. The minestrone appears to be home cooked style, but tends to be a bit overcooked and mushy. Service is very good to excellent, but the food does not quite make the mark.
Mandarin Garden Chatsworth, CA
Open 7 days Sun-Thurs 11:30 ? 9:30 Fri Sat 11:30 ? 10:00 MC, V, AMEX Dine in or take out. This used to be the High Road to China Chinese Restaurant, located in a strip mall at the corner of Lassen Ave and Topanga Canyon Blvd. Food is not noticeably different from the High Road menu, in either taste or quality. Lunch Specials from $4.95 to $5.95 Dinner entrees run an average of $8, with the vast majority of items on the menu well under $10.00. Service is fair to good ? occasionally understaffed. Interesting items include Scallop Bourget $14.95 ? scallops sautéed with mixed vegetables in an edible crisp noodle basket. Empress Duck is slices of duck sautéed with ginger $9.95. Satisfying and affordable Chinese food, but nothing really spectacular on the menu, although they do have a few interesting and creative ideas.
U J's Family Restaurant Lodi, CA
Surprisingly good coffee shop-truck stop type restaurant off Highway 99 at Highway 12, in the backwater town of Lodi, about half an hour?s drive due south of Sacramento. This is on par with any decent coffee shop or breakfast stop. Omelettes are particularly good. The portions are generous and the price is good with nearly everything on the menu under $6.00. Not an elegant or new place, but it has satisfying and affordable food for the traveler.
Firewood Murphys, CA
Interesting new fusion cuisine restaurant. Tacos Al Carbon type small tacos, running $1.75 each in small, folded and steamed corn tortillas. Hamburgers around $7.95, with unusual items like Gorganzola Cheese and Garden Burgers. Baby Back Ribs for $7.95 with fries and slaw. Wood fired gourmet pizzas at $8.95. Appearance is akin to a California Pizza Kitchen pizza, only the pizzas at FireWood actually taste good. Unusual items on the pizza menu, such as Prosciutto & Arugala, Shrimp and Feta. A standard sausage and pepperoni with fresh mozzarella cheese was very good. Good variety of bottled beers and on tap microbrews and label brews, as well as local wines. Local wines are a bit pricey at an average of $13-18 per bottle.
Murphys Hotel Murphys, CA
Murphy’s Historic Hotel & Lodge Restaurant 457 Main St Murphy, CA 95247 209-728-3444 www.murphyshotel.com Noisy and bustling hotel with separate bar and restaurant areas. Restaurant area has both indoor and outdoor seating in an old fashioned hotel. Food quality is good to above average. Attractively presented with normal portions, but nothing spectacular in the sense of taste. It’s good for the area, but nothing memorable. Murphys hotel famous crab cakes: $8.95 Shrimp cocktail 7.95 Chicken entrees: $12.95 (fried chickent) to $15.95 (chicken cordon bleu) Meat entrees: $16.95 (roast pork loin) to $25.95 (steak and scampi) Ney York, Prime Rib (10/12 oz) Rack of Lamb and Veal Scallopini featured. Seafood entrees: $15.95 (calamari fritti) to $18.95 king salmon. Pasta dishes: $11.95 (Penne Past Della Casa) to $15.95 (Linguine Gambieri) Prawn and Sole but no lobster or crab. Salads from $3.95 (dinner) to $11.95 (supreme Caesar) Parking awkward in the crowded historic downtown. Park where you can in the yuppie community which is becoming very trendy with ex-silicon valley folks who cashed out during the dot-com boom. Excellent wine list. Full bar separate and in another part of the hotel to keep bar traffic from interfering with diners. Service is slow to good.
Spring Villa Elk Grove, CA
Spring Villa 9135 W. Stockton Bl Suite 160 Elk Grove, CA 95758 916-683-9333 916-683-9335 fax M-Th 11 A – 9:30 P Fri 11 A – 10 P Sat Noon – 10 P Sun Noon – 9:30 P Small restaurant with limited seating but ample parking. Just average Chinese food located in a Best Buy Mall in Elk Grove. Extremely affordable with nearly every item on the menu under $10.00 with most items around d $8.50. Lunch specials all under $6.50. All the standard food you would expect to see on a very extensive menu, but nothing on the menu which is particularly wonderful or special. Satsifying food at a fair price, but nothing really terrific.
Weather Station Arnold, CA
Weather Station 794 Highway 4 Arnold, CA 95223 209-795-1571 A disappointing Italian restaurant in the small resort town of Arnold, CA. This is primarily a Northern Italian Cuisine restaurant (white sauces). Marinara and red meat sauces (Bolognese italian) are available, but the meat sauce is over peppered and under salted, leaving the sauce with an extremely tomato pasty taste which really ruins the meal. Affordable, with everything on the menu under $13.75. Very limited menu of spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, stuffed shells plus a few chicken dishes and a few vegan dishes. Portions are good to generous. Again, Marinara, Meat Sauces and White sauces are available with some but not all dishes. Stick with the white sauces. Service is spotty: fair to poor. Lasagna: $13.75 Vegetarian Lasagna: $13.75 Eggplant Parmesan: $13.75 Chicken Marinara: $13.75 full $11.50 petite Stuffed Shells: $13.00 full $10.00 petite Ravioli: $13.75 full $11.50 petite Spaghetti: $12.50 full $10.50 petite Unusual Items: Chicken Divante: $13.75 full $11.50 petite This is a chicken and broccoli dish in a white sauce. Seafood Divante: $14.75 Ditto with seafood instead of chicken. Strogalini: $13.75 full $11.50 petite This is a cross between Stroganoff and Fettuccini. MC V only.
Blue Coyote Cafe and Grill Arnold, CA
Disappointing upscale restaurant in the resort town of Arnold, CA Dinners have small portions, but are attractively presented – a la Wolfgang Puck – but the food misses the mark and just does not live up to expectations. The menu is small and yuppie-ish. A Filet Mignon sets you back about $23.95. The Hanger Steak $13, 95 consisted of about ten slices of skirt steak. Nicely marinated in a very tasty balsamic marinade, and presented with mashed potatoes, marinated red cabbage and vegetable wedges. The problem was that the steak was warm, not hot, and the portions were a bit too small. Mashed potatoes were bland and absolutely nothing special, and no au jus or other gravy was provided. Unusual item on the menu was the Shrimp, Crab, Shrimp & Corn Fritters. Seven of these were provided at $9.95. Each was golf ball to 2x golf ball sized. It is accompanied by a marmalade dipping sauce. Served on a bed of shredded cabbage. The fritters were interesting, but soft – not crispy. Taste was unusually bland and mushy. As a result, they do not dip very well in the rather thick marmalade These wer not as hot as they could have been, either. Interesting ambience and upscale quietness, but this restaurant just does not make it. Open Wed – Sun Breakfast: 7A – 11:30A Lunch: Noon – 3P Dinner: 5:30P – 9P
Pizza Plus Murphys, CA
Sun & Mon 4P – 9P Tues – Thur 11A – 9P Fri – Sat 11A – 10P Small chain of family Pizza parlors. Other location in Jamestown. Mini (8”) Small (10”) Medium (12”) Large (14”) Giant (16”) $5.50 $7.40 $10.45 $12.65 $15.15 - Cheese Only $5.75 $10.35 $13.50 $16.55 $18.60 - Basic 1 topping cost $6.00 $10.50 $14.10 $17.40 $19.20 - Basic 2 topping cost $6.25 $10.90 $14.85 $18.15 $20.00 - Basic 3 topping cost $6.50 $11.05 $15.40 $18.90 $21.00 - Basic 4 topping cost Vegetarian and specialty pizzas available. Toppings: Olives, pineapple, Jalapeno, breakfast bacon, pepperoncini, onion, artichoke hearts, cashews, mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, chicken, pesto, pepperoni, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, ham, salami, linguica, BBQ chicken, anchovies Calzones: $5.75 with $0.25 additional toppings Acceptable quality and fair service. Nothing special.
Carole’s Just Delicious Café Arnold, CA
Good quality breakfast café in Arnold, CA. Breakfast is served all day, with breakfast items on the menu not exceeding $9.00, and nearly all items well below this price. Portions are generous, with quality and taste above average. Service is very good to excellent. Omelettes are excellent, with standard breakfast combinations available. Recommended.
Pick and Shovel Cafe Murphys, CA
11A – Closed Tues, Wed Very good, upscale small sandwich and burger stand with indoor and outdoor seating. Parking is on the street with everything else in downtown Murphys – very limited. Burgers are a bit pricey at $8, but they are good just the same. Hot dogs, sausages, soups, salads available. Microbrew beers and local wines served.
Home Turf Sports Bar Sacramento, CA
An upscale version of fast food in s sports bar setting, with locations in other airporst across the country. Very much a sports bar – a place which is intended to sell beer and wine and spirits. Very small abbreviated menu, due to the fact that it is at an airport. Sandwiches all coming in around $8.00. Appetizers all coming in around $6.00 Noisy, but with good prompt service needed for this environment. Food is nothing special or wonderful, but OK just the same.
Rodz Grill Angels Camp, CA
This is a coffee shop type diner, along the lines of a Denny's or Coco's. The restaurant is decorated in a 50's Hot Rod type theme. Cutesy, but it could use a little revamping. Food is acceptable to good, wiht most breakfast items on the menu under $8, and nearly all lunch or dinner items under $12. Serving portions are good. Food quality is average. Service is generally good and friendly. Nothing really interesting or exciting on the menu -- not that you would expect anything exciting at a Denny's or a Coco's. The food is good, but nothing special. The one thing that bothers me here is the number of house flies that inevitably seem to be buzzing about in the restaurant.
Sue's Angels Creek Cafe Angels Camp, CA
Open until 2 PM for breakfast and Lunch Only!
An interesting small café in Old Angels Camp. This is a breakfast and sandwich place, with a menu that rotates periodically. Homestyle cooking describes this place best. Very few tables, and parking is shared with everything else in Old Angels Camp, so at times it can be tight.
Service is good. Nothing unusual or special on the menu, but the food is hot, satisfying and reasonably priced, with everything under $10. This is a small, good “honest” type Mom and Pop place of a type that used to be all over the USA back in the 50s and 60s – pushed out when the franchise food biz arrived.
Perko’s Café Angels Camp, CA
Perko’s Café 570 N Main St Angels Camp, CA 95222 209-736-9566 7A – 8P www.perkoscafe.com
Chain of about 50 coffee shop restaurants spread throughout Northern California. There has been a strong attempt to modernize the ones in better towns and make the menu and ambience more akin to the midscale, family type restaurant experience you would expect from a Coco’s or Baker’s Square for breakfasts and lunches, and a dinner menu somewhere between these restaurants and a chain like TGI FRIDAYS.
In Angels Camp, Perko’s has been relatively successful at making these improvements. The restaurant is almost a clone of a Baker’s Square type restaurant, with some interesting surprises. One exception is that beer and wine are served at Perko’s in Angels Camp, as well as non-alcoholic coffee drinks – lattes, mochas, espresso, etc. They’ve gone the added step here of leveraging off of many of the local wineries - which are beginning to rival those in Napa or Yakima - catering to a more diverse and trendy, affluent ex-Silicon Valley locals, as well as the seasonal clientele that tends to come into the area for skiing, snowboarding, water sports, etc.
Breakfast specials rotate regularly - they represent interesting combinations of foods, with relatively good portions and vary from a very affordable $2.99 to $5.00. The 3-egg omelettes are something of a specialty, here, and these are often part of the specials as well. One thing which I appreciated about this place is that they put butter on the side of the breakfast dishes by default, instead of drenching pancakes and toast with butter.
Nearly everything on the breakfast, lunch or dinner menu averages a price well under $10.00, and Lunch and Dinner specials priced at $7.99 abound. “Steak, Salad and Wine” is one special which provides a small sirloin, salad, cheese bread, baked potato, tossed green salad and wine for $7.99. Nothing on the breakfast menu or lunch menu is over $8, with most items averaging around $5 to 6$. Dinner items do not exceed $12.00 with most averaging $8 to $9. Appetizers are an equal surprise, with everything from BBQ riblets to fried mozzarella to taquitos all priced from between $4.00 to $6.00
Service is generally very good to excellent. Friendly and fast.
Located on the northern end of town, on Hwy 49, five blocks north of the 49 and 4 junction (where 4 comes into Angels Camp from the West (Stockton, Lodi) and 49 heads towards San Andreas.
Strong Recommendation.
La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant Angels Camp, CA
La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant Longs Drug Mall (Frog Jump Plaza) 51 N Main Street – Suite D Angels Camp, CA 95222 209-736-6711
Don’t confuse the larger Mexican restaurant with the small La Hacienda Steakhouse across the highway.
The La Hacienda Mexican restaurant is in the Longs Drug mall (Frog Jump Plaza) while the very small La Hacienda Steakhouse is on the other side of highway 49 in a small strip mall. Both are run by the same people, but the menus are very different.
La Hacienda Mexican restaurant is in the Longs Drug mall right on the West side of Highway 49 at a T intersection where Highway 49 meets Highway 4 coming in from Stockton. Good seating and ample parking here.
La Hacienda has other locations in Galt, Modesto and Copperopolis.
Food is standard Southwestern Tex Mex fare. Exactly what you would expect out of any similar restaurant. No surprises on the menu in food or price, but also nothing special or wonderful here.
It is decent Mexican food in a family coffee shop type environment. Everything on the menu is basically under $15, with most combination plates averaging about $8 to $10.
Mariscos (Mexican seafood dishes) are the most expensive item on the menu, coming in typically around $14.95. Nothing unusual here, either, with the possibility of the Camarones Ala Diabla – a Cajun spiced Mexican shrimp dish. I have not typically seen Cajun food at a Mexican restaurant.


Mountain Mike’s Pizza Angels Camp, CA
Mountain Mike’s Pizza Save-Mart Shopping Center 250 Main Street Angels Camp, CA 209-736-1356
Open 11A – 9P
Part of a chain of Northern and Central CA pizza parlors that are somewhere in between a Shakey’s, Round Table or Pizza Hut in quality. Very reminiscent of a Round Table.
Family oriented and OK when you’re traveling with kids, but nothing particularly special. Good variety of toppings:
Pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, ham, linguica, Canadian bacon, Louisiana hot sausage, bacon, jalapeno peppers, artichokes, tomatoes, bell peppers, green chiles, extra cheese, black olives, pineapple, onions, garlic, anchovies, green onions.
Crust is thick or thin and you can order pizzas with traditional red pizza sauce, creamy garlic white pizza sauce, or KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce.

Mini (7”) Small (10”) Medium (12”) Large (14”) Mountain (20”)
$4.29 $8.30 $11.84 $14.60 $24.80 - Basic 1 topping cost $0.70 $0.84 $ 1.20 $ 1.55 $ 2.10 - Addl toppings
Specialty combos have “mountain” names like “Everest”, etc.
They run from $10.82 to $31.10 and typically have 3-6 toppings.
More or less standard small selection of sandwiches and sides and salads. Most have a small salad bar as well.
All You Can Eat Buffets:
Lunch 11A – 2 P Mon thru Fri Dinner 5P – 8P Wed
Sunday Family Night Specials
La Hacienda Steakhouse Angels Camp, CA
La Hacienda Steakhouse 15 South Main Street Angels Camp, CA 95222
Small steakhouse on the site of the original La Hacienda restaurant location, which now occupies a larger location in the Longs Drug mall across the highway.
Don’t confuse the steakhouse with the new, larger regular La Hacienda Mexican restaurant, which is in the Longs Drug mall on the other side of the highway. Both are run by the same people, but the menus are very different.
La Hacienda steakhouse is in a small strip mall right on the East side of Highway 49 at a T intersection where Highway 49 meets Highway 4 coming in from Stockton It is very easy to miss. Look for a green awning. This place has extremely limited parking and very limited seating for only about 50.
Extremely limited menu (about 10 items) that are somewhat pricey for what you get. Portions are just average (typically 12 oz) with only 4 items on the menu that offer a 14 or 16 oz cut.
Prices are $12.95 to $17.95. A 16 oz Prime Rib at $17.95 is the most expensive item on the menu. Mine was ordered medium. It arrived decidedly more rare than medium, with portions borderline raw. Thickness was fair at about 1” thick.
Entrees come with sourdough bread, vegetables, cheese fondue (warm nacho cheese with a hint of jalapeno – just like taco dip), soup or salad and a choice of baked potato or fires.
Service is spotty. Anywhere from excellent to poor.
This steakhouse is about on par with what you might get at a Sizzler. Way overhyped and pricey for what you get.
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