Dave M.

Orange County, CA

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Recent reviews by Dave M. - Page 7 of 19
Restaurant Name City
Camps Restaurant (at Greenhorn Creek) Angels Camp, CA
CAMPS Restaurant 711 McCauley Ranch Road Angels Camp, CA 95222 209-736-8181
Located at the Greenhorn Creek development, this is a four start type restaurant in sophistication and price that you can go to in casual dress. Popular with more wealthy patrons over the age of 45.
Separate Bistro (with drinks and hors d’eurves), Full bar and Restaurant – with separate but equally pricey menus.
I do not, however, feel that the food is particularly wonderful.
I ordered a 20-oz porterhouse, medium, with French Onion Gratinee and a pricey glass of local red wine from the excellent Kautz Ironstone Vineyard. $6 per glass for a 1998 Merlot. Bottles on the wine list running an average of $25 to $35.
Medium proved to be more rare than medium, but the porterhouse was well presented with mushrooms, twice cooked potatoes in a potato jacket, and vegetable.
The gratinee soup had the appropriate cheese on top, but no bread underneath. It had a hearty wined stock base, but the soup was lukewarm, not hot, and tasted like it had been sitting around for a while, cooking down and cooling off. Disappointing and expensive at $5.
Service was excellent. Wine list and full bar are superb, but the menu is very limited in scope and the food is simply not that good.
This is a classy, scenic and quiet place to go where you can still dress casually, but the food is very pricey and just not very good.

Far East Angels Camp, CA
Far East Cantonese, Hunan and Szechuan Cuisine 51 N Main Street – Suite F Angels Camp, CA 95222 209-736-6718 M-Th 11A-9P Fri Sat 11A-10P Sun Noon – 9P
Acceptable Chinese restaurant located in a new, Longs Drugs mall area midtown at the junction where California Highway 4 comes into Angels Camp from the West (from Lodi and Stockton). Surprisingly authentic. Hong Kong style noodles are extremely thin and pan fried separately. Food is reasonably priced with nearly the entire menu under $15.00.
Service is generally very good, and the menu had good variety on it, as it draws from the Cantonese, Hunan and Szechuan areas. Every thing that you would expect to see on the menu is there – but I would have added some dim sum items and a dim sum lunch combo. Perhaps some of the ingredients are difficult to get this far out?
Mike’s Pizza Angels Camp, CA
Mike’s Pizza 294 S. Main Street Angels Camp, CA 209-736-9246 Open 11A – 9P To add a little confusion in Angels Camp, Mike’s Pizza is right scross the street from the small Save Mart shopping center where Mountain Mike’s Pizza is.
The pizza at Mike’s is more homespun and not at all like a Round Table Pizza clone, as Mountain Mike’s Pizza is.
Family oriented and OK when you’re traveling with kids, but nothing particularly special. Good variety of toppings.
Unusual things on the menu are breadsticks with cheese, cinnamon carmel, or gourmet flavors. Beer, wine, microbrewery beer and local winery wines are available.
Crust is thick or thin and you can order pizzas with traditional red pizza sauce, creamy garlic white pizza sauce, Cajun or BBQ sauce.
Mini (8”) Small (10”) Medium (12”) Large (14”) Giant (20”) $4.25 $7.90 $11.45 $14.02 $26.87 - Basic 1 topping cost $0.50 $0.75 $ 1.00 $ 1.50 $ 2.25 - Addl toppings
If the prices look similar to Mountain Mike’s Pizza across the street, this is probably no accident. There seems to be considerable menu competition between the two. The menu is more extensive at Mike’s than Mountain Mike’s. Mike’s covers the realm from salads to burgers to fish and chips to pizza and pasta more completely than Mountain Mike’s.
Mike’s averages a few cents cheaper than Mountain Mikes, except on a Giant pizza.
Mel’s Station 49 Diner San Andreas, CA
Mel’s Station 49 Diner 345 E. St Charles St (Highway 49) San Andreas, CA 209-754-1365
6 A – 9 P
This is a dilapidated old burger stand which has an enclosed patio area for eating. Staff is pleasant and prompt, but the food and place make this into a real dive. All the ambience of a biker bar. Stick with the burgers.
Extremely affordable at $1.75 for a mini-burger, with other burgers on the menu ranging to $5.15 with an average cost of about $4.50. Dinners to $6.60.
Hot dogs and other sandwiches are on the menu – but stick with the burgers. My hot turkey sandwich with gravy and fries cost $5.45, and was absolutely horrible. Standard “shaved” Buddig-Beef type turkey on bread with canned gravy. Sorry, but this does not make it.
Pablitos Restaurants Arnold, CA
Pablitos Restaurants 925 Highway 4 Arnold, CA 95223 209-795-3303 11A – 230P Lunch 5P – 9P Dinner
Small chain of Tex Mex restaurants with other locations in Sonora, El Centro, Hayward, Borrego Springs and Calexico.
Standard fare with nothing particularly unusual or special. Shredded, machaca type beef used in almost all beef tacos, tamales, etc. Quality is on par with any Sonoran Cuisine type Mexican restaurant. Nothing on the menu over $12.25 most items and combination plates are around $7.95
Service good.
Banny's California Cafe Sonora, CA
M-S 11A – 3P Lunch 430P – 9P Dinner Sun 3P – 8P Dinner
Small upscale Wolfgang Puck bistro type restaurant located a short block off of Washington in old Sonora.
As those familiar with my reviews know, I am not personally fond of Wolfgang Puck type cuisine. The name, however, does describe a category of dishes that cater to upscale yuppies, has very small portions, oddball ingredients (like goat’s cheese) and is both attractively presented but usually very expensive for what you get.
Banny’s fits into this category.
Moderately pricey, with a very small selection on the menu. Like Wolfgang Puck, the portions are small, but attractively presented. Almost all items on the menu carry an average price somewhere around $20.00. Extremely good wine list, but the food does not match the wine list in quality or size.
Bannys is just OK. It is nothing special, and the food is disappointing.
Filet Mignon with roasted shiitake mushroom herb butter and red wine demi-glace was $14.95. Reasonable and attractively presented, but not remarkable in taste. Accompanied by fried polenta wedges.
Crab cakes were $6.95. Proper ingredients and taste, but a tad too mushy. Nothing that could not have been cured by a few seconds more of cooking. They were good.
Service is generally slow to good. This is a slower paced, quiet restaurant that attempts to bring some quiet elegance to downtown Sonora for the more sophisticated. The staff tries more to leave the patrons alone, and there are times I really appreciate this type of restaurant – however the restaurant would succeed better and would be more special if it had food that was as extensive, innovative, excellent and wonderful as its wine list.
Banny’s just misses the mark, but the restaurant shows some promise. If it would reduce its prices, expand its menu and put something really interesting, it could make this mark.
Garcia’s Taqueria Sonora, CA
Garcia’s Taqueria 145 S Washington Sonora, CA 209-588-1915
Located on a second floor of a building in old town Sonora, CA. This place has gone down in quality and become a little seedier and dirtier since I last reviewed it in 1998.
Like all restaurants in this area of Sonora, parking can be a little bit of a hassle on busy days and nights. You get it where you can grab it.
Southwestern TEX-MEX restaurant that serves only different types of Tacos, Burritos, Tostadas, Taquitos, and a few other seafood and chicken dishes. Quality is about what you would expect from a more upscale Tex-Mex restaurant chain, such as Chevy’s, Acapulco or El Torito – only this is more of a fast food environment where food is served on paper plates and you sit on bar stools at small tables and counters, and a noisy sports bar – taco stand type ambience.
Some vegan dishes in an attempt to have “more healthy” foods on the menus. Nothing special or wonderful here. This is an affordable place, with no item on the menu exceeding $7.99, and most items on the menu averaging around $6.00.
Morigi's House of Pizza Northridge, CA
The restaurant menu lists it as:
Morigi's Khybar Restaurant
The awning outside the restaurant lists it as:
Morigi's House of Pizza
Take your pick.
Middle Eastern and Italian food are on the menu.
Very small restaurant - 15 tables. The food is uninspired and the restaurant is in need of refurbishing, but reasonably clean and affordable. While affordable and potentially interesting, this restaurant does not quite make it.
Service varies from very good to mediocre.
Golden State Wok Chinese Restaurant Woodland Hills, CA
Decent Chinese food at reasonable prices.
Located in a strip mall built into an industrial park area. Very limited seating. Even more limited parking.
Lunch specials have good portions and are all under $6.50 with an average proice of $4.50
Dinners are nearly all under $10.00
Weight watcher's menu. Suprisingly varied menu with almost 100 items on the menu.
Good change of pace.
Buca Di Beppo Pasadena, CA
This is a growing chain of family style Southern Italian and Sicilian Cuisine restaurants.
Buca Di Beppo means "Big Joe's Basement". The original founder of the chain opened up his first restaurant in his basement. This chain is all over the USA now.
This is a FAMILY restaurant, with decor that looks as if the interior decorator of Chili's or TGI Friday's went insane. Homages in the form of photos and memorabilia to anyone Italian or Italian American who was ever famous. Sinatra, The Pope, Sophia Loren, you name it.
Portions are HUGE, and basically designed to be shared by 3-4 people.
The price, however, for these entrees is pretty stiff:
Averaging around $23.00
Food, sad to say, is not terrific - it is "just OK". The pizza is plank shaped, and looks like a refugee from the California Pizza Kitchen. Thin crust almost like saltine crackers. Goats milk cheese. OK but not terrific.
Lasagna is the dimension of the average computer keyboard. It is good, but not terrific.
Standard pasta dishes like Spaghetti Bolognese is decidedly mediocre and rather pricey, despite the fact that it is one of the least expensive items on the menu.
This is a noisy place for group gatherings. It is not a good quiet place to take someone special.
Rules of thumb to avoid sticker shock when you see the bill is:
1. Go here with a party of 3 or more. 2. Take the number of people in your party and subtract 1 or 2 from that number to give you the number of items you should be prepared to order.
Ergo: For a party of 4, ordering 2 or 3 entrees on the menu should supply plenty of food. Remember that entrees are large portioned and designed to be shared by 3-4 people.
Other locations in Universal City on the CityWalk, in Encino near the Town & country Mall, and across the USA.
website: www.bucadibeppo.com

Little Hong Kong Cafe Santa Monica, CA
Surprisingly good small restaurant located in a strip mall in the cluster of small restaurants and businesses on Sawtelle Blvd just north of Olympic Bl in West LA - Santa Monica.
Limited seating. Limited parking.
Everything on the menu is under $9.00
Noodle dishes are the forte here, along with the noodle soups. For those of you who are fond of Vietnamese Mi Noodle Soups (like Hoanh Thanh Mi), this is the Honk Kong equivalent. A different broth than the Vietnamese Mi sopus, and not quite as good, but very similar, just the same.
An array of noodle dishes and soups are available. Pan fried thing noodles, Chow Fun, Lo Mein, Rice Noodles. More.
BBQ Pork (Chashu) based dishes are very good, as are the seafood dishes.
Sun-Thur 11 A - 11 P Fri-Sat 11 A - 12 A

Paradise Restaurant Gardena, CA
Wolfgang Puck-type new cuisine fusion restaurant (with larger portions). Everything here from salads to southwestern to neo-asian type food, in a noisy and busy sports bar-microbrewery type setting.
Parking can be difficult during busy times. Getting to the restaurant from the freeway isn't exactly easy, either - even though the restaurant is literally right off the freeway.
Good food, but nothing special or spectacular. Service is generally excellent.

Hot Wok Northridge, CA
Very good, casual Chinese restaurant located in a VONS shopping center on Reseda Blvd at Nordhoff Street.
Almost everything on the menu is good, and priced to an average price of $7.95. Nearly all of the menu is priced under $14.00.
Noodle and Mu Shu dishes are good, as are seafood dishes. Soups and Duck could use a little improvement. Service is generally excellent, and parking is ample.
Rosarios Italian Restaurant Carson, CA
Small, family Italian restaurant located in a dilapidated strip mall on Carson Street, just due southeast of the 405 Freeway.
Pasta dishes are so-so.
Sandwiches are nothing special.
Pizza is good, but not great.
Aside from the pizza, dishes on the menu are all under $9.00
Pizza is new york style (with a somewhat thicker than NY crust):
Small 10" runs from 7.35 to 16.25 Medium 12" runs from 10.90 to 20.70 Large 16" runs from 14.45 to 25.10
All the standard toppings.
MC V AE accepted. limited seating and parking.

Woody's Boat House Restaurant Lake Arrowhead, CA
This is one of the better restaurants in the Lake Arrowhead area, and it has something on the menu for almost everyone.
The restaurant overlooks the lake, but is set back inside the building a bit so that you really do not get a very good view.
Service is generally excellent. Noisy, sports bar type ambience. Campy and fun.
Sea Empress Restaurant Gardena, CA
Outstanding restaurant. Sister restaurant to the Empress Pavillion restaurant in Chinatown.
Located about half a block due east of the corner of Redondo Beach and Western.
Ample seating and parking at this location. Waiting times are a great deal shorter than Empress Pavillion.
Like the Empress Pavillion, almost everything on the menu is outstanding. Sil Lum Bao needs improvement, (forgivable, as this is predominantly Hon Kong Cantonese as opposed to Shanghai) but aside from this one dish, there is tremendously good Dim Sum and Chinese food here.
Seafood dishes and duck are excellent.
This is probably the best Dim Sum with the largest selection and highest quality in the area. Elmer Dills and the LA Times Food Critics have given this restaurant very, very high marks.
Highly recommended, especially for the lunch time Dim Sum.
Kenny Rogers Roasters Reseda, CA
Rotisserie chicken and turkey are the fortes at this declining chain of cafeteria style family restaurants.
If youn like the Boston Market chain of chicken restaurants, you will like Kenny Roger's Roasters.
The food is generally good and very much on par with Boston Market. Reasonably healthy for fast food, and reasonably priced.
The Bing (formerly Bada-Bing) Pizzeria-Pasta- ... Sherman Oaks, CA
Surprisingly good small restaurant on Sepulveda Blvd near Magnolia.
Parking is almost impossible. Seating very limited, as this is predominantly a take out place.
Pizzas are thin crust New York Style. Not terrific, but still good.
Variety of salads available.
L a Buffet Northridge, CA
This is a single price Buffet restaurant located across Nordhoff Street - due South from the Northridge Fashion Center Mall. (Nordhoff at Shirley) The old Country Club restaurant used to be in this location, and it is in the same complex as The Good Earth and Tango D'Amore.
This is a noticeable step up in quality from similar restaurants like California Buffet and Sushi Factory - both of which have Northridge locations.
Better selection at L A Buffet. Better quality food as well.
The food is still not terrific, but it is good, and represents fair value for the money.

Great China Express Granada Hills, CA
This restaurant has remodeled itself, and reverted back to a sit down restaurant format, as opposed to a buffet.
The menu has gone back to its normal, very good previous self.
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