6 Upscale Restaurants In California For Your Next Night Out
With its abundance of farmland, vineyards, and fresh coastal ingredients - not to mention premier dining destinations - California is a great place for foodies to indulge in top-flight meals. The restaurants listed here, spanning SoCal and the Central Coast, offer an array of regionally-sourced dishes, drinks, and global cuisines to satisfy even the most discerning diner's taste buds. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
High-End California Restaurants
|Restaurant||Location||What It Serves|
|Ember||Arroyo Grande||Authentic Italian-inspired California cuisine cooked by a wood fire, plus Central Coast wines|
|Park Ave||Stanton||Creative renditions of classic American cuisine, such as steaks and chops, twice baked cheddar and chive potato, and apple-stuffed pork chop|
|Thomas Hill Organics||Paso Robles||Inventive, organic farm-to-table cuisine and unique wines from the Central Coast|
|Napa Valley Grille||Los Angeles||Dishes combining local, seasonal ingredients, and an expansive selection of regional wine|
|The WineSellar & Brasserie||San Diego||Fine wine and French-influenced cuisine|
|Luna Red||San Luis Obispo||Small plate, globally-inspired menu with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients|
Inside LA's Napa Valley Grille
Biggest Cities & Towns in California
|Rank||Name||Population (as of 2010)|
Things To Bring on Your California Vacation
- Beach accessories and sunscreen
- A good book
- Travel size toiletries that won't take up too much space
- Keep your dirty clothes separate from the clean ones with a laundry bag
- A money belt for easy access to cash & cards
- If you're traveling with kids, you might want to bring along some games
- Depending on your preference, either a backpack or some nice luggage
- Cozy pillows can improve any long flight or car trip
- A travel mug for your coffee or tea
A Taste of Luna Red
California is known for its fresh cuisine and agriculture, from the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma to the green fields of the Central Valley. Chefs take advantage of the bounty to create gourmet dinners that pair the ingredients at hand with myriad cultural influences. In no particular order, here are some upmarket eateries to enhance a night on the town.
Coming in at #1, Ember Restaurant in Arroyo Grande serves hand-crafted food cooked by a wood fire. Chef Brian Collins specializes in Italian-inspired California cuisine, with a focus on the flavors and ingredients of the Central Coast. Guests can try wines from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties and beyond.
The cocktail menu changes seasonally and for beer, there are 10 rotating drafts of locally brewed libations. Situated in an "old pole barn," the offbeat dining destination includes an open kitchen and a brick-and-mortar fireplace. Popular meals include Harissa Spiced Meatballs, Filet Mignon, and California Wild King Salmon.
Popular meals include Harissa Spiced Meatballs, Filet Mignon, and California Wild King Salmon.
At #2 on our list, Park Avenue offers new renditions of classic American cuisine, including steaks, burgers, and fried chicken. Located moments away from Disneyland, the restaurant has an upmarket retro style. There's an outdoor patio for dining and a garden that provides fresh herbs and vegetables.
Chef David Slay is a third-generation American restaurateur who started training at the age of 11 in his father's kitchen. He also runs Slay Estate & Vineyard, whose wines are served at Park Avenue. Diners can try his take on scratch-made dishes such as the BBQ Burger, Cobb Salad, and Baked Oysters.
#3 on our list is Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles, a farm-to-table bistro that serves organic cuisine, natural meats, and wines from the Central Coast. Chef Libry Darusman offers a menu of regionally-produced food sourced nearby from California purveyors, including poultry, fish, and grass-fed beef.
Chef Libry Darusman offers a menu of regionally-produced food sourced nearby from California purveyors, including poultry, fish, and grass-fed beef.
Nearby farms provide the restaurant's fruits and vegetables, and the breads are crafted at local bakeries like La Migliore. Those with a sweet tooth can indulge in a wide variety of desserts like the Lemon Tart, Olive Oil Cake, and Leo Leo Gelato. The eatery also offers catering and hosts private events.
Napa Valley Grille in Los Angeles is #4, a sophisticated Westwood Village destination for West Coast wine country fare. The menu features a combination of local and seasonal produce, artisan ingredients, and an expansive selection of regional vintages. Well-marbled Australian Wagyu beef is also a highlight for many diners.
Dishes include brick-oven flatbreads, green salads, steaks, seafood, and sandwiches. Guests will find daily happy hour specials in the bar and patio lounge for outdoor dining, along with an elegant interior setting for special meals. For dessert, the butterscotch bread pudding is a fitting finale.
For dessert, the butterscotch bread pudding is a fitting finale.
At #5, The WineSellar & Brasserie in San Diego serves French-influenced California cuisine in an intimate eatery that's located upstairs from its bottle shop and The Casual Side bar. The seasonal, contemporary menu is complemented by craft beers and a large list of wines that has received The Wine Spectator Grand Award for 23 consecutive years.
Diners can try dishes like the Artisanal Cheese Plate, Diver Scallops, and Angus Beef Short Ribs. There are also "Chef's Mercy" prix-fixe menus with five or six courses, along with special winemaker meals with multiple courses and beverages. Guests can meet the vintners and owners of different vineyards while tasting their wine and food pairings.
Located next to the Mission in the heart of San Luis Obispo, The Eatery at Luna Red is #6 on our list. With a craft-casual setting, the restaurant offers a globally-inspired menu with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients, as well as craft cocktails and an award-winning wine list.
With a craft-casual setting, the restaurant offers a globally-inspired menu with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients, as well as craft cocktails and an award-winning wine list.
Eclectic art and decor fill the Spanish-style building and there's also a patio with an outdoor cabana bar and colorful umbrellas. The menu includes small plates and family-style entrees, including the restaurant's signature paella. There are burgers, bowls, and salads. Diners can also shop at an artisan marketplace.