California

Restaurants in California

Locals have been standing in line for Pork Store’s delicious diner-style breakfasts since the 1970’s. The hash browns (the second most popular item that starts with “hash” in the neighborhood) and scrambles (both veggie and meat varieties) are well worth the wait.

Japanese street food has arrived in Santa Monica with the opening of this perky omusubi shop. The tasty, grab-and-go treats consist of warm Japanese rice balls stuffed with fillings like chicken curry or miso mushrooms and wrapped with nori (seaweed).

Meat-centric small plates reign at Box and Bells, the latest from chef James Syhabout of Michelin-starred Commis. Try the country pork rillettes and blood pudding poutine. BART stop: Rockridge

The second location of this popular South Indian spot is great for a date night—especially when paired with a show at the Sundance Kabuki Cinema right across the street.

Make a beeline for the back display cases and order Stella’s signature sacripantina, a hard-to-find Genoese specialty. The rum-soaked sponge cake, layered with zabaglione, is somehow both richly creamy and wonderfully light.

This jewel of a restaurant in the The Redbury Hotel takes its inspiration from Cleopatra, both in cuisine (the Queen of Egypt would no doubt have loved the Middle Eastern fare) and decor (a photo of silent film actress Theda Bara as Cleopatra greets you upon entry).

Arrive early on Tuesday afternoons for the fried chicken stuffed with herbs at Miss Ollie’s. The day’s special at this airy, Cali-Caribbean spot goes fast. BART stop: 12th Street/Oakland City Center

Laurel Hardware has a healthy and delicious kale-and-feta salad.