California

Restaurants in California

Head to the 24-hour Wheel Inn truck stop, overshadowed by massive dinosaur road sculptures, for prime rib and Dijon dill salmon.

What It’s Like: Since 2003, this wood-and-glass Arts and Crafts–style restaurant has gained in popularity among those serious about food, drawing diners as much for its thoughtful California-French cuisine as for its awesome setting—on a bluff with panoramic views of the Pacific

This woodsy, old-fashioned roadhouse near Oakhurst, south of the park, serves breakfast (hash browns, eggs any way, and more) till 2 p.m. on weekends, noon on weekdays.

Since 1983, Hog Island Oyster Company has built a reputation for harvesting oysters from Tomales Bay in adjacent Marin County. This small eatery, located on the north side of the Ferry Building, only serves in-season oysters (and clams), so there may be Sweetwaters, Atlantics, or Kumamotos.

Founded in 1919, this landmark eatery is located in its original spot along the star-inlayed sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard. The bar is known for its martinis, and steaks and chops dominate the dinner menu, along with items like calf’s sweetbreads, turkey á la king, and Welsh rarebit.

Funky Middle Eastern décor and all-you-can-eat Iranian fare distinguish this eatery in the heart of Westwood. Located in Rancho Park, Canary serves up exotic treats for the like donbalan (lightly breaded lamb testicles) and lamb tongue sandwiches.

R & G Lounge in the heart of Chinatown is known for its Cantonese-style food, but its signature dish is the salt and pepper Dungeness crab. Plucked from the tank, the crab is live battered and deep fried, then sprinkled with salt and pepper.

David Kinch has one of the great creative minds in American cooking, and for the past three years he’s had vegetables as fresh as his ideas. He doesn’t own Love Apple Farm, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but controls its production from seed to harvest.

Sultry So-Cal dining room

Enjoy the New American cuisine—spicy Louisiana crab cakes, homemade butterscotch sundaes—in the intimate, folksy dining room of this Los Angeles institution, or in its walled outdoor patio covered with climbing roses.

Situated on a pastoral hill at Carmel Valley’s Grand Del Mar Resort, Addison has the unassuming stone entrance of a rural Tuscan mansion. Inside, the elegant décor features marble columns, gold leaf accents, sumptuous carpets, and gleamig chandeliers.

The Burger: Burger Joint is a retro, ‘50s-style indie chain with five locations in the Bay Area.