Vagawandering.com Blog

Post game

Hamburger and a shake for our Marching Band girl. Thank you Habit for being open til 11. Tried the Hatch burger – not bad. The Chile was well cooked so it was easy to eat. But the burger overall was not as spicy as I expected. Extra sauce next time.

Shanghai Dumpling House (San Gabriel)

When you say Chinese, we say Valley Boulevard! This place is a new “old favorite” that we tried several years ago for breakfast (!) while staying at the Hilton next door. A tiny, unassuming eatery in the back corner of one of the endless string of mini-malls on Valley Blvd. Mr A has been raving about the Spicy Beef Noodle...

La Bonita’s (Palm Springs)

Need a quick taco with excellent guacamole? Check out La Bonita’s on Palm Canyon Road. We enjoyed the Carne Asada and chicken tacos, and enjoyed watching all the action from the bar. Ms T just had guacamole for dinner.

Homewood Suites Palm Desert

I do not remember the last time I was so pleased with an inexpensive hotel. The Homewood Suites has a very cute two room suite with a cute little bedroom and a cute little living room for Ms S: The cute little sink, closet, and bathroom: And a cute little kitchen: Why don’t we stay in one of these every...

Side Door (Newport Beach)

There is nothing we love more than Lawrys… Except Side Door. Ever since they turned the bar at Five Crowns into this hipster bar, with charcuterie plates and craft liquors, we have been in love. Naming a drink “Consider the Coconut” is maybe going a bit too far. (It’s a reference to Moana) and it wasn’t that good – too...

Istanbul Grill (Fountain Valley)

We knew we were at the right place when, as we were studying the menu outside, perfect strangers exhorted us to come in and try the lentil soup. Thus place was incredible. Everything tasted homemade. Not too much oil or salt. Just fresh and delicious. Like your Turkish grandmother might make. We loved the tomato and herb dipping oil for...

Trattoria Mediterranean (Balboa Island)

Google and Yelp helped us find Trattoria Mediterranean on Balboa Island. We don’t trust Yelp for reviews anymore (as they extort businesses for good reviews) but use them as a backup for Google, whose restaurant reviews have improved significantly over the last year or so. The restaurant was filling up at 1pm so we missed out on a patio table....

Balboa Bar taste off

Good scientists that we are, we taste tested the two most popular Balboa Bar purveyors on Balboa Island, Dad’s and Sugar and Spice. We encountered S&S on Friday night an hour before they closed. The lines were crazy but I loved the quiet, dark atmosphere of the island at night. I was also impressed by the Heath Bar Crunch topping....

Gin it up

I prefer drinking spirits straight. I don’t like sweet drinks or wasting empty calories on fillers. Same reason I like espresso, and also tequila. But it has to be Anejo – aged. Not that nasty Patron Silver which is the least aged “Blanco” type. In Mexico I adore drinking Tequila Bandera – a shot of Tequila (preferably Herradura Anejo) plus...

Los Tacos (Oceanside)

Glad we decided to try this place again. The Al Pastor is the standout. Crispy, spicy, not greasy, and a hint of cinnamon? Nutmeg? I also tried a carnitas taco and that too was very good – meaty and again, not greasy. Sliced pineapple was a bonus. So was the addictive Serrano green sauce. Mr A tried the Carne Asada...