AC3 – Palm Desert, California

Hollywood’s movie studio system of the 1920s and 30s contractually required its greatest glitterati  to remain within 100 miles of Tinseltown’s studio during production. Because of this “two-hour rule,” such stars as Cary Grant, Debbie Reynolds, Frank Sinatra and his “Rat Pack” buddies traded Hollywood’s frenetic, paparazzi-plagued lifestyle for the more secluded and sedate pace of…

Workshop Kitchen + Bar – Palm Springs, California

“Good restaurant design is about achieving equilibrium between the food, service and design – in effect telling a complete story.” ~ David Rockwell, American Architect Andy Rooney, the curmudgeonly commentator on television’s 60 Minutes didn’t like food that’s “too carefully arranged;” declaring “it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not…

Shanghai Reds at the Fisherman’s Market & Grill – La Quinta, California

For years, fish tacos have been one of those popular, almost faddish obsessions which have garnered more attention and affection than cynics like me believe is warranted (much the same way some of us feel about Beyonce and anything Kardashian).  It’s always been well beyond my capability to understand why fish tacos have been so…

Spencer’s Restaurant – Palm Springs, California

Dean Beck: What do you have against preachers? Clay Spencer: It’s what they preach against I’m against. Dean Beck: I’m afraid I don’t understand? Clay Spencer: They’re against everything I’m for. They don’t allow drinkin’ or smokin’, card playin’, pool shootin’, dancin’, cussin’ – or huggin’, kissin’ and lovin’. And mister, I’m for all of…

Geoffrey’s Malibu – Malibu, California

The walls at Geoffrey’s Malibu are festooned with copies of whimsical framed “doodles” created by Hollywood celebrities and movie stars who have dined at the posh seaside restaurant. Most are tongue-in-cheek self-portraits which probably speak volumes about the glitterati themselves–and not just whether they lack or are blessed with an artistic talent beyond their particular…

La Super Rica Taqueria – Santa Barbara, California

Truly legendary restaurants, those which can legitimately be called institutions–and there are very few of them–don’t just inspire return visits; they inspire pilgrimages. Institutions have generally stood the test of time by remaining consistent over time, thriving even against the onslaught of more polished and pristine interlopers. Institutions are beloved beyond the communities they serve,…