A Vegan Delight  

When in California, don’t miss this innovative plant-based restaurant that even meat eaters can love. Earning the Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide, Mesa Verde uses 100% local organic produce to create flavor-packed culinary experiences.

The ambiance is relaxed with wood décor and plenty of outdoor seating in the garden terrace. 

Worth the two-hour drive from Los Angeles, the Green Plant Bowl is my favorite, with its delicious roasted veggies, black rice, and toasted hazelnuts.

Dessert is equally delightful, with options ranging from a chocolate ganache to sweet pistachio baklava. 

This gem of a restaurant, nestled between a 7-Eleven and a gas station, provides excellent value farm-fresh cuisine.

Julia Child’s Favorite Tacos

Need I say more? The magic is in the soft tortillas, handmade in La Super-Rica‘s sizzling kitchen. My top choice on the menu is #16, the Super Rica Especial (with chicken). You might be so excited to eat that you’ll forget to take a photo.

With so many local favorites, where’s the best taco you’ve ever had?

Tapas & Cocktails

With a patio shaded by colorful flowers and palm trees, enjoy Loquita‘s spectacular gin cocktails and authentic Spanish cuisine (located in Santa Barbara’s famous Funk Zone).

Another reason to travel two hours from Los Angeles, Loquita is worth the trip; fall in love with delectable tapas like Carpaccio de Carne (grass-fed beef, manzanilla olive, pickled mustard seed, 12-year sherry vinegar, arbequina olive oil).  

Although Loquita has incredible wine pairings, sangria, and more, it’s the simple gin and tonic that blows my mind: Plata Y Oro (monkey 47, tonic, 24kt gold, silver). La Reina is another superb option (empress 1908 gin, manzanilla sherry, lavender, tonic).