Laili Restaurant in Santa Cruz, CA

Today my mom and I went to lunch at Laili in downtown Santa Cruz.  I have wanted to try it out for a long time now so I was really excited.  It was phenomenal, exceeding my expectations!

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Laili’s restaurant serves a Mediterranean Afghan cuisine that uses fine organic products with traditional Afghan recipes.

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The inside is nice with the kitchen open for viewing.

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It is very open and breezy.

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The patio is tucked away between buildings with plants growing on all the walls, it’s truly beautiful!

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I’m not really sure if this came with the Mediterranean plate or if this is just something they serve but the flavors were amazing!

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We shared the Mediterranean plate: hummus, tabbouleh, babaghanoush, cucumber yogurt.

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Mom had the Moroccan beet salad: turmeric, coriander, marinated beets, wild arugula, goat cheese.  I don’t really like beets but after I tasted this I am going to get it next time, I could’t believe how good it was, it was out of this world!

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I had the Greek salad: romaine, feta, kalamata, tomato, cucumber, onion, lemon vinaigrette.  I enjoyed this salad and the dressing was really good!

Laili Restaurant  101 Cooper St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

(831) 423-4545

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The Red House Cafe in Pacific Grove, CA

My mom came to visit me and Robby.  I really wanted to take her to the very quaint restaurant “The Red House Cafe” in Pacific Grove near Monterey, CA.  We were lucky we had a sunny day to enjoy the outdoor seating.  The food is always incredible and we have never had a bad experience.

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 The “Little Red House” is a local landmark.  Originally built in 1895.  Read about their history here

Red-House They have many little areas to sit

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They are so accommodating, I always want to sit on the sidewalk and it was going to be a while so the very nice host took one of the tables from the deck and brought it down for us.

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 They have two cute rooms inside and a tiny deck in the back

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They make all their own pies

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 I always order the Warmed Tomato Mozzarella opened face sandwich which is served on foccacia with fresh basil, our carmelized sweet balsamic red onions and balsamic dressing.  It is amazing!

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 Robby ordered the Cheeseburger,  freshly ground prime beef on a soft brioche roll with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and dijon mustard. It comes with your choice of jack, cheddar or blue cheese and served with french fries

Crab-Cakes

My mom ordered the Dungeness Crab Cake which is served with a large mixed field green salad and lemon basil dressing.  She loved it!

The Red House Cafe

662 Lighthouse Avenue
Pacific Grove, California 93950

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Indigo Moon Cafe

While in Cambria we ate at the incredible Indigo Moon Cafe, where the owner Dena Walston is also the chef.

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There are so many options of where to sit.  Out front on the sidewalk, in the 3 different rooms inside, in the covered patio, and out back in the garden.

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Indigo Moon Cafe is one of Cambria’s oldest historical buildings

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There are many wines to choose from.  They have specialty and affordable wines from the area.  They also carry wines from out of state and other countries as well.

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Stop by their cute wine bar to sample some of the central coast’s wines

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In the main front room, there are wood beams on the ceilings that are stamped with official Hearst Castle markings that were originally been used as shipping carts from the early 1900’s.

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They have a deli case full of artisan cheeses, made of cow, sheep and goat milk – pasteurized and non-pasteurized selections

I recommend the cheese plate of the day with mission figs, caramelized walnuts & fruit to go along with one of their wines

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There is art for sale by various artists through out the restaurant. They have an enclosed, heated patio with views of the outdoor patio and gardens

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There was live music while we enjoyed our Sunday brunch

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This was an amazing salad!

Pistachio crusted goat cheese salad with greens, ruby red grapefruit, cucumbers & spiced pistachios tossed with a Meyer lemon champagne vinaigrette.

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For such a simple thing as a Grilled cheese and tomato, it was incredible!  They used a sharp white cheddar and the tomatoes were super flavorful!

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Robby had the Grilled Chicken Sandwich with their homemade french fry’s

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The back patio is so tranquil!

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For dinner we split the Pear, Gorgonzola, Caramelized Walnuts and Baby Greens with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette.

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I had the Polenta Napoleon, which was layered with grilled Vegetables, Pesto and Goat Cheese with a Red Pepper sauce.  It was delicious!!!

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Robby had the Coriander Crusted Chicken with Roasted Poblano sauce & mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes.  He loved it!!!

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If you ever go to Cambria, I highly recommend stopping by Indigo Moon Cafe for their  incredible food and wine selection.

http://www.indigomooncafe.com/

Venice Beach Wines

 My friend Janelle and I met here at Venice Beach Wines and we absolutely loved it!  It is the tiniest place ever which is also what makes it great!  They have so many great tapas and a nice selection of wine.  I highly recommend coming here if you are in the area!

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It is a covered outdoor patio and you know I love any thing outdoors!

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They have tiny tables which is how they can fit a good amount of people

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They serve small plates of farm-to-table cheeses, charcuterie, panini’s, and daily specials.

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They have an extensive wine collection

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 I had the Sauvignon Blanc, Ribbonwood, New Zealand – passion fruit, grapefruit, herbaceous and mineral.  Just how I like it!  

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I had the Mini Roasted Bell Peppers stuffed with Manchego Cheese and topped with Arugula, served with French Bread.  It was delicious

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Located at 529 Rose Avenue – Venice Beach CA  90291

Phone: 310.606.2529

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Bittersweet Bistro in Aptos, CA

Bittersweet Bistro is one of Robby’s and my favorite places! The food and service is always great and the staff is very friendly.  They have a nice outside patio for breakfast and lunch.They also allow dogs on the patio with a menu just for them.

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They use fresh organic produce from the local farmers markets.

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It is owned and operated by Chef Thomas Vinolus.

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We always sit outside unless it is really cold or raining.  They have a small indoor area for breakfast and lunch.

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The dogs very own menu.

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Love the Sauvignon Blanc.

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I often get the vegetarian sandwich on toasted sourdough, I love it!  They serve it with fries but I try to stay away from them.

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Or I get the Ultimate Grilled Cheese, it comes on Ciabatta Bread with Cheddar & Jack Cheese Caramelized Onion, Tomato and Mushrooms.  I get it on toasted sour dough without the mushrooms.  It is solo good.

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Robby’s favorite is the Talapia Fish Sandwich.

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They have another beautiful patio.  It opens for happy hour that starts at 3:30.

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My favorite table is by the fountain.

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Love all the Koi fish.

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The main dinning room is off the side patio.

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They have a nice kitchen with a brick pizza oven.

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Inside there is a beautiful bar.

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They also have a nice banquet room.

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Our friends were in town for New Years Eve and we had dinner here.

bittersweetbistro.com

787 Rio Del Mar Boulevard
Aptos, CA 95003
(831) 662-9799