Food & Drink

The 12 best SoCal restaurants NOT in LA or OC

Published On 05/20/2014 Published On 05/20/2014
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Suzanne's Cuisine
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1. Soda & Swine 2943 Adams Ave, North Park, CA 92116 (North Park)

Soda & Swine does meatballs in a way that you might not expect, assuming that the word "meatball" conjures up images of spaghetti all covered with cheese. Sure, they've got spaghetti and meatballs too, but this place gives you the ability to choose your mix and match your meat, creating anything from a meatball slider to meatballs a la carte. There's a wild bevy of sodas to choose from as well, so there's really no excuse for you to be anywhere other than here.

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2. Addison 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, CA 92014 (Del Mar)

Located in the luxe Grand Del Mar, Addison's been named one of the most expensive restos in the country.

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3. Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown, CA 92268

This true Pioneertown joint truly proves the town exists; from tri tip sandwiches and cheese fries to live music and cold brews in the middle of the desert, this spot can't be beat.

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4. Workshop Kitchen And Bar 800 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Workshop Kitchen and Bar is an American restaurant in Palm Springs. Local farm-sourced ingredients factor heavily into the food menu, and the same goes for their fresh, refreshing in-house made cocktails.

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5. Robin's 4095 Burton Dr, Cambria, CA 93428

At Robin's, you get a warm and comfy atmosphere with quiet indoor and outdoor dining areas. When it comes to their menu, they do a little bit of everything from Vietnamese Spring rolls to five-spice duck to Tandoori chicken.

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6. Suzanne's Cuisine 502 W Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA 93023

This pleasant Ojai bistro doles out tasty American fare with Italian and French influences, with dishes like steamed mussels in a Thai broth, and sautéed cornish game hen with apricot sauce.

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7. Il Cortile 608 12th St, Paso Robles, CA 93446

Found in Paso Robles in the middle of wine country, Il Cortile serves up powerhouse Italian dishes, like their homemade pappardelle with wild boar, that're served along some of the region's finest vino.

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8. F. McClintock's 750 Mattie Rd, Shell Beach, CA 93449

This roadhousey steak house is a favorite of locals and travellers, thanks to great cuts of meat and a totally ridiculous water-service that ends with someone getting wet. Probably you.

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9. Melvyn's 200 W Ramon Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92264

This classic steakhouse that's been visited by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. is a legendary Palm Springs haunt. Located in the historic Ingleside Inn, Melvyn's old school fare (Steak Diane, shrimp cocktail) matches its elegant, upscale digs.

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10. The Jolly Oyster San Buenaventura State Beach Park, Ventura, CA 93001

This roadside stand serves all sorts of bipeds -- bring tools and you can use their grills to make your own delicious dinner.

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11. Hitching Post II 406 E Highway 246, Buellton, CA 93427

This steakhouse on California's Central Coast was a destination dining spot long before it got its 15 minutes of fame in Sideways. Everything from filet mignon and pork ribs to duck breast and quail are grilled the California way on an open fire of red oak, and the pinot noir, made at the in-house winery, is some of the best in Santa Barbara County -- if not the whole state.

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12. Los Agaves 600 N Milpas St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Santa Barbara has tons of great Mexican food, but Los Agaves is among the best: you can do no wrong with their burritos, enchiladas, or aguas frescas.