The standouts from my visit to Los Angeles and SoCal, from Laguna to Lompoc:
- Sandhi Sta Rita Hills Chardonnay 2012 - These first two are Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman's Santa Barbara projects. Full coverage here.
- Domaine De La Cote Sta Rita Hills 2012 - Pinot Noir...
- Terre Des Chardones "Marginal" 2012 - Found at Les Marchands. A funky, earthy Syrah-Grenache with a sweet hint to end.
- Calabretta Vino Rosso "Cala Cala" NV - Also from Les Marchands. "The magma in the body". Drink from Mount Etna.
- Marotti Campi Rubico Lacrima Di Morro D'Alba 2012 - Discovered at the Slow Wine event. The story here.
- Domaine De La Cote Tasting Room - Outstanding hospitality, throughout set up and a generous tasting. Lompoc
- Open Sesame - Friendly, thorough service and constant attention, from only one server. Long Beach
- Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant - Brian McClintic's thriving operation. Four staff members assisted with everything from setting up an impromptu tasting, to advising on a selection of Cote Rotie to take home. Santa Barbara
- Hotel Shangri-La Dining Room Bar - A right-proper mimosa, with just a splash of OJ, but they had me at Whistle Pig Rye. Santa Monica
- C'est La Vie Restaurant and Bakery - French foods and baked goods were good. The view of the ocean from the upstairs deck, along with entertaining service from "Gary Glitter" made the experience. Gary knows anything you need to know about the area. Laguna Beach
- Republique - I left wanting more. Read about it. 624 South La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles
- Open Sesame - Beef shawarma, lamb chops, hummus, garlic fried potatoes. Musar Jeune 2011. A great experience. Long Beach
- Kogi BBQ Truck - The sweet chili chicken quesadilla, Kogi dog, and various tacos on the hood of my rental. Various locations
- Tortilla Republic - Great sauces on both the duck enchiladas with a habanero cream sauce and mole chicken enchiladas. West Hollywood
- Ma 'n Pa Grocery - "World Famous Fried Chicken" every Wednesday...from a converted gas station. Long Beach
Patterson’s Nap at Melrose Umbrella Company - Cool drink in a cooler place. Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Tangerine, Lemon, Campari. West Hollywood
best to be
Augustine Wine Bar - Now open! 13456 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks