Perched atop the hills of its namesake, Orange County Mining Co. pairs an eight-part champagne brunch with 19th-century nostalgia, as wagon wheels and cacti impart a rugged prickle to the restaurant's cozy atmosphere. The brunch offerings warm diners with carved prime rib and ham, cheese blintz, and other toasty tastes, before cooling palates with iced shrimp, snow crab legs, and lox. Ravenous miners can pile culinary ore into made-to-order omelettes, pancakes, and waffles, or gather steam with tamales and menudo at executive chef Horacio Barragan's Mexican station. To cap off appetites, baked delicacies and other sweets are either devoured or skewered for a dunk in the chocolate fountain.
The Golden Spur delivers delectable steak and seafood dishes directly to digesters in a charming, historic Route 66-inspired environment. Midday meals include the jumbo shrimp cocktail, served over Cajun slaw ($11.95), the baked french-onion soup, crusted with a gruyere-cheese crouton ($5.95, $1 for cheese), and the classic walk-around, its new-york steak strolling to tables amidst grilled sourdough, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and mayonnaise ($14.95). Or take a break from a long day translating baby talk by noshing evening eats such as frog legs breaded with Cajun-style cornmeal ($13.95), or end flavor strikes with the truffle-oil-splattered jumbo lobster ravioli ($16.95). Classic filets mignons come served in plain, peppercorn, cheese-stuffed, or bacon-wrapped varietals ($32.95 for 8 oz.), while the ahi tuna gets along swimmingly with its side of steamed white rice and vegetables ($18.95).
Even in the morning, Clearman's Steak 'n Stein Inn takes its name seriously. The brunch menu lists five cuts that form the centerpiece for steak-and-egg platters, and the steak lover's omelet comes filled with three: filet mignon, new york strip steak, and rib eye. As for the "steins," drafts of Hefeweizen and Stella Artois begin pouring as soon as the restaurant opens.
Evening heralds the arrival of the restaurant's romantic side. A circular fireplace warms a ring of plush crimson benches, and soft, amber lighting illuminates the dark wood and brick interior and its stained-glass windows. An open charcoal fire roasts steaks, fish, and chicken for ample entrees, from the 16-oz. boneless rib eye to the Australian lobster tail dinner. Combination dinners allow guests to sample both steak and seafood without taking their backyard grill on a fishing trip. Supper ends with carefully hand-fired desserts, such as crème brûlée cheesecake.
The aromas of Provençal cooking permeate Bistrot Massilia’s red-walled dining room, where vintage posters and photographs summon up the nostalgic atmosphere of a French country bistro. In the kitchen, chefs sizzle traditional delicacies such as escargot and frog legs in butter, or brown meaty entrees such as oven-roasted pork tenderloin, braised lamb shank, and sautéed salmon. Lighter fare such as crêpes and omelets round out offerings for breakfast and lunch. In addition, a guest sommelier pours out imported vintages during themed wine dinners the last Wednesday of every month.
After moving to the United States in 1968, Mark Lewis sorely missed the fresh fish he had found so readily available across the Atlantic Ocean. He was born in Marseille, France, and grew up in Casablanca, Morocco, where he spent leisurely days fishing the rivers with his friends. Lewis decided to create Dry Dock Fish Company to give Americans a taste of his beloved homeland. For more than 25 years now, Lewis and his family have been listening to customers' fish stories with a smile and working tirelessly to give people a deeper appreciation of the fruits of the sea.
According to his bio, Lewis's favorite selections are the Santa Barbara shrimp, local halibut, and mahi-mahi. But renowned chef and restaurateur Giacomino Drago was drawn to the whole branzino; as part of the Farm to Table video series, he prepared one for dinner after a culinary excursion to the Beverly Hills Farmers' Market. You can find the branzino—along with sashimi-grade tuna or salmon smoked in-house—at the main storefront, in gourmet restaurants from Los Angeles to San Diego, and at more than 20 farmers' markets in Southern California. The shop also stocks delicacies, such as jars of preserved lemons and limes from Morocco and jars of preserved jelly bracelets from 1986.