This was not a comprehensive foodie journey where we were able to sample all of the local favorites. However, we were able to grab a few tastes. On past road trips it was so hard to figure out where the locals ate from the behind the steering wheel. And yes, we could ask our hotel, but they always want to tell you the tourist traps. Now, with Yelp and a blackberry or iphone, you can do it! I don’t search by the highest rated places in a city but by which ones have the greatest number of reviews on yelp. Once on yelp, you can’t listen to the locals fight and hate on particular spots through polarized reviews. Just trust that it is a decent enough spot if so many people wanted to write about the restaurant. Honestly, this method did not steer us wrong.
- Big Sur Bakery (only for a snack this time) (95 Yelp Reviews as of 4/10/10)
- La Super-Rica Taqueria – Santa Barbara, CA (234 Yelp Reviews)
- Tyler’s Burgers – Palm Springs, CA (76 Yelp Reviews)
- King’s Highway – Palm Springs, CA (41 Yelp Reviews)
Big Sur Bakery is pricey and if you are camping down there, you feel a bit grungy to just go in and eat a fab meal. We stopped by for afternoon coffee and baked goods. The best baked delights were their creative, maybe California inspired, options such as persimmon cupcakes with brown butter frosting and strudel with local fruit filling. We will get back there for a proper meal soon, maybe when the folks are town, wink, wink!
La Super-Rica Taqueria is backed by the word of Julia Child. On yelp people argue back and forth about the best tacqueria in Santa Barbara and that the Julia Child recco is overused. We thought it was a unique experience, and agreed with someone on yelp’s description that it is a very regional twist to California Mexican classics. After waiting in line maybe ten or fifteen minutes (the lines can apparently be unbelievable) we made it to the register to order a bunch of different dishes. One claim to fame is La Super-Rica’s homemade tortillas that are being made as you wait; they held up to the hype. You typically get a meat order such as #16 pasilla peppers and very freshly cooked pork and homemade tortillas and chow away with fresh salsa.
Tyler’s Burgers, like La Super-Rica, also had a decent line to wait in. It is located in the center of downtown Palm Springs and has a nice outdoor patio setting area. I ordered the cole slaw — a must — sliders, and fries to share with everyone. Their cole slaw is a solid classic version. The sliders were very good and served on what seemed to be homemade buns.
King’s Highway is a restored retro mid-20th-century modern restaurant located at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. It is a pretty cool spot with nice updated versions of Americana classic diner food. We ate a bit of everything and the number one star was the Sticky Date Pudding made from locally grown dates. We had the pot roast that wasn’t that impressive. The other stars were the Jicama Salad with feta and champagne dressing, the mac and cheese side, and their fries are the bomb!
The Ace Hotel is a pretty good deal. The rooms are retro-modern and from our experience, even quiet. There are lots of young families hanging out by the pool sipping on creative cocktails and nibbling on great fries. The pools is open until 3am! They have a really great pub next to the restaurant where you can play bingo on certain nights. From this location you also have access to head to Joshua Tree or the Sultan Sea. Check it out!
Big Sur Bakery
Big Sur, CA 93920
La Super-Rica Taqueria
622 N Milpas St
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
149 South Indian Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262-6603
King’s Highway – Ace Hotel
701 E. Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92264