Sotto Mare Location: 552 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133 - "Sotto Mare is a small, narrow, old-school Italian restaurant in San Francisco's North Beach, with small tables, a long counter, and framed photographs and fish (yup, fish) tacked on the walls from floor to ceiling. This is an unpretentious crowd. There are tourists and locals, families and couples. The vibe is casual, the place can get loud, and you'd be just as comfortable bringing your mom and dad as a friend or a date. This is not a joint for beverage snobs. It's beer and wine only, and the most you can drop on a bottle is a $35 cabernet. The menu only lists varietals. Sotto Mare serves old-school Italian seafood in an old-school Italian neighborhood. The menu is all seafood—so if you're traveling with someone who doesn't eat it, don't plan on them being able to order something else."
"The restaurant is famous for its cioppino, a huge steaming bowl of crab, shrimp, calamari, clams, and mussels in a red broth (with minimal noodles) that's enough for two (at least). It's my favorite in the city."  Link: Review: Condé Nast Traveler, Soto Mare Website


The Tako Grill
, in its new location at 4914 Hampden Ln. Bethesda, MD 20814, in the heart of Bethesda  (near Washington, DC).  The Tako Grill is a premier restaurant offering a delicious selection of traditional Japanese Cuisine.  Whether from the Sushi or Sake Bar, it's a great culinary experience.  ~ TripAdvisor and Website: Tako Grill

Raku Asian Dining Sushi & Sake - Bethesda MD   The Pan-Asian moniker includes Korean, Japanese, Chinese and other Asian cuisines. I have always liked their sushi and Japanese Tokyo Dashi style noodle soups.  Quotes: "I have been a couple times at this restaurant and would come back again! I truly recommend this place because they offer a good service, the food is delicious." "The menu is large and all the offerings are tempting! I don't think I've ever had a bad dish here. From the spring rolls to the salads, all the food is fresh." Trip Advisor and Website: Raku Asian Dining Sushi & Sake

DAIKAYA -(705 6th St NW Washington, DC) (Two floors, two styles)
"Izakaya (2F) is a casual restaurant that serves Japanese comfort food to accompany a diverse selection of bar offerings. The izakaya experience is perfect for after work, before a big night out, as a full supper, or for late night bites with friends. The cuisine is freestyle and adaptive in nature. Each izakaya in Japan puts its own touch their menu items. The plates are typically small, so that one can sample many different items. Daikaya ramen (1F) offers Sapporo-style ramen, which is widely considered one of Japan’s most prominent and influential ramen styles. Sapporo style ramen is distinguished by its Chintan stock; a clear soup base that requires over 16 hours of careful preparation to achieve its delicate and complex depth. The stock contains chicken, pork, and beef. Our noodles are imported from Sapporo, Japan and made by Nishiyama Seimen Company according to the recipe we developed."   Excerpting about from Website: DAIKAYA.

Toki Underground -    Located at 1234 H Street NE in Washington DC. "For a city with few late-night dining choices, the place is a godsend, serving till midnight Thursday through Saturday. Despite the youthful vibe (the soundtrack skews loud and young), the bowls of noodles are accomplished, fully realized cooking, which is why you’ll see chefs from other restaurants here after hours. The house specialty is tonkotsu, a broth steeped with pig bones for 20-some hours. It’s fantastic–porky and full-flavored (don’t forget the dumplings on the side)." ~ Excerpt from Bon Appetit and Website

Ben's Chili Bowl - located at 1213 U ST, NW  Washington, DC 20009, On Aug. 22, 1958, Ben’s Chili Bowl was born. It was an exciting time on the U Street corridor, which was then known as "Black Broadway." Top performers could be found playing sets in clubs along the corridor, as well as eating and just "hanging out" at Ben’s. It was not uncommon to see such luminaries as Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, Redd Foxx, Dick Gregory, Martin Luther King Jr., Donny Hathaway, Roy Ayers or Bill Cosby at "The Bowl."   Link: Website.

The Oohhs & Aahhs Restaurant located at 1005 U St NW, in Washington, D.C.  "If you are looking for some of the best soul food in Washington, DC then Oohh’s & Aahh’s is your place! Â OOHHS & AAHHS Â is well known in the Washington Metropolitan area and is visited by many tourists and visitors throughout the United States. They have consistently received the Cheap Eats Award, and the Best Macaroni and Cheese awarded by Washingtonian Magazine."   Review excerpt: DC Nite Life and Link: Website

Carmine’s - In the DC area, located at 425 7th Street NW Washington D.C. 20004. Carmine’s is a family style restaurant offering Southern Italian cuisine. "Platters of homestyle antipasto, pasta, decadent seafood or meat entrees, and of course homemade desserts are all staples at Carmine’s, meant for sharing amongst friends and family. When great food and wine are supported by friendly and knowledgeable service, the results are magic - we want every day to feel like a Sunday afternoon at Grandma’s!"   Excerpting parts from   Website: Carmine's.

Z-Burger - located at both 2414 Wisconsin Avenue NW and 4321 Wisconsin Avenue, NW in DC.   Burgers, Hot Dogs, Cheesesteaks, You can "Invent Your Own Taste "All toppings are free!"  Fresh-cut Fries and Onion Rings and 75 flavors Shakes and Malts.  Website: Z-Burger

Satsuma Japanese Restaurant located at 8003 Norfolk Ave Bethesda, MD 20814.  " Satsuma Restaurant, named for Japan's southwestern-most provinc, brings yakiniku to Bethesda for the first time.  Bethesda's Satsuma is two authentic Japanese restaurants in one.  The main entrance opens into a smart café-style dining room within one of those iconic curved Bethesda storefronts. The space is well suited to a quick meal of sushi or shared appetizers a la carte." - Website

The Yosaku Japanese Restaurant located at 4712 Wisconsin Avenue NW. in Washington, D.C.  was established in 1982. Since then, it has been not just a community favorite but also a well-known establishment in the Washington, D.C. metro area. It has been regarded by many as an important Japanese fixture visited regularly by not only Sushi afficionados but also by folks from the Japanese community, including members of the Japanese Embassy.   Link: Website;

KOTOBUKI RESTAURANT - (located at 4822 MacArthur Blvd NW, DC) "You won't find anything fancy here; there are no dragon rolls or cream cheese and salmon abominations, just standard sushi, sashimi, and rolls. The luxuriously fatty tuna is worth the few extra bucks, and the sweet inari has a strip of pickled ginger tucked inside for a nice spicy crunch. Simple is the way to order here, as the fish is typically very fresh and needs no more accompaniment than the ever present Beatles soundtrack playing softly in the background." DCist. Website: KOTOBUKI RESTAURANT

The Haikan located at 805 V ST. NW., in Washington, DC  "traditional Sapporo style ramen in DC. In addition to ramen, serving a playful selection of Japanese-inspired kozara (small plates) to share, or to start with, or to make a whole meal of by picking a few of them. Haikan's bar serves a collection of Japanese-inspired cocktails, and a concentrated selection of Japanese sake, shochu, beer, whisky, and more.."    Website

Hitching Post Restaurant - Located at 200 Upshur St. NW in Washington DC "Time mostly stands still at this longtime Southern draw in Petworth, which changed hands seven years ago but retains the neighborly spirit instilled by original owners Al and Adrienne Carter, who now live above the dining room and bar they turned over to chef Barry Dindyal. His menu kept the crowd favorites, including pork chops and fried whiting, but grew to embrace his taste for Indian. Hence the fried spinach with sweet yogurt and tamarind chutney, a hat tip to one of his previous employers, Rasika in Penn Quarter. Entrees come with a choice of two sides, making them good deals. Both the coleslaw and the potato salad merit blue ribbons, while the collards play up a thoughtful chef. Because Dindyal keeps pork out of the pot, his vegetarian customers can enjoy the greens, too."   Article excerpt: Washington Post and Website: Hitching Post Restaurant.

Menya Hosaki - Menya Hosaki is, in many ways, a business built on Ramen Shack’s foundation, carrying on the lessons that Shimamoto passed down to Yoo. Everything is fresh and housemade. Yoo has his own machine that turns out (at present) two kinds of noodles: thin, pale strands for his muscular tonkotsu ramen, and thicker, dappled whole-wheat noodles for his shoyu ramen, a semi-clear chicken-and-dashi broth that punches well above its weight class. Yoo has developed four aromatic oils that he uses to amplify and modulate his soups. He also has countless types of tare, the seasoning bases for ramen, none of which Yoo will discuss because these secret flavoring agents do most of the heavy lifting at noodle shops."    Excerpting parts from   Washington Post, Website: Menya Hosaki.

Cameron's Seafood -(8603 16th Street Silver Spring, MD) "Established in 1985. Now with 10 locations in the Maryland and Pennsylvania area, we are one of the largest seafood retailers in the region. We carry a wide variety of fresh fish and shellfish as well as a full menu of cooked seafood appetizers and platters. Cameron’s Seafood Market is the area’s largest retailer of Maryland Blue Crabs live or steamed with very competitive prices. Our mission as a company is to provide fresh quality seafood at reasonable prices to all of our customers."   Excerpting parts from   Website: Cameron's Seafood.

The Diner   Located in Adams Morgan at 2453 18th St. NW Washington, DC. food & drink in an environment that embraces the diversity of the District’s residents and their tastes. We firmly believe that the fastest way to someone’s heart is through their stomach and that a great milkshake cures all ills. We pride ourselves on being a home away from home where neighbors and strangers alike can convene over great coffee, a hot meal, and a hearty laugh twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week."    Website: The Diner

The 90 Second Pizza located at 1077 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007  "90 Second Pizza is some of the best Neapolitan Pizza in the District and had to be near the top of our list of best pizza in Washington DC. Located in Georgetown and new to the area, you could blink and miss this fast casual shop, so keep an eye out! True to the name, the pizza cooks in 90 seconds thanks to their specialty oven imported from Italy. While the pizza cooks fast, the authentic dough takes over 48 hours to prepare and you can taste the quality! It is extremely chewy and soft, just the way we like it. The fan favorite pizza is the “90 Second” which has their famous San Marzano Tomato Sauce, mozzarella cheese and delicious spicy salami. Fold your personal pizza like a book and enjoy every bite. These pizzas are the perfect size and you don’t feel too full after having one, which we really appreciate. Added bonus, they have vegan options too!", 90 Second Pizza Website

The il Piatto located at 900 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20006  "Nothing on the all-day menu is likely to send you to Google Translate. The selections read pretty much like answers to a game show invitation: Name a popular Italian dish! But who cares when the food is good? The juicy meatballs, showered with filings of pecorino cheese, are rolled from ground beef loosely held together with milk-soaked bread and egg and warmed in fresh tomato sauce. The fried calamari sport a clingy, paprika-spiced batter and get a nice charge from a garnish of pickled vegetables. A creamy tomato sauce supports a trio of arancini, golden fritters with molten interiors of rice and mozzarella." Tom Sietsema - Washington Post, Website

The Causa located at 920 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC  "Causa celebrates the South American country’s wealth of ingredients, culinary influences, and topographies in a towering, two-level building nestled in Shaw (920 Blagden Alley NW). The upper, more casual floor — coined Bar Amazonia — debuts Wednesday, May 4, with a bar, 50-seat patio, lounge, and a lush look. The fine-dining first level goes live later this month with a tasting menu-only format. Led by Peruvian-born chef and co-owner Carlos Delgado, the ambitious menu pays tribute to Peru’s three main geographical regions: the seafood-rich Pacific coast where its capital of Lima calls home; the dense Amazon rainforest; and the high-altitude Andes. Industry vets and Service Bar owners Chad Spangler and Glendon Hartley round out the Causa partnership. ", Website

Sushi Yasuda
Located at 204 E 43rd St New York, NY 10017 - "Sushi Yasuda is named after the world renowned Sushi Chef Naomichi Yasuda. Yasuda is renowned as a tuna specialist – he typically offers seven or eight options for tuna "fattiness" that apply to his hon-maguro (bluefin) and mebachi-maguro (big-eye) tunas.

Yasuda's dexterity at manipulating the oily content of his slices is virtually unlimited and he prepares a wide range of akami (lean), chutoro (medium fatty), and otoro (high fatty) cuts. Other toro options such as his kama toro, taken from the cheek and hagashi toro, the super high-fatty tuna taken mainly from the top of the tail. " Review: ~, Website

La Ripaille located at 605 Hudson St. New York, NY 10014  "Located in the West Village, La Ripaille has been in business since 1980 offering spectacular dishes that include both modern and traditional takes on French cuisine. Extremely high quality, discipline, and never-ending devotion to perfecting flavors are what make these French dishes at La Ripaille so unique. From salmon Tartare to wild mushrooms prepared in flaming cognac, coming to La Ripaille is more than just a dinner.",, Website

PioPio - Located at 604 10th Ave. (between 43rd and 44th streets) in Hell’s Kitchen, it is the most popular Peruvian restaurant in New York City, boasting four stars out of 2,047 reviews on Yelp. The boisterous spot is the eighth of nine Pio Pio restaurants (the ninth is in Brooklyn), serving the ubiquitous rotisserie chicken with dipping sauces, alongside seafood and Chinese-influenced fried rice at its long bar, small tables and on the outdoor patio. Cocktails like the pisco sour are another draw."   Article excerpt: CBSNewYork July 2018 and Website: PioPio.

Burger Joint New York - (located in Greenwich Village and Le Parker Meridien in NYC) "Regardless of what time you go or how long you have to wait for your hot handful of beef and bun and American glory, Burger Joint is always a smart move. It will forever have a place in The Infatuation Hall of Fame, and should also be added to the short list of dining establishments that every visitor to this city must experience before being allowed out of Midtown. First you have your burger, then you can see the hyperbaric chamber that we keep Sarah Jessica Parker in." Website: Burger Joint New York

Mile End
- "Mile End (97A Hoyt Street, Brooklyn) This Boerum Hill and, more recently, Noho deli is hailed for its Montreal-style smoked meat, the French-Canadian version of pastrami. But the place also makes a mean hamburger patty with a combination of the staple smoked meat and fresh beef." Review:

Mile End website

Spaghetti Incident - Located at 231 Eldridge St New York, NY. "The name is borrowed from a 1993 Guns N’ Roses album that refers to a food fight between band members. The restaurant is compact, seating 40 at short tables, tall tables, and along an L-shaped counter that looks into an open kitchen. The menu principally features different forms of spaghetti, nine in all, priced from $11 to $16. Spaghetti Incident micro-focuses, and to great effect."   Excerpting parts from review.   Website: Spaghetti Incident.

White Palace Grill, Located at 1159 S. Canal Street, Chicago, IL. "For classic diner fare, look no further than the White Palace Grill. Featured in Guy Fieri's show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, this is one of those places that stays open 24/7 but in an out of the way part of town located about a mile south of Union Station on Canal Street but worth the trip. And it's always crowded."  Review excerpt: ~   Website: White Palace Grill.

Kuma's Corner, About: "Kuma’s started in 2005 with its flagship location at the corner of Belmont and Francisco avenues in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. From our origins as a corner bar with solid American bistro fare, we’ve grown to two locations that offer the finest burgers available on this planet or any other." 2900 West Belmont Avenue Chicago, IL. "The Burger - It’s big. It’s juicy. Nicely salted and pleasantly seasoned, it’s got enough substance to please, but doesn’t overpower the great taste of the meat. Which is what matters, right? The meat. And it’s on a pretzel bun.""  Review excerpt: ~ Mason Johnson - CBS Chicago   Website: Kuma's Corner.

Boatyard Bar & Grill at Severn Ave. & Fourth St. Annapolis, Maryland. The Boatyard was founded in 2001 by Owner Dick Franyo after he left his 30 year investment career with Alex. Brown & Sons, BT Alex Brown, and Deutsche Bank where he was head of Investment Banking. Located on Restaurant Row in the historic maritime district of Eastport, the Boatyard is just a short walk or water taxi ride from Annapolis City Docks. The Boatyard receives awards for being most family friendly and having the best crab cakes and burger on the Bay..... Website: Boatyard Bar & Grill

Toro, is a Barcelona-style tapas restaurant located in Boston's South End. Serving traditional and modern Spanish-style small plates made with locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. Their "beverage program features classic-inspired cocktails and an eclectic, all-Spanish wine list."
 Review excerpt
- "for tapas, I can’t imagine there being a better tapas restaurant in town. Aside from the amazing menu, the servers and bartenders are very knowledgeable about what’s on the menu and what pairs with each other. So the order the dishes were served flowed very naturally and was palate-friendly. Overall, if you’re looking for a phenomenal restaurant to order food to share with friends, Toro is your place.".   Website: Toro Boston location.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que - "Founder John Stage began Dinosaur Bar-B-Que with two partners as a mobile concession unit in 1983 with a 55-gallon drum cut in half. The idea was hatched at the the Harley Rendezvous, a massive motorcycle gathering near Albany, NY because they believed that bikers deserve a good plate of food. For five years the road was our home, doing motorcycle shows, fairs, and festivals throughout the Northeast. Burned out from life on the road, we settled in downtown Syracuse as a quick service lunch/dinner bar-b-que joint in 1988. In 1990 we tripled our size, adding a full bar, full service dining, and live music. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que opened its doors in Rochester, NY in 1998, Dinosaur Ba-B-Que Harlem followed in 2004 and we just opened our fourth location in Troy, NY on November 10th, 2010."   Website: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.

Cabo Fish Taco Baja Seagrill, located at 3201 North Davidson Street,
Charlotte, NC 28205.  "Cabo Fish Taco is the combination of concepts from three completely different people, who share the same idea of what makes a restaurant great. Unlike most Baja styled restaurants, Cabo combines coastal Mexican cuisine with a unique healthy California feel. The food and atmosphere of Cabo is an impeccable infusion of very different styles."   Website: Cabo Fish Taco Baja Seagrill.

Ru San's Japanese restaurant, located at 14126 Rivergate Pkwy,  Ste 400, in Charlotte, NC 28273.  The Ru San's in Charlotte is one of several which are based in Atlanta, Georgia.  The restaurant in Charlotte is the only exception.  It is located in the Dilworth neighborhood.  If you are a sushi fan, you will enjoy sampling Ru San's $1 sushi selection and their moderately priced specialty roll cuisine.   Website: Ru San's Japanese Sushi and Cuisine.

Smelly Cat Coffeehouse, located in the NoDa section of Charlotte 514 E 36th St Charlotte, NC, 28205 is open Mon-Tue 7am-8pm; Wed-Thu 7am-10pm; Fri 7am-12am; Sat 8am-12am; Sun 9am-5pm. "One of the city's better coffeehouses and a great perch for people-watching. Open till midnight on weekends to accommodate the after-concert crowds, but also early enough to be a good hangover-busting option." ~    Website: Smelly Cat Coffeehouse.

Musashi Japanese Restaurant, located in Hanaford Plaza [Suite 115] on Johnston Rd in Charlotte, NC is open for lunch and dinner six days a week (closed on Sunday). They are noted for serving authentic traditional Japanese dishes.  The Musashi Japanese Restaurant has received good reviews for their Bento box lunch specials, which they periodically change to offer a delicious and interesting variety of food.   Website: Musashi Japanese Restaurant.

Faidley’s Seafood - "Faidley Seafood World Famous Lexington Market (203 North Paca Baltimore, Maryland 21201) is about history, atmosphere, and flavor. Once you’ve experienced it, there’s no question why it is famous, and there’s simply no one who does it better. Faidley’s is a space unto itself within the larger marketplace. It’s a large room with a raw bar counter at its center, large communal standing tables arranged orderly all around. Entering from the street, the fresh fish side is on your left, the cooked side on your right. There’s always a line, but when you finally settle down at a table with your chosen seafood delicacy, you quickly find out what all the fuss is about." ~ Lexington Market, website: Faidley’s Seafood

Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar - "Located at 3580 State Hwy, Eastham, MA. For almost 40 years, Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar has served only the freshest fried seafood, lobster rolls, raw bar and premium gourmet ice cream on Cape Cod. At Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar you'll find: Affordably priced fresh seafood with other tasty (even healthy!) fare to satisfy everyone's palate. From fried seafood to baked seafood dinners, crispy fried onion rings to fresh salads, creamy chowder to our famous 50s angus burger and foot-long hot dog-there's something for everyone at Arnold's! Our tender fried clams were named "the best in the world" by Food & Wine Magazine!"   Excerpting parts from   Website: Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar.

The Primanti Bros
, "While there are now seventeen different Primanti Bros. locations in Pittsburgh, the original is located down in the culturally explosive Strip District on 18th Street."  (Original location) 46 18th Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222. "The first 30 sandwiches I reviewed here on PittWich are more than respectably delicious ‘wiches, don’t get me wrong, and I’d immediately recommend every single one to anybody visiting Pittsburgh (or, to a lesser extent, Philadelphia and New Jersey.) However, there’s no question that if you want to eat a sandwich in Pittsburgh, Primanti is the first name you’re gonna hear. First, the spectacle and novelty of putting cole slaw and french fries on top of your sandwich, rather than next to it, draws in any tourists and adventurous food folk. And then you actually eat the thing, and there’s nothing like it. The Primanti Bros. sandwich is in a league of its own, and is something any connoisseur of things sandwich- and/or Pittsburgh-related should be obligated by law to try. Trust me, you’ll be more than happy that you did."  Review: Pennwich and Website: Primanti Bros

Nimblefish Location: 1524 Southeast 20th Avenue Portland, OR, 97214 - "GO: for the most flavorful, most finessed sushi from chef Cody Auger. His exacting attention to detail, from the rice to the sourcing of the fish, makes each nigiri shine—and earned Nimblefish a spot in our 2018 Hot 10 list. ORDER: whatever you want! There isn't an omakase format at the moment, so go with your gut. From the tenderly boiled octopus over salty Calrose rice to salt-and-sugar-smoked king salmon to the soy-marinated tuna, you can’t go wrong.
THE VIBE IS: intimate. At the counter, you’re face-to-face with Auger and his crew, who hand over each nigiri as they’re made to order. PRACTICAL STUFF: Open every day, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Make sure you line up early since the wait can be long." Review excerpt - Bon Appétit,  Link: Website

Cafe Rumba, located at 1140 N. State Street. in Bellingham, WA. "Peruvian cuisine is among the most varied and best in the world. It’s a reflection of its three main geographical zones, the coast, the Andean highlands and the jungle, and an incorporation of influences from different times and immigrant cultures. While the Peruvian cuisine only is recognized internationally in the last few years, food and its preparation is one important part of the Peruvian culture and a very personal way to express the Peruvian identity."
Website: Cafe Rumba

Wild Ginger located in both Seattle and Bellevue, Washington.  At 1401 Third Avenue in Seattle, WA 98101, and 11020 NE 6th St. Ste 90 Bellevue, WA 98004. " The atmosphere is cosmopolitan, the mood festive and the food reliably good, sometimes even great. Can you get Asian food this good for less elsewhere in the city? Of course, but not always with ingredients of this caliber, and not with the amenities you’ll enjoy here — sommeliers to discuss the award-winning wine list and equally well-informed servers who painstakingly wipe tables between bouts of shared plates and deliver warm washcloths at meal’s end." Review: Seattle Times and Website: Wild Ginger

Toshi's Teriyaki Grill - (16212 Bothell Everett Hwy Mill Creek, WA) "Founder Toshi Kasahara is widely regarded as the godfather of teriyaki. Since opening Seattle’s first ever teriyaki joint in 1976, Toshi has been spreading his addictingly-delicious teriyaki chicken and beef throughout the greater Seattle area. Toshi’s teriyaki has received countless praise from renowned food critics including Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern and Seattle Times’ John Hinterberger." Website: Toshi's Teriyaki Grill

Samurai Noodle Locations: International District 606 5th Ave S - University District: 4138 University Way NE - Capitol Hill: 412 Broadway E. "The inspiration for Samurai Noodle comes from small Ramen shops throughout Japan. Places that focus all of their energy on rich broth, chewy noodles, and succulent pork that make up the essence of Ramen.. The Samurai Noodle mission to bring traditional Japanese food to Seattle is ongoing!."
Review excerpt - The Stranger  "Samurai has shoyu and dipping-ramen dishes, but the tonkotsu is the thing—rich, unimpeachably tasty pork ramen with thick, perfectly cooked slices of pork."  Link: Website

Skylark's Hidden Cafe
   Located at 1308 11th St. Suite B, in the Fairhaven Historic District, Bellingham, WA. "One of Fairhaven's better kept secrets is Skylark's "Hidden Cafe." Skylark's is worth seeking out for a hearty lunch or dinner, a handmade milkshake on a hot summer afternoon, or a chocolate grand mariner mousse after watching a glorious sunset over Bellingham Bay. During the summer season, outside seating is available on the winding cobblestone beneath the shade of the large chestnut tree, giving the cafe a European feel. Inside the cafe, natural light pours through the large West-facing windows illuminating a simple but elegant updating of Fairhaven's historic architecture: brick and natural wood accents, a small wood stove with dancing flames and framed reproductions of vintage artwork." ~   Website: Skylark's Hidden Cafe

   Located at 171 S. Jackson St. in Seattle, WA. "Originally opened in 1997, and was designed to provide a place that is different from the typical "out of a box" corporate coffee shop." "Combining the works of local artists, great coffee, nice decor, and the grand scenery of the Pioneer Square area is Zeitgeist Coffee. This spacious coffee house is a wonderful place to get a table, drink excellent coffee, relax, and enjoy the works of local artists." ~   Website: ZEITGEIST COFFEE

Red Mill Burgers
Located at 312 N. 67th Street (N 67th and Phinney, 10 blocks north of the Woodland Park Zoo, next to Starbucks). "Red Mill Burgers has won several awards in Seattle over the years from a variety of sources. Claiming the title “Best Burgers in Seattle” ten years running by Seattle Weekly, getting an honorable mention in GQ magazine, as well as on Oprah where it was called one of the 20 burgers you must eat before you die." ~ Website: Red Mill Burgers

Blue Fin Sushi Japanese Restaurant
Located at 102 S. Samish Way #105 Bellingham WA 98225. "Blue Fin Sushi sets the standard for Japanese cuisine by always preparing our dishes using only the freshest ingredients, and in the most inventive and elegant fashion, customers can watch their orders being freshly prepared by our qualified chefs. Enjoy our extensive selection of sushi and sashimi, Japanese dishes, as well as our Lunch Specials for those on the go.
" Website: Blue Fin Sushi Japanese Restaurant

Black Bottle Gastro-Tavern Located at 2600 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121. "From the moment you walk into Black Bottle’s beautifully, simplistic space, you know right away that this isn’t your usual after work watering hole. You’re in a place where Armani power suits, ambitious Chanel pumps, and hard working folks can all gather together to dine on deliciously delectable food. From the savory grilled lamb and sumac humus platter, to the seared sashimi yellowfin tuna, it's clear this place has something for most everyone." Links: Website and Seattle Examiner.

Shiro's Sushi Located at 2401 2nd Ave Seattle, WA 98121. A two-time James Beard nominee, Master Chef Shiro Kashiba has been profiled in every major cuisine periodical and newspaper including Bon Appetit, The New York Times, and USA Today. His restaurants are permanent fixtures in Zagat's restaurant guides. In 1994, Shiro opened up his namesake, Shiro's in the hip Belltown district of downtown Seattle. Links: Website and Shiro's reviews.

Dick’s Drive-In. Wallingford location, at 111 N.E. 45th St Seattle, WA (since 1954) and other locations in and around Seattle. "Service is fast. Burgers are cheap. And the place exudes an old-Seattle charm that is increasingly hard to find these days. Co-founded in 1954 by Dick Spady, Dick’s Drive-In, a family-owned company, has six locations around Seattle (with another opening soon!) and is fiercely community-driven. People flock to Dick’s in their caps and gowns each graduation season for a free burger. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis filmed a music video on its roof. Dick’s even invited customers to vote for where to open its next location (and thereby crashed the website)." Links: review in Seattle Times and Website.

The Bagelry
- Located at  1319 Railroad Ave in Bellingham, WA 98225.  "The Bagelry has been a landmark in Bellingham - the place to meet for breakfast, lunch, coffee, or snacks." Review excerpt: "As the name would imply, the focus of the Bagelry is hot, fresh bagels baked New York style from a secret recipe carefully guarded by the owner. Care is taken in the preparation of the bagels, and this special attention is reflected in the superior quality of the final product. Dough is hand rolled, “proofed,” boiled and baked. Bialy (pronounced “be-ah-lee”) style bagels are offered as well and are a variety of bagel without a hole; they are not boiled before they are baked. Despite the appeal to more sophisticated tastes, the prices of bagels are more than reasonable."   Website: The Bagelry

Zippys Giant Burgers located at 9614 14th Ave S.W. in Seattle. "Zippy's seems to have had little trouble amassing a fervent following. Owners Blaine and Rahel Cook have been cranking out burgers that have lured in the masses since 2008, becoming so popular so quickly that they won the Seattle Met Magazine readers' choice poll for Seattle's Best Burger only a year after opening their doors. They also managed to collect the Best Burger accolade from Seattle Weekly earlier this year. Such high expectations could have set up Zippy's for a major disappointment, but as it happens, the burgers are nearly as good as the hype portends." -   Review: Seattle Weekly and Website: Zippy's Giand Burgers

Boomer's Drive-In at 310 N. Samish Way Bellingham, WA 98225.  Serving families in Bellingham since 1989, Boomer’s Drive-In has become a local icon. People who enjoyed Boomers as a child are now bringing their kids and grand kids to enjoy the same great food. Little about Boomers has changed over the years and we strive to keep it that way. Echoing back to the drive-in diners of the 50's. Boomer's Drive-In has been voted "Best Burger in Bellingham, Again & Again!"   World Famous Waffle Fries. Hard Ice Cream Milkshakes. Car Hop Service. Best burgers in the northwest - personal opinion.  Website: Boomer's Drive-In and Write-up:

Sushi Zen Restaurant located at 13206 Bothell Everett Highway Mill Creek, WA 98012. You Don’t Have to Go to Seattle or Japan for mouth-watering Sushi. The fish is first-rate and traditional from Toro, Fresh Sea Urchin in the Shell, Spanish Mackerel to Monkfish Liver, there are few other places in the city where you can find the sheer variety of fish that Sushi Zen offers. Website: Sushi Zen Restaurant

The Woods Coffee "was established in 2002 by the Herman family of Lynden, Washington. With a dream of starting a chain of coffee shops, the Herman family pooled their talents and resources to create the first store on Bender Rd. in Lynden. After six months, they opened their second store, also in Lynden. Since then, they have continued on a steady growth pattern throughout Whatcom County."

Woods Coffee locations in Bellingham, Lynden, Ferndale, Blaine, Burlington, Mt. Vernon, Bellevue, and Delta, B.C. The Woods Coffee.

Sotto Mare Location: 552 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133 - "Sotto Mare is a small, narrow, old-school Italian restaurant in San Francisco's North Beach, with small tables, a long counter, and framed photographs and fish (yup, fish) tacked on the walls from floor to ceiling. This is an unpretentious crowd. There are tourists and locals, families and couples. The vibe is casual, the place can get loud, and you'd be just as comfortable bringing your mom and dad as a friend or a date. This is not a joint for beverage snobs. It's beer and wine only, and the most you can drop on a bottle is a $35 cabernet. The menu only lists varietals. Sotto Mare serves old-school Italian seafood in an old-school Italian neighborhood. The menu is all seafood—so if you're traveling with someone who doesn't eat it, don't plan on them being able to order something else."
"The restaurant is famous for its cioppino, a huge steaming bowl of crab, shrimp, calamari, clams, and mussels in a red broth (with minimal noodles) that's enough for two (at least). It's my favorite in the city."  Link: Review: Condé Nast Traveler, Soto Mare Website

Hidden Fish Location: 4764 Convoy St ste a, San Diego, CA 92111 - "Hidden Fish is San Diego’s first Omakase sushi destination, delivering traditionally prepared, top-level seafood in an intimate setting. Trust that every remarkable bite has been carefully and creatively executed before delivery and is presented to your palate with impeccable service and timing."
"Delicacies from the sea are sourced from around the globe - including a rotating selection direct from Japan’s renowned TOYOSU Fish Market - and each ingredient has been selected by experts for quality and freshness. "  Link: Website

Original Joe's located at 601 Union Street San Francisco, CA 94133  "History and tradition are truly a very good thing—especially when it comes to food! In a town like San Francisco, where new restaurant openings are a dime a dozen (even in these pandemic days), it’s nice to know that in the culinary world there is consistency. And no one does it better—or at a higher level—than Original Joe’s. Since 1937, this mainstay of Italian-American cuisine has been offering up with aplomb such delicious mouth-watering main dishes as homemade pastas with red sauce, Joe’s Special (hamburger, scrambled egg, onion, and spinach) and a luscious Chicken Milanese." ~ David Landis -, Website

Causwells Location: 2346 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94123 - "Established in 2014, Causwells is a neighborhood American bistro, rooted in the northern California style of cooking. Chef Adam Rosenblum draws from his diverse background to create a menu that spotlights local, seasonal ingredients influenced by French, Spanish, and Italian flavors."
Review excerpt -  "The Marina had been lacking in top-notch brunch spots—until Causwells and its epic brunch burger swooped into the neighborhood in 2014 with on-point morning eats. Years later, this American bistro is still serving one of our favorite brunches in town."  Link: Website

KABUTO located at 5121 Geary Blvd. (15th Ave.) San Francisco, CA 94118  "The airy, casual dining room at Kabuto is brightened with cheery, butter-yellow walls, with just a handful of tables and seating for just over ten at the coveted sushi bar. The sushi is fresh and plentiful. Generous slices of sparklingly fresh fish top the nigiri sushi and the usual list of fish includes a multitude of tunas, salmon, yellowtail and scallops. Maki rolls benefit from the fresh fish but don't offer a wide range of imaginative combinations. Sure, teriyaki and tempura are also offered, but if diners wish to stray from sushi they should try something from the delicious list of home-style Japanese dishes." Gayot, KABUTO Website

Jaranita - located at 3340 Steiner St, San Francisco. Ceviche has become tightly associated with Peruvian food, but the team at Jaranita — which opened Friday [January 2021] — is hoping to expose the city of San Francisco to another side of Peruvian cuisine — particularly the region's wonderful dishes kissed with fire by a charcoal grill. Chef Javier Cussato told SFGATE, "Jaranita is a great opportunity for us to keep showing Peruvian food to not only San Francisco, but to the world. Most of the Peruvian places, they offer a lot of seafood options, as we are very well known for the ceviches. But here we're gonna present a little twist and focus on the grill part of Peruvian cuisine."   SF Gate 01/30/2021, Website: Jaranita.

Texas de Brazil located at 101 North Houston Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102  "Texas de Brazil began with a dream in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Enjoying the rancher’s life and feasting in the rodizio style native to the region, one of our partners had visions of bringing churrasco culture north to the United States. He wanted to share this unique way of dining where guests indulge in a parade of meats and extravagant seasonal salad area." About, Website

The Gus's Barbecue located at 808 Fair Oaks Ave. South Pasadena, CA 91030  "Open late night daily, this classic American Barbecue restaurant treats its diners to favorite barbecue staples like Cast Iron Cornbread, Spicy Smothered Hot Wings, Shredded Onion Strings, and Deviled Eggs, paired with favorites like Pulled Pork Tostada, Gus’s Famous Burger, Brisket Burnt End Burger, and even, The Vegetarian. With so many choices, the classic pit-style barbecue is a must-visit addition to the list of things to do in Las Angeles." Referral: 20 BEST Things, Website

Blue Water Seafood San Diego -(Mission Hills 3667 India Street San Diego, CA) " Delicious simple fish cookery in no-frills eatery, plus a fish counter offering restaurant-quality fresh raw seafood including big, buttery oysters. The grilled shrimp taco is the secret mainstay of the menu, with its pale, unobtrusive tortilla, papery like a dumpling wrapper. Inexpensive to low-moderate."   San Diego Reader, Blue Water Seafood San Diego.

The Vox Kitchen
, Located at 16161 Brookhurst St Fountain Valley, CA.    article: Sep. 7, 2017 - "In fairly short order, The Vox Kitchen has become one of the hottest restaurants in Little Saigon. And it is not a Vietnamese restaurant. It’s a fusion kitchen that serves just about anything but Vietnamese food, which is apparently the kind of food the neighborhood’s millennial generation is clambering for. Even when I arrive on a Tuesday night, expecting a slow, quiet dinner, there’s a 30 minute wait for a table." ~ The OCR and Website: The Vox Kitchen

La Mar SF
- (Pier 1 ½, the Embarcadero San Francisco, CA 94111) "Featuring the acclaimed cuisine of chef Gastón Acurio, La Mar by Gastón Acurio offers diners the chance to explore the authentic and diverse flavours of Peruvian gastronomy. Excerpt: Condé Nast Traveler "What not to miss. Cebiche, cebiche, cebiche. It's what La Mar is known for. If you can only handle one, go for the clasico, the catch of the day with leche de tigre, red onion, habanero, corn, and sweet potatoes. Empanadas are also a must. You can put together an entire meal out of the top half of the menu and be quite happy, but if entrees are your thing, arroz la mar—shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, catch of the day, vegetables, and arborio rice will appease fans of risotto-style dishes, and the grilled wild salmon—shrimp, seasonal vegetables, mushrooms, aji panca, and coconut milk is another favorite." website: La Mar SF

El Pollo Inka -(550 Deep Valley Dr. #201 Rolling Hills Estates, CA) " Rolling Hills Estates is the newest location to open from this family owned chain of restaurants sprinkled throughout the South Bay, Southern California. Since 1987, authentic, Peruvian cuisine made with a home style feel you can experience with every bite. At EPI Rolling Hills Estates, serving your favorites from Pollo a la Brasa (Rotisserie Chicken), to the Saltados, to new creations of salads, soups and more."   Excerpting "about" from Website: El Pollo Inka.

Fishing With Dynamite, located at 1148 Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan Beach CA. "It's tempting, of course, to think that the world of crab cakes is defined by the waterways of the Eastern Seaboard and its rivers and bays, but that wouldn't be fair to chefs like David LeFevre, who brought his childhood summer experiences on Virginia's Eastern Shore to the shores of Southern California. The result is a beautiful homage to the classic Maryland blue crab cake, with deft and delicious elevations." ~ Coastal Living
, website: Fishing With Dynamite

Mario's Peruvian & Seafood -(5786 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA) " Mario's was one of the first restaurants to bring Peruvian cuisine into the LA mainstream. The place has the ambience of an old lunch counter and there's often a queue, but the food keeps people coming back: seafood fried rice, beef sautéed with potato and onion, citrusy fish ceviches and so on. The green sauce on your table is spicier than it looks, but it's so flavorful that you'll use too much of it anyway."
article:, and website: Mario's Peruvian & Seafood.

Saru Sushi Bar
- is located at 3856 24th St. San Francisco, CA 94114. "A handful of seats along the L-shaped counter and a smattering of high and low tables are all the comforts one needs at this petite Noe Valley sushi bar. The talented team works behind a display case of fresh and appetizing fish, topped with little jars of powders and seasoned salts. The menu focuses on excellent quality and judiciously embellished maki, nigiri, and sashimi. The signature tasting spoons reveal a duo of sushi bar preparations, such as ankimo (monkfish liver) lightly torched and set atop cool but spicy daikon, coupled with raw sea scallop dressed with finely diced wasabi root and a touch of yuzu zest. Nigiri from the day's offerings has brought pristine white salmon, Japanese yellowtail, and incredibly rich, fatty slices of tuna. " Review: ~ ViaMichelin and Website: Saru Sushi Bar

Pacific Catch
- (2027 Chestnut Street San Francisco, CA 94123) "Pacific Catch first made a name for itself in San Francisco as a funky, casual fresh-fish grill serving seafood tacos, Asian-style rice bowls and other small plates to diners in the Marina district and near Golden Gate Park. A decade later, the chain has expanded to six locations, with the most recent trio opening in Campbell, San Mateo and Mountain View." Review ~ San Jose Mercury News. "Pacific Catch is a modern, comfortable, Westcoast Fish House that combines fine-dining culinary experience with a casual California lifestyle. Dedicated to delivering high quality seafood with a unique perspective, the menu explores preparation styles and ingredients found throughout the Pacific." website: Pacific Catch

Emmy's Spaghetti Shack - (3230 Mission St., San Francisco, CA) "If you live in San Francisco and love spaghetti and meatballs, there’s a good chance you’re a fan of Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack, the popular and quirky Mission/Bernal Heights restaurant that serves up tasty plates of carbs and meat to families, late night crowds, and pretty much everyone with a hankering for huge portions of pasta made with love." Website: Emmy's Spaghetti Shack

Moshi Moshi, (2092 3rd St, San Francisco, CA) it "consistently makes some of the best Japanese neighborhood food in San Francisco. The restaurant is always crowded at lunchtime and full in the evening, with an ambiance that is a little corny but nice. The lunch menu features salads like Ahi Tuna marinated with rosemary and soy, and Tokyo Kara-Age, ginger-soy marinated fried chicken, both served with mixed greens, avocado, daikon, carrot and cucumber. There are Yakimono grills like chicken and beef teriyaki, deep-fried Agemono dishes, and a full bar. Moshi Moshi is an excellent restaurant, low-key, comfortable and reasonably priced." ~, website: Moshi Moshi

Los Dos Molinos Located at 260 S. Alma School Rd., Suite #137 (W. Broadway Rd.) Mesa, AZ 85210 and is one of four locations in the Phoenix area. "If you can't take the heat, stay out of this kitchen! Los Dos Molinos offers genuine New Mexican cuisine, which ranges in flavor from hot to hotter to wildfire. The food is electric but the atmosphere is relaxed." Links: Website and review on

JTYH Restaurant located at 9425 Valley Boulevard,  Rosemead, CA 91770. "The San Gabriel Valley is Southern California’s mecca for authentic cuisine from almost every province in China, so if you’ve got a hankering for chewy, thick handmade Shanxi noodles, this cozy strip mall spot in Rosemead is required eating. Run by the same family that owned the acclaimed and now-defunct Heavy Noodling, JTYH offers huge portions and low prices (nothing on the menu is over $10)." Link:

SUSHI RAN located at 107 Caledonia (at Pine Street) in Sausalito. "Few sushi restaurants compare to this Sausalito mainstay, which has been serving up the freshest fish for 24 years. Owner Yoshi Tome gives free rein to chef Scott Whitman and Mitsunori Kusakabe, a licensed blowfish cutter, who produce the spectacular sashimi. Whitman blends traditional and creative elements to produce such things as smoked hamachi tataki with avocado, grapefruit and yuzu-black pepper sauce; or slow-cooked duck breast accented with watermelon rind-citrus chutney."
Review: San Francisco Chronicle and Website: SUSHI RAN

Prince Lebanese Grill located at 502 W Randol Mill Rd Arlington, TX 76011. "Looking for excellent Middle Eastern food in Tarrant county and not sure where to go? Or at least a place you can go without 1960s era belly dancers? Prince is the place. You've never had Lebanese food, but always wanted to try? Prince is the place. You will feel most comfortable in this casual establishment - the menu will explain it all for you." Review: Regular Joe Guide Website: Prince Lebanese Grill

Karma Sushi Bar Grill located at 6 East Route 66 in Flagstaff AZ. While in Flagstaff I ran a search on Google to find a good sushi bar near the Barnes and Noble bookstore I visit. The Karma Sushi Bar Tapas was a great choice. The miso soup was good and the sushi exceptionally fresh. Website: Karma Sushi Bar Grill;

Bonchon located at 135th 4th St San Francisco, CA 94103  "An outpost of beloved Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon has managed to quietly open in the SF Metreon... Though known primarily for its double-fried chicken, the menu does include other Korean dishes like japchae, bulgogi, and kimchi fried rice, as well as potstickers, shu mai, and takoyaki. It’s that crispy, crunchy fried chicken that draws in diners though, with wings, drumsticks, strips, and boneless nuggets all acting as vessels for soy garlic or spicy sauce. " Eater San Francisco, Website

Jinya Ramen Bar
- "Long-boiled pork-bone broth so rich it could fell an ox. Excited staffers shouting something at you in a foreign language when you walk in. Loud, frantic noodle slurping. Ah, yes, it must be another authentic tonkotsu-style ramen shop. This one, however, the first New York branch of a Tokyo-based mini-chain, is already a bit of a sensation in Los Angeles, where there are three locations." Review: Grubb Street and Website: Jinya Ramen Bar

Krystal Burgers "It was on October 24, 1932, when the nation's first Krystal restaurant opened its doors on the corner of Seventh and Cherry Streets in downtown Chattanooga amid the harsh financial times of the Great Depression. Its founders, Rody Davenport Jr. and J. Glenn Sherrill, believed that despite the severe economic upheaval of the times, people would patronize a restaurant that was kept spotlessly clean, provided courteous service and offered a good meal at the lowest possible price. Proving this theory true, the restaurant's first customer, French Jenkins, ordered six "Krystals" and a cup of coffee, all for the bargain price of $0.35."  Website: Krystal Burgers

Emeril's - Emeril Lagasse is the chef-proprietor of ten restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando, Miami, and Gulfport, MS. The recognition and awards he has garnered have made him known to food-loving Americans everywhere. His restaurants consistently win critical praise and top ratings. Lagasse’s restaurant company, Emeril’s Homebase, is located in New Orleans and houses restaurant operations, a culinary test kitchen for cookbook and recipe development, and a boutique store for his signature products. Website: Emeril's

Morton's Steakhouse - 77 worldwide locations.  For more than 30 years, Morton's Steakhouse has served only the finest quality foods, featuring USDA prime-aged beef, fresh fish and seafood, hand-picked produce, delicious appetizers and elegant desserts.  Website: Morton's Steakhouse

Jimmy John'sGourmet Sandwiches - What makes Jimmy John's different from the rest is that it's honest, it's damn good, it's damn fast, at a decent price! Jimmy John's definition of fresh is worlds apart from everyone else's. Bread is baked in-house everyday and served fresh. Meat and veggies are sliced fresh in-house everyday. The turkey is real turkey, the roast beef is real roast beef – no additives, no vegetable-based fillers, no fake stuff. Nothing is delivered pre-sliced. Real Hellmann's mayo, real Grey rey Poupon, real olive oil and red wine vinegar – it's the best of the best.. Website: Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches

Five Guys Burgers and Fries - "Five Guy's has been ZAGAT survey rated every year since 2001 and has been voted the Washingtonian Magazine's "Readers' Choice" #1 Burger every year since 1999! Since expanding outside of the Washington DC metro area, Five Guys has continued to garner awards and praise in nearly every market we enter. Five Guys is very proud of the recognition we've received in the press. Please read on to see what has been written about us." 
Website: Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Maggiano's Little Italy began in Chicago, Illinois in November of ’91 when Maggiano’s Little Italy opened the doors of its first location on the corners of Clark Street and Grand Avenue. The dishes were simple, authentic classics, many of them coaxed out of Italian grandmothers, mothers, and aunts whose ideas of a recipe were a pinch of this and a sprinkle of that. What happened next, as they say, is history.. Website: Maggiano's Little Italy

Kabuki Japanese Restaurant - "Presently, KABUKI Restaurants, Inc. operates 13 KABUKI Japanese Restaurants in Arizona, California and Nevada. We are committed to bringing the KABUKI Japanese Restaurant experience to many more communities throughout America. Despite our expansion, our humble attitudes from 1991 remain; to treat each customer and employee like family and to care about the communities we serve." Website: Kabuki Japanese Restaurant

PF CHANG'S China Bistro - Mandarin style wok cooking "using only the freshest, highest quality ingredients" to "create lightly sauced dishes that allow natural flavors to emerge and stimulate the senses".  Founded in 1993, PF Chang is found in many major cities across the U.S. Website: PF CHANG'S