photos courtesy of the interwebs

I know it seems like I travel a lot. A LOT. But would you believe me if I told you that this year, this whole year, I’ve only taken two days leave? Believe it, sister, because it’s true.  While it seems like I’m constantly travelling (because I am), there’s a big fat difference between travelling and actually going on holidays.

The criteria? Actually going on holidays requires that I set an out-of-office message on my work email. It’s that simple.

But guess what? In 10 sleeps (there is no shame in counting), I hit the west coast of the US of A (SF, Vegas & LA) for a full ten days! *eeeeeek! excitement!*

Amidst this excitement though, I’ve been massively tardy with my food planning. Aside from some obvious choices (such as the Bellagio buffet because, OMG repeat after me: All You Can Eat Crab!), I am listless, hopeless and possibly going to be left hungry unless you, you my lovely blog readers, suggest some must eats for me.


I’ll buy you a Sprinkles cupcake! *promise*

So anyway, here’s the itinerary:

San Francisco 3rd-6th October

We only have about 2.5 days in San Fran, which is a bit of a shame because everyone who’s been there just loves the place.  Two dinners are already taken care of by friends, but I have one dinner to fill ~ so I have to get it right! Help!

During the day, I’ve locked in Ferry Building Market Place (a big feed before we hit Alcatraz) and well, there’s also that big ass pho and of course the crazy famous San Fran Chinatown. What else?

Las Vegas 6th-9th October

3 days in Vegas and we have a bunch of culturally things lined up like a chopter trip out to the Grand Canyon and the mutha of all Cirque du Soleil shows, ‘O’. Oh, and some gambling 🙂

Food-wise, we have an amazing dinner at Wazuzu in the Wynn Encore hotel, because God knows how I actually befriended head chef Jet Tila and the first lady of Wazuzu and well, there’s that Bellagio buffet.

Los Angeles and Hollywood 9th-13th October

The City of Angels is a toughie because it spreads far and wide, and we only have 4 days! There’s Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Venice Beach, and most importantly Universal Studios which I have dreamt of visiting since falling in love with Jonathan Brandis (RIP) in my very earliest movie memory, The Neverend Story II.

Mind you, I have no idea if the movie was actually filmed there or if it even has any affiliation with Universal Studios, but for some bizarre reason, my little pre-teen heart thought oh yes, this is where I’ll meet Bastian, and hence forth we will cruise the world on an overgrown dog-dragon-thing. Childhood love.

Anyway, we are definitely hitting up 25 Degrees at the Roosevelt Hotel for their famous burgers, and if I have to beg, borrow or kill, I will make it to Sprinkles for a cupcake or two or twelve. I also have dinner lined up with some LA foodie gals, which I think is likely to be soooshi, but aside from that my eating plan is a blank canvas.

A very. blank. canvas.

So you can see why I need help. Please don’t leave me hungry, it just doesn’t… bode well with my complexion!

Ta muchly in advance,
Catty x

ps: I don’t know how everyone else goes about booking plane tickets. I used to be adamant about booking directly through an airline website, but lately have found some really cheap flights on websites such as CheapOAir and eBookers. In fact, eBookers got us our Amsterdam trip plus three nights in a four-star hotel for less than flights alone on the airline website! Win! Also, we’re travelling American Airlines for this and I have heard some raging awful reviews. Fingers crossed…

14 Thoughts on “catty goes to San Francisco, Vegas & LA… and desperately needs eating tips!

  1. hey cat, i was in LA, SF and Vegas recently. no real recommendations for SF off the top of my head, other than the cheescake factory… it aint too bad for a quick lunch. a great bar to check out though is the redwood room at the clift hotel – definately a cool joint thats been featured in plenty of tv and movies

    for vegas – check out TAO in the venetian, nice for pre-dinner drinks, dinner, and kick on drinks. good music there usually too.

    bobby flays “mesa” is good in caesars.

    for LA – Bandera on Wilshire was good

    i would book in advance for the vegas joints, as they can get booked fairly quickly.

    cheers mate, i am sure you will have a great trip !

  2. The First Lady on September 23, 2009 at 1:14 pm said:

    Cat! I’ll look after you don’t worry. Here are some LA spots to get you started:

    Umamiburger or Father’s Office in Culver City for fabulous burgers
    Scoops for amazingly unusual flavored ice creams
    Church & State is also one of the hottest venues of the moment
    Mozza Osteria and Pizzeria for awesome pizza

    And a Vegas venue that can’t be missed:
    Raku for Japanese Isakaya (nominated for a James Beard)

    And one SF location that you absolutely CAN’T miss:
    La Boulange Bakery – best almond croissants we’ve ever had

    I’ll come up with some more before you get to Vegas 🙂

  3. I thought the Bellagio buffet was meh. In San Francisco we had dim sum at a place in chinatown, can’t remember the name offhand, but I’m told it was really good. I don’t like dim sum, myself.

  4. not a big fan of the lv buffets. didn’t enjoy the buffet i had at bellagio. pinkberry for froyo! in-and out burger – check out their secret menu. i love animal cheeseburger. cheesecake factory – my faves are the lemon raspberry and choc brownie cheesecake. oh the snickers cheesecake and peanut butter ones are yum too.
    pizza orgasmica in SF has yum pizza. sf chinatown is a great place to get american ginseng and huge dried goji berries. what else….there’s a great thai place in sf parc 55 hotel – beef noodle soup and seafood fried rice is excellent. mebbe a lunch place?

  5. ruste, First Lady, Vix: thanks for the tips! I’m collecting them all in my ‘West Coast folder’ because yes, I am a nerd, and google mapping everything I can. Scoops (for unusually flavoured ice creams) sounds right up my alley!!

    CyberLizard: Yeh a couple of people have now suggested Wynn buffet. Or maybe no buffet at all?

  6. The First Lady on September 24, 2009 at 2:06 am said:

    I can take you to my local haunts in Vegas; I have Cuban, pizza, a local Korean sushi place (which is an experience in itself), pho (but I see you are going for the giant one in SF!) and we can ask the Oracle where to go and who to ask about the “it” places to go to in LA.

    I had never been to a buffet before getting to Vegas, and I will admit, it is all about excess! The Rio buffet was famous for a long time as the place to go, but they are not as popular as they once were. Wynn buffet is supposed to be crazy good but I haven’t tried it yet.

    A fun old school place you might like – both for the food and the experience, is Lawrys. It’s a prime rib restaurant and is served old school with the meat coming to your table and served right out of the hot trolley and cut from the stack right in front of you by a chef in all whites! Fun. And tasty.

    I’ll email you with more as I think of them!

  7. I did this trip 4 years ago but sadly my memories have faded and can’t remember too many specifics except SF is an excellent place to eat !

    One tip I can give is if you’re able to speak Chinese then pop into a Chinatown shop and ask where the good restaurants are. I’ve done this in San Francisco and Toronto Chinatowns and its a much better than relying on civvie tips and guidebooks.

  8. This might be useful (or not!) – 10 Things Not To Do In Las Vegas – http://tinyurl.com/yb4zk37

  9. Alex in the Wynn Encore in Las Vegas is amazing (very expensive, but amazing). And I’m not just saying it because my name is Alex. We also really liked Wazuzu.

    I also really enjoyed Coi in San Francisco – very inventive food but a bit stuffy. The Slanted Door in the ferry building is also top notch.

    I’m very jealous…wish I was going back!

  10. First lady: Can’t wait to see you! I know you’ll look after me *wink*

    Mr Noodle: Yeh I hate guidebook recommendations, they’re usually pretty crap hence I’m reaching out to real foodies for recs! I speak Chinese and will definitely hit up SF Chinatown 😉

    Helen: LOL 10 things NOT to do in Vegas is great.. and I will NOT bring my sluttiest dress.. or will I?!

    Alex: Thanks for the tips! I’ve also heard of Slanted Door and we’ll be at Ferry Building so will definitely check it out!

  11. The Mayflower Lounge at Millbrae has the best dim sum.

    Take a good pair of sneakers because you will be doing alot of walking in SF Chinatown. Oh, don’t forget to go down to Pier 39 to watch the sea lions afterwards.

  12. one more. stinking rose restaurant. there’s 1 is LA and 1 in SF. 40 clove garlic chicken. and garlic roast prime rib. and bagna caulda (sp?) garlics slow cooked in olive oil till mushy.

  13. Vix: someone else also recommended the Stinking Rose today! Definitely a must-go 😀

  14. chooken on October 10, 2009 at 2:25 am said:

    I can’t believe Jonathan Brandis is dead…I LOVED that guy

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