Thursday, September 7, 2017

Stay / Eat / Do: Dana Point Edition

Photography by Eddie Sanchez

When a city's official motto is, "Harboring the Good Life," thoughts of an amazing oceanside getaway in a beautiful locale immediately come to mind. Picture a place with unique shops and interesting restaurants, on a latern-lined street complete with a trolly cruising by. The "Good Life" means leaving your cares back at home while you relax in a world-class resort, watching the most beautiful sunset over the ocean. This is Dana Point and everything about it is good. That's why when we were invited to explore Dana Point and share our experience, it was no surprise to us that we fell in love with this charming city characterized by coastal bluffs and rolling hills. If you're planning to visit, we've narrowed down our favorite restaurants in Dana Point and the best things to do. Here's our recommendations for where to stay, where to eat, and what to do in Dana Point. 


Dana Point provides many options for accommodations. Everything from camping at scenic beaches to quaint Victorian-style bed & breakfasts, to luxurious 5 Star resorts, the city will have exactly what you're looking for. And if you're looking for an amazing resort with luxurious amenities like fire-side guest rooms, scenic views, private beach, and a breathtaking pool, look no further than the Monarch Beach Resort. The property offers running routes, golf and tennis for the active traveler, kids club for families, chef-driven cuisine for foodies, and a romantic setting for couples. There's something for everyone here. 

Fireside terrace guest room featuring a private terrace with a personal fire pit to keep you warm on cool, coastal nights. 

Large soaking tub.

Why get out of bed? Have in-room dining delivered to you. 

Monarch Beach Resort
1 Monarch Beach Resort N
Dana Point, CA 92629


Ceviche from Sombra, Monarch Beach Resort's poolside Mexican cantina. 

The Good Life is not complete without good eats and Dana Point has plenty of them. The unique restaurants in Dana Point will have any foodie bookmarking a food-crawl on their next visit. From farm-to-table cuisine that revolves around seasonal ingredients at a high end resort, to a casual taqueria in a strip mall, you'll find exactly what you're looking for in this city. 

Monarch Bay Club
Only open to resort guests or members, this place is not to be missed if you're staying at the resort (and we already told you to). Savor char-grilled meats and fresh-caught seafood in a breathtaking oceanfront setting. Expect California-style cuisine here in a more relaxed environment by the beach.

Shrimp roll with basil aioli on a sweet roll.
Monarch Bay Club

AVEO Table + Bar
Offering seating on a large terrace overlooking the resort for the ultimate al fresco dining experience, AVEO is a Mediterranean concept focused on seasonal ingredients to create fresh California-inlfuenced dishes. Taking a "Farm-to-Bar" approach to cocktails, the bar program features ingredients harvested from the resort's own garden. Try the Catalina Sunset for a refreshing aperitif.

Chef's special: Chilean Sea Bass pan seared with vegetable ragu. 

1 Monarch Beach Resort N
Dana Point, CA 92629

We're always asked the question, "What restaurant do you recommend that has great food and an ocean view?" That answer will now include Raya at the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Chef Richard Sandoval brings Pan-Latin flavors through locally sourced ingredients. Highlights include the Arroz Negro, a paella-like dish, as well as the lamb lollipops. 

Arroz negro - black forbidden rice, Maine lobster, prawns, mussels, calamari, Dungeness crab and Spanish chorizo. 
1 Ritz Carlton Dr
Dana Point, CA 92629

Crank & Grind
If you're like us and are very picky about good coffee (AKA coffee snob), then make a stop at Crank & Grind. Organic, fair trade, and roasted by the best roasters around the country, you're getting a premium cup of joe at this cool, underrated spot that shares a space with a bicycle shop. If you're hungry, make sure to grab one of their toasts. 

Smoked salmon and avocado toast with a perfect cortado, complete with beautiful latte art. 
34150 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629

Lupe's Mexican Eatery
For a fast casual lunch, look no further than Lupe's for traditional Michoacan dishes mixed with Baja style seafood (think fish tacos). The small space, with a hip vibe, features some of Dana Point's best tacos and burritos. Plus they also serve Mexican sodas and craft brews from Baja.
Surf & Turf Burrito - steak, shrimp, pico, guac, rice, cheese, and white sauce. 
33621 Del Obispo St
Dana Point, CA 92629

Craft House
Open for just over a year and already a Dana Point staple, Craft House is that place you go to have a great food and a great time. With unique craft cocktails (no pun intended) to round out the experience, this is a lively restaurant perfect for a night out.

34094 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629


There are so many things to do in Dana Point that you may not have enough time to do it all. You already know that the city has some of the best resorts and with it are some of the best pools. Take a day to relax in a cabana while eating and drinking poolside. Or perhaps you love to actually be out on the ocean, the Dana Wharf offers everything from boat rentals, to kayaking, jet skiing, and paddle boarding. If you love to fish, there are options for sport fishing but if you're more of a spectator, whale watching excursions are the perfect way to get your sea legs. Of course the area offers great shopping, golfing, and world class spas as well. There's no shortage of things to do in Dana Point.

Private cabana at Monarch Beach Resort. 
Private beach for resort guests of the Monarch Beach Resort. 

Charters take off daily from the Dana Point Wharf. 

Watersport activities like kayaking and jet skis are a great way explore the Wharf.

Couples treatment room with a private hot tub at Miraval Spa. 

Award winning Monarch Beach Golf Links.

Sunset over Dana Point.

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Special thanks to Dana Point for collaborating with Hungry in LA. As always, the content and opinions expressed here are entirely our own.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

5 Reasons the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch Should Be Your Next Outdoor Adventure Destination

Photography by Eddie Sanchez

If you live in Los Angeles, your idea of an outdoor adventure probably involves a long drive through traffic just to get to Runyon Canyon for a hike on a trail that has now been paved. Once you reach the top, you're semi-satisfied as you take a deep breath of that city air, close your eyes, and listen to the sounds of cell phones, cars, and music blasting. Not quite what you had in mind for a relaxing and rejuvenating outdoor adventure is it?

Luckily, only a few hours away from the hustle and bustle of the city, awaits a great outdoor adventure trip that includes hikes, stargazing, and s'mores around the campfire! So, before you head back to Runyon again for your nature fix, consider getting on a plane and discovering a whole new outdoor adventure in Colorado. It's a place with fresh mountain air and green hills adorned with yellow wild flowers. Here you can listen to the singing of birds and quite possibly the growling of a bear. You'll be amazed to see that you can have the most memorable experience with nature without sacrificing the resort comforts that you're used to in a city like Los Angeles. Yes, you can have it all and to convince you, I've listed
five reasons why you should highly consider The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch for your next outdoor adventure getaway.


There's nothing like enjoying a mountain adventure in the luxurious comfort of world-class Ritz-Carlton accommodations. Each room captures the beauty of Beaver Creek or Vail Valley and evokes lodge-inspired luxury with modern touches. Relax in a large soaking tub in your spacious marble bathroom after watching the sunset from your furnished balcony. You'll have no trouble falling asleep to the warm glow of the fireplace in what you may consider as the most comfortable bed you've slept in. It's easy to enjoy the great outdoors when you can retreat to the great indoors.


Dining at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is reason enough to jump on a flight and experience elevated traditional mountain cuisine in a breathtaking setting. Locally sourced ingredients that highlight the resort's surroundings are the main star here, so even your food is fitting of the impressive outdoor mountains that surround you. Dishes like elk chops, bison tenderloin, and Colorado Striped bass are a must for the ultimate Alpine gourmand dinner experience. Garden dishes in season such as Summer succotash or salt roasted Colorado beets are the perfect way to round out your Colorado culinary experience. It's without question that the food is absolutely delicious and the spaces they are served in are a beautiful reflection of the great outdoors surrounding the resort. 

WYLD offers an eclectic menu of flavorful Alpine cuisine. 

Buffalos focuses on seasonal dishes from regional farms and features Colorado specialties.

Anderson's Cabin is a preserved century-old log cabin from one of the early founders of the area. It offers a unique private dining experience for up to 14 guests. 

Bison tenderloin with parsnip chips served on a hot salt block. 

Colorado striped bass with fennel and arugula salad. 

Elk chops with marinated blistered tomatoes. 

Burrata with braised peaches and house granola. 

Salt roasted Colorado beets with pickled strawberry, haystack chèvre, rye croutons, and strawberry balsamic reduction. 

Bison burger with bacon onion jam. 

Elk sausage prepared three ways. 

Banana caramel semifreddo pops paired with moscato. 

Paulie's Plunge - Cazadores silver, lime juice, agave nectar, Mexican lager. 


A Forbes Four-Star Spa, year-round heated pool, fitness center with amazing views, and a whiskey & cigar lounge - those are amenities you won't find at a typical outdoor cabin getaway. Add to the fact that The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch holds very high standards, and you have access to some of the finest amenities of any resort. The luxury spa is the ideal place to workout those tired muscles after a long day hiking. For the finest experience possible, The Ritz-Carlton Club lounge offers customized experiences for Club level guests and is a great space to stop in for breakfast, and small bites throughout your stay. For the whiskey connoisseur, Bachelors Lounge offers sessions to sip and savor spirits including the resort's proprietary bourbon. 

The spa's relaxation room.

Spin indoors with views of the outdoors. 

Bachelors Lounge, Vail Valley’s only cigar lounge, offers signature cocktails and a selection of sommelier-curated wines. 


There's no shortage of activities and things to do at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. A guided hike is the perfect way to soak up the majestic views of Bachelor Gulch while learning fascinating facts of the plants and animals that thrive during the beautiful Summer season. There's also an opportunity for an adult summer camp experience with craft making like Lager and Leatherworking, Pinot and Painting, and Whiskey & Woodburning. Yes, sip on a glass of wine and paint the beautiful view in front of you, or sip on local craft brews while learning how to stamp leather - creating a one-of-a-kind souvenir to take back home. Even the kiddos have something to do through the resort's Ritz-Kids program where they go on hikes, and even pan for gold. Nearby the property, you have access to rafting, fly fishing, and horseback riding. Even your four-legged friends are welcomed to experience something at the resort. There's something for everyone in the family. 

Lager and Leather-working - sip on Colorado local beers while creating a stamped leather souvenir. 

Bachelor - the resort's canine ambassador. 


The resort is tucked away on a peaceful mountainside between Beaver creek and Arrowhead. Bachelor Gulch, named for its original settlers, is the perfect resort setting year-round. Access to hiking trails and nearby wildlife and plants will give you a glimpse of nature that Los Angeles doesn't offer. Plus at night, you'll see more stars in the sky than on Hollywood Blvd. The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch is a relaxing, luxurious lodge-style resort that offers all the comforts you need in a setting that has all the outdoor adventure you are looking for. 

Chairlifts during a summer night of stargazing.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
0130 Daybreak Ridge Rd
Avon, CO 81620

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Special thanks to The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch for collaborating with Hungry in LA. As always, the content and opinions expressed here are entirely our own.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Classic California Luxury in Santa Barbara

What comes to mind when you think of Santa Barbara? Is it the beaches with sunshine glistening on the waves of the ocean? Perhaps the famous wine trail from the movie Sideways comes to mind and the luscious and velvety smooth Pinot Noir wines that Miles (Paul Giamatti) speaks so highly of. Or maybe you’re like me and you picture a classic California coastal town with beautiful Spanish architecture lining its streets. Everything here seems to slow down and for a moment you feel like you’re back in time, maybe the 1950’s or 60’s. I don’t know but it's easy to picture glamorous Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe or Cary Grant escaping up the American Riviera for a relaxing weekend getaway. Yes, there is history, charm, sunshine and ocean in Santa Barbara and no other resort epitomizes this casually sophisticated California lifestyle than Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Main lobby with stunning Spanish Colonial architecture. 

Situated on 22-acres of lush jungle and peaceful gardens, Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara invites you to indulge in everything from tours of local wineries to surfing, hanging on the beach or lounging poolside at the exclusive Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club. The resort has everything you need to stay without ever leaving. The rooms offer private balconies and terraces, with some boasting breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands. The classic luxurious style of the room is accented with modern amenities like a Nespresso machine, usb charging ports, and a 65-inch Smart TV so you can binge on Netflix. Of course there are quintessential touches like a deep soaking tub, rain shower, fireplace, and the newspaper of your choice to be delivered in the morning. The world class spa is a perfect place to unwind and the dining at Bella Vista or Tydes is reason alone to visit. 

House-cured charcuterie with a bottle of local wine. 

Bella Vista Restaurant offers oceanfront dining in a spacious outdoor environment. You overlook incredible panoramic views of the ocean while enjoying a delicious contemporary Italian menu that highlights fresh California ingredients. Bella Vista also has the distinction of being one of only 12 restaurants in California, and the only one in Santa Barbara, licensed to cure its own meats. The house-made charcuterie paired with local Santa Barbara wines is a perfect start to your meal. If you're up for something a bit more casual, the restaurant has one of the best burgers in Santa Barbara. A prime beef patty topped with bacon marmalade, jalapeño brie and avocado lime aioli.

Bella Vista Restaurant

"Nizzarda" Tuna Crudo - Olives, Green Beans, Pine Nuts, Avocado, Sesame Seeds

The BV Burger - Bacon Marmelade, Jalapeno Brie, Avocado-Lime Aioli

 Amaretti - Coconut Sorbetto, Candied Almonds, Banana Carmel, Chocolate Sauce

If all this talk about wine is not your thing, the cocktail program at Ty Lounge is outstanding. The “8 Barrels" cocktail made with bourbon, maple syrup, lemon, spiced simple syrup and nutmeg in a hand-smoked glass is one of the best whiskey cocktails you will ever have. For the coffee aficionado, try the Espresso Martini made with a shot of espresso, Vanilla Stoli, Khalua and cream. This could double for a dessert, it’s that good!

Ty Lounge

A look at the bar at Ty Lounge

Espresso Martini - shot of espresso, Vanilla Stoli, Kahlua, and cream.

Sage Margarita - sage infused El Charro Reposado, 
blood orange juice, lime, and Grand Marnier. 

"8 Barrels" - Bourbon, maple syrup, lemon, 
spiced simple syrup, nutmeg, hand-smoked glass.

"Montadito" at Ty Lounge - Open Faced Chorizo Grilled Cheese, Cured Tomato

Dinner at Tydes, located across from the resort at the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club, is the perfect place for an amazing dinner experience. Make sure to arrive just before sunset since the restaurant is situated over Butterfly Beach and has spectacular views of the Pacific. The seafood driven menu is highlighted by innovative dishes that will blow your taste buds away. Highlights include seared scallops with buttermilk sauce and the Chilean Sea Bass served with gnocchi and butter clam foam. If seafood really isn’t your thing, you’ll be more than happy ordering the Wagyu with ox tail marmalade and fingerling potatoes.

Tydes Restaurant

The bar at Tydes Restaurant

Beet Salad with pistachio granola

Chilean Sea Bass, gnocchi, butter clam foam

Wagyu with ox tail marmalade over fingerling potatoes 

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
 1260 Channel Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93108

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