Monday, December 5, 2016

There's No Place Like The Del For The Holidays

Close your eyes and imagine a magical place that is everything you can want in a holiday getaway. You enter a beautiful historic Victorian building and are greeted by a two-story tall Christmas tree that's decorated as if it came out of a storybook.  As you exit the foyer, pass the hot chocolate stands, you hum along to the tune of Let It Snow that is playing in the background. You see a crowd gather, looking up, and you notice that artificial snow is beginning to fall. There's a cool chill in the air causing the palm trees to sway and you tighten that scarf just a bit more snug while gliding down the ice on your skates. As you make another turn around the rink, you can't believe how perfect this winter wonderland on the beach really is! Yes, that's right! Snow, ice, hot cocoa, lights, and an ocean view! That's what spending the holidays is like at the Hotel del Coronado. 

S  T  A  Y

There's no doubt that the iconic Hotel del Coronado is a must-visit place on any traveler's bucket list. But that cannot be more true during the holiday season that kicks off at Thanksgiving. There is a nostalgic feeling you get when you visit this place during that time. It feels magical. 

Maybe it's the history, the hotel has been around since 1888! In California, that seems very rare these days. The history and architecture, as well as the high level of service that has remained over the century is remarkable. It's classic California at its best - an oceanfront resort with luxury, style, and reputation. 

Step back in time to the luxurious Hotel Lobby from 1888. 
Original elevator still in operation. Once the gate opens the elevator operator will usher you to your designated floor. 

The rooms at Hotel del Coronado are spacious, comfortable and boasts some of the most incredible views of the Pacific Ocean.

Private balcony from the room overlooking the ocean. 

D  I  N  E

For Thanksgiving, the hotel hosts a lavish buffet with everything you can think of for the perfect holiday feast and more. Carving stations with with perfectly roasted turkey, melt-in-your-mouth prime rib, and traditional hams are all available. Made-to-order salads and an array of seafood options (yes there's lobster mac and cheese and crab legs) round out your dinner. Go back for seconds or thirds, but save room for the tables full of desserts. Everything from pumpkin pie to chocolate fondue is sure to give you a sugar high, something you'll need to prolong the inevitable but oh-so-worth-it food coma. Yes, the food at Hotel del Coronado is on another level. It's quality and not just quantity that you can expect at the Historic Crown Room Buffet. 

Turkey carving station

On-sight garden grows fresh herbs and vegetables for the hotel restaurants. 

P  L  A  Y

Anytime is a great time for visiting The Del, but there's something extra special about staying there during the holiday season. From Thanksgiving until New Year's Day, The DELights  holiday experience makes you feel like you're transported into a winter wonderland of illumination. Snow falls as a giant holiday light display illuminates the Garden Patio and historic balconies. In the month of December, carolers serenade you with holiday songs. By the beach is a spectacular ice rink. Skating by the Sea is as amazing as it sounds. 

For families there's always something to do like gingerbread house workshops lead by Pastry Chef Daphne, and story time with Mrs. Claus. Bike tours around Coronado Island are a fun way to get your mileage in. But if you're looking to relax a bit, take advantage of the world-class spa and that classic pool. There's something really special about Hotel Del Coronado that makes it like no other place  for the Holidays. 

DELights experience in the Garden Patio.

1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118

Leave a comment for Hungry In LA on  Facebook.

Special thanks to Hotel del Coronado for collaborating with Hungry in LA. 
As always, the content and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Hotel Solamar - Your Gaslamp (Head)Quarter

Maybe you are in town for the All-Star game at Petco Park, or you are driving down for a bachelor/bachelorette weekend with friends. Perhaps this particular San Diego trip calls for Comic Con, or Monster Bash. Whatever the reason for visiting, one thing is for sure, you'll need more than adequate accommodations - you'll need Kimpton's Hotel Solamar.

Located right in the middle of all the entertainment The Gaslamp  Quarter has to offer, Hotel Solamar is the perfect home base for the next couple days in San Diego. The rooms have been recently refreshed and updated. If you are in a room with a tub, it's probably the largest jetted tub you've had in a hotel room to date - perfect for decompressing after a long day exploring San Diego. In the morning, awaiting sleepy guests, is Kimpton's coffee bar, which is common in most of their properties. At 5pm, it is converted into a wine and craft beer tasting room. 

The on-sight restaurant, jsix, is great for sipping on hand crafted cocktails and offers well-thought-out dishes that are seasonally driven. The restaurant features fresh, organic local ingredients, ensuring that diners eat healthy away from home. The extensive craft beer list is one of the best in any hotel property. 

Hotel Solamar is the right mix of modern, luxury, and yet still very approachable and inviting. The service from valet to concierge is unmeasured and everyone on the property is willing to make your experience as great as it can be. Highly consider staying here on your next San Diego trip. 

Workspace in room with USB and electrical ports

JSix dining room 

Scallop Crudo at JSix

Crisp roasted chicken with sweet soy and charred long beans. 

435 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Leave a comment for Hungry In LA on  Facebook.

Special thanks to Hotel Solamar San Diego for collaborating with Hungry in LA. 
As always, the content and opinions expressed here are entirely our own.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Scottsdale - Your Next Foodie Destination

You love food. We get it, so do we. You also love traveling to new destinations. Us too! But we've been to all the main stream foodie towns, you know, like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Vegas, and of course, we love L.A. Next on the list is Scottsdale! 

Scottsdale is undergoing a culinary renaissance. With nearly 800 restaurants, ranging in a variety of cuisines, the downtown district is booming with innovative food-focused businesses, most of which use ingredients from local farms and serve local beer and wine. Yes there is farming and winemaking in the desert, and it's very good! Arizona boasts over 30 breweries, and the arts district in Scottsdale has 5 wine tasting rooms with more on the way. It's truly a culinary oasis in the desert.

With only a 50 minute plane ride away from LA,  Scottsdale is your quick getaway to food, fun, and relaxation. And when you go, we have some suggestions on where to stay, eat, and play. 


Hotel Valley Ho

If you're visiting a new place, you're the type of person that wants to be in the middle of all the activity. You like action and things to do and places to walk/Uber to. When in Scottsdale, your best bet is staying Downtown at the Hotel Valley Ho. 

Imagine that you're transported to your favorite show, Mad Men -  that's the era, look and feel that this hotel has. It's a place where Don Draper himself would be found with an Old Fashioned in hand. Hotel Valley Ho is the perfect mix of historic charm and modern luxury. 

The rooms are well-appointed and larger than today's "cookie-cutter" rooms found in newer hotels. The suites are equipped with full kitchens, think full-sized fridge, stove/oven, microwave, and dish ware. A full sized living area and large bathroom make this your home away from home. Just down the street is Scottsdale's renowned dining, shopping and art galleries. This is the perfect and stylish home base for exploring the area. 

Hotel Valley Ho
6850 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 376-2600

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale

If you're more into getting away from it all for some peace and relaxation, then the Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch is your place. Escape to one of the best resorts in Scottsdale with an award-winning spa, tennis courts, golf course, and 10 swimming pools. Oh, and you have 5 amazing restaurants to choose from, including Southwest Bistro, an open kitchen restaurant that offers an intimate chef's table dining experience. Finish that off with a romantic gondola ride while being serenaded in Italian, and you have the recipe for the perfect getaway.  

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa
7500 E Doubletree Ranch Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258
(480) 444-1234


"Wine Me, Dine Me" at SWB

You're here for the food and if you're staying at the Hyatt regency, you'll very much appreciate the "Wine Me, Dine Me" experience at Southwest Bistro. Sit at the chef's open kitchen and experience a four-course tasting menu that will be the best Resort/Hotel dining experience you have had to-date. Chef Juan Solorio will create beautiful offerings like the fresh ceviche paired with a rare tequila anejo, and a steak cooked to perfection paired with the perfect, velvety, luscious red wine - it's a must-have experience in Scottsdale. 

7500 E Doubletree Ranch Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258
(480) 444-1234

FnB Restaurant

James Beard nominated, Chef Charleen Badman creates an elevated vegetable driven menu that features local Arizona wines and produce. The trendy restaurant is located in the middle of downtown Scottsdale and offers a very seasonal menu that is always changing. Fresh local ingredients are at the forefront in this bistro-like restaurant. Make sure you reserve a table in advance as they only keep one table free for walk-ins, and it goes fast. 

Clockwise from top left: pasta with lobster, mushrooms romano beans, fresh ricotta; cold udon noodles with kimchi vinaigrette; humus with spiced lamb and urfa pita chips; lulu's eggplant ratatouille.

FnB Restaurant
7125 E 5th Ave #31, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Second Story Liquor Bar

Second Story Liqour Bar is probably one of the coolest places to have dinner in Scottsdale. An unassuming bar located above a pizza joint, this restaurant is putting out some of the best food in the area. The hamachi crudo dish is something you would expect in a fancy white-table cloth establishment. It's delicate, flavorful, and a work of art on the plate. If you're more inclined to the regular gastro-pub fare, the burger is one of the best in the city. 

The drinks are also a highlight, it is called Second Story "Bar" after all. Whiskey is king here and you'll find just about any spirit that's brown and barreled here - the whiskey list is one of , if not the longest in all of Scottsdale. Order the Old Fashioned, it won't disappoint. 

Second Story Liquor Bar
4166 N Scottsdale Rd #102, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 945-5555

Craft 64

The guys at Craft 64 are passionate about their craft (pun intended). The pizza, is one of the best we've had anywhere. Just the basics, like the crust is perfectly charred from the wood burning oven and the ingredients are all local and fresh. All those components make for a great pie, but add to that a unique combination of ingredients and you have taken the pizza game up to another level. 

The Spain - fresh mozzarella, chorizo, Spanish almonds for texture, cured olives, and mild Harissa sauce, make this a must order. It's spicy, savory, and makes you want more after each bite. The green Aji pizza with sautéed onions and fennel sausage is worth the trip from LA to AZ alone. This pizza is perfection, plain and simple. Pair it with over 30 local brews and you're in pizza nirvana. Also, worth ordering is the BLT, fresh mozzarella, arugula, tomatoes, and bacon on fresh baked bread - it's the ideal Italian take on a BLT. 

Craft 64
6922 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 946-0542

Super Chunk Sweets & Treats

Of course you're going to stop at one of Scottsdale's best sweets spot. Super Chunk Sweets & Treats is the brainchild of husband/wife team, Sergio and Country Velador. Everything is made in-house, from scratch. We dare you to find a better chocolate chip cookie in all of Arizona! Also, the blondies are to die for. 

Super Chunk Sweets & Treats
7120 E 6th Ave #19, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(602) 736-2383


Hot Air Expeditions

If there is one item to put on your bucket list, it should be a Hot Air Balloon Ride and Hot Air Expeditions in Arizona delivers the perfect experience. One note of caution, you're going to have to wake up extra early for this since they take off right after sunset. So expect your driver to pick you up at your hotel by 5:15AM. Groggy, tired, and with a Venti-sized coffee in hand, you jump in the van and you're taken to the Sonoran Desert. Greeted by a charismatic pilot named Mikey D, he tells you that you're in for an experience of  life time - and he's right.

When you jump inside the basket, you don't even have time to snap that selfie for snapchat, suddenly you're already floating above ground. At 5,300 feet high (a mile), you're soaring over the desert. In the background is the most colorful sunrise you have seen in some time, maybe ever. Let's be honest, when was the last time you woke up at the crack of dawn to see the sun come up?

The ride is peaceful and quiet. Very quiet. You can't even feel that you're a mile high. It's as if everything is paused and stilled just for you. You grab your phone, take that selfie, and touch ground.  A champagne brunch awaits for you upon landing and you have just checked off another item from your bucket list.  

Hot Air Expeditions

LDV Winery

Wines form Arizona? Yes! Since the 1970's, several of these locally made wines have won numerous awards, and gained international acclaim. Some have even been served in the White House. Arizona, the new Napa Valley? 

When visiting Scottsdale, stop in to LDV Wine Gallery and experience award-winning Rhone varietal wines. Peggy Fiandaca will walk you through the history of every bottle and make you feel right at home. It's one of the best wine tasting experiences. 

6951 E 1st St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Spa Avania

You keep hearing about these amazing spas in Scottsdale? Yes, they are here and Spa Aviana is your top pick. Located in the Hyatt (how convenient), it was named one of the best spas in the world by Conde Nast Traveller. You're immediately whisked away to a serene and peaceful environment. Relax in the outdoor mineral pool right before your massage. Sitting by the fireplace and ordering off the spa's food and beverage menu is also a great way to relax. 

7500 E Doubletree Ranch Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Arizona Food Tours

Okay, you love to eat, we know! You're pressed for time and want to try Scottsdale's best eats, so what do you do? You reserve your spot on the Arizona Food Tour. You'll walk through downtown (about a mile and half total) and try five to six places while learning all about the history of the city with other fellow foodies. 

 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 293-4096

For more amazing things to see and do, visit Scottsdale CVB

Leave a comment for Hungry in LA on  Facebook

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

© 2009-2016 HungryInLA™