A California Culinary Experience – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

As we continue our journey south through California we are enjoying the beautiful countryside but not the intense heat that has encapsulated this area of the state while we were traveling through. 

After leaving the Bay area, we headed south. About mid state we stopped for dinner at Rosa’s Trattoria and Bar established in 1962 by the Cristallo Family. It is a family run business that really cares about the quality of the food they serve, the service they provide, and people they serve. They make fresh pasta daily, and you don’t find that often in Italian establishments today. 

The friendly staff at Rosa’s served up some of the most fabulous Italian food. When I go to an Italian restaurant, I want it to taste like my grandma’s recipes, or at least similar. That’s critical I know, but that’s what I expect and I wasn’t disappointed. 

We were amazed at how the staff handled a very large party in the middle of the restaurant and yet, making sure our every need was attended to, as well as other small parties throughout the restaurant. That is a testament to a well-trained wait staff.

Here are a few of the items we tasted below. Everything was delicious! I wish we could have sampled the dessert, but we were just too full!

Check out Rosa’s Trattoria and Bar if you are in Tulare or their other restaurant in nearby Visalia. The experience and food is worth it!


At the other end of the state, La Jolla (in the San Diego area), we were introduced to Brockton Villa Restaurant. Oh my, what a breakfast! We started with a Bloody Mary and Coast Toast (which is a fancy way to say French toast but since we were at the coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean, well, that’s what you call it).

The restaurant itself sits up high and has a spectacular view of the ocean. On a warm summer day it is so “California” (and that’s said from a native Californian, me!) to sit outside on the patio and take in the panoramic ocean scene, and eat delicious food. 


Let’s not forget lunch! Driving up the coast from San Diego, we landed in Huntington Beach (where hubby and I lived the first five years of our marriage).

Our next culinary experience was at the Black Trumpet, a tapas and wine bar. While enjoying a delightful lunch of small plates and wine with friends, we listened to jazz playing in the background and feasted our eyes on many art pieces of jazz musicians mid-note. The atmosphere gives you a slight feeling of being in New Orleans.

The sister restaurant to the Black Trumpet is Capone’s Cucina which we’ll have to visit next time we are in town. 


Breakfast, lunch and dinner (albeit out of order in the sense of a day) up and down the state of California – not accomplished all in one day by the way.

Other restaurants we enjoyed along our journey through California: Sequoia Diner in Oakland (we ate breakfast there – very yummy but a bit pricey), The Blind Tiger in Oakland (enjoyed drinks and small plates while watching the basketball game on large screen TVs), Cafe Coyote in San Diego’s Old Town was a great place to stop for lunch, and breakfast at Mamas on 39 in Huntington Beach was a treat one morning.

Once we were back in Oregon on our way home, we stopped into the Brix Grille in Roseburg for lunch and were amazed at the variety of dishes offered. We enjoyed our lunch choices and took home leftovers for dinner.

So there you have it. Many wonderful restaurants and meals with friends and family. A true culinary experience breakfast thru dinner. I’m heading back to the gym tomorrow!

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