California cuisine is a bit nebulous to define, but it’s about an obsession with really fresh produce and letting those excellent ingredients shine. It’s where the whole obsession with farm-to-table emerged, at Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse in Berkeley, over four decades ago. In the 1980s, Los Angeles had its own sense of homegrown pride in cooking that flourished at places like Michael McCarty’s Michael’s Santa Monica and Wolfgang Puck’s Spago.
But distinctly California fare also includes sublime Mexican food with regional specialties throughout the state. For example, juicy, carne asada-filled burritos in San Diego, which swap in fries for rice; puffy fried fish tacos found throughout Southern California and Baja California; and Mission-style burritos from San Francisco. Also an important tenet of eating out West? Vegetable-focused, vaguely hippie-ish bowls, now a ubiquitous fast-casual staple that has long been around in LA.
If hopping on a flight out West isn’t on the agenda anytime soon, there are places in New York City that taste and feel a bit like being in California, whether the sunny state inspired the menu, or it’s a straight-up import. Check out these 16 places around NYC for dishes and vibes that effectively channel the West Coast, one fish taco, grain bowl, and In-N-Out burger homage at a time.Read More