Esau’s Cafe Carpinteria Beach California



The fog rolled in yet rested in Carpinteria. We were foolish to not stop for breakfast in Ventura. As soon as my family and I drove into Ventura, California, we saw the Amtrak train famous for the views of California. My son had never ridden an Amtrak train, especially one so grand as the Pacific Surfliner that rides the waves along the coast from San Luis Obispo to San Diego. My son jumped on the Surfliner in Ventura and rode with his mother up to Santa Barbara, where I drove to pick them up. But we had to return to Las Vegas for Super Bowl Weekend, so we turned quickly south without breakfast in Santa Barbara. My son was famished. Hungry, he asked repeatedly for me to pull the car over, so we turned west on Linden Avenue in Carpinteria. The beach resort town of Carpinteria was gorgeous, magical, still covered in fog, you could feel mist from the waves hitting your face, and the restaurant near the ocean that we pulled over to eat at was called Esau’s Cafe. There were people standing outside, eating at new tables set up outside, because every local seemed to want to eat breakfast at Esau’s Cafe each Sunday morning. Since then, we have returned to Carpinteria many times just because of the great dining experience was engaged in at Esau’s Cafe. Crab Cake Eggs Benedict with fresh baked biscuits, muffins, seafood tacos with fried fillets of fish, my son had the grilled calamari steak sandwich with a combination of hot onion rings and french fries – his first calamari steak ever. The platters around us were impressive with waffles, pancake layers fluffy thick inches off each plate, and as I took a tour of our colorful surroundings inside the restaurant a large bake pan had high, thick biscuits cooling right next to the over, which I cannot get out of my mind as I write these words, because the biscuits smelled golden brown with butter, milk, flour, and yeast prepared to perfection. I wanted to return to order a dish off the menu using the biscuits, because the oven pan made them appear so delicious. The beach is a temptation. The small town is nearly hidden. I would have never stopped in Carpinteria unless my son ordered me to out of a desperation for hunger. Nor would I have found Linden Avenue, the location for Esau’s Cafe. The walls are painted bright colors with surf boards and menus written out with colorful chalk. Nothing is saturated as you have in a fast food diner off the freeway with plastic wrapped egg sandwiches slapped with processed ham. Homemade dishes. Home cooked breakfast crafted by proud chefs. Even the cooks and staff walked around with confidence, because they were proud of the delicious dishes they were serving. The beach was relaxing. By the time we finished our first meal, the fog had burned off giving way to the sun. My son collected sea shells on the sand of the beach right next door to Esau’s Cafe. My wife walked in the waves with her pants getting wet after taking off her socks and shoes. Our family returned to Carpinteria the very next week after driving seven hours from Las Vegas, Nevada, because the temptation of Esau’s Cafe after waking up in Las Vegas was too great to resist the drive to find a resort hotel to sleep in so that we could dine at Esau’s Cafe for another Sunday morning of searching for sea shells polished by the ocean waves next to the restaurant that continues to bring us back to Linden Avenue each time we need to engage in an exodus out of Nevada’s dry climate. Dine at Esau’s Cafe if you travel to Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Malibu, you have to eat at this Esau restaurant even if you have to take the Amtrak train. The Pacific Surfliner Amtrak train stops two minutes away by foot from Esau’s Cafe. I tell you this because you can feel like your on a second honeymoon by stopping in to eat and stay the night in Carpinteria from San Diego to Santa Barbara. That is what I may do this weekend now that I remember by writing about the breakfast adventure. 

Esau’s Cafe Carpinteria Beach California
507 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013

Beach House Tacos Ventura California

Beach House Tacos on Ventura Beach
668 Harbor Blvd. Ventura, CA 93001
Lines, crowds, each day we ate at Beach House Fish Tacos there were lines of people, crowds wait to eat the famous fish tacos at Ventura’s Beach House. We drove from Las Vegas and stopped, drove from Santa Barbara and stopped again, all the boutiques and owners from the gift shop Sea Things recommended we dine at Beach House. The long lines mean that the Beach House is the best place to eat fresh seafood along the beach. Grilled prawns, calamari, ahi tuna, plus ground beef tacos with grilled raisins that tasted delicious. Combinations with lime, red peppers and red cabbage, all fresh vegetables from the farms circling Ventura that we saw while driving from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Lucky Llama Coffee House Carpinteria California


Lucky Llama Coffee House represents Carpinteria so well with the coffee houses quality yet casual California beach community. Children, parents, early in the morning while my wife and son were still sleeping, the Lucky Llama was the most popular space in town next to that giant tree with a historic reputation. The aroma of the coffee and baked pasties catches you as you turn the corner off the sidewalk. I walk each morning when visiting Carpinteria from Las Vegas, Nevada, but the first place I rest for breakfast coffee and a spinach with feta cheese croissant is the Lucky Llama. Carpinteria’s special treat. I want to return to the beach community simply thinking about relaxing mornings covered in coastal fog eating French baked breads on the patio at Lucky Llama. Plus I still have to try that bicycle shop next door. The bicycle shop is always closed when I am at Lucky Llama early in the morning, but we have rent bikes at the shop next time we visit.



Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach


Super Bowl Sunday, our models, photographers and publishers from Las Vegas, Nevada had a weekend photo shoot in Santa Barbara, California, where we stayed at the best beach resort between Santa Monica and San Francisco at the Crowne Plaza in Ventura. Thank you for a great Super Bowl, sunrise views, surf shops with bikinis and surf rentals like Rip Curl, shopping for gifts at boutiques up the street named Sea Things, we enjoyed our stay.

Rip Curl Ventura Beach California 2017


Rip Curl Ventura Beach California 2017

Our photographers always stop at Rip Curl to buy their props for the surf boards, Spring Break advertising with the models, bikini swimwear for the models and all the equipment that we require for the Southern California photo shoots along Santa Barbara, California beaches. At least four models have returned to Rip Curl with their boyfriends to sign up for surfing lessons and schedule photo shoots with other photographers to update their portfolios in Malibu, Venice Beach, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara, California. There are amazing photographers around Hollywood, California. Models visiting California always shop at Rip Curl stores for their photoshoots and gifts back home. Many of the models probably sell their swimwear to other friends and models when they return to Chicago, New York City, and Paris, France. The models and photographers from Las Vegas were totally lost when looking for surf boards and swimsuits in California. The Rip Curl employees were extremely helpful. Excellent customer service. We bought more thanks to all their help finding what we needed for the perfect photography.

Snapper Jack’s Fish Tacos Ventura

beach-house-tacos-ventura-pier-california-11The combination of sauces and salsa with fresh cabbage, vegetables and grilled shrimp, we heard about the famous Ventura fish tacos all the way in Las Vegas, so we drove into downtown after visiting the gift shop Sea Things, but the taste was astounding. We are definitely traveling back to Ventura to return to Snapper Jacks seafood, especially to spend more time in town shopping at the boutiques. The customer service was wonderful. People were inside watching the Super Bowl. The various sauces with red peppers, onions, and fresh tastes were really what will bring us back for the flavor of the dishes we ordered. High recommended if you are driving along highway 101, especially since we don’t have any fish tacos like Snapper Jack’s in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sea Things Ventura Beach California

Sea Things Ventura California
500 E Santa Clara St, Ventura, CA 93001
Sea Things was the most amazing, unique boutique that we felt so blessed to find while stopping into Ventura that we turned around and came back at night to show my wife. We pulled into Ventura to drop my wife and son off at the Amtrak, I found Sea Things across the street from the Ventura Visitors Center, where we were checking on the Whale Tours where boats take tourists out to sea to see the whales migrate. In the perfect spot, next to the gas station, and the jewelry stores, Sea Things gift shop has shell art. Gorgeous with overwhelming collections of gifts, I brought my wife back into Ventura to see the shop after picking her up in Santa Barbara before driving back to Las Vegas. I wish we had a shop like Sea Things on Las Vegas Boulevard at Planet Hollywood. The owner is extremely creative. If you are searching for rare gifts on a drive along the Pacific coast of California, you definitely need to pull your car over and stop to shop at Sea Things in Ventura, California. Our family found free parking directly across the street in a city parking garage that included an electric car hookup for recharging.

Bob’s Donuts in San Francisco, California

Bob’s Donuts in San Francisco, California 
1621 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

between Sacramento Street and Clay

The night might be dark, but the first place I will take you after the late night flight from Las Vegas to San Francisco is Bob’s Donuts for the energy of the group waiting outside for the best donuts in the city. After a long after the drive up to the city airport, the donut shop located where I used to study in the early hours on Polk Street had a standing line outside waiting to buy donuts near midnight. You can still study there. Intelligent, wise, foodies, and local neighbors stand in line at 2 AM and 3 AM for the fried donuts at Bob’s Donuts. Lines outside of a donut parlor? I used to read college text books at the counter. Now it was standing room only as two dozen customers waited to buy glazed old fashion donuts. Robin the Chef said, “People in the neighborhood set their alarm clocks for 1:00 am and 2:00 am in the morning, because that is when I make the apple fritters. Their alarm goes off. They wake up, get out of bed, come in here to buy the donuts, and leave with a box of fresh donuts; Then return to bed. We are famous for our apple fritters.” My son basked in the energy. Chef Robin’s display of handcrafting fresh, fried cake batter into halos made of butter milk, sugar glaze, mocha and chocolate frosting; The donut shop wins awards for crumb donuts, buttermilk bars, raised maple, and extremely large round donuts nearly twelve inches in diameter that have an eating contest attached; But I didn’t get all the facts on the eating contest.

The chef designs giant donuts. Eat the magnificent breaded beast to earn your name listed on their Hall of Fame. Plus you win awards if you eat their large donut in two minutes: Diners win a t-shirt with Bob’s logo, refund of $8.00 with a free milk, coffee or tea, and a refund for the purchase of the donut after the halo is consumed. Everybody is a winner, because the taste is so delicious, if you don’t wolf the dough down, you still get to enjoy the taste. The front door is only a few feet away from the Swan Depot and the California Street Cable Car Station on Van Ness Blvd and California Street. Many culinary experts insist that the Swan Depot is the finest seafood restaurant in the nation. Fun for the family; I know what critics must think, how can a donut shop be fun for the family; But parents brought their kids. Children took up all the seats at the counter around 11:00 AM. As the kids ate, their parents continued to pick donuts boxed in large pink squared containers to take home. The next night, our family returned after a two hour drive south from Santa Rosa, California to SFO Airport. Stopping at Bob’s Donuts was a must, because the customers made a line longer than the one the night before. Robin was making his famous apple fritters early tonight. Word got out on social media when friends stopped in to dine on donuts. Facebook, Twitter, texts, and emails; Information was out that Bob’s Donuts was frying apple fritters early, so shut off the TV, restart the laptop computer, and put up your socks to the knees, because Bob’s cook Robin was glazing cinnamon with apples early. My boy got seats front and center to see the action. Again, the line of people outside grew long. The front was the only shop from the Chocolate Factory to Market Street with a line of customers standing outside waiting. Positive newspaper reviews filled the wall. Awards from city officials and county government were framed beside the awards. Children colored cartoons personally congratulating the donut shop for their fine flavors. Valentine’s Day Donuts made in the shape of a heart can be seen from the window as pastries are designed to be eaten 24 hours a day.
The truth is that there are many places in San Francisco that serve cakes, cookies, pastries, donuts, but the place that serves personality stands out. Personality like an individual, stands out in the donut stand as well as the neighborhood in town: One of the greatest cities in the world – San Francisco has special people surrounded with talent. Serving up that talent comes to light with the people that work to please diners at Bob’s Donuts. Each customer walked inside the way enthusiastic tourists enter a restaurant for the first time in San Francisco, because of the fried donuts. Extraordinary! 

Special thanks to Robin, chefs, bakers, and the kind baker at the cash register. I did not capture his name when he told me. But I remembered, because the neighborhood feel in the community known by the title Polk Gulch from the vintage mining times when the City of San Francisco was full of gold miners arriving from the east near the foothills of Sacramento to Lake Tahoe, I remember the feel for the place, because everybody in the community treated each other inside as if they were family instead of the restaurant being just another place where people bought groceries. The line was full of laughter. Movies played on a TV set high in the corner. Customers sat and watched a film titled The Italian Job with 


 stars Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, 


Jason Statham

. Listening to the world around the room reminded a person of home, because this bar filled with the aroma of cinnamon, cake batter, mocha mixed chocolate frosted glaze was better than any home one could imagine sleeping in or sitting up on a sofa alone instead of with the company of donuts baked on time.