The trip from San Diego up to Los Angeles County is only 115 miles or so, but with treacherous Southern California gridlock, the drive could eat most of your day. Instead, why not spend the day eating? Starting in San Diego, one of the most historic morning meals in the West can be discovered with the various permutations of house ground masa and slow cooked beans at Las Cuatras Milpas.
In the charming surf town of Carlsbad are the twin lunch temptations of beach-ready, picnic-packed sushi at Yoshino and expertly made sausages at Tip Top Meats. Around Newport Beach, you’ll need a pick-me-up: Nothing beats an American original sweet treat from frozen banana icon Sugar ‘N Spice.
At the Northern extreme of Orange County is The Pasty Kitchen, where hearty hand pies are filling and soulful. If you’re too full for these starch bombs, buy frozen pies for later.
Celebrate your ascent into L.A. County with pickled eggs and beers at Joe Jost’s, one of the last old-school drinking saloons in the state. Colorful Americana on the walls in the pool room helps to tie up the grab bag of Mexican, Japanese, German and English inspired eats from the day’s journey. It’s all American food anyway.