California Dreaming…and Eating and Drinking

Published in Gourmet Live 03.07.12
Peek inside Google’s corporate cafés, take a wine lover’s tour of the Anderson Valley, and discover the history of the California roll

From the gold rush to the tech boom, California has long attracted dreamers and thinkers with big ambitions, and they have created one of the most vibrant culinary scenes in the world. Factor in the prolific vines and temperate climes, and we’re ready to head west for some California Dreaming.

Our adventure begins in Silicon Valley, inside Google’s buzzed-about cafeterias, which feed employees free of charge. Editor-in-chief Tanya Steel visited the Mountain View headquarters to find out what fuels the company Fortune crowned the “King of Perks.”

From the Googleplex we travel north to the Anderson Valley and Mendocino for wine writer Ted Loos’ tour of vineyards, restaurants, and hotels in a region that’s less well known than Napa or Sonoma but no less delicious.

Sleep off your wine-tasting high and zip back down south, all the way to L.A.’s Little Tokyo, the likely birthplace of that sushi-bar staple, the California roll. Contributor Lexi Dwyer has the story—or, in fact, the stories, as there are several accounts of how this game-changing maki came to be. And while you’re in L.A., check out restaurant tips from locals in our latest edition of Road Trip, a monthly collaboration with BlogHer.

We couldn’t leave California without tasting a grilled-fish taco, and we’ve hauled in a great recipe for this So-Cal favorite. One bite of these tortillas piled with meaty fish fillets, radishes, cabbage, avocado, and a lime-y crema and you’ll be saying “surf’s up” whether you’re in San Diego or South Dakota.

What foods make your California dreams come true? Tell us via Twitter or Facebook, drop us a line (, or post a comment on our blog. For more tasty bites, sign up for our weekly newsletter to get convenient access to our most-read blog posts, editors’ favorite recipes, and exclusive reader offers.


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