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THE FIVE

This Week: Road Trip

June 05, 2008|Kathy A. McDonald

Map out the tastiest route for a great road trip. Heading north, look for these memorable foodie pit stops featuring delicious, freshly made fare. South -- that's another story.

LA SUPER-RICA

Owner Isidoro Gonzalez has been behind the counter for 28 years serving up meaty tacos, smoky pinto beans (with sausage and bacon) and daily specials such as the crema-smothered, verdaduras tamale. Favored by the late Julia Child, tortillas are hand-made to order at this turquoise-trimmed roadside taqueria. 622 N. Milpas St., Santa Barbara, (805) 963-4940

SPLASH CAFE

During the summer, there's a line out the door and around the block for the rich, creamy clam chowder ladled into house-baked, sourdough bread bowls. There's chili, burgers and other seafood dishes too, a block from the pier and wide beach, just off the 101. 197 Pomeroy Ave., Pismo Beach, (805) 773-4653

BIG SUR BAKERY & RESTAURANT

Two L.A. expat chefs opened this rustic roadside oasis that, most days, sells out of its wood-fire-baked breads and scrumptious pastries such as seasonal fruit scones. Daily quiches, lunch, dinner and one of the best cappuccinos between San Francisco and Los Angeles are enhanced by views of redwood trees and Mt. Manuel. Highway One, Big Sur, (831) 667-0520

LIBBY'S MEXICAN RESTAURANT

On the super-curvy road to Mendocino, in the heart of the bucolic Anderson Valley wine country, Libby's is a country restaurant with a sophisticated selection of local wine varietals and artisan beers. Specialties include carnitas and house-made chips and salsa. Locals know to come early. 8651 Highway 128, Philo, (707) 895-2646

WHOA NELLIE DELI

On the way to Yosemite's eastern entrance, Whoa Nellie's high-energy, open kitchen is within the Tioga Gas Mart. The grilled pork chops and mango-salsa-topped fish tacos stand out -- eat them outside at picnic tables overlooking what's left of Mono Lake. 22 Vista Point Road, Lee Vining, (760) 647-1088

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theguide@latimes.com

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