2127 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
For months, I didn't stopped because it is located on busy Lincoln Blvd (not an easy street to pull off for a quick cup of Joe). Then, one day I did. Great folk art everywhere. Attentive service without a hint of arrogance. They have loaner computers, plenty of magazine subscriptions and enough comfortable chairs to find a seat. Plus, I just realized there is free parking in the back.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
7575 E Princess Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
To truly experience the desert setting, this is the place. The rooms are absolutely luxurious with truly spacious bathrooms. The grounds provide all the amenities -- pools everywhere, a laguna, several restaurants and a top-rated golf course. If you get the chance, eat at The Grill. Some of the best beef tenderloin I have had in recent memory. But be forewarned, the resort including the bars and restaurants are as expensive as expected.
Shaw's Crab House
21 E Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60611
I know this is a trap because I, for some reason, went back a second time. I can safely say I had my worst Lobster experience here. And my second-to-worst Lobster experience was also here. The clincher, I paid more for the lobster than most any other place I have visited. The lobster was small, rubbery and just lacking in flavor. The service can fool you. The knowledegable waitstaff will impress with their menu descriptions -- but don't wait for them to come back around. Order everything at once because odds are you will only see them twice -- first for the order, then for the bill.
11648 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049
I used to go here ten years ago -- not this very one but another Hamburger Hamlet. I remembered it being so good, but on a recent visit I realized my memory was wrong, again. The burgers are average. The French Dip was below average. The beer is still cold, but the on tap selection now pales in comparison to most similar establishments. And the rest of the dinner/lunch options were more in line with Denny's than TGIFriday's-- but with TGIFriday prices.