Los Angeles Times Calendar

quoted

“… That evening, I went to a restaurant that alone makes the drive from Los Angeles worthwhile: The Big Sky Cafe.

The decor is ’60s-hippie morphed into contemporary Southwest. Tie-dyed tapestries and brilliant desert landscape paintings line the walls of a busy dining room adjacent to a long hardwood bar. I sat at the bar, rather than wait a half hour for a single table.

I asked the bartender about a couple of local wines on the menu and he gave me a taste of each. I picked a glass of Justin Winery’s Epoch Zinfandel, a hearty wine generously poured into a large wine goblet.

The Big Sky menu is filled with unique combinations of foods and spices, with much of it devoted to vegetarian dishes. The bartender suggested the evening’s special — broiled salmon served with Israeli couscous and chardonnay-marinated kale. I chose Vietnamese ginger squash soup to go with it.

The meal was delicious. The salmon had been broiled with a thyme sauce and the kale was tender with the bitterness cut by the chardonnay. I told the bartender I’d like a light dessert, and he recommended the mango-lime pie topped with cabernet coulis-soaked raspberries. It was excellent.

The entire meal, with the wine and dessert, came to $21. …”