function OptanonWrapper() { window.dataLayer.push( { event: 'OneTrustGroupsUpdated'} )}San Francisco Dining, Channel Islands, Luxury Hotels



Bi-weekly podcast

San Francisco Dining, Channel Islands, Luxury Hotels

Esquire magazine’s Jeff Gordinier, author Ken McAlpine, and Forbes Travel Guide’s Amanda Frasier join the California Now Podcast

What happens when an intrepid food critic is asked to consume 13 Michelin stars worth of cuisine in the space of four days? California Now Podcast Host Soterios Johnson explores this very topic with Jeff Gordinier, Esquire’s Food and Drinks Editor. Gordinier, a Pasadena native and a big fan of the dynamic food scene in Los Angeles, ate at five top San Francisco restaurants and shares his observations on the admittedly indulgent experience.

Also in this episode, Amanda Frasier pulls back the curtain on Forbes Travel Guide’s influential luxury ratings program. She reveals how Forbes’ incognito experts go the extra mile to evaluate the best hotels in the world—including putting concierges to the test. Plus, author Ken McAlpine shares insights on Channel Islands National Park, an archipelago off the Central Coast that is full of wilderness and wonderful isolation. 


Jeff Gordinier, Food and Drinks Editor of Esquire

Amanda Frasier, Senior Vice President, Ratings for Forbes Travel Guide

Ken McAlpine, author and explorer


Jeff Gordinier ordered the tasting menus at five of San Francisco’s most acclaimed restaurants.

Esquire magazine

San Francisco restaurants

Michelin restaurant guide—San Francisco

Atelier Crenn






Los Angeles food scene



Roy Choi

Jon & Vinny’s




Trois Familia

Pie ‘n Burger


Ken McAlpine explains his love affair with the Channel Islands, a scenic destination that is accessible by ferry from Ventura and by sailboat from Santa Barbara.

Channel Islands National Park

Anacapa Island

Santa Cruz Island

Santa Rosa Island

San Miguel Island

Santa Barbara Island

Island Packers Cruises

Amanda Frasier spotlights three California properties that earned the industry’s highest honor: a Triple Five-Star rating.

Meadowood Napa Valley

Montage Laguna Beach

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Chateau Du Sureau

The California Questionnaire


About the Host

Soterios Johnson, formerly the local host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition on radio station WNYC, moved from New York City to Davis, Calif., in 2016 and is just getting to know his surroundings. By combining his journalistic instincts with his personal curiosity, Johnson will use the California Now platform to develop a deeper understanding of his adopted home.

California Winery

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