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Restaurant Popularity/California Dreamin

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Restaurant Popularity/California Dreamin

California Dreamin is the best restaurant in Charleston. All of the reviews are wonderful and the lines go on forever out the door to get in to the restaurant. Last week I posted a review and stated that this restaurant is too good to be ranked #19. One week later, I notice that it is now #86. Some of the reviews of other restaurants, such as Hymans are horrible. Why don't they fall. I don't know how the restaurants get their rank but California Dreamin is better than #86 or #19. It should be #1.

Cambridge, MA
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791 posts
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1. Re: Restaurant Popularity/California Dreamin

Well, opinions are like posteriors: everybody has one! I always take TA's and other sites' user's reviews under advisement and not as gospel. A lot of times a place gets slammed because there was a long wait for a table, or water refills were slow on a busy night, or the writer's credit card had maxed out: subjective, incidental kinds of things. Only when there's a consistent pattern to people's remarks do I pay much attention.

To me, Hyman's is a fun place to go, with great food and in no way "horrible." A restaurant called "California Dreaming" sounds like TGI Friday's, Applebee's, Bennigan's, et al - a manufactured "theme" environment with unmemorable menu choices, someplace to take the kids or to hang out and drink at after work. And this is no "foodie" snob talking, just somebody who tries to steer clear of franchise eateries and cloned concepts when on vacation.

I'd be curious myself to know how TA goes about setting its rankings. Why can a place to sleep or eat get a shining five-star review from a reader, yet fall behind another because the other is listed in Fodor's?

Charleston, South...
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2. Re: Restaurant Popularity/California Dreamin

To be perfectly honest, both California Dreaming and Hanks cater mostly to tourists. The food at California Dreaming is pretty good, but like you said, the menu choices are uninspired, and definitely not worth the 1 hour wait on weekends. In a city like Charleston there are much better dining options out there.

Charlotte, North...
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for North Carolina
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3. Re: Restaurant Popularity/California Dreamin

Yes, California Dreamin is a "chain" restaurant; it's a good restaurant if you're in some other area of the state(Columbia, Greenville) with mostly chain restaurants, but why would you go there in Charleston? Charleston has some of the greatest restaurants in the entire nation! Carolina's and Magnolia's are two of our favorites!

Best Wishes!

Charleston, SC
7 posts
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4. Re: Restaurant Popularity/California Dreamin

I agree that California Dreaming and Hyman's are tourist traps. When I first moved here in 1994, I love Dreamin' for their prime rib. After the first few visits, they couldn't get the temperature right to save having to pay for the bill. I've had several friends who've worked there who either refer to it as "California Screamin'" or "Shoney's by the Sea." That should tell you plenty about the operation.

Don't even get me started on Hyman's. They advertise in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Huh? Their fish is frozen and if you get food poison from them, don't expect them to pay your bill!

Atlanta, GA
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229 posts
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5. Re: Restaurant Popularity/California Dreamin

Had to throw in my two cents: I used to live in Columbia SC, which has a California Dreamin, and ate there all the time, if only for the croissants. It's a good chain, and if you are in Columbia or Augusta I would recommend it. Similarly, if you don't live around here and you've never been to one, it might be a good spot for lunch.

That said, Charleston has AMAZING culinary talent that Columbia and August can't rival, and if you're in Charleston you can definitely do better for dinner. It's not that California Dreamin is bad, it's just that its competition in Charleston is unbelievable.

Charleston, SC
5 posts
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6. Re: Restaurant Popularity/California Dreamin

I agree, I've never been that impressed by California Dreaming. The only thing I have ever enjoyed there was their salad and croissants, and its just not worth waiting in that long of a line for that. Everything else I have ever eaten there was nasty, and I have always sent it back. Hyman's was ok, but it didn't impress me for all the reviews it supposedly gets. Take it from a local, there are much better places to go than California Dreaming and Hyman's, and you should definitely experience them.

Charleston, South...
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706 posts
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7. Re: Restaurant Popularity/California Dreamin

I guess I should jump in on this one. ;-)

My wife and I love California Dreaming, if for

no other reason than their signature salad.

Yes, the menu is a bit bland, but the food itself

is good. The salad (with house dressing) is superb!

As for the competition, yeah, there are lots of better

choices in Charleston. But CD, even though it ain't cheap,

is much cheaper than the 'fancy' restaurants downtown.