Sam King is a Southern California kind of guy, reigning over a stable of popular Southern California restaurants such as Water Grill and King’s Fish House as well as Costa Mesa-based King’s Seafood Co. But he also tries to get away from it all once in a while. New York City is a favorite, a dining and shopping capital, epicenter of the arts and home to world-famous museums and architectural treasures. Besides being an irresistible feast for the senses, it’s the kind of place where King can take a break from the 21 restaurants his company operates. He may be passionate about seafood, but he’s also passionate about enjoying New York’s attractions. As told to Rosemary McClure
Why New York City?
I like the dynamic of the city and the electricity you feel the moment you enter Manhattan. It is a terrific place to spend four to five nights for great food, shopping and entertainment. And every neighborhood offers a different version of the city.
My daughter is a theater major, so when we visited this summer we caught some Broadway shows. The theater scene here is terrific and should be on every visitor’s list. We saw four shows in five nights: “Waitress” was wonderful – it’s not as well-known as some others, but was my daughter’s favorite; “Dear Evan Hansen” won six Tony Awards this year and features Ben Platt, who was amazing; “Hamilton” is such a great production that it’s like watching a Super Bowl; “Book of Mormon” is an older show but is excellent.
When you travel, be sure to visit weekend flea markets wherever you are in the world. It’s the best place to rub elbows with locals and find some very good bargains. We went to Brooklyn Flea while we were in town. (The outdoor market is closed for the season, but there’s a weekend indoor market at 100 Avenue of the Americas). We also spent time shopping in SoHo.
Do as much research as possible. Not just for dining but also for sightseeing…