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Pac-10 football visitor's guide: Football isn't the only game in town

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Fall is in the air, and that means Pac-10 football. The powder blue- and tarnished cardinal-clad lads soon will embark to stadia across the West. As you follow, here are suggestions on things to see, do, sip, taste, hear or experience.

Washington State versus USC, at Pullman, Sept. 25

Is Pullman called Siberia of the Pac-10 for its late-season weather or because it has the warmest fans in the conference? Yes.

The every-campus-has-one spot in Pullman is the Coug: pub, grub, four generations of history (900 N.E. Colorado St.; [509] 332-1265). Because Wazzu is an ag school, it has a dairy — WSU Creamery — and the on-campus ice cream shop and Cougar Gold cheese handily beat all rivals ([800] 457-5442, http://www.wsu.edu/creamery). Tee up at the university's Palouse Ridge Golf Club, a stunner that opened to acclaim two years ago (1260 N.E. Palouse Ridge Drive; [509] 335-4342, http://www.palouseridge.wsu.edu).

Cal versus UCLA, at Berkeley, Oct. 9

They play football in the People's Republic — big-time, bazillion-dollar-budget football — and there's some splendid irony in that; they also swoon late in the season.

Tapas and paella are in play at César España, as is sherry, Cava and other friends fermented and distilled (1515 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley; [510] 883-0222, http://www.barcesar). Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse is a long-running venue for what we now call world music (2020 Addison St., Berkeley; [510] 644-2020, http://www.thefreight.org). Soul music and new-era soul food harmonize well at Brown Sugar Kitchen (2534 Mandela Parkway, Oakland; [510] 839-7685, http://www.brownsugarkitchen.com). Enjoy the tunes. Enjoy the jerk chicken and organic grits. Enjoy the French wines.

Stanford versus USC, at Palo Alto, Oct. 9

It's amazing that guys this smart — and without rap sheets — can step up the play. Is revenge a higher cerebral function?

Hoover Tower, Memorial Church, Canon Arts Center, Rodin Sculpture Garden — this is one beautiful campus. See it all, beginning at the Stanford Visitor Center (295 Galvez St., Palo Alto; [650] 723-2560, http://www.stanford.edu/dept/visitorinfo/). Journey along the "Dish" (named for the radio telescope you can't miss), a casual walking and running trail through oak-shrouded hills with great Bay Area views ([650] 926-0275, http://www.stanford.edu/dept/ucomm/neighbors/openspace). Eat at Coconuts, where Chef Robert, with some guidance from his grandma's recipes, turns loose the culinary voodoo of the Caribbean (642 Ramona St., Palo Alto; [650] 329-9533, http://www.coconutspaloalto.com).

Oregon versus UCLA, at Eugene, Oct. 21

Welcome to the home of the defending Pac-10 champion Ducks. Oh, there's such a nice ring to that.

The key to attending a game at Autzen Stadium is to walk to it. Over the river and through the woods to the Graveyard of the North you'll go; it is pretty, visitor fate notwithstanding. This is Oregon; drink craft beer. And in Eugene that means Ninkasi Brewing Co. (272 Van Buren St., Eugene; [541] 344-2739, http://www.ninkasibrewing.com). Come dinner, seek out big city/rustic Italian at Beppe & Gianni's Trattoria (1646 E. 19th Ave., Eugene; [541] 683-6661, http://www.beppeandgiannis.net, then pop across 19th for dessert at longtime campus favorite Prince Pückler's Gourmet Ice Cream (1605 E. 19th Ave., Eugene; [541] 687-8785, http://www.princepucklers.com).

Arizona versus USC, at Tucson, Nov. 13

It's hard to believe that it's been, what, how many years since the Wildcats made it to the Rose Bowl? Oh, that's right, only one Pac-10 team has never. …

The Old Pueblo has the best Mexican food of any ciudad up north, and near the top is Café Poca Cosa (110 E. Pennington St., Tucson; [520] 622-6400, http://www.cafepocacosatucson.com). 1702 has an array of microbrews, and the place is thick with Wildcats, so be nice and don't brag about all those Rose Bowl victories (1702 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson; [520] 325-1702, http://www.1702az.com). Javelina aren't pigs, and cholla don't jump; there's a lot more than that to learn at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (2021 N. Kinney Road, Tucson; [520] 883-2702, http://www.desertmuseum.org).

Washington versus UCLA, at Seattle, Nov. 18

Someone is putting the bite back in Dawg U. Indeed. But you're flying home to Malibu, and they're left with rain.

Chef Tom Douglas has many expressions — and restaurants — all emotive, and at Serious Pie, the clam, pancetta and lemon thyme combo is sheer glee (316 Virginia St., Seattle; [206] 838-7388, http://www.tomdouglas.com. Load up on Salumi's house-cured meats, artisanal cheeses and righteous pastas for the tailgate, or to take home. Tip: They can be mail-ordered too (309 3rd Ave. South, Seattle; [206]-621-8772, http://www.salumicuredmeats.com. Your university is Beverly Hills-adjacent, and your home games are in Pasadena. Seattle Art Museum just launched a special Picasso exhibition (1300 1st Ave., Seattle; [206] 654-3100, http://www.seattleartmuseum.org). You're going, Mr. Culture.

Oregon State versus USC, at Corvallis, Nov. 20

Known for the ugliest football uniforms in the Pac-10, OSU might resonate with the boys of Troy for another reason.

Enoteca Wine Bar is cool and swanky, so, as one OSUer says, "it's perfect for the L.A. crowd" (136 S.W. Washington Ave. Corvallis; [541] 758-9095, http://www.enotecawinebar.com). If feeling a little under the wine, nothing shouts remedy like the loco moco from Local Boyz Hawaiian Café; the shoyu chicken sells out early (1425 N.W. Monroe Ave., Corvallis; [541] 754-5338, no website). Just west of Cow-Vallis sits Mary's Peak, the highest point in the Coast Range. If the weather is nice — one can only hope — the view is peerless (http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/siuslaw/recreation/tripplanning/maryspeak/index.shtml).

Arizona State versus UCLA, at Tempe, Nov. 26

There's a red dude with horns and a pitchfork on ASU's helmets. He hints at the five layers of skin one can leave seared to the seats at Sun Devil Stadium.

The best valley restaurant no tourist has ever heard of is House of Tricks. The fare is "contemporary American," which means fresh and innovative (114 E. 7th St., Tempe; [480] 968-1114, http://www.houseoftricks.com). The name means … not what you think. Forget the awful beer advertised with every sporting event, and get on over to Four Peaks Brewing Co. for a Kilt Lifter Scottish-style ale (1340 E. 8th St., Tempe; [480] 303-9967; http://www.fourpeaks.com). The Heard Museum is to Native American art what the Louvre is to dead white guys from Europe (2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix; [602] 252-8848, http://www.heard.org).

Eight games. Eight cities. Eight weekends of fun. And just think, we're all going to Salt Lake and Boulder soon.

travel@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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