Monthly Archives: April 2013

Sunday Brunch at Bistro Garden 21-APR-13

Sunday!  Sunday!  Sunday Brunch!

Up Escalator (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Up Escalator (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The party was called for Noon.  Traffic was light and I was early.  It was a beautiful day in Studio City.  Street parking was easy and it’s free on Sunday.

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ventura Blvd and Coldwater Canyon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at Bistro Garden at the Center at Coldwater on Ventura Boulevard just west of Coldwater Canyon.

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Center at Coldwater (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A Beautiful Day in Studio City (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Down Escalator (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Almost Noon….  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

BISTRO GARDEN, Studio City

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

It’s a beautiful restaurant space, light and airy with very high glass ceilings.  We commented that it feels like “New Orleans” or “Disneyland” inside (I was reminded of the River Belle Cafe or Union Plaza restaurants).

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Dining Room at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Bar at Bistro Garden w/live Piano Player (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hats off to the Piano Player!  He played beautifully all through the brunch, the tunes were familiar, but it was never obnoxious.

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Dining Room at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

We were a party of Ten and the service was very good.  The waitstaff was attentive and very professional.

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Champagne or Mimosa Starter at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

They offered champagne or a mimosa as a starter, along with baskets of bread.  There was sourdough, banana bread, muffins and mini-cinnamon rolls to eat.

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Brunch Menu at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

They have a nice brunch menu.  We skipped the appetizers and I ordered Eggs Benedict with Canadian Bacon, potatoes, and substituted fresh fruit for the tomato slices.  I also pre-ordered a chocolate souffle’ for dessert.

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Eggs Benedict with Potatoes and Fresh Fruit at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Chocolate Souffle’ with Fresh Whipped Cream at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The eggs benedict was good, but not great.  The baked goods and the souffle’ were excellent.  The dining room was a little warm where I was sitting because of the sun shining thorough the glass ceiling.  We had a good time and ate a lot of food.

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Sun Through the Glass Ceiling at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Dining Room at Bistro Garden (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The restaurant is well established and the clientele is definite “older” and was mostly female.  I was reminded of the “ladies who lunch”, which is a distinct class of patron in Los Angeles, and most everyone was celebrating a special occasion too.  I enjoyed the party, the company, and the service.  The menu was standard brunch fare and the food was good, if not great.  It was a very nice party.

 

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21-APR-13: Western Town Oak Tree

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Western Town Oak Tree - Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town Oak Tree – Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

IT’S NATIONAL PARK WEEK!

National Parks that charge admission are FEE FREE on certain days of the year!
National Parks Free Entrance Days: http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm

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20-APR-13: Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott Hotels

Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott Hotels – Downtown Los Angeles

Ritz-Carlton and J.W. Marriott Hotels - Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ritz-Carlton &  J.W. Marriott Hotels – Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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19-APR-13: Half Dome – Yosemite Valley

 Yosemite, California

Half Dome and Yosemite Valley

 Half Dome - Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Half Dome – Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

See more pictures of Yosemite in our previous Blogs!
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Photo copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel

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NATIONAL PARK WEEK: National Parks that charge admission are FEE FREE to visitors!
Free Entrance Days in the National Parks: http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm

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BLOG ONLY BONUS PIC! Yosemite Falls in Winter

Yosemite Falls in Winter:

Yosemite Falls - Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Yosemite Falls – Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Yosemite Falls is the highest measured waterfall in North America with a total 2,425 feet from the top of the upper falls to the base of the lower falls. Located in Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, it is a major attraction in the park, especially in late spring when the water flow is at its peak.

NATIONAL PARK WEEK STARTS TOMORROW April 20-27 and the National Parks that charge admission are FEE FREE to visitors for five days: April 22-26!

Free Entrance Days in the National Parks:

http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm

18-APR-13: Century Plaza Towers

Noon in Century City

“We’re gonna live in Century City, Go ahead and give in, Century City……… Like modern men, modern girls, We’re gonna live in the modern world” ~ Tom Petty

Century Towers - Century City, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Century Plaza Towers – Century City, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Century City is a 176-acre commercial and residential district on the westside of the city of Los Angeles. Century City is an important business center and many firms and executives with ties to the film, television, and music industries have offices there.

Century Plaza Towers are two 44-story, 571 ft twin towers located at 2029 and 2049 Century Park East.  Commissioned by Alcoa, the towers were designed by Minoru Yamasaki and completed in 1975.  The towers resemble Yamasaki’s World Trade Center in their vertical black and gray lines and the use of aluminum exteriors. The towers have an unusual triangular footprint and are landmarks that are clearly seen around the Los Angeles westside. Their prominence in the Century City skyline has been reduced in recent years with the addition of new skyscrapers that partially block their view. Nevertheless, the Century Plaza Towers remain the tallest buildings in Century City and the tallest skyscrapers outside of downtown Los Angeles. The towers sit atop a shopping mall and one of the world’s largest underground parking garages with a capacity of roughly 5,000 cars.

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17-APR-13: Sunset Boulevard at Sunset Plaza

Sunset Boulevard at Sunset Plaza – West Hollywood, California

Sunset Boulevard at Sunset Plaza - West Hollywood, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Sunset Boulevard at Sunset Plaza – West Hollywood, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Visitor’s Center – Lee Vining, CA

Lee Vining Visitor’s Center 

View from the Visitor's Center - Lee Vining, California (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

View from the Visitor’s Center – Lee Vining, California (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

FREE NATIONAL PARK WEEK AND FREE DAYSQ
National Parks that charge admission have FEE FREE DAYS every year!

Free Entrance Days in the National Parks:

http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm

 

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15-APR-13: Washington Monument

Did you ever notice that when you put the words “The” and “IRS” together, it spells “THEIRS?”  ~Author Unknown

In Honor of “Big Brother In Your Pocket” Day…..

Washington Monument (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Washington Monument – Washington D.C. (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

The Washington Monument  is the most prominent structure in Washington, D.C.

The 555-foot, 5-1/8″ marble obelisk was built between 1848 and 1884 as a tribute to George Washington’s military leadership from 1775-1783 during the American Revolution. He led the Continental Army to victory, and then became the nation’s first president under the Constitution.  Construction took place in two major phases, 1848-56, and 1876-84.  The monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885, and officially opened to the public on October 9, 1888. http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/wash/dc72.htm

The Washington Monument was closed for repairs from damage caused by the 5.8 magnitude earthquake on August 23, 2011, but is now open again.

Washington Monument National Park Homepage: http://www.nps.gov/wamo/index.htm

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Return to Paramount Ranch – Agoura, California: Part 1 Western Town

Return to Paramount Ranch in Agoura, California:
Part 1 Western Town
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

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(Originally Published April 2013)

I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time: Take a little trip out to the Paramount Ranch in Agoura, the old site of the original Renaissance Pleasure Faire.

It was a beautiful day!  Not too hot, a nice breeze and some clouds, the weather was perfect for a nice afternoon hike and a little picnic lunch.

Here’s Part 1 – Western Town

Western Town, Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town 8am to Sunset, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

In 1927, Paramount Studios purchased a 2,700-acre ranch on Medea Creek in the Santa Monica Mountains, now renamed Paramount Ranch Park and part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.  The park is open 8am to Sunset and admission is FREE.

From the 101 Freeway, exit at Kanan Road

Kanan Road Exit - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Kanan Road Exit – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Head for the beach, but turn at the first left, onto Cornell Road

Kanan Road and Cornell Road (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Kanan Road and Cornell Road – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Travel down Cornell Road

Cornell Road

Cornell Road – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Turn right at the entrance to Paramount Ranch Park

Paramount Ranch Park - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Turn Right! Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Park by the Ranger Station compound

Paramount Ranch Park

Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Oak Tree by Western Town Gate, Paramount Ranch Park (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Oak Tree by Western Town Gate, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

There is still a Western Town at the location for visitors to tour which continues to be used for film and television filming, notably for the “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” television series and the HBO series “Carnavale”.

Western Town, Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park- Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Saloon, Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town

Miner’s Shack, Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town

Miner’s Shack, Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town

Oak Tree in the Corral, Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town

Oak Tree in the Corral, Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town

Meadow Gate, Western Town Meadow, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town Meadow

Oak Tree in the Western Town Meadow, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town Meadown

Western Town Meadow, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Western Town

Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

There is a nice shaded picnic area behind Western Town.

Picnic Area behind Western Town (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Picnic Area behind Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Picnic Area behind Western Town (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Picnic Area behind Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Picnic Area behind Western Town (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Picnic Area behind Western Town, Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Picnic Lunch

Picnic Lunch: jalapeno jack cheese, wheat thins, baby carrots, strawberries, an apple, two chocolate chip cookies, fruit punch Gatorade and water.

All photos copyright 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 JoshWillTravel

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UPDATED MARCH 23, 2017 (Part 2 added): READ THE BLOG>
Return to Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California Part 2 – Hiking the Site