Los Tres Hermanos Bar and Grill Mexican Restaurant in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California

Los Tres Hermanos Bar and Grill Mexican Restaurant
in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California

NOTE: This Blog was started and in “draft” form for a couple weeks before being finished and published. Posting now because writing helps as a distraction.

Mexican Food!

Saturday night in the beautiful San Fernando Valley on Van Nuys Blvd near the Government Center (Courthouses, Police Station, Post Office, etc.) at Erwin St.

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Los Tres Hermanos Bar and Grill Mexican Restaurant

 

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Front Desk at Los Tres Hermanos Bar and Grill

We parked in back and used the Rear Entrance. (just a little sketchy)

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The Rear Entrance to Los Tres Hermanos Bar and Grill in Van Nuys

There’s a large dining room with tables and booths along the side walls. And of course there’s a long bar, and a very nice one too. they also have a very small stage for live music on Fridays and Satudays and this was one of those nights.

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The Large Dining Room at Los Tres Hermanos Bar and Grill

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The Long Bar at Los Tres Hermanos Bar and Grill

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Live Music on a Small Stage on Friday and Saturday

The live music was good. Two guys, one on guitar and one on a kid’s drum kit, singing and playing classic rock tunes while we enjoyed our Mexican dinner.

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Live Music and the Bar at Los Tres Hermanos Bar and Grill

When we arrived the bar was empty, and when we left it wasn’t.

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The Bar at Los Tres Hermanos Bar and Grill

We were seated in a booth without having to wait and presented with a “classic” Mexican restaurant menu and warm chips, red pepper salsa and a bean dip.

This being our first time here, we decided to compare the Fiesta platter, a favorite found on most appetizer menus.

The Classic Mexican Restaurant Menu:

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

On The Menu: Chips and salsa, Fiesta Platter with chicken wings, nachos, taquitos, a quesadilla (and we substituted more taquitos for the quesadilla, because we made a large one for lunch) and a Dr Pepper

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Tortilla Chips and Salsa

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Fiesta Platter!

We enjoyed the food! It was classic Mexican, very tasty and they have pretty good chips and salsa. The Fiesta Platter was done well, but the nachos could have been better. My dining companions enjoyed their choices as well and the prices are very reasonable! They have lots of fun cocktails and drink specials on and off the menu. We would return if we were in the neighborhood on a Saturday, but probably not on a weekday.

Tres Hermanos Mexican RestaurantVan Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys, CA

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

 

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UPDATE: Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A large, tasty chicken burrito (“wet” ranchero sauce & melted cheese) with rice and beans inside and tortilla chips “to go” for dinner a few nights ago. Only ate half, then ate the other half the next day for breakfast.

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Happy Birthday Sushi Time!

Happy Birthday Sushi Time! Great Dinner at Sushi Ichiban Kan!

Saturday night! Time to celebrate! Happy Birthday to me! It’s Sushi time!

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We love Sushi Ichiban Kan!
Our friend Hiro-san runs the best Japanese restaurant in the valley!

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Sushi Ichiban Kan in Tarzana/Woodland Hills, California

A FANTASTIC FISH!
ANOTHER WONDERFUL DISH!
SUSHI TIME YOU WISH!

We’ve written a few Blogs about Sushi Ichiban Kan (use the search box ^^^^^^) and read our previous Blogs (links below too).

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ON THE MENU: Tekka don dinner (tuna bowl with miso soup and small salad), stuffed squid, volcano, albacore sashimi, baked scallop california roll, yellowtail/salmon/bluefin tuna sushi, sunomono, blue crab cut roll, spicy tuna hand roll, spicy yellowtail cut roll, green tea ice cream, iced green tea and a large hot sake!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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Happy Birthday! Green Tea Ice Cream

NOTE: It was great dinner and I am truly thankful. However, the circumstances of the weekend made it impossible to actually enjoy the party in my honor. In case you missed the previous blogs, two of our dogs were killed Thursday night by coyotes in our fenced backyard. Pretty much everything related to dogs is a “trigger” for a wave of hard emotion (sadness, guilt, grief & anger) and my dinner companions kept talking about dogs, the tragedy, coyotes and wolf urine…. it was extremely uncomfortable from start to finish and not a happy distraction.

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So full of sushi. No Dessert! So birthday cake for dessert the next night!
One of my favorites: Boston Cream Pie from Bea’s Bakery!

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Boston Cream Pie from Bea’s Bakery

 

 

Konstantin’s Piroshki Recipe!

Konstantin’s Piroshki Recipe (from the Renaissance Pleasure Faire)
From the article in “Sphere” magazine, “Come to the Faire” July 1975
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Makes 10 Piroshkis
Ingredients:
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup warm milk
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 tsp salt (1/2 tsp cinnamon – according to sources)
2 Cups all purpose flour
Beef Filling:
1 medium onion (fine chopped)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
3/4 lean ground beef
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 hard boiled egg (fine chopped)
Instructions:
Dissolve yeast in warm water in medium bowl. Stir in milk, sugar salt and enough flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough on to lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turn grease side up and cover with a towel. Let rise in warm place until it doubles ~ 45 minutes (Dough is ready if impression remains).
Make beef filling.
Punch down dough. Roll dough on floured board to 1/16 inch thickness. Cut into 10 5-inch circles.(It will be necessary to gather scraps and re-roll dough) Place 1/4 cup filling on each circle. Bring ends of dough together at center. Pinch edges together to seal so that Piroshki are plump in the center with tapered ends. Place Piroshki seam side down on greased baking sheets. Cover lightly with waxed paper and let rise for 45 minutes.
Heat oven to 375 degrees and bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve hot with a dollup of sour cream or hot mustard if desired.
ENJOY IT!
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Piroshki Booth at the Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire

Sushi Ganzo and Donutella in Encino

 

Sushi Ganzo in Encino (new place just opened in the Plaza de Oro shopping center)

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Sushi Ganzo in Encino

Sushi2U closed and Sushi Ganzo opened in the same space without changing very much.

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Sushi Ganzo in Encino

They changed the name and the signage. They took out some of the televisions. And they changed the menu too.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

The MENU:

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

On The Menu: albacore sashimi, baked scallop California roll, spicy tuna cut roll, California roll, Rainbow roll, nigiri omakase platter, fried chicken appetizer and a Dr Pepper

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Fried Chicken Appetizer

The fried chicken appetizer was battered and deep fried to a hard shell and there was very little chicken to be found.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

The sushi and rolls were good, they use real crab in the California rolls, but there was concern over the Omakase Nigiri platter (the chef’s choice of fish for the price ~$24) and about the freshness of some of the fish served.

The service was TERRIBLE. Our waiter was slammed and not properly trained for table service. We ended up asking the bus person and another waiter for everything we asked our waiter for twice… drinks, ginger & wasabi, a spoon, etc. Complete unsatisfactory! Nothing will kill a restaurant faster than bad food except for bad service!

As reported in the previous Blog about Sushi2U, there are too many sushi restaurants on Ventura, so you better bring it if you want to stay in business! The rent isn’t cheap and their large extensive menu means that they have to turn over the food inventory quickly to keep it fresh.

Sushi2U was good the first time we ate there, but on our second visit it was not. They didn’t stay in business a year! Sushi Ganzo better fix their problems or they’ll be gone too.

UPDATED February 21, 2017 – Sushi Ganzo is Sushi Gone.
Closed, out of business, no more, now in it’s place is Cravin’s: a combo Thai food/Poke bowl/Ice Cream concept that has been open almost 2 weeks as of this update.

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There’s a Menchie’s Yogurt next door to the restaurant and a Yogurtland across the street, and now there’s a new gelato place that just opened across the street, also in the Encino Town Center, and we decided to try Donutella for dessert.

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Gelato at Donutella in Encino

They have pastries, donuts, coffee, smoothies and boba drinks in addition to a nice selection of gelato flavors. The space is weird, because they have such large display cases there’s not much aisle space between the cases and the tables for guest seating inside. And since they don’t have outside seating in front it’s awkward and uncomfortable if you want sit down and eat on premises. We really don’t want to have people bumping us and having their butts in our faces while sitting down. We chose Salted Caramel and Hazelnut gelato and both were tasty flavors with good mouth feel. So, we enjoyed their product but the seating situation was a problem.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

 

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Gelato at Donutella in Encino

2 scoops of gelato for ~$5

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Salted Caramel and Hazelnut Gelato at Donutella in Encino

Sushi GanzoPlaza de Oro shopping center 17157-17253 Ventura Blvd in Encino

DonutellaEncino Town Center shopping center  17200 Ventura Blvd in Encino

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Encino Saturday Sunset 1

“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl!

“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl!

And we are back! We went to the Hollywood Bowl last week and it was good fun! We’re having a heatwave again in Los Angeles and it’s been 90 degrees+ and into the 100s on some days. So, it has stayed warm at night and it was really perfect weather for an outdoor concert.

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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl

Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra performing “West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl on a Tuesday evening in July!

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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl

We were invited to the Bowl again. Well, there was a “small” brush fire on the mountain across the 101 freeway at Cahuenga Blvd from the venue at 4pm and we watched on the television as the Los Angeles Fire Department responded and made quick work of it!

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Fire on the Mountain! (That yellow dot is three firefighters)

By 5:30pm the fire was out, they were handling the hot spots and traffic was f*cked. So we left the San Fernando Valley for Hollywood at about 6pm. After some miles of “stop and go” traffic, the Highland exit ramp jam and Lot B parking ($20 cash) we were walking past the crowd of picnickers that occupy any convenient spot they can find out front at 7pm.

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Picnickers Out Front at the Hollywood Bowl for “West Side Story”

NOTE: It wasn’t as crowded as usual! It was a Tuesday night and a lot of people must have stayed home to watch the Republican National Convention night #2 from Cleveland, Ohio. Of course, that meant more people arrived around 8pm as the performance was starting…

We decided to go directly to our seats (Super Seats! not benches) behind the light and sound booth and have our dinner there instead of going to one of the picnic areas. And picnicking at the Hollywood Bowl in the super seats or bench seating is even more of a challenge than dining in one of the boxes because you have no table and very limited space.

Picnic time! On the Menu: Roast beef sandwich, veggie chips, dill pickle, bottled water and 1/4 of a chocolate tart from Sweet Lady Jane. We remembered to take a pic just before finishing the sandwich, but didn’t take one of the sides and desserts. We also brought red and white wine, a bottle of bubbly water, carrots, cole slaw, a rice dish and a berry cobbler.

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Roast Beef Sandwich and Veggie Chips

Show time! The orchestra took the stage  a little after 8pm, just as the sun was setting. They always begin with the “Star Spangled Banner” (note the flags flying at half mast).

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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl

Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing under a full moon on a warm summer evening in Southern California, no complaints here.

“West Side Story”

The musical “West Side Story” has special meaning for us.  We participated in building and and presenting a production on the Performing Arts MainStage at UC Santa Cruz in Spring of 1986.

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Directed by Michael Edwards
I was a Set Builder, Costumer and then Wardrobe Master for the run of show.
I also did the hair/makeup and hand inked tattoos for the actors.

The Jets were “Glam Punks” circa early 1980’s in ripped denim and studded leather.
The Sharks were 1970’s “Cholos” complete with bandanas, pleated flannels, pressed white t-shirts and tan khakis. The Shark girls were hot!

A truly professional production with a live band, great singing and dancing and a truly amazing set design! The program cover above is one of the design sketches, but the freeway was left unfinished with exposed rebar extending out over the audience and then we added chain link fencing, lots of graffiti and debris for texture.

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Very proud of this production and the work we did. Also of note is the level of talent and the future professional career paths of some of the participants.

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“West Side Story” at the Hollywood Bowl

 

 

It’s WineWednesday (again)!

It’s WineWednesday (again)!

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Pour the wine again!
Today is WineWednesday!
Enjoy a big glass!
Enjoy a bottle!
WineWednesday is today!
Pour the wine again!

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CHEERS!

Read the Previous Blog>
Wine Tasting at the Belle Fiore Estate & Winery in Ashland, Oregon> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1QU

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Wednesday, Wine Wednesday!

It’s Wednesday, Wine Wednesday! July 6, 2016

Happy Birthday to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso! (shortened from Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, born Lhamo Thondup in 1935)

New-Dalai-Lama-quote

What Day Is Today?
Wednesday, Wine Wednesday!
Drink MotherF*cker!

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RUDD, Oakville Estate 2002 (Really Big Bottle)
Napa Valley, Oakville, California

Happy Summertime! Stay Cool!

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Film and Television

 Credit: Photo Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA (1004103a) The Razor’s Edge, Bill Murray Film and Television

 

 

 

Dinner at The Stand in Encino, California

Dinner at The Stand in Encino, California

Thursday evening and it was decided that we would have dinner at The Stand on Ventura Boulevard (just west of Balboa) in Encino, in the beautiful San Fernando Valley, in city and county of Los Angeles, in the golden state of California.

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Dinner at The Stand in Encino, California

There’s a big lot with FREE parking, metered (8am-8pm Mon-Sat) street parking on Ventura Blvd and FREE street parking on the side streets.

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Dinner at The Stand in Encino, California

Enter through the gates and the outdoor patio and then enter the restaurant through the covered patio. You’ll be greeted by the large Menu Board on the wall and (usually) a line of people waiting to order at the registers.

TIP: Know your order! Decide before arriving at the register and know what you want.

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The Menu at The Stand in Encino, California

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

 

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Dinner at The Stand in Encino, California

Everything is cooked and made to order. Once you place your order and pay, they will give you a number for your table and then you’ll have to decide whether to sit inside or outside.

It was a beautiful evening outside, but because it wasn’t crowded we chose to sit inside. They have nice outdoor seating, covered and uncovered, but you’re still Ventura Blvd adjacent and it can be noisy and/or crowded at lunch and during “rush hour” dinner time.

Burgers, Hotdogs, Sandwiches and Salads are the choices at The Stand. With lots of options, extras and side orders available. Burgers start at $7.50, hotdogs are ~$4, sandwiches and salads, desserts (good cobbler & ice cream) and drinks. They serve fountain beverages, bottled sodas and water, coffee, tea, Beer, Wine, milkshakes and floats!

On The Menu: Cheeseburger, onion rings, sweet potato fries and a chocolate milkshake with whipped cream. Our party also ordered a Polish Dog and a Grilled Chicken Salad.

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Cheeseburger, onion rings, sweet potato fries & a chocolate milkshake w/whipped cream

We chose a table inside the small dining room and waited for the food to be delivered. After a brief waiting period and some nice conversation, our dinner arrived and we ate our food.

We read another review while we were composing this Blog that called it a “BlandBurger” and that about describes it. Too much bun. Not enough seasoning on the meat patty, and it just wasn’t cooked right. We used Bbq sauce and mustard and it was still pretty tasteless. The onion rings and sweet potato fries were great and the chocolate milkshake was perfect, but  we wouldn’t order the cheeseburger again and it was a real disappointment. The Polish dog and the grilled chicken salad both looked good and got good reviews.

The Stand17000 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316
818-788-2700 www.thestandlink.com
Open Daily:  Serving Lunch & Dinner 11am-9pm

and 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City, CA 90067 310-785-0400
and 5780 Canoga Ave, Woodland Hills, CA 91367 818-710-0400
and 19600 Plummer St, Northridge, CA 91324 818-709-3820

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Dogs are allowed on the outdoor patio!

 

F*CK YOU MORELS LAS VEGAS (at the Palazzo)

F*CK YOU MORELS LAS VEGAS! (at the Palazzo)

YOU SERVED THIS SH*TTY BREAKFAST TO A TRAVEL AND FOOD BLOGGER!

This sh*tty breakfast cost $23 at Morels with a french pressed coffee included:

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Breakfast at Morels Las Vegas at the Palazzo

WE WERE SERVED THIS SH*TTY BREAKFAST LAST AUGUST AT MORELS LAS VEGAS AT THE PALAZZO AND WE ARE STILL ANGRY!

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Coffee with Breakfast at Morels Las Vegas at the Palazzo

 

Complain to them about sh*tty food on Twitter and you’ll get BLOCKED!
How’s that for customer service and care?

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So we wrote a REVIEW ON FACEBOOK and gave them 1 STAR:
(because no stars was not an option)

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Screenshot of Our Review on facebook

Emily wants to know “Why’d you block him?” on March 31st.
And there was NO RESPONSE.

DON’T EAT HERE. There are many other good choices in Las Vegas!

Morels is inside the Palazzo Las Vegas. One more reason not to go there.

NOTE: We started this Blog before the Mass Shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando Florida, where 50 human beings were murdered and 53 other people were injured. This horrible event, combined with the reaction to the event, and the constant INSANITY of Donald Trump, we thought we’d channel our negative energy into something positive and finished this negative Blog about a negative experience.

 

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Great Pizza at Barone’s Italian Restaurant in Valley Glen

Dinner at the original Barone’s Italian Restaurant in Valley Glen, established 1943.

“Serving Southern California’s first thin crust rectangular Neopolitan style pizza”

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Barone’s Italian Restaurant in Valley Glen, California

Thursday night and time for dinner! We went for a drive to Barone’s in Valley Glen, which used to be Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks/North Hollywood. Valet parking is available ($3.50) and street parking is difficult at best, so we advise valet parking or get your food “to go”.

The restaurant’s exterior is designed like a rustic country house. Then you enter through the modern glass and metal box entryway and the wooden front door into the lobby/waiting area and an “old school” interior complete with red leather booths, faux stained glass and a beautiful long wood bar. The main dining room is very large, the side dining room is also very large and the restaurant as a whole is very large inside.

NOTE: The side dining room (which is also used as a private event space) was empty except for a large party. There’s also a small outdoor front patio that faces Oxnard Street.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

They have a beautiful long wood bar in the main dining room:

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The Bar at Barone’s Italian Restaurant in Valley Glen, California

It’s like stepping back in time! There aren’t a lot of restaurants in the San Fernando Valley that have managed to retain this kind of “old school” charm. It has a real “New York Little Italy” feel. The booths, the bar and even the paper Italy placemats give it that retro style.

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Paper Italy Placemat at Barone’s Italian Restaurant in Valley Glen, California

And it’s good Italian Food! (not cheap or inexpensive, but real good Italian)

The Menu:

Barone’s has a classic Italian menu with great pizza and pasta, and then nice steaks, veal, chicken, shrimp and seafood entrees grilled on the broiler. They have a lunch menu, sandwiches, a children’s menu and a variety of desserts offerings as well.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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Pizza at Barone’s Italian Restaurant in Valley Glen, California

On The Menu: Barone’s Pizza (medium size) with pepperoni & sausage, 1/2 a Caesar salad, bread & butter and a coke. We also ordered penne pasta with broccoli and the grilled shrimp and chicken parmigiana entrees.

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Barone’s Thin Crust Rectangular Neopolitan Style Pizza with Pepperoni and Sausage

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

The food is good. We enjoyed our dinner. We’ve been here before and enjoyed it. They are consistent in the quality of their food and they make a GREAT PIZZA! The service was only okay on the night of our visit. They must have been understaffed, because our server said it was busy but the restaurant wasn’t really crowded. The large party in the other room and the dinner rush at 7:30pm may have “slammed” them, but our server was absent from the dining room for long periods of time and the bussers/servers seemed distracted by the Copa Mundial soccer game between Mexico and Jamaica on the televisions at the bar. It wasn’t bad service, but it could have been much better.

Barone’s13726 Oxnard St. (just west of Woodman), Valley Glen, CA 91401
818-782-6004 http://www.baronesfamousitalian.com

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Barone’s Italian Restaurant at Night in Valley Glen, California