Food, Glorious Food!

Food, Glorious Food!

“Food, glorious food! We’re anxious to try it
Three banquets a day — Our favorite diet!
Just picture a great big steak — Fried, roasted or stewed!
Oh, food! Wonderful food! Marvelous food! Glorious food!”

NOTE: This is a Blog Post about food. It contains pictures of food. Meat included.
If you are offended by meat, pictures of meat, or pictures of food,
please just scroll on down past this post to the next post. Thank you.

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Toasted Bagel with Lox, Cream Cheese & Persian Cucumber

Time for some HOMECOOKING! Or at least pictures of food cooked at our home.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert! We are grateful to be able to dine out and bring food in when we want. We are even more thankful that we have access to and can afford such wonderful food, when so many people in the world are hungry.

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“Please Sir, I want some more.”

“Food, Glorious Food” is a song from the musical “Oliver!” The musical adaption of the Charles Dickens novel “The Adventures of Oliver Twist” the story of a young orphan who runs away to London in search of a better life.

Take just a moment to appreciate the food you eat. Be thankful you aren’t starving.

Enjoy these pictures of some of the good food we have prepared and eaten this summer:

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

Surf and Turf! Steaks, spicy garlic and popcorn shrimp, chili with cheese, burritos, hotdogs, sandwiches, quesadillas, ramen, eggs & bacon, fruit and veggies! And of course dessert. More beef! More steak! More meat! “It’s what’s for dinner.” 

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T-Bone Steaks, roasted red potatoes, and steamed broccoli & carrots

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NY Steaks, cheese ravioli & sauce, and steamed broccoli & carrots

And some tasty cheese blintzes with raspberry jam!

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Cheese Blintzes with Raspberry Jam

We now return you to our regular Blog Posts. Are you hungry now?

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How about a nice Banana Split Ice Cream Sundae with whipped cream?

WHERE’S THE BEEF?
FRUIT, FRUIT, FRUIT!
and many more food and recipe Blog Posts in the archive
Use the search box at the top of the page^^^^^ and check out the sidebar>>>>>

 



 

 

 

 

EVEN MORE FUN COOKING RECIPES!

EVEN MORE FUN COOKING RECIPES!

More Collected Recipes from Our Collected Recipe Books!

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SUPER BOWL DIPS AND OTHER FUN “GAMEDAY” RECIPES:

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

Who Will Win Super Bowl 51?

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

THE DENVER BRONCOS WON SUPERBOWL 50!

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RICE KRISPIES TREATS and OTHER SWEETS!

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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AND EVEN MORE FUN RECIPES!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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Disney’s Secret Recipes
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6Xo

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Fruit! Fruit! Fruit!
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/fruit/

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“Where’s The Beef?”
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/wheres-the-beef/

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Cooking With Kenny Rogers – DOLE Cookbook Recipes
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6Yk

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FUN COOKING RECIPES
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/fun-cooking-recipes/

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FUN COOKING RECIPES 2
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/fun-cooking-recipes-2/

FUN COOKING RECIPES 3
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/fun-cooking-recipes-3/

More Fun Recipes (and Food Infographics)!
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6Y3
(with Olde Faire Recipes for Steak-On-A-Stake,
Fruit Ice, Butter Tarts and Manny’s Artichokes & Churros)

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FUN COCKTAIL RECIPES
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/cocktails/

FUN COCKTAIL RECIPES 2
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/fun-cocktail-recipes-2/

 

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Tasty Thai Food from Thai ‘N’ I Cafe in Encino!

Thai Food from Thai ‘N’ I in Encino!

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Just around the corner from the Karate Kid Mural on Ventura Boulevard (at Texhoma Avenue) in Encino there’s the Thai ‘N’ I Cafe, a “hole-in-the-wall” restaurant that serves really great Siamese BBQ and Thai food.

There’s metered street parking on Ventura Blvd from 8am-8pm Monday through Saturday (FREE on Sundays) and a small parking lot in the rear of the restaurant accessed through a small driveway off the boulevard. Enter through the front door into a small foyer and dining room. It’s a straight shot to the Host Desk and cash register located at the back of the dining room. And there’s a large clean kitchen that parallels the dining room space so you can watch the food cook from Ventura Blvd through the front window.

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

The food is tasty, delicious and full of flavor! They have great sauces! There’s an extensive menu, with lots of fun choices and specialty dishes. The service is excellent and there are usually people dining inside. There are not a lot of tables and not a lot of space, and we live pretty close, so we always get our food “To Go” and takeout. Open for Lunch and Dinner, they also have delivery service in a limited area in Encino and do catering for parties and events.

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Buddhist Art and Shrine On The Wall at Thai ‘N’ I Cafe

On The Menu: 1/2 BBQ Chicken Combo with pad Thai and mee grob noodles, Chicken Satay with peanut sauce and small cucumber salad

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Thai Food “To Go” From Thai ‘N’ I Cafe in Encino

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Plated Dinner at Home (no sauces yet)

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Chicken Satay Combo with Pad Thai and Mee Grob Noodles

NOTE: This is our “go to” place for Thai food in the neighborhood. We’ve tried Lum Ka Naad at Ventura and White Oak twice  (read our previous Blog) and it was NOT GOOD both times. It wasn’t even close to the superior food from Thai ‘N’ I. Also, they are favored by the LAPD, and there are often uniformed officers dining on their breaks here.

Thai ‘N’ I Siamese BBQ & Cafe17544 Ventura Blvd (east of White Oak) Encino
(818) 783-8424 http://www.thaini.net

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The Karate Kid Mural on Ventura Blvd at Texhoma Ave

Dinner at Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant in Encino!

Dinner at Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant in Encino, California

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Berry Panna Cotta & Berry Sorbet at Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant

Thursday evening and time for another happy birthday dinner! Neapolitan Italian Food at Gio Cucina Napoletana in Encino. We’ve eaten here before and the food has always been excellent. Tonight’s dinner was a lovely dining experience and the meal was great.

The restaurant is located on the 2nd Floor of a small shopping center/mini-mall on Ventura Blvd and in addition to the small storefront dining room and kitchen there is a large outdoor patio available for dining.

There is limited free parking in the shopping center’s front and rear lots and metered (8am-8pm) street parking available.

The restaurant has been here for years and the food is made with only fresh ingredients. The pasta and gnocchi is made from scratch. They offer rice pasta as a substitution for the “gluten free” diner and have a number of vegetarian options on the menu.

There’s a nice selection of appetizers, vegetable soups and fancy salads (and they have a Caesar Salad that’s off the menu but easily ordered with or without anchovies). There’s pizza, pasta, meat and fish entrees on the menu and always creative daily specials on the whiteboard in the dining room. If you like lasagna, try their beef or chicken lasagna.

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Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant in Encino

We got there early and chose to sit inside. We had the dining room all to ourselves for most of our meal. It got busy inside just as we were finishing up.

Everything is made to order and you can almost watch them cook from across the dining room. Fresh baked bread and olive tapenade are offered as a starter. They have a nice selection of wine by the bottle or glass to choose from and their desserts are very tasty.

This picture and cutout from Valley Magazine was above our table in the dining room and provides a wonderful description of the restaurant and the dining experience:

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Dinner at Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant in Encino

“Gio’s Cucina Napoletana is a tiny restaurant with a big heart. Toques off to chef and owner Roberto Castellanos, who cooks with olive oil rather than butter, makes pasta from scratch and bakes mini-loaves of killer bread for each table.From his minuscule open kitchen, Castellanos presides over a menu of variety and quality. His dairy-free pureed vegetable soups have deep, rich flavor. His radicchio, endive, fennel and shaved Parmesan salad could pass muster at a  far fancier restaurant. And his homemade spaghetti with seafood in white wine-tomato sauce with roasted garlic is hearty, tasty,old-fashioned fare. I’ve yet to try the cracker thin pizza, but it’s next on the list. Prices are reasonable, making it easy to go back.” – Valley Magazine May-June 2008

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

On The Menu: Meat Lasagna, 1/2 Caesar Salad, fresh baked bread with olive tapenade, fried calamari with marinara sauce, berry panna cotta & berry sorbet, tiramisu and a coke

NOTE: There was also lobster & vegetable risotto and mushroom & vegetable pasta as the other entrees (not pictured). Both dishes received excellent reviews!

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Meat Lasagna with pasta and sauce made from scratch!

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

NOTE: We sent the fried calamari back. It was pan fried, not deep fried, in a very light batter and two of us were fine with the preparation, but two of us didn’t like it.

Here’s a pic of one of the best dishes we ordered at a previous dinner: Hawaiian Prawns with spaghetti, garlic and olive oil:

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From a Previous Dinner: Hawaiian prawns with spaghetti, garlic & olive oil

Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant15826 Ventura Blvd., 2nd Floor, Encino
818-905-7446

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Dinner at Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant in Encino

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Gio Cucina Napoletana Italian Restaurant in Encino at Night

 

Updated December 29, 2016
A nice dinner at Gio Cucina Napoletana
Fresh baked bread, fried calimari with marinara sauce, beef lasagna and a coke

 

Updated Friday, April 7, 2017
Dinner delivered!
Spaghetti bolognese with parmesan cheese and fresh baked bread: Excellent!

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Spaghetti Bolognese with parmesan cheese and fresh baked bread

 

UPDATED Friday April 28, 2017:

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Beef Lasagna at Gio Cucina Napoletana

My old college friend Kent came out to the valley and took me to dinner. We went to Gio Cucina Napoletana and had some great Italian food. Carpacchio, fresh baked bread and olive tapenade, fried calamari, Caesar salad, beef lasagna, tiramisu, red wine (cabernet sauvignon) and a coke. So much fun.

Dinner at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen

Dinner at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen

Wednesday night in the San Fernando Valley, let’s go out to eat!

We were going to go to CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) in Tarzana, but there were a bunch of people waiting in the small reception area when we arrived. The confused looking hostess told us there were six parties in front of us and there would be a 35 minute wait to be seated, even though we could see more than ten empty tables on one side of the restaurant through the floor to ceiling glass windows that line the front.

After considering our options, we decided to go to Frankie’s Italian Kitchen a few blocks away on Reseda boulevard.

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Dinner at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen on Reseda Blvd in Tarzana

Frankie’s has been in the same location since 1993, and I have fond memories of meeting my Grandmother (of blessed memory) here for their “early-bird” special. I hadn’t been back in long time. They renovated and upgraded the decor, and enlarged the front patio, but they still serve the same Italian classics, and they still have an “early-bird” special menu before 6pm Monday-Thursday.

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Dinner at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen – open prep area, cashier & host desk

It’s not a big space, but not small either. There’s an open prep area behind the cashier and host desk as you enter and the dining room to the left. They have regulars and there are groups that meet here for both lunch and dinner, and even when it’s crowded, it’s not loud. Dine indoors or al fresco on the patio which is inside the Gelson’s parking lot and not actually on Reseda Blvd., so there’s a lot less traffic going by.

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Dinner at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen – Dining Room

The menu is classic Italian fare. Pizza, pasta, chops, and even a selection of veal dishes. Normally I would have had fried calamari and lasagna, but instead opted for a pasta entree with a side salad. We didn’t order any appetizers, drinks or wine and instead drank ice water. Yes, I know, but we’re trying to save money and calories this month.

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Dinner at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen – Dinner Menu

On the Menu: buttered garlic rolls, caesar side salad and chicken fettucine alfredo. We also ordered a broccoli fusilli pasta (it was split and a 1/2 order is pictured below).

And for dessert they were all out of tiramisu….

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Dinner at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen – Buttered Garlic Rolls

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Dinner at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen – Caesar Side Salad

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Dinner at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen – Chicken Fettucine Alfredo

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Dinner at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen – 1/2 Order of Broccoli Fusilli Pasta 

The food is very good. Italian classics done right! The fresh baked rolls are served hot and covered in butter and garlic. So good, I requested a second basket. The chicken fettucine alfredo and broccoli fusilli pasta dishes were delicious. I’ve had the lasagna and can definitely recommend it.  And as I mentioned, they were out of tiramisu! It’s real good stuff, and they must have had an “early bird” rush, but an Italian restaurant should never run out of tiramisu! Very disappointed, but I left the restaurant very full and happy with some leftover rolls and pasta for the next day.

Frankie’s Italian Kitchen – 5538 Reseda Blvd. Tarzana, CA 91356 (818) 705-1295
and 267 N. Pass Ave. Burbank, CA 91505 (818) 567-2288  www.frankiesonline.com
Hours: Mon – Thurs 11am – 9:30pm Fri – Sat 11am – 10pm Sun 4pm – 9pm

 

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Joy Flavor Summer Brunch at Madera Kitchen in Hollywood

Joy Flavor Summer Brunch

I got invited to a “Tasting Party” at Madera Kitchen in Hollywood!

Thursday, noon, Hollywood, Cahuenga & Franklin, street parking!

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen on Cahuenga Blvd in Hollywood

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They offered hosted valet, which is always great, but I found a spot on Franklin and walked half a block to the restaurant. The party was called for noon, so I arrived at noon.

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – pretty flower centerpieces on the tables

They weren’t quite ready at noon, and I discovered it was also a tasting party for Joy Flavor, a flavored vaping oil company. The patio was set for a lot of people and they were setting up the vape table, with hand held vape pens filled with Joy Flavor oils.

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – setting up the umbrella on the patio

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Patio dining with a few other “on time” guests.

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Patio

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Joy Flavor vaping oil tasting table

It was warm and humid on the patio (because the enclosure has no breeze or air flow and the sunroof is transparent), so I went inside and sat at the bar where it was cooler. They gave me 2 drink tickets, which I redeemed for Toast vodka & pineapple juice cocktails made by Tiffany, the beautiful and friendly bartender. I asked her if she wanted to make small talk and she said yes. We talked about where she was from, Arizona, her music, Urban Pop, China, her cute dogs, her tattoos and the two featured drinks they were offering at the brunch while I was waiting for the food.

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Tiffany tending the Bar inside

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Brunch at Madera Kitchen – Toast vodka and pineapple juice cocktail

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – the Bar inside

They were offering these featured drinks. Tiffany gave me a taste of the Blue Coup, which was too sweet for me, and then we discussed the pros and cons of lavender in a cocktail. (Tastes like the way my Grandma used to smell…I am not a fan of lavender in my drink)

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – featured drinks for the event

They have an interesting drink menu and a selection of wines by the glass and beer on tap in addition to their full bar. I originally wanted a Bloody Mary to drink, but there wasn’t any mix on Thursday although they have them for brunch on the weekend. I was also disappointed that they don’t have Stolichnaya vodka.

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Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Drinks, Wines and Beer menu

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Try the wine.

The interior is an open “L” shaped space with simple decor. the bar runs the length of the long wall and the dining/seating area is furnished with booth seating and movable tables and chairs.

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen

Because this is Los Angeles, when you call an event for noon, most people show up at 1:30 or later. So there was a long time waiting before the food was served and it wasn’t very crowded for the first hour and a half. They served the dishes “family style”, and I shared the food plates with one other person.

On the Menu:

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Blueberry pancakes with orange curd, berries and whipped cream fraiche:

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Crepes a la Carbonara with applewood smoked bacon, crepe linguini, cream, topped with egg yolk and pecorino:

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Endive Salad with arugula, candied pistachios, blood orange, buttermilk and blue cheese

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Cinnamon Donuts on a bed of marscapone and mixed berry sauce:

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

Brunch at Madera Kitchen

The food was good. I enjoyed the pancakes, pasta and donuts very much. I’m not a big fan of arugula or blue cheese, so the salad not so much. But it was a nice salad if you like the ingredients and my new dining friend said that it was good.

When I received the invite, I thought it was a promotional event for the restaurant. Surprise! Turns out it was also a promotional event for JOY FLAVOR! Flavored vaping oils in many different fun flavors!

Now the disclaimer: I don’t vape. I’m fine with you vaping if you want to. I’m fine with you vaping flavored oils with or without tobacco. I hate cigarettes! I hate cigarette smoke! Vaping is “reasonable” alternative to cigarettes, if you think so.

So, Joy Flavor set up a vaping oil tasting table, with vaporizers filled with the different flavors that had removable plastic “nipples” for each taster. However, it appeared to be a communal sharing event with the vape pens being handled and sampled by a lot of people. I decided not to partake in the vaping, but I did take pictures.

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Joy Flavor assortment of flavored gaping oils

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Joy flavor tasting table with vaping pens, “nipples” and promo swag

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Joy Flavor vaping oil tasting table

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Joy Flavor vaping oil tasting table

And they were nice and gave everyone a gift bag! There were three little bottles of Joy Flavor flavored vaping oil, 2 promo swag key rings and a promo t-shirt in the promo bag.

Madera Kitchen

Madera Kitchen – Joy Flavor gift bag

It was a nice lunch. A couple free drinks. I met some nice people and was introduced to Madera Kitchen, Joy Flavor and the PR Company that produced the event. I had a good time and it was a pleasant way to spend a Thursday afternoon.

NOTE: I want to go back and try their regular dinner menu.

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After the 4th of July…Midsummer’s Daydream and Dinner at CPK!

I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July holiday weekend!

Fireworks! Celebrate America with explosives!

Fireworks! Celebrate America with explosives!

Family, Friends, Food, and Fireworks! Did you BBQ?

We had a small family barbecue dinner at home in the valley. Chose not to travel this holiday weekend and happy with that choice. I was invited to a big street party in Hawthorne on the other side of LAX that sounded fun, but it was a drive down the 405 freeway and it’s a Highway Patrol “maximum enforcement” weekend. Also, I don’t like to leave my dogs alone after dark on the 4th of July for obvious reasons.

On The Menu: Hamburger, chicken sausage on a bun, dill pickle, avocado, tortilla chips, sweet potato tortilla chips, sea salt & vinegar potato chips, watermelon and a coke. And then a giant fruit tart cake for dessert.

4th of July BBQ (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

4th of July BBQ (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

There was also a selection of olives, macaroni salad, and potato salad.

4th of July dessert - giant fruit tart cake (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

4th of July dessert – giant fruit tart cake (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I wasn’t happy with the hamburger, so I got busy later after midnight and made a double cheeseburger with turkey bacon.

Today was the Monday after the weekend, a day to recover from the celebration, and then dinner at CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) again. Enjoyed a very nice dinner at the same restaurant last week, and had a coupon good on our next visit, so we went back again tonight.

On The Menu tonight: 1/2 of a Chinese chicken salad and a Hawaiian pizza with pepperoni, sourdough bread and a frozen mango lemonade.

Drink - Frozen Mango Lemonade (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

New Drink – Frozen Mango Lemonade (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Tried the frozen mango lemonade last week and it was cold fruity goodness! So I had it again, but decided to have different food items.

Hawaiian Pizza with pepperoni (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at CPK – Hawaiian Pizza with pepperoni (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

On The Menu last week: 1/2 of a BBQ chopped chicken salad and a BBQ chicken pizza (no cilantro and light onion), sourdough bread and a frozen mango lemonade.

CPK - Sourdough bread (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

CPK – New AND MUCH IMPROVED Sourdough bread (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They recently replaced the dry white bread and butter with fresh baked sourdough bread and oil. It is such an improvement! Something that doesn’t seem like a big deal, really changes the dining experience.

CPK - 1/2 BBQ chopped chicken salad w/avocado (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at CPK – 1/2 BBQ chopped chicken salad w/avocado (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

CPK - BBQ Chicken Pizza no cilantro (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at CPK – BBQ Chicken Pizza no cilantro & light onion (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

CPKCalifornia Pizza Kitchen (many locations in Southern California)

Currently working on Blogs for World Cup USA ’94 (here’s a teaser pic):

World Cup USA '94

World Cup USA ’94 Pins – USA, Brazil and Italy; Gold and Regular USA ’94 & Los Angeles ’94

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LAX - Theme Building (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

LAX – Los Angeles International Airport Theme Building (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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Dinner at Gyoro Gyoro Izakaya Japonaise Encino

Dinner at Gyoro Gyoro Izakaya Japonaise Encino

We were going for dinner tonight at Sushi Hirosuke and instead found this sad news taped to the door:

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Sad News! Sushi Hirosuke RIP (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

My friend Hiro, the sushi chef, opened this place in the early 90s and we used to have dinner here twice a week. He sold it to a nice couple who ran it for a long time. It was a good place, not great, but it was reasonably priced, local, and always good enough.

My friend Hiro-san now owns the amazingly awesome Sushi Ichiban Kan in Tarzana (you can read about it and see the pictures in my previous blogs).

There’s a lot of sushi competition in the neighborhood! On Ventura Boulevard, between Sepulveda and Reseda, there are more than fourteen sushi restaurants: Katsu-ya, Midori, Yamato, Benihana’s, Okamura, Cho Cho San, Dancing Wasabi, Octopus, Four on Six, Sushi Ajito, Crazy Tokyo, Sushi Tsune, Makoto, and our new destination for dinner Gyoro Gyoro Izakaya Japonaise Encino.

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro Izakaya Japonaise Encino (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Upstairs in the mall where they shot “The 40 Year Old Virgin” is a new Japanese restaurant. I had heard nice things about it, but this was my very first time dining there. Ride the escalator or elevator to the third floor, enter the restaurant and enjoy the asian food and drink experience.

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

The Bar of Tokyo at Gyoro Gyoro Izakaya Japonaise has a great selection of sake and a full bar! They have a Happy Hour menu and specials from 3-6:30pm and after 10:30pm.

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Bar of Tokyo (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Bar of Tokyo (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Bar of Tokyo (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Bar of Tokyo: Great Selection of Sake!(copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Bar of Tokyo: Beers on draft. (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Restaurant!

Tuesday at 7pm, the place was empty. When you enter through the restaurant you are greeted at the Host Desk by the Giant Face seen below.  There’s a glass enclosed covered patio with a nice view of Ventura Blvd, the Sushi Bar area and a Dining Room area. We sat inside in a booth, which was too low for the table, wasn’t very comfortable for my back, and felt very cramped and claustrophobic. I did have a view of the glass enclosed kitchen, but could only see the grill from where I was seated. 

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Welcome!  (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Sushi Bar (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Sushi Bar (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Patio Dining (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

 

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Kitchen & Grill enclosed in glass (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

It’s a very pretty restaurant, done in very modern Japanese design. We were seated, greeted and provided with drinks while we perused the menu and decided on our food choices. They have a massive menu with sushi, salads, rolls, entrees, sides, and desserts….and it’s very confusing. They also have an ala carte sushi and sushi roll menu and a yakitori menu with all kinds of traditional (chicken, beef, vegetables) and weird things (intestines, livers, and other parts) grilled on a skewer. Mark those menus with a pencil.

The prices are VERY REASONABLE!!! You can eat a lot of different things, share them, try stuff you might never try if you feel adventurous, and just have a really big meal Japanese meal for a good price. The drink prices are also GREAT!

ON THE MENU: hot sake, cucumber with sesame sunomono, grilled shishito pepper, avocado & negitoro (spicy tuna), fried calamari, spicy tuna roll, Wisconsin roll (salmon and crab), sushi – salmon, yellowtail and albacore, potstickers, chicken meatball and pork kalbi skewers and an iced green tea. We also ordered the live Uni pasta, roasted eggplant side, and a big Spicy Tuna and Rice bowl (we asked for brown rice, but got steamed white rice instead).

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Hot Sake! Large size! (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

 

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Cucumber with sesame sunomo (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – grilled shishito peppers (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – avocado and negitoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – fried calamari (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – chicken meatball and pork kalbi skewers (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – potstickers (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

 

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Wisconsin roll: salmon over crab (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – spicy tuna roll (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Sushi! Salmon, yellowtail and albacore. (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Everything was good! The fish was good quality, fresh and tasty. The cooked stuff was also done right. The fried calamari was excellent! I also enjoyed the spicy tuna dishes quite a bit. The avocado and negitoro was a good choice. Next time I’ll have the pork kalbi salted instead of sauced and forget about the cucumber and sesame sunomono.

They’re open late weeknights, and really late on Fridays and Saturdays, so I might have to go back soon….

Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro – Enjoying my dinner! Tasty Japanese Goodness! (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

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Gyoro Gyoro (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Into the Sunset on Ventura Boulevard…Time to Blog This. (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Gyoro Gyoro Izakaya Japonaise – 17401 Ventura Blvd., B21, Encino, CA 91316 http://www.otootorestaurant.comhttp://www.ramla.net

 

Delicious Fried Chicken for Lunch at Sadie Kitchen in Hollywood!

I met Megan at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer and was invited to come for Lunch at Sadie Kitchen in Hollywood!  It’s a relatively new restaurant and they just started lunch service.  They are open Sunday-Wednesday until 10pm and Thursday-Saturday until 11pm.  They also do private and event catering.  After dining there today, I would definitely recommend this restaurant!

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

They are on Las Palmas in the heart of Hollywood.  Walking distance from Hollywood and Highland, the Arclight, Amoeba and other point of interest.  It’s a beautiful space.  The bar is warm and dark but very large and comfortable.  Giovanni is a master mixologist and the bar menu compliments the specialty drinks and spirits.  I did not have a cocktail at lunch, but the list of drinks was intriguing…check their website.

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Happy Hour is Tuesday-Friday 6-8pm with special food and drink pricing.  They also have a great selection of wine, and on Tuesdays they have a 50% off select bottle and wine by the glass special.

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

They have a huge covered dining patio with retractable roof that is also available for public and private events.

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

And they have a separate “Speakeasy” Parlor Room Bar with a separate entrance that hosts guest DJs, bartenders and private events.  The property is also available for rent as a location for filming.

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The food was great and the menu had a terrific selection of appealing items.  We skipped the appetizers and I had the fried chicken (substituted the amazing fennel salted fries for the whipped potatoes and grilled vegetables for the kale).

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Megan had the Caesar salad with shrimp (and picked out the anchovies):

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

We shared a huge side of real cheesy mac & cheese (there was more than half left over, so I took it home with me):

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

FREE PARKING FOR LUNCH!  Metered street parking on Las Palmas for $2 per hour when available or lot parking for $10 all day.

Sadie Kitchen - Hollywood, CA

Sadie Kitchen – Hollywood, CA  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

NOTE: Patrick Dougherty, the General Manager, was with the Hotel BelAir for many years and definitely knows how to deliver a great dining experience.  Next time you’re in Hollywood, it’s worth stopping in for a drink, lunch or dinner!  Tell them I sent you.

Sadie Kitchen in Hollywood – 1638 N. Las Palmas Ave, LA, CA, 90028 (just north of Hollywood Blvd, 2 blocks east of Highland)  www.sadiela.com

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