Dinner at the Lakeside Cafe in Encino

Dinner at the Lakeside Cafe in Encino, California

NOTE: This Blog is still under construction!
Once again wordpress is acting weird, so we published before the Blog was finished!

17553430_1750226115003947_5992668460233735471_n

Dinner at the Lakeside Cafe in Encino, California

It’s Thursday night and let’s go out to dinner!
Chinese? Japanese? Deli? Where do you want to go?
I don’t know, someplace different.
Okay, ….

How about the Lakeside Cafe in Encino?

We went there one time for dinner a long time ago, it was soon after they opened in the old El Torito building on Ventura Boulevard (just east of Balboa Blvd) adjacent to Los Encinos State Historic Park with a fantastic view of the lake.

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!

El Torito Mexican restaurant had been in the same space for years and was an Encino “constant”! After they closed, a couple of other restaurant/bar/club ventures tried to make a “go” of it and failed. And now the tenant is the Lakeside Cafe, a combination coffee house and bar-restaurant and now also a performance space with live jazz and other music.

Unknown

El Torito Mexican Restaurant

We went there just for dinner at about 6:30pm. They have Valet Parking for $3.00 in a lot off Ventura and there’s metered street parking that operates 8am-8pm everyday except Sunday. We found a spot on the street and entered through the Valet lot entrance (there’s also an entrance on Ventura).

 

The “Front-of-House” on Ventura is set up like a coffee house.

17553894_1750421014984457_3165210809442707834_n

Lakeside Cafe “Front-of-House” on Ventura Blvd – Coffee House

 

You can enter the restaurant from Ventura Blvd through the coffee house area and center room. There is additional inside table seating here away from the bar area.

17498617_1750420948317797_5537445680967121258_n

Lakeside Cafe Center Room, Host Desk Entrance from Valet Lot, Additional Indoor Tables and the Waiting Area as seen from Coffee House side

If you enter through the Valet lot you walk into the center room and arrive at the Host desk and the waiting area. There are couches, a coffee table and benches for additional seating against the wall.

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!

There is a side guest table as well. Would you care for some literature?

Sunday Brunch, Happy Hour 3pm-6pm, Live Jazz on Saturdays and the Catering Menu are featured on the promotional material available on the guest table, on your table and inside the menu. Quality marketing and promotion is good business (direct to customer inside the restaurant).

The Dining Room, the Bar and the Outdoor Deck Patio on the Lake

The restaurant’s dining room is open to the elements because of the outdoor seating and deck. It was a lovely evening, the doors were open, but as the sun set it got cooler, and then colder due to its location on the lake. We knew this was inevitable and we decided to sit inside the bar area dining room away from the doors when we arrived.

There was a good crowd, but it wasn’t too crowded when we arrived. They have it set up as a “cafe” with wood 4-top tables and nice chairs in the dining room. On our previous visit we sat at a bar table on tall stools and it was not comfortable. The dining areas are wide open, so it has a cafeteria vibe where you’re eating with everyone in the room. Also, there are only hard surfaces indoors (wood floor and glass windows), so it gets really loud inside even when it’s not crowded. I would not recommend trying to have a romantic dinner inside, although it might be nice place for a rendezvous outside during the afternoon or on a warm summer night.

There is a small covered outdoor deck patio, which is separate from the other outdoor seating by the lake. It would be nice for having a small private cocktail or dinner party.

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!

They have a very nice bar, unfortunately it takes up a lot of space in the Dining Room area, and makes the dining room part of the bar area, adding a lot of traffic and noise to the room.

NOTE: There is a DISCLAIMER NOTICE in the menu!

 

 

Outdoor Seating – Dining Al Fresco on the Lake!

17522925_1750423678317524_4314494268316633182_n

The Lake and the Dining Room Entrance from the Outdoor Seating Area

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!

There’s outdoor seating by the lake, which is a beautiful place to dine al fresco on a warm San Fernando Valley day or night. Be sure to read the Disclaimer in the menu though!

The Dinner Menu and Bar Offerings:

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!

Cocktails $12?
It’s a nice place, but they have “westside” prices in the heart of the valley!
The food was good, but their food items and drinks are expensive compared to many other neighborhood restaurants, which is probably the reason we haven’t been back since the first time we ate here. We most likely would have ordered drinks otherwise.

On The Menu: fried calamari, a Santa Fe salad, fettucine chicken alfredo and a coke

The calamari was excellent, lightly fried and crispy/chewy! The Santa Fe salad was good, but The Cheesecake Factory’s salad dressing is the standard to which all other Santa Fe salads are compared. This one “not as good”. And the fettucine chicken alfredo was tasty, but just a little bland. The thin sliced chicken and pasta was cooked perfectly, which is sometimes hard to accomplish with a pasta sauce. The service was only okay, it was a little scattered and could have and should have been better. Our entrees arrived pretty soon after the appetizer (while we were still eating the calamari), which is good for fast service, but bad in relation to “timing the meal”. Nothing to really be upset about though.

According to the literature, they have Sunday Brunch and Happy Hour at the bar 3pm-6pm. They have live music on Saturdays and they do catering too.

Here’s their Catering Menu:

17634721_1750539641639261_3506587500040010881_n

Lakeside Cafe Catering Menu

Lakeside Cafe16817 Ventura Blvd., Encino, California 91436
818-616-2430  www.lakesidecafe.com @LakesideEncino

Read our previous Blog Los Encinos Park

Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!
RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE> http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com
LIKE & FRIEND us on Facebook> http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel
FOLLOW us on Periscope> http://www.periscope.tv/joshwilltravel
FOLLOW us on Twitter> http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW OUR YOUTUBE PAGE!>
The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP3QQfRTfD-2eABWVd-JwQ

17626616_1750539644972594_632088910837369742_n

Visit & Win at the Lakeside Cafe!

Cooking With Kenny Rogers!

COOKING WITH KENNY ROGERS!


A DOLE COOKBOOK with Food & Drink Recipes:

11222628_1145652082128023_1665311667222536571_n

The cookbook was a thrift store find!
Cool “All- American” recipes from “The Gambler”
(sorry, they’re not in order and just camera pics of some of the 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!

kenny_rogers_gambler_vinyl_record_1024x1024

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away And know when to run
You never count your money When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for counting When the dealin’s done.”


Untitled-1

Kenny Rogers’ Roasters Cornbread Muffins Recipe:

screen-shot-2016-04-13-at-2-55-32-pm


KENNY ROGERS ROASTERS FIRE-AND-ICE CHILI

1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks in syrup
2 pounds lean boneless pork roast cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion chopped (1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic minced
1 28-ounce can tomatoes cut up
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 4-ounce can diced green chili peppers drained
1 green pepper chopped 3/4 cup)
1 medium yellow onion chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 3 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Chili toppers: sliced onions, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese.

Directions:
1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice.
2. In a Dutch oven, cook pork, half at a time, in hot olive oil till brown. Return all the meat to the pot. Add the first chopped onion and 1 clove garlic. Cook over medium heat till onion is tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the reserved pineapple syrup, undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, green chili peppers, the green pepper, 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, chili powder, cumin, jalapeno pepper and salt.
4. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer the chili for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the pineapple chunks. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes more.
5. Let diners add their own toppers. Makes 8 to 10 servings. Note: To increase the spiciness of the chili, add 2 more tablespoons of the jalapeno pepper.


screen-shot-2012-01-24-at-9-08-22-am


KENNY ROGERS BARBECUE SAUCE:

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1/3 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons bottled red hot sauce

Directions:
Add all ingredients in order as listed into a blender.
Blend with on/off speed on high until very smooth.
Cook on stove over medium high heat until thickened.
Remove from heat and cool until lukewarm.
Refrigerate in covered container to use within a few weeks
or freeze to use within a few months.
(If desired you can add a few drops of red food coloring).

KENNY ROGERS ROASTERS BBQ SAUCE:

Ingredients:
1 cup Applesauce
1/2 cup Heinz ketchup
1-1/4 cups Light brown sugar, packed
6 tablespoons Lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon.

Directions:
In heavy saucepan add all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil.
Stir constantly about 4 to 5 minutes.
Turn heat to low and continue to stir (3 to 5 minutes) so sugar is completely dissolved.
Allow to cook without stirring for 15 minutes on lowest possible heat, uncovered.
Transfer to top of double boiler over simmering water if using as a basting sauce for ribs or chicken during baking; or cool sauce and refrigerate covered to use in 30 days.
This BBQ Sauce freezes well.

NOTE: The first Kenny Rogers Roasters Restaurant opened in Coral Spring, Florida in August of 1991. The last Kenny Rogers Roasters Restaurant in North America was located in the Ontario Mills Mall in Ontario, California. It closed December 31, 2011.

In April of 2008, Berjaya Corp Berhad (BCorp), a Malaysia-based corporation, wholly owned subsidiary of ROASTERS Asia Pacific and master franchise for Kenny Rogers ROASTERS fully acquired the chain’s parent company, US-based Nathan’s Famous Inc.
Berjaya Food Berhad (“BFood”) incorporated in Malaysia in October, 2009 and was converted into a public limited company in December, 2009. In May of 2010, the Berjaya Group Berhad was added to the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Malaysia Index. BFood was listed on The Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad in March, 2011.

Kenny Rogers’ Roasters Restaurant Locations in Asia: http://www.kennyrogersroasters.com/branch.shtml

 


the-gambler-the-adventure-continues1-cover

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

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

More Fun Recipes
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6Y3

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

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

16143040_1411231772240560_905888399999208527_n

Recording “We Are The World” A&M Studios Los Angeles Jan 28, 1985 [AP photo]

Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

LIKE us on Facebook> http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel

FOLLOW us on Twitter and Periscope> http://www.periscope.tv/joshwilltravel

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE> http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW OUR YOUTUBE PAGE!>

The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!>
(And our Periscope videos from Katch are now posted on YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP3QQfRTfD-2eABWVd-JwQ

http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel

Everyone knows his song “The Gambler”
so please enjoy an earlier hit from way-wayback:

Kenny Rogers and The First Edition
“Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”

Lip-synced performance from the “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” television show:

Live Vocal (with canned music) performance for television 1968:

Live Performance from the “Kenny Rogers Rollin’ On The River” television show and the “Remember the 70’s” DVD:

“Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”
written by Mickey Newbury and first recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis in 1967

(Yeah, yeah, oh, yeah) / (What condition my condition was in)

I woke up this mornin’ with the sundown shinin’ in.
I found my mind in a brown paper bag within.
I tripped on a cloud and fell-a eight miles high
I tore my mind on a jagged sky.
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.

(Yeah, yeah, oh, yeah) / (What condition my condition was in)

I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in.
I watched myself crawlin’ out as I was a-crawlin’ in.
I got up so tight I couldn’t unwind,
I saw so much I broke my mind.
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.

(Yeah, yeah, oh, yeah) / (What condition my condition was in)

Someone painted “April Fool” in big black letters on a “Dead End” sign.
I had my foot on the gas as I left the road and blew out my mind.
Eight miles outta Memphis and I got no spare,
Eight miles straight up downtown somewhere.
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.

(Yeah, yeah, oh, yeah…)

Produced by Mike Post. Some top studio musicians including Glen Campbell and Hal Blaine played the backing music and Post used effects, like phasing and backward mastering innovated by The Beatles, to give the song the psychedelic sound of the 60’s. It was released in 1968 to lukewarm reception until it was performed (lip-synced in a psychedelic video) on the “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” television show.
The song hit #5 on the “Billboard Hot 100”.

“Gutterballs” dream from the film “The Big Lebowski” with the song as the soundtrack:

screen-shot-2015-02-06-at-7-13-22-am

“Far Out Man!”



 

Mother’s Day Sunday Brunch at The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks

Mother’s Day Sunday Brunch at The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Let’s have a Brunch Party!

1915762_1349815145045048_5422840456979275897_n

Sunday Brunch on Mother’s Day in Sherman Oaks in the beautiful San Fernando Valley at The Hamburger Hamlet was a very good choice! We didn’t make the reservation, our sister did through the Open Table website. We arrived at the restaurant at the appointed time and parked the car in the large lot behind the building on Moorpark. There’s a $4.00 flat fee for parking on Saturday and Sunday that will be refunded with a validation on a yellow ticket (not a white ticket) before leaving the lot. There is also metered street parking with limited availability on Van Nuys Blvd and other neighborhood streets.

13130877_1385037321522830_370186324746223663_o

Sunday Brunch at The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks

13131529_1385037314856164_4240699959633722976_o

Sunday Brunch at The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks

From the Hamburger Hamlet website:

WE WELCOME YOU TO THE HAMBURGER HAMLET

LIKE MANY OF US WHO GREW UP IN LOS ANGELES, THE HAMBURGER HAMLET PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILIES LIVES. FROM DINNER IN WESTWOOD BEFORE SEEING A MOVIE, TO SUNDAY BRUNCH IN BRENTWOOD, THE HAMBURGER HAMLET WAS ALWAYS A HOME AWAY FROM HOME KNOWN FOR SIMPLY MARVELOUS FOOD & DRINK.

OUR MEMORIES INCLUDE WATCHING A VERY DAPPER MAN NAMED HARRY LEWIS GO TABLE TO TABLE GREETING HIS GUESTS OR SEEING MARILYN LEWIS WORKING WITH THE STAFF AND ATTENDING TO THE GUESTS NEEDS. STILL FRESH IN OUR MEMORIES IS OUR FAVORITE BURGER PAIRED WITH A HAAGEN DAZS SHAKE, THE FAMOUS LOBSTER BISQUE AND THE APRICOT CHICKEN WINGS.

SO INSPIRED BY WHAT THE HAMBURGER HAMLET REPRESENTED, THAT WHEN WE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE OVER SUCH A HISTORIC BRAND, WE COULD NOT RESIST THE CHANCE TO BRING IT BACK TO THE PROUD TRADITION AND FOUNDATION CREATED BY YOUR FORMER HOSTS, HARRY AND MARILYN LEWIS AND PAY OUR RESPECTS TO WHAT THEY ACHIEVED.

WELCOME BACK!

YOUR HOSTS KEVIN MICHAELS AND BRETT DOHERTY

Welcome to The Hamburger Hamlet! There’s a lot of history behind this restaurant!

The first Hamburger Hamlet was opened in 1950 on Sunset Blvd. At its peak the chain grew to 24 restaurants in multiple states. The Lewis family sold the sit-down chain for $29.2 million after opening Kate Mantilini in 1987. The owner Hamlet Group Inc. filed for bankruptcy on April 5, 2013.

The last remaining location in Sherman Oaks was acquired in 2014 and remodeled in 2015 by Killer Shrimp’s Kevin Michaels and Brett Doherty. They have refreshed the menu with brand new items and still feature the popular items that people loved growing up in Los Angeles.

hamburger-hamlet-old-sign-300x225

FLASHBACK!

The interior of the restaurant was extensively remodeled, and the famous red leather booths and chairs are no longer available…but there is still something familiar about the redesign.

There are many pictures from the history of The Hamburger Hamlet restaurant chain on the walls, which is a really nice touch. Many Angelenos have great memories of the restaurants and their menu dishes. Mine are of family experiences growing up: lunch with my Grandmother on Sunset Blvd (her office was across the street in the Union Bank building and they knew her by name), going there for special occasions, and parties and dinners at the locations in Sherman Oaks, Hollywood and Brentwood.

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

And so it seemed appropriate for Mother’s Day that we revisit the location on Van Nuys Blvd which turned out to be a very good decision. As we drove to our destination, we passed packed restaurants on Ventura Blvd with people waiting outside to be seated (Marmalade Cafe, Blu Jam Cafe, The Cheesecake Factory at the Sherman Oaks Galleria, etc.). When we arrived at The Hamburger Hamlet there were empty tables and we were seated at our reserved table without having to wait.

13130930_1385037318189497_4086785131171416192_o

Have a Cocktail in The Bar at The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks

The remodel of the restaurant was very well done. The Bar is beautiful. The dark dining room of the past is now a large open space with lots of light and the kitchen area was given a major upgrade and is semi-open and dining room adjacent.

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

13116414_1385037411522821_5218578342847347841_o

Sunday Brunch at The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks

The Menu has also retained it’s history!  The still have the “signature” dishes along with some new items and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner all day.

NOTE: the Saturday and Sunday Brunch Menu is only available 9am-3pm on weekends.

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

On the Menu: 1/2 Caesar salad, cornbread, Hot Turkey Sandwich with steak fries, cranberry sauce & gravy and a Mr Pibb soda. Our table also ordered eggs benedict & hash browns, a club sandwich & salad, a Cobb salad with cornbread, an Arnold Palmer, grapefruit juice, bacon & eggs and pancakes.

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

The food was good. Classic American “comfort food” for brunch. The portions were large. The service was good, but slowed down as they got busier. The prices were reasonable (entrees are in the $13-$26 price range) and there wasn’t a “Mother’s Day Menu” or price increase because of the holiday which was particularly nice. We enjoyed our food, the memories, the brunch experience and Mom had a very good time!

The Hamburger Hamlet4419 Van Nuys Blvd (at Moorpark), Sherman Oaks CA 91403
http://www.hamburgerhamlet.com 818-784-1183

Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 10pm and Friday: 11:30am – 12am
Saturday: 9am – 12am and Sunday: 9am – 10pm

Most photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

Our Periscope videos from Katch are now on YouTube:

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW OUR YOUTUBE PAGE!>

The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP3QQfRTfD-2eABWVd-JwQ

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel | http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel
http://www.periscope.tv/joshwilltravel

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE: http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

13173073_1385034808189748_7888665785737832426_o

Harry Lewis’ Picture on the Wall at The Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks

13076918_1385626464797249_6610375825932952855_n

Harry Lewis at The Hamburger Hamlet Brentwood

————————————————————————

13124615_1385626534797242_2141348855075364371_n

Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Inventions!

p.s. We really miss Hamptons Hollywood Cafe on Highland and the Old World Restaurant in Westwood, both offered the upscale hamburger experience in Los Angeles.

Taco Tuesday! Dinner at El Torito Mexican Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

Taco Tuesday! Mexican food at El Torito in Sherman Oaks.

Thinking about chips and salsa! We hit up the El Torito Mexican Restaurant at Ventura blvd and Van Nuys blvd. There’s a parking lot that’s always full, valet parking and (TIP) street parking available. If you get lucky, you’ll find a parking space in the lot. If you’re smart you’ll find street parking at a meter on Ventura blvd, Moorpark street or Van Nuys blvd.

12803123_1332033286823234_1947675925421485635_n

Mexican Food at El Torito Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

Enter through the double doors and into the reception area. There’s a Taco Bar (and Lunch and Brunch) Buffet area and a hallway to the restrooms on the left. The Bar is ahead of you behind the hostess desk and the large dining room divided into three areas is to the right.

983631_1332798676746695_1465577642849136492_n

Dinner at El Torito Mexican Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

The Bar is usually busy, and on Tuesdays it is really crowded because of the Taco Tuesday $1.99 Taco special (It used to be $1.00) and the Taco Bar spread which is only available in the Bar area. It’s also very loud with music and conversation, so we decided on the regular menu and a comfortable booth in a quiet corner of the center dining room.

12802699_1332033296823233_6943918907687785246_n

At the Bar at El Torito in Sherman Oaks

The Bar is pretty fun if you can find a seat. They have beer, wine and spirits. Usually there’s a tequila drink (margarita) on special or it’s “happy hour” and there’s always a game on the televisions and loud music playing.

Besides the Taco special and Taco Bar Buffet, they have a Bar Menu with appetizers and small plates and you can order off the regular menu in the Bar area as well.

12803317_1332033283489901_7346323494861486931_n

Taco Tuesday! The Taco Bar Buffet at El Torito in Sherman Oaks

I haven’t tried the lunch buffet or Saturday/Sunday brunch in a long time, but it’s a pretty good value and a they have a lot of different choices available. A Mexican food buffet is always pretty good! Tacos, burrito makings, fajitas, enchiladas, tamales, rice, beans, desserts, fruit, salads, soups, salsas and more; and then breakfast foods, menudo, juices and pastries for the weekend Brunch buffets.

12805696_1332798526746710_3904718354279898793_n

Center Dining Room at El Torito Mexican Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

The Dining Room is large and spacious, and divided into three areas. There are tables and large booths available. The menu is traditional Mexican (gringo-style) fare, but they recently upgraded the recipes and the food is very tasty and you get a lot of it!

12801436_1332033293489900_5471738380435354025_n

Mexican Food at El Torito in Sherman Oaks

Drinks from the Bar and all kinds of fun cocktails are available at your table too!

12814373_1332033180156578_5540016736480372499_n

Drinks on the Menu at El Torito in Sherman Oaks

On the Menu: Chips & salsa, Fiesta platter (nachos, beef flautas, chicken wings and a cheese quesadilla), Macho Combo (chicken burrito, beef taco, tamale & chile relleño with rice, beans and sweet corn cake) and a shot of Silver tequila with lime.

12800379_1332033190156577_2391752826643527640_n

Warm Tortilla Chips & Roasted Pepper Salsa

The chips are made fresh and served warm with roasted pepper salsa. They’ll make fresh guacamole at your table if you order it. They have a good selection of appetizers, entrees and ala carte items. Not so much on dessert, only deep fried ice cream, flan and a tres leches cake. Free refills on soda and most other beverages and more chips and salsa too.

12795519_1332033193489910_7692760256847070779_n

Silver Tequila Shot with Lime(s)

12814598_1332033183489911_3564201059419799915_n

Fiesta Platter! Nachos, Beef Flautas, Chicken Wings & a Cheese Quesadilla

I recommend the Fiesta Platter to start. Eat the nachos and chicken wings, take home the quesadilla and flautas. Then order a Macho Combo (your choice of four items) with rice, beans and sweet corn cake. Eat what you can and take home the rest for tomorrow.

12809568_1332033176823245_8682679742221748254_n

Macho Combo! Beef Taco, Tamale, Chicken Burrito, Chile Relleño, Rice & Beans

10391729_1332798186746744_4464861601280493026_n

Happy Birthday! Mexican Birthday Song at El Torito Restaurant!

It wasn’t my birthday, but the waitstaff came over and sang to the table next to ours so I got a nice picture. The service was excellent! I didn’t have to look around for our waiter because he was checking in with us regularly. When I finished the coke, he was right there asking “would you like a refill?”. Every request was handle promptly and the Manager even came by to ask how everything was.

The prices are reasonable. The Buffets and Specials are a pretty good value if you’re hungry and want to eat a lot of food. Drinks are also pretty reasonable and some of the drink specials are excellent! You get a lot of food and we even got a AAA discount on the check!

It was a very good meal and a pleasant dining experience. Good food and lot of it. The service was excellent and it wasn’t too expensive. A Very Happy Taco Tuesday!

El Torito Mexican RestaurantVentura Blvd (at Van Nuys Blvd) in Sherman Oaks

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel | http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel 
http://www.periscope.tv/joshwilltravel 

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE: http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com 

12809658_1332033290156567_4164313568304588918_n

El Torito Mexican Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

————————————————————

 

 

 

 

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Birthday Dinner at the “Old School” Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Serving the San Fernando Valley since 1947! This place is “Old School” 1950’s era dining at it’s finest and the restaurant’s atmosphere, decor and menu all follow this directive.

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

No valet parking here. Street parking is available, the meters run 8am-8pm everyday, except Sunday. Ready yourself for a “TIME WARP” dining experience!

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Welcome to the Valley Inn!

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Wall of Autographed Headshots!

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Chick Hearn & John Wooden Memorabilia!

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Tweety Bird (& the WB Animators)

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Antique Machine!

The Saloon Bar (order a martini or classic cocktail):

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – The “Old School” Saloon Bar (have a cocktail!)

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – The “Old School” Saloon Bar (have a martini!)

There are two public dining rooms, the John Wooden Board Room and the Main Dining Room, and there’s a private dining room in the back available for small parties.

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – John Wooden & Main Dining Rooms

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – John Wooden Board Room (Dining Room)

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Main Dining Room

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Fine Wine!

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Private Dining Room & Fine Wine Reserve

 

On The Menu: Fried calamari with marinara sauce, Boston clam chowder with soup crackers, Caesar salad, BBQ baby back ribs with wedge fries & coleslaw, bread & butter, a glass of red wine (Artesa Pinot Noir 2013), a coke and a hot fudge sundae for dessert.

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Red Wine! Artesa Pinot Noir 2013

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Fried Calamari with marinara sauce

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Boston Clam Chowder

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Caesar Salad

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – BBQ Baby Back Ribs w/Wedge Potatoes & Coleslaw

Dessert: Happy Birthday to me! A classic Hot Fudge Sundae!

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks – Hot Fudge Sundae

NOTE: The coffee machine was broken, so they could only offer us decaf…NO COFFEE! We were told they were having it fixed “tomorrow” but that didn’t help us at dinner.

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

The food is good, not great. The atmosphere is good if you like the “retro” dining experience. It’s not a cheap meal, market price for lobster here was $39 per pound.

I would not order the ribs again (they were lacking seasoning and not very good), instead I would have steak and/or lobster.

THE SERVICE NEEDS WORK!!!!! Our server didn’t smile once and seemed totally overworked, which is impossible for a restaurant this size, it was early, and it wasn’t very busy. The service was slow and her attention to detail and our needs while dining was lacking (to put it nicely). There’s a regular crowd that eats and drinks here, and they seem to get better attention/service.

We had a fun party and ate a lot of food. It was a nice dinner, but could have been so much better! Good service and proper attention to the service makes a big difference!

I won’t patronize establishments with poor service where I’m treated as a 2nd class citizen, especially at their prices.

All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel

Valley Inn Restaurant4557 Sherman Oaks Ave. Sherman Oaks 91403 (818)784-1163

Next time we’ll go back to Le Sanglier! Read the Blog> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-XM

 

http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravelhttp://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE:

http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

UPDATED November 25, 2018: Another Old School Steak Dinner at the Valley Inn!
We have been back and the experience was pretty much the same. We even sat in the same booth. It’s a big meal and a San Fernando Valley experience.
ON THE MENU: Ribeye steak (medium rare) with fries & veggies, fried calamari, salad with ranch dressing, bread & butter, a coke and a vanilla chocolate fudge sundae.
35656768_2298297793530107_1951002955930927104_n

Harvey’s Place in Ashland, Oregon

Harvey’s Place in Ashland, Oregon – Restaurant, Bar & Grill

I had breakfast at the Morning Glory on Sunday, and during a conversation with a very nice woman from Washington state who visits regularly, she said, “We love to come to Ashland to see what restaurants have gone, and what’s new in town.”

Last October, during my last visit, Harvey’s Place had been open for a short time, in the space on Main Street previously occupied by the French restaurant Chateaulin for many years. Owned and operated by the same great folks from Beasy’s on the Creek, it’s a very nice, new and upscale “bar & grill” concept downtown on the Plaza.

Harvey's Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey’s Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey's Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey’s Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey's Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey’s Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey's Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey’s Place in Ashland Oregon

They have Beer, many on tap, Wine, by the glass or bottle, and a full bar with daily specials if you need a cocktail, shot or other “adult beverage”.

Harvey's Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey’s Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey's Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey’s Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey's Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey’s Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey's Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey’s Place in Ashland Oregon

They have a very nice menu, a happy hour from 3-5:30pm daily and a late night menu from 9pm until they close (Sunday-Thursday at 10pm, Friday and Saturday at midnight).

Harvey's Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey’s Place in Ashland Oregon

I had a ticket to the theatre, and didn’t want to eat too much, but needed something good before going to the show. I settled on the “appetizer” size order (3) of Roy’s Ribs and just water to drink. Too much food and almost any alcohol before seeing a show just makes me sleepy during the performance. It didn’t take very long before my food was delivered. The ribs were terrific! Tasty and cooked perfectly, with a sweet and spicy, tangy sauce. I don’t know if it was intentional, but I was a little disappointed that the third rib was an end piece and more like a half rib, tucked under the two full sized ribs in the picture below. I mentioned it to my waitress, but decided not to make a big fuss about it.

Harvey's Place in Ashland Oregon - ROY'S RIBS!

Harvey’s Place in Ashland Oregon – ROY’S RIBS!

I thought about going back after the theatre and having more food and a cocktail when the show was over, but the place was almost empty and it was getting close to closing time.

NOTE: I was also still thinking about the short rib hidden on my appetizer plate, and that ended up being a deciding factor, which ultimately cost them my return patronage that night. I enjoyed the ribs and liked the menu and the concept. We know the owners, so I’ll probably eat there again on my next visit to Ashland.

Harvey's Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey’s Place in Ashland Oregon (Notice the “Tourist Tax” added to the check)

Bottom Line: Three ribs (actually two and a half) for $11 plus tax and tip? Do the math, that’s ~$5 per rib. So, I hope they’re still open next time I come to town…

All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel.

Harvey’s Place – 50 E Main St, Ashland OR 97520 (541)488-9511 http://www.harveysplaceashland.com

Beasy’s on the Creek – 51 Water St. Ashland OR 97520 (541)488-5009 www.beasysonthecreek.com

http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravelhttp://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE: http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

 

 

HOUSE OF CHAN Cookbook 1952 & New York City Restaurant

The HOUSE OF CHAN Cookbook from 1952

“Life, like a cookie jar, would soon be empty if you continued to accept the good things it offers and put in no good things in return.”

House of Chan Cookbook by Sou Chan 1952

HOUSE OF CHAN Cookbook by Sou Chan 1952

“Sou Chan, son of a poor Chinese farmer, came to America twenty years ago and found his first job as dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant. Today he owns the famous House of Chan, located in New York but known from coast to coast for its delicious oriental food and for the genial hospitality of its host.”

Sou Chan 1952

Sou Chan 1952

The book in very good condition was a $3 Goodwill Thrift Store find in Medford, Oregon!

Illustrations by Siu Lan Loh

HOUSE OF CHAN Drawings by Siu Lan Loh

See all of Siu Lan Loh’s Cookbook Illustrations
RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”>
http://chimericaneyes.blogspot.com/2014/11/siu-lan-lohs-cookbook-illustrations.html

HOUSE OF CHAN Menu from 1962 from the New York Public Library Archives:
(NOTE: A Martini, Manhattan or Daiquiri cost $0.80, yes EIGHTY CENTS!)
RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”>
http://menus.nypl.org/menu_pages/54145/explore

Ad from Feb 10, 1975

Ad from Feb 10, 1975

The HOUSE OF CHAN Restaurant was located at 52nd St and 7th Ave in New York City in the space now occupied by Rosie O’Grady’s.

House of Chan sign across the street from Columbia Records

HOUSE OF CHAN Sign across the street from Columbia Records (circled)

From the 1920’s to the 1950’s, 52nd Street between 5th Ave and 7th Ave was known as Swing Street and was home to a dozen of New York City’s best-known jazz clubs.

52nd St in the 50's - "Swing Street" New York City

52nd St in the 50’s – “Swing Street” New York City

That area of northern Times Square was also one of the centers of popular music from the 40’s to the 60’s. It was home to both the Brill Building (1619 B’way) and several other buildings (1650 B’way and 1697 B’way) which were jammed with offices and studios of music publishers and songwriters like Carole King, Leiber and Stroller, and Neil Sedaka.

House of Chan (from the Library of Congress archive)

House of Chan (from the Library of Congress archive) – Bar

House of Chan (from the Library of Congress archive)

House of Chan (from the Library of Congress archive)

House of Chan (from the Library of Congress archive)

House of Chan (from the Library of Congress archive)

House of Chan (from the Library of Congress archive)

House of Chan (from the Library of Congress archive)

House of Chan (from the Library of Congress archive)

House of Chan (from the Library of Congress archive) – main dining room

House of Chan (from the Library of Congress archive)

House of Chan (from the Library of Congress archive) – private dining room

House of Chan Ashtray

House of Chan Ashtray

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

 

Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

LIKE us on Facebook> http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel

FOLLOW us on Twitter and Periscope> http://www.periscope.tv/joshwilltravel

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE: http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW OUR YOUTUBE PAGE!>

The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!>
(And our Periscope videos from Katch are now posted on YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP3QQfRTfD-2eABWVd-JwQ

702959d0324a02c56c42f3a38b62d6f8

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving! Pictures From The Feast!

Happy Thanksgiving 2014!

NOTE: I’m posting this Blog on 12-14-14 and will reference it in my next Blog “12-13-14”

All Day Holiday Entertainment! NFL Football on Thanksgiving! 3 Games on Thursday! DETROIT LIONS v. Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys v. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, and SEATTLE SEAHAWKS v. San Francisco 49ers. (Winners are capitalized) There was also a Great Halftime show in Dallas with Pitbull, Neo and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders!

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Pitbull & Neo rock Dallas at Halftime with the Cowboy Cheerleaders!

Pictures from the Thanksgiving Feast! WARNING: The following pics of Good Food may cause you to salivate, drool and/or develop mild to severe hunger pains. You’ve been warned. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! The Dining Room Table is Set and Ready (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving dinner menu: Roast turkey with gravy, cranberry sauce, garlic mashed potato, corn pudding, candied yams, carrot & yam puree, 2 kinds of stuffing, asparagus, brussel sprouts, creamed spinach and home baked challah bread. Red wine, white wine, coke, cherry coke and coffee to drink.

Here are some pics of great holiday food:

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! The Feast! Dinner is Served! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! 25 Pound Turkey “Before” (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! 25 Pound Turkey – “After” (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! White Meat covered with seasoned skin (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Dark Meat (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Stuffing #1 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Stuffing #2 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Cranberries and Gravy (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Garlic Mashed Potato (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Candied Yams with pineapple topping (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Sweet Potato and Carrot Puree (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Corn Pudding (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Creamed Spinach (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Asparagus and Brussel Sprouts (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Home Baked Challah Bread (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Soda pop and Wine on both tables (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! The Feast! My Dinner Plate! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving Dessert menu: Apple-Pecan torte, Lemon cheesecake, Chocolate-mocha Parisian cake from Bea’s, Pumpkin cheesecake, 2 kinds of cookies, 2 kinds of fudge, and my sister’s Chocolate-Cherry bread pudding served with fresh made whipped cream.

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! The Desserts! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! The Desserts! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! 2 kinds of cookies, 2 kinds of fudge (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Pumpkin Cheesecake (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Upside Down Apple-Pecan Torte (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Lemon Cheesecake (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Chocolate Mocha Parisian Cake from Bea’s (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! Chocolate-Cherry Bread Pudding (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014! My Dessert Plate – Sweet! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

NOTE: I was going to bake a cherry cheesecake, but because I knew there would be enough dessert and due to a lack of “baking enthusiasm”, it did not happen.

I hope you enjoyed seeing this meal as much as I did eating it! And there were leftovers…

And then the “TURKEY COMA” followed by a nice nap. I was invited to another party, but had to send my regrets. Too full, too tired and too late. It was a wonderful day.

http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravelhttp://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel

RETURN TO JOSHWILLTRAVEL HOMEPAGE: http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com