Party at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica

A Very Special Dinner Party at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica!

27972773_2143206139039274_3743292648778138635_n

“To receive a guest is to take charge of their happiness
during the entire time they are under your roof.”
– Fernand Point

SATURDAY NIGHT’S ALRIGHT FOR DINING! And a Birthday Party for my Mom!

20180217_192800_resized

A fancy restaurant, a private dining room, 13 good friends and family, champagne, wine, great food, gifts, love, conversation and congratulation, and a good time was had by all!

Saturday evening, we had a 7:00pm reservation for a private dinner party at Melisse restaurant for my mother’s birthday. And it was “FABULOUS”!

We drove over the hill on the 405 freeway and down Wilshire boulevard to 11th Street in Santa Monica. Then we drove around for 15 minutes looking for a place to park before we finally gave up and valet parked in the lot behind the restaurant ($8.50 + tip).

28167057_2149012935125261_7319054963266330242_n

We were the last to arrive at 7:20pm, and because we were asked to take pictures, that was the first order of business after saying hello to everyone. The pictures of the party guests and the Guest of Honor, some pictures of the restaurant, and pictures of the excellent food came out pretty good. We were worried because it was dark in the private dining room and we chose to use the flash on our cheap LG phone even though we had brought our mini iPad camera.

“Melisse is both a two Michelin Star Award winning restaurant and the recipient of Zagats highly coveted top rated restaurant in Los Angeles since 2003.” – Open Table

“Simply superb in every way”, this “refined” “gastronomical wonder” in Santa Monica from Josiah Citrin “defines fine dining”with “inspired”“artful” French-American tasting menus and “spectacular” wine pairings – all “seamlessly” presented by an “intuitive”“world-class” staff in a “chic yet soothing” setting; prices are “not for the faint of heart”, but the “state of bliss” that ensues is “worth every penny.” – Zagat (4.8 out of 5)

28056815_2149017798458108_3131579638442172614_n

GOOGLE REVIEWS: 4.5 Stars! (141 reviews)
#38 on LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold’s 2017 “101 Best Restaurants” list.

Seasonal French-American cuisine!

We have eaten here before and it was one of the most amazing meals we have ever enjoyed! Read about in our Previous Blog post “Dinner at Melisse” (see the link below). And we were very excited about dining here for Mom’s “Big Birthday” party!
27867783_2143205975705957_2497282019141398637_n

On The Menu: 1993 Dom Perignon champagne, crab amuse bouche, egg caviar, Maine lobster, dry aged prime New York steak or Spanish turbot (fish), choice of fresh baked bread & butter, red & white wine, chocolate L’Opéra cake, lemon soufflé with fruit & vanilla ice cream and 4 different petit fors:

27971818_2143111705715384_4968926307388184167_n

A Vintage Vintage! 1993 Dom Perignon Champagne – Cheers!

Let’s begin with a Dom Perignon 1993 Champagne to toast the Guest of Honor!

We began with a champagne toast! Found a bottle of Dom Perignon vintage 1993 tucked away recently. Didn’t know if it would still be good after 25 years. Opened it for the party and it was excellent! So we toasted the Guest of Honor and then we made everyone pose for the “toast picture” (as seen above) taken by our Host.

20180217_192445

“On the nose, this wine opens with notes of red-fleshed peaches, rapidly evolving into cashew nuts and dried herbs. The aromatic experience finishes on a note of lightly toasted brioche. On the palate, it offers a host of well-orchestrated, precise and full-bodied tastes. The initial density becomes creamy, while the long finish ends on a note of glazed citrus fruit.” – Winemaker notes

The unique Dom Perignon style: a rich creamy mousse, fine bubbles, a spirited, crisp opening leading into a broad palette of aromas and tastes, the delicacy of substance itself. Each Cuvee Dom Perignon is cellar-aged for 6 to 8 years.

And then a bottle of fine Chardonnay (white wine) for the egg caviar and lobster courses.

NOTE: Melisse has a fantastic, world-class wine list, however the “Good Stuff” is very expensive (repeat, very expensive), so we brought our own bottles of wine and champagne and paid the corkage fee for each one we opened.

BIG THANKS TO CHEF JOSIE AND THE ENTIRE STAFF AT MELISSE! Everything was excellent. The food was 5 star quality and cooked perfectly. And the service was done with professional precision and attention to detail not found in most restaurants.

NOTE: The red wine, a Pra’ Amarone della Valpolicella (aka Amarone) is a rich Italian dry red wine made from the partially dried Corvina Rondinella grapes and other red grape varieties. Valpolicella is located in the province of Verona, in the Veneto region near Venice. Italy.

“Dark ruby. Very refined nose offers aromas and flavors of spicy dark plum, chocolate-covered cherry and minerals, lifted by strong floral accents (especially lavender and peony). Multilayered and very suave, boasting a long and tactile finish, leaving behind a strong impression of grace and refinement. A very elegant, smooth Amarone of noteworthy depth and complexity but also impeccable balance (you can’t tell this clocks in at 16.5% alcohol).” – Ian D’Agata, Vinous (scored a rating of 94)

Read our Previous Blog post “Dinner at Melisse”
(Right click and “Open in New Window”> https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/dinner-at-melisse/

Melisse Restaurant1104 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401 melisse.com

72ZGMYEQDFFOFAXN35TL6Q2P3Y

Chef Josiah Citrin, in his Santa Monica restaurant Mélisse. Citrin is celebrating Mélisse’s 15 year anniversary in 2014 (photo by Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times)

NOTE: A meal at Melisse is a real dining experience and it’s expensive! $$$$$
If you can afford it, we recommend this restaurant as a destination in Los Angeles. The menu changes constantly and they have different tasting and course menus available.

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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

20180217_193207

NOTE: The photo of Sammy Davis Jr. and Gregory Hines is a fantastic gift!

28168352_2144051815621373_6316986208065970842_n

405 Freeway north into the Sepulveda Pass at night

Advertisements

There is a BLACK BEAR DINER in the San Fernando Valley!

Yes! There is a BLACK BEAR DINER in the San Fernando Valley!

26734143_2094980513861837_397897210065676027_n

The Black Bear Diner in Tarzana, California

We were tired, hungry and driving down Ventura Boulevard last week, when much to our surprise and amazement, there was a Black Bear Diner in Tarzana!

Located in the space previously occupied by CoCo’s, Season’s and Bob’s Big Boy in Tarzana Square on Ventura Blvd just east of Reseda Blvd, we have a Black Bear Diner!

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!

 

We are a big fan of the Black Bear Diner and enjoy eating at the restaurant in Medford, Oregon when we are visiting in Ashland. They are located in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and there’s also one in Midwest City, Oklahoma. They are currently adding new locations and will soon be opening in Katy, Texas (according to their website).

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!

 

We were so happy to see a Black Bear Dinner in the Valley and to have an easy decision on where to eat dinner. We pulled right into the parking lot and started taking pictures for this Blog Post. It was late and after the dinner rush and not very crowded at all. There were people at about 40% of the tables and they were mostly finishing up. The counter was empty and we chose to sit at a table at the back of the main dining room where it was quiet and there wasn’t any waiter traffic.

We were seated immediately by a young host/cashier and greeted promptly by our waitress (or female server if you’re particular about the job title). When we asked how long they had been open they told us almost three weeks. Our waitress had worked at the previous restaurant CoCo’s in the same location, which had closed long ago.

Everything was new and “fresh” with the familiar decor that is part of their brand and a constant throughout the chain. A large WELCOME sign and statues of Black Bears greet you out front and there’s a beautiful vintage-style jukebox available in the lobby for patrons to play classic American music of their choosing. They have a merchandise display and food products available for sale at the register too.

The board-of-fare is All-American “stick to your ribs” Food, and it’s breakfast, lunch and dinner all day. We decided to keep it simple and test the American cheeseburger basket.

On The Menu: American Cheeseburger with Fries (in a basket)

26219511_2095023487190873_7354586613403952780_n

As you can see, the burger and cheese were presented on the basket, not on the paper, which may sound particular (and it is) but it’s important for some customers (like us). We ordered it with lettuce only, but there was no lettuce on the burger and we didn’t want to wait for a server to come, get the lettuce and then bring it back, before eating….

The cheeseburger was fine, but not great and a little bland. The fries were great and served very hot. We only had water to drink and ate the food quickly because we were really hungry. We finished and paid at the register and we were happy and no longer hungry. The service was fast and aside from the food presentation and missing lettuce everything was fine and we will return again.

NOTE: Our waitress left after putting the order in and bringing us barbecue sauce and mustard, and another server brought us our food, but the lettuce was ordered and missing from the meal.

We didn’t have dessert, but they do have a great dessert menu (with pics):

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!

 

26993974_2101521353207753_8182640787070123141_n

Desserts Under Glass!

Black Bear Diner – 18355 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91356 
“Down-home chain serving all-day American comfort food & desserts in a woodsy setting.”
OPEN 6AM-10PM everyday of the week
We also asked if they were going to have late-night hours, but they didn’t know yet…

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

26991654_2101521836541038_771073764038574678_n

Take home some sauce and/or dessert!



Dinner at Davenport’s in Encino

Dinner at Davenport’s in Encino

25507822_2068959426463946_7628801933721253524_n

Wednesday night we went for dinner at Davenport’s in Encino. We wanted to try a neighborhood restaurant we had never been to before. They opened last year in the space formerly occupied by Dupar’s and John L. Groats on Ventura Boulevard west of Woodley Avenue. And so, on a cold winter weekday evening we made a reservation for 7:15pm.

Parking is in the rear and the lot was full. There was a line at the host station, located just inside the front door and the restaurant was packed at the sushi bar, long bar, bar dining  area and dining room. The outdoor patio was empty because it was “effing” cold and there was a nice wind blowing through the courtyard that even the outdoor heaters couldn’t warm. We know this because the reservation was made for “Outside”, even though we didn’t ask for the patio. When we asked to sit inside, the hostess seating us said there was an hour wait for a table and we almost left and went somewhere else…

Instead we went inside and found the manager and explained the situation. He was very understanding and they found a nice table in the corner of the dining room for us in a very short time. BRAVO! 

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!

The restaurant is divided into different spaces as mentioned above: there’s a sushi bar, long bar, bar dining area and formal dining room/private party space where we were seated. the interior is very nice, albeit a little crowded when the place is packed. If you’ve followed my Blog you know there are more than 20 sushi restaurants in the neighborhood, so a restaurant with a sushi bar (and raw oyster bar) is nothing new and the prices for sushi and sashimi were higher than most. They were offering a combination sashimi and oyster plate for $42 when we offered the specials by our friendly waiter.

We decided not to have sushi or oysters, knowing that we were going to have a big meal and instead just started with their tasty cornbread and bread & butter. They have some nice appetizers but again we didn’t order any know the entrees were large. We did share an $11 Caesar salad, but ended up giving it to another member of our party because they added kale (WE HATE KALE) without mention of it on the menu.

We had the BBQ baby back ribs ($29 for a full rack) and they were delicious! Fall off the bone and cooked really well. The BBQ sauce was tasty and we substituted sautéed asparagus for cole slaw. The fries were tasty, but they weren’t served hot enough. We ate a few of the ribs at dinner and took the rest home and ate them with hot (reheated) fries for lunch the next day, and the ribs were delicious the day after too!

Or party also tried the lobster roll, lobster (Cobb) salad and the ribeye steak. We also tried a glass of red and a glass of white wine, which were both excellent choices. And everything they served us was very well prepared, visually appealing, very tasty and super quality food! We tasted the brownie sundae dessert which was shared by our party, and it was wonderful but we were full and didn’t want dessert.

NOTE: We LOVE dessert and the brownie sundae was good, but the meal service had taken a long time and we were tired of sitting, a little claustrophobic, and really ready to go before we even ordered dessert.

The service was good, just a little slow because it was slammed, crowded and the layout of the restaurant makes it harder to serve. We never had to wait very long for our waiter,  and he did an excellent job tending to our requests.

On The Menu: BBQ Baby Back Ribs with fries and sautéed asparagus, cornbread, bread & butter, Caesar salad, Lobster Roll, Lobster Cobb Salad, Brownie sundae and a coke

25507882_2068971156462773_2980889162743152394_n

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!

All in all, it was a very nice dinner to celebrate the end of Hannukah and the Winter Solstice (see our previous Blog Posts) and we left happy, full and with leftovers in hand. It was a good dining experience at a restaurant we had never been to before, and we would definitely return for another meal.

Davenport’s16120 Ventura Blvd, Encino 91436 (at Woodley Av)
http://www.davenportsrestaurant.com

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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

25508050_2068970949796127_6895246321672519878_n

Pretty Christmas Tree at Davenport’s!

 



 

Sunday Brunch at Manhattan Beach Post in Manhattan Beach!

Sunday Brunch at Manhattan Beach Post in Manhattan Beach, California!

23472049_2023254581034431_5681321620880247387_n

Sunday Brunch at Manhattan Beach Post, a Social House

NOTE: BLOG IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION! This Blog post isn’t finished… but we have to publish because we aren’t sure if wordpress is saving it and it’s 3:15am.

Forget Football, let’s have Sunday Brunch! Okay, so we watched the morning games and then hit the road after 1pm. The Jacksonville Jaguars had just tied the Los Angeles Chargers at the end of the fourth quarter and were headed for overtime, and we had to leave because we had “a long way to go and a short time to get there” with unknown traffic before arriving at lunch…

405 Freeway south to Manhattan Beach

It was cloudy, overcast and there was a lot of traffic, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. We made pretty good time, past the 101/405 intersection and up the hill, past West L.A., past the 405/10 intersection and LAX, past Venice and Marina del Rey, and down to the Manhattan Beach Blvd exit. And of course, Manhattan Beach Blvd was all torn up and under construction and only one lane, so the delay made us late. We got lucky and found metered parking in front of the restaurant, so we were only 15 minutes late.

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!

 

Manhattan Beach

23434907_2023239934369229_2408968994785031414_n

Sunday Afternoon at the Manhattan Beach Pier

 

 

Manhattan Beach Post  (a David LeFevre restaurant)

23472854_2023254617701094_9013862860228794418_n

Manhattan Beach Post (a David LeFevre restaurant)

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!

The Menu:

On The Menu: Cornbread biscuits with bacon & cheese, honey fried chicken with slaw, pork tacos, broccoliflower, burrata sandwich, lamb gyro, pickles & olives, fries, orange juice, a “Blood & Smoke” bloody mary and chocolate pudding with peanut butter mousse, bacon bits and banana for dessert!

23518904_2023254881034401_3732360599004510386_n

Sunday Brunch at Manhattan Beach Post  (a David Lefevre restaurant)

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!

 

Bad traffic on the 405 going north on the way home, so we got off and took Sepulveda Blvd through West L.A. to Mulholland over the hill to the San Fernando Valley.

 

And Jacksonville beat the L.A. Chargers 20-17 in overtime!
But then the Broncos lost the Sunday night game to the Patriots…..

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!>
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP3QQfRTfD-2eABWVd-JwQ
(And our Periscope videos from Katch are now posted on YouTube)

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

23519235_2024310314262191_585032509119197196_n

GOOD EATIN’ in The SFV! Valley Restaurant Grindage!

GOOD EATIN’ in The SFV!
Valley Restaurant Grindage!

NOTE: Here’s another Draft that’s been sitting for a long time. It’s a FOOD BLOG POST!
Some good restaurants in the San Fernando Valley. LINKS at the bottom of the page.

FOODIES take note!
We’ve been eating really good in the neighborhood!

The beautiful San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California, that is….

It was International Week “ON THE MENU” for the last couple months:

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

Dinner at CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) in Tarzana

12801168_1327300433963186_318291723168018094_n

Dinner at Lum Ka Naad Thai Restaurant in Encino

12495250_1331508403542389_5918585183648958264_n

and Dessert at Sweet Lady Jane Bakery in Encino on Saturday

12524332_1329633903729839_3727580310746275042_n

Sunday Dinner! All You Can Eat at AYCE GOGI Korean BBQ in Van Nuys

12512452_1331504910209405_2147068029845243906_n

NOTE: After Sunday’s AYCE dinner, Monday was a light “Meatless” dinner at home.

Taco Tuesday at El Torito Mexican Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

12803123_1332033286823234_1947675925421485635_n

Taco Tuesday at El Torito Mexican Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

12802699_1332033296823233_6943918907687785246_n

The Bar at El Torito Mexican Restaurant in Sherman Oaks

Wednesday night Sushi at Cho Cho San Japanese Restaurant in Encino

12805739_1332748410085055_1036566077963071946_n

Sushi at Cho Cho San Japanese Restaurant in Encino

Pastrami Sandwich “To Go” from Cricca’s Italian Deli in Woodland Hills
(on the way, going through Topanga Canyon to PCH and Malibu Beach)

12705521_1329346370425259_6500745901055833422_n

Lunch “To Go” from Cricca’s Italian Deli in Woodland Hills

12042694_1327855093907720_7480727152795101387_n

Pastrami Sandwich from Cricca’s Italian Deli on Malibu Beach

And check out these past blogs from February 2016 as well:

Drinks and Appetizers at the Cheesecake Factory‘s Bar at the Sherman Oaks Galleria

12718071_1324605464232683_5910680615292808341_n

Drinks & Appetizers at the Cheesecake Factory Bar in Sherman Oaks

Venti Mocha Frappuchino at Starbuck’s in the Sherman Oaks Galleria

12794576_1322069281152968_7845261738132976464_n

Dinner Party at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

12729382_1319502588076304_2722582339317708656_n

Dinner Party at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

Dinner at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen in Tarzana

12688227_1311652358861327_2339134093339806638_n

Dinner at Frankie’s Italian Kitchen

Saturday Night! Mexican food, Blues music and BBQ in Pasadena, California
La Fiesta Grande Mexican Restaurant & Blues & BBQ at Big Mama’s Rib Shack

12717716_1318336524859577_9121936640132151763_n

Dinner at La Fiesta Grande Mexican Restaurant in Pasadena

943825_1319661671393729_3445739233598039368_n

Dinner at Big Mama’s Rib Shack in Pasadena

NOTE: Yes, I know Pasadena is the San Gabriel Valley, not the San Fernando Valley, but both restaurants definitely deserve a mention here in this Foodie Blog.

Sushi at Okumura in Encino

12120091_1233214470038450_2414212559870542866_o

Sushi Time at Okumura!

Dinner at Mucho Mas Mexican Restaurant in NoHo (North Hollywood)

1912075_1340214219338474_1068585552900539333_n

Dinner at Mucho Mas Mexican Restaurant in NoHo

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino

12794472_1345877685438794_8204701049415259239_n

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino

And a few other San Fernando Valley restaurants from 2015:

Dinner at the NoHo Diner in North Hollywood

12278830_1258936020799628_7453379728148184493_n

Dinner at the NoHo Diner

Thai Food Birthday Dinner Party at Sri Siam Cafe in North Hollywood

12118863_1235704963122734_1329540575483617638_n

 

Birthday Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

11838969_1200633243296573_1146355443145695802_o

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

11891886_1200452689981295_740424238773254160_o

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks

 

VEGAS BABY! VEGAS!
Birthday Dinner at Mario Batali’s Carnevino
at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas!

11226586_1196299320396632_4598551287209550162_o

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas

11816376_1196297943730103_5192792075553100485_o

Dinner at Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel on Friday night

NOTE: Yes, I know Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas isn’t in the San Fernando Valley, but it was a really great meal and definitely deserves a mention in this Foodie Blog.

Dinner at Sushi 2u in Encino (OUT OF BUSINESS)
Read our Blog> Sushi Ganzo (OUT OF BUSINESS)

This was in the space that used to be Sushi Hirosuke for years.
The Space is now occupied by CRAVIN’S.

11728721_1184240411602523_470667326143523337_o

Sushi 2 U in Encino

 

All photos copyright 2015 & 2016 JoshWillTravel

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

Tuesday Night Dinner at Fabrocini’s Italian Kitchen in Tarzana, https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/tuesday-night-dinner-at-fabrocinis-italian-kitchen-in-tarzana-ca/

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20S

Sushi Time at Okumura http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Xm

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Pp

Dinner at the NoHo Diner in North Hollywood http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20z

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l

Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino  http://wp.me/p3dhVM-13W

Dinner at Mucho Mas Mexican Restaurant in NoHo http://wp.me/p3dhVM-2Vc 

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l

Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/fat-sals-is-open-in-encino/

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

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

 


 

 

 

Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!

Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!

NOTE: Still working on the “Road Trip” and “Burning Man” Blogs, be patient.

There’s a new place to eat in town! Fat Sal’s is open and located in the old Johnny Rocket’s space on the corner of Ventura and Balboa.

20663827_1916495138377043_216498309535610817_n

Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!

Indoor and Outdoor seating available. The Patio is covered now so you can sit and watch the cars go by in the shade. Parking is still limited in the small lot, but there is a lot of metered street parking (8am-8pm everyday except Sunday) available nearby.

There’s a big menu on the wall.  Order at the counter and wait for your number to be called (actually they give you a pager). They’re makin’ sandwiches over here!

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!

 

NOTE: They have a bunch of flat screen TELEVISIONS (with all the games on) inside!

Signature “Fat” sandwiches & burgers, salads & wraps, fries, sides, and shakes are the board of fare. So, I had a Philly Cheesesteak and it was a good Philly Cheesesteak.

They have 2 digital “self-service” soda fountains with many beverage choices. On a sad note, they charge 25 cents for sauces (WHICH IS STUPID AND BAD FOR BUSINESS). but when we asked for mustard for our sandwich and BBQ sauce for our onion rings, he gave us a plastic cup of each and told me it was “on the house”.

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!

 

And the “Big Fat Fatty” Challenge for $49.99!

22046780_1973801225979767_3552026229420215732_n

“Big Fat Fatty” Food Challenge!

ON THE MENU: Philly Cheesesteak and Onion Rings with a Dr Pepper

22045920_1972970236062866_6901084860126329366_n

Philly Cheesesteak and Onion Rings!

The Cheesesteak gets a thumbs up and the burgers got a thumbs up too. The fries were limp, undercooked and not good at all, but the onion rings were terrific. Nice mixed Encino crowd checking out the new place, most likely will stay in business for awhile.

Fat Sal’s – 16901 Ventura Blvd (at Balboa Blvd), Encino http://www.fatsalsdeli.com

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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

22046060_1972969302729626_3946461306043006949_n

Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!



 

READ MY BLOG POSTS! (PLEASE!)

READ MY BLOG POSTS! (PLEASE!)

Shakespeare cartoon 2

Shakespeare Doodle

As you can see we’ve been busy.*
We have always written this Blog for our own amusement.
We hope others will read the posts and be entertained and maybe educated).
Our pics and vids are posted (copyright 2010-2017 JoshWillTravel) for your visual stimulation and to better tell the stories. All other images (photos and youtube videos, etc.) are for educational purposes only and not used for any commercial gain.
*There is a lot of NEW and FUN stuff!   ENJOY!

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

Read Our Blog Pages>

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

Recent April 2017 Blog Posts> 

11998968_1151895844823821_5356127414881888524_n

Tasting Flight at Dancin Vineyards – Jacksonville, Oregon

17425046_1734680193225206_2974422028337419638_n

GBTA 2013! Read the Blog Post!

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

Blog Posts from January 2017!>

17883663_1765513060141919_5119087886121195457_n

Happy Puppies!

champagne_uncorking_photographed_with_a_high_speed_air-gap_flash

POP!

It’s our Blog’s 4th Anniversary! READ THE BLOG!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/its-our-blogs-4-year-anniversary/

恭喜發財! Happy Chinese New Year 2017! 新年好呀!新年好呀!
THE YEAR OF THE RED FIRE ROOSTER! 祝贺大家新年好!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/happy-chinese-new-year-2017/

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

Blog Posts from Our Spring Roadtrip 2016 to Ashland Oregon>

Ashland Creek 1

Ashland Creek in Lithia Park in Ashland Oregon (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Master Blog! Spring Roadtrip 2016 to Ashland Oregon!> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-35M
Seagulls! Moonstone Beach in Cambria> http://wp.me/s3dhVM-seagulls
The Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria> 
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3gi
Historic Downtown Cambria, California> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3yI
The Vault Gallery in Cambria, California> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-4lQ
Sweet Offerings Confectionary in Cambria, California!> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3ik

Moonstone Beach – Cambria, California>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/moonstone-beach-cambria-california/

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

More of Our Previous Blogs:

It’s Rex Manning Day 2017!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/its-rex-manning-day/

Return to Paramount Ranch Park in Agoura, California: Part 2 Hiking the Site>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/paramount-ranch-park-agoura-california-part-1/

Return to Paramount Ranch – Agoura, California: Part 1 Western Town>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/return-to-paramount-ranch-01-apr-13-part-1-western-town/

17498408_1745011352192090_6899844629661584035_n

Friends of Paramount Ranch 2017 – Agoura, California

The Wabash Cannonball!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/the-wabash-cannonball/

HAAPPY SAAINT PAATRICK’S DAAY!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/haappy-saaint-paatricks-daay/

SPRING FORWARD! HAPPY PURIM! FULL MOON!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/spring-forward-full-moon/

Let’s Go To Malibu Beach!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/lets-go-to-malibu-beach/

“This is what happens Larry!”>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2016/12/04/this-is-what-happens-larry/

larry-750x594

“This is What Happens Larry!”

img02784-20130409-1438

Janis Joplin’s Psychedelic 1964 Porsche 356c Cabriolet

c6fe398d34ec96a3e8cfb41b3f8166af

Saturday Morning…>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/saturday-morning/

Procrastination (noun)
-the action of delaying or postponing something
-the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished
-the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones
-carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones
-putting off impending tasks to a later time

“PROCRASTINATION”>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/procrastination/

847640af760cb086ae460e3df09a7790

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

REAL GOOD EATING in the San Fernando Valley!>

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20S

Sushi Time at Okumura> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Xm

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Pp

Dinner at the NoHo Diner in North Hollywood> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20z

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l

17862342_1762861610407064_3881448087966174671_n

Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino>  http://wp.me/p3dhVM-13W

Dinner at Mucho Mas Mexican Restaurant in NoHo> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-2Vc 

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l

Pizza Time! Mulberry Street Pizza!>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/pizza-time-mulberry-street-pizza/

AND THERE ARE MANY MORE! OVER 600 BLOG POSTS! HAVE FUN!

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

 

IMPEACH TRUMP!

Seriously,
RIGHT CLICK “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW and then LIKE 
TELL THE USA TO DUMP TRUMP on facebook> 
http://www.facebook.com/usadumptrump

 

640x-1

TREASON!



 

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!

GBTA 2013 Convention in San Diego! (Global Business Travel Association)

GBTA 2013 Convention in San Diego! (Global Business Travel Association)

17425046_1734680193225206_2974422028337419638_n

NOTE: For ThrowbackThursday and FlashbackFriday we found this Blog draft. We laid out all the type and captions back in 2013 and never added the pics or details. So we went to the files for collateral from the convention, found old travel picture files on our other laptop for pictures that were never seen and also went hunting for the pics that we had already downloaded or posted, then we filled in all the details we could remember and constructed this Blog! And even though the event happened in 2013 we still hope you will enjoy this Blog for TravelTuesday in 2017!

We were invited to attend the GBTA 2013 Convention as a “Hosted Buyer”, but we had prior commitments and could only attend the first and second day of the event. So we made a one-night hotel reservation and arranged to attend the “preview day” on Sunday and the first day on Monday.

GBTA 2013 Convention Schedule for Sunday and Monday:
(Vendor Parties not shown) CLICK to SEE A LARGER PIC!

Road Trip to San Diego! – Ride along with me!

It was a foggy Sunday morning when we woke up very early and hit the road to San Diego. We left the San Fernando Valley at 7am to avoid traffic and drove south on the 405 and 5 freeways for about three hours. We were successful and drove fast (we also took pictures as we went) but other drivers were driving really fast! We were really amazed at the speed of some of the cars passing us at very high speeds like we were parked.

17553877_1746779458681946_3963916498341627424_n

GBTA 2013! – On The Road to San Diego (405 freeway south to 5 freeway south)

Ride along with me to San Diego, just click on the pics below:

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!

17553751_1746792335347325_5962985259958240043_n

GBTA 2013! – Downtown San Diego

Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego (A Hilton Hotel)

17626144_1746782832014942_3071341242862283911_n

GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego

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!

17626520_1746785182014707_3709570407702883265_n

GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego Atrium & Skylight

We arrived in San Diego and found our hotel, the Embassy Suites Downtown, sometime after 9am. We found metered street parking two blocks away from the hotel which was FREE and available because it was Sunday. We walked over to the hotel, had breakfast at the complimentary buffet and got an early check in.

1175018_709396115753624_1082540433_n

GBTA 2013! – Breakfast Buffet at the Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego

We went up to the room, checked it out and dropped our luggage. We set up the laptop, hooked into the hotel’s wi-fi and did our morning business via the internet and cell phone.

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!

After a short time in the room, we walked over to the Hyatt Regency and caught the Free Shuttle to the Convention Center.

Sunday was a “preview” day, so it was not very crowded, just busy. There were a lot of people checking in and the vendors and staff were making preparations for the week ahead. The Exhibition Hall didn’t open until Monday, but we were invited to the “First-Timers” lunch and the Welcome Party at the Hilton on Sunday evening.

IMG07191-20130805-1859

GBTA 2013! Global Business Travel Association Convention in San Diego

We rode the shuttle to the Convention Center, walked to Check-In, checked in and got our credentials, and then we walked to the “first timers” lunch in an adjacent meeting hall.

17554191_1746792728680619_8103678101311925841_n

GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center

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!

17458235_1746780512015174_8660700981282228145_n

GBTA 2013! – “First Timers” Lunch, Orientation and Welcome

On The Menu: Turkey sandwich with mozzarella cheese balls, lettuce & tomato and a slice of apple pie with iced tea, water and coffee

17554037_1746780635348495_8493750506164932165_n

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!

After lunch, we attended the “Going Global” session, walked around the Convention Center and then we walked to the shuttle pickup point, rode the shuttle back to the Hyatt and then walked back to our hotel. We cleaned up and enjoyed a free cocktail and complimentary appetizers at the Embassy Suites’ afternoon Happy Hour downstairs.

1002342_709397225753513_1885518280_n

GBTA 2013 Welcome Reception Party Buffet at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront

After the Happy Hour we drove over to the Hilton Bayfront Hotel and paid $15 to park for the Welcome Reception and Party on the Great Lawn which runs along the Marina.  An outdoor evening buffet for 7000 people or so, with beer/wine and magaritas at the bar.

17554313_1746796485346910_9109142267184444348_n

GBTA 2013! – Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

17629614_1746782742014951_981509755597842307_n

GBTA 2013! – Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

NOTE: It was a huge convention! Every hotel in San Diego remotely close to the Convention Center was at capacity and filled with Travel Agents, Vendors, Travel Writers and other attendees from all over the United States and other parts of the world. We commented on the size of the crowd to a staff person at the Convention Center and they just laughed because Comic-Con had been in town the week before and the size of GBTA convention wasn’t even close to the overflow crowd for Comic-Con.

1090982_395357487235796_1525339426_o

GBTA 2013 Welcome Reception Party on the Great Lawn – the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

553072_395251243913087_567676434_n

GBTA 2103 Welcome Reception Party on the Great Lawn – the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

On The Menu at the Welcome Reception Party Buffet at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront:
Buffalo chicken meatballs, lamb meatballs in a tomato sauce, pasta in lobster sauce, pita chips and a bunch of types of hummus, prime rib sliders with cheese, chicken potstickers, veggie potstickers, pork potstickers, other stuff too, and then on to the dessert table! Nice truffle selection, chocolate covered strawberries, candy lollipops in a bunch of weird flavors and mini-pastries…

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!

17523391_1746788602014365_8101338105313363499_n

GBTA 2013! – Sunset Over A Sea of Travel Industry at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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!

We walked to over to Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant for the next party. It was a long “Las Vegas” walk just after dark along the Marina and Bayfront to get to Roy’s, but it was worth it! We immediately regretted eating at the Welcome Party Buffet, because there was an amazing assortment of incredible food at Roy’s!

17554401_1746789858680906_7121924609214392609_n

GBTA 2013! – The Kitchen at Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant in San Diego

There were all kinds of sushi and cut rolls, egg rolls, chicken and beef satay skewers, Hawaiian style ribs, other tasty appetizers and finger foods, fresh fruit and a lot of fancy desserts. We ate and drank and networked until it got too crowded inside the large restaurant and we didn’t take any pictures (except the one of the kitchen above). We left the party early and took a little food “to go” for later at the hotel. We didn’t want to do anymore walking or make the long dark walk back to the Hilton parking structure, so we negotiated with a pedal cab guy and survived a really fast and wild nighttime ride back to the hotel along the Bayfront for $10+tip.

We walked to our car and drove back to the Embassy Suites. We valet parked our car at the hotel and retired to our hotel room. We did some work, ate the “to go” food (ribs, sushi and little chocolate balls) after midnight and went to bed.

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!

Monday morning, we were up early and we enjoyed the Embassy Suites’ breakfast buffet again. We took the food up to the room, ate and did some more work, and then packed up our stuff, went downstairs and had a second breakfast. After eating again we got our stuff and checked out of the hotel. We picked up the car from the valet, drove to over the Convention Center and paid to park there. Parking was $15 for all day until midnight.

17553981_1746782218681670_2941245312581230576_n

GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Breakfast Buffet (in the room)

We arrived in time and got a pretty good seat for the Keynote Address and Lunch for 6000 people with a presentation and performance by singer/songwriter Jewel. All of the front area tables were “Reserved” so we took a seat at a forward table in the first section behind the front area. The hall at the Convention Center was massive! Lunch for 6000 is not an easy task!

17352043_1746790542014171_8143690973405863549_n

GBTA 2013 Keynote Lunch with Jewel at the San Diego Convention Center

Monday’s GBTA 2013 Keynote Speaker Jewel performs
“Who Will Save Your Soul” live at the San Diego Convention Center

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW VIDEO>
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=703198789706690&set=vb.337421319696080&type=2&theater (facebook video)

On The Menu: iceberg lettuce salad, bread & butter, stuffed chicken breast with pesto sauce, vegetables, a fruit tart dessert and iced tea.

After lunch they opened the massive Exposition Hall which ran the entire length of the Convention Center and was filled with Vendors and Suppliers. There were also Vendor meetings scheduled for the afternoon. We walked a portion of the Exhibition Hall, collected brochures/information/swag and received invitations to events later on that evening and later in the week. It would have been impossible to cover the whole Exhibition Hall in one day, so we didn’t try. Instead we did what we could between 3-6pm and dropped all the promotional material in our car before beginning the evening activities.

IMG07227-20130805-2036

GBTA 2013! – The Gaslamp District Sign in San Diego

The Gaslamp District!
The Historic Heart of San Diego is located across the street and train tracks from the Convention Center. Bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels and plenty of gift shops are within easy walking distance (unless you’ve already walked all day).

Let’s get this party started!
We were invited to eight different parties happening at different locations around the Gaslamp District and the Bayfront near the Convention Center.

Monday Party # 1 – Sunset cocktails and dinner at the Altitude Lounge

Our first invitation was for a party at the Altitude Lounge on top of the Marriott Gaslamp Hotel. We walked over to the Marriott Hotel next door to the Convention Center, but it was the wrong Marriott. So then we walked over to the Gaslamp District and found the right hotel. We ate and drank and watched the sunset from the rooftop patio.

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!

Excellent view of San Diego and Mission Bay from the outdoor patio!

1084963_395669733871238_1505716805_o copy

GBTA 2013! View from the Altitude Lounge in San Diego

IMG07193-20130805-1921

GBTA 2013! – View of Petco Park from the Altitude Lounge in San Diego

17554255_1746797062013519_2222312365938343941_n

GBTA 2013! – Sunset in San Diego from the Altitude Lounge

On The Menu: tray passed appetizers and a buffet with eggrolls, beef on toast, beef and chicken satay, tuna on wonton crisp, crab on cracker, pita bread and hummus and more… catered by Flemings Steakhouse!

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!

Monday Party #2 –
We crashed The Parking Spot Party at Lou & Mickey’s at the Gaslamp

17457316_1746803965346162_4020095511995449363_n

GBTA 2013! – The Parking Spot Party at Lou & Mickey’s at the Gaslamp

We left the party and walked across the street and crashed The Parking Spot’s party at Lou & Mickey’s restaurant. We ate and drank and met the nice folks from The Parking Spot and told them we crashed their party. They didn’t mind. Their party ended early, and the place emptied as the crowd left for other parties that were just getting started.

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!

Monday Party #3 – GBTA 2013 “AMPED” Party at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego!

16640958_1683276538365572_3227897538626854_n

GBTA 2013! – Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Guitar at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

We walked over to our next event: the AMPED party at the Hard Rock Hotel! We ate and drank and met a bunch of really nice people. It started slow but soon the crowd at the main bar was five people deep, the music was rockin’ and it got pretty hopping.

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!

This party was on a very large rooftop patio, with several permanent bars, a couch area with fire pits and portable heaters, several floating bars and a bunch of buffet stations with a great selection of food. There was good music, of course, and a stage was set up for performance, but it didn’t get used until later. There was even a photo booth for taking pictures with silly wigs, hats and props.

1146621_709390049087564_1631960540_n

GBTA 2013! – Buffet Station at the AMPED Party at the Hard Rock Hotel

We asked permission before taking these pics of one of the Go-Go Dancers on a raised pedestal (there were several). She said “Go ahead, I don’t see why not” and posed for the first one. And she was a fantastic dancer too!

Monday Party #4 – Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel in San Diego!

1006299_709397212420181_1826982491_n

GBTA 2013! – The Bar at Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel in San Diego

We had one more party to check out or we would have just stayed at the Hard Rock, instead we left the hotel and walked over to Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel. We walked a lot and we were wearing our dress shoes, so by the end of the night our feet were really hurting. We were also tired from a long day at the convention and a long night of partying.
When we got to the club the upstairs was deceptively quiet because downstairs in the basement it was raging! The party at Level Skye was really “off-the-hook” with funky dance music and lots of light and a lot of drunk travel agents. Travel industry people love to party! Thanks American Express!

971192_395675677203977_385615913_n

GBTA 2013! – Big Party at Level Skye Club in the Andaz Hotel Basement in San Diego

We didn’t eat or drink anything alcoholic because we still had to walk back to the car and drive home to Los Angeles. So, Monday late night we walked back to the car on sore feet before they closed the Convention Center Garage for the night (at midnight).

17554116_1746789172014308_8462317270871650551_n

GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center Parking ($15 all day – closes at midnight)

We drove back to Los Angeles on the 5 freeway north after midnight and hit a impossible “Stop-and-Go” traffic jam along the way because of construction at 2am in the morning.

When we finally made it home after 3am, we unloaded the car and crashed hard. We had a really good time, did a lot of business and networking, saw Jewel play live music, enjoyed our “budget” stay at the Embassy Suites, and ate and drank and danced and partied in San Diego for two days.

NOTE: We did a lot of walking, a whole lot of walking in our dress shoes, so next time we bring and wear more comfortable walking shoes.

17522544_1746807708679121_5693242715933493136_n

GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center Stairs at Night

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

17626604_1746784792014746_2501126087404452607_n

GBTA 2013! – We did not attend GBTA 2014 in Los Angeles

FINAL NOTE: We finished this Blog and hit “PUBLISH” and it did not. WordPress lost the Blog and the draft(s) totally disappeared! We had to use Google Cache to rescue it and then we had to start over and rebuild the original Blog again. Total waste of time. There is a flaw (BUG) in the wordpress program, because when we went looking for help we found that this has happened to other people as well. So, please ENJOY THIS BLOG, a lot of time went into it.



 

UPDATED Wednesday March 29, 2017 – We posted this Blog yesterday!

We collected a bunch of FREE stuff in the short time we were there, two bags full of stuff actually! Most was promotional “paper”: sell sheets, pamphlets, maps and brochures. But there was some fun giveaway stuff and cool “incentives” for visiting certain booths.

We were given a “Swag” bag at check-in provided/sponsored by Delta and the padded bag was very nice. We recently found it in Storage (see our previous Blog about Storage) and we are now using it as a laptop bag.

UPDATED April 5, 2017 – TRAVEL TIP!
We found these “hospitality cards” (restaurant and bar coupons, freebies, come-ons, etc.) from the San Diego trip. We had so much FREE food and drink and were only in town for one night, so we didn’t use any of them. They can be found at the Concierge Desk at the San Diego Convention Center (and these are just a few of the ones available).

17799353_1757167610976464_4847910702979018849_n

Hospitality Cards (Restaurant and Bar Coupons, Freebies, Come-Ons, etc.)

Pizza Time! Mulberry Street Pizza!

Pizza Time! Mulberry Street Pizza!

Richie Palmer’s Mulberry Street Pizzeria of Beverly Hills est. 1991

17309514_1741547719205120_6414380810995207879_n

Pizza from Mulberry Street Pizzeria

Thursday night pizza delivery for dinner: $33 + $1.50 tip (~$4.25 per slice)
Not cheap! High quality very large pizza and it was delivered “on time”.

On The Menu: Pizza with pepperoni, sausage and extra cheese.
(and they only have one size – very large)

17342889_1741027509257141_7685439160735367855_n

Pizza from Mulberry Street Pizzeria

Real New York style thin-crust pizza with pepperoni, sausage and extra cheese!

17499297_1741547712538454_2818771151959535235_n

Pizza with Pepperoni, Sausage and Extra Cheese from Mulberry Street Pizzeria

b5ddd4548c522c7e_org

Mulberry Street Pizzeria 17040 Ventura Blvd., Encino, CA 818-906-8881
(there are also other locations in Sherman Oaks and Beverly Hills)
http://www.mulberrypizzeria.com 

 

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

They also have a line of Mulberry Street retail food products
available for purchase in-store or online:

combopack


We haven’t written a new restaurant Blog in a long time.
We have written a lot about food lately:

Where’s the Beef
Superbowl 51 with recipes for chicken wings & meatballs

Fun Cooking Recipes posts and Pages (see sidebar)
including Disney Secret Recipes and Kenny Rogers Cookbook Blogs!

And we have updated a few of our past restaurant Blogs recently too.

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW THE BLOGS!>

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20S

Sushi Time at Okumura http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Xm

Dinner at the Valley Inn in Sherman Oaks http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Pp

Dinner at the NoHo Diner in North Hollywood http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20z

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l

Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino  http://wp.me/p3dhVM-13W

Dinner at Mucho Mas Mexican Restaurant in NoHo http://wp.me/p3dhVM-2Vc 

Dinner at Uncle Bernie’s Delicatessen in Encino http://wp.me/p3dhVM-31l