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

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

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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!

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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).

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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)

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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):

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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…

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Take home some sauce and/or dessert!



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Dinner at Davenport’s in Encino

Dinner at Davenport’s in Encino

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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! 

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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

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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

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Pretty Christmas Tree at Davenport’s!

 



 

Get Baked for Festivus!

Get Baked for Festivus! It’s National Cookie Day!

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JoshWillTravel’s Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is entered in the
LA Times Holiday Cookie Bakeoff.
There is no prize, just recognition for the cookie.

Please check out the recipe and vote for me!
You can vote once every 24 hours! Thanks!

VOTE FOR Voting has ended.
VIEW OUR RECIPE HERE>  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/festivus-chocolate-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/

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JoshWillTravel’s Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Festivus chocolate chocolate chip cookies with double vanilla ice cream sandwich!

 

LINKS!

HEY NOW! HEY NOW! IKO IKO ALL DAY!
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Here’s an old draft that never got published with a bunch of LINKS to our past Blog Posts!
We added a few more just now. So, I’ll just leave this here for you.
The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is on YouTube!
Our Periscope videos from Katch are now on YouTube!
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NO PICTURES HERE – BUT LOTS OF PRETTY PICTURES IN OUR BLOG POSTS!
RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW A PREVIOUS BLOG POST>

RECENT POSTS

 

 

 

 

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20S
Sushi Time at Okumura http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Xm
Dinner at Yoshi’s in San Francisco http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1ba
Tokyo Sushi – Dinner in San Jose CA http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1wF
In-N-Out Urge! National Burger Day! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1wu
National Donut Day! And a Tribute to Mitch Hedberg! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1zk
Today is National Cheeseburger Day! Celebrate! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Ux
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

Throwback Thursday! Hollywood calling… “Rock the Vote” 1990 http://wp.me/p3dhVM-208

Saturday in Echo Park & Downtown Los Angeles http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1VY

Four Seasons Westlake Village! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-B0

The Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1eH

Terror in Paris! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20n

Veteran’s Day 2015 – Thank you for your service! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-20f

Happy Thanksgiving 2015! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-21e

16200 Hits! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Cy

GRATEFUL DEAD! 50 YEARS! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-21W
“Dear Jerry” Envelope Art! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1BO

HAWAII BLOGS:

Going to Hawaii? Save a Dog’s Life! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-22g

Aloha Escorts – Kauai Humane Society www.kauaihumane.org
Wings of Aloha – Maui Humane Society www.mauihumanesociety.org

ASHLAND BLOGS:

Wine Tasting at Bella Fiore Winery & Estate> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1QU

The ‪Brickroom‬ http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1AV
Oberon’s Tavern http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Bj
Harvey’s Place http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Dn
O’Ryan’s Irish Pub and the Black Sheep Pub http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1CF

Cripple Creek Music Co. http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1CX
Flower of Life Crystal Gallery http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1xx
Ignition Gallery and Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1xO

Saturday Farmer’s Market & Anti-GMO Protest http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1zH
Sunday Morning in ‪Lithia Park‬ http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1yg

DISNEY BLOGS:

Vintage Disney Storage Finds #5 http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1XY
Follow the LINKS for MORE Vintage Disney Storage Finds & Blog Posts!

Disney’s Secret Recipes! https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/disneys-recipes/

HAIKU BLOGS:

HAIKU Click Here> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Ql
MORE HAIKU Click Here> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Sl
AND MORE HAIKU Click Here> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1TQ
AND EVEN MORE HAIKU Click Here> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1V5
HAIKU AGAIN! Click Here> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1XH
HAIKU AGAIN and AGAIN! Click Here> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1YE
HAIKU AGAIN, AGAIN & AGAIN! Click Here> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1ZF
HAIKU HAIKU! Click Here> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-22J

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“Enjoy Every Sandwich” – Warren Zevon

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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.

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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!

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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”.

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

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“Big Fat Fatty” Food Challenge!

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

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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

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Fat Sal’s is OPEN in Encino!



 

HOME SWEET HOME!

HOME SWEET HOME!
Home again after 3 weeks road tripping!

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Home Sweet Home! Encino, California in the San Fernando Valley

Oakland, California (Piedmont)

Prineville and Madras, Oregon for the total eclipse

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Total Eclipse at the Motel 6 in Madras, Oregon

and 6 days in Ashland, for some theatre at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
(“Julius Caeser” and “Merry Wives of Windsor”),

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Ashland, Oregon

Burning Man in Black Rock City (Black Rock Desert), near Gerlach, Nevada

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Make a playa dust angel! Ring the bell!
A Burning Man Radical Ritual! Sunday 4pm

and then Reno, Nevada for two nights!

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Reno, Nevada!

With a stop at Manzanar on the way home to Los Angeles on Hwy 395 south.

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Wednesday Sunset at Manzanar

Great trip with pics and blogs to follow: http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

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Vanessa (the van) and the Sunset (and Moon rise) at Pyramid Lake in Nevada

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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I’m so happy!
Danced in the rain at Pyramid Lake at sunset on Monday
and watched the full moon rise!

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Sunset at Pyramid Lake – Nevada Sky

 

 

 

Summer in Los Angeles! ‘Tis the Season for Hot Pursuits & Car Chases!

Summer in Los Angeles! ‘Tis the Season for Hot Pursuits & Car Chases!

Yesterday there were two car chases involving the Los Angeles Police Department within an hour. The first was only broadcast for a little while, but was KRAZY out of control.  He was driving like a madman and had a couple of collisions along the way, almost hitting a pedestrian or two, until the suspect lost control making a turn on a surface street and crashed head-on into a telephone pole and steel fence.

Suspect in Custody:

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Tiene un accidente!

And the second one was over before the helicopter arrived, with the suspect surrendering after running from the San Fernando Valley to Central LA.

Suspect in Custody:

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Over before it began….

Two hot pursuits on TV in a hour is a good chase day, and there were also televised pursuits on Monday night and Tuesday night too.

BIG THANKS to the news and the helicopter pilots and reporters!
BIG THANKS to the LAPD for their hard work!

NOTE: The Police have helicopters and radios in addition to guns and a gang of armed uniformed (and undercover) soldiers. Chances are good you will go to jail if you attempt to run from them. However, everyday people still take their chances and for that we thank them for the entertainment.

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Go_to_Jail

And You’re Busted!


 

 

Tuesday Night Dinner at Fabrocini’s Italian Kitchen in Tarzana, CA

Tuesday Night Dinner at
Fabrocini’s Italian Kitchen
in Tarzana, CA

We are back! We wrote a new restaurant Blog post. Enjoy!

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Fabrocini’s Italian Kitchen in Tarzana, CA

We were just going to go to CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) but the parking lot was full, which indicated the restaurant would be crowded and busy, so we detoured to Fabrocini’s Italian Kitchen just two blocks away on Ventura Blvd (near Reseda Blvd) in Tarzana and we were glad that we did.

We really like this restaurant! We’ve been here before and it’s always really good. Good food, good service, good atmosphere and pretty good prices. They have free parking in the rear and there is ample metered street parking (8am-8pm everyday except Sunday).

We arrived without a reservation and were seated immediately. The dining room was busy and there were several large family parties, but unlike CPK, the noise was not a factor at all. It’s not a very big place occupying two store front windows, with the open kitchen on one side and the dining room on the other. They do good business (lunch, dinner, catering and delivery), and they also have beer & wine on premises.

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Fabrocini’s Open Kitchen and Dining Room

There are pictures of all things Italian on the walls and the Dodgers game was on the television in the dining room (as reflected on the pic below).

NOTE: We are still boycotting the Dodgers and Time-Warner/Spectrum/SportsNetLA (see the previous Blog) but it was on and we didn’t pay attention because we currently don’t care about Major League Baseball until we can watch the Dodgers games on television FOR FREE.

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Leaning Tower of Pizza!

The Menu:

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On The Menu: Caesar salad, fresh baked bread with olive oil, pasta fusilli with broccoli in a garlic sauce (a little too salty tonight), meat lasagna and a coke.

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A GOOD dinner!  The service (waitstaff & busboy) was excellent and the management strives to make sure everything is beyond satisfactory. We should add that although our intention was to eat at CPK, the experience at Fabrocini’s was much better! We still like CPK, but the difference in the quality of food, service and care between a family owned restaurant and a huge corporate chain is exemplified in this comparison. And we should also mention, the cost wasn’t very different and there wasn’t a “loyalty club” discount involved, so we didn’t have to show them our phone or give them a code.

NOTE: Don’t fill up on bread and salad or appetizers, because the entrees are large and delicious! They also have good desserts but we didn’t indulge this time.

Fabrocini’s Italian Kitchen18608 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA (west of Reseda Blvd) http://www.fabrocinistarzana.com (818) 342-4490​

Lunch: 11:00am – 4:00pm Closed for Lunch on Sunday
Dinner: 4:00pm – 9:00pm Sun-Thurs 4:00pm to 10:00pm Fri & Sat

Fabrocini’s Beverly Glen2960 Beverly Glen Circle (at Mulholland) (310) 475-7404

 

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They have great pizzas too!

40000 Hits on The Blog!

40000 Hits on The Blog! THANK YOU!

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Happy Monday! Today’s milestone: 40000 Hits!
AND WE COULDN’T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU! THANKS AGAIN!

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Well, okay then, it’s another beautiful day in the San Fernando Valley. It’s going to be hot. It was over 100 degrees yesterday and it will probably be over 100 degrees again today.

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San Fernando Valley on the 101 east at the 405

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“On The Road Again” Time for another Road Trip!

ON THE MENU (Breakfast):
orange juice, banana, peanut butter & raspberry jam sandwich and an iced espresso

Dogs are fed, they’ve been outside, did their business, they played around and now they’re down for a morning nap.

What’s on TV this morning:

ABC: “World’s Ugliest Dog” contest, SnapChat’s new feature and it’s dangers
NBC: BET Awards and Pitch Perfect 3, Marriage 101
CNN: Supreme Court allows part of Trump Travel Ban to take effect
HLN: At least 21 large fires burning in Western States
KTLA: Kooking for Kids
CBS: Some story about a murder in Michigan that isn’t news…
(“CBS has been covering this for a long time…”)
AXSTV: Merle Haggard live at Billy Bob’s
BBC World News: The Great Barrier Reef ($42Billion in economic value)
MSNBC: Supreme Court allows part of Trump Travel Ban, Medicaid with Trump stooge
FOX News: Criticizing Trump’s Press Briefings, CNN rules about reporting/retractions

FOX News is the only one talking about RUSSIA AND TRUMP!

Working Man Blues – Merle Haggard

It’s a big job just gettin’ by with nine kids and a wife
I been a workin’ man dang near all my life
I’ll be working long as my two hands are fit to use
I’ll drink my beer in a tavern,
Sing a little bit of these working man blues

I keep my nose on the grindstone, I work hard every day
Might get a little tired on the weekend, after I draw my pay
But I’ll go back workin, come Monday morning I’m right back with the crew
I’ll drink a little beer that evening,
Sing a little bit of these working man blues

Hey hey, the working man, the working man like me
I ain’t never been on welfare, that’s one place I won’t be
Cause I’ll be working long as my two hands are fit to use
I drink a little beer that evening
Sing a little bit of these working man blues

Sometimes I think about leaving, do a little bummin around
I wanna throw my bills out the window catch a train to another town
But I go back working I gotta buy my kids a brand new pair of shoes
Yeah drink a little beer that evening,
Cry a little bit of these working man blues

Hey hey, the working man, the working man like me
I ain’t never been on welfare, that’s one place I won’t be
Cause I’ll be working long as my two hands are fit to use
I drink a little beer that evening
Sing a little bit of these working man blues
Yeah drink a little beer that evening,
Cry a little bit of these working man blues

Another Late Night Doodle:

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Don’t Be Distracted! “Squirrel” (pencil on paper)

And there’s our Blog Post for today! The rest of the day is gravy.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE. (Maybe)

Monday! Monday! Monday! (again)>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/monday-monday-monday/

Have a nice day.

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

This Blog – Copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel – http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel

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40000 Hits! “Fruity, Oatey Bar” 40000! THANK YOU!

 




 

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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:

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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

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Visit & Win at the Lakeside Cafe!