Dinner Party at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

Dinner Party at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

A rainy Wednesday night and it was someone’s birthday! (not mine)

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Dinner Party at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

We were going to have Indian food and a party at the house, but I suggested Dinner at Cafe Bizou instead! We made a reservation last week for a party of nine at 6:30pm. When we arrived the table was ready and waiting. Of course, we didn’t arrive all at once…

They have convenient Valet Parking on Ventura Blvd and there’s also parking in the rear. It’s also possible to find street parking because they’re not in the middle of restaurant row and I’ve parked in the bank lot across the street after hours on occasion.

The first thing you’ll notice when you enter is that it’s in a house that’s been remodeled as a restaurant. There’s a nice bar but the bar area is small, also functions as the waiting area, and the path of service runs through the bar to the dining room. The large dining room is divided into two spaces and each has a difference ambiance, but also the same.

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Dinner Party at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

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Dinner Party at Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

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Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

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Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

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Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks

They also have a “patio area” in front, which is enclosed, covered and heated at night. It’s a very nice place for an intimate and/or romantic dinner.

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Cafe Bizou in Sherman Oaks – “Patio Area”

The food is great. The food is reasonably priced. They have a good selection of wine at a fair market price and a very reasonable corkage fee if you want to bring your own bottle(s).

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On the Menu: Steak & Shrimp au poivre with baked potato, fried calamari, caesar salad, bread & butter, creme brûlée, chocolate covered profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and a coke. Also had a couple lamb chops that were orphaned and a taste of tiramisu.

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Fresh Baked Bread and Butter

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Fried Calamari

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Caesar Salad

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Steak & Shrimp with Baked Potato

And for Dessert: They brought the flourless chocolate cake with a candle for the birthday girl and half of us ordered dessert. I love their creme brûlée! I also had a little taste of the profiteroles and tiramisu, but passed on cappuccino or coffee.

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Creme Brûlée

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Chocolate Covered Profiteroles with Vanilla Ice Cream

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Tiramisu

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Flourless Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream

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We really like Cafe Bizou! It’s a very comfortable environment and the dress code is casual to dressy without comment. Diners in jeans, shorts and t-shirts sitting next to executives in coats and ties is perhaps too common an occurrence, but the restaurant really all about the great food and pleasant dining experience.

The service is excellent! The wait staff and busboys are constantly in motion, well trained and pretty attentive to the tables and guests’ needs. Refills and requests are handled promptly and the courses are timed out for dining at a relaxed pace.

Again, it’s very reasonably priced for fine dining and they have a nice selection of food! (Check out the menu above)

They are open for Lunch, Brunch and Dinner.
Reservations in advance are recommended because “you never know”.

Cafe Bizou
14016 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423  (818) 788-3536

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San!

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San in Encino!

Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, so let’s have some sushi!

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San – Sushi Bar!

On The Menu: Yellowtail slam (yellowtail & avocado over spicy tuna) cut roll, tempura vegetables, shrimp doubleshot roll, California roll with real crab, spicy tuna roll, “rock-n-roll” scallop cut roll and an iced green tea.

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San – Tempura Vegetables

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San – California roll w/real crab and spicy tuna cut roll

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San- Shrimp doubleshot roll and avocado cut roll

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San – “rock-n-roll” scallop cut roll and hand roll

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San – Yellowtail slam (yellowtail & avocado over spicy tuna)

We’ve been here before, and it’s always good fresh food. It wasn’t busy when we arrived, but by the time we finished it was. We enjoyed our dinner and I left the restaurant happy.

I’m going to post a complaint about the service tonight: We sat at a table, not at the sushi bar, and halfway through the meal our server told us she was going on break without really having someone pickup our table. We had to flag down other restaurant staff to get drink refills, tempura sauce and the check. And we still left her a nice tip.

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San

Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San – the sign changes colors!

All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel

Cho Cho San – Ventura Blvd (at Balboa Blvd) in Encino

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Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San Japanese Restaurant in Encino

UPDATE! Thursday 10 March 2016:

We had a Wednesday night Sushi Dinner at Cho Cho San Japanese Restaurant in Encino:

ON THE MENU: Salmon and albacore nigiri sushi, spicy tuna cut roll, spicy yellowtail cut roll, California cut roll, cucumber salad and a large hot sake

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Large Hot Sake at Cho Cho San Japanese Restaurant

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Nigiri Sushi and Cut Rolls at Cho Cho San Japanese Restaurant

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California and Spicy Tuna Cut Rolls at Cho Cho San Japanese Restaurant

Everything was pretty good. I was hungry and made quick work of the sushi and cut rolls. The service was much better this time. And the large hot sake really helped a lot today. #winewednesday

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UPDATED Friday, January 15, 2017:
Good Shabbos y’all! So, the puppies had their “lady parts” surgery on Tuesday and we’ve been babysitting them during the recovery. One of the pups had a bad reaction and is kinda freaked out, so we’ve been really stressed trying to keep her calm and not catatonic…

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Puppies Resting Comfortably After “Lady Parts” Surgery

Well, we had luke warm Indian food last night and didn’t really eat anything today, so we went out a little before 11pm to Cho Cho San, the sushi place down the street that’s open until midnight. They told me I had to get my order in by 11:10, so I did and then I ate at the sushi bar, paid and came home. The pups are resting comfortably and I’m full and happy.

On the menu: Shrimp&vegetable tempura, Firefly roll (spicy tuna inside, albacore on top with ancho paper and chili oil), Baked Scallop California roll with eel sauce, a large hot sake and an iced green tea. Happy weekend!

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Tokyo Sushi – Dinner in San Jose, California

Tokyo Sushi – Dinner in San Jose, California

Road trippin’ back down to Los Angeles, I arrived in San Jose at dinner time. My friends were still at the graduation ceremony, so I found a shopping plaza with many kinds of asian cuisine restaurants and went looking for food.

Tokyo Sushi in San Jose, California

Tokyo Sushi in San Jose, California

There was Pho, Hot Pots, Hot Wings, Chinese, Thai, and “Tokyo Sushi”. I settled on sushi, and sat at the sushi bar. I ordered a three item Bento Box dinner with teriyaki chicken, tempura mix (shrimp & vegetables), and a California roll. I also added a spicy tuna cut roll, and 2 orders of nigiri sushi (salmon and albacore). The dinner included miso soup, green salad, rice, a pot sticker and fruit. They brought me teriyaki salmon by mistake, so I let them take it back, and they brought me chicken.

Tokyo Sushi - San Jose, CA

Tokyo Sushi – 3 item Bento Box with teriyaki salmon, tempura mix & California roll

Tokyo Sushi - San Jose, CA

Tokyo Sushi – Sushi! Spicy tuna cut roll, salmon and albacore sushi

Tokyo Sushi - San Jose, CA

Tokyo Sushi – Spicy tuna cut roll, salmon and albacore sushi

Tokyo Sushi in San Jose, California

Tokyo Sushi in San Jose, California

The Golden State Warriors were playing basketball and the game was televised, so the restaurant was almost empty. I was alone at the sushi bar for the entire time I was there. The food was good, if not great and I really enjoyed the tempura. The damage was only $40 (with tip included) and I took most of the chicken teriyaki and cut rolls with me and shared the food with my friends at the graduation party later.

The Graduation Party in San Jose

The Graduation Party in San Jose later!

All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel.

Tokyo Sushi1715 Lundy Ave #156 San Jose, CA 

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Thai Food at Sri Siam Cafe in North Hollywood

Thai Food! 

First time dining at the Sri Siam Cafe, a “Hole in the Wall” Thai Food restaurant in a mini-mall on the corner of Coldwater Cyn and Vanowen in North Hollywood. Everything was stellar! The portions were large and the prices were very reasonable. Each dish was done just right, super tasty and delicious. I give this establishment a big thumbs up!

On The Menu: Crispy rice salad (lettuce wraps), chicken satay with peanut sauce, cucumber salad and toast, yellow curry with duck, shrimp & egg pancakes, crispy spicy trout and a Thai iced tea with no cream.

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Sri Siam Cafe Thai Food

Sri Siam Cafe Thai Food

Crispy Rice Salad (Lettuce Wraps)

Crispy Rice Salad (Lettuce Wraps)*

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Cucumber Salad and Toast

Chicken Satay w/Peanut Sauce, Cucumber Salad & Toast

Yellow Curry with Duck

Yellow Curry with Duck

Shrimp & Egg Pancakes

Shrimp & Egg Pancakes

Crispy Spicy Trout

Crispy Spicy Trout

Sri Siam Cafe – 12843 Vanowen St (at Coldwater Cyn) North Hollywood, CA 91605
(818) 982-6262

————————————————————–

UPDATE Saturday March 26, 2016:

Dinner at Sri Siam Cafe last night was terrific! The food was great, we’ve been back a few times now, and this time I brought a friend.

ON THE MENU: Thai food! Chicken satay with peanut sauce and cucumber salad, crispy fried rice salad, fried calamari and a Thai ice tea (no cream)

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UPDATED Sunday February 19, 2017

We had a very nice dinner party at Sri Siam Cafe on Friday night:

On The Menu: Crispy rice with pork, beef panang and steamed rice, chicken satay with cucumber salad and toast, pad Thai noodles with chicken, green curry chicken, tom kai soup and a Thai iced tea (no cream). There were three other dishes that I didn’t eat and we cancelled two other dishes that they didn’t bring. So much food, so full.

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Yo-Yo Ma and Dinner at the Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl!

Yo-Yo Ma and Dinner at the Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl!

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Another Thursday night concert at the Hollywood Bowl on a beautiful summer evening in Los Angeles! The staycation-vacation continues!

5:45pm Arrive at the Bowl and pay $18 to stack park the car in the “B” lot on the hill.

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl – Auto $18 stack parking (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Very early! We had a 6pm dinner reservation at Patina Rooftop Grill, so we were allowed in  before they opened the house to the public.  I took a couple pictures of the empty Bowl:

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl – empty house before opening (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl – empty house before opening (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

And after dinner, I took this pic of the Bowl filling with people from the same spot:

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Patina Rooftop Grill

Dining al fresco on the open air patio is a real treat at the Hollywood Bowl.

 

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dining al Fresco at Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

On The Menu: Ahi tuna poke, caesar salad, bread & butter, BBQ grilled shrimp, Tillamook mac’n’cheese, classic cheesecake with berries and whipped cream, a coke, and a double espresso. (Made steak the night before and had a steak sandwich for breakfast, so I went with the tuna and shrimp starters and mac’n’cheese side instead of the steak entree.

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Ahi Tuna Poke at Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Caesar Salad at Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

BBQ Grilled Shrimp at the Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Ribeye Steak at Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

House Wines at Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dessert! Classic Cheesecake with berries, whipped cream, and a double espresso (not pictured) at the Patina Rooftop Grill at the Hollywood Bowl  (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

7:45pm Dinner completed. Time to find our seats for the show!

Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Showtime! Yo-Yo Ma at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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Sunday Brunch at the LUXE Hotel On Sunset

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE Hotel On Sunset – On Sunset Restaurant

Big Thanks to the LUXE Hotel On Sunset, the On Sunset Restaurant and LWH Hotels for the wonderful brunch! I was lucky and won brunch for 2 at the Tokyo Cerulean Hotel Reception at the LUXE On Rodeo (see past blogs, it was a great event!). I had to wait until after football season for a free Sunday, so today we went to collect my win and try their well reviewed Brunch.

I love this hotel. It’s a beautiful property! You can take the full photographic tour in my other blogs, there are a couple of links at the bottom of this page. This blog is just about the brunch and the delicious food and drink that we enjoyed today.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch Ahead at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I made a reservation and we had a lovely table reserved for us on the restaurant patio.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Cold Table: seafood – crab claws, crab legs, shrimp, oysters, bagel, lox and grav lox, cream cheese, sushi, scallop ceviche, fish ceviche, herring, meat plate – salami, turkey, 3 kinds of cheeses, crackers, tomatos and mozzarella, salad, muffins, danish, coffee cake and all kinds of bread.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hot Table: chafing dishes – bacon and sausage, roast potato, mexican rice, mashed potato, roast peppers and vegetables, fish in sauce, pancakes, french toast, waffles, blintzes, eggs benedict, and more.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Omelets, crepes and prime rib. Oh my!

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Prime Rib carving station. With Au Jus and horseradish sauce.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Crab legs, crab claws, shrimp, and oysters.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Bloody Mary, fresh squeezed Orange Juice, Iced Tea and Coffee to drink.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Cold Plate: sushi, crab legs, crab claws, shrimp, scallop ceviche, bagel, lox, grav lox, and cream cheese.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Cold plate; cornbread muffin, chocolate danish, salami, turkey, pepperjack cheese, bread, and a california roll.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Prime rib au jus with horseradish sauce, eggs benedict, and cheese blintzes with berry sauce.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Bacon, sausage, french toast, roast potato, and mashed potato.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Fruit: pineapple, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, Dessert: mini fruit tart, flourless brownie, and a chocolate mouse cake roll.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Many tempting desserts and a fruit platter.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

You can dine indoors in the dining room or bar area or on the restaurant patio or bar patio.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Today’s brunch was accompanied by music from a wonderful jazz trio.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

LUXE Hotel On SunsetSunset Blvd (at the 405 freeway), West Los Angeles, CA

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23-MAY-13: Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Spoonful

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Spoonful

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Spoonful (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Spoonful (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I went to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Spoonful.  It was fun.  The office is just a short drive down Ventura Boulevard.  And the restaurant is on Cahuenga Blvd West across the street from Universal Studios, Citywalk, and the 101 Freeway.

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Spoonful (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Spoonful (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I checked in and was given a drink ticket which I quickly exchanged for a Moonlight Madness (Apple Pie “Moonshine” corn liquor, vodka, ginger ale, granny smith apple garnish) served in a small mason jar.  There were tray passed appetizers: Olive, sundried tomato, basil and mozzarella skewers; Buffalo-ranch cocktail shrimp with toothpicks; and marinated and grilled meatballs with toothpicks which were delicious.

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Spoonful (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Spoonful (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

There was a pretty good turnout, everybody was very social, and I met lots of new people.  It’s also great to put a face to the name on those emails you’ve been getting….

I want to come back and try a bunch of things on the menu.  Thumbs up for Spoonful!

Spoonful3413 Cahuenga Blvd West, L.A., CA  90068   http://www.spoonfulrestaurant.com 

UPDATE: Spoonful has CLOSED PERMANENTLY.

Another victim of the Cahuenga Curve!

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Dinner & Show: Thai Food at Chan Dara & “Dreamgirls” @ the Met Theater in Hollywood

Friday 12-April-2013

Drove the 101 Freeway into Hollywood (no traffic!) and picked up my friend Jessica on a warm Friday evening for dinner and a show.  Reservation for 6:45pm at House of Chan Dara (Larchmont) and a lovely Thai food meal ahead.

A quick car ride and a short walk after self parking on Larchmont, we arrived at our destination:

House of Chan Dara - 310 North Larchmont, Hollywood

House of Chan Dara – 310 North Larchmont, Hollywood

ChandaraPIC

We were both hungry, and I didn’t take the food pics until after we had both eaten, so apologies (or not, because it was delicious) and imagine the plates with even more food!

We shared a tasty chicken satay with peanut sauce appetizer (4 skewers),

Chicken satay with peanut sauce  appetizer (4 skewers)

Chicken satay with peanut sauce appetizer (4 skewers)

a spicy beef panang which was delicious but the meat was just a little overcooked,

Spicy Beef Panang

Spicy Beef Panang

a great plate of chicken and shrimp pad thai noodles,

Chicken and Shrimp Pad Thai Noodles

Chicken and Shrimp Pad Thai Noodles

and an order of yummy sweet and crispy mee krob.

Crispy and Sweet Mee Krob

Sweet and Crispy Mee Krob

I had a Thai iced tea with no cream and Jessica had a glass of red wine.

My friend Jessica Jolly is a very talented actor/standup comedian/writer/producer/director and currently be seen in “The Broad Casters – Football for Girls Who Like Football” on Funny or Die: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/cd317b2861/the-broadcasters (NSFW)

Jessica enjoying the sweet and crispy Mee Krob

Jessica enjoying the sweet and crispy Mee Krob for the camera and making me laugh!

The food was fantastic, and it is every time I eat here or at the other Chan Dara (at Cahuenga and Sunset in Hollywood proper) and the price is very reasonable.  Dinner for two (or four if you count the leftovers) with drinks and tip ~$75.  The service is very good, and the portions are big, so we had a lot of leftovers to take home.  But, it wasn’t time to go home yet…

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My friend Keith Arthur Bolden is starring in “Dreamgirls” at the Met Theater in Hollywood presented by the Doma Theatre Company http://www.domatheatre.com.  He’s a great actor and he absolutely brings it as Jimmy “Thunder” Early along with a very talented cast and chorus.  The LIVE BAND did a fantastic job and rocked the house, with a special shout out to the keyboard player and conductor!  The show is getting rave reviews and has been extended through May 5th.155602_10152737492845584_1320352895_n

View Keith’s IMDB pagehttp://www.imdb.com/name/nm1080768/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

The Met Theater is in East Hollywood, on Oxford, just east of Western, and just north of Santa Monica. Parking is tight but there are two lots that are available for the theater, stack park at Earl Scheib, or park at Catalina Marketplace (enter alley just east of Western off Santa Monica) for $5.

The Met Theater - up the stairs to the Lobby

The Met Theater – up the stairs to the Lobby

The Lobby at the Met is too small for the house and the Box Office is inside and on the far side of the Lobby.  The show was full but not sold out and the lobby was hot and crowded.  Because of some technical difficulties the show started about a half hour late, and the show producers offered free drinks at the bar while we waited.  BRAVO!!!

Technical Difficulties = Free drinks at the bar!

Technical Difficulties = Free drinks at the bar!

Jessica had a glass of red wine and I had a Heineken and we continued talking while we waited.  We went down the stairs to the landing where it wasn’t crowded and hot and it didn’t take very long before they solved the problems and opened the house.

Dreamgirls "Stage" Set at the Met- preshow

Dreamgirls split-level “Stage” Set at the Met – preshow

The show was worth the wait!  It was well staged and wonderfully choreographed.  The music was performed live and the band rocked the house.  The lead actors were extremely talented and gave strong performances. The large chorus did a great job acting as supporting characters and executing the large musical numbers.  The singing and dancing was very well executed, and the staging was creative and entertaining.  The production value was amazing!  The set and lighting design was very effective.  The period wigs were hilarious!  And the costumes were absolutely fantastic!  Special congratulations go to the costume designer  and director for a job well done.

My friend Keith was terrific!  I had only seen him do heavy, dramatic material prior to this show and was pleasantly suprised to see him sing and dance as well as act.  He had the  entire audience cheering as he sang “Jimmy Wants More!” so it’s not just a biased opinion.  I was again reminded of how many talented people there are in Los Angeles, who perform in smaller theaters every weekend while chasing the Hollywood dream.  The show was fun but wasn’t perfect.  The performances were mixed,  with some actors not as strong as the leads.  And the show was long, with the first act running 90 minutes and the second act running almost an hour with a brief intermission.  Overall it was an entertaining and exciting piece of musical theater with a very talented cast, and at a caliber not often seen in a smaller theater space. Check out the reviews and go see it!

Watch a preview  of “Dreamgirls” at the Met on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyA7MqoogTw

We waited for Keith after the show, thanked him for the tickets and congratulated him and other members of the cast.  It’s always good when you see someone you know perform and it’s great (not so good when it’s not good).  We talked for awhile and after saying goodnight and a fast walk to the car, I drove Jessica home and then headed back to the valley.  It was a very fun night!