HO HO HO! Our December Holiday Music Playlist 2018!

HO HO HO!
Here is our December Holiday Music Playlist for 2018!

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“…some burgers, some beers, a few laughs.
Our f*cking troubles are over, Dude.”
– Walter Sobchak, “The Big Lebowski”

Jimmy Buffett “Mele Kalikimaka”

From the classic “Year Without A Santa Claus”, it’s Snow Miser!

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I’m Mister White Christmas
I’m Mister Snow
I’m Mister Icicle
I’m Mister Ten Below
Friends call me Snow Miser
What ever I touch
Turns to snow in my clutch
I’m too much!

 

Welcome to our December Holiday Music Playlist! We hope you enjoy this year’s selections of festive curated tunes for your listening pleasure.
So, let’s get this Winter Party started and everyone have a real good time!

The Drifters “White Christmas”

We wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah,
a Glorious Kwanzaa, a Celebratory December Holiday,
Joyous Winter Solstice, a Raucous Saturnalia,
a Pleasant Festivus for the Rest of Us and a Healthy New Year!

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Old School Cool! Have a Koo Koo Kristmas December Holiday!

Dean Martin “Walking In A Winter Wonderland”

Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra Christmas Duet “A Marshmallow World” (12-21-1967)

Frank Sinatra & Bing Crosby “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town” & “White Christmas” 1957

And just to briefly address the controversy of this year’s Holiday Season:

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Worry about something else. Like Starbuck’s cups.
Or whether “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie (Yes It Is.).

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“Now I have a machine gun. Ho, Ho, Ho!”

Christmas With Vince Gill in Tulsa 12-22-1993
Amy Grant, Chet Atkins, Vince Gill and Michael McDonald
“Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”, “East Tennessee Christmas”, Vince and Chet pick “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” and everyone sings “Christmastime Is Near”.

Grand Ol’ Opry: Chet Atkins, Duane Eddy, Doyle Dykes, Mike Snyder “I Saw The Light”

United States Navy Band “Dueling Jingle Bells” (your tax dollars paid for this)

 

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Greg Lake with Ian Anderson on flute, David Arch on keyboards, Florian Opahle on acoustic guitar and the St. Bride’s Church choir perform “I Believe in Father Christmas” Live in London.

 

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“How about a football kid?”

Grateful Dead 1971 “Run Rudolph Run” (Pigpen on lead vocals)

Hey Now! If you’ve come this far, perhaps you’ll go a little FURTHUR. Aiko Aiko All Day!

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“Wishing You a Jerry Christmas and Happy Bob Weir!”

Grateful Dawg “G-d Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” (Garcia/Grisman arrangement)

Rockin’ Around the Christmas December Holiday Tree!
It’s the Christmas December Holiday party hop!

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You Need MORE COWBELL!

Everyone loves a December Holiday Flashmob!
Adrián De la Garza, the Mayor of Monterrey, Mexico, shares a Flashmob:
Los Mariachis! “Feliz Navidad” & “White Christmas” 

And Another AMAZING Flashmob! (just wait for the guitar solo!)
popCHORn Choir’s “Stairway to Heaven” in the Kirschgarten in Mainz, Germany

Just Enjoy the Music. Just Enjoy the Music. Shut Up. Just Enjoy the Music.
(just one of the cool things you can find on YouTube after midnight)

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Elf Yourself!

Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” for Mandolin Orchestra
Live at der Schlossgartenhalle Ettlingen in Germany
“Remember when we young, we shone like the sun”

I am not your Santa Clause! “Call me Elf one more time!” 

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“You’re Not Santa. You Smell Like Beef And Cheese.”

NOTE: We did not make a Christmas/December Holiday music playlist last year,
so if you need to hear some more seasonal tunes (and these are very cool tunes),
click and open the links to our 2015 and 2016 Holiday Music Blog Posts:
2015 Holiday Music Playlist>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/12/24/christmas-countdown-playlist-2015/
2016 Holiday Music Playlist>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2016/12/25/holiday-music-playlist-2016/

Burning christmas tree

Oh Burning Christmas December Holiday Tree!

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Oh, Christmas December Holiday Tree!

And finally, that time
The Band opened for The Grateful Dead on New Year’s Eve ’83-’84

Pax et Justitia (Peace and Justice)
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM JOSHWILLTRAVEL!

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CarrotTop in the Remake of “Home Alone!”



Sharing this vid from the Retro Relief for Fire Victims (see our previous Blog Post).
If you need someone to get the party started here’s Doña Oxford doing the Boogie Woogie on electric piano! I’d definitely invite her to play my next party! www.youtube.com/watch?v=E21XFEiB99A

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Happy Halloween 2018!

Happy Halloween 2018!
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Oh, that was last night?

And now a local child:

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Winner!

And of course

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Joreth the Pumpkin (thanks Jonathan Barwood)

An excellent tribute and a great pumpkin likeness!

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Joreth the Pumpkin (thanks Jonathan Barwood)

Great Costume:

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Halloween Costume Win!

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Oooooh, Very Scary.

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Oooooh, REALLY SCARY!

California Sky!


California sky,
Golden sunset in the west.
Why live anywhere else?

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California Sky! Sunset Over the Sepulveda Reservoir 

 

Just another beautiful day in paradise……

All photos and poetry copyright 2018 JoshWillTravel

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HAPPY 4th OF JULY! 70000 Hits!

HAPPY 4th OF JULY! 70000 Hits!

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CELEBRATE FREEDOM AND LIBERTY!
Remember those who don’t have theirs.

 

And we passed 70000 unsolicited hits on this Blog last week!

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See our previous Blog Posts for our past 4th of July Blog Posts!

2017>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/happy-4th-of-july-have-a-celebration/

2015>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/happy-4th-of-july-weekend-celebrate-freedom-liberty/

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“Be Safe Out There!”

The Los Angeles Dodgers Blackout/Boycott Continues in 2018!

The Los Angeles Dodgers Blackout/Boycott Continues in 2018!

Go ahead and spend BIG Money on tickets, parking, food and merchandise. Or choose Time-Warner/Spectrum/SportsNet and pay BIG Money for the privilege to watch the games on television in your home. The Los Angeles Dodgers will let you down again!

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Boycott! Posted on facebook April 6, 2015

I’m quoted by Steve Lopez in today’s (5-20-2018) Sunday LA Times California section about the Dodgers’ Blackout/Boycott:

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L.A. Times Sunday California Section 5-20-2018

“In Encino, Josh Weisel is no longer a Dodgers fan, after 50 years of loyalty to the team, and he is convinced he knows the reason for the Dodgers horrible start this season. ‘It’s Karma’ said Weisel, who is in direct communication with the baseball gods. ‘It’s a curse on the Dodgers, and they won’t win until the fans can watch the games again.’

“In Encino, Josh Weisel said he’s got plenty of entertainment options and the Dodgers are no longer one of them.”

dodg

L.A. Times Sunday California Section 5-20-2018 continued

Read the Blog Post that started it all> https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/boycott-the-los-angeles-dodgers-and-time-warner-cable/
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Actually this Blog Post started it all> https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/there-is-no-joy-in-mudville-the-dodgers-have-struck-out-again/

choke-dodgers

 

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And we miss Vin Scully too!

 

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“Go Cubs! Go!”

Miss Donuts in Reseda, California

Miss Donuts in Reseda, California

Filming location for “Boogie Nights”

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Just another Donut store in the San Fernando Valley? Yes, and NO!
It was the location for the climatic scene in the film “Boogie Nights” where Don Cheadle’s character Buck Swope is caught in the middle of a robbery and shootout.

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And they have really tasty Donuts and Pastries!

On The Menu: DONUTS! Chocolate custard filled, chocolate bar, raspberry jelly filled, a cinnamon roll and a Napoleon pastry “to go”.

Miss Donuts – 18231 Sherman Way, Reseda, California (west of Lindley)

All photos copyright 2018 JoshWillTravel

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Don Cheadle in “Boogie Nights” (not my pic)

And time to eat the donuts…

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Donuts from Miss Donuts in Reseda, California

 

ROAD TRIP to Ashland, Oregon!

ROAD TRIP to Ashland, Oregon! Ten Days “On The Road” and on a mission.

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Cold Rain and Snow! Ashland, Oregon 3-14-18

Los Angeles, California to Ashland, Oregon and now WE ARE BACK!

NOTE: The road trip happened in early March with the threat of winter weather in the north and in the Siskiyou Pass into Oregon, so we had to time our travel and hope for good weather on both sides.

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Monday Morning Road Trip! Los Angeles to Ashland (670 miles) in 10 hours! Instead of stopping, we decided to make a straight shot on Interstate 5 (via the 405 freeway) to stay ahead of the winter weather in the Siskiyou Pass…

A long, beautiful, uneventful drive north with the intent to get there as soon as possible while driving as safe as possible. “No tickets, no accidents, and no encounters with law enforcement” makes for a good trip. We stopped for gas and to stretch our legs (and other business) along the way, and arrived in Oregon in only 10 hours!

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Tejon Pass, California

NOTE: This Blog Post was delayed again because of technical issues. Our primary computer crashed recently and it had the transferred pics ready to upload.

 

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Mt. Shasta in the Siskiyou Pass, California (things start getting blurry)

670 miles and ten hours later we were in Ashland, Oregon!

WE LOVE ASHLAND!

There was beautiful weather all week long. It had snowed the week before, there was snow on the mountains, Mt. Ashland ski resort was open for business, and there was even still some snow on the ground the first day. It was cold and windy at night the first couple nights, and it was raining/snowing in the pass, but the weather stayed really nice during the day (sunny and in the 70s) from Ashland to Medford most of the time.

 

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Ashland Creek in Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon

 

Scenes from the Ranch:

 

 

On The Menu in Ashland:

Lunch at Sesame Asian Kitchen in Ashland

Dinner at The Loft in Ashland
NY steak & prawns, fries, veggies, caesar salad, tuna tartare, bread & butter, an excellent 1993 Southing Sea Smoke pinot noir, and a coke
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Pizza (take-out) from Kaleidoscope Pizza in Medford
Lunch (take-out) from Arby’s
Lunch (take-out soups) from Olive Garden

BBQ Tri-Tip Sandwiches for Dinner at the Ranch
Pasta and Meatballs with cheesy bread and a coke for Dinner at the Ranch
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Pizza and Champagne Dinner at the Ranch with friends
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Ice Cream from Grater’s in Cincinnati, Ohio (via UPS)
pints of black raspberry chocolate chip, cherry chocolate chip,
salted caramel chocolate chip, and chocolate chocolate chip
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Girl Scout Cookies: Tagalongs and Samoas

Dinner (take-out) from La Tapatia in Phoenix (Oregon, not Arizona)
2 chicken street tacos with salsa

Dinner (take-out) from Harvey’s Place in Ashland
roast beef dip sandwich and fries
(Read our previous Blog Post about Harvey’s Place>
)

Sushi Lunch at Bonsai in Medford
sushi, sashimi and cut rolls

Dinner at Beasy’s on the Creek in Ashland
shrimp cocktail, clam chowder, grilled prawns (didn’t eat them, got them “to go”), bread & butter, red wine, a coke, and no dessert thank you

Hand-made Chocolates from Lillie Belle Farms in Central Point

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Oregon Sky 2

 

Walking in Lithia Park on Monday Afternoon (almost alone)
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Ashland Creek in Lithia Park

 

Heading South on Wednesday! Destination: Oakland and then Home!

There was rain and snow in Ashland, in the Siskiyou Pass, and even further south to the Bay Area. And more stormy weather was predicted for Thursday and through the weekend, so when the weather looked clear on Wednesday morning we headed south hoping to get through the pass without incident or chain requirements. It rained a little, it snowed a little, there was a little sleet and then it was clear and beautiful the whole way to Oakland.

We stopped for an hour at the Rolling Hills Casino in Corning, California on the I-5.

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Rolling Hills Casino – Corning, California

 

Going south, we had the choice to “stay on or get off?”: stay on and keep going south on the I-5 with Los Angeles as our destination or get off and take the 505 Winters cutoff to the Bay Area with an Oakland stopover as our destination. We almost kept going, but decided to detour west, get a hotel room, have dinner and rest for the night instead.

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San Leandro Bridge and Puffy Clouds 3-14-18

We were going to stay at a hotel in Emeryville where we got off the freeway because East Bay traffic was jammed, but found a good deal on a room at the LaQuinta Inn near the Oakland Airport online and made a same-day reservation through an internet site because it was easy and we were tired. We had Dinner at the Black Bear Diner in Emeryville on Pi Day and tried to connect with a friend who was local via telephone.

On the Menu: Breakfast for dinner.
2 eggs over medium. bacon (with extra bacon), biscuits & gravy, and iced coffee
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and then a small chocolate cream pie “to go”
We enjoyed it with some “free” coffee from the lobby in our hotel room.

 

 

After we ate, we drove over to the La Quinta Inn at the Oakland Airport via surface streets to avoid the freeway traffic and soon arrived at the hotel without too much trouble.
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We checked in, went to the room, unpacked, took a nice hot shower and shaved, and then got dressed to go and meet our friend. But it was too late (almost 8:30pm) so we got undressed and ate some of our pie and quickly fell asleep.

Thursday 7am: Leftover Pie and a Continental Breakfast!

On the Menu (a nice continental breakfast at the hotel): scrambled eggs, bagel with cream cheese, cornflakes and milk, and coffee. We also took a banana, an apple, 2 blueberry muffins, and a bagel with peanut butter and jelly for the road trip home. We also enjoyed the leftover chocolate cream pie and some canned pineapple juice before breakfast.

Thursday 11am: On The Road Again!
I-5 south (via 580) Oakland to Los Angeles

The LaQuinta loyalty program offers a late check-out to guests, so we could have stayed until 1pm. Instead we enjoyed the “free” breakfast, packed our bags, and loaded the car The early storm passed and morning Bay Area traffic cleared and we left at 11am to get on the road and get clear of the weather. From Oakland we had the choice to take the faster Interstate 5 (east route) or more scenic US highway 101 (west route) south to Los Angeles and so we chose the 5 south, again because of the stormy weather on the coast.

There was a little residual rain as we left the Bay Area at Livermore, but then it was blue skies all day and the whole way to L.A. and it only took 5 & 1/2 hours with one stop for gas.

 

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Los Angeles Again 3-15-18

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Oakland Sunrise 3-15-18

RFDTV BOYCOTT IS ON – SAY NO TO PAULA DEEN!

RFDTV BOYCOTT IS ON – SAY NO TO PAULA DEEN!

PAULA DEEN IS A RACIST!

TODAY in 2018, MORE THAN EVER, WE MUST COMBAT RACISM, BIGOTRY, ANTI-SEMITISM & HATE EVERYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD!

BOYCOTT RFDTV, The Cowboy Channel, Rural Radio and Rural Media Group, Inc.

We are going to boycott your network and your advertisers. Paula Deen does not belong on television or in any public forum. She is an admitted racist and your network can really do much better. WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THIS OK? We will not be watching or buying from your advertisers for as long as she is on your network. THAT IS ALL.

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TODAY in 2018, MORE THAN EVER, WE MUST COMBAT RACISM, BIGOTRY, ANTI-SEMITISM & HATE EVERYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD!

Paula-Deen-Racism

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“Nothing in the world is more dangerous
than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr. January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

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“Man of the Year” TIME magazine 1963
(How Time has changed…)



 

 

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!

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)

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

 

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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!



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! 

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

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

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!