Best Appetizer of 2009 and maybe of all time…

by Brian

I will be very happy when Time Warner decides to give Mikey his cable and internet back.  I’ve been relegated to stealing internet from neighbors just to get posts up and I must say that it sucks the big one.  So anyway, I apologize for missing last night’s post and hope that this one will make it up to you.

Also, I don’t have pics of this place because I only had my cameraphone and this restaurant was darker than Wesley Snipes, so sorry.

Sunset Terrace Restaurant and Lounge– In the Janss Mall on Moorpark Rd., Thousand Oaks

So I went out last night to see Angels & Demons with a friend.  Before we saw the film, which I was disappointed in quite frankly, we decided to stop in at Sunset Terrace to have a couple drinks and some dinner.

Sunset is a little dark even in the day.  The furnishings are nice, but the lack of light makes the bar seem out of place considering it’s in a mall in Thousand Oaks.  Still, they are always busy and right next to the theater so it’s a great place to get drinks before a show.  I personally need at least 3 beers before seeing anything with Tom Hanks.

The beers come in two sizes, man-size which is 23 ounces and lady-size, which is 14.  I pride myself on my masculinity and therefore had to go with the big boy beer.  They have some good ones on tap, including stella, harp, newcastle and a seasonal sam adams, which happened to be the summer ale.  They also have a decent selection of wines by the glass for the wine drinkers out there and a full bar for the full blown alcoholics.  You know who you are.

As I was leasurely drinking my brew, I spotted an appetizer that I just had to try.  It was called the Spicy Shrimp.  Once again, I did not get a picture of this, so just close your eyes (after you read the description) and try to imagine what was perhaps the best appetizer I’ve ever eaten.

The plate arrived with 6 huge shrimp, butterflied and stuffed with feta cheese and a whole jalapeno.  The whole shrimp was then wrapped in bacon and drizzled with a sweet and spicy thai chili sauce.  This may sound a little crude, but I kinda wanted to take my pants off and make sweet, sweet, Barry White love to this dish.

It was spicy.  It was savory.  It was sweet and creamy and fantastical.  In short, it was everything I’ve ever hoped for in any relationship I’ve ever been in.  But this wasn’t wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am.  Even sharing, I had enough food to consider this thing a long term affair.

I don’t even know why I ordered dinner, but I did.  It was pretty great too.  I got the Cajun Pasta and my friend decided on the Stuffed Sole. 

My dish was a linguine pasta, with a spicy tomato cream sauce.  It also had sausage, chunks of crawfish, mushrooms, red and green peppers, red onion and a lot of blackened chicken.  It had a good amount of heat which translated into a little sweat on the brow.  But the spice wasn’t so overpowering that you couldn’t taste the flavor.  In fact, it was right in the sweet spot for me.  After the shrimp, I was stuffed and I only made it through about a quarter of the dinner because it was so huge.   I took the rest home, re-heated it for dinner tonight and still had enough left over to eat myself into submission.

My friends stuffed sole looked pretty good.  She gave me a bite and I thought it was average.  The “stuffing” is breaded scallop, which I felt became a little mushy in the middle of the fish.  Not my favorite texture.  My friend liked it and disagreed with my assessment.  I kept thinking that the stuffing reminded me of stovetop and that I couldn’t tell where the breading ended and the scallop began.  Also, I didn’t feel like the fish was that great and it could have used more sauce.  The sauce I did get, with lots of awesome capers, was very good.  Compared to my pasta and to the shrimp appetizer, I could have sworn that the sole came out of a different kitchen.

The food prices at Sunset Terrace are not cheap.  But the drink prices are pretty good.  I’m a firm believer in “you get what you pay for” and so I’m willing to pay a little more for the quality.  They do have great deals on Mondays and Tuesdays, with buckets of beers and appetizers on special.  Check out their website at to see their special offers.

Overall, this place is more known for being a bar.  That said, their food is way above the standard bar fare.  It’s a great little watering hole and one of the few places in T.O. that’s open until 2am.  The service there can get a little spotty when they are busy, so make sure to take a little patience with you if you go on a Friday or Saturday night.  The staff is nice, but they just seem to have them pretty extended on a regular basis.

I will be going back and not just because I think it’s fun to get drunk at the mall.  The spicy shrimp was the highlight of my week, and rivaled the famed Disneyland Monte Cristo for culinary supremacy.  That dish alone should be all the reason you need to go and give Sunset Terrace some of your hard earned Hamiltons.  If you do take the plunge, let us know about it in the comments.

Stay tuned to EatMeCalifornia, because if Mikey still doesn’t have internet tomorrow, I’m going to show you how not to make a monte cristo.  It’s a lesson every restaurant and every diner needs to learn.


Filed under Thousand Oaks, Ventura County

2 responses to “Best Appetizer of 2009 and maybe of all time…

  1. Charles Dixon

    Hello Brian…

    I checked out your review of CJ’s BBQ
    and I think that you are a guy that tells the truth…
    I want you to check out JD’s Louisiana BBQ and let me know what you think….
    I don’t like to brag because self praise is the cheeepest thing on earth… JD’s Louisiana BBQ
    has been at the corner of Wooley and Patterson Rd.
    in Oxnard for two and a half years selling REAL
    Southern Style BBQ. I will guarantee you that you will be treated well and fed the best BBQ in this town!!!! You don’t even have to tell me when you come… All I want is a honest and fair review….
    Note: Since CJ’s BBQ,Smokeys (BIG BUCKS) House of Tastless BBQ and Bob and the Boys are all in my neighborhood.. they have attempted to make life real rough for JD’s Louisiana BBQ by doing dastardly and devilish things… they have become more than competitors ..they are more like enemies….


    ” From the South to Your Mouth”

  2. Pingback: The Ventura BBQ Wars Continue – JD’s Louisiana BBQ « EatMeCalifornia

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