Author Archives: Brian

About Brian

I am awesome.

Moorpark’s Own Craft Beer

by Brian

Lately, I’ve been on a bit of a craft brew kick.  Actually, that’s an outright lie.  I’ve been obsessed.  Since leaving San Diego, I have been searching for the camaraderie and creativity that only craft brewing has been able to give me.  Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of useful pursuits out there.  But not many are as interesting as the purposeful brewing and joyful consumption of my beloved beer.

My buddy Dave and had I brewed our own Double IPA.  I guess what I’d like to say about it (because the wound is still a little open) is that it was a learning experience.  Looking to increase my knowledge in local beers, as well as a way to drown my sorrows, I decided to go find a small brewery in Moorpark called Enegren Brewing Company.

Enegren Brewing Company – Flinn Avenue in Moorkpark

The idea of being able to visit a brewery is a fairly new development in the beer world.  It has only been with the explosion in home brewing, that the concept of beer as science and craft has been made available to the masses.  There are ancient breweries in Germany, Belgium, and Ireland that had been painstakingly crafting the same beer for hundreds of years protected by rows of razor wire, explosive ordinance and monkeys packing Clint Eastwood-like Colt .45s.  All that changed when the common man rose up against such tyranny and began the crusade for free beer.  (Well, you still have to pay for it, but you get what I mean…)

The people of Enegren embrace this counter-culture approach to beer.  When you walk into their tasting room, the smell of a fresh batch of grain, boiling with anticipation of its destiny, often hangs in the air.  On the wall, displayed like a work of art, is the schematic for their brewing operation.  Rather than hiding their process from “the competition,” they seek to educate and inform on how this nectar of the gods is made.

A glass of the "Protector" IPA

A glass of the “Protector” IPA

Anyway, enough soliloquy on the freedom of beer.  Here’s what I think about the brewery that is Enegren. Continue reading

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Moorpark, Ventura County

Back to Umami

by Brian

So I reviewed this place shortly after opening last year. Let’s just say that I wasn’t impressed. I’ve been in since, but I was bored tonight so I decided to give them the full EMC treatment.

Umami Burger – Thousand Oaks (The Lakes shopping center)

I went into Umami tonight because, honestly, I felt sorry for them. The whole shopping center felt void of human presence. In fact, when I asked the barman (who is also the manager) why it was so empty, he told me that January is the worst month for restaurants. I’m not going to argue with him because it seemed as though myself and the party of six out-of-towners were the only patrons tonight.

photo 5

Still, I decided to sit at the bar and have dinner. I figured that, at the very least, my food would be up quickly. The first drawback, though, was trying to actually sit down. It seems that the seats at the bar are constructed from re-purposed bug zappers, fashioned into the shape of ass-hammocks. See exhibit A below:

photo 2 Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Thousand Oaks, Ventura County

Who’s your Daddy?

by Brian

We’ve entered the era of the dog.  It’s official.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, burgers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.  But the newest trend lately seems to be the gourmet hot dog restaurant.  Today’s review comes from a recent trip I made down to San Diego.  I was staying with my great friend, Lisa, who has the most comfy air mattress in the history of the universe.  Seriously, that thing is goooood.  Anyway, what was I talking about?  Oh, right, hot dogs.

Daddy’s Hot Dogs – On University Ave, in Hillcrest

Back in the day (i.e. the 80s) the concept of gourmet food meant white tablecloths, celebrity sightings and people who I would normally refer to as “total douchers.”  Luckily, the concept has evolved a fair amount over the years and legitimate gourmet food can be found in the most unlikely place, or places (if it’s a food truck).  Daddy’s Hot Dog’s isn’t going to win any awards for decor, and it would not inaccurately be described as a ‘hole in the wall.’  Literally.

See? A hole… in a wall.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Hillcrest, San Diego

Umami Mia!

by Brian

So it’s been a year since Mikey has posted and more than two since I’ve been able to come up with anything good to write.  First, I’d just like to say that, no, I wasn’t on hunger strike.  I was working my way toward a law degree and all the fame and fortune that comes with it.  Ironically, I am now in the exact same state as I was when Mikey and I started this site a little over three years ago.  I am currently unemployed.

Alas, a kid’s gotta eat.  So here’s a little post about one of my latest dining adventures at the newest Thousand Oaks hotspot, Umami Burger.

Umami Burger – Thousand Oaks

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit.  I love me some burger goodness.  After all, we’ve had some great ones here at EatMeCalifornia.  The best among them, in my humble opinion, is the Father’s Office burger.  We’ve also had great burgers at The Apple Pan and, of all places, PJ’s dive bar.  With that said, I have to admit that I’ve been hearing the siren’s song that is Umami for quite a few years now, and this, this!, was my chance to dive right in. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Thousand Oaks, Ventura County

Happy Mardi Gras from EMC

by Brian

Happy Fat Tuesday to all of our loyal readers.  As promised, I am giving you a fresh review to peruse.  Hopefully you are all having a great time tonight and remember, “laissez les bon temps roulez.”

So in honor of this great party holiday, I set off in search of some authentic Cajun food in the heart of San Diego.  I’m happy to report that I found a spot that’s only 10 minutes or so from my house.  Lucky me… you know how I love my spicy food.

Gulf Coast Grill – On Park Blvd. between University and El Cajon.

There aren’t many Cajun/creole options in the Greater San Diego area.  In fact, besides this place I only know of one other, and it’s in old town.  Since I generally avoid old town and its horrendous parking situation, I was pretty stoked to find out about Gulf Coast Grill.   Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Balboa Park, Hillcrest, North Park, San Diego

Holy crap, it’s been a whole year…

Alright everyone,

Exactly one year ago tonight, EatMeCalifornia came on the radar.  It’s been a pretty good year overall, I think.  But I can certainly understand the frustration that some of our readers have felt about the lack of content over the past few months.  What I offer you tonight is not an excuse, but rather, an explanation.

You see, over the past year, a lot has changed for Mikey and myself.  I started law school (don’t ask me why) and Mikey has been doing his best to navigate the treacherous waters of single-fatherhood.  While I can’t, and won’t speak for Mikey in this post, I want to assure you all that we still care about the site.  We love food, we love you, and we have the exhausted bathroom scales to prove it.

This post isn’t going to be a food review.  You won’t get the nice pictures and ruthless observations that you’re used to seeing, but that’s okay.  I am here to assure you that EatMeCalifornia is not going the way of the dinosaur/buffalo/Ace of Base.  We’ve been eating… a lot.  And we’re genuinely looking forward to bringing you some great reviews in the near future.  But right now, I’d like to explain myself and why I haven’t been up to snuff.  If you care to read on, I think it’ll give you good reason to still care about us. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Everywhere

It’s good to know your Neighborhood

by Brian

In the month that I’ve been living in San Diego, I’ve had the privilege of eating at some awesome places.  One place, however, has risen above the rest and now qualifies as my home base.  That place, my friends, is the Neighborhood.

Neighborhood is a bar, first and foremost.  They are actually the closest thing to Father’s Office that San Diego can offer.  They have a great selection of craft brews and Belgian ales, and a nice wine list as well.  Recently they have also introduced hard liquor to the bar, in the form of two specialty cocktails which I have yet to try.  All I know is that one of the drinks is made with Hendrick’s Gin, which is really all anyone needs to know in assessing quality.  Here is a picture of my favorite part of the Neighborhood:

photo

As I said before, they have a pretty impressive beer selection.  They also have a happy hour from 4-7 during the week, and during that happy hour all San Diego beers are 2 for 1.  I’ve never seen a 2 for 1 happy hour with drinks before, and I’m not even sure if it’s legal, but I like where they’re going with the idea.  The last thing I will say about the beer menu is that it changes frequently.  If you’re looking to get your normal Stella or Newcastle, then this is not the place for you.  However, if you are looking to experiment with a few amazing IPAs, then I highly recommend them.  Like Father’s Office, the service staff is very knowledgeable about their beers and are always willing to let you have a little taste before you commit. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under East Village, San Diego