Category Archives: Ventura County

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

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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.

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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:

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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

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Getting my fish on at Lure Fish House

Half of EMC headed out to Camarillo for some seafood and he brought his mom along to get in on some extra food and because that way I don’t look so lonely eating at places by myself so much.  Now I know what you’re thinking. “Mikey you have a mother? You’re telling us you weren’t hatched in some government lab? “

Yep it’s true.  I have a mom and she’s the best mom in the whole entire world.  Now I know you’re saying to yourself, “Yeah she might be great but my mom’s way better.”

I’m sorry to break down your walls of illusion but all mothers pale in comparison to mine.  Not only is she the best mom since the dawn of man, but she is also a great person to bring along for a great fish dinner.  We originally wanted to hit up a new Mexican joint down on Ventura Blvd, but it was closed so she suggested Lures after having been there a few weeks ago.

Lure Fishhouse – Camarillo

Lure is your top of the line modern seafood restaurant.  It’s got that steakhouse Outback, Wood Ranch kinda feel except with fish.  It’s a huge place so it is perfect for your big party get-togethers, but a little more difficult for one on one dinners. Being that it’s large and open, its hard to hear who you are talking to and you pretty much hear everyone around you.  Very clean, very modern, and very open.

The staff are all very nice without being too Disney and our waiter was very customer service oriented. He was ready and willing to answer questions which with my mom is a must ’cause she has more questions than Trivial Pursuit (the deluxe edition that comes with 5 thousand more questions). The menu is simple and has plenty of dishes. There is a great variety of appetizers and entrees. They even list dishes that show which meals use fish that were not farmed or caught in mass fishery nets run by the man.

They also cook with some of our local fish caught right here in Ventura waters. They have a few entrees using our local rock cod which I think I’ll try next time.  Having caught it and cooked it myself, I’d love to see if it’s better than mine. Continue reading

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Taqueria La Hermita

by Mikey

So I’ve been asking around to find really big burritos in order to warm up for my quest to take on the B3 at the Sahara in Las Vegas.  My neighbor told me that TLH (I’m just going to use the initials because I’m way to lazy to keep typing the name) had a fairly good sized burrito called the super burrito.  Time for a little warm up…

Taqueria La Hermita – Ventura – Johnson Blvd

TLH is really only big enough to be run by two people at a time: a cashier and a cook.  The cook is right next to the cashier so he was cooking my food as I was ordering it.  I ordered their carne asada super burrito with everything.  They told me that it was a bit over 2lbs, so it’s a good warm up.  I didn’t want to order more than one because I was a bit worried I wouldn’t like it.

They handed me the goods and it felt pretty heavy.  It was a pretty large burrito, and definitely not one you’re going to pick up and eat. The tortillas they use are pretty good and very fresh.  The sauce has a great kick and it’s kinda nice to have a burrito with a little bite.  They have a pretty good salsa and it has great jalapeno action happening.

It was pretty much down hill from there, which really sucks, because they have some great prices on their combo meals.  The carne is so diced up I could almost eat it through a straw, not to mention that it was closer to grey than brown.  I’ve never had meat so cut up.  What adds to the whole dicing thing is that the cheese is all crumbly, not shredded or even cubed, but crumbly.  The guacamole seemed a bit off too.

The beans and rice were fairly bland and the sour cream was tasteless too.  Their salsa saves the burrito as far as flavor, but it’s not enough to bail out a burrito of this size.  I ate the whole thing because I needed the practice, but my search is definitely going to have to continue for an even larger, and hopefully better tasting, burrito.

If you recommend places for me to try, don’t just give me some place that puts together a really large burrito. Let’s try and make sure it tastes good to so that I’ll actually want to finish it.  This burrito was more like the last few Nicolas Cage movies. You wanna like it, and really hope it gets better by the end, but alas……….

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China Palace

by Mikey

It’s time for some Chinese food and China Palace advertises authentic Mandarin & Szechwan cuisine.  This is all well and good, but the real question is: how does it eat?
I was taking this particular order to go ’cause I wanted to do a little Trader Joe shopping and then get home so I could submerge myself in my self-loathing.

China Palace – Ventura Victoria Blvd next to Trader Joes

I went into the Palace to get a couple of orders of this and an order of that. What I ended up doing was following the direction of a really nice lady who was very helpful.  I’ve never bought Chinese food from someone this helpful.  She explained every dish and set me up with a great combination to try the most possible without spending a lot. Even if the food sucked, at this point, I still take my hat off to the Palace. Continue reading

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Evita’s Mexican Café

by Mikey

I was told to hit Evita’s for the salsa and the enchiladas.  Since I dig both, I headed on over.  Evita’s has won a few local awards for salsa at the Oxnard salsa festivals and you can view their various awards right over the salsa bar.  I was hoping I was in for, at the least, some really good salsas.

Evita’s Mexican Café – Ventura off of Main St

Evita’s is a little pink restaurant on the side of Main St, at the East end, before you hit the Pacific View Mall.  Even though I rarely enter a pink building, because it is a man card violation, I figured it was for a good cause and I had already gotten another violation that day for watching Footloose.

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