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.
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:
Last weekend, Mikey and I had the opportunity to pay a visit to the Ventura County Fair. It was my first time at the fair and I had no idea how big it was going to be. Even more importantly, I had no idea how much food they would have to offer. As it turns out, Mikey and I barely scratched the surface of what they had, before reaching our agreed upon calorie limit of 5000.
The fair is right down by the beach, at Seaside Park. It’s gorgeous, right up until the time when you have to walk back to your car, downwind from that horrid sewage smell that sometimes wafts its way along the beach. Other than that, it’s the perfect location. Parking isn’t too bad and if you’re willing to park in the nearby structure and walk, you’ll get a little exercise before gorging yourself on all the great food.
Obviously there is more to the fair than food. But food was our main reason for attending. They have tons of rides and carnival games, along with local vendors selling their wares. There are also several exhibition halls with everything from local flora to collections of Harry Potter memorabilia. Mikey and I spent 20 bucks each at the carnival and walked away with 3 stuffed animals and a sense of manly pride that only comes from showing a carny what’s what.
But first and foremost we were there to eat. We didn’t really do too much sharing, instead opting to go head to head with our food choices. Round 1 was Mikey’s Tri-tip sandwich vs. my Cajun corndog. Continue reading
This is an EatmeCalifornia first. B and I went back to a place we already reviewed to try out their breakfast. Many of the places we’ve been to have been places that do both breakfast and dinner, but because JD’s BBQ was good, and had a very old school, just like your grandparents used to make, kinda thing goin’ on we thought their breakfast would be something good to try. After all, how many other places do grits like they are supposed to be done?
JD’s BBQ – In Oxnard at Patterson and Wooley
JD’s only does breakfast on the weekends. So if you wanna try it out, don’t show up in the middle of the week or you’ll be waitin’ awhile. Check out our review of JD’s to get a feel for the place. I’m just going to go over our breakfast.
They have a very simple breakfast menu. There are waffles, a large country breakfast, the breakfast burrito and a few others. Brian went with the chicken and waffles, which for anyone who lives around Ventura, it gives us a chance to get chicken and waffles without having to drive so far south. I went with the big country breakfast because where I come from you go big or you go slightly smaller and then people make fun of you. “Look at the big guy with the cute little breakfast. He’s pretending he’s not huge”. Continue reading
As most of you know, the majority of my reviews on EatMeCalifornia are positive ones. After all, we want to promote local businesses that have great food, great service and all the things that make a meal memorable. CJ’s had none of that. In fact, when scouring my experience for positive things to say, I only found two. First, CJ’s serves barbeque. Second, their spicy barbeque sauce is really good. Unfortunately, they don’t serve anything that I’d like to put the aforementioned sauce on.
I didn’t take a picture of the front of this place, mostly because I don’t want you guys to go there. Here’s why… Continue reading
I don’t know why, but Mikey seems to have unfairly usurped my title of “man of the people.” Maybe it’s because I use words like usurp when I write. Who knows? In an effort to get my title back, I’ve decided to bring you a post on the only “dive bar” in Thousand Oaks: PJ’s Pub.
PJ’s Pub – At Moorpark Rd and Avenida de los Arboles in the Trader Joe’s shopping center, Thousand Oaks.
Say what you want about PJ’s. No, really, say what you want about the place, they don’t give a damn. This is a bar that makes no apologies for what they are: a place to play some pool, get drunk and eat greasy bar food. In my opinion that’s what makes them unique to Thousand Oaks. PJ’s is a little bit of Bakersfield, thrown down in the middle of the Conejo Valley. Continue reading
I usually leave Ventura reviews for Mikey, since he’s local and all. But last Friday night I got an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up. My friend Tiffany happens to be friends with the executive chef at Cafe Fiore and since I was craving a little decadence, I decided to give Fiore the EatMeCalifornia treatment.
Cafe Fiore – On California St. near Main, in Downtown Ventura
What ended up happening was that EatMeCalifornia got the Fiore treatment. We arrived right on time for our 8 o’clock reservation and were whisked away to a nice little booth in the back of the restaurant. The place was packed with 20-30 somethings drinking cocktails and having a great time. I instantly loved the vibe of this place and it didn’t hurt that it was gorgeous too. The look is rustic, with high ceilings, dark wood and wine racks everywhere. It reminded me a lot of what the guys over at Cafe Firenze were trying to accomplish, but this smaller, more intimate space carries it off even better than Fabio and his crew have managed. Continue reading
After some much needed R & R, Mikey and I are back, giving you more of what you need: Lowered expectations Great food reviews. We had an awesome trip to San Francisco and have a couple good reviews for you guys to sink your teeth into. The good stuff will be coming up later this week. I’ll be the first to admit that today’s review is a bit of a filler. From the title of this post, you’ve probably figured out that this post is going to be about a deli. I’ve been reviewing a lot of these places lately and I’ve noticed that they all have one thing in common. They seem to think they’re famous.
I think these delis are famous in the way that reality TV contestants are famous. Which is to say, not famous at all. With the exception of Jerry’s Famous Deli, I think that they need to have their permission to use the word “famous” revoked. It just sets the expectations too high, and when they don’t follow through, I’m crushed. I think that from now on, if I go to a “famous” deli and the food ain’t up to par, I will insist that they change there name to insert name here‘s overrated deli. But, enough of me on my soapbox, let’s make with the review already. Continue reading