All this bad eating has been catching up with me lately. All the ribs, burritos and desserts have left me in a food coma that has pretty much taken away my will to write. But still, we soldier on, because there are so many more places that we need to try and places that you need to know about.
In the next month, I will be moving to San Diego and hopefully giving you guys some great insights into the food down there. Mikey will continue to hold it down in the Ventura/L.A. areas and we may even be looking to add on some freelancers. I’ll leave that last part up to Mikey, since he’s the brains of the operation. Instead, I’ll just tell you about a little coffee shop I visited last weekend in Santa Monica.
Urth Caffe – On Main St. in Santa Monica
I think there are a few of these around, but it’s not a big chain so I figured I could review it for the site. This place is like a bar, except instead of booze and drunken wannabes it has organic coffees and caffeinated wannabes. It’s actually a pretty cool place and I stopped in with some friends to grab a coffee and some dessert.
This is in Santa Monica, right on main, so it’s a trendy spot. They even have a valet to park your car for you. I really wish Mikey and I had pulled up in his fly hoopty instead of showing up in my buddy’s tricked out truck. But maybe it was better that way. I felt like we only got into the place due to the coolness of my friend’s ride. (Thanks, J)
This place is hipster central. It’s swarming with emo kids and their Risky Business Ray Bans and cute girls meeting their “producer” boyfriends. But if you can get past all that, I think it’s worth a visit. First off, their coffee and teas are excellent, but the main reason I’d go is just to eat some more of their awesome desserts.
Hey, everybody! Sorry for the lack of recent updates. Mikey and I have been slackin’ on our pimpin’ over the past few days, livin’ it up and enjoying the good life. But don’t you worry; we’ve also been eating some good stuff and will be writing all about it this week.
Coming up, we’ve got some fine Italian food, a new episode of The Catch, a pizza that might be our highest scoring ever and some authentic Mexican cuisine. But for tonight’s post, I’ve got the latest and greatest BBQ in our area.
Willy’s Smokehouse – Just off the 101 at Chesebro, in Agoura Hills.
For those of you who don’t know, we’ve been doing quite a bit of BBQ lately. We’ve had good experiences and bad, but I think Willy’s has emerged as my latest favorite.
Willy’s is a small place, right beside the freeway, and if you’re not looking for it you’ll drive right past. That would be a huge mistake though, because the barbeque is as down-home and delicious as you’ll find anywhere in L.A.
I originally heard about this place through a friend who works there. Usually I take these kinds of recommendations with a grain of salt because, as an employee, he or she has a vested interest in the restaurant doing well. So I looked it up on a few of the rating sites and verified the legitimacy of Willy’s. It checked out, so I decided to check it out.
My friend and I rolled up at around 7:30pm on a Tuesday night. It wasn’t too crowded, which made me think that either a lot of people still don’t know about it, or they just can’t find it, call off the search and settle for the Wood Ranch down the street. Fine by me. It was a nice night, so we snagged a booth outside on the patio and started looking over the menu. Continue reading
This isn’t a review of a restaurant. It’s more of a public service announcement for all the restaurants out there that serve monte cristos. My dad always used to tell me, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” Actually, I think I got that from a movie. My dad was too busy yelling “Do you think I just fell off the back of a turnip truck?” at me. I still don’t know what that means, but now, thanks to the generous contributions of readers like you, I know what a turnip is. So regardless of where I got that first quote, here’s my point: If you can’t make a dish right, take it off your menu.
Nico’s Cafe – Kanan and Lindero Cyn in Oak Park (next to Starbucks)
First of all, let’s lay down some ground rules on what makes for a good monte cristo.
- It’s fried and crispy on the outside.
- It doesn’t fall apart while you’re eating it.
- The jam is spreadable.
I could make more rules, but these three are the basics. For those of you who need a refresher on what the monte cristo is, see our posts on Jack’s Deli and The Blue Bayou. That will give you a good idea of what the sandwich is all about and if I’ve done a good job, you’ll probably want to eat one after reading.
My friend Melissa and I found out that Nico’s had a monte cristo on the menu and got all excited about going to try it. Unfortunately, it was not a real monte cristo that we were served. Yes, all the ingredients were there. But this impostor gave all other monte cristos a bad name. 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
Before I get into this post, I’d like to thank everyone who reads us, for helping EatMeCalifornia get its first 10,000 visitors. Mikey and I are thankful for your support. Now, on to the review…
I spent my Sunday at Disneyland, also known as the happiest place on earth. It was an awesome day and I hadn’t been to the magic kingdom in the better part of a decade. Unfortunately, this trip wasn’t for pleasure. It was all about business. The business of sandwiches.
One of our great readers, Andy, read our review of Jack’s Deli in Westlake and recommended that I try the monte cristo sandwich at Disney’s Blue Bayou restaurant for a direct comparison. And that, my friends, is exactly what I did.
The Blue Bayou Restaurant – Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, Anaheim, CA
I thought it might be fun to hit up the Busy Bee Café in Ventura, down in the older part of town, off of Main St. They have been a staple of the community and a tourist hot spot for a very long time. Busy Bee is modeled after a 1950’s diner and tries and keep their food similar to that era. They are all about hamburgers, shakes, pie, and blue plate specials.
Busy Bee Café – Ventura Main St in Old Town Ventura
This part of Ventura is actually loaded with places to eat, so B and I will be picking them off, one by one. I chose this one because I had been there a few times many years ago and I remember enjoying the burgers, shakes, and the waitresses in little cheerleader outfits awesome jukebox. Continue reading
This post is going to be short and sweet. There is a donut that is king of all donuts. All other donuts bow down to this donut and pay homage. This donut lives in an unsuspecting little donut shop in Thousand Oaks. It is a magical land of donut-tty goodness.
Fresh Donuts – In the Trader Joe’s shopping center at the corner of Arboles and Moorpark Rd.
This place is not glamorous, it’s just a little shop on the corner next to PJ’s pub. And that is fine by me. I wasn’t even going to share this place with the general public, but the more I thought about it, the more apparent it became that I would be doing the world a disservice by keeping it to myself.
The donut that I always buy is the chocolate old fashioned. This picture does not do it justice. Continue reading