Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jimmy's Pub - Ojai, CA

Yesterday felt totally like a wonderful Fall day. Although it has been Fall for quite sometime now, it just truly has felt like Summer. Warm, sunny days are always welcomed but I do want to update my wardrobe and dress in my favorite cozy clothes for awhile. I slipped on one of my favorite sweat shirt dresses, leopard tights, Frye boots and went on my way!

Christian, Dana and I decided to all meet at Jimmy's pub inside the Ojai Valley Inn to celebrate Dana's birthday a little early. Christian brought Veuve Clicquot to toast Dana and we were well on our way to a leisurely lunch. I did notice one thing about Jimmy's menu as it was sat in front of me, it has changed! in a much better way! It includes higher end options and more seafood! I like that!!

Christian ordered the Green Bean Salad with horseradish, onion, peaches, apples, potatoes and toasted almonds. I personally would probably never order this reading it off a menu but in real life the salad looked scrumptious. 

Dana loves her greens and she raved on this Caesar Salad. She really thought it was perfect but what surprised me the most is she doesn't like anchovies! I think that is the only part worth eating! How funny.

The soup of the day was Clam Chowder and you know I jumped all over that. The chowder was on the thinner end of the spectrum and was totally enjoyable. It really was more like a Corn Chowder which is fine but there was a lot of corn involved. I liked it but didn't finish it as I knew I had my entree coming...  

 Fish and Chips! My favorite! I was so happy to seem them as an addition to the new pub menu. I swear breakfast, lunch or dinner can be solved with an option of Fish and Chips! The fries were thin and crisp, perfectly salted. The star of the dish, even if cod and not my beloved halibut, was quality and lightly breaded. The cole slaw was nice, a perfect bite of freshness amongst bites of fried food.

What a special day! I got to spend a lovely lunch with two of my closest friends in Ojai and dine at a beautiful eatery. Fall is finally here so break out your favorite snuggly sweaters and boots guys and gals!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Azu - Ojai, CA

Last week Dana and I went into Azu just for a little late lunch and sampling of the Ojai Alisal Wines. When I heard about the Upper Ojai based winery I became a little sentimental because that is where I come home. We both sampled the Viognier and it was served cool and frosty in a large beautiful glass. It was a total winner and is the type of wine that could be eaten with all sorts of food.

We decided to order a bunch of tapas so we could share and have a little bit of each. Dana went for a nice salad and the honey baked brie with candied walnuts. I order the gambas (shrimp) and bacon wrapped dates. They all were delicious but that brie was just unreal. We finished our lunch and left totally satisfied with everything we had that day.

What great day for Ladies Who Lunch!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rosti - Calabasas, CA

A couple days ago I had to make a trip to LAX to pick up my dear friend Dana. The trip was an exhausting one for the both of us and we were craving a nice lunch. Dana had been to Rosti before and wanted to share her experience with me. Upon entering you can see that it is a casual eatery featuring Tuscan cuisine. 

After reviewing the two sided menu and reading through selection after selection of salads, pizzas, sandwiches and pastas I was totally undecided on what I should order. After a few bites of the bread that was brought to the table I knew what I was going to go for...

You know I am a total sauce girl so when I saw the Tilapia with Spicy Pink Mushroom Sauce I thought that might be worth a try. The sauce was in fact a little spicy, but mostly totally flavorful from the rich mushrooms. The sauce leaned heavy on the salty side but as I ate it with bites of fish and mashed potato I thought it was a perfect component to the dish. I ordered sauteed spinach with roasted garlic with it as a side and did have a couple bites. The entire plate was a win as a whole!

 Now this dish is so Dana. She loves a good Caprese Sandwich but when you add Milanese to the party it is just awesome! The breaded chicken cutlet, mozzarella, arugula, tomatoes and pesto on the ciabata baked in house was crazy good. French fries were served on the side and could not have been better. Hot, crispy and salty!!

I left feeling full and totally satisfied. That is the way you want to feel leaving any restaurant but on this day it just felt lovely because it was also affordable. I cannot wait to go back and explore the menu further, the salads in particular all sounded amazing. Ciao!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Chico's Cafe - Paso Robles, CA

There is nothing like a great breakfast! My Mom and I were waking up from a night out in Paso Robles and decided to treat ourselves to a sit down breakfast in the town square. I have walked passed Chico's Cafe a million times on my way to other restaurants so I figured today was the day to give it a try.

 My Mom ordered the Huevos Rancheros and said it was very tasty. The eggs cooked to perfection, salsa flavorful and beans a perfect consistency. The only suggestion was to crisp up the corn tortillas before layering them on the plate. A little bit of texture on the plate goes a long way!

I always order the same breakfast where ever I go! I like the dessert like qualites of the pancakes slathered with butter and syrup. The pancakes were very nice. I liked that there was a hint of sweetness from extra sugar in the batter. The eggs were over easy and perfect for dipping my sweet pancakes in for a savory blast. I like my bacon crispy and it came out just so.

A great breakfast place can be hard to find but look no further in Paso Robles. Their dinner menu sounded fantastic as well, with prices being totally affordable. A return visit will be in the works!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bonnie Lu's - Ojai, CA

Bonnie Lu's is like "THE" place to go for breakfast in Ojai. On the weekend you cannot drive passed its arcade location without seeing people waiting outside to get a seat inside. I have had their breakfast before and it is solid. What I wanted to try was their lunch, could it compare?

Any lunch place worth going to has excellent soup selections. This is what they call their Chicken Tortilla. I didn't know if I should grab a fork and knife or what. The huge chunks of vegetables were what the cup was full of and lacked my craving for a savory broth. I ate as many pieces of the vegetables before the waitress took it away. 

When I saw the Strawberry and Spinach Salad on the menu I knew that is exactly what I wanted. With feta cheese, almonds and sweet creamy dressing I knew it would be delicious. The only thing that I thought was missing was a nice protein option so I asked for chicken to be added to it. I made this mistake all on my own. The chicken that was served on the salad was obviously cooked on the same part of the griddle as the eggs and other breakfast goodies because the chicken sopped up all that flavor and it was all I could taste. It ruined the salad and I could not take another bite.

I ate paying for a meal that I got absolutely no pleasure out of. I had high expectations for this lunch because of their breakfast success and left feeling disapointed. I hate that. I guess you live and learn...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

PCCHA Wrap Up - Paso Robles, CA

The Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association has come to a close but let me catch you up on what happened in the last few days of our event... The San Juan Ranch so kindly sponsored a Dinner and Draw Party for the Finalists of the major events left in competition. The view and building was absolutely stunning!

Thank you for everything! 

The party was held after I had just finished showing in one of my finals on my horse Scotty. My run was going really great until a naughty cow took me out of the class. I didn't let it faze me and continued to show my horse really well. I know I have a really good horse so I left the arena smiling and blessed to be given the opportunity to show him.

They had so much food at the party! My favorite was this appetizer section of crackers, cheese, salami, olives, nuts and fried shrimp. I love to eat a variety of bite sized snacks! It makes cocktail hour easy for communication with all our horse show friends! 

They were even hand passing the little morsels of goodness! We felt like royalty, the San Juan Ranch pulled out all the stops. 

 As if we didn't eat enough already, dinner was served! A whole array of tri-tip, chicken, beans, sauteed vegetables, french fries, salads, fruit and rolls were on display. I took a little of each and balanced my full plate outside to grab a seat.

My posse of Cowboy Ron, my mom and Scott all decided we would grab a seat next to the fountain. It was beautiful and it gave us room and the super packed house. This was the place to be!

 My plate was a unorganized mix of all the selection but I happily indulged! Everything was exceptionally good but my really favorite was the chicken! The skin was really crispy and perfectly seasoned!


The next night was the night of the OPEN FUTURITY!

 Cowboy Ron and i grabbed our seats and watched Scott show his little horse, CD Skipper, in the field of 19 horses. She is such a cute little horse and she held all of her cows. Good work Skipper!

Scott ended up 11th and received a nice paycheck and buckle for his efforts!

 The next day, it was my turn.... I had to walk down to the herd and show my stuff. I knew I had to compete against a lot of great horses and riders so I was just happy to be there. My performance was not the most desirable but I got the job done, I didn't lose any cows and I showed like I wanted to win. I was rewarded for my efforts and ended up 4th place in the Non Pro Futurity and 2nd the 200,000 Limited Futurity. 

I had a tremendously successful show. I have never won so much money at an event like this in my life! My horses worked like they were supposed to, my parents great support and assistance from Scott and Russ made it all possible. On my drive home yesterday all I could think of was just how blessed I am.

 I will never forget this experience.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

La Cosecha - Paso Robles, CA

Sorry bloggers! I have not been trying to ignore you but I have been busy doing the cowgirl thing at the PCCHA Futurity. It seems like my days go by fast, fast and then I go to sleep just to do it all again! I was lucky enough to have my three year old, Metallic Tears make the Open Intermediate Finals and Open Gelding Stakes with Russ Elrod so my mom and I had to go to lunch to celebrate!

 My mom is cute! She seriously is the #1 fan of cutting horses! Especially my horses! 

La Cosecha is located in the downtown square area of Paso Robles and hosts an outdoor and indoor dining area. Their food features mostly Latin cuisine and in tapas sized options.

 We  both were excited enough to want to cheers with an adult beverage so I ordered Tolosa Chardonnay and she went for one of La Cosecha's featured Bloody Mary's.

I went for the White Fish Special and asked to be served mashed potatoes served with it. The fish was cooked perfectly and the mashed potatoes were stunningly delicious. They should be able to be ordered by the bowl. The white wine, heirloom tomato and caper sauce that the fish was topped with was terrific as well.

The braised and grilled pork ribs caught my eye and I was glad to get in a bite off my mom's plate. They were totally fall off the bone tender, in fact it was a dish to be eaten delicately with a fork. It was featured saying it was to come with black beans but it was served with rice only much to my mom's delight!

My horse ended up doing great in the finals winning about $8000! I was so proud everytime he walked down to the herd for his performance! We have been having such a good show!

It is now my turn to deliver, I have made the finals on my horse, Hip Hip Roo Rey (Scotty) in the Non-Pro Classic Challenge and in the Non-Pro Futurity and Gelding Stakes on Metallic Tears (Elvis). I am so blessed and couldn't be more thankful to my family for being so supportive! my husband for coaching me through everything... and all my helpers! It takes a village!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Odyssey World Cafe - Paso Robles, CA

I was so happy to have a little fan club last week during our stay at the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association's Futurity. My cousin, Shannon, brought her little baby for me to play with and I was so excited to meet Brooke. She is so pretty! She took a nap during the cutting and then we decided to stroll off the grounds to get some lunch.
We decided to go somewhere kind of casual and that has pretty quick service just in case Brooke decided it was time to go! I mentioned Odyssey and Shannon had never been so we decided that was the place to go.

 At the counter as we ordered I saw a Carrot Curry Soup as the special and I jumped all over that. It sounded exotic and it was. I liked that it had the Indian spices that I have been craving lately since my visit to the Himalayan restaurant in Ventura.  

I also ordered a Salmon Salad complete with feta, red peppers, eggplant and pine nuts. It was the perfect lunch for visiting! I like taking bites of food and then getting involved in conversation. Salads are perfect for that! But, to be totally honest, I ate most everything on the plate besides the lettuce!

I talked Shannon into the French Dip because I have had it before and knew she would like it. She bounced Brooke on her lap in between bites and commented on the delicious bread made in house. 

For an easy, quick and affordable meal go to Odyssey and enjoy a meal from around the world!