Julio’s Agave Grill

Enchiladas Sauzas
Queso fundido
A photo at Julio’s Agave Grill
Interior
Patio

**** (4 stars)

A delightful outdoor patio is the highlight of this neighborhood Mexican restaurant. Chips and salsa are complimentary. Queso fundido was and interesting, complex recipe that included mushrooms. The cilantro rice is particularly as rly good. Margaritas are potent! Service was attentive and friendly.

Julio’s Agave Grill
2809 Agoura Rd
Westlake Village, CA
91361
(805) 370-0145
https://www.yelp.com/biz/julios-agave-grill-westlake-village

Tomodachi Restaurant

Exterior
Interior

**** (4 stars)

This is an excellent choice for a neighborhood sushi restaurant, as evidenced by its popularity. The quality and variety of the fish is excellent. Just be aware that portions are very large, so don’t over-order like we did. For example, an order of salmon sashimi included eight pieces! Service is on a tag team basis, and worked very well.

Tomodachi Restaurant
2779 Agoura Rd
Westlake Village, CA
91361
(805) 777-7578
https://www.yelp.com/biz/tomodachi-restaurant-westlake-village

Tuscany il Ristorante

Lobster fra Diavolo
Bar
Exterior
Patio

***** (5 stars)

Really excellent restaurant with traditional Italian dishes and some modern dishes too (Chilean Sea Bass with miso glaze).

Your meal begins with complimentary bruschetta and is accompanied by focaccia bread and garlic rolls.

Caesar salad is absolutely traditional.

The lobster fra diavolo was the best I’ve had, served in a unique presentation, with a whole lobster, split and out of the shell, on one side of the plate, and the pasta and assorted shellfish on the other side. Really excellent.

The extensive winelist has some real depth, especially on the Italian offerings, which are reasonably priced.

Service was really top notch.

Tuscany il Ristorante
968 S Westlake BlvdSte 4
Westlake Village, CA
91361
(805) 495-2768
https://www.yelp.com/biz/tuscany-il-ristorante-westlake-village-2

Brent’s Deli – Westlake Village

Exterior
Tuna melt
Half pastrami
Tuna melt
Interior

**** (4 stars)

Absolutely classic delicatessen with excellent quality ingredients and traditionally huge portions. The pastrami is the best I’ve had anywhere, tender and very flavorful. It’s great that most sandwiched are available in half portions with soup or salad. Split pea soup was thick and flavorful, with lots of meat. Very efficient service. Come at an off-time or be prepared to wait!

Brent’s Deli – Westlake Village
2799 Townsgate Rd
Westlake Village, CA
91361
(805) 557-1882
https://www.yelp.com/biz/brents-deli-westlake-village-westlake-village-2

The Grill on the Alley

Exterior
Interior

**** (4 stars)

This location is far from an alley, like the original in Beverly Hills! The building and it’s interior design is exceptional.

The menu is very similar to the original, although the preparations are slightly different.

My favorite item is actually the creamed spinach that comes with the steaks. It has the perfect balance.

Service is friendly and professional.

The Grill on the Alley
120 Promenade Way
Thousand Oaks, CA
91362
(805) 418-1760
https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-grill-on-the-alley-thousand-oaks-5

Pink’s Hot Dogs

Marth Stewart Dog
Onion rings and Chili Cheese Dog
Interior
Exterior
Interior

*** (3 stars)

Pinks it world famous, because it’s quite a draw for Japanese tourists. I had the Martha Stewart, which turned into a hot mess, with the bun disintegrating as soon as I tried to pick it up. That, plus about a cup of mayonnaise made it pretty unappealing. Also, the hot dogs have a weirdly soft texture.

Better was the chili cheese burger, with my favorite ingredients (basically the works) standard. But Original Tommy’s has nothing to worry about as far as the chili goes.

Onion rings were excellent, nice and crispy.

Pink’s Hot Dogs
709 N La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA
90038
(323) 931-4223
https://www.yelp.com/biz/pinks-hot-dogs-los-angeles-4

Pearl District

Bar
Patio
Duck confit pancake
Ahi crudo
Interior

***** (5 stars)

This cozy, stylish spot offers an interesting menu and an upscale experience at reasonable prices. Be aware that although the food is sophisticated, portions are very large, so don’t over order.

We liked everything we had. My favorite was the duck confirm pancake, which was more like a quesadilla.

Save room for Spanish coffee. How can you pass up anything where the second ingredient is “fire”!?

Pearl District
982 S Westlake BlvdSte 8
Westlake Village, CA
91361
(805) 230-9944
https://www.yelp.com/biz/pearl-district-westlake-village-2

Chevys Fresh Mex

Appetizer Fresh Mex Sampler
Bar and interior

*** (3 stars)

Back when there weren’t many Tex Mex restaurants in town, we used to go here all the time. (Actually, our history goes back far longer, because back in the 80s this was our Sun Bank!) But somehow it fell off our radar, and we hadn’t been in years. We were surprised to discover the extensive remodel, which involved moving the door and making the bar area much larger and better than it used to be.

Unfortunately, the food hasn’t improved along with the decor. We shared an appetizer sampler, and it was pretty ho-hum. To give you an idea of how far this place has strayed from Mexican or Tex-Mex, the best thing on the platter was Buffalo wings. And, oddly, every single item included chicken, so that’s not really much of a sampler, is it?

The highlight was the house margarita, which was an excellent blend of balanced ingredients. Service was friendly and professional.

Chevys Fresh Mex
12547 State Rd 535
Lake Buena Vista, FL
32836
(407) 827-1052
https://www.yelp.com/biz/chevys-fresh-mex-lake-buena-vista

Bar Louie – I-Drive

Exterior
Interior

**** (4 stars)

This location is a bit of dejavu, since it is almost the same as the previous Bar Louie on Sand Lake Road. No doubt this is a better spot for the evening tourist trade. The large bar makes it good for groups, and the many roll-up doors are nice on cooler evenings. The menu is the same as other Bar Louies, with a mix of bar foods and burgers. A few of my favorite items from the past have disappeared or been simplified, but it’s still probably one of the better choices in the tourist corridor.

Bar Louie – I-Drive
8510 International Dr
Orlando, FL
32819
(407) 553-8502
https://www.yelp.com/biz/bar-louie-i-drive-orlando