Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Eve - 2011

I decided that I was going to send 2011 out with some sweat! I entered the 'Til the Sunset Goes Down 5K - in Ventura and I rocked it! I ran my personal best of 32 minutes. I am just getting faster and faster, you can call me "Grease Lightning" from now on. After that good sweat I needed a good dinner...

Scott and I decided to enjoy a dinner at Azu, it has kind of been our go to spot in Ojai lately. We both ordered cups of Winter Root Soup - basically all fun squashes, turnips and parsnips. It was very comforting. 

Of course I ordered the Sea Bass and Risotto. Shocker? Lol.

Scott went outside the box and ordered the Duck Quesadilla. He loved it. It was served with a salsa verde and hit the spot, fun and delicious.

Happy New Years from our family to yours!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Surf Brewery + Aloha - Ventura, CA

Scott and I usually try to have a couple "Date Nights" a week just so we can get off the ranch and keep things fun! This evening Scott decided we try Surf Brewery. They brew their own beers and is a great way to support a local business.

We shared a flight of beers to find out our favorites. I enjoyed the Mondo's which is the beer to the far right as well as the Oil Piers the darkest beer on the left. Scott's favorites were the Surfer Point, 2nd beer on right and Surf Patrol, 2nd beer on left - can you tell he is a surfer?! Ha. It was fun to taste but we were getting hungry and Surf Brewery does not serve food so we wandered towards the coast. 

Aloha is a nice place to go if you are in the mood for a lively restaurant and beautiful view of the Pacific. Our friend Camille works there so we like to visit her when we can. Not being in a real hurry we ordered an Artichoke to start. It was a nice kick off to our meal. I love artichoke hearts!

Macadamia covered anything is usually my favorite so I decided to order the Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi. The teriyaki and peanut sauces make for a sweet and savory way to enjoy the fish. Mashed Potatoes on the side? Well, yes please!

Scott also went the fish route and asked for a grilled piece of Sea Bass and vegetables on the side. It was just a perfect tasting meal. So healthy, yet so satisfying.

Scott and I love this time we spend together. Small trips to town, enjoying the simple things in life are what make us happy. Enjoy the little things today.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I am spoiled.

My husband cooked me the best dinner the other night. He crusted a London Broil (we have freezers full of beef to use up), pan fried it in a skillet and then let it cook in the oven for about 15 minutes. While it was resting I lent a hand and made some Macaroni and Cheese - how thoughtful of me?! Ha ha. He opened up a bottle of Seismic Pinot Noir that he bought at Trader Joe's the day before. Sometimes the most simple meals, are the best meals! Thank you Scott. <3 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ojai Food Tour - Ojai, CA

My friend, Allison has the hottest thing to hit the 805 - Food Tours! The original food tour is based in Ventura but she has ventured off to Ojai - "Eating Ojai" gives guests an up close look into the culinary scene. On this tour, guests will walk through downtown Ojai, stopping at different shops and restaurants for tastings many of the shop owners and chefs that make Ojai the great dining destination that it is.

Enjoy my photos of the tour...

The first stop was the "Made in Ojai" store - it is a central meeting spot to find good parking and to get acquainted of what Ojai has to offer.

Jalapeno and Habanero Jelly anyone?

Make your way to the local tamale parlor and pick up a dozen for your next party!

Green Chile & Cheese or Sweet Tamales are good anytime of year.

Ojai Roasting Company is always busy.

Find out how the coffee beans are roasted. An experience for every java lover!

Most everyday is beautiful, but today was exceptionally spectacular on our walk to Los Caporales Restaurant.

Enjoy their freshly made salsa and chips.

Or their "Nectar of the Gods" a specialty of the house.

If you love Chile Relleno's you will love this twist - filled with beef and served with the best rice coming and going!

Just across the street, we wondered in to the back room at Feast Bistro.

A long table will be waiting for you to saddle up to - humor and good food await!

French fries that taste better than you could imagine. Sorry McDonald's - Feast has got you on this one!

Raise your hand if you love Pulled Pork! Feast knocks it out of the park.

Welcome to OBC. Ojai Beverage Company is home to thousands of bottles of wine, beer and liquor.

A three pour tasting will be waiting for you to sample. What a treat!

Their "Blow Your Mind" chicken appetizer served on a piece of endive, will have you wanting more, more, more!

To cool your palate head back into town and enjoy frozen yogurt from, Bliss.

What a fantastic day! To book your tour in Ventura or Ojai please visit: and tell them Melissa Good Taste sent you!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day - 2011

I came up with the brilliant idea to go to Universal Studios on Christmas Day - it was packed! it seemed like all of Southern California had the same idea I did! Thank goodness I went all out and bought "Front of the Line"passes. We never waited to get on one ride! Totally worth it!

BEFORE the Jurassic Park Ride - notice we are nice and dry...

DURING - the Jurassic Park ride...

AFTER! We got soaked! This was our first ride of the day too! How fun.

We wandered over to Springfield, also known as the Home of the Simpson's - Scott said it was his favorite ride. After 4 hours of fun, we declared ourselves done and left Universal having rode every ride and doing the Studio Tour on the tram.

All that walking made us hungry so we pulled into the first restaurant we saw. It was open and they had the Lakers game on - they were losing so no one seemed happy.

I ordered the Shrimp and pineapple Tostadas - spicy!

And Scott ordered the Surf and Turf Tacos - just ok. Nothing special.

After a nap at the hotel we were out and about again. We dressed up and decided to head next door to the sister hotel, Shutters. We found Scrabble and decided to put our minds to work. I enjoyed two orders of Risotto Balls, which were fabulous as I sipped some wine.

I won the first game.

And Scott one the last one, the big finale!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas - Back to work for a few days before we celebrate 2012!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

Our Christmas Eve celebration started with Scott and I heading to Malibu. We needed some sunny weather and some good food in our tummies to start our adventure filled weekend. Welcome, Paradise Cove.

Scott ordered the Huevos Rancheros and it was a mound of food. I was a little jealous of his order. I love runny yolks!

This is what Paradise Cove likes to call "Sandwich-In-Soup". Quartered Dungeness crab and shrimp melt on grilled sourdough served on the sides of clam chowder. It is a bit messy but dunking the sandwiches in the soup was delightful. I always get worried when a restaurant claims their chowder is "award winning" but they did not disappoint. Just too much food! 

Our next stop was the Getty Villa. A beautiful stop on our way down to Santa Monica.

My favorite museum piece was "Cupid" - How cute is he?!

Back on the road, cruising the coast.

We made it! Hello Casa Del Mar! We will be calling this room home for a couple days... I loved the bed!

What do you think of our view? Not too shabby right? The Santa Monica Pier in the background!

Since we were on a beach vacation we got in the mood for something tropical - Mai Tai for me and a Gaviotta for Scott.

Cheese please! We are suckers for cheese, fruit and nuts! It was perfect.

After a nap and freshening up we wandered back downstairs for dinner at the hotel restaurant, Catch.

Chestnut Soup with Gingerbread croutons caught our eye and both had it to start. it was the best part of our meal.

Scott ordered the Filet of Beef with parsnip potato puree, rosemary carrots and red wine reduction. He was very underwhelmed. It was one of his least favorite steaks of the year. Oh my!

I ordered the Striped Bass and was also a bit disappointed. The leek fondue was baby food and the chanterelles made me shiver. The crispy skin on the fish was the best part.

The Chocolate Lava Cake was very good - extremely rich but pair nicely with our red wine.

Last but not least was the Roasted Pineapple Upside Down Cake the toasted almond gelato and rum caramel sauce was a real treat.

Totally stuffed we wandered into the lobby and enjoyed a game of Checkers. After Scott beat me, we floated upstairs and drifted to sleep to prepare for our next day of Christmas Vacation.