• Pamela Froman

Taste of Summer

Summer is the perfect time for a yummy culinary adventure. There are so many eateries and types of cuisine to explore. Take a foodie journey to satisfy your taste buds!

Summer Foods For Takeout

Craving sushi, pizza or Thai food? Whatever suits your palate, takeout dishes are a great way to chow down. Who wouldn't want to pick up a delicious fresh meal from your favorite restaurant and take it to eat in the privacy of your own home?

Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market in Westlake Village is much more than just a place to get a great sandwich. It is a place where you can learn about new ingredients and trust where the food came from and how it was prepared. Try the Farm club sandwich! It's shaved, roasted turkey breast, smashed avocado, nitrate-free Applewood smoked bacon, herb aioli, tomatoes, Scarborough Farm's greens, pickled red onions on Mom's seeded whole wheat. Or taste Mario's Caprese sandwich. Fresh mozzarella, marinated red peppers, basil pesto, Scarborough Farm's greens, and balsamic glaze drizzle.

At Epicurus Gourmet in North Hollywood you'll find cheese, charcuterie, salumi, pâté, sausages, caviar, duck, olive oils, vinegars, truffle products, pasta, rice, seafood, mushrooms, shoyu, sea salt, jam, Boulart bread, cookies, chocolate, lemonade, and so much more all in one place. And don't forget their wonderful European butter including Échiré, Isigny, Colliers, Le Gall, Rodolphe Le Meunier, and Bordier from Brittany.

Family owned Sienna Deli Delicatessen in Westlake Village has amazing sandwiches. Start off with delicious French rolls baked fresh daily. Then top it off with delicious Boars head delicatessen meats and homemade Italian vinaigrette. The Sienna Traditional features fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, tomato, mayo, deli mustard and Italian dressing on a french roll. You'll leave with a smile!

For the best bread and pastries around, check out Wildflour Bakery & Café in Agoura Hills. Bread baking at Wildflour Bakery starts with a singular focus – bake delicious GMO-free bread, with no preservatives, natural ingredients, uncompromising quality, and indisputable freshness. At the Café they serve remarkable breakfasts, sandwiches, salads, panini, pizzas, and pastries. Try the Crispy Chicken On Sesame Brioche Hoagie, made with breaded free range hormone and antibiotic free chicken, baby swiss, tomato, and kale slaw.

If you want the best New Orleans and southern-style cooking available in the Valley, check out Les Sisters' Southern Kitchen & BBQ. Their food falls into three categories: smoked, spicy, and soul. Try the renowned Barbecued Ribs, Cajun-style Filé Gumbo and of course the good ol' Southern Fried Chicken, Fish, Catfish, and Hush Puppies. Don't forget a glass of sweet tea!

Cool Outdoor Hangouts For Wine And Brew

Summertime's warm weather is ideal for patio drinking. So imbibe outside!

The Canyon Bistro is celebrating 10 years in beautiful Topanga, located in the canyon between the Valley and Malibu. Join them for lunch, dinner or brunch and enjoy your friends and family under the stars. On the weekends rock out with live music from some of the greatest musicians in L.A. The wine bar features local California wines, with great whites and reds from Santa Barbara and western Paso Robles. They even have a wine created by Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn – “Wagon Wheel” homegrown in Calabasas!

Malibu Wines & Beer Garden is the latest concept of the popular Malibu Wines Tasting Room. The new location is in West Hills and serves Semler and Saddlerock label wine, a variety of local and regional craft beer, as well as food and live music on weekends.

Mediterraneo brings the culinary excellence and stylish atmosphere of a European bistro to Westlake Village. The restaurant captures the beauty and warmth of the Mediterranean region with its diverse menu, featuring California favorites, Italian dishes, and Mediterranean staples. The bar is sexy, spacious and sleek, the perfect place to enjoy craft cocktails and Happy Hour bites with a lovely and romantic setting.

Best Spots For Picnics

Los Angeles is a perfect city for a picnic – the perfect weather, the gorgeous landscapes, the delicious eats! Stock up on picnic food and head out to these perfect spots of nature.

The Old Zoo offers up picnic benches and grills. Hike to Haunted Table 29, deep within the park. Legend has it a tree fell on the table – still there today – killing two lovers in the act. You can even eat lunch in a bear grotto and climb inside abandoned monkey cages. Break out a picnic basket from Artisan Cheese Gallery in Studio City. This gourmet cheese store offers salads, sandwiches, cheese and charcuterie plates that can be packed for a picnic. There's also a nice wine selection, along with bread, crackers, and olives. Red velvet cookies and bars are perfect for dessert.

Picnicking before a summer show at the Hollywood Bowl is truly an experience. What goes better with cool tunes than delicious food? The Oaks Gourmet is located just minutes from the Bowl. They feature the perfect picnic baskets, as well as an evolving line of craft beers, boutique wines, small batch liquors, artisanal cheeses, and fresh-roasted coffees. The Super Seat basket comes with two sandwiches, a salad, a bag of chips and two bottles of water. The Pool Circle basket features three sandwiches, three salads, a cheese and meat plate, two bottles of wine, two wine glasses and a corkscrew.

One of LA's best-kept secrets for nature lovers, Glen Haven Memorial is located high above the San Fernando Valley. On a clear day, views include the San Gabriel Mountains and even the ocean. To spot wildlife, like deer, owls, and coyotes, do a breakfast or brunch picnic. Stop off on your way and grab a sandwich at Blue Table in Agoura or Calabasas. This gourmet eatery has a variety of vegetarian and vegan selections, cheese, charcuterie, poultry, and fish selections. Lunch bags and platters for two are on hand.

Summer Night Parties – What Are The Best Foods?

Need party food ideas for your next festive summer shindig? Host your friends and neighbors with these delicious dishes recommended by the Food Network.

Try a classic lobster roll. They are sure to be a hit on any festive summer occasion!

Pasta gets a facelift with spaghetti with pinot grigio and seafood. Vibrant color spices up the dish with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh arugula and delicious, tender shrimp.

Tuna Poke Bowls are a Hawaiian staple that is trending all over the U.S. Make sure to buy the tuna for this dish the day you want to make it to keep it fresh.

Styles of Cusine

There are so many types of food out there. Here is a sampling of the "best of the best" of local eateries.

BBQ – The Thousand Oaks Meat Locker is Thousand Oak's original BBQ restaurant. A family-owned business since 1957, The Thousand Oaks Meat Locker serves fresh grilled tri-tip, chicken, and ribs. Entrees are cooked fresh every day.

Seafood – Lure Fish House in Westlake Village features the freshest locally caught seafood, organically grown local produce, and wines from local vineyards. They also feature a full bar with specialty cocktails made with freshly squeezed fruit juices and a raw bar serving a variety of fresh oysters.

Steakhouses – Hailed as the top steakhouse in the Los Angeles area, Mastro`s offers sophisticated, classic dishes. They combine the highest quality steaks with exceptional service in a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Locations in Malibu and Westlake Village.

Foods in summer are delicious – so eat up!

July 4th Sidebar

It's time to celebrate America! Here are some local patriotic-themed events.

Queen Mary's All-American 4th of July Celebration

The ship-wide event offers multiple stages of live entertainment, family-friendly activities, carnival games, patriotic-themed food, razzle-dazzle drinks from multiple bars, a vintage aircraft flyover, and fireworks.

Channel Islands Harbor 4th of July

Channel Islands Harbor celebrates with family activities, ending with the annual Fireworks by the Sea starting at 9 p.m.

July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza

The July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza will delight with a free concert from Ryder Green and 15-minute spectacular fireworks display.

July 4th at The Hollywood Bowl

An L.A. July 4th tradition returns, which hosts its annual Independence Day concerts on July 2 - 4. This year's performances feature the pioneering all-girl rock band, The Go-Go's. Featuring star-spangled music and fireworks.

Los Angeles Dodgers 4th of July

The Los Angeles Dodgers are celebrating Independence Day with a home game at Dodger Stadium against the Pittsburgh Pirates. An after-the-game fireworks show ends the night.

Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum July 4th

Celebrate the 4th in Topanga Canyon with a good ol' fashioned hoe-down! The 4th of July Barn Dance features live music, and activities like a barn dance, pie-eating contest, watermelon seed-spitting contest, cake walk, horseshoes, relay races, dunk bucket, family games and more.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library 4th of July

Patriotic concerts, family entertainment, games, crafts and more. Create an American eagle, patriotic bracelet, firecracker hat or windsock. Get your picture taken with Presidential re-enactors!

Thousand Oaks 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular

Launched from the hill behind the Hillcrest Center of the Arts in Thousand Oaks. Best viewing will be at Janss Marketplace and The Oaks Mall parking lots. Fireworks start at 9 p.m.

The 50th Annual Westlake Village 4th of July Parade

Music, inflatables, games, popsicles, etc. at Berniece Bennett Park until noon. Boy Scout pancake breakfast before the parade.

The City of Westlake Village 6th Annual Fireworks Spectacular Show

Views from the Westlake Village Golf Course, with additional viewing locations at Calvary Community Church, Westlake Village Inn, and Berniece Bennett Park. Activities begin at 6 p.m., including family-friendly games, contests, and food trucks. The fireworks start at 9:10 p.m.

The City of Calabasas 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular at Calabasas High School

The event opens at 5 p.m. with fireworks at 9 p.m. Live music and kids' fun zone. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

The City of Ventura 4th of July Street Festival and 44th Annual Pushem-Pullem Parade

Free, with the parade starting at 10 a.m. Street festival with over 200 artisans, food booths, vendor displays, and live music.

The Rotary Club of Ventura 24th Annual Fireworks Show and Family Picnic

Takes place on July 4th at the Ventura College Athletic Field starting at 5 p.m., featuring a family picnic, live music, kids' fun zone, followed by fireworks show at 9 p.m.

Happy birthday to the United States!

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