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Lure Fish House in Westlake, CA

We had a very lovely 25th Anniversary vacation over the July 4th holiday. One of the restaurants we went to deserves a review.

Lure Fish House was a pleasant surprise. Being from Boston always keeps me on the look out for good, fresh seafood. In 20 years the only good seafood that comes close to Boston seafood is in San Fransisco. Unfortunately we don’t get that far up north very often, so to find good seafood in the Los Angeles area was exciting.

Owner David Cortina has more than 20 years experience in the restaurant business, and spent months bringing the Old California Mining Co. to its vision and how the food is presented. He now has 3 Lure Fish houses just a few miles from each other in Ventura county.

We visited the Westlake restaurant. We had a 30 minute wait at around 6:30pm. The restaurant is located near several large hotels, and was quite busy. The noise level was moderate considering there were many large parties. The lighting was dim, but we enjoyed the roomie, large booths. Service was great!

Lure Fish House offers between 6 and 8 fresh fish per night. This is one of the things I thought particularly unique about Lures. Most restaurants offer no more than 3 fresh fish if you’re lucky. Lure offers several appetizers, and quite a few salads. They also specialize in fresh oysters, and offer several varieties of fresh oysters at a very large oyster bar.

The menu offers fried and charbroiled seafood as well as fresh Maine lobster in several weights. I ordered the 1.5 lb. lobster that came prepared with the tail grilled, and the claws shelled, but slightly cracked for easy de-shelling. The lobster head was included for presentation, and the price was right, only $32. It was cooked and prepared just right. It was delicious!

During our trip we had bowls of chowder at several different restaurants. Everyone thinks they are the chowder “king”. In my opinion chowder should be made with a bit of sautéed onion and celery, clam juice, tender clams, cream and very little flour. Thick chowder with potatoes is not appetizing to me. It’s called clam chowder for a reason. Lure clam chowder, was clam chowda!! It was prepared with very little flour and no potatoes. It even had a slight “kick” to it from just the right amount of pepper seasoning.

You must visit Lure Fish House next time you’re in Ventura county! All I can say is “move over Legal Seafood!”

 

 

Espresso/Latte Lover

One of my true loves is coffee, particularly latte’s and espresso!

Now most woman don’t like to receive kitchen appliances from their husbands for Christmas, but my husband has a real knack for picking out kitchen appliances. Always top notch and high quality! So no surprise to me when I received a wonderful gift for Christmas last year from my husband that I use everyday!

The Nespresso System

I find it remarkable that a huge, cumbersome corporation like Nestle managed to pull off a system so creative: great visual design, outstanding blend design, solid engineering and manufacturing, and impressive marketing and positioning. The whole Nespresso coffee system is fascinating. It took a little reading and a few visits to the Nespresso Bar to get it! All of the Nespresso blends I’ve tasted are distinctly different, and all are interesting. All of the coffees have a usual base of Brazilian and Colombian, and may be a key contributor to its distinct taste.

With the Nespresso system, however, you are enslaved to Nestle for your coffee. The sixteen Nespresso capsule blends are genuinely different and distinctive in blend character, but they certainly do not exhaust espresso expression. At a current cost of 55 cents per capsule they are cheaper than many pods and capsules, and certainly cheaper than purchasing a Starbucks coffee every day.

You can purchase the capsules at nespresso.com (and pay $6 for shipping), or purchase the capsules at Bloomingdale’s (no shipping charge) and taste a new blend at the Nespresso bar!

My husband purchased the DeLonghis patented automatic cappucino system. Features include: reduced heating up time, ready in approx. 40secs, Illuminated keys and automatic controls to choose your favorite drink (cappuccino, latte macchiato, espresso coffee, long coffee or hot milk), Drinks may be personalized and memorized. It’s a wonderful machine, so many choices, and easy to maintain, and clean. I love it!

One of these coffees is still a treat for me. The perfect combination with a good book!

Summer Happy Hour!

A very dear friend of mine and I faithfully enjoy Happy Hour many Friday nights during the summer. This Friday was our kick off Friday! We shopped Laguna Beach in the late afternoon, and then strolled over to Nick’s.

Nick’s indoor/outdoor Laguna Beach venue features Classic American comfort food with flair, crave-able bar snacks, plus unique cocktails & an extensive wine list. Nick’s Laguna Beach is the latest addition to Southern California’s culinary landscape. Located in the heart of Laguna Beach, this intimate  restaurant features a chic bar and beautiful outdoor patio.

We enjoyed some great drinks; a Margarita and a Salt Dawg, made with pink grapefruit juice and Vodka. For appetizers we had the clams and mussels (made with a great butter and wine broth that we wanted to finish with a straw!!) We also enjoyed their famous fried deviled eggs (they’re not deep fried, they have a very light coating on the bottom of the egg)….delicious! We had petite chopped salad and fish and chips.

It was a beautiful afternoon, well spent in one of my favorite spots with a favorite friend!