Eat, Drink & Play
December, 2011 - Issue #86
Your turkey: dry, flavorless and (accidentally) cooked with the giblets inside (again). Oggi's turkey: fresh, moist, savory and the highlight of their new Cranberry Gouda Turkey Sandwich. Enter tryptophan heaven with warm roasted turkey on grilled squaw bread with gouda cheese and caramelized onions, bacon, lettuce and tomato finished with a cranberry aioli sauce and served with french fries. Wash your bird down with Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Company's newest beer: Oggi Double IPA ("Indian Pale Ale") and end the meal with a slice of warm apple pie topped with caramel sauce and a side of vanilla ice cream. (For the dieters out there: Perhaps a bowl of Oggi's Curry Butternut Squash soup, garnished with caramelized apples and nutmeg, will be a better meal accompaniment? It's fabulous!); 252-7883

Cold Stone Creamery has always gotten us hot and bothered (Pumpkin ice cream ... nom, nom, nom!) but now it's really time to call in the firefighters. Conveniently planned to coordinate with a dip in temperature, Cold Stone now has Hot Stone Desserts. (Get ready to wipe up a puddle of drool, and don't say we didn't warn you.) Yummy selections include Chocolate Lava Meltdown, No Fair Funnel Cake, Brownie a la Cold Stone and Churro Caramel Crave; 253-4123

Some reinventions are awkward, like when your AARP-qualifying dad started sporting a ponytail and earring (No disrespect, Harrison Ford. You look great. Really.). Some, though, are pretty awesome - like when Salt Creek Grille began offering catering services. Their custom selections are totally distinct from the restaurant menu - but just as delicious. We've been to weddings, barbecues and black ties catered by Salt Creek - both on and off site. (Sooooo goooood.) Salt Creek Grille Catering is booking holiday parties now - no diamond stud required; 222-9999

Some people have self control in spades. We are not some of those people. When The Cupcake Tree told us about several of their signature cupcake flavors, we "went out on a limb" (Get it? Ha!) and tried them all. (Sadly, we were unsuccessful in our attempts to climb back down. We were very full.) Even if this were a true story, it would have been worth it. (Bite into Cupcake Tree's incredible, spongy, frosting-topped cupcakes before you judge us.) Favorites include True Blonde Vanilla, Black & White (chocolate cake with vanilla butter frosting, a marshmallow filling and crushed Oreos on top!), The Butterfinger (peanut butter frosting and crushed Butterfinger candy!), The Beachcomber (coconut cake with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut!) and S'mores (graham cracker crust with vanilla cake, marshmallow filling and chocolate buttercream frosting!); 251-9866

Two words: pumpkin flan. Two more words: Yes, please! Sabor Cocina Mexicana has built their reputation on creating authentic, exquisite cuisine - and their seasonal selections are no exception. Treat your guests to meals created with organic, local ingredients when you host your private party at Sabor. The restaurant's refined, intimate atmosphere is the ideal location to host your most treasured friends, family or business contacts; 259-9002

Hacienda Don Cuco transports guests to a different time and place with an antiquated Mexican vibe that's very cool and hard to top. Even better - Hacienda can accommodate up to 300 of your closest contacts (This really is your chance to impress literally everyone you know!). The banquet room is the ideal spot for a gourmet buffet (which will encourage your crew to mingle) - or pick up a party platter to go; 252-8074

After a long day at work, sometimes all you really need is a stiff drink. What you don't need is a bill-induced heart attack. That's why we love Sake's new "5-4-3-2-Happy Hour." You'll still be shocked at the price, only this time, it'll be in a good way. Enjoy $5 martinis and tropical drinks; $4 premium wines and $3 beers Tuesday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. At these prices, you can afford to live a little. Order up some of Sake's great appetizers, including the freshest, finest cuts of sushi and rolls for only $3; gourmet sliders for $2 and tacos for $2.50 - all during Happy Hour at the bar and patio (only at the bar on the weekends). Reverse Happy Hour runs Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. or drop by on Friday night to dance away your cares while enjoying the best bands in town. While you're there, make it an extra-happy hour and reserve your table for Sunday Supper Club featuring Jimmy Carnelli Jazz Duo playing classics from Frank Sinatra and other greats; 255-SAKE (7253)

Tournament Players Club, you had us at "Absinthe Cocktail Hour," though we were already pretty sold on your "Midnight in Paris at Moulin Rouge" New Year's Eve event. (Mostly because we've been looking for an excuse to don our gorgeous, frilly skirts and fancy corsets left over from our "We want to be Nicole Kidman" stage. Eat your heart out, Ewan McGregor!). This party is going to be So. Much. Fun! The aforementioned absinthe indulgences will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by a five-course Parisian-inspired dinner created by Chef Daniel Otto. Live music from The Full House Band, a balloon drop and excitement until 1 a.m. will make for quite a memorable night. (Presuming you don't drink too much absinthe and render yourself entirely incapable of remembering anything at all.) Formal attire is suggested (TPC, we promise that our fishnets are really, really fancy!). Member cost is $95 per person with nonmember admission $115 per person; 288-1995 extension 104

We need a vacation - but an afternoon or evening at Roman Holiday will do just fine, thank you. Have you been to this wine lounge - that boasts a full cocktail bar - yet? Believe us when we say that it's nothing like we've seen before. The concept is simple and - we'll admit it - so brilliant that we wonder why we didn't think of it ourselves. You start your experience by loading funds on your wine card - and then you use it as you would a credit or debit card, swiping it for preset amounts of the wine of your choice. You can select how much wine (a taste, a glass or a bottle) and which vintages you'd like to savor. The self-service is fun and the specialty-cocktail bar is a great addition, too. (Finally, we can "go out on the town" with the martini set!). Give it a try during Happy Hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 799-7221

Pulchella Winery is focused on producing very small quantities of handcrafted, ultra-premium cult wines. They spare no expense in sourcing the highest-quality Paso Robles grapes and showcasing small vineyards that offer unique characteristics that would normally be overlooked by larger producing wineries. Each vintage's lot has a limited production of 100 cases or less - and now is the perfect time to gift yourself with the best! Just for the holidays, Pulchella is offering a bottle of their Everyday Red - and two wine glasses - for only $25 (that's a 25 percent discount);
799-WINE (9463)

Last year, our kids made a snowman. In Canyon Country. And now, just like the adorable (annoying?) kids they are, they are already begging for more snow. Sigh. How the heck are we going to fit Frosty under the tree? Don't they know that those of us who grew up in this town had to wait about two decades for a snowfall repeat? Lucky for us, Newhall Ice Company has our (chilly) backs. They can turn an ordinary day into a winter wonderland with tons of beautiful, real snow. You can decorate your lawn, build sled runs and make White Christmas wishes come true - for less than you think; 259-0893

People who love to golf "get" other people who love to golf. But what do people who love people who love to golf get them? A membership to Robinson Ranch, that's what. The Ranch Club is an individual membership with an annual fee of $4,500 (plus carts). Boasting Monday through Sunday anytime golf privileges (based on availability, of course), six golf tournaments a year, SCGA membership and handicap, a generous 20-percent discount on merchandise and another 20-percent discount on food and beverages (excluding alcohol). Weekday and family memberships are available, too; 252-8484

Winter break is right around the corner. Lucky for you, so is Mountasia Family FunCenter. Let the kids go wild while you relax and drink in the adoration. Gift certificates are available so that you can stuff stockings with fun; 253-4FUN (386)

You can drag yourself out of bed at 3 a.m. on Black Friday so that you can get in line with other tired, crazy people so that you can then engage in a fight to the death over a $13 big-box-store microwave so that you can then find out from your sister that she didn't really want that microwave after all. Or you could sleep like a normal person and head over to Oak Tree Gun Club for their huge Black Friday sale on inventory - with shooting specials, door busters and more; 259-7441

Attention ladies! Scratch Golf will help you improve your game faster - and have more fun - than you ever thought possible. Ladies-only programs are based on the concept of learning the game - combined with the fun of playing and socializing with fellow golfers. The Ladies Social sessions start by learning a golf skill. You'll begin to master putting, chipping, full swing, teeing off, pre-shot routines and playing golf holes in the simulator - and there's always lots of socializing after playing! The program is tailored to all levels of golfers - from novice to experienced. The price can't be beat, either. It's only $175 for eight weeks; 775-0578

Experience Main Street on Thursdays in Old Town Newhall
Art Walk every first Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
On the first Thursday of every month, community members are invited to experience the artistic side of Newhall. In addition to arts and craft booths, several businesses within the Arts District of Old Town Newhall feature special performances and showcase galleries featuring the visual arts.

SENSES every third Thursday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
As part of the Thursdays @ Newhall series, SENSES is hosted on the third Thursday of every month and transforms Main Street into a big block party. Designed to heighten your sense of sight, smell, touch, taste and sound, SENSES offers live music, festive food trucks, specialty drinks, interactive activities, street performances, event promotions and more. To top it all off, SENSES gives attendees the unique opportunity to let loose and party on the street with thousands of others looking for a unique way to spend Thursday night. For event updates, visit; follow SENSES on Twitter @SensesOnMain; or like SENSES on Facebook - SensesOnMain.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information about Thursday events happening in Newhall, contact the city's Arts and Events office; 250-3787
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