Eat, Drink & Play
September, 2012 - Issue #95
There's Mexican food and then there's Sabor Cocina Mexicana's modern take on Mexican cuisine. Right now is the time to taste the difference. Take, for example, Sabor's slow-cooked, spoon-tender, melt-in-your-mouth Short Rib Tacos. With flavors and methods this authentic, you'll be speaking Spanish after the last bite. (At least enough to declare, "Delicioso!") And have you ever tried their Jicama Chicken Tacos? These organic-chicken-stuffed folds of amazingness are still available, but for a limited time, so get them before the tears flow like the Santa Clara river in January. (Red-meat lovers: the jicama tortillas can be ordered as a "side" - add them to the skirt steak with avocado and wash down the meal with one of their signature organic margaritas!) We'll be raising our glass in celebration for the two-year anniversary of Sabor's Westlake location this month, too. We're happy to see a restaurant (Especially one "born" in the SCV!) with a philosophy based on using sustainable, healthy and wholesome organic foods, succeed. When small, local, sustainable farmers gain the support of like-minded restaurants, we all win! (And by "we," we also mean our tastebuds!)

Pizza del Sardo's new Valencia restaurant opens in September. One bite and you'll swear you've teleported to Sardinia. That's because their master chef, Ugo Moi, grew up there, learning the secrets of true Italian food devotion at his mother's side. Ugo is to Italian cooking as Michael Phelps is to Olympic swimming - dominant. All natural ingredients and old-world recipes combine for a dining experience that will have you singing Amore before you know it. For fall, they're featuring Ugo's pizza creations - you've got to try one. From the light and airy crust to the premium toppings like buffalo mozzarella or prosciutto crudo, these hand-formed wood oven-baked pies will restore your faith in humanity. Don't feel like a night out? Every fabulous item is available for takeout. But plan to meet Ugo - you'll want to thank him. 259-9090

Saying Fatburger makes great burgers is like saying New York has impressive skyscrapers. True enough, but there's so much more. Drop in for a delicious veggie burger or a chicken sandwich and you'll feel so virtuous that you'll have every reason to treat yourself to an ice cream sandwich for dessert. Don't tell anyone the ice cream is low fat - that will remain our little secret. 290-2523

"Kids eat free" deals are usually synonymous with national-chain pancake joints. Do you really want to stuff down another stack of gluten just so your child can score $1.99-worth of free food? We don't either, which is why we gave up treating the little buggers to a meal out. Until now. Marston's, known for their deliciously-fresh fare, offers a yummy range of choices on Wednesday evenings, when kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. 253-9910

Looking for the ultimate in treats? Hightail it to Lady Di's Cookies and Sweets. The shop smells so good they ought to charge admission. But no matter how many deep breaths you take, you'll still need to eat one of their amazing desserts. One? Who are we kidding. Get a dozen. With cookies so huge they could feed a family of four starting at $1.50. The menu runs from old favorites like chocolate chip to new creations like cranberry coconut pecan so there's something here for everyone. Stop by during their new "happy hour" every Saturday when $2 buys you a fudge brownie. 222-9102

Get more and pay less at Sake Steak, Seafood & Sushi. Their
all-new menu has something for everyone and larger portion sizes to boot. You could eat here for a month and never have the same thing. Choose from 21-day-aged Angus steaks from 8 to 22 ounces. Each includes your choice of toppings (like orange walnut butter or roasted peppercorn) and sides including the oh-so-incredible twice-baked mashed potatoes or four-cheese mac n cheese. Dive in and taste the freshest seafood available with live Maine Lobster; Scottish Salmon; Alaskan Halibut and much more. Or choose a slow-roasted half chicken or slow-braised short ribs. No matter what you select, they are all incredibly delicious and sure to satisfy! From 5 p.m. on Tuesdays try the best and freshest sushi and sake at 20 percent off. Save again on Sundays with their Brunch's bountiful breakfast entrees and unlimited champagne for only $10 more (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Those of you 60-years "young" and older get 15 percent off Sunday evenings after 5 p.m. And don't miss the mouth-watering lunches. Ditch the usual and grab a bento box lunch special or try one of their artisan sandwiches at a price that will make you swear off fast-food for the rest of time.
255-SAKE (7253)

Sake's "The Lounge" Happy Hour Doubles Down
You already should know that Sake's Happy Hour is one of legend. Now it's time to multiply the fun by two. Sake introduces a second dose of Happy Hour for the night-time crew. The Lounge is an all-new late-night Happy Hour that runs Wednesday through Saturday from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Relax with friends on their super-sexy patio while enjoying Sake's casual-cool ambiance. Nosh on an incredible selection of 16 appetizers (Two Steak or Shrimp Soft Tacos for $3.50; Lemon Calamari for $5; Chimichurri Chicken Wings for $6!) and sushi items starting at only $3; sip on 16-ounce tap beers for $3 and $4; premium wines by the glass are only $4; well drinks are $5 and signature top-shelf cocktails/martinis are a low $7. Not a night owl? Sake's traditional Happy Hour (on the patio or bar only) runs Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 255-SAKE (7253)

Voli's low-calorie vodka stars on Salt Creek Grille's new drink menu. Imagine the decadence of a skinny cosmo that weighs in at a svelte 82 calories or a Lemon Drop Martini packing a mere 85 calories. They say people look better when they've been drinking - maybe that will finally be true. Sit outside and people watch or relax in their lively yet comfortable bar and grab an order of Blackened Chicken Nachos or housemade chips. Hey, with all the calories you saved on the drinks you can afford it! Designate a driver and let's go. 222-9999

The best view in the SCV unfolds from the patio at Tournament Players Club (TPC) Valencia. Unwind after a hard week with their new Pomegranate Lemon Drop Martini made with Grey Goose lemon vodka and real pomegranate juice. Bop to the live music playing every Friday through mid-September from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. or be awestruck as a magician strolls the tables performing close-up magic every Wednesday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Football season has arrived at Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Company. Extended happy hour means their happy hour specials apply in the bar whenever an NFL game graces the big-screen TV. Visit often to participate in the NFL contests and promotions throughout the season. Keep busy with a list of on-tap craft brews longer than War and Peace and much more fun. (Trust us, just look at some of the names: Howlin' Hefeweizen, Wild Angels Dubbel Trubbel, Surfin' Monks Triple. Those sure beat Tolstoy.) Don't let closing time stop you, either - pick up a 64-ounce "growler" take out and take the party home. 263-9653

Want to be the legend of your cul-de-sac? One word: Kegerator. Call The Drink Dr. and relax while this full-service party supplier takes care of all your needs for the ultimate backyard event. They'll set you up with drink machines, arrange for furniture rental and whatever else you need to make your bash one that even the SCV Sheriffs will remember. With rentals starting at $150, your neighbors' jealous stares will be worth every penny. Pro-tip: have them bring two drink machines - one for alcohol and one without (for the kids). 510-5778

Homework was never tastier! Take some classes at Kitchen Wizards and you'll not only have fun, you'll feel like a FoodTV star. From dinner-for-two classes that are perfect for empty nesters to classes focused on cookies or stocks and sauces, you're sure to kick mealtime up a notch or two. September classes include Indian Summer Clam Bake, Sushi Part III, Marvelous Macaroons, Chocolate Lovers' Delight and more (like a Wine Tasting luxury-coach trip to Santa Ynes!)! And don't hog all the fun yourself; they've got kids classes scheduled for Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. throughout the month. 254-1234

What could be more relaxing than a vacation cruise? A cruise and a shrunken electric bill, that's what. Let Solar Universe tell you how they're giving away five-day, four-night cruises for two to Mexico, the Bahamas or the Western Caribbean with the purchase of a solar system. Electric rates aren't getting any lower - do something about it and go green while you go on vacation. 805-777-7477

The most successful anglers are the ones who ask questions at the tackle shop and then apply what they have learned at the spot they are fishing. Each body of water is unique and requires specific techniques and lures to catch fish. The methods used vary at different times of the year, but can also change from week to week or day to day. Want to know about great local fishing spots? The experts at Tackle Express have the inside scoop on all the local ponds. (Log onto for a list courtesy of Tackle Express!) They can hook you up with the right equipment and steer you to that special cove where the fish jump in the boat and filet themselves. 251-8700

Oaktree Gun Club has extended their Saturday hours. Now open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays, this is the SCV's hidden treasure. Head up to the Newhall Pass for some old-fashioned shooting sports fun. Forget your city cares with some night shooting and grab some amazing food in their full-service restaurant afterwards. Friday Fun Shoots are held every Friday night - signups begin at 6:30 p.m. and the competition begins at 7 p.m. $25 buys you 50 targets. 259-7441

photo by Tony Luna
photo by Tony Luna
A Special Shoe for a "Lucky" Penguin
Did you know that one of the Santa Barbara Zoo's Humboldt penguins wears a shoe? This penguin is appropriately named Lucky. After Lucky hatched, his zoo keepers noticed that he limped. The Zoo's veterinarian discovered a problem with some of his foot bones. Because surgery was too risky, and most likely wouldn't work well, the Santa Barbara Zoo staff decided to make him a special shoe. But where do you get a shoe for a penguin? The Zoo found a community partner in Teva, a local adventure footwear company that makes shoes and sandals especially for people who are active in, on, and around the water. Teva's design team volunteered hundreds of hours to design and make a special shoe for Lucky and the company has committed to providing shoes for Lucky for his entire lifespan. The shoes are changed daily so they can be washed. Thanks to his new shoe, Lucky can now walk and swim like the other penguins. Lucky's YouTube videos have been viewed well over 100,000 times, he's been on the "Today Show," the "NBC Nightly News," "National Geographic Kids "and even in The National Enquirer. He's one lucky penguin! Win a chance to see him at the Zoo for free when you "like" Inside SCV Magazine on Facebook. We'll choose a winner after September 10, so "like" us today and maybe get "lucky!"
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