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EAT, DRINK & PLAY   -   WHAT TO ORDER NOW
Eat, Drink and Play
August, 2010 - Issue #70
EAT
Tears of joy, big-hearted offers of congratulations, Mom telling you she couldn't be happier... Expect all this and more when you announce that the bridal shower will be held at Sabor Cocina Mexicana. Their super-fresh, all-natural (and often certified organic) fare pairs perfectly with the ornate, stylish ambiance of the restaurant and the outdoor dining area; 259-9002

For years, a running Inside SCV Magazine joke was that we'd do just about anything for a Philly Cheese Steak Pizza from Salt Creek Grille. When it went off the menu (a cold, dark time), we started a print campaign to restore PCSP to its rightful place (under "appetizers"). How naive we were. Lately, we've been to a handful of events - a wedding, a nonprofit fundraiser, an intimate dinner - that boasted incredible cuisine from Salt Creek Grille Catering. None of the delicacies have ever been featured on the restaurant's menu (Note to selves: Expand horizons!). Faves include the Crab-stuffed Squash Blossom with champagne tempura dressed with a mango jalapeno grastique and the Almond-crusted Scallop with lavender bur blanc served on a sweet pea jasmine rice. We can't wait to taste their Western Barbecue spread at Carousel Ranch's Heart of the West event this month; 222-9999

Pre-partying takes on a whole new meaning at The Social, where their appetizers and drinks (martinis are a specialty) are reason enough to celebrate. Our favorites include the Bacon-wrapped Scallops, prepared with a honey-pineapple glaze and pineapple compote; Filet Satay with a spicy peanut dipping sauce; Escargot accompanied by a delicious Dijon garlic cream sauce; and Caribbean Chicken Satay Brochettes sprinkled with coconut shavings. Intimate and full of class, The Social is our first choice for a sophisticated evening out with friends; 799-9155

Reason to never leave the house number 431: Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Co. caters. Choose from corporate lunch; taco bar; pasta and salad; chicken; and chicken and tri-tip catering packages starting at only $8.75 per person; 263-9653


DRINK
Let us be frank: If The Drink Dr. machines were men, we would have already married them and popped out a couple of adorable strawberry margarita babies. Sadly, these machines have more going for them than our husbands. They are reliable, good looking and they're always ready to make us an icy cold drink. Best of all? They're doctors! We'd finally do Dad proud; 510-5778

When your ex called you "cheap," it hurt so bad that you threw out every last latex mini in your closet (Except the red one. It's your favorite!). But now you're embracing the term (You prefer "frugal," but whatever.). May we interest you, then, in the most frugal, kick-butt deal this side of San Fernando? Meet Hacienda Don Cuco's summer banquet specials starting at just $20 per person, or their full wedding packages that can be had for just $35 per person. Included in the package: a well-appointed (and gorgeous - waaaay hotter than your ex) private room, Mexican buffet, champagne toast, linens, chair covers and full service; 252-8074

No party planner is an island; you're eventually going to need some assistance. One thing you won't need help with: picking up the tab after an afternoon of "going over logistics" (translation: downing copious amounts of pina coladas) with your closest pals at El Chaparral Mexican Restaurant in Canyon Country (252-5599) and Presidente Mexican Grill in Saugus (297-7244). Both establishments serve yummy free appetizers from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. during Happy Hour (which runs from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.) Monday through Friday.

Some high-and-mighties give us a hard time for enjoying a good drink now and again. Honestly, all that judgment makes us thirsty. You too? Let's get together between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. any weekday for Salt Creek Grille's happy hour. We'll be on the covered patio, planning our next night of debauchery; 222-9999

PLAY
Planning a party for two (or 2,000) may not seem like fun - until you check out the wild selection available from Pierre's Catering & Rentals, Inc. Over the last 20 years, Pierre has collected a set of props even Hollywood would envy. Pair divine decor with simple fare (try the luscious lasagna) or high cuisine (stuffed filet, anyone?). Perhaps the most enjoyable part: Pierre's a pro at meeting your budget (Yes, even yours.); 818-707-1327

Office parties can be a special kind of torture ("party" and "boss" is rarely a festive combination). But if you're the event planner, you have a chance to right the wrong that is "the working lunch." Order from Togo's! (Now conveniently located at the corner of Copperhill and Newhall Ranch Road.) Choose from sandwich trays, boxed lunches, salads, desserts, party trays or party packs. The sandwich tray can be made with four of Togo's all-time favorites (Italian, Turkey & Cheese, Roast Beef and Albacore Tuna) or customized with your favorites. They also offer Build-A-Sandwich trays for three- to eight-foot sandwiches. Salads start at just $1.33 per person; choose from Cobb, Asian Chicken, Farmer's Market, Fresh Fruit, Roasted Chicken Caesar and Santa Fe Chicken Salad. Togo's even has a new regular-size salad that serves up to 10 people. The Party Trays give you a choice of seven-layer dip, fresh-cut veggies or fresh fruit. Delivery is even available to some locations; 310-1800

Many men desire one more "lap around the track" before they get hitched. Ladies, we suggest you oblige them. Strap your stud and his bachelor party buddies into MB2 Raceway's high-tech go-kart and hurl them down the straightaway. All that adrenaline should certainly blur their wandering eyes; 866-986-RACE

Remember that old song, "It's our Party, and we can Pig Out if we want To?" There are few better incentives for party planning than menu selection. After just five minutes reviewing New Moon's catering options (available online at www.newmoonrestaurants.com), drool started pooling near our unspeakables. We'd go to great lengths to dine on vast quantities of their Asian fusion specialties. We'd even renew our vows. ("I take you, Jumbo New York Style Egg Rolls, in sweet sauce and in sour, with freshly-ground chicken and shrimp, 'til indigestion do we part.") New Moon can accommodate parties from 10 to 100, with menus starting at only $12.95 a person - and off-site catering is always available. Is it wrong to pad our guest list to justify ordering more deliciousness?; 257-4321

True story: One publisher's sister, who had yet to win over her fiance's family, had her rehearsal dinner in the private dining room at Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Co. The tide turned in her favor as soon as her father in law saw that she had arranged to have "the game" on the big-screen TV during the feast. Had she ordered the Bruschetta Con Feta - a combination of fresh-chopped tomatoes, diced red onions, basil, garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar topped with a layer of feta cheese and served with slices of fresh Italian bread toasted with olive oil, pesto sauce, and finished with Parmesan cheese - she could have avoided a run-in with the mother in law; 252-7883

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