Seafood Zone Mexican Restaurant: Quiero Mas Por Favor!

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Well apparently I am not the only person with the bright idea of looking for a tasty bite to eat after spending the day with my furry best friend at Huntington Dog Beach. Wow did I win the lottery or what? One would never know what lies ahead for them while driving past this funky little off-the-beaten-path shack. Don’t be fooled…go in and treat yourself to some seriously spectacular home cooked mexican food. I grabbed a table on the dog-friendly patio strewn with large potted plants and tropically themed painting, giving the feel that you are somewhere in Mexico on vacation. I figured I better get a Pacifico beer to pair with my chips and zesty, chunky salsa. Mmm mmm bueno!

The wait staff are super down to earth and you can tell it is very much a family/team effort here. I asked my waiter what he thought would knock my socks off and without delay he replied, Filete Relleno de Camaron (chicken and shrimp relleno) with rice, beans and a side salad. Sounds muy bien to me. Let’s do it! They brought over fresh water for my pup (always a brownie point for that!) and all the dogs on the patio seemed to coexist without any issues whatsoever. Relaxing and ruminating on a fabulous day at the beach, here comes my ginormous plate of food.

As much as I shouldn’t admit it publicly, I scarfed down every single last piece of food. Outta sight! All I can say is, if you are ever in the area and craving mexican food at a clean, casual hole in the wall, pull in here to their gigantic free parking lot and get ready to DIG IN. Viva Mexico!

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Viper Room: You Can Never Truly Go Back 

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Back in the Stone(r) Age, I used to frequent The Viper Room circa 1993-1994, A LOT. It was so vibrant, so hot, so happening and always exciting. Wondering when or if we would see Johnny Depp step out from behind his mirrored booth. Anticipating which celebrity or rocker we might see that night. Those were the days! I hadn’t been back for many years, but my brother was in town and we were intrigued by the idea of an STP cover band so we decided to spend a Saturday night on The Strip. The show was advertised to start at 11pm, so of course I figured “we better get there early!”. First red flag should have been the fact that I was able to nab a primo parking spot right out front on Sunset Blvd at 10:30pm on a Saturday night. Huh?!?!? Upon approaching the door, we were told by the fairly friendly door guys that it would be more like 11:45 start time and to head back around then. Okay, not a big deal. Cruised down to the Rainbow to kill time and people watch. Thank GOD The Rainbow is still alive and kicking. It’s one of the only remaining pieces of rock history still intact on The Strip. God, I LOVE The Rainbow.
Went back over to the Viper Room, and they charged us $5 more per person (not cool) than they just told us an hour ago? Went upstairs to a shockingly sparse crowd. Which then made sense why they were pushing back the start time, as they were obviously hoping more people would show up. The band themselves were good (Core) but the lead singer was a complete cheesy mess. NOT a good singer AT ALL. I was personally embarrassed for him at times. Yikes. It was fun mainly we knew all the songs and Scott Weiland’s current bassist (Tommy Black) just happens to be a bartender there and came up on the stage to play a few songs, which was cool.
I was thinking back 20 years and how this band NEVER would have been allowed to play here. EVER. That was back when the Black Crowes would show up for a random impromptu show and Fishbone would take the stage after hours on a late Thursday night just for fun. I mean it was a COOL COOL place. Sad to say, The Viper Room is only a faded remnant of what it once was. But then again, I feel that way about most of “old” Hollywood these days. Bittersweet memories but not much to revisit. Thank God I was around when The Strip was still a world renowned force to be reckoned with. Ahhhh the glory days of my youth.

Knott’s Berry Farm: Good Clean All American Fun 

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An adventurous friend came to town last fall and we decided to make a theme park weekend out of it and go to Knott’s Berry Farm on Saturday and Disneyland on Sunday… and what a blast we had! A little historical background for you. Knott’s Berry Farm was an actual berry farm owned by Walter and Cordelia Knott back in 1920, selling their berries, preserves and pies from a roadside stand. In 1934 Cordelia opened a small restaurant and started selling fried chicken dinners.

As the restaurant grew in popularity, Walter built a replica Ghost Town as well as some novelty shops on the property. Finally by 1968, they began charging $.25 admission and things flourished at Knott’s Berry Farm for many years. About a decade after the passing of Walter (1981) and Cordelia (1974), the children sold off the park (sad!) and restaurant separately. Recovering from a bit of a downfall with some creative marketing and strong management, Knott’s Berry Farm is now on an upswing in popularity and continues to grow in attendance every year. Complete with over 40 rides, Camp Snoopy, roller coasters and a water park, it is quite the bustling compound. However, note that the crowds are NOTHINGGGG like they are at Disneyland. Which is honestly, quite nice in and of itself!

Easy and plentiful parking. Really charming feel to the shops and restaurants leading up to the entrance. We ate at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant before we even stepped foot in the park and learning the history was almost as great as sharing the delectable fried chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes and boysenberry pie….YUMMM!

Double yummmm!! We headed over to the amusement park and took lots of photos along the way, strolled through the old ghost town,

watched some of the entertainment shows (the gun show was so funny!) and rode a few rides (the Timber Mountain log ride was a KICK!! We couldn’t resist buying the photo of me screaming down the big hill! Ha!)

I was pretty bummed that the Calico Railroad Train ride and Calico Mine ride were BOTH closed! Booooo! But I guess that happens sometimes… C’est la vie, right?

The Knott’s Scary Farm exhibit was super cool yet a tad creepy but thousands upon thousands of thrill seeking horror fans flock here each Halloween to partake in the seasonal festivities.

Loved seeing photos of all the years past. We laughed our way through the bumper cars as well. It was just a really enjoyable afternoon and I would definitely go back again. The price was fair (I bought my tickets online 3 days in advance and got a nice discount!). I’m very happy Knott’s Berry Farm is still around after all these years!! Long live historical landmarks of all kinds!