Hey folks! It was another fine week in Ventura County. We looked through Instagram for some choice pictures in places from Simi Valley to Port Hueneme and picked out nine. (And we’re planning to do this weekly on Fridays for the time being!

The Final Product

venco outdoors 2014-06-27

People get up to a lot outdoors, from hiking to bird watching to high fiving in Ventura. It was fun looking through different hashtags, and definitely fun connecting with some of you on Instagram!

The Photos

So starting from the top left and then proceeding to the right and repeating that on each row…

Trail from @yoshie_love805

hiking trail in ventura

Looks like a gnarly incline that’d give an amazing view!

Rooftop High Five in Ventura by @hanziibar

high five in ventura somewhere

Sweet high five, dudes.

Ventura City Hall by @theoddcompany

up california street in ventura

Classic framing up California Street in downtown Ventura.

Epic Sunset Clouds by @cloud_chaser_805

sunset from oxnard amazing

The layering, shadows, and different lights is what got me on this one.

Great Egrets in Round Mountain Pond by @mrs.siren

great egrets near CSUCI

I can’t identify many birds other than pidgins and red-tailed hawks, get crows and ravens confused, but am always impressed by people who can. Props to you, mrs.siren. This is a lovely picture.

Sunset on the 118 over Simi and Moorpark by @nathanhoyt

simi valley freeway sunset

Not entirely sure how you got this picture, but it’s beautiful and a unique perspective.

Port Hueneme Lighthouse by @catlinsmith

port hueneme lighthouse insta

Whenever I tell people there’s a lighthouse in Port Hueneme, their reaction is “What??!?!” I was pretty stoked to see that others know about it. And yes, tours there every third Saturday! (Expect an upcoming post!) Safe travels, Catlin, and keep adventuring!

Sunset from Thousand Oaks by @ventureventura

sunset from thousand oaks epic

Yeah yeah, this is our own photo, but I slacked a little reaching out to people and said I would post the images today… I think this is a quality capture, though! We really want to give full credit to the photographers, only include pictures with their consent, and want to link back to them and encourage connections between people. (Procrastination doesn’t end after college.)

Succulents by @delta_nine

succulents from instagram

Who knew a picture of some succulents could be so… succulent! I dig the framing here and the vintage filter.

Wrap-up!

That’s the feature this week! We’ll keep it going through the summer. Hit us up on Instagram @ventureventura, Twitter @ventureventura, Facebook /ventureventura805, or here with your photos and tips. Let’s keep each other in the loop.


P.S. The photos are arranged in an order that looks relatively aesthetic, there’s no meaning to any particular square or spot.


Third Thursdays at Bombay

We’re proud to announce that Venture Ventura will be having our very first official meetup: Third Thursdays at Bombay Bar & Grill in Ventura! You can come meet the awesome creators, contributors, and fellow readers of Venture Ventura with some great food and drink specials, along with other surprises in store!

Location

Bombay Bar & Grill
143 S California St
Ventura, CA 93001
(805) 643-4404 

Date & Time

 Thursday, June 19th starting @ 5PM

Admission

Free!

Specials

  • $15 pitchers of Firestone Walker 805 or bucket of domestic beer
  • $10 pitchers of Miller Lite
  • $5 select shots
  • $4 hot dogs, grilled cheese
  • $3 fries, sweet potato fries, or Bombay Green Salad
  • Of course $2 Slider Thursday of any burger will be in full effect! (except the Brunch Burger or American Stack).

Also, if you show up early enough (4-7PM) you can capitalize on their happy hour menu too!

  • $3 Tecate, Dale’s Pale Ale, Coors Light, Coors OG
  • $3 Stone Cellar Wines – Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot
  • $4 Well Cocktails
  • $5 Bombay Fry Stack & Mini Turkey Meatballs
  • $4 Chili Cheese Fries, Onion Rings, Fried Pickles, and Adult Mac & Cheese

What to Expect

Check in with us in the back room and we’ll give you a name tag so the staff can identify that you’re with our party so you can get our specials. If you’re a designated driver, we’ll give you a DD wristband, which will allow you to get free sodas with purchase of food. We will be providing various forms of entertainment for you to hang out, mingle, and play.

In addition to our reader base, we’re inviting a few new groups to this, including: The Dangerous 20 Somethings of Canejo Valley Meetup Group, the /r/VenturaCounty sub-reddit, WAKA – CA Rincon Ventura Adult Kickballers, and  hopefully some of your friends who aren’t aware of our site.

Speaking of which, for the first 20 people that come, your first happy hour drink is on us!

Hope to see you out there.

 


Driving back from Los Angeles, my friend and I were hungry when we got back into Camarillo. The only place we knew for sure was open was In-N-Out. We were kinda, “Meh,” and I hopped on Yelp.

night picture of Tacos el Caporal

Mexican Food in Camarillo after 9 p.m.

There are a few other places in Camarillo that are open late. Only one—El Rey Cantina—serves Mexican food (until midnight, except for Monday when it’s closed).

Well! Tacos el Caporal surprised me with their late hours, unusual location, and high reviews (five stars on Yelp, over 4 stars on Facebook). Sunday to Thursday they are open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; on Friday and Saturday, they are open 5 p.m. to 1 a.m!!!

Burritos: Hard to Photograph, but Delicious

I’ve only had their asada burrito and my friend had a quesadilla. The burrito was $6, folled with asada, rice, cheese, beans, and pico de gallo. It came with radishes, a pepper, salsa verde, and lime.

asada burrito from Tacos el Caporal

It was a delicious, loaded, inexpensive burrito. My friend said she really liked the quesadilla.

What I dig about this place is that good, inexpensive Mexican food is available in Camarillo until 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. on “night out” days.

Meats include asada, tripa, pastor, pollo, cabeza, and chorizo. Their menu and prices aren’t displayed, so you’ll have to ask. (They’re super nice!) Based on photos from their Yelp and Foursquare I gotta try their tacos next.

Food update: The bean, rice, and cheese burrito is, “Bomb!” and only $4.50.

Directions

They’re located near Arneill and Daily, on Glenn between Lomita and Daily. (Exact address is 205 N. Glen Dr., Camarillo, California 93010.) This is behind Pizza Hut and Troop Realty, across the street from the renovating Burger King. It’s parked curbside next to the Troop Realty parking lot. If you’re coming northbound on the 101: get off on Lewis, turn left onto Daily from the rightmost left turn lane, and take the first right onto Glenn. If you’re coming southbound on the 101: get off on Lewis, turn right onto Ventura Boulevard, turn right onto Arneill, turn right onto Daily, turn left onto Glenn.

Tacos el Caporal map

Social Network Pages for Tacos el Caporal

Already linked to these, but! Check out their Facebook, Yelp, and Foursquare pages.

Have you been here? Are you going? Let us know what you think!


Beer FlightAs May comes to a close, it’s probably about time for you to check out the latest brews that Ventura County has to offer. Here’s what you can expect!

Institution Ale Co is really making it tough for my wallet. They came out with the delicious Citra-hopped White Walls IPA a while back, but it’s now available in growlers. Tomorrow, May 30th, they’re re-releasing The Flue, a Habanero Smoked Porter. On Saturday, May 31st, at 2pm, they’re tapping a cask of Fruit Bomb Sedation, made with strawberries, orange zest, and pineapple. I’m excited to drink all of these, and you should be too.

If that Habanero Smoked Porter grabbed your attention, you may also want to take the drive out to Ladyface Alehouse. This week, they have a cask of Picture City Porter infused with ghost pepper. If you know anything about hot peppers, you know that ghost peppers are not to be taken lightly. 

Although not technically in Ventura County, I have to recommend checking out Wades Wines. They frequently have amazing flights that you rarely see anywhere else, if ever. All weekend, they’re pouring flights from their house brewery — Sundowner Brewery. The flights include a Blonde, a Dubbel, a Tripel, and an Imperial IPA. I’ve yet to try a Sundowner, but if they’re anything like the rest of the beer/wine that Wades has, they’re sure to be great. The rest of the month, look out for Ryan’s Double IPA Extravaganza tasting, a Stone Brewing tasting, and more at Wades Wines.

If you’re into IPAs, Public School 805 has you covered this Saturday. Going from 12pm to close, they’re celebrating IPAs with IPA Fest — offering an eye-popping 15 IPAs on draft, including Stone, Green Flash, Ballast Point, Dogfish Head, and Oskar Blues.

This Sunday, Ojai Beverage Company is offering half price draught beer from 11:30am to 10pm. I know it’s tempting to chill at home on a Sunday and polish off those Institution Ale growlers you got, but half price beers are pretty tough to turn down.

That just about wraps up this May edition of Brew News. I hope you guys find some amazing drinks this weekend! What’s in your glass? Let me know on our Facebook page or in the comments below.

 


Downtown Ventura Theater

Movies are fun, but they can be expensive! Let’s break down some movie deals around Ventura County:

Camarillo

Roxy Stadium 11: All movies on Tuesdays are $5.

Edwards Palace Stadium 12: The “Twilight” showing is cheapest at $6, which is the last showing of any movie until (and including) 5:00 p.m.

Paseo Camarillo Cinemas: The “Indie Theater.” No deals in particular, but they show awesome smaller release, foreign, and indie films.

Oxnard

Century Riverpark 16: All regular showings on Tuesdays are $6. First showings daily are $6.75. Cinemark Theaters is also offering their Summer Movie Clubhouse for the kids. $5 for 10 animated movies from June – August.

Plaza Stadium 14: All regular showings on Tuesdays are $5.

Ventura

Regency San Buenaventura 6: This is the “$3 Dollar Theater.” The movies shown here lag maybe two months behind current releases. All regular showings are $3 (3D movies are a couple dollars more). There is a $10 minimum credit card charge, but an ATM is located in the lobby next to the box office. After 6:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, $10 will get you two tickets, two popcorns, and two sodas. The theater is also famous for $1 hot dogs.

This is my favorite theater, not only because tickets are such a deal, but also because of Insomniac Cinema! Every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. there are screenings of famous, popular, and cult movies. For instance, Breakfast Club, <em “>Vertigo, or <em “>Jaws. The most memorable showing was The Big Lebowski where a dude was dressed like The Dude—robe, White Russian, and all. Tickets for this in advance are $7, day of is $9.

Century 10 Downtown: On Tuesdays, tickets are $6. They too are offering their Summer Movie Clubhouse deal for the kids.

Santa Paula

Santa Paula 7: Tickets for current release movies are cheaper here, generally $8.

So, those are most of the West Ventura County movie deals. If you know any more in West County, East County, up the 126, or out in Ojai, let us know in the comments!


Vegetarian sandwichI love food and I am undoubtedly an omnivore who loves more than my fair share of meat but, sometimes I like to play a little game called, “What would I do if I were a vegetarian?” The rules are quite simple: I come up with the best meatless option that I would choose to eat at a restaurant if I were hypothetically a non-meat eater. These vegetarian Ventura options are scattered throughout the county and you can find some pretty tasty selections out there.  Restaurants are listed in no particular order. 

Vegetarian Options in Ventura County

  • Mary’s Secret Garden (Ventura) – Everything is delicious here. Cilantro “Chick’n” Sandwich with Fakin’ Bakin’ is my go-to.
  • Love Phò N’ Mor (Camarillo) – Tofu Vegetable Phò. If you really want to ensure the vegetarian status ask for vegetable broth. #phòthewin
  • Gotetsu (Ventura) – Mmmm… Gotetsu. A lot of grilled vegetable options but the Godzilla Onigiri, Okra, Shitake would be my top picks!
  • Himalaya (Ventura) – Vegetable Biryani & Garlic Naan (and a wide international beer selection too!).
  • Farmer & the Cook (Ojai) – Their soup & salad bar offering has a lot of choices, but, when in doubt, go for the veggie burger or vegan pizza!
  • Wood Ranch Grill (Ventura) – Grilled Vegetable Salad
  • Garbanzo (Ventura) – This is a new place that opened up in Ventura. They have some awesome vegetarian sides, salads, and falafels which are pretty tasty and quite affordable. I highly recommend checking them out.
  • Little Thai (Camarillo) – Let them know you are vegetarian and they will have some awesome suggestions.
  • Nature’s Grill (Ventura) – A ton of options here, I’d probably roll with a Zog Dog or the Local Favorite.
  • Curry Leaf (Camarillo) – Veggie Samosas & Malagatwany Soup.
  • Hip Vegan (Ojai) – This isn’t fast food so just remember that good things come to those who wait. I’d get the Indonesian Wrap.
  • Zzyzx Cafe (Camarillo) – I love Zzyzx. Vegetarian Omelet or Cap’n Crunch French Toast.
  • Uptown Pizza (Oxnard) – You can never have too much pizza. California Veggie looks amazing.
  • Green Leaf and Bananas (Camarillo) – Pesto Caprese.
  • Taqueria Cuernavaca (Ventura) – Vegetarian Tacos.
  • Olas Mex Grill (Camarillo) – Vegetarian Burrito (although rice may actually be made with chicken stock).
  • La Fuente (Ojai) – Vegetarian Tamale.
  • Peking Inn (Camarillo)Vegetarian Sweet & Sour Chicken.
  • Papa Lennon’s Pizzeria (Ojai)Mediterranean Pizza.
  • Thai & Chinese #3 (Oxnard) – Lil’ David Special = Green Bean Curry, Tofu, Half Rice, Half Noodle, Add Mushrooms w/ Large Thai Iced Tea.
  • Urbane Cafe (Camarillo, Oxnard & Ventura)Vegetarian Grilled Cheese.
  • Carl’s Jr. (Anywhere) – Guacamole $6 Burger, no burger. Replace with criss-cuts.
  • Chipotle (Anywhere)Sofritas in anything.

I hope this list helps you, or at least your vegetarian significant other. If there is a place we missed that you love, let us know in our comments section or on our Facebook page.

Eat well, friends!

PS: You don’t win friends with salad.


Sunset on the Ventura Pier.

Sunset on the Ventura Pier. Moms like this stuff.

Whoa! Mother’s Day is on Sunday! Since you’re so caring and thankful for your mother, you’ve already gotten her a card and some flowers. What else can you do to go the extra mile and earn some of Mom’s brownie points? Well, it’s a good thing you asked. Here are some of the best things to do in the Ventura County area with your mother for Mother’s Day.

 

Breakfast

Mom has made you breakfast for all these years. Maybe it’s time to return the favor! On the other hand, if you’re not quite a chef, you should probably just take her out for breakfast. Here are some great places that she is sure to love. Note that many breakfast spots in Ventura County are quite popular, and may have a considerable wait time. Get there early. The earlier, the better!

  • Allison’s Country Cafe (Ventura) – They’ve got some of the best biscuits and homemade jam I’ve ever had. Definitely try them.
  • Brent’s Delicatessen & Restaurant (Westlake Village) – Featured on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” for their corned beef sandwich, it turns out they have amazing breakfast as well. You should probably take Marc Summers’ advice.
  • Cafe Nouveau (Ventura) – This spot has a bit more class than your typical breakfast joint. It features shaded outdoor seating on a gorgeous patio surrounded by lush Mediterranean gardens. The chorizo omelette or the Mediterranean omelette will not let you down.
  • Jessica’s Cafe (Camarillo) – The Eggs Benedict are the highlight here. Tater tots instead of fruit on the side? Why yes, that will do just fine.
  • Pete’s Breakfast House (Ventura) – They use farm fresh eggs, so an omelette would be a great choice. Their pancakes are also very good. Since being featured on Drivers, Dine-Ins, and Drives, their wait times have been long, but often worth the wait.
  • Farmer and the Cook (Ojai) – An all-organic cafe, they serve breakfast from 8:30 am-11:30 am on Saturdays and Sundays.  They also sell house-made hot sauces and jams at the Ojai Farmers Market (see below)

 

Brunch

Whether it’s the seemingly boundless tables piled to the ceiling with food, all the mimosas you can drink, or the blood marys to help stave off the impending hangover from last night; there is something for everyone to love at brunch.

  • Top of the Harbor Ballroom/Crowne Plaza (Ventura) – If your mother is a fan of gorgeous oceanside views, this is the place to take her. The mouth-watering menu consists of salad, seafood, omelettes, carved meats, and much more.
  • Yolanda’s Mexican Cafe (Camarillo, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Ventura) – If you’re into Mexican breakfast food, go for Yolanda’s. You can’t really go wrong with selections like chorizo and eggs, chilaquiles, or huevos con machaca.
  • The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (Simi Valley) – Whether you agree with Reagan’s politics or not, it’s demonstrable that the catered events at the Reagan Library consistently have great food. Featuring a waffle station, fajita station, carved meat station, and much more, your mother is sure to enjoy ingesting mouthfuls of Reagan’s legacy while gazing upon his impressive Air Force One.
  • Other brunches worth mentioning include Watermark (Ventura), Social Tap (Ventura), 71 Palm (Ventura), Old Town Tavern (Camarillo), Discovery Ventura (Sold Out) (Ventura), and Peirano’s (Ventura).

 

Go Outside

After you eat breakfast or brunch, what are you going to do next? How about going outside, for no reason other than to enjoy it? The weather is going to be nice; you should take your mother for a walk.  Don’t contribute to the demise of purposeless walking.

  • Is your mother into botany? If so, consider taking her out to the Conejo Valley Botanic Garden (Thousand Oaks).
  • If she’s a nature lover, maybe you could bring her for a casual stroll on the beach at Point Mugu State Park (Port Hueneme / Malibu).
  • The Ventura Pier (Ventura) is also a solid option to catch an amazing sunset view.

 

Farmers Markets

Outdoor shopping, local foods, fresh veggies, people watching: all things Moms love.  Take her to the Farmers Market!  There are two open in Ventura County on Sundays.

  • The Ojai Certified Farmers Market (Ojai) runs from 9 am–1 pm just behind The Arcade, off Ojai Ave.  They’ve got fresh free range eggs, organic produce, handmade chocolate, and coffee roasted that day.  Pick up a bottle of Farmer and the Cook’s Aji pepper sriracha hot sauce, you won’t regret it.
  • The Channel Islands Certified Farmers Market (Oxnard) runs from 10am–2 pm at the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard.  This is a pretty well-attended market, with a bigger non-vegetable vendor area than in Ojai.  Get your mom a churro!

 

No matter what you choose to do for your mother this Mother’s Day, remember to make sure she knows how much you appreciate what she has done for you. Squeezing you out was probably harder than squeezing out two Chipotle burritos, after all — and that’s pretty damn rough.


Old Town Tavern CamarilloAs some of you may have noticed, the Camarillo restaurant previously known as The French Bulldog closed their doors. On Friday, May 2nd, they held a sneak peek at their new identity—Old Town Tavern. Visually, it has a much more rustic American feel, featuring lots of steel and hardwood. The interior design is only one of many changes I’ve noticed in the transition from The French Bulldog. Here are a few other changes they’ve made:

• The new menu. Overall, the food is more accessible and more affordable. It’s all presented by Chef Gael Lecolley, the same great chef who brought us the menu at The French Bulldog. Now, instead of offering $20+ entrees consisting of mainly steak, seafood, and pasta, they now offer more of a gastro-pub-type food menu that consists of gourmet burgers, sandwiches, and more deliciousness that will cost you closer to ~$15 per person. For a party of two, my bill only came out to around $30. That’s basically a whole burrito cheaper per person, if you’re keeping track!

• The beer selection. Just during the sneak peek, they had about 13 local craft beers on tap, including Firestone Walker’s elusive Parabola. They plan on having even more available after their grand opening. This rivals Camarillo’s only other real craft beer offerings at Darryl’s Couch (~10 beers on tap) or Institution Ale Co (~7 beers on tap), and puts Old Town Tavern on the map as an attractive destination for local beer lovers.

• The hours. The French Bulldog only remained open until 10 pm, which basically eliminated it as a late-night destination. I wasn’t able to find out exactly what the hours will be (they’re probably waiting to get a solid feel for the turnout once they have their grand opening), but Old Town Tavern plans on changing this by remaining open until some time between midnight or 1 am on weekends. This will most likely solidify a spot for Old Town Tavern on our list of Camarillo’s Best Late Night Bites.

• Live music. There aren’t all that many late night spots to find good live music in the area (consider El Rey Cantina and occasionally Brendan’s Irish Pub), so it will be nice to have another option on the table.

If this sounds like the kind of place you’d be into, don’t hesitate to check it out! You can expect their grand opening in the next couple of weeks, after which they will release their full menu (and, most likely, a schedule of their live music events). If you’ve already tried it, let us know what you think!

Old Town Tavern’s official website and Facebook page.

Old Town Tavern Camarillo - Rustic condiment caddy

Old Town Tavern Camarillo - Beer list

Old Town Tavern Camarillo - Mason jar drinks


DSC00502

Hi visitor! This is the inaugural post in the “Shopping Centers of Camarillo” series, where I intend to visit all of the shopping centers in Camarillo (and, if things go well, we will expand to other cities and unincorporated land). This is done in the desire for discovery and sharing where cool or useful things are.

Location of Central Plaza

Central Plaza is a shopping center in the middle of the western half of Camarillo. It is on the northeast corner of the Arneill and Ponderosa intersection.

It may also be referred to as the “Vons Shopping Center” or “that shopping center with the Coffee Bean over in Camarillo.”

To get to this shopping center from the 101, you would exit Lewis, turn west (toward where the sun sets or the way to Ventura), turn right on Arneill, and drive up until Ponderosa. On your drive up you will pass a couple other shopping centers, with multiple bars, the Camarillo Post Office, Harley’s Bowl, Toppers, and the “financial center” of Camarillo with at least three different banks.

Parking at Central Plaza

central shopping plaza

Parking is weird here, especially if you are trying to get to the Coffee Bean. As shown in the map above, the best way of approaching parking for the Coffee Bean is turning onto Fiesta Drive from Ponderosa and turning right into the shopping center, approaching the cafe from the north. Do not be deceived by the turn in with the Central Plaza sign!!! There are bushes and a curb preventing easy access to Coffee Bean.

Pay attention to stop signs, direction of traffic (which is often only noted by the direction of parking spots), other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Bike Racks and Transit at Central Plaza

Speaking of cyclists, there are bike racks here! There is also a stop for the Camarillo Area Transit (CAT) fixed route (route schedule).

IMG_0028

There are three racks on the sidewalk between K-Mart and Vons, each with about four slots.

DSC00491

There is one rack next to CVS, on the side close to the street. There are eight or more slots.

DSC00508

Things at Central Plaza

There are 25 establishments, ranging from a Vons and Coffee Bean, to a smoke shop and pool cleaning supplies.

Highlights:

Vons

The Vons has an interior Starbucks booth next to the left entrance (facing the store), and a US Bank to the right (from the right entrance). There is a Coinstar at this location; if you have an account with the US Bank in this store, they will reimburse the 10% cash fee. The bathroom is in the rear of the store, close to the left of the produce section. Yelp reviews; Google reviews.

Coffee Bean

I think this is the only Coffee Bean in Camarillo. There are 2 Wells Fargo ATMs, an outdoor fire pit, and a good amount of inside and outside seating. The restroom does not require a key. I’ve had many meetings, study groups, and hang outs with people at this spot. In the words of Kyle Jorgenson, “This Coffee Bean is a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity.” Yelp reviews; Google reviews.

Texas Cattle Co.

Instead of chips and salsa, or peanuts, they give you popcorn. Good spot for lunch or dinner. Yelp reviews; Google reviews.

Baskin Robbins

If you’re down for one of 31 flavors, this is the spot.

CVS

This CVS is not open 24-hours, unlike the CVS at Carmen and Daily. It does have a Chase ATM. They have two stars on Yelp and one four star on Google. I mean, it’s a convenience store slash pharmacy, what else are you looking for?

K-Mart

General retail store. Yelp reviews; Google reviews.

Round Table Pizza

Good pizza, but with Toppers just down the road it’s a hard sell. I think sometimes they sponsor fundraisers for clubs and organizations. Google reviews; Yelp reviews; Round Table website; Round Table Facebook.

Services

  • Camarosa Veterinary Clinic: The Camarosa Veterinary Clinic is between K-Mart and Vons, closer to Vons. They’re reviewed on Yelp.
  • Max Relax: Can’t find info on this online, other than places named the same in Ventura and Carpinteria.
  • Olive Beauty Supply: Yelp reviews; Facebook page. According to Facebook they have “100% human and synthetic hair extensions, clip-ons, weave-ons, attachments, wigs, pony tails” and other “fine beauty products and accessories.”
  • Holiday Cleaners: This isn’t the cleaner I usually go to, but they’ve got 4.5 stars on Yelp!
  • Check into Cash: I wonder if the population targeted by payday lenders is less likely to leave reviews online. Check into Cash has a street facing spot in the Central Plaza, next to the SubWay and gas station.
  • Camarillo Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness: Highly reviewed on both Google and Yelp, Cam MMA may be your spot if you are interested in their class offerings.
  • Nail Pros and Spa: Yelp reviews; Google reviews.
  • Fantastic Sams: Hair care! Yelp reviews; Google reviews.

Retail

Restaurants and food

Gas and auto

When people ask which auto repair shops I recommend, I never quite know what to answer and end up Yelping or Googling around. (I usually go to the DCH Honda dealer in Oxnard.) Reviews are often quite subjective, but the Union 76 gas station in the Camarillo Central Plaza is unique in that there are self- and full-service pumps and auto repair.

  • Union 76 (self and full service, auto repair): Yelp reviews. Check this testimonial from Stacy F.: “I have been a patron of Central Plaza Union 76 for 15+ years and cannot praise the services provided by the Schioppi Family enough. They are honest. The prices are reasonable. The work is timely. The facility is clean. They are a locally owned, family operated business, and I highly support that!”
  • Purrfect Auto Service: Yelp reviews; Google reviews.

Sidewalk things

There are a few Glacier water fill machines; a couple coin operated machines for kids; a couple Coke vending machines, along with a 7-up machine and a Aquafina machine; Blu Rhino propane tank cages; a Primo water jug cage; and a rack of four newspaper coin operated vendors, only one of which carries anything—the Ventura County Star EXTRA!, which is “your local free weekly news.” (Get those advertising bucks!)

There is also a plaque embedded in front of K-Mart that commemorates what I assume is the building of the Camarillo Central Plaza. It reads, “Ernest W. Hahn Inc. General Contractors 1970.” The eponymous founder of the company, Ernest W. Hahn passed away in 1992, but is credited by the New York Times with “chang[ing] the concept of the shopping mall by adding amenities like ice rinks and day-care centers.” Hahn kept busy (according to Wikipedia) with building the Fashion Valley and Horton Plaza malls in San Diego, and his first one in Santa Barbara—La Cumbre Plaza.

Oh! There is also a USPS drop station near the CVS and Vons. Final collection is either 3:00 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.

There you go!

So, that’s it. That’s the first shopping center review. Let me and Venture Ventura know what you think by commenting below, tweeting @itsandyking or @ventureventura, or emailing andy [at] ventureventura dot com.

You really are awesome.


Firestone Walker TastingNow that you’ve finally worked off that St. Patrick’s Day hangover, it’s time to figure out what to do this weekend. Luckily, there are plenty of great beers (including some amazing sour beers) to check out!

Start it off light by going to Institution Ale Co to try their brand new VICE on Cherries. It’s a tasty, tart berliner weisse sour beer that they just released on Wednesday. Frantic, their oatmeal coffee stout on oak, is going to be tapped today, and they’ll also be tapping a cask of Vanilla Frantic on Saturday, March 29th, at 2 PM. If a vanilla oatmeal coffee stout on oak doesn’t make you salivate, you might want to see a doctor!

Update from Institution: Alright Alright, I know we said Frantic was going on tap today, buuuut a faulty carbonation stone messed up our carbonation process and therefore its release has been delayed. Feel free to stop by the brewery “boooooo” us. But the good news is we have plenty of other awesome beers on tap and Frantic will be here before you know it. Happy Friday!

After Institution Ale Co, go to Draughts on Saturday, March 29th, for a Firestone Walker Tap Takeover starting at 11 AM. They’ll have a few beers on tap that are typically not so easy to find (such as ParabolaWinter WookeyOpalAgresticPivo Pils, and more), so I’d highly recommend checking out this special event. Remember that most of these beers have fairly high ABV, so make sure you have a safe way to get home.

Although it started yesterday, Wades Wines is hosting a The Lost Abbey tasting throughout the whole weekend. For $19, you can get a flight of The Angel’s Share 2008 (a barrel-aged Imperial Stout), Serpent Stout 2012 (a Belgian Imperial Stout), Deliverance (a barrel-aged Imperial Stout), and Cuvee De Tomme (a barrel-aged Sour beer with cherries and raisins)! Again, each of these is over 10% ABV, so make sure you play it cool.

Public School 805 is hosting Beer 101: Enegren Brewing, which will feature beer and food pairings by Chef Nate. It will be running on April 7th, 8th, and 9th, from 6 to 8:30 PM for $25 per person. We love the food at Public School 805 and we love the beer from Enegren, so I’m sure this will be well-worth the price. To make a reservation, call them at 805-379-3909.

Few details have been released, but Discovery Ventura is going to be hosting what they’re calling “Big Wednesdays”, which will feature beer tastings paired with classic films! As a movie lover and obvious beer enthusiast, this definitely grabs my attention. When we know more about what, exactly, this is, we’ll be sure to fill you in!

Barrelhouse 101 will be having a Belgian Beer & Breakfast on April 12th from 9:30 AM to 11 AM. There will be five stations each consisting of a Belgian beer and a breakfast dish to sample from. $30 per person includes a souvenir glass and unlimited sampling from the five pairing stations. If you’re a Belgian lover like me, this sounds like heaven. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available here.

Tickets just went on sale for the Tequila & Taco Music Festival 2014, which will be held at The Collection in Oxnard. If you’re into trying some tequila, Saturday is the day for you. If you’d rather sip on some margaritas, maybe Sunday is better. It sounds like a great opportunity to cool off, get your buzz on, and check out some local music!

Phew! Well, that’s it for now. This week we sure got a lot of cool stuff for you to check out. Drink one for me!