Author: Mike Nelson

LIFE, LOVE, HOPE | The language of Ventura County Poet Laureate Luzmaria Espinosa

PICTURED: An artistic rendering of Luzmaria Espinosa by Miguel Rodriguez, community outreach manager for the Port of Hueneme. Photo submitted by Mike Nelson As Ventura County Poet Laureate, Luzmaria Espinosa hopes to bring a greater awareness of poetry to youth, families and all residents of the region. But poetry — and an awareness of all things artistic — is but a vehicle toward what this native of Mexico and longtime Santa Paula resident sees as her real mission. “We have a responsibility to life, to this planet, to all the elements of nature, to be in harmony with each...

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If it’s gelato, it must be Tifa

PICTURED: Tifa’s Camarillo location is one of five in or near Ventura County offering an ample (and delicious) selection of gelato flavors, as well as chocolates, pastries and coffees. Photo courtesy Tifa Inc. by Mike Nelson Tifa Chocolate and Gelato Locations in Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks (opening soon) and Westlake Village tifachocolateandgelato.com $2-$7 Just because Italians invented gelato in the late 17th century, does that mean Americans can’t make gelato that tastes darn near close to what you’d find in any Italian street-corner gelateria? If you mean the “gelato” you find on most local supermarket shelves (if...

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Fine Italian dining to savor, not rush

PICTURED: Bolognese lasagna with ground veal, spinach, carrots, mozzarella and ricotta. Photo by Mike Nelson by Mike Nelson Bistro 13 4910 Verdugo Way, Camarillo 805-383-3388 www.giobistro13.net $13-$36 In this part of the world, you don’t walk into many restaurants that are bedecked with white linen tablecloths and napkins, and graced by soft lighting and easy-listening music — Sinatra, Bocelli and gentle instrumentals. Nor are there many restaurants that tempt fate, as it were, with “13” in the name. Except that Bistro 13 is owned by Giovanni Tromba, a name synonymous with good dining in this part of the world. ...

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Holdren’s gets it right in the chops (and everything else)

PICTURED: Jalapeno and pepperjack-crusted pork chop. Photo by Mike Nelson Holdren’s Steaks and Seafood 1714-A Newbury Road, Newbury Park 805-498-1314 holdrens.com $4-$107 Who goes to a steakhouse for the pork chops? Or the fish? Guess. Yes, I like good steak, too, and Holdren’s Steaks and Seafood in Newbury Park offers an enticing assortment of sirloins, filet mignons, ribeyes, porterhouses and more that keep steakhounds coming back. But my go-to entree at this popular dining room is the pork chop — specifically, the thick, grilled-to-order jalapeno and pepperjack-crusted pork chop ($27), covered in a zingy but not overpowering brandy peppercorn...

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COMICS, COSTUMES AND COMMUNITY | Camarillo to host first-ever Comic-Con on Nov. 9

PICTURED: Daniel Handler, creator of A Series of Unfortunate Events under the pen name Lemony Snicket, will be a featured guest at the Camarillo Public Library Comic-Con®. Thought Halloween was over, did you? For some, playing dress-up in a favorite costume — a.k.a., “cosplay” — is a year-round activity that allows one to step outside an everyday persona and into not just the world of make-believe but contact with fellow “cosplayers.” “It’s community building,” smiles Gabriela Jimenez, community outreach and promotions coordinator for the Camarillo Public Library, which is hosting its first-ever Comic-Con® festival on Nov. 9. “Cosplay has...

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Open Juried Art Show

    May 6 @ 11:00 am - June 26 @ 5:00 pm
  2. Free Online Ojai Chautauqua Panel – What is the Future of Education After COVID-19?

    May 28 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  3. Online Forum on Rampant Plastic Pollution

    May 29 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


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