Author: Mike Nelson

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 $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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Beyond the standard, in every way

PICTURED: Vegan tacos with arugula salad, black beans and salsa on the side. Photo by Janis Nelson Blue Agave Restaurant 185 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura 805-667-9180 $14-32 I do not pretend to be a Mexican food expert (I’m guessing that few Norwegians are). I simply know what I like. And I like Blue Agave. Located at the south end of Mission Plaza on Santa Clara Street at Figueroa, 22-month-old Blue Agave has done what a series of restaurants in this location have not: built a loyal clientele that enjoys good food, good fellowship and, in many cases,...

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On a roll, 50 years and counting

Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant 1620 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo 805-482-3810; $11-30 My late, beloved, proudly Sicilian mother-in-law Connie, who knew something about good Italian cooking, always said you can tell a good Italian restaurant by its bread. “If the bread’s no good, forget it!” she’d declare, in a voice loud enough for any kitchen staff to hear. The bread at Ottavio’s — and the rest of the menu — stood up to Connie’s test, as it has to diners aplenty (Sicilian and otherwise) for the last 50 years. Founded by native Sicilian Ottavio Belvedere and his wife, Noella, the restaurant...

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NEW WEST, YOUNG MAN | NWS music director seeks to boost audience interaction with musicians

Seeing a live Buffalo Philharmonic performance of the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” as a teenager may not have been an “a-ha” moment in the life of New West Symphony music director Michael Christie. But it did offer a powerful insight into what made music, in his mind, magical. “My parents had told me about Disney’s Fantasia and how ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ was used to such great effect,” recalls Christie. “And as I listened to it performed live, I was captivated by how these images came alive in my head — and, even more, how amazing that people playing musical instruments could evoke...

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    December 13, 2019 @ 8:00 am - January 31, 2020 @ 11:59 pm
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