SKEWERS HALAL

Last week my friend suggested trying a new restaurant (new to me but it opened last year) and I am soo glad to have found SKEWERS HALAL.

 

 

Skewers Halal

 

 

Skewers Halal is located at 9820 Topanga Canyon Blvd, in the Chatsworth neighborhood which is in the northwestern San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California. The restaurant is hidden in the corner of a plaza on the main Topanga Canyon Boulevard next to Del Taco.

 

 

Skewers Halal, Chatsworth
Skewers Halal Location Map

 

 

The restaurant has A-Rating which assures the good standards. The ambiance is nothing fancy. Lime-Green chairs and white tables make the space bright and lit up.

Skewers Halal, Chatsworth
Sitting Area

As the name says it is halal and the menu has a variety of items to choose from. There is Middle Eastern, Afghani, and American Food ranging from Bolani to Philly CheeseSteak Subs to Pizzas to Koobideh to Chapli Kabab and more.

Skewers Halal, Chatsworth
Skewers Halal Menu

We tried the Wings as an appetizer and they were crisp and not crunchy and not super oily. They come with hot sauce and ranch sauce.

Skewers Halal, Chatsworth
Crispy Chicken Wings

The Pizzas were cheesy and baked to the right degree. There was a lot of meat and cheese to satisfy all your cravings.

 

 

Garlic Chicken Pizza with white sauce

Skewers Halal
Combo Pizza with Beef Pepperoni

The cheese Ravioli was super cheesy and was bubbling hot and came with yummy garlic bread.

Skewers Halal, Chatsworth
Super Cheesy “Cheese Ravioli”

Skewers Halal, Chatsworth
Crispy, Garlic Bread

The Spaghetti & Meatballs were meaty and the tomato sauce made them juicy.  It had the right amount of spices and tasted comforting. This dish is also accompanied by Garlic Bread.

Skewers Halal, Chatsworth
Spaghetti with juicy meatballs

The Chicken Parmesan was the only thing we didn’t like that much. Don’t get me wrong, it was meaty and cheesy but lacked in flavor. If you are someone who does not like a lot of spices then you will probably love it.

Skewers Halal, Chatsworth
Chicken Parmesan with gooey Cheese

The star of the show was the Chicken and Rice and Chapli Kebab Dish.

The Rice and Chicken came with creamy homemade white sauce and extra spicy red sauce and freshly baked naan. They bake the naan in-house and I can eat them just by themselves.

Skewers Halal, Chatsworth
Rice & Chicken with special white sauce

Skewers Halal, Chatsworth
Rice & Chicken with Naan

Chapli Kebab are Lean ground beef patties minced with vegetables and herbs and they come with rice and naan and green chutney. In my opinion this was the most flavorful dish.

Skewers Halal, Chatsworth
Chapli Kebab with Rice

Skewers Halal, Chatsworth
Chapli Kebab with Naan

The have a variety of wraps too which include beef koobideh, gyro and chicken. We tried the Chicken Wrap which had charbroiled chicken, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, fresh mint and basil, and homemade creamy white sauce wrapped in a freshly baked naan. It was light and flavorful.

The service was quick and the food was piping hot. They make their bread in-house which is why is tastes flavorful and different from you get at other restaurants.

If you are ever near the Chatsworth area, then I highly recommend trying the Skewers Halal. At least I know that we will be going back soon 🙂

Till then,

HAPPY EATING!!!

 

Continue Reading

SIAM ELEPHANT

When ever we go camping, we love to cook the food at the campsite and enjoy it there. However, if there are local restaurants nearby (not the fast food chains), we love to walk over and enjoy a meal.

On our recent camping trip to Carpinteria, we discovered a local Thai restaurant SIAM ELEPHANT.

logo

SIAM ELEPHANT is located at 509 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, right in the middle of a very busy and happening street, full of local restaurants and coffee bars. You either have to do street parking or you can park in the Amtrak Station Parking area, one block away for free.

Siam Elephant Location Map
Siam Elephant Location Map

The restaurant is a short walk from the beach so you can come after spending the whole day there or before hitting the beach for a nice after-meal stroll.

The restaurant has Thai décor everywhere. You can see elephants and Buddha as soon as you enter. There are two elephant statues guarding the outside bench to the entrance door. The patio area has a lovely Thailand feel with cute wooden lanterns and pagoda style sitting booths.

Entrance
Entrance

Entrance to Patio
Entrance to Patio

Wooden Lanterns in the Patio Area
Wooden Lanterns in the Patio Area

There are two sitting areas to choose from. An inside dining area and the outside patio area. The indoor area is small but well maintained but their patio area is just….WOW!   Open, bright, modern.

We decided to sit outside in the patio area to soak in some Vitamin D while enjoying our food.

Pagoda Style Sitting Booths
Pagoda Style Sitting Booths

The menu card design is lemongrass green which is very soothing. There is a variety of options in all categories to choose from, so everyone will find definitely something to enjoy.

 

Menu
Menu

 

Our waitress was very friendly and offered to help us decide what to get. We ordered some dishes with substitutions and they were spot on. Unlike a lot of restaurants, the service was quick and accurate. The crisp white and blue tableware was beautiful and made our dining experience more memorable.

White and Blue Themed Tableware
White and Blue Themed Tableware

We ordered some soup, entrees, including fish, currys, fried rice, noodles, and sticky rice with mango for dessert.

 You can tell that the food has been cooked with love when each dish is bursting with color and flavor. The portion sizes are decent and the prices moderate.

siam-elephant-thai-restaurant-carpinteria-thai-fried-rice-with-shrimp
Thai Fried Rice with Shrimp

siam-elephant-thai-restaurant-carpinteria-white-rice-in-beautiful-silver-pot
White Rice served in gorgeous Silver Pot

siam-elephant-thai-restaurant-carpinteria-sweet-and-sour-shrimp
Sweet & Sour Shrimp

siam-elephant-thai-restaurant-carpinteria-spicy-basil-leaf-sole-fish
Spicy Basil Sole Fish

siam-elephant-thai-restaurant-carpinteria-red-thai-curry-with-salmon
Red Curry with Salmon

siam-elephant-thai-restaurant-carpinteria-sticky-white-rice-with-mango
Sticky White Rice with Mangoes

If you are in the Santa Barbara or Ventura area, I highly recommend this place to fulfill your Asian food cravings.  The food presentation, the service, the taste, the ambience….everything is just perfect.

We will definitely be coming back 🙂

 

 

(To read about the Carpinteria Camping Trip click HERE)

Continue Reading

THE CRAB PLANET

I had been wanting to try this place ever since it opened but something always came up, so when my good friend, asked us if we wanted to join them for dinner, of course I had to say yes.

 

The Crab Planet from outside
The Crab Planet from outside

The Crab Planet is a “Halal” restaurant located in the Canoga Park neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley on Desoto Avenue. It is the sister property of Lemon Grass Thai-Halal Restaurant located a few miles away.

 

Entrance Hallway
Entrance Hallway

 

Located on the main Desoto Ave, you cannot drive past it. From outside even if you don’t read the name, the Crab tells you its mainly seafood.  Parking is right in front of the restaurant and is a bit tight. The entrance hallway is wide and gives an open feel to the dining area and the adjacent bar. The lovely bar and the dining area has a rustic tone with an underwater theme throughout the restaurant which compliments the menu.

 

Bar Area all dressed up for Halloween
Bar Area all dressed up for Halloween

 

Logo next to the bar
Logo next to the bar

 

Rustic Dining Area
Rustic Dining Area

 

Peaceful Waterfall in the center of the restaurant
Peaceful Waterfall in the center of the restaurant

The Crab Planet is a Cajun-Thai-Seafood place and has the same concept as “The Boiling Crab” and “The Shrimp Haus” restaurants where you order seafood by the pound, decide your seasonings and choose the heat level. But that’s not it. They have a full Thai menu too with yummy appetizers, soups and entrees. Also its good to have an option of a fusion restaurant in the San Fernando Valley so do you not end up driving far to enjoy Cajun seafood.

 

Crab Planet Menu
Crab Planet Menu

 

If you order the seafood, they top your table with wax paper and give you bibs encouraging you to make a mess (trust me you will). Forget a bucket or a bowl, the seafood comes in plastic bags and you dig right in.

 

Bibs
Bibs

 

There is a variety of appetizers to choose from like chicken wings, satay, fries and egg rolls. We ordered the wings and fries. The wings were not spicy at all and came with a sweet sauce and a mayo sauce.

 

Chicken Wings
Chicken Wings

The kids did not want to try the seafood so we ordered Thai fried rice and Chow Mein for them and that too without veggies. As for the adults we ordered Tom Yum Soup, Drunken Noodles with Beef from the Thai menu. We ordered headless jumbo shrimps with Cajun seasoning and a side of rice and lobster with crazy mix seasoning (which is a mixture of all seasonings since we could not decide on one :))

 

Tom Yum Soup
Tom Yum Soup

 

 

Spicy Drunken Noodle with Beef
Spicy Drunken Noodle with Beef

 

Jumbo Shrimp with Cajun Mix
Jumbo Shrimp with Cajun Mix

 

Lobster with Crazy Mix
Lobster with Crazy Mix

 

Digging in
Digging in

 

The soup and noodles were very tasty and spot on. You can order the shrimps headless but they come with the shell on and you have to break it yourself.  They gave lobster crackers to crack the lobster but did not have special seafood forks to get the meat out of the lobster so we ended up using the regular forks which did not help a lot. The shrimps were tasty but the lobster felt a wee bit undercooked.  Crazy mix seasoning was waay flavorful than the Cajun seasoning.

Overall, if cracking, mixing, digging in seafood is something you enjoy, than do take the plunge. For the rest of safe eaters like me, stick to their Asian Sensations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

786 DEGREES WOOD FIRED PIZZA

786 DEGREES WOOD FIRED PIZZA

 

We love pizza but due to my kids food allergies, its hard to enjoy pizza as a family since not every pizzeria carries gluten-free dough and vegan cheese. If you, somehow, are able to find gluten-free options then its hard to find halal meat. You understand the struggle. So imagine my excitement when I saw a flier of halal pizza. Upon calling, my excitement reached the skies because not only were they halal, they carried gluten-free crust and had vegan cheese option too….Hurrrahhh!!!!!

 

menu
Menu Flier

786 Degrees is an all-halal Neapolitan-style pizzeria on Laurel Canyon Blvd, Sun Valley, 20 minutes north of Los Angeles. It is located in the corner of a small,dull plaza and can easily be missed. Don’t let the location fool you. The place to sit is okay, nothing fancy. Pizza is made in an authentic wood burning oven imported from Italy.

 

786 Degrees Pizzeria
786 Degrees Pizzeria

 

Wood Burning Oven Imported from Italy
Wood Burning Oven Imported from Italy

The owner, Ali Haider was super friendly and since it was our first visit, the drinks were on the house. We were not sure what to order so he suggested we sample all the pizzas. Each pizza was more flavorful than the previous one. Each pizza has a story of its own. From Bombay Tikka Masala to Istanbul to El- Chapo its like you are on a global flavor journey. Crisp crust and gooey cheese with various meat toppings makes each pizza irresistible. One bite and you will want to eat it all.

 

Award Winning Bombay Tikka Masala Pizza
Award Winning Bombay Tikka Masala Pizza

 

El Chapo Pizza
El Chapo Pizza

As stated on their website:

Keeping a fusion of different culinary traditions in mind we have created pizzas with indulgent international favorites from Bombay Tikka Masala to Turkish Doner Kabob. While keeping in with Italian tradition we have our Shrimp Tuscany with fresh Spinach to Wild Mushroom with Arugula finished with truffle oil and of course not to forget our classic Margherita Napolitana D.O.C.

 

fungi-lama-pizza
Fungi-Lama Pizza

 

Istanbul Pizza
Istanbul Pizza

 

Habibi Pizza
Habibi Pizza

 

The best part is that my kid got to enjoy a gluten-free BBQ Chicken Pizza with Vegan Cheese and last but not least we were given a Chef’s Special to try  & asked what kind of meat it had. We were all pretty sure it was beef but were stunned to find out that it was a veggie pizza. That shows true culinary skills!!

 

gluten-free-bbq-chicken-pizza-with-vegan-cheese
Gluten Free BBQ Chicken Pizza

 

Surprise Veggie Pizza
Surprise Veggie Pizza

 

No matter what your preference is, gluten-free, vegan, halal, vegetarian, this is one pizzeria which caters to all your needs. So head to 786 Degrees tonight and be amazed.

 

Continue Reading

PIZZA GURU

My younger son has food allergies and cannot have gluten and dairy.  When we travel, we usually try to find a restaurant which caters to all of our needs. Mostly we try to pack some yummy homemade options for him but sometimes due to time crunch its just not possible.

We were on our way to San Luis Obispo and going through the Santa Barbara area. It was lunch time and everyone was hungry. We did not pack any snacks and needed to find a good place, quick. I was looking on yelp trying to find a place where everyone could have some nice options to eat when  I stumbled upon “Pizza Guru“. Locally owned, organic with regular, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options what was not to love. As I scrolled through the menu I was so happy to find gluten free pizza options with vegan cheese.

Its a very hip place with an organic vibe. There is board and chalks in the bathroom and you can add your own graffiti.

We ordered the gluten free crust pizza with vegan cheese and chicken, peaceful pesto pizza, Mediterranean pizza , BBQ Chicken pizza and Caesar salad over the phone.By the time we reached our order was ready. My oh my. Everything tasted amazing. The fresh salad with silky dressing, the yummy pizzas and amazing dessert pizzas…..yum!!!!

Regular pizzas are available everywhere but if you want tasty vegan options which don’t taste like card board, Pizza Guru is the place to go. Its our must stop when ever we are in the area and very soon it will be yours too.

Pizza Guru Santa Barbara
Main Counter Pizza Guru

 

 

Pizza Guru Santa Barbara
Fun Games to play

 

 

Pizza Guru Santa Barbara
Pass your times playing board games

 

Pizza Guru Santa Barbara
House Salad with Caesar Dressing

 

Pizza Guru Santa Barbara
Mediterranean Pizza with loads of Veggies

 

 

Pizza Guru Santa Barbara
Peaceful Pesto

 

Pizza Guru Santa Barbara
Gluten Free Pizza with Chicken

 

Continue Reading