Posts Tagged ‘Santa Clarita’

My friends and I all have a Dink’s story…I have my own…but I wont bore you with the details of the bagel that I waited around for about 20 minutes only to THEN be told that the bagels weren’t ready. That was a long time ago. I’ve eaten at Dink’s a couple of times…years ago…but because of all the stories (and not to mention currently rocking two point five stars on Yelp) I haven’t been motivated to go back.

Recently Dink’s became a topic of conversation because they added a bar with beer. I don’t drink beer, but today when a $10 deal came across my radar, the Vinhja and I decided to go check it out. Today only, to launch the first day of their new bar, one could get one pound of their St. Louis BBQ Rib Tips and one of their new 20 beers on tap.

Since I don’t drink, we figured that Vinh could have my beer. It was the bartender’s first day on the job so she was a little nervous and still in training, so she thought we just wanted one order of ribs to share…because that’s what we ended up getting. But, it was fine, we didn’t want any more rib tips…

Anyway, they have new beers on tap, and if you are into that sort of thing, then you can be like the other guy at the bar who stopped in for a quick drink.

The cases by the entrance are gone, so not sure if they are still slanging bagels here, but you can definitely get some at one of their other two locations in Valencia.

Dink’s Deli

Valencia Westfield


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I will preface this post by saying I enjoy a good farmers market. The one at the Ferry Building in San Francisco is my ULTIMATE, followed by the Santa Monica Farmers Market, but I do enjoy going out to the various markets and seeing how similar or different they are. For years I had ignored the COC Farmers Market, but I had heard my friends talk about it, and especially how it had grown over the years. I can’t even remember the last time I went to the farmers market out here in Awesometown, but I wasn’t impressed back then, so I never went back for YEARS. A few months ago I went to the SCV Street Fair also held at COC and it was a joke. Not a farmers market, and mainly food trucks (most of which were leaving because it was so deserted) and a couple of vendors. In my smirk, I thought this was what the market would be like…until last week, when my perception changed.

With so many of my friends paying weekly visits to the Sunday farmers market, I woke up last week determined to check it out. I got there around 10ish, and met up with Mike, Larry, Catherine, and more. I also saw two coworkers, and its apparent that this is the place to be on Sunday mornings in Awesometown. Everyone looked so happy, customers and vendors, and best of all? This was a LEGIT farmers market with many of the same vendors one would find at the SaMo market! This wasn’t anything like the joke of a market that takes place in Newhall…

Today I woke up so excited to go back to the market with one objective in mind: Harry’s Berries which I had missed out on last week. I got there around 10ish again, and quickly learned why people head out to the market much earlier…stuff sells out! Maybe next weekend…

So as I leave you with these images from the market, I strongly encourage you to check it out for yourself. So many families out enjoying the SoCal weather and supporting local farmers. Many people are swayed because they think that shopping at a farmers market is much more expensive than the grocery store, and that isn’t necessarily the case.

Most of the restaurants that I frequent in LA are farm to table, which means that it costs a little more but they have relationships with local farmers and the food is just better. It makes me wonder how many of our local restaurants are locally sourced. Maru Sushi in Valencia was the only place where Jason, the chef, actually went to the SaMo farmers market weekly. I don’t know of anyone else in town doing this. I wish more local restaurants would…something to think about. Maybe Newhall Refinery will lead the way…


Root Veggies.

Fresh juice.

Herb starters! Only $1 each!



Oregano. Thyme. Rosemary. Sage.

Fresh Herbs. Pesticide free and only $1.50!

Squash Blossoms! Like at Mozza!

Fava Beans.


COC Farmers Market

Sundays Only

6455 Rockwell Canyon Rd
Parking Lot 8
Valencia, CA 91355

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One of my favorite local business success stories in Santa Clarita is Bake You Happy! I couldn’t be happier for Kim and Kim who went from slanging their cupcakes a half dozen at a time out of a case at Its a Grind in Castaic, to slanging out of a shared commercial kitchen in Castaic, to winning Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, to opening up their own shop in the Barnes and Noble shopping center, to appearing on Cupcake Wars a SECOND time, and now, they have a SECOND location in Canyon Country!

Taking over the old Cupcake Tree spot, they have decorated the interior to suit their signature whimsical homey Bake You Happy look.

The greatest thing about this location is that they have room in the back to host birthday parties and offer classes!

For birthday parties they let kids decorate their own box, decorate their own cupcakes, and just have a good time with frosting.

They will even write the names on the chalk wall! This is a cute perk for kids!

Additionally they will offer workshops so you can learn how to decorate. As soon as my schedule clears up I am going to make it a point to attend these classes, and let me tell you why…

Kim Aeck is one of the most TALENTED people I know when it comes to creating BEAUTIFUL and ARTISTIC cakes. She can make a cake look like anything. So that means that we (SCV residents) can learn from the best. She’s like the fondant whisperer.  I’ve always admired her work.

So, for those of you on the other side of town, I believe this is the only cupcake shop in Canyon Country! Enjoy and make it a point to visit! They are located in the same shopping center as Edwards Cinema. What a perfect pre/post movie treat! Also, I always like to give a dozen as a gift or I’ll pick some up if I’m going to a party. Its a great hostess gift. Additionally, here is a pro-tip. Kim’s cookies are something else. The tahitian salt cookies she makes are some of my absolute favorites. So don’t forget to pick up some cookies too.

Bake You Happy

18836 Soledad Canyon Rd
Santa Clarita, CA 91351


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For the past few weeks my SCV food friends have been going on and on about Rita’s Italian Ice opening up in Santa Clarita. I am a west coast girl, my birth certificate says Los Angeles, and I have never been to the other coast, nonetheless they couldn’t stop talking about it so I was curious.

I met up with my bro Hsiawen and family for some Italian Ice yesterday, and we were soon offered some sample flavors! It was a pretty hot day so it was a refreshing treat. When it came time to order I went with the Swedish Fish flavor, which was perfectly sweet. When I went to pay I was told it was free until 5pm. Score! This was a grand opening special, but its still a reasonably priced treat.

They have a menu full of treats, so I’ll have to go back to try the custard, although the same SCV food friends are already raving about it. The location is in Saugus and I rarely drive that way, but amidst an ocean of yogurt shops opening up in SCV, this is a welcome variety. I’m hearing that they plan to open up more of these Rita’s Italian Ice shops throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. Cool! Look for a lot more of these to open up in Southern California since they recently signed some sort of franchise deal out here. Maybe this is the new “froyo” wave.

Rita’s Italian Ice

26773 Bouquet Canyon Road

Santa Clarita, CA, 91350


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I used to be at the top of my game, bringing you the latest and greatest in SCV before anyone else…however the reason I haven’t kept you guys up to date is because nothing had opened recently that had inspired me to dust off the old bloggy blog (I had forgotten my password, quite frankly). That was until last week when my bro Hsiawen sent me a text while I was at work. It was simply a photo of a chalk menu board and instantly I was intrigued. I demanded an address, and hoped it was in SCV. As a brother would do, Hsiawen had me in agony as he texted me photos of his food, but still no address. Notice, this is my attempt to give Hsiawen full credit for being FIRST to discover this new place, okay?

By the time my school day ended, Hsiawen had texted me the address, and as soon as the final bell rang I drove to the spot, walked in, and knew I was in for something good. But before I continue, let’s take a walk down memory lane to this post from 2009. Remember Fish Tail? Remember how excited I was about them opening up in town? The only place slanging poke bowls in Awesometown! Best! Anyway, back to the present.

So as I walked in, instantly I saw the familiar faces from Fish Tail (admittedly it has been a while since I’ve been to Fish Tail, but its back on my radar now). Well, the same way they brought a new concept to SCV three years ago, they have done it again with Rustic Eatery. The menu is quite simple, but I quickly learned they were doing things right. For example, they make their own bread every day, rustic and french, and spent weeks perfecting their hand cut fries. This space used to be a Red Brick Pizza, but the only thing that remains is the oven, and they certainly put it to good use for their bread, croutons, and other menu items.

Making bread isn’t an easy task, but Min (one of the owners – along with his brother Alex) was committed to perfecting his bread, and talks about the trial and error of learning how to make the bread actually rise.

This is truly a “mom and pop” – well in this case “brother and brother” type of business, which is my favorite kind to support, especially when you can see true drive and passion behind opening a restaurant in SCV. Bringing something good to the people of Awesometown besides the same ol’ chains and pretentious eateries. There is a feeling of family at this place, and the owners are so humble. It is so refreshing.

So anyway, as is the case when I like a place in SCV…I wont stop talking about it, and (humble brag) its a cool feeling when you can just text your friends and ask if they want to meet up at a new place, and they agree without even asking what kind of food or what its called. I guess being named one of SCV’s 40 Under 40 gives me klout!

Just like I did for Fish Tail in January 2010 I organized a get together at Rustic Eatery really from one day to the next. Last Saturday about 20+ of my closest friends gathered to check this place out. This place is casual and kid friendly too! And the best part is, everyone loved it! Colbert Bump!

I’ve been there a few times now, often with friends, and I’ve tried most of the dishes. I like the rice bowl and the plates, but I think my current favorite is the ribeye prime cut sandwich, salt and pepper, provolone, on rustic bread. It is served with a side salad which is top quality lettuce and it even has grapes. Fancy.

Here is Mrs. SCV herself! Eve Bushman of Wine 101 fame!

I went there for lunch with Jason and he had the tofu, so they do have vegetarian options available.

I’m also a big fan of their fresh cut fries with the aioli they make themselves.

If you like sweet potato fries they have those as well.

Essentially, you pick your protein and then you get to pick how you want it. Even on top of a salad! Notice their croutons they make in house!

Also of note? They have pork belly. Its amazing to me how hard it is to find a place slanging pork belly in Awesometown. Seriously, something that can be found so easily in LA, yet in Valencia, its like trying to find Waldo!

It is hard to describe what kind of food this is. It does have some Asian influence in the sauces that they make in house, and in the rice bowls. Asian influence can also be seen in the shabu cut ribeye and other dishes. I would suggest just going in there and checking it out. You can’t go wrong, really.

So, I’m totally fangirling over this place, and remember my posts on this blog can never be bought and I can’t be bribed – but if I like your place? I really know how to show it. Trust. I think its just because I’m so happy to have something NEW and REFRESHING in Valencia and I’m all for supporting local small businesses, which is why despite my seemingly cold black heart, when I realized this place didn’t have a website yet, I asked if I could try to make one for them for fun (ie no charge – I have a day job), selfishly just to see if I could. So, turns out creating a site isn’t that hard (thanks Wix!), I used photos I was going to use for this blog post anyway (that’s why they may look familiar), and I think this was my good deed for the holiday season. Maybe Santa will be good to me this year.

You can check out their website (and my amateur skills) by visiting their site here: Rustic Eatery. And then, since it was so EASY I decided to make a landing page for my own site using Wix as well. One of these days I’ll revamp this blog. That’s next on my to-do list. For now, check out (shameless plug) Lady Ducayne!

Anyway, back to Rustic Eatery! I have to reiterate what Lisa said at our meetup Saturday. THANK YOU Min and Alex for opening up in SCV and giving us some new options! So, SCV? What are you waiting for?

Hustle on over to this place and check them out. Keep in mind that they are fairly new and still finding their way. At lunch it tends to get busy, but its worth the wait! Its been a while since I’ve been so happy about a new place in town, and its good! Promise! You can thank me later.

Did I mention they have Orangina and Mexican Coke? JACKPOT!

(Parting gifts courtesy of Scott Groller)

Rustic Eatery

25343 Magic Mountain Parkway

Valencia, CA 91355


Sidenote: If you happen to be visiting Santa Clarita from out of town because of Six Flags Magic Mountain and need a place to eat before heading into the park, or perhaps on your way home? This is a great alternative to the usual fast food places. Its essentially the same exit as the one you take for Six Flags, and super close! Pro Tip!

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A couple of months ago, I heard about a new ice cream company that was planning on opening up shop in Santa Clarita. Exciting news for sure, I mean we have ice cream shops in town, but we don’t have any locally churned type places. Not much was known except that the owners of the company had held a tasting out of their home, but unfortunately my friends and I couldn’t make it.

Fast forward to Sunday, which was also National Ice Cream Day! The Whole Scoop held a second ice cream social, this time taking place at Valencia Meadows Park. The Hustler was game, as were Derek and Catherine, so we all met up and had some ice cream.

The idea behind this ice cream social was to get feedback on flavors and also to promote their Kickstarter campaign.

Among the four of us, we tried a variety of flavors, including peach.


Peanut Butter Cup


Not pictured was the banana pudding ice cream, which we all enjoyed. Looks like the real winners are the fruit ice creams, as they have huge chunks of fruit and were refreshing. I’m curious to see what this shop will be like once it opens in Downtown Newhall later this year, and look forward to seeing how much their final batches improve.

As I mentioned earlier, they have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help them out. You can watch a little informational video and get some information by clicking this link.

Kickstart The Whole Scoop

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After my last visit to Bricks I got a lot of feedback from readers and friends. I heard that there were some service issues, prices had gone up, and the side salad was now an add-on. So I decided to come back to Bricks with a few friends yesterday and give it another go. Among the five of us, we ordered a variety of items, and remarked on what we thought about the meal.

Jason’s veggie burger

My homeboy John’s burger

Aaron’s fish tacos

Erin’s sandwich.

Aaron’s other taco.

My burger

Tempura batter onion rings and regular / sweet potato fries

We ate everything. It wasn’t mind blowing or amazing by any means, its hard not to compare to food we’ve had in LA. I know some people don’t like hearing this, but for SCV? Its good. This isn’t a chain, the owner is a local woman that wanted to bring something new to Santa Clarita and (except the veggie burger) the patties are ground in house. I have to give Bricks a few more tries, but for now, my burger was good. It isn’t a cheap place to eat at, but maybe if they introduce some lunch specials, we would find it more appealing. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already. We didn’t have any service issues (we got there pretty late so it wasn’t packed) and we got everything we ordered, so no problems there. With every new business there are growing pains, but in time they’ll work out the kinks. Oh, and for those of you wondering (I kept getting this question) yes they are working on a liquor license.

Bricks on Lyons

23820 Lyons Ave.

Santa Clarita, California 91321

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