Casa Gutierrez

8847 Elizabeth Lake Road

Leona Valley

If you love Mexican food, take the time to visit Casa Gutierrez in Leona

Valley for a real treat. The portions, courteous service and fine Mexican-style cuisine from Zacatecas, Mexico is what they have to offer and it’s very important to have the best quality food and drink. Just re-opened with a very nice heated outdoor patio. We dropped by last week as we were out for a drive and as I was craving a Mexican-style shrimp cocktail and my honey was craving a margarita any style! Luis, our server was ever so friendly and brought us menus, chips, beans & salsa as soon as we sat down. I ordered the shrimp cocktail without even glancing at the menu, my guy a giant margarita on the rocks—no salt and chicken flautas. I couldn’t eat mine fast enough, barely coming up for air and the juice was so delicious that when I finished eating the large succulent shrimp ad bite-size avocado chunks I literally drank the rest! It was almost embarrassing, but the flavor was just to yummy tom waste. And, the margarita was just as delicious—the bartender definitely has some skills.

The menu offers a wide variety of freshly prepared and traditional Mexican entrees, seafood, hamburgers, breakfast items and dessert. Open Tuesday thru Sunday 3-9PM (watch for longer hours soon) take-out & patio dining

Fresco II Mediterranean

Restaurant and Unique Supper Club


1311 Rancho Vista Blvd

 AV Mall restaurant row

This wonderful Mediterranean restaurant that we have all come to love has expanded their beauty and creativity to the indoor/outdoor heated patio with fireplace as well as the heated tent for your dining pleasure. The new menu has some of the familiar dishes like the bowtie Fresco, mango pork chop and New York meatball Sicilian style pizza with some new dishes—gourmet charcuterie board, saganaki (fried Kasseri cheese flambéed with Greek brandy). This is where tradition is defined, through the delicious fresh bread with garlic dipping sauce and everything from appetizers, salads and pizza to hearty pastas, seafood, Greek lamb chops and flambéed Angus 22oz rib eyes!  Adding one of their specialty crafted cocktails will make dining a whole lot sweeter. We enjoyed dinner with the summer salmon—crazy name as it is winter but it’s anything but crazy—perfectly grilled over a bed of greens with candied walnuts, dried cranberries, feta and drizzled with balsamic reduction; marvelous and the Swiss burger—Angus beef, bacon, roasted garlic aioli, arugula, caramelized onions & mushrooms, balsamic reduction on brioche with French fries. The giant meatball size burger was cooked to a perfect medium and combined with the veggies were exquisite. We chose lemon blueberry cheesecake for dessert—sheer perfection! Open daily 4-9PM—patio dining, take-out and delivery.

AM Café


44205 W. 10th St. West.


Tucked away off 10th St. w near J-4 is a one-of-a kind eatery full of “traditional” menu choices and the “not so traditional”. Consider carrot cake pancakes, made from scratch and topped with cream cheese icing and whipped cream or If you like (or love) peach like I do, try the four butter milk pancakes topped with Peach Compote, a crust topping, cream cheese icing and crowned with whipped cream—perfect for my breakfast sweet tooth craving and absolutely delicious. For the ultra-creative and a yen for spicy, try (even if just once!) the chili jalapeno corn cakes stuffed with corn from the cob, jalapenos, and topped with a smooth, but robust chili and cheese. This is adventurous eating, and for the spicy food lover—an absolute treat. The same kind of artfulness is applied to the crepes, French toast and waffles, with selections like spinach, mushroom & tomato crepes, pumpkin-pecan French toast and the bacon waffle with the bacon cooked inside. Imagine how good that would be for a waffle lover who also craves bacon. If you are looking for something a little healthier, try the vegetable omelet with tomato and avocado slices—absolutely delicious! Search out one of the Valley’s semi-hidden treasures, they will not disappoint. Open daily 6am-3pm for heated patio dining, take-out and delivery.

Oishii Japan


1233 W. Rancho Vista Bl

AV Mall Food Court


Fresh, healthy, nutritious and tasty is what you will find at this Japanese stand inside the food court.  I picked up a teriyaki shrimp and chicken combination plate on top of steamed veggies, a spicy salmon roll and a beef teriyaki salad. The aroma the food was creating was so enticing, I almost pulled the car over and ate some before I arrived home at which point, I grabbed my bag and ran all the way to my apartment! There were two of us having lunch, so I needed to share everything on two plates—of course, grabbing a few bites as I was doing that. Everything was fresh, flavorful and delicious. The menu features teppanyaki—chicken, beef and shrimp teriyaki; appetizers—maki roll, chicken & veggie potstickers; salad—beef, chicken and shrimp teriyaki over greens; bento boxes—rice, salad & 4-piece California roll with your choice of teriyaki meat (chicken, beef, shrimp, salmon, BBQ eel or spicy tuna; sushi—avocado, teriyaki chicken, spicy tuna, California and spicy salmon rolls, tempura, soba noodles, steamed or fried rice, yakisoba, fountain drinks and hot tea. They have an $11.29 special that includes chicken & shrimp teriyaki, veggies, steamed rice and a medium fountain drink or water bottle. Open Monday thru Saturday 11AM-7PM; Sunday 11AM-6PM for take-out only.

The Third Place

Barroom and Kitchen


43953 15th St. West


Fine dining in a casual atmosphere with everything from the service, food and cocktails to the ambiance was sheer perfection. We started with a chardonnay and an island spritz; rum, grapefruit juice, aperol, champagne— need I say more?! We ordered roasted cauliflower tacos with caramelized onions, cotija cheese and house made blue corn tortillas as our appetizer— excellent. For dinner, I had the gribiche sandwich— French style egg salad and prosciutto on a baguette. Rich, tart, savory with a slight vinegar finish that paired well with the meat. Meatloaf sliders were my guy’s choice—three beef & pork patties topped on a brioche bun. Simple but very flavorful. Arissa chose the falafel pita—squash falafel, humus spread, tomato, red onion and tzatziki. This sandwich was amazing and I was delighted she shared a taste with me. The three of us shared the pistachio carrots smothered in a combination of honey and lemon glaze, then topped with fried quinoa and crushed pistachios—incredible. The menu sports appetizers, salads, sandwiches, steak, pasta, chicken and salmon all uniquely prepared with a great presentation. Be adventurous—try the blistered shishito peppers, the mushroom risotto or if you are really hungry—the 14 oz bone-in ribeye and end your meal with the Basque cheesecake; incredible! Open Wed.-Mon. 11AM-8PM—outside heated dining pick-up and delivery.

Buckle and Boots Watering Hole


706 W. Lancaster Blvd


Starting out as a country bar and live music venue bringing the best foods and drinks is still bringing you country music and the best food and drinks only now as an outside experience! And, believe me, it was a great experience last week when Arissa and I dropped in! We made reservations and were seated right away at one of the wood tables and benches on the heated patio. The BBQ smoker was outside and a wonderful aroma was permeating the air and with country music coming out of the outdoor speakers. Great menu with a nice assortment of food—something for everyone. ½ pound BBQ burgers including bison and a mac & cheese burger—sounds unique; brisket, tri tip, pulled pork and chicken, plus pizza, pasta, sandwiches, wraps, salads, sides and desserts. OMG my taste buds were in heaven—tri tip so tender you could cut it with a fork and the flavor was to die for. Moist and juicy delectable chicken, creamy mac & cheese with a kick and spinach/artichoke dip on point—I can’t even begin to describe all the wonderful flavors that we were experiencing. And, my dixieberry lemonade giggle juice had me giggling the rest of the evening! Open Wednesday thru Saturday 3-8PM for heated outside patio dining and take-out.

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