Stonefire Grill Takeout for an Instant Weeknight Meal

Stonefire Grill Takeout. It’s kind of like magic. No cooking, minimal cleanup, everyone gets something he or she likes, and then you’re done. Kitchen fairy? Nope.

stonefire grill bags

Last Wednesday we had A Day. You know the kind—play rehearsal, baseball game, karate practice…and that’s just the kids! Parents on opposite sides of town, trying to divide and conquer. By the time we would be done with all of this activity, it would be late and everyone would be hungry.

This was the perfect night to try the Stonefire Grill takeout menu. We ordered a family meal ahead of time, which you can do by phone (805-413-0300) or online, then at the appointed time, I parked in a reserved space for takeout customers. THAT was actually a super handy feature, because sometimes Stonefire is crowded (okay all the time at this location) and it can be hard to find parking. Nobody in the Bubble wants to feel that pain, right? That’s one of the reasons we live here!

Gym photobomb

Anyway once I happily parked, my karate student child and I went to the front desk, gave the staff our name, and in a few minutes we had bags of freshly cooked food ready to go. The 10 minute ride home was tough because it smelled so delicious and we were hungry!

Stonefire front desk

The meal we had included tri-tip (half barbecue, half salt & pepper), a pizza, breadsticks, a cartwheel salad, and a giant slab of carrot cake. There was enough there for all 4 of us plus leftovers! We were tired from our day, and so delighted to not have to make food (me) and to be able to eat right away (everyone).

Stonefire family meal

It was reasonably priced for the amount and quality of food we got, too. As much as I love dining at the actual location of Stonefire Grill, where the kids can be loud and refill their drinks as much as they want to, this was really convenient and we didn’t have to settle for fast food.

Stonefire Grill Takeout – Thousand Oaks
3635 E Thousand Oaks Blvd
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
(805) 413-0300
Click here to order online

We received a complimentary meal to facilitate this feature. All opinions are our own.

Sweetfin Poké at the Village in Woodland Hills

sweetfin poke mango albacore

I’ll sum up my meal at Sweetfin Poké in one word: satisfaction. It’s satisfaction in a bowl, folks. You heard it here first.

To expand, I’ll even say it’s surprise, delight, savory, and filling.

Sweetfin Poke exterior

But let’s go back to the beginning. This is only the second location of Sweetfin Poké in the universe; the first is in Santa Monica. I love that so many forward-thinking businesses are choosing Woodland Hills as a place to expand. Anyway, when they invited me and a guest to try their poké bowls, I went with more curiosity than anything (okay yes, my appetite too) because raw fish as the main ingredient of a meal has never been my number one choice. But if I am going to torture myself with death-defying workouts in the name of a good story, I’ll put raw fish in my mouth for you. (Cue the Breakfast Club music.)

sweetfin poke drinks

Sweetfin Poké is a fast-casual style restaurant on the first level of The Village toward the south end. You can build your own bowl by choosing the meat, the base, the sauce, and any add-ons, or choose from a list of “signature bowls.” And it doesn’t have to have raw fish – you can choose tofu or chopped vegetables instead. And even with the signature bowls, you can subtract, add, substitute, and generally go crazy with mixing and matching.

sweetfin poke menu

Because I am a novice, I let the staff pick for me. I ordered (with manager Calista’s help) the mango albacore bowl which comes with ponzu-lime sauce, macadamia nuts, and fresh ginger. But I had them omit the ginger (I’m not a fan) and add sweet potato and kale to the bowl along with a rice back. All bowls also have scallions, white and black sesame seeds, and salt. I also poured myself some lemon water after sampling all of the freshly brewed teas, which had interesting flavors but I wanted to have a palate cleanser for my meal.

sweetfin poke meal

My trusty plus one, Jennifer, is more of an experienced sushi fan, so she went for the spicy tuna bowl with avocado, creamy togarashi sauce, hijiki, and crispy onions on top, using kelp noodle cucumber slaw as her base. She liked the mango black tea.

sweetfin poke spicy tuna bowl

Much to my delight, I really liked the tuna! It was actually a great vehicle for all of the other flavors that were mixed into my bowl. Jen enjoyed hers too, and we both ate it all, which is a bummer for my husband, who loves to eat and review my leftovers.

sweetfin poke popcorn chips

He did get to sample the dessert-type goodies they sent home with us though. These flavored popcorns were unique and tasty, and he loves the fresh taro root chips seasoned with sriracha powder.

The bowls are only $7.95-$9.95 for a small and $11.95-$13.95 for a large. I had a small and it was the perfect size to satisfy but not make me feel stuffed. The atmosphere in the restaurant is open and friendly, if a bit too cold. We sat outside since it’s still summer in November in SoCal.

sweetfin poke outdoor seating

I am looking forward to returning to Sweetfin Poké with my fish-loving husband, and my wacky kids who will love the climbing features just outside the restaurant. Let me know if you try it out – I’d love to get some suggestions for other flavor combinations to try!

Sweetfin Poké
at The Village
6256 Topanga Canyon Blvd. #1310
Woodland Hills 91367

At IHOP Kids Eat Free Every Day (thru 9/25)

It’s IHOP for an easy meal where kids eat free until September 25.
IMG_7819

Sure I could’ve made this for him at home for 99 cents. But he won’t eat it there.

We’re lucky enough to have plenty of places to go out to eat in and around Agoura Hills. But while many families will bring their kids to any restaurant (I once saw a family with multiple children at The Charthouse), there are a few places that are more obviously suited to children. One of those is IHOP.

Our International House of Pancakes is on Kanan, south of the 101, all the way around the back of the plaza but facing the freeway. It’s a little bit of a treasure hunt to find it while significant construction is happening in that area, seemingly forever. But if you make it there, IHOP is a great place to take your kids for a cheap and satisfying, if not very quick meal.

Back to School Convenience

For a limited time, kids eat free. This is a great time for it, actually, with people running around getting the kids ready to go back to school. There’s soccer practice, doctor appointments, back-to-school shopping, and if you’re like me, lots of purging and reorganizing our stuff. My kids grow 2 inches a year on average, so I like to wait until the last minute to buy them new clothes for the school year. This means we’re doing that while everyone else is out getting school supplies and new clothes too. It can be pretty hectic.

The last thing I want to do after all that is make and serve dinner. My husband is a great cook, so he’ll do dinner, too, but he’s easily talked into going out when there’s an opportunity.

kids eat free funny face

Photo evidence that my husband was there too. My boys make nice family photos hard to get!

As guests of IHOP, we visited the Agoura Hills location to check out the new menu offerings and test the kids eat free promotion. As we’ve experienced before, dinner during the week isn’t the most popular shift. One very nice manager served us, and he seemed to be the only wait staff on the floor, so when several other families came in, service slowed down quite a bit.

kids eat free chicken sandwich

And while I wanted to try the new chicken ranch avocado club, he ordered and brought me the spicy chicken ranch sandwich instead, so I accidentally indulged in a cheesy, fried sandwich vs. a vegetable-heavy, grilled one. Since the wrong sandwich was still delicious, I ate it anyway. I mention this though because getting a dish or drink we didn’t order is another thing that seems to happen at this IHOP every time we go.

Kids Eat Free

The kids eat free promotion lasts through September 25. You get one free kid’s entree (ordered off the kids’ menu, drinks not included) with each adult entree ordered from the regular menu, from 4pm to 10pm every day. Dessert not included either.  For kids 12 and under.

IMG_7820

In the end, it was still a $40 meal. Since soft drinks were about $3 for adults and $2 for the kids’ lemonade, it added up quickly.

Still, I would recommend IHOP during this busy time, especially if you like breakfast, because even with the slow service and the potential for getting the wrong order, it’s a great place to get a plate of pancakes in the evening without messing up your kitchen or lifting a finger.

IHOP
5031 Kanan Rd,
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
IHOP.com