SALT, New Restaurant in Calabasas

Last week I tried Salt, the new restaurant in the shopping plaza at the corner of Agoura Road and Las Virgenes. I wrote up my experience for cbsla.com:

Calabasas Can’t Hide New Restaurant Salt

“Standouts were the wild mushroom mac and cheese, which elicited groans of pleasure, the chicken and waffles which was on the appetizers list but is big enough to be an entree, and the Kurobuta pork chop served with sauteed apples and carmelized onions.”

Since I wrote the article I’ve been back to the area during the day and saw that there is indeed a big sign out by the street. So, if you’re looking for the place, you will find it. But if you were just driving by, you might think the sign is for a store. That sells salt. Stranger things exist.

Pizza Stuffers: Better Than Snarfing a Granola Bar

So, this is random. I was offered a pack of Totino’s Pizza Stuffers for my family to taste to facilitate a review. I was pretty happy about that because it’s free food and something easy to cook AND who doesn’t love pizza?

WHAT CHILD DOESN’T LOVE PIZZA?

Have I made that part clear?

My kids didn’t like the Pizza Stuffers. Because my kids are weird.

I had to explain to them what a calzone is, because they’ve never had one, and basically these are calzones without the grease. They’re nice happy, pockets of hot cheesy, saucy, and pepperoni (optional) goodness. They’re baked, so they’re somewhat healthier. What could go wrong?

Oh yeah, my children’s picky food oddities.

So there I am, with two piping hot pepperoni Pizza Stuffers all steamy and smelling good, sitting in front of my face, rejected by my two boys who will eat only chicken dinosaurs, hot dogs, and the occasional cucumber slice. And I am hungry. And so I grab and eat one.

And then I eat the other.

And then I make a vow to only bake one at a time, because boy, they are tasty.

Like so many other parents, I have a jam-packed schedule that includes dropping kids off at school, picking kids up from school, bringing them to activities, chasing them around the house, basically serving their every need. In between I have work and housework and a number other matters to attend to. I can’t exactly build in a lot of time to make elaborate meals for myself. So heating up a Pizza Stuffer? Easy, requires little to no supervision, and results in a hot, one-handed meal for me. I can eat it while I type this. (I’m not doing that, but I could is all I’m saying.)

Sometimes, a hot pocket of goodness is way better than a granola bar. And um, I didn’t leave any for my husband. (Don’t tell him.)

Like I said, I was sent a chilled box of frozen Totino’s for review.  I was not compensated for this post, unless you count melted cheese as currency.

Agoura Hills Mom Recommends: TINT

Drive by hair color can fit into your schedule way better than a cut-color-blowout.

You know how they have all these new “blow-dry” bars like Blo and DryBar?  Where you can just walk in and get a blowout and nothing else and it’s cheaper and faster?  Well, now there is such a thing as a color bar.  I went to TINT in Santa Monica back in April to experience the magic, and I must say, if you happen to be in Santa Monica for a birthday party or some other kid adventure, I would recommend dropping the kids off, getting your hair colored, and then returning for pickup.

inside the front of TINT

Created by Frank Dino and Dana Clark, both legendary stylists on the west side, TINT is a place where you can simply drop in, all the way up to closing time, and get your hair colored – completely or just a touch up.  You pay a la carte prices for the service, and then when the color is finished and inspected by an expert, you go to the vanity station and dry it and style it yourself.

woman at vanity station

Expert colorist Frank Dino himself took care of me.  He inspected my current hair color, which was this faded blah blah:

before TINT

Dino working with another client, who told me she'd follow him anywhere

Dino advised me to go more natural, meaning a warmer brown.  I said what the heck, you’re the expert.  Also, he gave me wine.  I was gonna do whatever he said.  Working with my answers to the questionnaire I filled out when I arrived, and what I told him about wanting to cover my gray hair and the way I normally style it and how often I get it done, Dino chose and mixed the color to get it just right.  Then an assistant came and applied it to my hair.

beauty is pain

I sat for a while, drinking wine and tweeting.  Then a different assistant washed it out.  And finally, Dino checked the color and did the blowout himself.  I felt like a VIP.

after TINT

after TINT, different camera

I was impressed with the sleek design of the studio, the friendliness of the staff, the locker facilities provided so you don’t have to lug your purse, etc., around the studio or worry that it will get lifted, the location right next door to a fancy yoga studio, and the expert advice of Dino poking around in my hair and making me feel special.  Right around closing time a prospective customer popped in.  Dino didn’t turn her away, but sat with her and discussed her needs instead.  On their website, TINT says they take clients right up to closing time, so you can literally walk in the door at 7pm and get your hair colored.

The services I received at TINT cost $47 for the base application (on my roots) $15 for the rest of the hair which is called toner, and then $35 for the blowout.  I was there for a few hours, but only because I was taking pictures and asking a ton of questions.  In my real life, I would have popped in, said “do what you did last time,” and run out of there with wet hair to hightail it back to Agoura Hills.  Let’s be honest, I hate going south of Zuma and east of Calabasas.  I’m not making a special trip to TINT.  But I do have to go to Santa Monica every now and then, and next time I’m hoping to time it to when the grays start to show.

I received complimentary services during my visit to TINT to facilitate this feature.