Casa Escobedo in Agoura Hills – New Mexican Restaurant Review

Casa Escobedo opened early this summer where The Rabbit Hole used to be.

casa escobedo chips and salsa

 

Simple and delicious. Perfect for a neighborhood Mexican restaurant.

Casa Escobedo opened quietly (well, it opened while I was out of town, so if there was a big fiesta, I missed it) at the northeast corner of Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Lake Lindero Drive in Agoura Hills. Some of my friends had tried it earlier in the summer and they’ve raved about it. I finally got a chance to dine there with my friend Michelle. We met for lunch in their redecorated spacious double-wide storefront restaurant, and I thought the change from The Rabbit Hole to be remarkable.

casa escobedo storefront

The new eatery retains the two-unit nature of its previous occupant, and they’ve added a big rectangular opening in the wall between, opening it up even more. The walls are painted a lighter shade than the dark and cozy atmosphere it used to have, giving Casa Escobedo a bright, airy, welcoming feeling. Authentic-looking Mexican art adorns the walls and the shelves installed in the interior wall’s opening.

casa escobedo kitchen

casa escobedo mexican art

casa escobedo dining room

There are a few tables in the main kitchen area with plenty of seating and tables in the adjacent space. When this place gets packed, I’ll bet it will be a fiesta indeed. For an early lunch on a Friday, though, there was lots of room.

Welcoming Decor, Tasty Food

Kitchen staff and a customer greeted us warmly when we entered, and the woman who took our order and served us was very friendly. She suggested the lunch special, which was 2 soft tacos, rice, and beans for $8.95.  You can choose from carne asada, chicken, or pastor. Our plates looked delicious and simple – adorned only by a a generous sprinkling of cilantro and onions. The salsa served on the side was flavorful but not too spicy. As I recall, we asked for extra.

casa escobedo lunch special

Since it was our first time there, our server said, she wanted us to try the chicken soup. Just one little sample was enough to keep me thinking about that soup for days. The flavor was intense and the soup was obviously homemade. I need to go back and get a big bowl of it, served with corn tortillas.

I tend to like milder flavors, so I was pleased with the simple dish, the Mexican rice, and the beans, but the flavor was on the plain side for my friends. I’m definitely eager to return and try some more dishes, like that soup and the tamales they serve only on Saturdays and Sundays. Casa Escobedo is open every day 9AM to 9PM. They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and crepes, flan, or bread pudding for dessert.

Casa Escobedo
30651 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Rumor Confirmed: Dunkin’ Donuts Coming to Westlake Village

 

Neighbors, it is confirmed. Dunkin’ Donuts is coming to Westlake Village!

I might have a tear of joy in my eye as I type this.

dunkin donuts coffee cup

Coming soon!

I received a wonderful voice mail message today from a rep at CBRE, the property management company for North Ranch Gateway, otherwise referred to as the TJ Maxx plaza at Thousand Oaks and Lindero Canyon. We’ve all seen the construction and facelift that plaza is getting. My kids remark on it every day as we drive past, and it’s a source of curiosity for everyone in town.

The rep confirmed that Dunkin’ Donuts will occupy part of the building that once housed Barbecues Galore. (The other part will be a Bank of America.)

Vacancies are filling up at North Ranch Gateway!

The rep also said that a nail salon and a Brazilian grill will be moving into the plaza, and that they’re in talks with some other restaurants as well. Their targeted timeline is to have these businesses open and ready for business by the end of the year or early in 2017. Here is how I feel about this:

I was pretty excited about finally making my pilgrimage to the Santa Monica @DunkinDonuts. #donuts

A photo posted by Kim Prince (@kimtracyprince) on

Stay tuned for more news and information as we get closer to this glorious day. (This post is brought to you only by my lifelong love of their coffee and glazed donuts.)

Cronies Restaurant: It’s Not Just For Beer

It’s a family restaurant! Read to the end for the $50 gift card giveaway.

cronies review giveaway pinterest

A few weeks ago, my family went to Cronies for dinner – it was the night the restaurant was donating 20% back to the kids’ school if you presented a special flyer. My younger son had had a baseball game, and I walked up and down the bleachers handing out flyers, hopefully inspiring people to visit this family restaurant/sports “grill.”

When we got there, we saw at least a dozen other families from our school. Their kids had had baseball games and softball games, or they were just hungry and they wanted to support the school and have someone else make dinner. Win-win.

The truth is, Cronies looks like a sports bar from the outside. The word “Cronies” and the many neon beer signs will steer you to that impression. But what Cronies’ management wants you to know is that the restaurant is actually a family place, where you can gather, find something on the menu that will delight everyone, let the kids goof around and be kind of loud, and also, you can drink a beer. A very, very cold beer.

just some taps

Come on, Agoura Hills. Don’t we need that kind of place around here?

What used to be Angel Cafe, full of booths and Italian food, is now Cronies, anchoring the CVS/Vons plaza at Kanan Ave. and Thousand Oaks Blvd. There is plenty of parking, and a Goodwill book store nearby.

Cronies family restaurant and sports grillThe wings are delicious

Cronies is open from breakfast through late night, and you can always find a friendly face there. Manager Wayne Smith will greet you with a handshake and his bearded smile, and if you engage him in conversation he will point up to a photograph on the wall taken in the (I’m guessing) early 80’s: that’s me, he’ll say, the child in the owner’s arms.

Because Cronies goes way back. Its original location is in Ventura, and the owners branched out to Agoura because let’s face it. We needed them as much as they need us.

Since its opening several months ago, Cronies has supported neighborhood schools, the Great Race, and a family that lost its mother in a tragic car crash. The bartenders have served up countless drafts, they have hosted Superbowl parties and March Madness happy hours, and opened its doors for breakfast and lunch. Cronies wants us to become like them – cronies in the best definition of the word: lifelong friends.

Yeah, yeah, it’s great for blowing off steam after work or a baseball game. “But how’s the food, Kim?” you ask. And I’m glad you did.

The first time I went to Cronies it was for lunch. The place was nearly deserted. “Bingo!” I thought. “A great place for meeting a friend, or conducting business over a meal.” I’m thinking PTA meetings. (Amirite, ladies and gents?)

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The food didn’t disappoint. Beyond the basic bar food of burgers and fries – which are solid, dependable choices – Cronies has a great list of salads to choose from, my favorite being the “protein salad” which has tuna salad, sprouts, and nuts over a bed of greens. Our family also tried the chicken wings, both the hot wings and the barbecue sauce version. I could eat them all by myself if necessary. And my husband had a pulled pork sandwich which he generously shared – it was sweet and savory and delicious.

frozen beers

Cronies serves beer in giant ice cream bowls – I believe they are referred to as “schooners” but I can totally imagine eating an ice cream sundae out of one – and the beer is super ice cold. They don’t have a full bar and even though I like wine (hey it’s me you’re talking to here…) I prefer to drink something closer to beer so I usually choose a Mike’s hard lemonade or cranberry which they will serve over ice, mimicking a cocktail. Good enough!

The bottom line is: go to Cronies for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a relaxed atmosphere where you can watch the game, pawn your kids off on the quarter-hungry machines, and be kind of loud. It’s perfect for team parties, or lunch with your friends where you can hear each other talk, and then run into the grocery store to pick up a few things before getting back to work or picking up the kids. Happy hour is from 2-6 – that is a LONG happy hour, designed to “beat any crowd,” and there’s always a promo running, so check them out.

Cronies
5687 Kanan Rd, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
(818) 889-0889

Giveaway: Cronies has offered a $50 gift card to a lucky Agoura Hills Mom reader. Just leave a comment here and tell me what your favorite Cronies drink or dish is, or what you’d like to try. One comment entry per person. Make sure your email address is entered (will not be published). For an extra entry, follow @agourahillsmom on Instagram and leave your handle in your comment. Winner will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries received by 11:59 PM, Friday April 24.