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I've finally found myself at Portola Coffee Lab. Today a friend and I stopped by and chose the Brew Bar on a whim. We were delighted to find a knowledgeable barista who'd been allowed to invent his own drinks and prepare his own menu for the day. For our first drink, we chose the cappuccino. It was perfection in a cup. For a second drink, my friend chose the coffee soda and I chose the Negroli, a drink made with non-alcoholic, homemade gin. It was a spiritual experience. The Brew Bar is where I'll spend my time while at the lab.
I'd walked by this place ever since it opened but didn't try it until a friend suggested we meet here for coffee. I should have tried it sooner. I chose the vegan BLT at my friends recommendation. It was delicious. I'm already thinking of people I can bring here so I can try more items.
I also like the idea of having more vegan choices nearby.
We booked a two-night stay at the Bed & Breakfast Inn at La Jolla for a mini-vacation. We were greeted with fresh cookies, coffee, and attentive service. The amenities were carefully selected for optimum guest comfort. We poured sherry for ourselves and began to relax immediately. Margaret was very knowledgeable of the area and referred us to two delightful restaurants for dinner.
Perhaps the highlight was the three-course breakfast which includes house specialties as well as dessert - yes dessert! It fueled us for exploring the downtown area, parks, and local museums.
I already miss the serenity.
This place is evidence of the Mead family's indomitable entrepreneurial spirit. This location displays their talents and creativity like none they've had before. Try out PJ's new line of Green Door canned goods or her freshly-baked pastries. Sit in a comfortable location while enjoying the quiet and the artwork. Bring a friend - there are lots of conversation nooks to choose from.
And take home a bag of freshly-roasted coffee beans--Old Town Roasting commands its own corner with a micro-roaster and a coffee bar. The coffee bar only has four chairs - but I'll be heading for one soon. Roasting is done Saturday mornings. I'll look for you there.
While on a short vacation to La Jolla, we were referred to George's by the concierge at our Bed and Breakfast. She described it as "the best place in town." We weren't disappointed. We were given a table with a beautiful view of the ocean and felt welcomed by everyone on staff.
We chose the four-course tasting menu and were delighted with our selections. Each course was artfully presented and sized so as to avoid a "stuffed" feeling at the end of the meal. The warm chocolate tart that I had for dessert was decadently delightful.
The meal was well-paced with no long waits between courses. Our waiter, Sean was both informative and entertaining and the entire staff was attentive. We'd definitely go again when in the area.
I visited Vitaly for the first time yesterday to pick up some sandwiches for dinner. I ordered a gelato to eat while I was waiting. I should have ordered a larger gelato - not because I expected a long wait but because the gelato was so incredibly delicious.
This is a terrific new concept and worth a try. There are a few operational kinks to be worked out, like directing the customer to the right line - there are separate registers for coffee and "everything else." Also, I ordered my sandwiches "to go" and they were brought out as "eat in." Not a big deal to me, but it represents a lack of operational efficiency and customers who aren't as nice as I am could get upset.
Overall, this place rocks. I'll upgrade to 5 stars when the overall efficiency improves.
Before you conclude that this is a bad review, remember that on Yelp, 3 stars is A-OK!
I visited this store out of curiosity and because I like tea. The menu looked like it was all specialty drinks until I realized that you could also order brewed tea. I ordered Moroccan Mint and it was brewed to order. It wasn't as minty as I expected, but it was nice.
The atmosphere is clean and modern; the staff youthful and energetic. They seemed genuinely interested in whether I liked my drink and offered to exchange it for me if I didn't.
My guess is that I'm not likely to come in very often for brewed tea as a 16 oz. glass seemed a little pricey. On Yelp, one $ is for under $10.00, but $3.50 for a glass of tea is $$$ IMHO when other retailers in the same strip are offering the same quantity and quality for under $2.00.
BUT, the specialty drinks look interesting and I'm thinking they'll make nice summer drinks. So, I'll be back to try a few soon.
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our excursion which was planned and carried out for us by Trails by Potter. We chose a hike in the Los Padres National Forest followed by a wine tasting at Oak Creek Ranch. Stacy was attentive to our needs, providing cold water and granola bars for the hike and a fresh fruit, cheese, cracker, and chocolate plate to enjoy with our wine tasting. We found Stacy to be a delightful conversationalist and were impressed with her knowledge of the Ojai area and her endorsements of local businesses. As our event ended, I found myself wising we could continue to get to know Ian and Stacy through another event or over a glass of wine. We'll definitely look for an opportunity to come back.
Some friends from work and I tried Umami Burger for lunch for the first time today. The burgers were thick and juicy, served on a freshly-baked, branded bun. Each burger came with different sauces, depending on what was ordered. My turkey burger came with avocado paste and butter lettuce. The sweet potato fries were dusted with cinnamon sugar, giving them a unique flavor. A veggie burger option was also available.
I appreciated that the food was served with recyclable Aspenware rather than with Styrofoam and plastic ware.
Operationally, the place is run pretty well. Seating is limited, but staff are attentive to busing the tables and directing parties to suitable table space. They are well staffed and the food comes up pretty fast.
A produce delivery came in through the front door at about noon, which was poor planning, IMHO.
I'm looking forward to taking more office mates the next time we visit.
I tried this restaurant for the first time yesterday and the products I ordered were delicious. I liked the fact that the meat was freshly-sliced deli-style on the premises. The staff answered my newbie questions in a friendly, courteous way. I'll consider it a good alternative to other subway sandwich restaurants. The store is small, which limits seating, and parking is at a premium. Allow yourself time to walk in from the parking lot. The website includes extensive menu, nutrition, and allergy information. Check it out before you visit the store.
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