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Tasty Tidbits: Restaurant and Food Roundup

Find out what's in, what's out, and specials in this roundup of restaurant news in Moorpark and beyond.

Moorpark's Fabio Viviani and Jacopo Falleni are following their recent avocado dinner with one at their sister restaurant, Firenze Osteria in Toluca Lake. The event will feature a special four course avocado dinner on Thursday, Oct. 20, which will include an avocado martini for $55 per person. It is sponsored by Moorpark's Avocodo Diva. Cafe Firenze served up a successful avocado dinner last month featuring avocado and tuna crudo, avocado crab ravioli, grilled pork tenderloin with savory avocado and sundried tomato risotto, and avocado pane cotta. Expect a similar menu. Call 818-760-7081 for reservations and information.

Also at Firenze Osteria on Sunday, Oct. 16 — if you are in need some new Thanksgiving recipes, join Top Chef All Star Fabio Viviani for a pre-Thanksgiving class from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m or 2 p.m.- 4 p.m. Learn how to make pumpkin gnocchi, cranberry risotto  and grandma’s roast chicken. $40 per person or $70 a couple. A two course meal and a beverage is included.

Fast food burger wars are heating up with Five Guys Burgers and Fries new entries in Simi Valley (2650 Tapo Canyon Road), Thousand Oaks (487 N. Moorpark Road) and Northridge (8850 Tampa Ave.). The eatery offers regular sized burgers and little burgers with choice of regular, cheese and bacon. Every burger can be ordered "All the Way, " and includes ketchup, mustard mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, grilled onions and grilled mushrooms. Extra toppings, like peppers and sauces, are free. There's also veggie sandwiches, grilled cheese and hot dogs on the menu, plus two choices of fries — regular and cajun. And if you're super hungry, they serve bulk peanuts in the shell while you wait. Ground beef is fresh (no fillers or preservatives), nothing is frozen and the menu is trans fat free. Nutritional information is on the website. Open 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. daily. 

Smoke House Restaurant in Burbank is celebrating 65 years with dining specials through the end of October. It kicks off this Wednesday, Oct. 12, with a complimentary champagne toast, birthday cake celebration and raffle drawing at 7 p.m. Plus, every entree on the regular menu will be 50% off on Wednesday. On Tuesdays after 4 p.m., entrees will be 40% off the regular menu.  There's also a special $19.46 dinner menu. Early bird diners who dine between 4 p.m.-6 p.m. daily receive 25 % any entree on the regular menu. If you love their garlic bread, you can eat for a cause. Through the end of October, the restaurant  will donate 10 percent of garlic bread sales to Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. For more information or reservations, call (818) 845-3731. 

Burrito Madness continues on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. at Hugo's Tacos in Studio City. The secret code word this month is Pumpkin for 1/2 off burritos.  Also, in celebration of Vegetarian Awareness month, soy chorizo is available instead of meat on tacos, burritos and tostadas. Hugo's Restaurants, including the newly opened location in Agoura, have monthly specials, such as breakfast enchiladas, hanging tenderloin steak,  Great Lakes whitefish and blueberry lemonade.

If you’re into cigars and steak, then you might want to venture out to Morton’s The Steakhouse Woodland Hills on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. The event is “Puff on the Patio,” costs $115 per person and includes a four course dinner paired with wines and cigars. You can see the dinner menu and wine pairings list online.   Reservations can be made by contacting Ashlea Gross at (818)703-7272 or ashlea_gross@mortons.com.

Also on Thursday, Karl Strauss Brewing Company at Universal CityWalk is having a kick off to LA Beer Week with Reverse Tap Takeover. The craft beer and food pairing event is 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. It's $20 per person and includes 10 tasters and small plates. Additional tastes are $1 each. Buy tickets in advance because this may sell out. 1000 Universal Studios Blvd., Universal City. (818) 753-2739.

In honor of National Pizza Month and its 25th anniversary, Zpizza is holding a “Pure Pepperoni Design Your Dream Pizza” recipe contest through October 31. Create your own dream pepperoni pizza via the “Pure Pepperoni Design Your Dream Pizza” recipe contest on the Zpizza Facebook page.  Entries will be judged by Zpizza’s culinary team, Sid’s Kitchen, a food and restaurant reporter for The Orange County Register and the public. The winning recipe will be announced Nov. 21 and featured on menus during National Pizza Week, Jan. 9-13, 2012, along with the possibility of becoming a permanent menu item. The winner will also receive “free pizza for a year.” To enter, go to www.facebook.com/zpizza. Zpizza uses organic tomato sauce and organic wheat flour, MSG-free sausage and pepperoni, and rBGH-free cheese from grass-fed cows to make their artisan pizzas.  Local eateries in the 818 are in Burbank and Northridge.

Karen Young is the Founder/Editor of MYDAILYFIND.COM, a lifestyle site with a free subscriber newsletter about where to eat, shop, play in the San Fernando Valley.

If you have restaurant, food or market news, please email: karen@mydailyfind.com.

Brenda Cusick October 12, 2011 at 04:07 PM
Thank you for this info! Can't wait for the second Avocado Dinner!
Cathy Karlowsky October 12, 2011 at 11:39 PM
Fabio's cooking clas is great fun and very informative! Oh yeah, and soooo yummy!

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