Creating Spencer Makenzie's Fish Company was a labor of love for John and Jennifer Karayan, who spent 20 years perfecting their eclectic Californian recipes before sharing them with the public. Named after the couple's 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter, the business began as a concession trailer at festivals and fairgrounds, presenting healthful alternatives to traditional fast-food options without sacrificing speedy service. The concept took off, and the trailer eventually blossomed into a permanent location a couple of blocks from the shore.
Although the chefs use only sashimi-grade fish and make everything from clam chowder to sauces and salsas in-house, they don't stray far from the restaurant's unpretentious fairground roots. The Ventura County Reporter recognized the company's dual commitment to quality and convenience in 2011, honoring the eatery with awards for Best Fish Taco and Best Cheap Eats.
The same thoughtfulness with which John and Jennifer designed the healthful and flavorful menu led them to embrace a variety of environmentally friendly practices. In addition to donating their used trans-fat-free cooking oil to biodiesel refineries, they exclusively stock the restaurant with biodegradable plates, utensils, and employees.
Chalkboards of handwritten specials, an acoustic soundtrack by artists such as Jack Johnson and Bob Marley, and 36-inch flat-screen televisions playing skateboarding, surfing, and sporting events add to Spencer Makenzie's Fish Company's casual, laid-back ambiance. At the same time, photographs of local beaches line the walls and serve as a gentle reminder of the inspiration behind the ocean-fresh menu.
Sip & Switch participants can transform slightly used or new clothing into clothing vouchers at the door, then enjoy wine and entertainment while redeeming vouchers for new-to-you wardrobe pieces. Arrive at 7 p.m. with your closet castoffs, each cleanly pressed and on a hanger. The Sip & Switch fashion stylists will hand-pick the items suited for swapping. For each accepted piece, you will receive a voucher good for one item that got lost in the crowd of its last closet.
When catering parties and special events, Roma Italian Deli's staffers enter hoisting trays of sandwiches, cannolis, and tiramisu. At Roma's sit-down eatery, visitors can have a tasty party of their own in the dining room or outside on the breezy patio. The menu begins with an antipasto salad layered with cold cuts, fresh veggies, and a blanket of Italian dressing. Hearty subs stuffed with meats, such as genoa salami or prosciutto, furnish bellies alongside a choice of soup or salad, while fettucini noodles tossed in creamy marinara sauce serve as a bed for grilled sausages or an ugly wig for freaking out blind dates.
For over 45 years, thickets of ivy have climbed their way above the pink fa?ade of Los Toros Mexican Restaurant, where the Monta?o family has been sharing its family recipes since 1967. Inside, aromas from the eatery's signature bean dip, burritos, enchiladas, and steaks waft past wall murals and mosaics that color multiple rooms including a garden patio, a dining area with big plush booths, and a remodeled bar. Here, UFC, boxing matches, and Dodger games play from their TVs; mariachi bands coerce toes into tapping during brunch; and a balloonist twists oxygen into a menagerie of animal shapes and presidential beards. Bartenders enhance the festive environment, which won a viewers' choice award from Best of LA TV in 2011, with 16 beers on tap and more than 60 different types of tequila that pour into signature margaritas.
Signature service: Hookah Catering to Parties, Events, and Venues
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 4+ hours
Brands Used: Khalil Mamoon, Fumari, Starbuzz, Al Fakher, Lavoo
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