Monday, June 2, 2008
The best BBQ under one Woof
Plaza de Oro
17201 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91316
Tel: (818) QUINCY-2 (784-6292)
Fax: (818) 986-4097
Ok the tag line is cheesy but it comes from a sweet story. They named the restaurant after a beloved family dog and the place is dedicated to their pet but also is a dog friendly place. There's a dog hall of fame and it's very friendly and family run. We regularly saw dogs hanging out in the outside patio eating area with their masters. The place has a homegrown country feel with picnic tables and red checkered tablecloths. There are barrels of roasted peanuts and piles of dog bowls that you can self serve yourself peanuts and put them and the scraps in the dog bowls. The place has doggy biscuits the waitresses feed the dogs, along with water bowls and other doggy toys and treats. A very lovely feel to the place.
The food isn't quite "Bang for your Buck". Meals range from $7-$15 per person, and they're not gigantic to where you can't finish a meal, and we've seen better deals. It's not cheap, but it's not pricey either, quite average but I expect more from my $9 at restaurants these days. Go there for the family feel and a nice night out.
Chicken BBQ - YUM! Excellent stuff. Moist and falls off the bone. Well flavored and not overly sweet sauce, more savory. Great flavor and texture.
Cornbread - looks like a pancake as it's flat, but really really tasty. Plus it comes with this brown sugar butter that is absolutely divine. I would go just for the cornbread and chicken.
Fries - Yum yum yum. Crispy and well done.
Sweet Potato Fries - I have to give kudos to this restaurant for having this item on there and doing it really well. Crispy and good, with a nice change of sweetness to fries. Although I prefer salty french fries, the sweet potato fries were excellent for those people who would prefer it.
Tri Tip was good - on the border of good/great, although I thought the chicken was better. So if you're in the mood for tri tip this is a great place to go. BBQ flavor also excellent.
Mac and Cheese - Good but relatively small portion. Appropriate portion for one person, but if i'm spoiled and when i'm used to paying for a side, I'm used to the side being gigantic. This was just a good portion so good for dieters and non leftover types.
Creamed Spinach - Good stuff :) Sorta watery and not too much flavor but good. But small portion size as well.
We're not itching to go back right away but we probably will go back to try their ribs, coleslaw, corn dogs, wings, potato skins and a ton of other items. It has a great variety. Overall it looked like a local favorite, very southern and home cooking type, and overall yummy. Pricey for "dive" but it is on Ventura Blvd. I'd enjoy it for Lunch I think more than dinner, although it's great food for both probably.
It gets great points for character and charm though, and with some tasty fresh new items on there. I love the fact that it's dog friendly and there are dog bowls and barrels of fresh roasted peanuts. It's the kind of place that I think the more we go there the more we may like it and over time it may get bumped into my "favorites" category. Will definitely go back and reorder the chicken and cornbread and maybe take some to-go for home. Good eats definitely.