One of the great things about the CVG Facebook page is that it's kind of like the Conejo Valley water cooler...people enjoy sharing the scoop on local goings on. Yesterday was a great example, when Scott B, an avid local restaurant watcher, let us know that DISH Restaurant at Janss Marketplace was opening its doors the next day, September 26, 2012.
After a solid hour long run this morning, I worked up a decent appetite and headed off to DISH, fully expecting massive crowds. To my surprise, it was practically empty, which for me was excellent because I wanted to get to work. Found out that I was customer #2 at the Thousand Oaks DISH. Almost nabbed that #1 spot! They opened at 7 a.m.
So my immediate observation as I walked in was, WOW, this has a really nice, open air type of feel it. Light and bright, spacious feeling, much different than the feel of prior occupant TGI Fridays. There was also sort of a nostalgic feel to the place. It wasn't the decor or anything (though there were some subtle retro things going on, like the salt and pepper shakers). I think it was the music. You'll find out!
The hostess sat me at one of the booths next to the expansive, nice looking bar. The seat cushion was comfortable and immediately I noticed there's a toaster on the table. Now I've seen things like mini-jukeboxes on table before (e.g. Johnny Rockets) but never a toaster. Later I found out they have toasters at the booths, not the tables (makes sense, as the booths have a wall the toasters sit next to).
There were a number of employees learning the ropes and they all were really nice and attentive. The breakfast menu was quite expansive, with with an entire page of egg dishes (they pride themselves on serving only cage free eggs, in spite of higher cost), hot cakes (pancakes, cornmeal jonnycakes and oatcakes, omelettes and scrambles and brunch classics like french toast, belgian waffles and oatmeal.
While I could have tried the really good sounding Fresh Real Banana Pancakes, Brie Cheese & Applewood Smoked Bacon Omelette or other specialties, I opted to keep it simple today and ordered two scrambled eggs, potatoes, toast and chicken apple sausage ($9.95). Everything was quite good. And it was actually kind of fun toasting my own wheat bread (the bread served was really fresh and toasted nicely in my own little tableside toaster). The coffee was really good too. Wish I could have stayed a bit longer to enjoy a 3rd cup of it!
I have a pretty good gut feel for places and this place to me seems to be a winner! There's no doubt in my mind that it will be a popular breakfast eatery. The key question will be, how will they fare for lunch and dinner. Their menu features salads, sandwiches, burgers and entrees and a kids menu that has a decent selection in the $4 to $7 range (averaging about $5). I'll think they'll do just fine.
From the DISH website: "We serve simple family-style food, yet we concentrate on quality. So something as simple as a BLT sandwich can be a pleasant surprise when it’s made with applewood-smoked bacon, carefully toasted whole wheat bread and French fries cut from fresh Kennebec potatoes. Our lunch menu offers a great selection of American classics, with over ten luncheon salads, gourmet sandwiches, awesome burgers, fresh seafood, pastas, chicken and steak. And most entrees are under $10.00, so we offer value along with creativity and variety."
So bottom line for me is...SO FAR, SO GOOD! I took a chance and stopped by DISH on its first day and was pleased. Nice people, casual, low key, yet sophisticated ambience, beautiful bar, great food and service. Welcome to Thousand Oaks, DISH!