Conejo Valley Guide Facebook Followers Name Their Favorite Family Eateries in the Conejo Valley

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In a recent drawing on the CVG Facebook Page, we asked followers to name off their favorite family restaurant in the Conejo Valley. There were over 300 responses in the two day drawing and of course we would love to share them with you here, in alphabetical order. Some of these eateries are not technically in the Conejo Valley, but hey, that’s ok.

Listed below are the restaurants noted, and the number of times they were noted. The most mentioned eateries were Lure Fish House, Stonefire Grill, Toppers Pizza Place and Country Harvest.

  • Agoura’s Famous Deli

  • Ali Baba’s Kitchen 3

  • All About the Burgers Simi Valley

  • Alpine Deli

  • Ameci Pizza

  • Bad Ass Tacos 2

  • Bangkok Avenue 2

  • Bandits BBQ 9

  • Brent’s Deli

  • Cactus Patch in Moorpark

  • California Pizza Kitchen

  • Carrara Pastries in Moorpark 2

  • Casa Nostra Ristorante

  • The Cheesecake Factory 5

  • Chi Chi’s Pizza Simi Valley 2

  • Chili’s

  • Cici’s Cafe 2

  • Cho Cho San 2

  • Cisco’s 2

  • Country Harvest 9

  • Cronies

  • Dave & Buster’s

  • Don Cuco Simi Valley 2

  • Draughts

  • Eggs N Things 3

  • Eloong Dumplings

  • Figueroa Mountain Brewing

  • Fusion Grill 5

  • Habanero Mexican Grill

  • Holdren’s

  • Islands 4

  • Janchi Korean BBQ

  • Jinky’s Cafe

  • Junkyard Cafe Simi Valley

  • Lakeview Garden Chinese Restaurant

  • Latigo Kid

  • Lazy Dog Cafe 5

  • Little Calf Creamery and Cafe 5

  • Los Dos Amigos 2

  • Love Pho Cafe

  • Love Sushi

  • Lure Fish House 11

  • Made in Italy

  • Marmalade Cafe 2

  • Mandarin Bistro

  • Marcello Ristorante 2

  • Mendocino Farms

  • Mika Sushi

  • Minato Sushi

  • Mission Burrito

  • Mouthful Eatery

  • Natural Cafe

  • Nonna

  • Nori Japanese Grill

  • Olive Garden 2

  • P&L Burgers

  • Plata Taqueria in Agoura Hills 2

  • Poke U and Me in Camarillo

  • Pokeland

  • Pookie’s Thai

  • Ranch Hand BBQ 2

  • Red Robin 4

  • Roma Deli

  • Sake 2 Me Sushi Simi Valley

  • Sesame Inn

  • Sharky’s 6

  • Side Street Cafe

  • Snapper Jack’s

  • Social Monk

  • Soom Soom

  • Stacked 6

  • Stella’s II

  • Stonefire Grill 10

  • Sumo Sushi 3

  • Sushi Oaks

  • Taqueria El Tapatio in Moorpark

  • Taqueria Jalisco Mexican Food in Moorpark

  • Tavern 101

  • The Habit Burger

  • The Original Pizza Cookery 5

  • Thousand Oaks Fish and Chips

  • Thousand Wok

  • Toppers Pizza Place 9

  • Vegan Thyme

  • Wildflour Bakery & Cafe

  • Wood Ranch BBQ 6

Trail Etiquette Tips in the Conejo Valley and Surrounding Areas

The trails that surround us here in the Conejo Valley, including the Santa Monica Mountains maintained by the National Park Service, State Parks and other organizations, as well as the Conejo Open Space, is year-round wonderland for hikers, biker, runners and equestrians. As such, it’s always good to remember the rules for trail etiquette.

Here is a summary of tips summarized in a brochure posted at trailetiquette.org:

Hikers, runners and mountain bikers must always yield to equestrians. Do so by immediately stopping and waiting on the downhill side of the trail. Greet the rider, as your voice also signals to the horse that you’re human and not a potential threat. Communicate with the rider and ask how to proceed. As beautiful as the horses are, do not approach or pet them without asking for permission first. If you are a cyclist, after communicating with the horse rider, pass slowly and steadily, without sudden movements or noises.

Hikers should always listen for cyclists, runners and equestrians approaching from behind. Listen for “on your left” so that you can stay to the right and let them by. Hike single-file on narrow trails and try to stay to the right on wider trails. Keep your dogs on short (6 feet maximum) leashes and of course, clean up after them. If you wear headphones, consider wearing only one earpiece or turning the volume down so you can hear your surroundings.

Bikers should slow down and yield to hikers and horses. Consider using a bell to alert others you are behind them. On a single track trail, downhill cyclists should yield to uphill cyclists.

And some other reminders…stay on the trails, don’t litter, don’t block the trail if you need to stop and don’t use the trails when the are wet.

And of course, be nice, smile at and greet your fellow trail users! We love our local trails!

GREAT TRAILS AND HIKES IN AND AROUND VENTURA COUNTY

A Drive Down the Historic Norwegian Grade in Thousand Oaks

The Historic Norwegian Grade was originally built by hand and $60 worth of dynamite in the early 1900s by the founding Norwegian families, Olsen, Pedersen and others. The top of the grade to Santa Rosa Road is about a mile and a half. The two lane road was improved in 2010 to make it slightly wider and improve the guard rail and signage. More history at THIS LINK.

Rattlesnake Do's and Don'ts in the Trails of the Conejo Valley and Neighboring Areas

I've seen more snakes in the trails of the Conejo Valley in recent years than I can ever recall, some, but not all of which are rattlesnakes.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, rattlesnakes are generally not aggressive but can strike when they feel threatened or provoked. If you come across one on the trail, just back off and give them room to retreat. They don't want to mess with you!

Rattler crossing the Rosewood Trail on a sunset hike.

Rattler crossing the Rosewood Trail on a sunset hike.

It is rare that rattlesnakes cause serious injury to humans. According to the California Poison Control Center, rattlesnakes account for 800 bites each year, with only one or two deaths. Most bites occur during the months of April through October, when both humans and snakes are active outdoors. About 25% of bites are dry (i.e. no venom), but still require medical treatment.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Wear shoes when out hiking in the trails.

  • Stay ON the trails...don't venture out into the underbrush, where snakes may be hiding.

  • Watch what you touch with your hands too...especially if it's dark and hard to see.

  • Leave them alone. They are fun to watch, but do so from a distance. Don't try to pick them up.

Is it a Rattler or a Gopher Snake?

On the trails of the Conejo Valley I've come across rattlesnakes, gopher snakes, king snakes, garter snakes and perhaps a few others I wasn't able to identify. The rattlesnakes are the ones to be particularly wary of because of their venom, so be aware of the following distinctions:

Rattlesnakes are wider/heavier than most of the other local snakes and have a triangular-shaped head, broader at the back than at the front, with a distinct "neck." They have openings between the nostrils and the eyes. There are a series of dark and light bands near the tail which look different from the markings on the rest of the body.  DO NOTE that rattles may not always be present as they may have fallen off are are not always developed on a young rattler.

For some great information on identifying California snakes, visit www.californiaherps.com/identification/snakesid/common.html.

Notice the stocky size of this rattlesnake, the clear rattle, and the different series of dark and lights bands leading down towards the rattle.

Notice the stocky size of this rattlesnake, the clear rattle, and the different series of dark and lights bands leading down towards the rattle.

Beautiful King Snake (known for lunching on rattlesnakes).

Beautiful King Snake (known for lunching on rattlesnakes).

Gopher snake crossing the trail in   Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa  .

Gopher snake crossing the trail in Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa.

Gopher snake on the   Vista Del Mar Trail   in Newbury Park.

Gopher snake on the Vista Del Mar Trail in Newbury Park.

The Conejo Valley Audubon Society Hosts Birding Activities Year-Round

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Founded in 1968, the Conejo Valley Audubon Society (CVAS) is an active chapter of the National Audubon Society. CVAS's 500+ members are from southeastern Ventura County and northwestern Los Angeles County. The chapter's membership is primarily from the cities of Oak Park, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Simi Valley, Fillmore, Moorpark, Somis and Camarillo.

CVAS hosts monthly programs at the Western Foundation for Vertebrate Zoology (aka Camarillo Bird Museum) and frequent birding field trips throughout the Conejo Valley and Ventura County. Recent trips include the Conejo Botanical Gardens, Santa Clara River Estuary, Hill Canyon, Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa, Oakbrook Regional Park and others.

CVAS volunteers also consult with local residents interested in converting their yard into a native plant based oasis to help attract birds to your yard.

For more information about CVAS, visit www.conejovalleyaudubon.org.

Fields of Yellow: Invasive, Non-Native Black Mustard Plants Seen Throughout the Conejo Valley

It has been a beautiful ride this winter and spring, watching the hills turn from golden brown to lush green and now the deep yellow color of the invasive black mustard “weed” that has sprouted more than typically seen throughout the Conejo Valley.

I’ve walked through 8 foot tall mustard plants in the Hillcrest Open Space and seen the hillsides in Calabasas blanketed in yellow in the past several weeks. While stunning to see, these non-native plants prevent germination of native plants. Let’s hope our local agencies and organizations can clear out much of this growth before we reach peak fire season later this year.

Off the 101 in Calabasas

Off the 101 in Calabasas

Hillcrest Open Space

Hillcrest Open Space

Hillcrest Open Space

Hillcrest Open Space

A Compilation of Automotive Relics in the Open Space of the Conejo Valley

As a resident of the Conejo Valley for over 20 years, a long distance runner and a father with active kids, I've run, walked, hiked and rolled over thousands of miles of trails within and surrounding the Conejo Valley.

Over the years I've noticed interesting, old items on the sides of the trails. These relics from the past always make me wonder how they got there and why they remain. I've attempted here to document these automotive blasts to the past on the trails of the Conejo Valley.

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