Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Dog Haus: More Than Just a Hotdog

Last month, Dog Haus, the celebrated Pasadena-based concept known for its gourmet hot dogs, sausages, burgers, and one-of-a-kind creations, opened its first franchise location in Canoga Park. Located at 6501 Topanga Canyon, the restaurant from franchisee Paul Homayoun is the 4th location of the emerging brand, which has plans for more than 50 additional locations to open throughout California, Colorado and Utah in the months to come, with more in the pipeline as the concept continues to grow beyond its SoCal home.

"There is so much passion and creativity behind Dog Haus, and I'm thrilled for the opportunity to work with Founding Partners André Vener, Hagop Giragossian and Quasim Riaz to bring this winning concept to the Canoga Park community," said Homayoun.

As part of their introduction to the community, guests enjoyed a free Haus Dog from a selection of Dog Haus' classic all-beef skinless dog offerings, all served up on grilled King's Hawaiian rolls. Options included the cult favorite Sooo Cali Haus Dog with arugula, tomato, crispy onions, spicy basil aioli and avocado; the Downtown Haus Dog featuring a smoked bacon wrapped dog topped with caramelized onions, sautéed bell peppers, mayo, mustard, and ketchup; and The Cowboy Haus Dog with white American cheese, smoked bacon, bbq sauce, and crispy onions.

We were not able to attend the opening, but Dog Haus was nice enough to invite me and my kids to sample their menu a few weeks later.  We were not disappointed.  We ordered The Pig and the Fig which was an emmentaler cheese-stuffed sausage, fig & onion relish, wild arugula, whole grain mustard aioli, topped with diced almonds; a Scott Baioli which was a hotdog with smoked bacon, white American cheese, garlic aioli and caramelized onions; a Little Leaguer (hotdog with haus chili, fritos, shredded cheddar and diced onions; and The Ringer- a burger (yes, they serve burgers too!) topped with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, onion rings and bbq sauce.  While waiting for our food, the kids enjoyed a salted caramel shake.  I don't like milkshakes, but this particular one is a MUST HAVE.  I tried a little bit of everything but I must say, my favorite was The Pig and the Fig.  Individually, the components don't seem to go together on a sausage but the flavors blend together surprisingly well. Did I mention all of the hotdogs, sausages and burgers are served on grilled King's Hawaiian rolls?  Everything was delicious! Needless to say, we have been back several times since.  I think my family is on a quest to try every single item on the Dog Haus menu.

To pair with their dogs, diners can order fare from Dog Haus' full menu, which is rounded out with gourmet sausages, burgers, corndogs, shakes, and sides (the chili cheese tater tots are a meal in itself!) -- each prepared with the highest quality ingredients. Ambitious diners can also opt to build their own dog, sausage or burger with the wide array of accoutrements available.  Lighter appetites and kids can indulge in slider-sized portions.

Soon, diners will be able to select from a thoughtful list of beers and wines on tap to complement the delicious fare.  

“It's incredible to see how the idea for Dog Haus has transformed since we opened our first restaurant in Pasadena in 2010,” adds Dog Haus Partner Quasim Riaz. "We are proud to bring Dog Haus home to Canoga Park and look forward to becoming part of this community."

The new restaurant, located at 6501 Topanga Canyon, Canoga Park, CA, 91303, is open for lunch and dinner daily from 11 am - 10 pm. For more information call 818-340-HAUS or visit www.doghaus.com.

**Dog Haus provided the food for me and my family to sample.  All opinions are solely my own.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Avast ye: The Pirate's Dinner Adventure Experience

With my kids busy with their school and sport-related activities this summer, it was hard to schedule an extended vacation.  No big deal.  There are so many things to do and places to visit in Southern California alone.  Imagine my surprise when we attended a Pirate's Dinner Adventure in Buena Park.  After doing some research, I found out that Pirate's Dinner Adventure received the Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisory in December 2013.

Billed as the WORLD'S MOST UNIQUE AND INTERACTIVE DINNER SHOW, Pirate's Dinner Adventure is a two-hour non-stop live performance featuring an astonishing display of special-effects wizardry, aerial artistry, swashbuckling and dynamic duels.  The actors and actresses can sing!  My favorite part of the show was perhaps the aerial artistry.  Simply amazing!  More than 150 guests(mostly children of all ages) got  the chance to play an actual role in each show. My two little ones were picked to take part in the show.   How's that for interactive?

On top of all that, we got dinner and appetizers!  The apps were served in the lobby/waiting area before the pre-show. Guests were also able to purchase cocktails and souvenirs while waiting.   It was definitely a great way pass the time while waiting to be escorted in the theater by our "Pirates".  Once inside, we were shown to our table, where we were able to fully take in the environment.  It felt like we were transported into another world.  A world of pirates, harbors, and  pirate ships.

Instructions to the audience and dinner orders were swiftly taken care of before the show. The dinner feast fit for a pirate included your choice of vegetable soup or fresh garden salad, roasted half chicken or beef kabobs, buttery mashed potatoes or Caribbean rice and fudge brownie a la mode for dessert.  Vegetarian and kids meals were also available.  The meal also included unlimited soft drinks and complimentary coffee.  I chose the chicken with Caribbean rice and steamed vegetables.  I was pleasantly surprised.  The chicken was moist, juicy, and very tasty.

With everything going on off "stage" with food being served, cocktail orders being delivered and audience-actors being cued for their parts, all eyes remained on what was happening onstage.  The actors were so engaging and kept the energy up, it didn't feel like 2 hours had passed. 


We enjoyed ourselves so much, we're already planning a return trip!

Pirate's Dinner Adventure is conveniently located off the 5 and 91 freeways in the heart of Buena Park Entertainment Zone just 10 minutes away from the Disneyland Resort and 15 minutes from John Wayne Airport with domestic/international service.  Complimentary on-site bus, car and handicapped parking.  The fully-enclosed, air-conditioned venue offers two full bars, gift and photo souvenir shops.  Guests from all over are accommodated by a multilingual staff with exceptional customer service.

What are you waiting for? Come live the Pirate's Life at Pirate's Dinner Adventure,  in Buena Park, California.

***My family and  received tickets to the show in exchange for a review and posts across different social media channels through US Family Bloggers.  All opinions are solely my own.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Grease Sing-A-Long at the Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl’s lively Grease Sing-A-Long is back on July 13 with a pre show performance and the much-loved movie musical on the Bowl’s giant screen!

Tickets available here

The annual event, which is hosted by Didi Conn, best known for her role as the beauty school dropout Frenchy, will also feature a pre show performance by ‘50s music legends Sha Na NaThe band, who rose to stardom with their portrayal of Johnny Casino and the Gamblers in the moviealso performed six songs on the films iconic soundtrack.