Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Gasolina Cafe: A Taste of Spain Just Around the Corner

Hidden in plain sight on Ventura Boulevard is the delicious Gasolina Cafe. I've driven past Gasolina Café many times and always told myself I would stop by. I quickly realized I was missing out of some great food and the best lattes in the valley.

Chef and Champion of season one Food Network’s Cutthroat, Sandra Cordero, heads Gasolina Cafe by adding a little something extra to every dish. You can't quite put your finger on it, but it's pure delight. Sandra runs Gasolina along with her husband actor/writer, John Hensley who has added his own creative decor to the restaurant.

Sometimes something simple is what you need. Since I am always on the go, my first taste of Gasolina was a latte and the PAN CON AGUACATE ($5.50). I am hooked!! First let me start with the lattes. The best! The PAN CON AGUACATE, perfection. I mean it's bread with avocado on it, simple right? I tried making this at home for my husband after my visit and it's was just not he same. Chef Sandra Cordero puts her own spin to it by adding radish, olive oil, sea salt, a little something else. When I asked Sandra about how this dish came to be, she told me that it almost didn't make the menu. It is something she likes to make and just added it on at the last minute. I am truly thankful for this. I kept asking friends to join me for coffee just so I could get my Gasolina latte fix.

The next step was trying it out on my daughters, Abbey and Madeleine. They, like any 4 year-old or 6 year-old, can be picky eaters. Abbey decided she would sit on the counter facing the front of the cafe. Madeleine and I sat at the table next to her. Abbey took her job as a food critic very seriously and our dinning adventure began.

Madeleine and I shared my favorite dish the PAN CON AGUACATE, PAN CON MERMELADA and BOWL OF SEASON FRUIT ($6). Madeleine ate it her way by taking everything apart and eating each item on its own... and enjoyed it. I fruit was delightful, no unripened cantaloupe. It was sweet strawberries, blueberries and cantaloupe  

Abbey decided on scrambled eggs with avocado and berries. Again, Chef Sandra takes something simple and adds her Food Network champion touch to it. I want to tell you how amazing the eggs tasted, but I didn't get the chance to try them- Abbey ate them all. After, she said, "Mom, can you ask the Chef Sandra how to make these eggs? And then can you make them like this for me?"

While Abbey enjoyed her meal, Madeleine and I ate everything on our end except for the radish.

After our meal, Chef Sandra treated us to the girls to CHURROS CON CHOCOLATE ($7.50). Can't go wrong with a churro. Abbey loved it without the chocolate and Madeleine loved to dip.

On the weekends there is different set menus of Chef Sandra's picks. This was a great time to do a ladies night out. My friend Jenifer Breman and I went on a food adventure at the Gasoline Café. We experienced appetizer special.   Note to guest, just because it's par fe style doesn't mean you wont get full. We started to take smaller bites half way through the evening to make sure we tried everything on the menu.

CROQUETAS DE BACALAO with LEMON AIOLI. Jen and I loved guessing what was in this dish. It was such a great start to our evening. Creamy, flavorful and delicate.

MORCILLA WRAPPED IN CHARD LEAVES with VINAIGTETTE: I couldn't wait to try this. I took a bite so quickly that I almost forgot to take this picture. The vinaigette wraps up the flavors perfectly.

 SPANISH GARLIC SHRIMP, perfectly seasoned with a little kick.

 FABADA ASTURIAN BEAN STEW with CHORIZO - love the little crunchy bites of chorizo. Not to salty, just right.

 PARARAS BRAVAS - The crispy outside of the parapas misleads you to believe that the inside is too. Once you bit in to it's tender and moist in the inside. Jen and I had the same reaction to this... "How did she do that."

It was a great evening for great food and great company. Nothing better then to end the evening with a special dessert of I best describe as a mini donuts that melts in your mouth.

Where: 21014 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills
Times: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday
Customer service: Great Service
Kid Friendly: I recommend it for young children over 5 years old for breakfast and lunch. It's off Ventura, so kids should be able to sit and enjoy great food.. not a play area. Dinner I don't recommend children. Not out of the question, but please review set menu before bringing children.