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VENTURA COUNTY WEEKEND | TIDBITS

Little Thai III Adds Entertainment to the Menu

Owner Tom Chu promises authenticity from four chefs trained in Thailand and periodic dinner-dance shows.

May 02, 1996|LEO SMITH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Since opening their Little Thai restaurant in Oxnard six years ago, Tom and Winnie Chu have noticed an increased interest in their style of cuisine.

"Thai food is getting very popular and people are starting to like the taste around here," said Tom Chu, who also has a fast-food version of Little Thai at the Camarillo Factory Outlet. "I think in general there's a lot more Thai food around. People taste it and adapt to the taste."

To take advantage of this increased demand, the Chus last week added a third restaurant to their mini-chain, opening Little Thai III in Camarillo.

Unlike the original (and the outlet establishment), the new restaurant will offer nightly entertainment and periodic dinner-dance shows. A Thai dance group from Los Angeles will perform Friday and Saturday.

"This is fine dining," said Tom Chu. "And we are very authentic." The authenticity, he said, comes from the restaurant's four main chefs, all of whom grew up and were trained in Thailand.

Little Thai III is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Seatings for this weekend's dinner shows are at 6 and 8 p.m. The restaurant is at 1620 E. Daily Drive.

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Author Edon Waycott of Pacific Palisades will share some of her many ideas for fruit-based drinks, preserves and other dishes Saturday at Amestoy House Cooking School in Ojai.

Waycott's preparations will include a pineapple papaya smoothie, cherry pecan coffeecake, homemade apple pectin, nectarine vinaigrette, summer fruit salad in watermelon syrup, fresh fruit salsa, sweet cherries in pomegranate syrup, and fruit and herb teas.

Waycott's books include "Preserving the Taste" and "Breakfast All Day." Her new publication, "Fabulous Healthy Fruit All Day!," will be available at the class. The Amestoy House is at 8950 Highway 150. Cost is $45 per person. Call 646-7970 for reservations.

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Ventura's City Bakery has begun serving pizzas on most weeknights, and it's not your run-of-the-mill pepperoni-and-cheese variety.

The pizza list includes a goat cheese and grilled eggplant pizza with red pepper sauce, pine nuts, garlic, kalamata olive and basil; as well as a four-cheese pizza with Gorgonzola, provolone, mozzarella and Parmesan.

There is also a primavera pizza with a saute of zucchini, mushrooms, onions, garlic and capers combined with fontinella cheese, asparagus and kalamata olives; a roasted artichoke, potato and bacon pizza with carmelized onions and fontinella cheese; and a spicy shrimp and roasted garlic pizza with red pepper sauce, topped with sauteed prawns.

For the slightly--but only slightly--less adventurous, more traditional-style pizzas are available, with a nice list of toppings. Along with the pepperoni, black olives and pineapple, diners can choose from artichoke hearts, spinach, chicken sausage, smoked turkey ham, prosciutto and smoked trout, among others. Pizzas range from $6 to $9. City Bakery is at 2358 E. Main St.

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Speaking of City Bakery, the restaurant will host its annual four-course Spring Dinner on May 11. Reservations are required.

The meal will open with an appetizer of baked ravioli with a sun-dried tomato and olive filling, followed by an antipasto salad of stuffed mushrooms, tomatoes, cheeses, peppers, olives, white bean spread and bread sticks.

Diners will have a choice of two entrees when they call in their reservations: chicken breast in a rosemary, garlic and wine sauce, or vegetable and cheese lasagna roll-ups served with a pesto cream sauce. Both dishes will be accompanied by spinach and sweet potato gnocchi and roasted vegetables. Dinner will conclude with a tiramisu for dessert.

Cost is $25 per person. Seatings are at 5 or 8 p.m. Call 643-0861 for reservations.

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