Although I had my reservations (due to simply under par food) I reluctantly went back to two Southern California eating places, and they were better, in one case much much better than my previous visit.
I wanted to share my impressions with my fellow hounds.
1) Mocca, in Tarzana California, On Ventura Blvd. right next to Bocca (the owners used to be partners) Bocca is meat (and declining in quality...) and Mocca is a upscale Coffee Bistro and although kosher and Dairy, The owner seems to go out of his way to underplay this.
I was there a month ago and not impressed, good La Brea Bakery bread but thats it, my friend had the Ahi Tuna sandwich and loved it. I had a Tuna sandwich and couldn't see any Tuna...
I returned with some friends. i had the Ceaser salad (delicious) with a scoop of Tuna (weird tasting, too much fruit) my friend had a beet salad, said it was good, and another had a small dish pizza which we all tasted and roundly agreed was horrible. the dough was just ridiculous.
Coffee was weak and pretty much tasteless.
So, on balance it was so so, some stuff delicious some lousy, due to calorie watching (saving that for cholent...) we didn't taste the mouth watering looking cakes.
2) Went back to Oxnard, Tierra del Sur Herzog Winery, I know, I know, everybody raves about it, but honestly I never had a decent meal there, until this time.
I had the Rib Eye steak, medium well and it was utterly delicious with an outdoor woodsy taste that was superb. I'm not happy about the lack of any real side dish to speak of but...
My partner had the pepper rubbed Angus steak, It was good, but nothing like mine, too dry, and pretty small, and that one came with nothing on the side.
we also shared the California bass, it was good.
I had a glass of Pinot (07) special reserve, it was delightful.
for desert we had the chocolate (warm0 cake with custard ice cream (good) with french press decaf coffee (very good)
A pricey ($200 plus) meal but delicious.
My only beef with Herzog is he nickel and dimes you throughout, I hate that.