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Old favorite restaurants

The places you keep coming back to

Posted: July 15, 2011 6:00 a.m.
Updated: July 15, 2011 6:00 a.m.
Escape looks at the SCV’s favorite restaurants. Escape looks at the SCV’s favorite restaurants.
Escape looks at the SCV’s favorite restaurants.

In these strained economic times it's not uncommon for a restaurant to appear - and then disappear before you get around to trying it out. And any restaurant that survives has to be hitting on all cylinders, especially with flavor, value and service. All of the "old favorite" restaurants listed here are following that recipe. Some have been doing it for a few years and others for many years. And though you probably have a few you might add to the list, here are some of the SCV's venerated dining establishments.

18853 Soledad Canyon Road
Canyon Country, CA 91351
(661) 251-8442  
Athena's has always been one of those eclectic "mom and pop" establishments that defy categorizing. It is most definitely a Greek restaurant, but also specializes in pizza, rotisserie chicken, and offers a number of Italian dishes.

Backwoods Inn
17846 Sierra Highway
Canyon Country, CA 91351
(661) 252-5522  
Sawdust on the floor, dim lighting, lots of wood in the décor, antiques on the walls - the Backwoods Inn seems like something out of the '60s. Well, that's because it's been around that long. Why? It has always provided good steakhouse-style food and a friendly atmosphere at a good price.

Dario's Mexican Restaurant
24523 Newhall Ave.
Newhall, CA 91321
(661) 255-6868
Dario's is a classic, old-school Mexican restaurant. Omar Reyna noted that the friendly atmosphere is one of the reasons patrons keep coming back to Dario's, but he also noted that the portions served are large and the dishes well-priced. Beyond that, there are international dishes you don't normally find at Mexican restaurants, including Plato Montanero, Dario's Chicken and Cancun Chicken.

Egg Plantation
24415 Walnut St.
Newhall, CA 91321
(661) 255-8222  
With restaurant hours stretching from early morning until early afternoon, the menu is loaded with "101 delicious omelets," plus many other breakfast items. There is also a wide selection of sandwiches, soups and salads. In case you have trouble with so many choices, there is a separate "Employee Favorites" menu, with each employee listing their favored meal at Egg Plantation.

El Trocadero
24274 Main St.
Newhall, CA 91321
(661) 284-6615
With more than 12 years serving loyal customers and new friends, El Trocadero Mesquite Steakhouse is one of the "anchors" of revitalized Old Town Newhall. But the best things about El Trocadero are the surprises on the plates. Family owned and operated by Raul Bojorquez, his wife Dora and daughter Ivana, El Trocadero features "mouth-watering steaks and a wide variety of Sonoran specialties," with meats grilled over mesquite charcoal.

FreshWorks California Grill
23340 Cinema Drive
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 291-1600  
FreshWorks offers food that is fresh, delicious, well-priced and convenient. And the menu is quite varied as well, including burgers, top-shelf sandwiches, creative salads, omelets, burritos and quesadillas. Many items have a Mediterranean accent, such as the Greek Salad, Mediterranean Omelet, and Gyros.

Grill Kabob
27653 Bouquet Canyon Road
Saugus, CA 91350
(661) 263-7445
It's heartening to see old favorite restaurants going strong, despite difficult economic times, and Grill Kabob in Saugus is one of those. Deals include a Family Meal (for four) at just $19.99 that includes four skewers of kabob (beef and chicken), tomatoes, pita bread, hummus, yogurt, rice, large Greek salad and baklava for dessert. Jumbo plates range from $8.45 to $10.45 and lunch specials range from $4.95 to $7.95 for complete meals.

Jasmin Thai BBQ
26879 Bouquet Canyon Road
Saugus, CA 91350
(661) 297-4755  
It's been six years since Jasmine Thai BBQ opened its doors in Saugus and not much has changed. That's a good thing. It still has some of the tastiest Thai food in town. Service is quiet and unobtrusive, but effective, and the dishes come out quick, though it can seem much longer when you're surrounded by the tantalizing smells wafting out from the kitchen's open window.

Margaritas Mexican Grill
23320 Valencia Blvd.
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 255-1136  
Co-owner Maria Acevedo said that the restaurant business has always been a large part of the lives of both she and her husband Jose, and that her style of cooking is more "home cooking," with influences from Baja and Guadalajara. Whatever the influences, the result is delicious.

Maria's Deli
22620 Lyons Ave.
Newhall, CA 91321
(661) 259-6261
Offerings include pizza (whole or by the slice, deep dish, pan, or thin crust), submarine sandwiches, pasta, grilled sandwiches, salads, soups and pastry. All of it is offered at very reasonable price and all of it begins with the best ingredients.

New Moon
28281 Newhall Ranch Road
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 257-4321  
New Moon describes its food as "contemporary Chinese cuisine." However, owner and operating partner Colin Tom points out that his offerings are really traditional Chinese dishes cooked with modern touches, such as using lighter oils and less sodium.

Oaks Grille at TPC
26550 Heritage View Lane
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 288-1995  
Foodies looking for something beyond the ordinary should make their way to The Oaks Grille at the TPC. The hardest part is deciding what to order from the extensive menu. Cornish game hen, chipotle-honey glazed salmon, grilled rib-eye steak, ostrich loin and more.

Persia Restaurant
26877 Bouquet Canyon Road
Saugus, CA 91350
(661) 513-0077  
The next time you're considering eating out (or takeout or delivery) and you're running through your food ethnicities - Chinese, Italian, Mexican, etc. - you should definitely consider Persian. That's right, Persian. In fact, you might even put it at the head of your list. The food at Persia Restaurant is that good.

Salt Creek Grille
24415 Town Center Drive
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 222-999  
Salt Creek Grille has been one of the SCV's most popular restaurants for years, and regularly updated menu items combined with customer service keep it that way. The widely varied offerings could be described as gourmet dining at modest prices.

StoneFire Grill
23300 Cinema Drive, #101
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 799-8282  
Always popular for its beef and chicken barbecue-style delights, StoneFire Grill also offers a new Healthy Alternatives menu.

The Tea Gardens
26111 Bouquet Canyon Road
Saugus, CA 91350
(661) 255-9832  
The Tea Gardens is all about tea, offering more than 70 varieties of the highest grade teas from around the globe. Enjoy a hot pot of tea, a carafe of freshly brewed iced tea, take one of the brews to go or even brew it yourself and buy loose leaf tea. The Tea Gardens bakes a variety of pastries and desserts and offers freshly made sandwiches, paninis and salads.

Thelma's Morning Café
22876 Copper Hill Drive
Saugus, CA 91350
(661) 263-8283
Owned by Thelma and Luis Diaz the restaurant is celebrating its third year in the Santa Clarita Valley. Food is the star at this modest, but delightful eatery. It is not surprising, given Luis Diaz' pedigree, that from presentation to taste, the food is among the best in the SCV. Diaz, with more than 25 years of fine dining experience, served as the executive chef at Chinois on Main in Santa Monica for 10 years. Chinois on Main was among the most noted of Wolfgang Puck's restaurants.

Tri Tipps
27350 Newhall Ranch Road
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 295-5536
As the name implies, Tri Tipps is all about the tri-tip roast, served in many and varied delicious ways. And the restaurant has become an SCV favorite. Tri Tipps offers appetizers, sandwiches, Mexican specialties, salads and meals, and you can substitute grilled chicken for tri-tip on any item.

Wolf Creek Restaurant
and Brewing Company
27746 McBean Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 263-9653  
Another SCV favorite is Wolf Creek, as popular for its food as its beer. Additions to the menu only enhance this, including the Vaquero Steak Sandwich, Bistro Salad and Caprese Sandwich.



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