New Year’s Eve with Señor Fred

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Location: 13730 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks

With the Christmas season and our Carmel getaway behind me, one last important celebratory holiday milestone to go – New Year’s Eve. My boyfriend and I decided to keep it very low key this year, with an intimate dinner at Señor Fred Restaurant in Sherman Oaks; followed by a casual movie night at home with a Martinelli’s Apple Cider toast at midnight.

Señor Fred offers a perfect dark sexy ambiance, balanced with delectable Mexican cuisine. Since it was New Year’s Eve, the expectation was that every restaurant in town was going to be pretty packed. God bless Open Table! We put in for an 8:00pm reservation and when I called the restaurant to check to see if they were only serving a prix-fixe menu or if patrons could order from the regular menu as well, I was less than enthused by the guy who answered the phone. He wasn’t rude exactly, but told me that he thought he had blocked off all Open Table reservations during the 8 o’clock hour, so that people entering after 9:00pm would be charged the $10 cover for the night.

I almost wanted to cancel my reservation altogether when he told me that as long as we were done between 9:30pm-10:00pm it should be fine. While this seemed like plenty of time to finish our meal, the fact that he even communicated a time limit made me nervous. The idea of being rushed to accommodate the fact that he screwed up with the reservation system should not have even come up in the conversation.  Bottom line: that was between him, Señor Fred, and Opentable.com.

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{Margarita selection.}

While Señor Fred certainly didn’t make the best first impression, or second for that matter when there was a slight mix-up in where to seat us, by the third impression – once the chips and guacamole came out, Señor Fred had begun to redeem himself. From there, the night went flawlessly (minus some service issues from a seemingly distracted, but pleasant waiter).

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{Chips and guacamole. Divine.}

I went with the Grilled Salmon infused with Mexican flair served in a roasted chile cilantro sauce, over sweet corn, shrimp picadillos and mashed potatoes. For dessert, I splurged on the Chanpurrado con Churros (translation: churros served with Mexican Hot Chocolate). Fabulous! 🙂

Needless to say, this gal was more than impressed with the food and the ambiance for her last meal of 2012; but service, service, service always brings the dining experience to absolute perfection. Senor Fred can cook, but he seriously needs some help on his people skills.

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{Dinner: Grilled Salmon.}

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{Dessert: Mexican Hot Chocolate and Churros.}

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{Back at home – N.Y.E. toast.}

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Happy 2013!

It’s Monday, January 7th and for me this means back to life, back to reality, back to work. It also means 16 days to catch you up on since my last post right before a much needed winter vacation from reality and work! And I’ve got to tell you, A LOT can happen in 16 days: a mini road trip to Northern California for the holidays, a day in San Francisco getting to know the real Walt Disney, Christmas in Santa Cruz with my boyfriend’s family, a surprise trip to Carmel, good food, good company, A LOT of eating, A LOT of movie watching, and A LOT of time reflecting and resetting for a new year.

Despite the happiness, then bumpiness, chaos, and missing cheer that came with this past Holiday season; I have to say, the magic of the Holidays as we got closer and closer to Christmas turned things around in an instant and the spirit of the season made for a very memorable and happy ending to 2012.

So sit back, relax, and take a short journey with me as I relive (okay, catch up because I’m seriously behind) on blog posts sharing all of the fond moments over the last 2 weeks and to wrap up a very challenging, but life changing year. The good news is those Mayans couldn’t have been more wrong and we made it to an uncharted 2013 calendar year.

Here’s to the year I’m believing that dreams come true. The year I turn the big 3-0. (Luckily, I still have quite a few months more to adjust and absorb this unbelievable fact!) And the year that All That Glitters, will be more luminous than ever. I can’t wait to see what happens!

Happy 2013! Cheers! 🙂

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{How I rang in 2013 – with a glass of Martinelli’s Apple Grape Sparkling Cider!}