Surprisingly Good Meal in Nordstroms
I just came back from a decent lunch at the Blue Stove in the Oaks mall in Thousand Oaks. Food is served as small plates to share, and the cuisine is nouveau American/Californian, with a small but well-rounded menu. Some produce is organic, and many of their dishes are vegetable-based, but there are carnivorous options available.
To start they came with a decent bread, with a fruity and fragrant olive oil for dipping. My friend and I had a chopped vegetable salad, which was fresh and crunchy, dressed lightly with a sherry vinaigrette. We split the lemon-scented risotto with scallops and haricot vert. The scallops were well-cooked and sweet, the risotto creamy but not without a subtle tooth. Haricot vert were firm, but slightly scorched. Then we had the lime-cilantro chicken tacos. Really, there could have been more cilantro, but the tiny fried tortilla shells were crisp and flavorful, and the chicken was very tasty. These were topped with shredded lettuce, raw veggies, and a sprinkling of queso fresco. Finally, for dessert, we split the molten chocolate cake with a raspberry liqueur filling, topped with a very nice whipped cream.
We were both satisfied with our meal, and with the decor; it had a relaxed, lounge vibe, and unlike other places in the mall was situated within the store, allowing us to escape from the passers by. Service was friendly and prompt. We'll probably go again. Much better than the Cheesecake Factory.