Road Trip 2017 #4 – Saddle Ranch

Normally I would not bother even mentioning the food we ate on our vacation let alone devoting a brief blog post to it.  For us, when travelling, food is really merely fuel.  We jam pack so much into every day that there is no spare time to make an event out of a meal.  We also try to be thrifty by eating simply and by eating “at home” when we have access to kitchen facilities.  However, sometimes a dining experience is worth mentioning and we had one such experience in LA.

Guided by Mr Pict’s cousin, after spending most of the day at the La Brea Tar Pits and with all five of the kids getting “hangry”, we headed to Saddle Ranch Chop House.  The best way I can think to describe it is a themed gastro pub and its chosen theme is the Wild West.  As such, there were verandas on the building’s exterior filled with models of saloon dwelling ladies, a model of a bull to greet us at the threshold, and a mechanical bucking bull in the dining area.  It turned out to be an ideal choice of dining venue because it was not only spacious enough to easily and immediately accommodate our party of nine but it was also relaxed and informal enough to deal with the fact that five of those nine were kids.

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L and I treated ourselves to cocktails and mine turned out to be served in something that could have been described as a vase.  It was not remotely the scale I was expecting but I was not complaining.  It was delicious.  I also ordered a salad that turned out to be so vast that I could not finish it despite it being my only meal of the day.  Everyone else had colossal portions too and we ended up taking home several boxes of food to serve as meals for another day.  The food was all perfectly cooked, very tasty, and served in a timely fashion and with a smile.

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Main courses complete (to the degree that we could eat them), the kids were surprised by an order of candy floss (cotton candy) to share.  This was not an ordinary candy floss, however.  Oh no.  This was a candy floss that stood three feet tall.  It was cherry flavoured and the kids thought it was the best candy floss ever.  But that was not all.  The waiters then surprised us by giving the kids not one but two complimentary platters of ingredients for making s’mores.  The kids’ eyes were on stalks and they were giddy with excitement.

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We relocated to the patio area of the restaurant where there was a fire burning in a pit.  While the grown ups chilled in the sun, the kids got busy creating sweet and sticky concoctions on sticks.  They didn’t just stick to making traditional s’mores and instead invented things like marshmallow sushi and candy floss mustaches.  They had an absolute whale of a time and ended up in a gooey, sticky mess at the end.  They were also very fizzy so we decided to harness that sugar-fueled energy and move on to the next activity of the day.

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