Celebrating my son’s birthday weekend called for new adventures. Lunch was at Old Town Junction in a newly developing renovation in Newhall called Old Town. We began with a tangy Bloody Mary and some delicious fresh pastries. Then our table was covered with Chicken and Waffles, Avocado Toast, Short Rib Benedict, Bacon and Eggs and Fresh Fruit. The Chicken and Waffles was declared the best Jeff has ever had – sorry AOC. Short Rib Benedict was quite flavorful according to my brother and my Avocado Toast good but a little overwhelming. It was piled so high I had to take it apart to experience all the flavors – sliced  heirloom tomatoes, thick bacon, sliced avocado on some very tasty thick toast.

Then we walked around Old Town – huge candy store, the local library, then the walk of fame. This area is where western movies were filmed in the 40s and 50s. There were markers for Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Gary Cooper, Monty Montana, Steve McQueen and others that only those of us who are older than 60 would recognize.

Then there was a brief stop at Honu Coffee (Hawaiian for “turtle”) and one of the best chai lattes I have ever tasted. As a side note, Honu serves Kean Coffee. We even saw the original Batmobile driving down Main Street.  Also, somewhere in town there was filming was going on.

Then, it was home to recuperate from lunch while we waited for our dinner reservations. This was the only disappointing part of our day! Le Chene is a French restaurant in Santa Clarita with good reviews. It was 14 miles away, but we thought worth the drive. The interior was modest and not very inviting. An interesting feature were several trees growing through the floor in the dining areas, trunks covered with white lights.

We started with Escargot (my brother was wary but a good sport and tried it). However, there was too much garlic and one shell was empty. The menu was on a large blackboard and quite extensive. It included many French specialties. The spinach salad was excellent. It contained fresh pear chunks and sliced olives. The sweet/tart combination worked well. The European Sea Bass Almondine entrees were just OK. My Halibut Meuniere was dry and flavorless, no sign of any sauce. The Seafood Pasta had no color and the surrounding pasta was the most hideous shade of green. The saving grace was dessert. Crème Caramel and a chocolate concoction with ice cream and meringue, though pretty sweet were delicious. Mickey’s was rhe best.

When I didn’t asked for a to-go container, the bus boy told the manager. He wanted to know if there was something wrong with my meal. I told him why I couldn’t finish it, he apologized profusely and took it off the bill. Service was good and all wait staff very attentive.


The Other Thing – Overall, it was an enjoyable day. It is really not always about the food – it’s about being with family.