Sometimes you get something for nothing and most of the time, it’s not worth anything. But sometimes you get something for nothing that’s really worth something! Like the other night, I got a free dinner and it was worth $26 bucks! For a single gal such as myself who reviews dishes and is on a budget, that was a great wallet-saver, and the only thing I had to do was sit at the bar and talk to a drunk guy for a couple of hours! I know, I know, it’s hard for me to believe too, but it’s true: I’m still single. I have no idea why either because I’m such a fantastic catch! I mean, I’m clever, stunning, and I only have two cats.
Maybe it’s because I outlast every man out there. I mean, how else do you think I got the free dinner? I outlasted the poor bastard just by sitting next to him. I would’ve outdrank him too if he wasn’t such a big, fat lush, and I’m not. But we just sat there talking and he did the drinking and his words got more and more slurred as the night went on, and that only means one thing… okay, two things: free dinner, or an eventual fall off of the stool. Either way it’s a win-win! But he didn’t fall off his stool. Instead, he ordered another drink and offered to pay my bill!
It all started when I decided to finally hoof it over to Mediterraneo in Westlake Village for happy hour. You know how my wallet loves happy hour and I’ve been meaning to check theirs out for the longest time since they have Prince Edward Island mussels on their menu, and I looove Prince Edward Island mussels since I think they’re the best! But their mussels aren’t on the happy hour menu, which means I wouldn’t get a price break, which is the reason it took me a while to make it over there to try them in the first place. I knew that since they don’t post their prices on their online menu, it meant that it was going be pricey but Jeez, the dish is a whopping fifteen bucks, ouch!
So they bring out the mussels in this adorable (read: small) cast iron pot, and after they set the dish down in front of you, they dramatically lift the lid off for presentation, which is a nice touch but frankly, I’d rather they take a few bucks off the price and let me lift the friggin’ lid off myself. The fragrance of salty ocean, white wine and garlic wafted up into my nostrils and I immediately picked up a shell, took the sweet, tender meat out with the tiny shell fork and popped it into my mouth! It was as delicious as I knew it would be! The mussels were cooked perfectly and there wasn’t a bad one in the bunch, which was good because I wouldn’t want to pay fifteen bucks and end up with some bad shells. I also remembered to ask them to go easy on the garlic, which was smart because there were large pieces of the stuff floating in the broth at the bottom of the pot. The only drawback about this dish (besides the price), is that they add something spicy to the broth, which isn’t mentioned on the menu. It would be way better without the heat because I felt it competed with the delicate sweetness of the mussels.
But that wasn’t the only dish that I ended up loving, even though that’s what I went there for. I also ordered Arancini from their happy hour menu because I love Arancini and they were only five bucks and I figured, what’s another five bucks? Arancini, which means “little orange” in Italian, are rice balls filled with some sort of yummy filling like meat sauce, peas or cheese, rolled in bread crumbs, and fried. These were filled with creamy mozzarella so when I cut into them with my fork, it melted out into the sweet tomato sauce that lined the plate. The outer part of the Arancini were crispy and golden and the inner part, tender with fat grains of rice and creamy, melty cheese.
Now if they would only leave out the spicy in the mussels and drop their price to say, eleven bucks, then this would be perfect! Either that, or make sure there are plenty of drunk guys sitting at the bar.
32037 Agoura Rd.
Westlake Village, CA