One of my favorite places to grab a bite of food and have a decent glass of wine is TOI Tapas Bar in Thousand Oaks and I like to go there for only one thing. Okay, two things: potato nuggets and a glass of wine. At happy hour, you can get their fried potatoes with garlic aioli and harissa for a mere $3.50. They’re little golden fried chunks of heaven! I like to get the sauces on the side so I can dip them in one by one and get lots of sauce on each bite. Hey, I happen to like adding grease to a fried food, even if my stomach doesn’t. We just haven’t come to an understanding yet, my stomach and I. It thinks I shouldn’t put mayonnaise on a fried potato but I happen to think it’s the most natural thing on the planet. The way I see it is, if you wash those golden, aioli covered nuggets down with a fine glass of wine, you’re counteracting any bad choices. Either that, or you’re making two bad choices. But anyway, to go with it, I had a glass of the Opolo Pinot Gris (that isn’t pronounced like grease) which is a crisp white with a hint of floral and honey notes that paired perfectly with my dish.
For those of you who don’t know this, TOI stands for Thousand Oaks Inn, which is what the motel attached to the restaurant is called. It used to be a Howard Johnson’s (Ho Jo’s) which eventually became DuPar’s, or I should say, it became DuPar’s again, because it had been DuPar’s long before it was Ho Jo’s. But now it’s gone again. It was really great when it was here because DuPar’s had the best breakfast in town. They used real butter, not margarine, and they made the most amazing date nut bread I’ve ever had the pleasure of sinking my teeth into! It was dark and molasses-ey with chunks of chewy dates and walnuts, and you’d get three slices to an order. Plus, they would bring it out to you all warm and toasty. I liked to smear butter all over mine, if you haven’t already guessed. They still have a location in the Valley, thank goodness! Anyway, they used our local DuPar’s in the film Thelma and Louise. In the first scene, you can see Susan Sarandon as Louise working as a waitress, and she’s on the phone talking to Geena Davis as Thelma about their upcoming road trip. I had a friend that used to work there at the time and he’s in the background of that first scene. Pretty cool. I always wished I was Thelma’s character with her tall, sexy looks, naive personality and great body. Instead, I have the tough, street smarts and chutzpah of Louise’s character who’ll shoot a man right in his balls.
I guess that’s not a bad quality though, right?
TOI Tapas Bar
75 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Thousand Oaks, CA