Restaurant Review #250: Howie's Grill & Bar, Simi Valley

Grilled Portobello Mushroom - $10.95
Howie's opened in January 2011 on the corner of Cochran and Madera, a location that's very convenient to the freeway if you happen to be at the far west end of Simi Valley just before you get to Moorpark. Howie's occupies a former Applebees, and the dining room hasn't changed much. The cuisine is also somewhat similar--what I'd call suburban American--but with just enough creativity to capture your interest. The beer selections are also slightly less boring than usual.

Meat is a major feature on the menu, but they also have a portobello mushroom cap, grilled and served with swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and a balsamic glaze, that was enormous (I only ate half) and delicious. As for the side of sweet potato fries, I'll take them over regular fries anyway, but these fries weren't really seasoned and didn't taste as good as any frozen grocery store sweet potato fries--not worth the deep-fried calories at all.

Skillet Mac ‘n’ Cheese - $6.95
We're very picky about mac and cheese because we have a homemade recipe that we're very fond of. Howie's kicked up mac ‘n’ cheese with 4 kinds of cheese, topped with a jalapeƱo bacon, panko, and parmesan crust sounded very promising and looked delicious, but didn't have as much flavor as you'd expect. I started to suspect that our cook was too careful with the salt.

Kobe Beef Sliders - $9.95
I know what Tony Bourdain says about kobe burgers duping the masses out of their hard-earned money for what are essentially ordinary burgers, but I love them anyway. Howie's3 mini kobe burgers topped with cheddar cheese and sweet caramelized onions were the highlight of the meal. Please don't tell me how many calories are in these things--you can see the fat glistening even on the buns.

BBQ Bacon Burger - $10.95

The bbq bacon burger is a basic burger with applewood smoked bacon, bbq sauce, and your choice of jack, swiss or cheddar cheese. It was as good as any restaurant burger and served horror-movie style with a giant knife plunged into the center.

Chocolate Fudge Cake - $6.45 plus $3.95 for ice cream

As if we weren't already so stuffed that we needed to be rolled out of the restaurant, we splurged on dessert. There was no way I was missing the chance to try a dessert that combines two of my favorite things--beer and ice cream. We paired the ice cream with a side of chocolate cake. The cake was pretty much what you'd expect it to be, but the Drunken Udder Guinness chocolate stout ice cream was a disappointment. I couldn't taste the stout at all. The ice cream is expensive, too--$3.95 for an a la mode scoop, and even more if you order it alone.  But with the exception of the ice cream, the prices are very reasonable, especially for the portions you get.

Nice view from a booth by the window
Howie's has a patio, but it's somewhat noisy since it's adjacent to a busy street and not far from the freeway. Still, it's nice to have the option to dine outdoors. We enjoyed our window booth with a nice view of the surrounding mountains and Simi Valley's immaculate landscaping.

For the most part, I liked my meal a lot. I haven't been back, but that has less to do with Howie's and more to do with my aversion to eating enormous, heavy meals.

Howie's Grill and Bar
109 West Cochran Street
Simi Valley, CA 93065
(805) 520-3000
Open daily 9am-11pm
Howie's website
Howie's menu

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious!