Mortgage and Lending with Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA

For most of my life, having a New Years Eve birthday has been a blast.  As a child, my birthday was often an after thought because of coming so quickly after Christmas.  However, once I became an adult, I finally realized the benefits of my birthday - there were always parties to go to on my birthday. 

For many years, I never lacked for a celebration on my birthday.  Furthermore, my friends would often make sure that my birthday was part of the celebration.  For most of my birthdays, I would often leave town on vacation to celebrate my birthday, mostly ski resorts all over the U.S. and Canada.  However, I spent quite a few of my birthdays in places like Vegas, New York or the California wine country. 

Now that I'm old, quiet and less crowded celebrations have become more and more appealing to me.  This year, hubby and I spent a quiet New Years Eve here in town with a just a nice birthday dinner at one of my favorite local restaurants.


The Elephant Bar is by far one of Simi Valley's best restaurants.  With a tropical décor and a bit of African adventure with animal print flooring and seating and wild animal paintings on the walls and animal structures too, the feel is a bit like a jungle setting with dark teak furnishings too. 



The menu offers dishes from all over the world and it's always a challenge trying to pick something to order because so much sound so delicious and there's always something new I haven't tried before. 


Hubby and I started our dinner off with a nice bottle of Penfolds Syrah, which is a big favorite of ours.  As far as Australian wines go, you can't go wrong with a Penfolds.  We also ordered the artichoke dip because it's often been a favorite of ours. 

While I often like to have my artichoke dip to have a little firmer consistency, hubby likes this creamier version and I really enjoy the chunks of artichokes.  Mmmmm.....



We then moved on to the citrus salad that has a mixture of different lettuce and veggies as well as apples, dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, caramelized walnuts and gorgonzola cheese crumbles with a honey citrus dressing accompanied with toasted garlic bread.  Mmmmmm.....



Then came our dinner with my Moroccan chicken breast rubbed with some of Morocco's best spices and topped with a tomato and orange chutney served with raisin spiked couscous and sautéed spinach.  Hubby had the shrimp adventure coconut fried shrimp, teriyaki glazed shrimp and hand-breaded fried shrimp served with white rice and sweet and spicy dipping sauce.  Mmmmmm.....



We finished off the meal with a birthday cupcake (thank God they didn't do the whole singing thing) that was a red velvet cupcake with cookie crumpled topping and a rich chocolate sauce.



It was a nice evening, maybe not as quiet as I was expecting (lots of revelers and partyers in the bar) but hubby and I got home just in time to watch the Rockin New Years Eve party on tv and we rang in the new year together.  Hope everyone had a safe and sane New Years Eve too. 

Posted by



 Donne Knudsen

Realtor® - CalState Realty Services

DRE#: 01364050 / NMLS#: 249822 




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Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Just stopping by to say "Happy Birthday!"  What a blast to have it New Year's eve.

Jan 01, 2011 11:31 AM #1
Trisha Bush-LeFore
Preferred Properties Land & Homes - Walla Walla, WA
Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area

Happy Birthday and Happy New Year. . .Wishing you the best for 2011!

Jan 01, 2011 11:33 AM #2
Mel Wagner
Knipe Realty - Salem, OR
Principal Broker/Agent Salem Oregon Real Estate

Happy Birthday!  The Elephant Bar sounds like the peferct place to celebrate.  The food looks delicious!

Jan 01, 2011 11:38 AM #3
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Donne~  Happy Birthday New Year's Baby!  Your meal looked and sounded great, especially your huband's coconut shrimp!

Jan 01, 2011 11:43 AM #4
Larry O'Sullivan
Sandy, UT

Donne - us Capricorns (me on 12/27) get our year's partying over in a rush. It appears that you had a blast. Happy Birthday, Happy New Year, and lots of other Happys.

Jan 01, 2011 11:45 AM #5
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Hi everyone - thx for all the birthday wishes; I appreciate it.  Hubby and I had a nice time and the food was scrumptious.  The Elephant Bar is a fave place for hubby and I and we love going there.

Jan 01, 2011 11:54 AM #6
Ellie Penaranda
239.776.5077 Downing-Frye Realty - Naples, FL
Naples Florida Real Estate - Waterfront & Beach Co

Donne, Happy Birthday... sounds like you picked the right restaurant to celebrate... I have a recipe and enjoy Moroccan chicken myself too.  And understand fully what you mean by having your birthday celebrated by the whole world :) mine is on the 4th of July.  Happy New Year.

Jan 01, 2011 12:02 PM #7
Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Realty Works Temecula


Jan 01, 2011 12:13 PM #8
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Ellie - The 4th of July!  WOW!!!  The same birthday as the country, now that's a birthday celebration.

Jane - Thx for te toast. 


Jan 01, 2011 12:16 PM #9
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Happy Birthday.  Sounds like a lot of run - the food looks great.  I love the red velvet cupcake - my fave.

Jan 01, 2011 12:17 PM #10
Rodney Mason
On Q Financial - Atlanta, GA
FHA 203(k) & HomeStyle Renovation-AL,FL,GA,TN

Sounds like you had a great birthday.  With all of the parties as festivities last night, I bet you did feel special.  My birthday is later this month, so I know what you mean about it being an after thought sometimes. 

Happy Birthday and Happy New Years!!!!

Jan 01, 2011 12:21 PM #11
Rita Fong
RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 - Marion, AR
Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale

Happy Birthday, Donne.  You make me drooling just by reading those delicious food that you ordered.  I believe you had a fantastic time on your birthday last night!  Happy New Year to you! 

Jan 01, 2011 12:31 PM #12
Cynthia Larsen
Safe Haven Realty - Cotati, CA
Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA

Donne - I'm full just looking at all of that wonderful food. The Moroccan Chicken looks fabulous. Happy Birthday too, I had no idea!

Jan 01, 2011 01:18 PM #13
Kirsten Mellinger
Emerald Funding & Realty - Simi Valley, CA
Ventura County Real Estate

Happy Birthday!!!  I too love that deadly artichoke dip!  Wishing you a wonderful 2011!

Jan 01, 2011 02:33 PM #14
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

Cool. Happy Birthday & A Happy New Year Donne

Happy Birthday & A Happy New Year Donne

Jan 01, 2011 04:37 PM #15
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Happy Birthday Donne - Those are some beautiful pictures. How great to have your pick of all that's going on around town. This year, on my birthday, there's a local fundraiser dinner dance taking place and I told my husband I wanted to go. I don't get too many opportunities to eat and dance. Why not take advantage?

Jan 02, 2011 02:18 AM #16
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Debbie - The cupcake was delicious; it had been awhile since I have had red velvet cake.

Rodney - Thx for the b-day wishes.  :)  Hope you have a nice b-day too.

Rita - Dinner was wonderful but then I've never had a bad meal at the Elephant Bar.  They're known for their incredible food.

Cynthia - The Morrocan chicken is a new dish I had never had and I was not disappointed.  Hubby and I were so stuffed when we left.

Kirsten - The artichoke dip is good; I love the chunks of artichokes.

Thx for stopping by folks and wishing me a nice b-day.  Have a good New Year everyone.  :)

Jan 02, 2011 07:16 AM #17
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Denise - Thank you so much for te b-day balloons. How sweet; I love them!

Jill - There is always so much going on for my b-day and I love how I get to pick and choose what I want to do.  These days though, a nice dinner with hubby is wonderful.

Thx for the b-day wishes ladies and I hope you have a happy New Year too.

Jan 02, 2011 07:19 AM #18
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Don't know how I let THIS holiday slip by me.  Happy belated birthday Donne.  A nice dinner with your hubby is still a bang for the buck.

Jan 03, 2011 05:22 AM #19
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Charita - Hubby and I had a blast just the two of us.  I find the older I get the more I crave low-key b-days.

Jan 03, 2011 03:49 PM #20
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