As an international and domestic blogger, I constantly take clients and partners out for meals because I know discussions and decisions happen over the table.
I find myself traveling to Woodland Hills and other parts of the San Fernando Valley more frequently in the past few months, as many of my dance rehearsals or meetings are in the area. Even after living in LA since 2002, I still don’t know much about the Valley or canyons.
Whether it’s my guests’ first time in Los Angeles or they want a trusted comfort meal from a name they recognize, BJs Woodland Hills is a new place for my girl boss meetups.
When I’m hosting clients, partners and guests, I’m often asked, “what do you recommend?” or “what’s good?”, and I like to to take them to a location that has a mix of different savory flavors to try. I tend to lean towards spicy food, but I know that a small percentage of people like or can digest food as hot as I like it, so I look for different flavors and textures that everyone can enjoy.
I’m also asked about are classic American flavors-with clients from the UK, Latin America, and Europe-because American food isn’t recreated in those areas well and many clients are curious about our guilty pleasures. (Uniquely American foods that are a huge hit with international clients are nachos and hot wings).
Appetizers are perfect samplers because of their bite size portions! They also work well for midday or early happy hours meals, try:
Loaded Nacho with Tri Tip: Crispy corn tortilla chips with housemade Sriracha queso, melted Jack & Cheddar cheese. Topped with housemade fresh guacamole, fire roasted salsa and pico de gallo, sour cream and jalapenos
Best Beginnings Appetizer Combo: Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Mozzarella Sticks, Avocado Eggrolls, and Boneless Wings (I tried the Sriracha and Root Beer glaze for the wings)
I stopped having an interest in sports since I quit working my bartending job 10+ years ago, but when I have clients from certain cities that want to check the scores on their favorite hometown teams (and even share their some bragging rights) then bar side beers, ribs and burgers are a hit.
In LA, whether clients and partners are visiting or they relocated here, they want a taste of their hometown. Having an option to check in with their favorite teams in a comfortable setting is often a great ice breaker and relationship builder.
Bistro Burger ~ Fire grilled beef patty with apple wood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, fresh sweet tomatoes, spinach, pickled red onions, topped with goat cheese crumbles with roasted garlic aioli served on a Parker House bun with fries
I’ve been on a weight loss journey for the past two months (loving my results so far!) With my plan I have some flexibility, so I decided to make this meal at BJs a cheat day.
Cheat days are supposed to eliminate the guilt and cravings from dieting, but when the sluggishness and bloating kicks in from over indulging, the guilt isn’t gone, it’s multiplied.
But BJs had an enlightened menu to help me through this cheat day, while I still like to sneak in a few fries or nacho bites, a lightweight kale salad or zucchini “zoodle pasta” is gluten free, low carb, and packed with protein to stay on my plan.
Blackened Chicken Zucchini: Blackened chicken breast, zucchini noodles, red onions, fire roasted red peppers with a creamy Alfredo and San Marzano marinara sauce, sprinkled with green onions and Parmesan cheese
Good people often know more good people, and this makes you want to join their circles, meet their friends and follow them to their favorite places.
But when you’re in a leadership role, when you treat someone to a meal, the service they experience matters. No matter where you take your guests, the location service reflects you and your choices.
Whether you ask your server to take pictures, or what is gluten free or diet friendly, you want the friendliest staff around your guests to make them feel welcome. In Woodland Hills, service was pleasant, patient and prompt, and yes, the servers took tons of pictures for me.
I’m a believer that meals with friends are the best moments, and as a girl boss, you will spend a huge amount of time building relationships. The next time you need a a place to dine with your clients, make BJs at Woodland Hills as your next stop!
(And the Woodland Hills location has great spots to take pictures for the Gram too, in case you dine with other Creatives too).
This post is sponsored by BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse in Woodland Hills, CA, which provided complimentary food in exchange for media content.
All opinions expressed are my own.