P S 805 Crispy albacore tacos are at the top of the class at Public School 805.

My new favorite subject

Public School 805


Public School 805
120 Promenade Way
Thousand Oaks

So I went back to school last night after many years of being absent, which is ridiculous because I always thought school was a complete waste of time! But this was not your typical school, it was a whole new class of … well, class. One with food and alcohol being served, which if you ask me, are the type of subjects I really want to learn.

I took my friend Triple D to Public School 805 in Thousand Oaks to see what all the fuss was about, since this place is packed every night; and what we discovered was that if they had had this kind of class when we went to school, I’d have been in class more often. Mainly because nutrition would be put above other subjects I always hated, like spelling and math. Who the hell needs to learn crap like that when instead, you can learn that jidori chicken isn’t the name of someone’s pet, but rather, a brand of delicious chicken that gets cooked and eaten?

Public School 805 is part of the growing trend of gastropubs that are popping up in the area, where handcrafted beer and classic American dishes share the same homeroom. Of course it has a large selection of craft beers, but since I already drank more than my share of beer in high school, I decided to pass on that and focus on what was more important: the food.

The menu has a fantastic selection of dishes that beg to be shared, which is what we decided to do since there were a few things that stood out. We started off our culinary curriculum with an order of crispy albacore belly tacos, which were the highlight of the evening. Instead of tortillas, the shells are lightly fried, crispy won ton wrappers to hold the delicious filling of seared albacore belly, crunchy jicama, creamy avocado, and a drizzle of silky lemon-ginger aioli. The crunch of the crispy won ton against the rich texture of tuna belly turned out to be a spectacular combination, and I only regretted the choice to share it. Next time, I’ll get my own.

For the main dishes, my companion ordered the juicy Colorado lamb burger, which was smothered in creamy, melted brie cheese and an amazing tomato-cranberry jam, lightly scented with warm spices like cinnamon that paired perfectly with the lamb, giving it a Morroccan flair. The dish came with a side of red quinoa with sugar plum tomatoes, feta and lemon vinaigrette, which, if you have to eat healthy stuff like that, then this is the way you should do it.

I ordered the jidori brick chicken, two tender chicken breasts with perfectly seared crispy skin, and served with a white bean ragout, which consisted of blistered tomatoes, slivers of garlic and bright bits of sautéed kale that offset the creaminess of the white beans perfectly. I scooped up a bite of the bean ragout and ate it with a bite of the juicy chicken, and it was a match made in heaven.

We also wanted to try one of the delicious-sounding sides, so we chose the brown bag fries, only because the dipping sauces sounded so intriguing: a sriracha ketchup and a mustard barbecue sauce. But the fries were all short and stubby, making them difficult to dip, and when your nickname in high school was “stretch,” not “nubs,” you can imagine how difficult it’d be to eat ’em! When we mentioned the “shortcomings” to our very nice server, she took them away and brought out a fresh, hot batch, but once we got through the few bigger fries at the top, there were just more stubby fries waiting at the bottom: It was comical. Not only that, but I was looking forward to the youthful exuberance of spicy Sriracha ketchup to dance on my tongue, but instead, I got a mid-life crisis ketchup that barely lit up my taste buds. Uh, more spice please?

Most of the staff working at this trendy hotspot are good-looking HYTs (hot young things), so there’ll be plenty to gawk at while you’re eating your stubby fries. If you go and don’t like the food, which would be difficult, at least you’ll enjoy the atmosphere.

Me? I’ll definitely be returning next semester.

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Extremely bizaaaarre name for a restaurant, but your mouth-watering metaphors and clever adjectives will force me to get in my car and combust over to this culinary concern. It sounds like something special.

posted by avantisprod on 1/01/14 @ 11:39 a.m.

I love your columns Clever Girl! I'll be going back to school too, thanks to you. This place is packed ALL the time, so I'll be patient and keep my name on the waiting list. Happy New Year!

posted by VannessaVentura on 1/01/14 @ 11:40 a.m.

Very well written!!! I loved your ability to keep me reading through your use of humor. I felt as I I was right there with you. I will have to check this place out.

posted by MTHarmon on 1/01/14 @ 05:19 p.m.

Nice. I'll check it out.

posted by Frankspeare on 1/02/14 @ 11:53 a.m.

Great take on this restaurant Clever Girl. I appreciate you being so thorough in your review. You took what was to me a "mystery" and put some reality in it. Thank you so much.

posted by LoriL on 1/02/14 @ 11:59 a.m.

Great Review. Looking forward to trying this place.

posted by BenBatch on 1/02/14 @ 12:41 p.m.

Good writing - now I have to go get a lamburger!!!

posted by sberman on 1/02/14 @ 06:26 p.m.

Great article that makes me want to check out the place to eat.

posted by cmarieca on 1/02/14 @ 07:00 p.m.

I enjoyed reading this humorous and fun article. I definitely want to check out this place.

posted by UrsulaB on 1/02/14 @ 10:49 p.m.

Clever Girl to the rescue! I've been looking for a new place to try out and your great review has sold me on going to Public School. Thanks!

posted by danlacausa on 1/03/14 @ 12:53 a.m.

Never heard of it, but now I'm on quest to go back to School too! Sounds wonderful, interesting menu, and the way you describe it is so entertaining! Planning this weekend, so will let you know if I agree!!! (I never agree with movie critics, but this is FOOD!)

posted by sandylives2 on 1/03/14 @ 09:08 a.m.

funny and entertaining column - will have to check it out.

posted by moviedude on 1/04/14 @ 12:29 a.m.

Hahaha, a food review I can finally sink my teeth into. Thanks for the suggestion and the entertainment :-)

posted by Anewdawn on 1/04/14 @ 09:34 a.m.

Nice to learn and have a good time both! Fun yet informative. Goody!

posted by Malindamuller on 1/05/14 @ 06:45 p.m.

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posted by kathrynjchick on 1/14/14 @ 10:27 a.m.
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