Thanksgiving weekend was the perfect time to check out Evil Olive Elixir Lounge, the new bar/diner that just opened on Thousand Oaks and Jones Maltsberger. Although Evil Olive occupies the former site of Jack’s Patio Bar, the interior has been completely redone and is markedly spacious. Doors officially opened on the ever-popular bar night of Thanksgiving Eve, and word had gotten around by the time we dropped in on Friday.
A quick glance at the nightly specials revealed that drinks are cheap. A different liquor is on special each night of the week, while beer in the $2-$2.50 range is more than reasonable. The smoke-free environs are sleek without being pretentious, and the laid-back vibe beckons to a mixed crowd. Owner Rick Mueller said he hopes to add live music to the mix sometime down the road.
And then there’s the food. Located inside Evil Olive is Phil’s Texas Diner, which serves true Texas BBQ, a variety of diner food, and several desserts made from scratch (including fried bananas!). The diner stays open until the drinks stop flowing, so boozehounds can order food until 2 a.m.
If Phil’s Texas Diner sounds a bit familiar, it’s probably because it is. Have a hazy memory of eating kick-ass brisket tacos and fried mac and cheese outside Oasis Lounge? In preparation of Evil Olive’s launch, Phil’s was serving BBQ staples from a mobile food trailer in the Bitters strip center to get the word out.
The BBQ Sandwich is nicknamed the Phil — I can personally sing its praises — and BBQ Tacos are a steal at 2 for $3.50. Either can be made with brisket, chicken, pulled pork, or sausage. BBQ Nachos have also been a top seller, as have the hot wings, which are smoked and then fried.
The menus will probably be tweaked as both bar and diner settle into their new digs, but I want to let people know they’re open for business! Address is 2950 Thousand Oaks #5. Look for their distinct sign, photographed above.
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