November 29, 2018 | Eat Drink Explore Play | Mandy Jennings

EAT:

Koja Kitchen

We recently tried a somewhat new place in Fresno, close to Woodward Park on Palm Avenue. It’s called Koja Kitchen and is a Japanese – Korean Fusion restaurant. We really liked and would definitely recommend it! Their tag line is “It’s Like a Burger, But Better.” We were skeptical because how can anything be better than a burger, but we decided to order “The Original” Koja to put it to the test.

According to the menu, you chose your protein and it is served between lightly fried garlic rice buns. “The Original” Koja is served with Korean short rib, but there are many other proteins to pick from, including a vegetarian option. The Koja did not disappoint! I wouldn’t say it is better than a burger, but it was delicious in its own right! I will definitely order again. The meat was perfectly tender and the Korean sauce was to die for. The rice “buns” added a nice crunch and garlic flavor and the whole thing was great.

Koja Kitchen

The other item we ordered was the Kamikaze Fries. Justin and I did not agree about these. I thought they were great and were a perfect match for the Koja, but Justin thought they were just fries with mayo and siracha.

We both agreed that the bowl would be the perfect item to order when we go back. That way you get the Korean short rib, the rice (but not too much) and all the accouterments. The salads, tacos, soups and wings all look really good too. Since the flavor was so good on what we ordered, we will definitely be back to try them all!

DRINK:

Gazebo Gardens


Are you in Austin or in Fresno? You would never know the difference once you step foot in Gazebo Gardens. This is a great outdoor venue/restaurant/bar/nursery all in one and the perfect way to spend a warm fall evening. With the line-up of food trucks and music rotating every weekend – there is something for everyone!

The bar has TONS of craft beer to choose from and the food trucks are glorious! Our favorite was the Meltdown Bistro which served up the best sandwich we have ever had.

To top off this great place – there is live music and you can bring your dog! This is hands down one of my favorite spots in Fresno and I can’t wait to go back.

EXPLORE:

Yosemite National Park

This goes without staying, but Yosemite National Park is awesome and SO CLOSE. There is no excuse but to explore this area even if just for the day. We went in October and there were some PROS and one major CON.

PROS: Not crowded AT ALL, the changing leave and the fall colors were BEAUTIFUL and the weather was perfect – not to cold and not too hot.

CON: some of the waterfalls had no running water.

Lower Yosemite Falls

Even though some of the main attractions are the waterfalls, I think I would still go back in the fall. It was quiet and pretty and it almost felt like we had the run of it and could go wherever with out being bothered.

We only stayed for the day and went on a couple hikes including the lower Yosemite Falls Trail, Mirror Lake, and Bridalveil Fall on our way out.   We stayed the night in Bass Lake which was so close and easy to get to from Yosemite. 

PLAY:

Cat Haven

Have you been to Cat Haven in Dunlap about 45 minutes from Fresno lately? This awesome cat sanctuary was founded in 1993 with the purchase of 100 scenic acres just west of King’s Canyon National Park. They have guided tours of some of the rarest cats in the world while you enjoy panoramic views across the foothills of the Shannon Valley. You should plan to spend about an hour and a half at the Cat Haven. Some of the cats include:

Bobcats, Tigers, Serval, Cheetahs, Lynx, Jaguars , Leopards, Jaguarundi, Clouded Leopards, Snow Leopards, and Lions!

Winter Hours

October 1st – April 30th

10:00am – 4:00pm

** The last tour of the day leaves at 3:00pm. If you arrive after 3:00pm, you will not be able to see the cats that day.

Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and some holidays (always check the website before you go).

The admission prices are really fair for a fun day out with the family:

Adults: $15.00 Children: 4-12 $10.00 Seniors: age 62 and over $12.00

There are also a bunch of ways to get involved with Cat Haven, from volunteering and internship opportunities to donations and even adopting a cat. They take protecting wildlife seriously, so if you are inclined to help, this is a great organization!

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