Located in Encino, this restaurant isn’t noticeable off the main drag. It’s off a side street and set back from the entrance as their valet-only parking lot is the first thing you see. Walking through the lot and into the building you’ll be transported a world away. The interior is open and fairly dark. There’s a small patio area just past the bar and a much larger one across the bar, both facing a small man-made lake (that’s more like a big pond) with plenty of ducks swimming around.
I came here for a small family gathering — an intimate wedding reception on their smaller patio. The service was very friendly but there were some hiccups along the way — there was a miscommunication as to how appetizers would be offered and served and some dishes weren’t cleared in a timely manner. Otherwise, they did a great job of setting things up, fulfilling requests, and not rushing our party.
The food, while not groundbreaking or trendsetting, was pretty good. For appetizers, the crab cakes used minimal filler to bind an otherwise meaty dish; skewers of Kurobuta pork were savory, tender morsels full of smokiness with hints of heat; and spicy shrimp, while lacking heat, paired nicely with mango salsa atop crispy baguettes. The endive salad, considerably less noteworthy than the previous dishes, was too bitter and dry and lacked dressing to counterbalance the taste. For an entree, the 8oz. New York strip was lean and well seasoned. A red wine balsamic reduction added some vibrancy to it while onion rings, asparagus and carrots rounded out the dish.
The solid American fare along with the accommodating staff made this a great experience for our family that won’t soon be forgotten.
16817 Ventura Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 91436