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Tasty Tidbits: Saddle Peak Lodge Chef comes to Studio City, Il Tiramisu Wine Dinner Deal, Hugo's updates, Encino cafe change

Posted By Karen Young On January 25, 2011 @ 11:20 pm In Featured,Food,My Daily Find,Restaurants,spotlight | 1 Comment

BY KAREN YOUNG

Chef Adam Horton

In a major culinary coup, Ventura Boulevard’s fine dining landscape just got a huge boost with the announcement that Saddle Peak Lodge’s Chef Adam Horton is leaving the landmark restaurant and will move to Raphael Restaurant in Studio City as the new Executive Chef .  Horton is one of LA’s most acclaimed young chefs and was  named a “top five rising chef” in 2008 by Zagat. With a degree from the Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena,  he gained experience  cooking in Europe at the Michelin three star Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Road in London, as well as at Michelin starred restaurants Le Moulin de Mougins, La Palme d’Or, Taillevent and Troisgros. He also worked at Melisse in Santa Monica.  This past October, Horton received attention for his special menu created for Test Kitchen in West LA.

Alon Raphael, who co-owns Raphael with his family said, “The menu will be ‘Progressive American with World Flavors’ — the idea is culinary representation of America’s diverse modern culture in a fine dining setting. The fixed menu will remain seasonal; dishes will have an emphasis on local production, and the feature items will remain specials made from what’s of caliber that day.”

The interior of Raphael is modern, warm and sophisticated — and expanding with 100 seats, a full bar and two private media rooms, plus a star chef. Photo: Shoshana Raphael

In addition to the local food aspect, there is really a community focus at hand as well.  Raphael said that he and Horton have dreamed about the two of them working together since being best friends in  5th grade at Carpenter Avenue Elementary and hanging out at the Raphael family’s restaurant at that time, Bel Air Bar and Grill.

“I wanted Adam to be our chef at opening, but we were a 60 seat high end “bistro” in the valley, not necessarily an appropriate venue for Adam’s talents,” said Raphael, who added that the timing is more fitting since the restaurant is currently undergoing a major expansion with an additional 100 plus seats, a full liquor license and two private media rooms. Adding to the long time friendship mix, Raphael relays that the restaurant’s valet, Judd Weiss of Park West, is a friend from those days as well.

This new version of Raphael is slated to open at the end of February or early March.

Raphael Restaurant, which is currently known for its wine list and seasonal cuisine with a global twist, continues business as usual serving lunch and dinner.

Raphael is located at  11616 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 505-3337. www.raphaelonventura.com

Il Tiramisu offers monthly "stimulus" wine pairing dinners for $50 person

Il Tiramisu in Sherman Oaks is  monthly wine “stimulus” dinners at a price that can’t be beat — complete with a Prosecco aperitif and a four course dinner with wine pairings for each course for $50 per person.  The Thursday, January 27 dinner menu includes Potato Crusted Sea Bass, Mixed Vegetable Puree Soup, Prime NY Steak with a Vegetable Ragu, and for dessert, Dark Chocolate Fettucini with Strawberry Sauce. Reservations suggested.  Il Tiramisu Ristorante & Bar (818) 986-2640
 13705 Ventura Blvd.
 Sherman Oaks

The former Café Mocca in Encino has been replaced by Cafe Sorrento serving a combination of Italian and Middle Eastern dishes. This casual café’s chef  is from Sweden with an Armenian heritage. Come for food or coffee at the full espresso bar. Cafe Sorrento 16616 Ventura Blvd. (at Rubio) Encino. 818.905.5300

Hugo's has added new menu items, while Hugo's Tacos continues Burrito Madness with half price burritos

Hugo’s in Studio City and West Hollywood have added new menu entrees, vegan dishes, and breakfast items to its menu.New Entrees: Orange Mustard Chicken, Steak w/ 3 Create-a-Plate Sides, Barramundi a la Checca.New Vegan options: Vegan Mac, Vegan Carbonara.New Breakfast items: Red Posole w/ Eggs, Huevos Rancheros, Cinnamon Dream French Toast. Hugos Tacos is continuing its Wednesday Evening Burrito Madness Specials. Just say “Jimmy” from 7-10pm and get a burrito for half price (limit 5).

Karen Young is the Founder/Editor of MY DAILY FIND. Email: karen@mydailyfind.com

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