Al fresco paintings and beds of red riding hoods, lilies, and roses decorate Secret Garden Restaurant’s outdoor patio, whose retractable awning allows feasts to unfold beneath cloudless blue or starry night skies. Spotlighted on USA Today’s list of romantic restaurants in Ventura County, the patio’s charming gardens and gazebo frequently double as a wedding venue. While sun- and moonlight help illuminate outdoor meals, iridescent chandeliers and candles wedged into silver candelabras light a Victorian-style dining room filled with 100-year-old English tables and chairs.
Lest the scenery completely dominate his diners’ attention, Chef Michel Bardavid’s meticulous presentations draw eyes to his plates of French cuisine. The French native uses seasonal ingredients to create dishes such as quail stuffed with mushroom and sausage, duck confit and cippolini onions tossed with fettuccini, and lobster bisque spiked with a hint of cognac. A bottle from the generous wine menu enhances the chef’s creations, just as a talking dog enhances any undercover police investigations.
JJ Brewsky’s Restaurant & Bar keeps stomachs perpetually satisfied with its lunch and dinner menus, which are fit to bust with savory burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas made with local ingredients whenever possible. Silence subterranean hunger grumbles with a handmade pizza ($8.95+) or the taste-bud-tickling trinity of a Brewsky’s Combo—a union of buffalo wings, JJ’s bruschetta, and potato skins ($12.95). The Kobe burger bounds from the kitchen like a condiment-covered ballerina, showcasing a sizzling American Kobe-beef patty nestled beneath melted blue-cheese crumbles and chipotle mayo ($14), and the Frisco burger trumpets a half-pound Angus patty covered with pepperjack cheese, grilled red onions, and 1000 island dressing ($11.95). All burgers and sandwiches come with either coleslaw or a choice of fries, including regular, seasoned, sweet, or sentient.
Le Sanglier first opened its doors more than 40 years ago, and, according to Gayot, it still stands as "a delightful remnant from an era when French cuisine was strictly for special occasions." The low-lit, lodge-like environment is home to equally rustic, yet refined French classics, which are artistically plated and delivered to gourmands during dinner hours along with pours of a traditional French beverage, wine. The chefs spend their evenings searing wild-boar chops, spooning balsamic-vinegar sauce over free-range chicken, and filling pastry shells with savory blends of sautéed mushrooms.
The Riverside Cafe's cooks draw inspiration from European and American cuisine as they create a menu of bistro-style comfort fare. In addition to baking bowls of french onion soup topped with a shell of imported gruyere, they grill beef and turkey hamburger patties and load baked potatoes with a number of familiar, yet decadent, ingredients, including sour cream and bacon. On Thursday nights, they embrace seasonal ingredients by featuring a specially prepared menu item, which have previously included wild boar and Stilton steak.
Beyond the intimately sized dining room with its "rustic, wood-beamed ceiling," as described by Gayot, the restaurant can seat guests and their canine personal assistants at the outdoor tables. White picket fences and trellises enclose the outside area, and a small awning and robin-egg-blue umbrella protect guests from the sun's harsh rays and dive-bombing pigeons.
Chef Nadav Bashan's carefully constructed New American cuisine has earned accolades from the Los Angeles Times and a rating of "extraordinary to perfection" from Zagat. But diners won't have to traipse to a ritzy downtown restaurant to get it. That's because the chef opted to practice his elegant art in out-of-the-way Glendale, at a self-named eatery whose 40-seat dining room is overseen by Romy, his wife. There, the couple strives to give the fine-dining experience a mom-and-pop feel: "We treat everyone that walks through our door as if they are a guest at our house," Romy says on their website.
This commitment to pleasant service lets customers keep the focus where it should be: on the food. Though they constantly rotate, Nadav's previous menus of seasonally inspired cuisine have included wild mediterranean sea bass, sword-tip squid, and other dishes that highlight what Los Angeles magazine calls his "finesse with seafood." He also draws on his experience in high-profile kitchens at The Lobster, Michael's, and Providence to gather fresh ingredients from local markets for each dish. Such continuing attention to detail helped earned Bashan Restaurant a spot on Zagat's list of LA's best New American restaurants in 2012.
The Bashans' business "really is a labor of love," as Nadav told the Glendale News-Press, and they leave no aspect of it untouched. The restaurant's decor incorporates driftwood and grass wall accents that complement the naturalness of the cuisine. At the bar, custom walnut wine racks hold bottles from Australia, Chile, and Italy next to taps that can dispense craft brews or refreshing, locally sourced breezes.
Wrap Express is the first Fusion Middle Eastern European Fast Service Restaurant of its kind. In the mornings we serve Belgian Waffles, French Crêpes, Breakfast Wraps, and hot and cold beverages.
For lunch and dinner we offer few authentic Wrap Express dishes.