by Jeff Hoyt
There are many misconceptions about Saddle Peak Lodge: it’s not in Malibu, it’s not a lodge, and it’s not just for carnivores hunting for game. Rest assured that the rustic atmosphere belies the quality of ingredients, cooking and service at this unique destination restaurant, which happens to be in Calabasas. We enjoy the ocean views driving through Malibu on the Pacific Coast Highway around sunset to get there, although the food – game, seafood, and even vegetarian options – tastes just as good for Valley residents arriving via the 101.
We recently added it to our Top 10 Outdoor Dining Restaurants around Los Angeles list. This romantic restaurant with multiple patios hosts many wedding parties, although I have to warn you: the two couples I know who celebrated their nuptials there have split up. The babbling brook that flows outside adds a melodious soundtrack to the bucolic atmosphere.
For those who prefer guitars to gurgling, The Gonzolo Bergara Quartet is now performing live every Wednesday night inside the restaurant. Adam Horton, named one of our Top Rising Chefs, will prepare a weekly four-course tasting menu for $85 with optional wine pairings, or diners can tap their feet while ordering off the menu. We found the group of two guitars, stand-up bass, and clarinet/sax quite enjoyable, but check them out yourself.
If Latin-tinged jazz isn’t to your liking, try making the trek on Thursday or Friday nights in June, when bottles of wine off the impressive, nearly all-American, 50-page list are half-price.