http://mizmeliz.com review of the Inn at the Seventh Ray, My Culinary Confessions
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Inn at the Seventh Ray

I can’t say enough about how wonderful I think the Inn at the Seventh Ray is.  I am glad that after all these years it is still a top notch restaurant.  The reviews are all impressive and their reputation has withstood the test of time.

I love to tell people my story of going there with my hubby when we were just dating and thinking he was going to propose to me when he gave me a beautiful little box to open on my birthday.  It was a lovely pair of crystal earrings from the shop at the restaurant, The Spiral Staircase.  Disappointed and wondering if our relationship would ever progress, I ate my very garlicy shrimp scampi silently.  Lucky for me, my relationship and the restaurant have flourished since then!

Recently, I asked my friend, Holly to have dinner with me.  We hadn’t gone out in a few weeks and we wanted to catch up with each other.  I was thinking sushi, when she suggested The Inn at the Seventh Ray.  “Yes!”  I said enthusiastically!  I just got paid and it will be quiet and something different.  I totally deserve a nice night out with my friend.

When I told my hubby that is where we were going, his voice went up an octave  “The Inn at the Seventh Ray?”  I think he wanted to join us, and I said, “Yep,” gave him a kiss, and happily skipped out the door.  I didn’t invite him because it was a girl’s night.  If he wants to take me there again, he can invite me!  (I’m still a little bitter about the almost-proposal after 22 years, I think.)

The Location

Nestled in the center of Topanga Canyon, the Inn at the Seventh Ray is on Old Topanga Canyon Road.  There is self parking around the area of the restaurant.  There are steps down to the seating area.  The tables are mostly outdoors.  There are heaters everywhere, so do not worry about getting a chill.  There are larger tables under a large canopy that feels like a gazebo.  Tables for two and four are located along the side of a small brook.  Even though the brook was completely dry at this time of year, there was the babbling sound of water from the fountain under the canopy.  The ambiance of this dimly lit five-star restaurant is elegant and romantic.

The Restaurant

The Inn at the Seventh Ray is well-known for its exceptional organic food.  They used to have a Sunday brunch that was out of this world.  I have been to a wedding there once and it may have been because I was pregnant at the time, but I had the most Heavenly salmon mousse that I will never forget! I read up on the current head chef, Bradley Miller. I expected to have a delightful meal and I was not disappointed.

The Food

Here is my confession, I don’t like to eat red meat.  I didn’t even expect to find red meat at the Inn at the Seventh Ray because at one time I had heard it was completely vegan.  But there is one thing that my mouth waters for, beef short ribs.  I love pork ribs, too.  But I recently had my mother-in-law’s short ribs and they were so good, when I read the description on the menu, I knew I was going to order it!  And, I digress, I had them again on Thursday at Grandma Kim’s.  Beef.  Me.  Three times in one week!  But nothing compared to the beef short rib at the Inn at Seventh Ray!

I had the Miso Braised Short Rib with Kimchi, Smoked Shiitake Mushrooms, Fingerling Potato, and Wagyu Jerky.  The rib meat was delicate, fall off the bone, tender, and divine.  I almost barked at Holly when she asked for a taste.  Of course she wanted to taste it, she is a chef and my best friend and part of what we do when we go out together is share things. But, I would have growled at anyone who came near my plate at that moment.  I must admit, I didn’t even try the fingerling potatoes or the jerky.  I was full from Maggie’s Farm Greens ( a large salad of Organic Baby Greens, Spiced Walnuts, Fig Crouton and Lemon Thyme Vinagrette) and the amazing appetizer we had shared, it was a Smoked Yellowtail Spread with Radish, Red Onion, Smoked Sea Salt, on Grilled French Bread and a Tabasco Pipettel.  We ate every last bit of that spread!  It was so yummy!

My meal was worth every penny and I have no regrets.  Being that I have no reasonable excuse to spend this amount of money on dinner, it wasn’t a birthday or an anniversary, tells you that I regard having dinner with my best friend pretty high up there!  It wasn’t outrageous and I will justify by saying that I might have spent the same amount on sushi, some Saki and a few Saporros, just saying! With a glass of Shiraz, my meal topped off at about $75.  The experience. . . priceless!

http://mizmeliz.com review of the Inn at the Seventh Ray, My Culinary Confessions
My dinner at the Inn at the Seventh Ray
http:mizmeliz.com My Culinary Confessions Food Lab Miz Meliz
Blog Venture, Everything Miz Meliz, Foodie Reviews

Food + Lab

First off, if I am writing about it, I liked it.  I don’t write bad reviews.  If an experience was poor, I will tell the manager and/or owner.  Hopefully it will help them to improve.  I had a great experience at Food + Lab and I want to tell you about it!

I went to Food Lab yesterday for lunch with my friend, Holly.  It was Holly’s choice and I had never heard of the place or been there before.  Holly had seen it and wanted to try it but had never been there either.  Holly is a chef, so I enjoy going out to eat with her.  She knows her stuff!  I can ask her anything.  She is discriminating about food and restaurants, understandably so, and she has a love of food that I can appreciate.  Yesterday was fun!

The Location

Food + Lab is on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. They have another location in Silverlake and they do catering.  There is parking in back.  They have a few sidewalk tables on the street side, seating indoors and a lovely patio in back.  We sat in the patio.

The Restaurant

I really liked what I saw at the Food Lab!  I was impressed with the lunch menu and I wanted to try everything!  You order at the counter and they bring the food to your table.  There is a case of cold salads and the kitchen is visible.  They have shelves of candy and nuts that they prepare and package there.  Everything is in little tubs and bottles and I thought it was clever, food and a lab.  I get it!  The counter service was helpful and charming.  Everything was clean and inviting.  I ate my share (plus one or two) of the sample chocolate covered fruit and nuts while I ordered and waited for my receipt.  Yum!

The Food

I really did want to try everything!  The first thing on the lunch menu sounded amazing to me,  ORGANIC CURRIED CHICKEN WITH LINGONBERRY CHUTNEY ON RAISIN WALNUT.  OMG.  My mouth was watering.  I always like to read the whole menu before I decide.  It was a good thing I did.  Because after reading about the TURKEY BREAST WITH BRIE, PEAR, and HONEY, the CUBAN STYLE PORK LOIN, GRUYERE, HAM, PICKLES & MUSTARD ON CIABATTA, and the SMOKED SALMON WITH CREME FRAICHE, CUCUMBER & LIME ZEST ON WHEAT, I saw it all the way at the bottom of the menu.  I will admit, I am a sucker for grilled cheese.  Any grilled cheese.  My brother makes the best.  I make the second best.  I died and went to Heaven when I tried the “Brie Melt” from The Grilled Cheese Truck (it comes with Double Cream Brie, Bourbon Chicken, Maple-glazed Yams, and Candied Walnuts on Rosemary Bread.)   So, I had to try this . . .

GRILLED CHEESE: GRUYERE, TALLEGIO & RACLETTE ON 5 GRAIN W. CARAMALIZED ONION & GRAINY MUSTARD!

It was amazing!  I must confess, I was talking so much with Holly that I only got one bite in when it was warm and gooey.  It had just enough of the rind from the brie in it to suit my taste, but Holly didn’t like that.  It was heavy on the carmelized onion, which was fine with me!  The five-grain bread was sliced thin and lightly toasted to perfection.  The grainy mustard was served on the side, which made me happy.  I didn’t end up trying it with the mustard, it was so good and I talked so much, I forgot.  I ate half of the sandwich there and took the other half home.

The salad we tried was off menu, it was chopped kale with shredded cheese.  I thought it was yummy and had a nice zest to it.  It was very fresh and colorful.  It was a good pair with my sandwich.  Holly had a chicken sandwich with a buffalo sauce on a ciabatta (I think, because I didn’t see this on the menu) that I tasted.  It was good, just enough spice for me.  But nothing prepared me for the experience I had yet to come.

I took the long way home on my trek back to the Valley from Hollywood.  While I was driving through the canyon, I reached over and opened the little Food + Lab box that I had on the passenger seat.  I reached in and grabbed a quarter of my sandwich.  It was surprisingly warm from sitting in the sun, I guess.  Just a bit warmer than room temp.  So, the cheese was a good consistency and was just a bit chewy.  To my delight, just a smidge of the grainy mustard had grazed the side of the crust.  I took the perfect bite.  In my mouth danced all the flavors that had been marinating together in that box.  I was blown away by the sweetness of the carmelized onions, the creaminess of the brie and other cheeses glued together, the tanginess of the mustard and the nuttiness of the seeds in the bread (reminiscent of pine nuts) and the way everything melted in my mouth was like rich butter.  I savored every last bite of that sandwich on my ride home through the canyon. Those flavors enhanced an otherwise perfect sunshiny top down ride on my favorite road!  It was so unexpected and thoroughly sinful!

http:mizmeliz.com MyCulinaryConfessions Food+Lab MizMeliz