Photograph courtesy Facebook
The Valley has long struggled to find a middle ground between hole-in-the-wall and haute. Girasol—and its culinary director, CJ “the tall guy from Top Chef ” Jacobson—help fill the gap. Sure, the space-age metallic sunflower art (Girasol means “sunflower” en español) is a bit heavy-handed, but Jacobson’s relaxed, produce-centric cuisine has more grace. Sliced stone fruit meets burrata and crispy lentils in an end-of-summer salad. Whipped lovage butter accompanies powdery house-baked bread. The arrival of a whole fried snapper with fried greens and fermented Fresno chile sauce had the neighboring diners taking pictures. It lived up to the hype. » 11334 Moorpark St., 818-924-2323.