Raphael

333
Chef Adam Horton has traded the Michelin star, the dramatic canyon setting, and the game meat focus of Saddle Peak Lodge for—Studio City? Yes. Horton is a longtime friend of the owner’s son, Alon Raphael, and he’s brought a fine-dining twist to the family-run restaurant’s menu. The dining room is painfully overdecorated, and a few dishes suffer the same fate. The tuna tartare hints at a Thai salad, with green papaya, coconut, crispy taro, crunchy bits of green curry “glass,” and about five too many other ingredients. A pork belly “panzanella,” however, is brilliant in its simplicity. The nasturtiums in the vibrant house-made linguine could have been picked from the nearby hills, while the banana bread pudding with peanut butter ice cream was plucked directly from our childhood. » 11616 Ventura Blvd., Studio City (818-505-3337 or raphaelonventura.com). L Mon.-Fri.; D nightly. Full bar. California $$$

Photograph by Misha Gravenor