I am thrilled to share with you my experience at Inn of the Seventh Ray. Some Cali natives may know of this Topanga Canyon hideaway but for this East Coast transplant, I was in for quite a surprise.
The weekend before Christmas, my husband and I were invited to check out this quaint little bistro tucked in the trees on Old Topanga Canyon Road. When we pulled up we were a little caught off guard and had to make sure we were in the right place. The location is very unassuming, especially at night. Once we parked and found the host stand we were escorted into a land of ivy and twinkling white lights. I was ready for Tinkerbell to come fluttering by. There was only one word for this place and it’s MAGICAL.
We were quickly greeted by our server Kat who was able to point out some of the popular dishes on the menu as well as her favorites. When trying out new places, I love to know what the server’s favorite dishes are. I’ll usually order and then tell them if there is something I just HAVE to try, to add that in there too!
A parade of savory dishes were presented to us to kick off our meal. Our first course included a Sweet Pea Risotto with smoked corn, chantrelles, shimeji mushrooms and truffle oil. Next was a beautiful Ahi Tuna Tartar in a citrus vinaigrette and a Seared Pork Belly with Pumpkin Puree and a Smoked Scallop Garnish. These were out of this world and so decadent, but the real highlight for me was the Roasted Corn & Lobster Bisque. I could eat this every day! It was light and frothy with an aromatic smoke flavor and garnished the toasted sesame seeds for the perfect compliment. Click here for the recipe.
If you can believe it, we were nowhere close to being finished! We still had 2 more courses to go!
Next up for our entrees I opted for the Angel Hair with Mussels and Lemon Pernod, Parmesan, Chives, Saffron Ruile. This dish was very light and beautifully displayed, with the mussels out of the shell and tossed right in with the pasta. That’s always something I appreciate. I say that if I’m going to eat a dish with a fork, I don’t want to have to dirty my hands picking off shells! The Mr. opted for the steak option -- surprise, surprise. It was a Prime Hanger Steak with Huiltacoche Potato, Morel Mushroom Duck Bacon and Napa Cabbage Slaw, and Whole Grain Mustard Yogurt. The sauce on this meat was out of this world! I could resist stealing a few bites off of his plate despite the evil eyes. The vows did say for HALF and to hold, right?!
As if we weren’t glutenous enough, it was time for dessert. Kat insisted on the Chef’s favorite, the Milk Chocolate Pudding, with Chocolate Soil, Caramelized Banana, and Espresso Ice Cream. This was the perfect ending for such a decadent meal. The pudding was very dense but not overly heavy. My palate went nostalgic as I thought it tasted like a Fudgesicle, meaning that in the best way possible. The caramelized bananas that garnished the plate were my personal favorite. I could have eaten a whole bowl of those!
To wrap things up, this was a beyond delightful experience. The atmosphere, the food, the service, all far exceeded my expectations. I’ve already been plotting ways to get back up there! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Hint, hint.