warm restaurant, somewhat exotic meat, beautiful setting, elegant service, best wine, fantastic cuisine, most charming experience
Michelin star? How?!.
When I see spelling mistakes on the menu, a minor red flag goes up. When the waiter gives us menus before offering a cocktail or water, that red flag gets bigger. Then when he opens the champagne and asks, "Do you want me to go downstairs and get champagne glasses for this?" (as opposed to drinking it from the bottle?) I start to think we should leave. But we stay and regret it.
We hadn't been to this place since 2004, and it has clearly taken a turn for the worse. Our waiter had no fine-dining skills, and I realized that the place doesn't really classify as fine-dining anymore. It's the little things. Glasses being placed in front of everyone while stretching across the table, rather than moving around it. Holding them by the bulb instead of the stem, so we have his grubby fingerprints all over them to look at. And the guy sniffed nonstop - I mean if a waiter has a bad cold, for the sake of his workmates and the customers, give him the night off! Either way, after pouring some champagne and taking our order, he left and we didn't see him again until he took the dessert order. He left the champagne bottle on the table, but I spied a nearby ice bucket and used it. We poured the rest of it, and the entirety of the red wine that we had brought. If bringing your own wine is such a crime that the waiter can't be bothered to pour it, then please leave off the $60 corkage. The first course was auctioned off. A busser kindly poured some wine for us at one point, as well as water. We asked the waiter for a couple of minutes with the dessert menu, he came back in twenty, then dropped the check while we were still eating. Atrocious service. As for the food, there are no longer any game appetizers (what happened to the bison tartare?) The main courses were bland and the desserts were awful. Does a caesar salad really belong on the menu at a place like this? The bathrooms were dirty. This place needs a major overhaul to avoid losing its hard-to-believe michelin star.
Atmosphere is incredible - this is LA?. What a cool place to go for a wonderful, romantic dinner. My husband and I are visiting from out East and wanted something different - we found this place and were completely surprised to find a place like this in California - especially LA! What a treat. If you haven't been - go. Game meats are incredible - service wonderful. It is pricey - but worth the experience.
Great food, staff needs major etiquette training!.
I really loved this place. The food was absolutely amazing, and it had a cozy, welcoming ambience. Our waiter was great.
But when we got there, our dining room was practically empty, and despite the fact that my husband and I were there, enjoying a nice, romantic dinner, the staff (other waiters, hostesses, busboys) acted loud and unruly. One was cussing in earshot, while two others were having an argument about something work related without using hushed tones. It was as though we weren't even there. For $200 for dinner, I deserve more respect than that.
Fabulous Experience All-Around.
My boyfriend and I just enjoyed a truly wonderful meal and experience at Saddle Peak Lodge.
SERVICE: The service, despite reviews below, was excellent. Our server was very personable and made sure to give us lots of details on the different dishes so that we could choose one that would be right for us (seems particularly important when serving game which many are uneasy about). She and the bus boys were very attentive to us all night - we did not want for anything - our water glasses were constantly refilled, if we asked for something it was brought promptly, etc. Our reservations were at 5:30 on a Sunday night so perhaps they were able to give us better service but it continued throughout the meal even though the restaurant became more crowded.
FOOD: The food was absolutely delicious! We started with the butternut squash soup and the fuji apple salad both of which were very good but not spectacular. However, the main entrees were phenomenal. My boyfriend had the elk (which our server said was the chef's specialty) and it was awesome - similar in texture to a filet mignon but with better flavor. It was so tender! I had the venison which just melted in your mouth. Like the elk it was very, very tender and flavorful but without being very gamey (I was very nervous about that). The sauces that accompanied both the meats were wonderful - very rich but not overpowering. The portion sizes were large. Definitely go out on a limb and try something new here - it is well worth it! The desserts (molten cake and a version of a s'more) were good as well, but, like the appetizers, not out of this world. The prices are definitely steep but the entrees are worth every penny.
ATMOSPHERE: Unique, fun and charming for a Sunday night dinner (animal heads on wall might be a little weird for some though).
Overall, we had such a wonderful experience and definitely recommend giving this place a try!
Ernest Hemingway's favorite post-hunting BYO-game spot evolves into romantic, family-friendly retreat..
Nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains just north of the Pacific Ocean, this rustic carnivore's haven is unique even among L.A. restaurants. First opened over 100 years ago as a place for hunters to bring their kill, it was transformed into a special-occasion favorite in the 1980s. The menu consistently provides gourmet spins on meat and fish dishes like poached line-caught Alaskan salmon, roasted elk tenderloin and mesquite-grilled black angus coute de boeuf.
Ewwww no!. The $90 a head Chef's menu sounded great, complete with wine selection. Problem was the wine kept showing up at least 5 minutes after every dish was served. Tuna was great, quail was weird--it tasted like a minature chicken--a lot of work for such a small piece of fowl, the wild boar was horrible--it was part chop slices with a really strange and bad tasting meatball slathered with what I can best tell as Bulls Eye Barbque sauce. Dessert--I can't even tell you what it was, it tasted like oranges going bad on a bed of marscapone cheese. I felt cheated after what I heard about this place. Don't eat here, service is mediocre & the food is terrible for the price.
Bring your own salt and pepper dispenser---- be aware!.
We went there for Sunday bruch.
The menu for Brunch was very limited.
I ordered a Egg Benedict, which was ok
My husband ordered the Kobe STEAK Sandwich, what he got was a hamburger meat on a piece of fried bread and when we complained they told us that it was ground kobe steak but did not list it in the menu
We waited for at least 40 minutes for our food.
The worst thing there was when we asked for salt and pepper, we got a corroded Salt Dispenser, even the inside of the jar was blue. For a 4 Diamond restaurant we were shocked and complained to the manager.
Would not recommend it to anyone.
Also the painting of a woman with no clothe on, all over the place inbetween the stuffed wild animals on the wall - we
think it does not belong in a restaurant or so called lodge where you eat your meal.
I wonder you gave that restaurant the 4 diamond ranking.
NEEDS LOTS OF IMPROVEMENT.
Saddle Peak has declined to the point where not even the lovely setting or interesting decor can justify a visit. The service is non-existent but I recommend you save yourself the effort of complaining because no one really seems to care.
We were there in Dec. 06 and had to wait 45 minutes for reservation table. We then waited almost another 2 hours for our entrees, most of which arrived cold. The best they could do was to offer to take them back to the kitchen and"warm them up". My "foie gras" appetizer ($21.) was a tasteless, refrigerated slice of gelatin. My husband reported that the caeser salad he had the day before at Disneyland was better than Saddle Peak's ($12). The "hot granny smith apple pie" was also served cold. We had to keep remining wait staff to bring niceties such as water, butter and silverware.
On an amusement level, we were all entertained by staff members who devoted much effort to moving large pieces of furniture to and from the main dining room during prime time. Folks waiting in the bar had the best seats for this extravaganza as it involved moving large arm chairs up and down stairs.
Finally, for those of you who enjoy camping, ( or are just tired of waiting for service) you may want to consider joining a Valet's family who appeared to sleeping in a running car parked next to his station.
Less than satisfactory..
I was there in August 2006 for my daughters birthday and the service and food need improvement. Dinner for 4 was in the low $400's and I don?t mind paying for excellent food and service - which was not the case. The waitress was slow and forgetful. I asked the manager how long the waitress had been employed at the Lodge and his answer was many months and yes, she could improve - keeping an employee who is not cutting the mustard is just bad management. I had to ask at least three times for different condiments-water-and other beverages, the food was less than satisfactory the meat was chewy, the bus staff was slow. We dined outside and the scent of summer evening was nice but when I walked back into the Lodge the smell of old food was heavy in the air. The plants / trees need more attention, there was some type of plant / tree that had long thorns, and you guessed it, due to poor trimming / pruning I was hooked in the side of the face. I mentioned the injury to the manager and his comment was "We pay a lot of money to have the plants and trees pruned and trimmed." It is not how much you pay; it is how well you MANAGE! The location in the mountains and ambiance as a lodge is very good. Overall I would rate Saddle Peak Lodge as having less than satisfactory management (as per the Saddle Peak Lodge web site Ann G. Ehringer, Ph.D.
is the owner), and absolutely less than satisfactory food and service. Thank you for taking the time to read this review.
Going Down Hill!!!. I have been to this restaurant over the years but the service and food have gone down. My last visit this past Friday was so terrible that I almost got up a few times. The service at every level is terrible. Its a management problem. The poor waitress we had, was serving 10 tables with parties of 8 or more. Way too many and the bus staff just stands around looking. They are very unflexible with any alterations on the menu. I am not sure who the executive chef is but it maybe the Soup Guy from Seinfeld. Also, be careful not to be seated in the new "tent" outside. Cold and not very comfortable. Thank god we did not sit out there but I could only imagine paying over $100 a person and sitting in the cold. This restaurant is poorly run from the top down.
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