Saddle Peak Lodge
419 Cold Canyon Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302
|Wed - Fri:|
Bike Parking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Cuisines: Fine Dining, Caterers, American, French, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch, European, Continental, Pizza
Alcohol: Full Bar, Wine
Takes Reservations: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Pets Allowed: No
Saddle Peak Lodge must be one of my favorite restaurants. The atmosphere is very nice, mature and quiet. The service was attentive and helpful. I very much enjoyed the food. Wild game is unique here in L.A. and Saddle Peak Lodge does it right.
01/04/2011Provided by Citysearch -
Sometimes my husband and I feel like taking a quick vacation away from everything, and that's when we go to the Saddle Peak Lodge. It's tucked away on the hills, and the place is absolutely lovely. While there it is easy to forget that we are still in L.A. It feels like were in some place out in Montana or Upstate NY. I usually have their seafood, which I like. I am not much of a meat eater, but my husband adores wild game, and he is particularly fond of their elk tenderloin.
08/27/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I have been going to Saddlepeak lodge for almost thirty years. I have gone on dates, had family celebrations and birthday celebrations. The last two times, however, have been disappointing to say the least. The last time I made birthday reservations thirty days in advance, specifically requesting downstairs seating by the fireplace (very romantic!). I called twice to confirm the reservation as the date approached and was assured each time that it would be no problem. (I made the reservation very early in the evening so my chances would be better.) Upon arrival, we had to wait half an hour to even get into the parking lot because they were having a wedding reception. The wedding booked the entire first floor of the restaurant. Now, no one mentioned this when I confirmed the reservation twice? No explanation whatsoever was given (I had to ask) as we were led upstairs to the ""library"", which is quite pretty but an entirely different atmosphere and, at that early hour, completely deserted and quiet so we had to whisper in order not to be overheard. Dinner was tasty, I have to say, but the prices have grown substantially over the last few years and the menu has shrunk. The bill arrives, and I hand over a $200 gift card (wedding present). The total was about $187.00, so I also handed over a VISA card so I could supplement the tip. This created a problem, the waitress had no idea what to do. What she did was come back to the table (after 15 minutes) and tell me that the gift card was only for $175. I produced the paperwork from the restaurant that came with the card that specifically said $200, which the restaurant had filled out and mailed to us. She had to go back and see the manager, who finally agreed (after another half an hour) to honor the $200 amount. Needless to say, not a very good ending to a largely disappointing experience. I don't mean to sound like I have so many sour grapes about the place, I used to absolutely love it and recommended it regularly to my family and friends. Not anymore!
02/16/2009Provided by Citysearch -
I'm a big meat fan and this is one of my fav places in L.A. The elk is wonderful, the atmosphere is romantic (i'm from Montana so dead animal heads on the wall don't bother me- in a sick way i'ts comforting being in that lodge- reminds me of home :)- ) My meals have always been fantastic there. Sometimes I just wish it was a little closer! I can't wait to go back!!!
01/06/2009Provided by Citysearch -
One big disappoinment! I have been wanting to come here for years now, I thought my husband's birthday would be the perfect occasion to visit. Anyway, I made a reservation and requested a nice table and let them know it was his birthday. I guess that part didn't register. We were sat next to door to patio. Cold air was blowing eventhough the door was closed! We tried to let the table situation go. I ordered lamb chops and I asked them to make it Medium well but they were too fatty and uncooked so I left hungry. The appetizers are over priced and too small. I will say my husband liked his elk. I called today to tell the manager about my experience because it was bothering me so much. (I didn't want to say anything that night because I really couldn't have wanted to leave more.) Anyway, I really think this restaurant is overrated.
01/02/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Our visit was New Years Eve.
The Saddlepeak Lodge offered a special tasting menu. I was not overly impressed with the menu, but decided to trust in the chef. I was also intrigued by the wine pairings, and the wine pairings were absolutely fantastic.
Unfortunately the menu lived mostly up to my expectations = 2 disappointments, 2 good dishes, 1 wow dish. For a special menu at this price point, there should be no disappointments.
The dinner started with an amuse bouche of tomato soup - good, straight forward but no twists.
The 1st course was caviar...nice but nothing innovative.
The 2nd course was a lobster risotto. I love risotto. This was not risotto. It was watery lobster bisque with mushy rice.
The 3rd course was the STAR of the menu. Quail on a bed of couscous with cooked cherries. The quail was perfect with a spicy crispy skin. The couscous was fantastic. I am normally not a fan of couscous. This couscous was better that the couscous I had in Morroco. The sweet taste of the cherries was the perfect counter point to the spicy quail. And the wine stood up to the spicy quail and supported the cherries.
The 4th course was venison. We ordered medium rare. We got somewhere between medium and well done and ended up sending it back. The second try was medium rare. It was good, but nothing in the dish made it stand out over other venison dishes I have had before.
The 5th course was dessert and was another of my concerns. It was a trio of strawberries ? shortcake, sorbet and consomme. It made me think that the dessert chef was on vacation. After tasting this, I know he was on vacation. The shortcake was a 5 day old roll that was brick hard, slathered with some defrosted/microwaved strawberry preserve. The sorbet was your basic grocery store sorbet. The consomme was melted sorbet. The only saving grace to the dessert was the Muscat dessert wine pairing.
07/20/2008Provided by Citysearch -
The food was a nice...these young guns really know what they are doing. The restaurant headed by GM iain Walling, chef de cuisine adam horton and sous chris Kufek has never been better. the meal I had there was fabulous. the food was no less than genius and the service was literal perfection. I think they are by far the best restaurant in the country and i have been to French Laundry and Joel Robuchon in vegas and those two can't even hold a candle to SPl (saddle peak lodge). the chefs are culinary masterminds producing some of the finest food i've ever seen. i sugget ordering the chef's tasting menu which is 8 courses of heaven. the decor is that of a cozy cottage settled away from the distractions of the busy and bustling city of Los angeles. Once again a great meal and beautiful service, a must if you have the time.
04/24/2008Provided by Citysearch -
""Living on its reputation! One big disappoinment! I have been wanting to come here for years now, I thought my fiance's birthday would be the perfect occasion to visit, seeing how he loves game. Anyway, I made a reservation and requested a nice table and let them know it was his birthday. I guess that part didn't register. We were sat next to a crying baby (not there fault, but wouldn't havent taken too much commom sense not to seat us there). My view was of the ladies room door with a bright florescent light shining my way. We could barely talk above a quiet whisper because of the atmosphere. We tried to let the table situation go.
My salmon reminded me that they were clearly having an off night. It was served luke warm at best. The salmon I got at trader joe's last week was more tasty than this pitiful 3 oz peice. I will say my fiance liked his elk.
We ordered dessert thinking maybe they could redeem themselves at this point. We could barely get it down. The smores themed dessert was worse than the something my 8 year old cousin bakes out of the box. The brownie in it must have been 4 and a half years old. Gross.
The Kicker and the reason we are giving it only one star: I called today to tell the manager about my experience because it was bothering me so much. (I didn't want to say anything last night because I really couldn't have wanted to leave more.) I told him how excited we were about coming and basically everything I just wrote. He was welcoming of the information but respoded with, ""oh well next time you come in I'll buy you a dessert and get you a great table"" . You are going to buy me a dessert. I just spent $170 on cardboard and cold fish and you are going to buy me a dessert? Your dessert stinks! I thought some sort of compensation other than another desset would have redeemed the situation and I definitely would not be on yelp venting about this place.
Anyway, I really think this restaurant is overrated.
01/26/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I am also amazed at the Michelin star. We went there last night for a friend's birthday dinner, so we kept the complaining to the staff at a minimum (did not want to spoil the evening), but this was a very mediocre experience with an extreme price tag. I agree with the previous review; it's the small things. Things like opening a second bottle of the same wine, then pouring a taste in the previous wine glass (minor faux pas), then pouring the new wine into everyone's half full glass of the previous bottle (major faux pas). It's just one example of a night full of mediocre service. The food was bland, the portions small, the meat tough and there were no interesting appetizers. Seriously, the meat in the main course (buffalo NY steak, tiny portion, $44) was tasteless and extremely chewy. Deserts were especially sad. On the plus side, their wine list is fun, full of hard to find US wines.
They claim the average per person dinner price (appetizer, main course and desert) is $55. That's plain false advertising. The cheapest app is $14, the cheapest main $40 and all deserts are $12. That's $66 for the cheapest option. Expect $200 - 300 per couple with wine.
This place COULD be great! I really hope they read these reviews and shape up. The Michelin star is a very high honor, and they need to do a major overhaul to truly deserve it.
12/25/2007Provided by Citysearch -
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.
12/24/2007Provided by Citysearch -
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.
11/26/2007Provided by Citysearch -
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.
07/30/2007Provided by Citysearch -
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!
04/16/2007Provided by Citysearch -
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.
02/18/2007Provided by Citysearch -
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.
01/22/2007Provided by Citysearch -
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.
12/23/2006Provided by Citysearch -
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.