Looking for the best wild game in Los Angeles? How about a rustic retreat in the hills of Malibu? Well, my friends, you have met your match. Saddle Peak Lodge is a restaurant like no other. Mark my word.
Saddle Peak Lodge’s history dates back over 100 magical years. Once a waystop and general store perched in the rugged hills of Malibu, the location was discovered by Hollywood’s elite and instantly turned into a hotspot. According to Saddle Peak Lodge’s website, “it served as resting place and roadhouse for stars from the nearby ranches of Warner Brothers, Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox. Errol Flynn and Clark Gable, with their Bugattis, starlets and fellow cast members, were frequent guests, bringing with them the glamour and mystery of the silver screen. From Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin, who, with Herbert Hoover, were said to have built their famous New Mexico hunting lodge with designs from the Saddle Peak, to Milton Berle, Ernest Borgnine and today’s theater, film, and music industry leaders, the Lodge has remained a Hollywood in-place.”
I wrote an article on the lodge itself, which can be found HERE, though this article is on the food. Oh, the delicious food!
My meal began with a cup of scrumptious tomato soup. It was sweet, perfectly seasoned and wasn’t over salted like many tomato soups I come across. The soup was very smooth and creamy, as if it were put through a food mill, and had a silky texture.
As my soup arrived, so did the bread. Warm, soft sourdough and rye with butter and French sea salt. I have been to many high-end restaurants and have never seen the pairing of sea salt and butter. I love it! It adds a much needed texture to the conventional bread and butter, which can be found anywhere. The slight crunch from the sea salt reminds me of fine Parmigiano-Reggiano, a cheese that I adore.
After I stuffed my face with bread and butter (I couldn’t get enough!), I was served a potato blini with slow-poached salmon, crème fraîche and caviar. I, typically, do not like the combination of fish and caviar as it can sometimes be a little overpowering, though this amuse bouche tasted of the ocean, clean and crisp, but nothing more. Executive Chef Adam Horton mentioned that he hand-selects seafood to ensure the highest quality and personally filets whole fish. Talk about getting in touch with your ingredients, kudos!!
On to the star of the night — the New Zealand elk tenderloin with celery root and sweet potato puree, crispy bacon, arugula, currants and sauce chasseur. This was simply divine! I have never had elk and honestly didn’t know what to expect. The elk reminds me of the finest filet mignon I’ve ever had. Tender, moist, not the slightest bit chewy, and can be cut with a fork. The celery root and sweet potato puree was smooth and creamy, which complemented the rich meat and crunchy bacon quite well. The fried sweet potatoes (on top) added an extra crunch that cut through the smoothness of the puree and tenderness of the elk. Delightfully contrasting textures.
As you can see, the elk was superb!
Upon finishing my main course, I was extremely full, though I decided to go for the gold and try the salted caramel ice cream. I’m so glad I did! The nutty, caramel flavor combined with a slight hint of salt seemed to roll over my tongue and tickle all of my taste buds. A very creamy ice cream with a sense of depth. Forgive me for not snagging a picture, my camera battery had just died.
For all Southern California residents, or visitors, be sure to check out Saddle Peak Lodge for the best wild game in Los Angeles. Their menu features a wide variety of dishes including grilled ostrich tenderloin, buffalo burgers, duo of Nebraska buffalo and a variety of seafood and vegetarian dishes like seared diver scallops, line caught salmon, fresh market vegetables, wild mushroom agnolotti and much more. It’s a restaurant like no other.
Your resident foodie,
The Brainchild Group