This doesn’t happen often, but I have found a restaurant that truly amazes me. One that not only delivers delicious food, but an unforgettable experience in a surreal setting.
According to Saddle Peak Lodge’s Website, “Part roadhouse, Pony Express stop, hunting lodge, European auberge, perhaps even a hint of a bordello, Saddle Peak Lodge has been many things to many people in its long history. For 100 years—some say even more—Saddle Peak Lodge has been a place of enchantment, romance and great dining for generations of those who seek a unique experience.”
The lodge was featured in many movie classics and served as a resting place for many of Hollywood’s executives/actors from Warner Brothers, Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox. Taken directly from the source itself, “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.”
Saddle Peak Lodge is located about halfway between Calabasas and Malibu in the gorgeous hills of Malibu Canyon. The drive from my house in West LA up the Pacific Coast Highway was stunning. By the time I was in Malibu, approaching Malibu Canyon Road, the sun was beginning to set and painted a colorful masterpiece in the sky. The enlightening drive was only a taste of what was to come.
As I turned onto Malibu Canyon Rd. and proceeded uphill through curvy roads, I felt like I was being taken to a distant land. Los Angeles? This is Los Angeles? Who would’ve known! The landscape reminds me of the New York suburbs — namely Rockland County and Westchester County.
After driving about 10 minutes through the canyon, I made a right on Piuma Rd. and felt as if I stepped onto a horse ranch. I spent 2 weeks on a dude ranch in Montana when I was a kid and will never forget the smell of horses (not a bad thing, just rustic). Once my nose picked up on the smell, I was taken back in time. Old memories became new again.
The recognizable horse ranch aroma slowly faded away as I approached Cold Canyon Rd. and I was greeted by a wooden sign pointing towards the restaurant. I was afraid the drive, even with navigation, might be difficult, but it was a breeze!
Now, this is where the magic happens…
I walked into Saddle Peak Lodge and was stunned. The rich wood and antique decor, combined with crackling fireplaces and dim lights, made me feel like I was in a Western movie. I slowly walked the property with my camera (Nikon D90) and felt like a load was taken off my back. Los Angeles is a very busy city and traffic sucks, so getting out of the hustle and bustle and being in touch with nature was fantastic.
Please find my photos from Saddle Peak Lodge below. Hopefully I was able to capture its true ambiance.
Also, to see my post on the food itself, CLICK HERE if you want to tantalize your senses.
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