It’s been a few years since my mom and I made the summer trek to Topanga Canyon. We usually eat at Froggy’s, but my love has waned with their quality and menu. Having heard of Inn of the Seventh Ray from a family friend, mom has been hankering to splurge and when Living Social offered a half-price ticket to the Will Greer Theatricum Bontanicum, we snatched up tickets and decided to go for an early dinner before hopping off to the famous outdoor theatre of the canyons to see The Merry Wives of Windsor.
As soon as we were taken to the seating area, I stopped and told my mom, “This is the place I want to get married at.” Surrounded by the beauty of mother nature, wispy white canopies, faerie lights and lavender trim with stone booths and white tables – it was picture perfect. With all of the breathtaking natural beauty and painstaking planned out seating area, there are no bad seats. We were sat on the lower deck overlooking a small brook and sandy grove.
We did not have too much time to spare, seeing as we had to be at the theater 30 minutes prior to the show, so no tasting menu or desserts this time. Appetizers were so tempting, though, that mom and I both had to order them. She went with the soup of the day (not pictured) while I went for Seared Diver Scallops Corn Emulsion, Brussel Sprout, Bonito Salt Popcorn, Puffed Squid Powder and Chorizo Oil.
Just when you thought scallops couldn’t get fancier, eh? Yes, indeed, I was able to taste each element and enjoyed every twist and turn my taste buds took. The popcorn was easily the most surprising part of this unique appetizer, but oddly fit perfectly like a jigsaw piece, and would not be complete without it.
The chef was able to capture salty, sweet, spicy along with texture combos like soft, chewy, crunchy and smooth. If this were an entree, I would have ordered it straight away.
As Inn of the Seventh Ray is known for the superb vegetarian food, mom went for Farmers Market Melange Du Jour Delicata Squash, Grilled Asparagus, Tofu Cheese and Herb Cous Cous, Sunchoke Puree and Lemon Oil.
Between her soup (which I believe was a roasted cauliflower and pepper soup) and this dish, my mom was deeply satisfied and full. Everything was fresh, tender and minimally seasoned so that every bite stood out on its own. I do believe that the description on the menu is inaccurate though, as there was a beet puree and bok choy along with baby zucchini and carrots.
Just to be contradictory, as daughters are wont to do, I ordered Prime Hanger Steak Huiltacoche Potato, Morel Mushroom Duck Bacon and Napa Cabbage Slaw, Whole Grain Mustard Yogurt
In a word, wow. The meat was tender, juicy and exactly what every slab of beef should taste like (but sadly does not). The potato was directly under it in layers not unlike gratin, and just enough to not make me feel like I gorged on a box of starch. The duck bacon was just the pinch of extra meaty saltiness to compliment the steak and napa cabbage slaw was crispy and refreshing to almost cool the salt of the bacon (which wasn’t overwhelming at all). The mustard yogurt was miniscule dots on either side of the steak, cool and slightly tangy like horseradish but really unnecessary as the steak was gorgeous with just the light morel sauce and its own juices.
Service was attentive, informative and friendly. We were bothered by two bees and I could not eat for a solid ten minutes until a bowl of powdered cloves was set out to naturally ward off the insects. My one complaint is that when the waitress went to split the bill she accidentally charged the entire bill to me, nixed it out, charged me again for the proper amount. She did not tell me and I was very upset to find out that my credit union had to hold that money until it was processed and properly cancelled – which took three days as it was over a Sunday. This was a hassle because I could not access that money and I needed it.
Sanfu aside, I would definitely recommend Inn of the Seventh Ray and I would return. It’s a lovely experience with healthy, Eco-conscience food.
– Take kids at your own discretion; I see this as a special treat.
– Bring a cardigans/shawl as it gets cool in the evenings all year round.
– Valet parking only on Friday/Saturday evenings and all day/evening Sundays.
Inn of the Seventh Ray
128 Old Topanga Canyon Road
Topanga, California 90290