Okay, I have to admit, I get a little giddy when I find a restaurant that has potential to feed me like I want to be fed. Add to that an interesting name and I already have a little bit of a bias. Ladyface pretty much lived up to the hype!
As it turns out, this LA County microbrewery was named for Ladyface mountain that sits nearby. For info on that little hill, see here. (Take note, it is a great place for hiking or geocaching!) When we arrived, a little behind schedule, it was already getting dark and for some reason we opted to sit inside, thereby missing the apparently great views from the patio.
There were a couple of initial disappointments. In spite of emailing ahead for a reservation, and receiving confirmation back, they did not have our name down. This didn’t seem to interfere too much with seating though. Also, the restaurant’s interior space was pretty loud. It was hard to hear the people sitting at the same table. We resorted to texting each other a few times, much to our own amusement.
Other than that, our group was mostly impressed. From the seasonal, sustainable and local menu, we ordered beef short ribs, duck confit salad, the Novy Ranch burger- Ladyface style, pork, curried chicken salad, and for appetizers, frites, salmon cakes and these interesting sounding Gruyere popovers. Oh and dessert...well, though it raised the budget a bit, we all thoroughly enjoyed the creme brulee, the panna cotta and the chocolate torte.
As always, everything else got mixed reviews.
We all agreed that the short ribs were a winner and that the fries were better with the homemade sauces. The Novy burger was good, but made so much better with the bleu cheese and fried egg added. The salads were both quite palatable, and there was actually a pattern to the people who preferred each. I don't think that anyone at our table would order the popovers again. We were all a bit disappointed that only the barest hint of the promised Gruyere was present in the light fluffy egg pastry. I think we all hoped for a little bit of oozing.
While we discovered that the frites were all fried in a canola mixture, which was chosen specifically for the common patrons' desire to avoid saturated fats, (sigh), we did also learn that nearly everything else was cooked on an applewood grill, even many of the veggies.
And how can we end without talking about the beers that Ladyface is all about? Only two of us ordered beers and they were as different from each other as night is to day. One was a light fruity ale, while the other was dark and biting. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed them while gazing into the hops filled candle holders on the table.
Once again, this place was pretty impressive. Even with a bit of a budget, you should be able to grab a decent bite of something fresh and healthy and WAPF friendly. While Agoura is still a bit out of the way, on a good traffic day, you can easily make it a date night without overspending on the babysitter. $$ -with dessert $$$
We gave Ladyface 5 forks.