The name Lady Face and the sketch on the restaurant's logo suggest something ultra feminine, dating back to the Renaissance days. It promotes great expectations! Once inside the doors, the spacious ambiance reminds one of a distinctive pub with brewery tanks in full view, but there are some very ladylike touches in art and decor that kind of sneak up on you here and there and take you back to that gentler, artistic period. In the final analysis Lady Face symbolizes a time and place where femininity was beautiful and reigned supreme...and a lady could still lift a pint with the best of them It's a classy yet casual joint quite unlike anything you have experienced anywhere, and, judging from the clientele, it appeals to both men and women from every walk of life. On the day I visited, there seemed to be a power business meeting with four men at the next table, as well as married couples nearby and casual friends of both genders meeting up for lunch. Owned by lovely Cyrena Nouzille, with brewmaster David Griffiths and Adrian Gioia, executive chef, Lady Face lives up to its great reputation and turned my visit into a delectable lunchtime treat.
Celebrating four years in the Agoura Hills location, Lady Face is not a chain, so that kind of uniqueness makes it even more special. In today's world it's hard to find just one place that you can eagerly anticipate returning to without its twin establishment smacking you in the face on the very next corner. The look, the ale, the food are all prepared to suit the gourmet palate. In tandem with the fourth year celebration Lady Face is offering a Belgian quadrupel ale brewed with raspberries. The ale is light, smooth and delicious. About twelve draught ales are brewed on the premises, as well as a half dozen incredible beers. Cask ale is served at cellar temperature and there are terrific happy hour discounts on all of them, as well as on wine and all luscious cocktails, from 3-6 pm Mondays through Fridays.
The philosophy of Lady Face is to serve hand-crafted and artisan products, which means fresh ales, and dishes with 100% natural ingredients prepared at the peak of freshness. What is offered on the menu, then, is only in-season, locally available or California-grown produce.
Well, what sounds fresh and delicious turned out to be just that, as the lunch served to both myself and my guest were 100% terrific. Our affable server Christina was exceedingly helpful in making choices that would not only satisfy my tastes but attract a wider audience and suit some of the varied tastes of my readers as well. I started out with a Lady Face Sangria, fruity and delicious. Even though I proclaimed myself a non-beer or ale drinker, Cyrena insisted on us sampling the fourth anniversary ale, which was indeed light and savory. For my first food selection, I chose French onion Soup, which I had heard was a wonderful choice. What made it different from other French onion soups was the beer stock included that blends to perfection with the onions and gruyere. My next course was a grilled romaine salad with a tangy bleu cheese dressing. As an appetizer my friend and I shared pulled-pork sliders on pretzel buns, which were oh so good. I had the salmon as my entree, and it was the preparation with fingerling potato coins, grilled long oyster mushrooms, peas, caramelized onion puree and lobster saffron emulsion that made all the difference in bringing out the dish's special flavors. My guest raved about the steak tartare and manila clams. For dessert we shared a scrumptious chocolate torte with vanilla ice cream and Lady Face's specialty bread pudding, smothered with whipped cream.
Other specialties of the house include wood-grilled house-made flatbreads, mac & cheese with salt & vinegar potato chip crust, ale-battered fish & chips. wood-grilled burgers, and sandwiches, including a croque-monsieur and croque- madame. Burgers start at $10 and the salmon entree is only $15. How can you beat these exceedingly reasonable prices!
The presence of the gracious proprietor Cyrena made our visit that much more memorable, as she stopped by our table to introduce us to her restaurant, to bring us samples of her fine ales and to answer any questions. This was to be sure an unforgettable afternoon of fine dining, which I most highly recommend to one and all. Breakfast is served from 11: 30 am to 4 pm and dinner from 4 pm to 10 pm, with happy hour specials from 3-6 pm and late night offerings after 10 pm!