It is so uplifting to see a family business thriving right here in the San Fernando Valley, in Sherman Oaks to be exact. For over 28 years David and Margaret May and their son Peter have been running Cafe Cordiale on Ventura Boulevard, which remains to this day a very popular restaurant for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch...and a hot late night club for live music as well. How many eateries in Los Angeles have this unusual feature?! Cafe Cordiale is definitely singular with an ultra modern allure and great food.
Ever so pleasant manager Patty, who greeted us on arrival, explained in detail how the restaurant turns into a night club. The red curtains in front of the kitchen window close and the two tables in front of them convert to a stage...and the partition separating the two dining rooms goes up, creating one big space. Amazing! I will just have to return some late evening to join in the fun and see it for myself. But first, on to my lunch-time experience and the elegant dining I encountered at very moderate prices.
I was feeling adventuresome and suggested trying different entrees for my friend and I to share. Patty said they would come family style. I started out with a Caesar salad and my friend, a chopped salad. Both were very ample portions, a meal in themselves! We proceeded to order three entrees: Baked Shepherd's Pie, made with ground beef - instead of ground lamb, but still succulent and sweet - and mashed potatoes, fish and chips, and salmon and lobster cakes, all of which are personal favorites. Since chef David May comes from England, it is easy to understand why these three choices are on the menu. Shepherd's Pie is a tradition on British and Irish tables, and of course, fresh fish is a staple as well. With my New England background, influenced by these very traditions, I felt like I was in heaven; I had definitely come to the right place. Everything we ordered was tip-top. The salmon and lobster cakes were like homemade, and served with tomato, basil and onion salad and fries. My grandmother frequently made salmon loaf when I was a kid, and these patties reminded me of its great texture and delicious taste. Needless to say, the Shepherd's pie was scrumptious. For dessert I had the French Apple 'Tarte Tatin", baked & carmelized apples on a puff pastry, with vanilla ice cream. My friend ordered the black and white chocolate mousse pie. Both exceeded expectations.
Other lunch entrees include chicken marsala, grilled tilapia, sandwiches, including vegetarian, and soup and salad all reasonably priced from $8-$12.95, with grilled salmon, of course, slightly higher at $17.95. The dinner menu includes beef/lamb dishes, seafood and poultry selections all under $20. Monday through Friday lunch times are 11:30am-4:30pm and dinner starting at 4:30, 7 days a week. Weekend brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am to 4: 30pm, with breakfast items from 11am to 3pm. Breakfast includes specialties such as eggs benedict, eggs Florentine, tortilla scrambled and smoked salmon scrambled… and a cordiale grand breakfast for only $15.95 that features eggs, bacon, sausage and multi-grain nut pancakes. There is an extensive wine list and a great selection of cocktails available at every meal. Cafe Coridale is also the perfect place for holiday and special event parties, featuring a variety of menu items.
|Peter May and his dad, chef David May|
Call 818-789-1985 for menus and music schedules or go to