It had been much, much too long since I’d seen Geneva in Los Angeles. We’d seen each other in London for cake and spritzes at One Shoreditch. Plus, we’d met at L&E Oyster House in Silverlake for a lovely dinner earlier in the year. But, it had been too long, still.
So, when she suggested that I meet her and her friend for dinner at Casaléna, I was thankful for the invitation.
Woodland Hills has now turned into a baby offshoot of Calabasas. With much better food selections, honestly. The only thing it needs is an Erewhon Market. Which is still hilarious because I remember when Whole Foods Market was the highest scale of upscale supermarket. It already has an Hermes store at the mall. But, I digress….
Casaléna is the most LA type place I’ve been to, in Woodland Hills, that is not in Los Angeles proper. The views and decor are a cute look, for sure. But what I will stress is that the food here is mid market decent. It’s not outstanding if you’re already into the LA food scene and have been components elsewhere. I’m no where saying that it’s bad. It’s just – not outstanding. More than anything, one should go to Casaléna for the environment vs the dishes.
We started with the HAMACHI CRUDO (Ponzu, serrano, crispy leek), the SQUASH BLOSSOMS (Herbed ricotta, pomodoro), the BURRATA (Roasted tomato, saffron vinaigrette, black garlic balsamic, basil oil) and the WAGYU MEATBALLS (Ricotta, parmesan, pomodoro, parsley) to share.
I need to say that it’s good. I’ve just had better components at other places.
For a mocktail, I ordered the MEDITERRANEAN CITRUS (Orange cordial, black lemon, Mediterranean tonic). It was light and refreshing and surprisingly good for a drink without alcohol.
For our main course, we ordered the VODKA LUMACONI (Spicy vodka sauce, ricotta, pesto spice) and the MARGHERITA (Fresh mozzarella, pomodoro, basil) pizza.
It was good for Woodland Hills. But, dinner at Casaléna is a location vibe more than outstanding food. As long as you know that going in, then it’s completely fine. You will get what you expect and not be disappointed. But, I caution in expecting Bacetti or even LAVO Restaurante.
This is not them.
This is a “I need to stay in the Valley, impress my Mother in Law with a solid, mid level choice that makes it seem like I have taste and class” type of place.
A “everyone was too lazy to drive to Bacari Silverlake – so we ate here.”
And finally “There are better squash blossoms at Scopa Italian Roots. But, traffic…..” type of place.
And that’s totally fine.
22160 Ventura Blvd
Woodland Hills, California 91364