It was a recent Saturday evening, and we were searching for somewhere new to go. My wife Karen searched the internet for wine oriented restaurants within a reasonable distance and came up with Chablis Wine + Food (www.chablisca.com) in Tarzana. A perusal of the online menu made us wonder why we hadn’t visited sooner. And while the wine list had lots of very interesting bottles listed, including several from smaller boutique wineries, we called and inquired about corkage – a measly $5. So, we packed up a Turley Zinfandel and off we went.
When we got there, I realized that Chablis occupied the old Paul’s Cafe spot. What I hadn’t realized was that Paul’s had closed in 2009 and that Chablis had been open since August of that year. Time certainly flies!
Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by the restaurant staff as well as owner Saeed Fazeli. While trying to decide what to order, I also looked over the wine list in search of a glass of white or sparkling wine to whet our palates. Just as I was going to make a selection, Saeed introduced us to the couple that had just sat down near us, Andy and Andrea. They were also wine fans and graciously shared with us an unlabeled bottle that a friend had given them. In fact, they were big fans of Paso Robles wine country and soon we were comparing notes on our favorite wineries.
We finally had to make menu selections, sharing a cheese plate, and each ordering salads. [I got the Caesar and was very pleased that it came with anchovies – I ordered extra.] For entrees, it was sea bass for Karen and lamb for me. All the food was delicious and we finished off with the date cake, which turned out to be the perfect accompaniment to our remaining Zinfandel.
Saeed, who has been in the restaurant business for a long time [including a twelve year stint as manager of the Castaway in Burbank] along with Chef Jorge Vasquez, is determined to give guests a wonderful dining experience, while staying flexible to accommodate customers’ requests. Saeed said: “There are no rules. It is all about pleasing the guest.”
Saeed that he is especially gratified for the relationships he has developed with people who love food and wine. And this is nowhere more apparent than in the frequent winemaker dinners held at Chablis, including the next one coming up May 9th:
Michael Perlis provides outsourced controller services to businesses that do not need a full-time controller. He balances this with his interest in wine: reading and writing about it and, of course, drinking it. He is still trying to figure out how to combine these two pursuits. Feel free to contact him about either at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.