carter's favorite restaurant in the Valley used to be the much-beloved and mourned Max. But carter has finally found a worthy successor in the brand-new Raphael, operated by Arnon and Anon Raphael.
"Anon and Arnon (son and father) really understand what wines and foods the public wants to eat in a standardized restaurant setting. And they do it very well," says carter. You can get rare lamb; you can even get their Moroccan-style Peking duck rare. Both lamb and duck are superb, says carter. "Food is good, the wine terrific," agrees Loradio. "They are looking to please and the place is homey."
Their mushroom soup is "probably as rich and tasty a version as you will have tasted in a long while," says carter. There's also tasty peanut butter ice cream for dessert, and good bread pudding, too.
Prices are in the mid-$20s for mains at dinner, but lamb and filet mignon bump up to the mid-$30s. "Definitely not the cheapest place in town, yet may be the best at many other attributes you deem appropriate to an evening out for dinner," says carter.
Raphael Restaurant [San Fernando Valley - East]
11616 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City
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