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Inn of the Seventh Ray revisited: pleasant surprise

silence9 | Aug 29, 200512:37 PM

Yes, so I hadn't been to the Inn of the Seventh Ray since the late 1980s, when I dated an unemployed actress whose culinary predilection veered toward the internal consumption of esoteric high octane natural yogurt substances (which she also saw fit to apply topically to her - ahem - goddess parts, to fend off infections). At that time, the Inn seemed to be just a tarted up new age health food restaurant with well prepared nutritious fare. Fast-forward to this past weekend, where the wife and I descended upon the still rootsy Topanga Canyon enclave of the Inn (whose patrons tend to wear their affluence like essential oils). Well, I was more than pleasantly surprised by the over all experience (I can only speak to Sunday brunch, which is when we were there)... There was offered a $24 vegetarian buffet and a $28 'full' buffet, in addition to the option of ala carte items such as 'aumlettes'. The full $28 dollar buffet is definitely the way to proceed. This included 2 dozen+ items prepared with quality organic produce and an eye to creativity. Row upon row of vibrantly hued salads, with asparagus, heirloom tomatoes, haricots vert, wild mushrooms, fresh corn, ripe papaya; cracked crab legs, rosemary chicken, crab quiche, poached salmon and dill sauce, purple potatoes, cured salmon, ripe melons, berries, date breads, strawberry tarts, pasteries, coffees, champagne and cider. The presentation of these items is really top notch eye-candy, and more importantly, it tastes every bit as good as it looks. Service was friendly, informed, and 'vibrationally' conducive to balanced indulgence (have as much as you wish, but you may find that the environment and the consciousness-attuned waitstaff seem to engender an additude of intentional consumption, i.e., savor each bite like its either the first time you've tasted food or the last)... The Inn is nestled by a lazy creek of sorts, and one brunches alfresco amid the dappled sunsplotched woods; the bees will visit you frequently to share your champagne, cider or naturally-sweetened personality, but if you acknowlegde their right to be there, they reciprocate the favor in kind... The Inn of the Seventh Ray stirkes me as a good first date location for a special someone, for visiting parents to whom you wish to convey your new found sophistication, or for couples seeking a soothing spot to make-up for an argument the night before. We needed no reservations (at 2:00 p.m.), and there is $3 valet service, which seemed a bit pokey; we opted to park on the shoulder of Topanga Canyon, which can be a dicey proposition, especuially if like me, you trip and fall head on into on-coming canyon traffic)... The Inn was really a surprise, worth the effort and money, for a casual yet tasteful immersion into the Ray of all things delicious...

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