After reading the enthusiatic ChowReports about the Matterhorn Chef, my wife and I headed for Oxnard and Woodman tonight (Saturday). The place was deserted. Not a car in the lot. No signs of life. Disappointed, we continued back to Hollywood taking surface streets that led us past another old Valley haunt, on Magnolia just west of Cahuenga -- Villa Sorrento. We hadn't been there in years, but it was always a funky place that seemed to be a favorite with the recording studio and camera crew crowd. The food was basic but tasty. Well there have been changes there too. New owners, as of two years ago, said our tall, dark and handsome waiter, with a seemingly unsure grasp of English. They spiffed up the place a bit. An old pianist made his way through light classics with a few stiff fingers, but kind of charming with his beret and moustache. During breaks it was a CD of Opera's Greatest Hits which we didn't mind at all. It was close to seven though, and the place was pretty empty. We began to get anxious as we looked at the familiar Italian menu. The wife ordered sea bass and I had pasta al forno, which was called Caroline's Special in the former regime. Well, to our relief, it was good! The bass, nestled on a bed of spinach sauced with capers was flavorful and the pasta, a mix of rigatoni, sausage, pepperoni and various cheeses had a nice nip. Nothing to race from Malibu to try, but good neighborhood Italian. We'll be back, but hopefully so will others. Maybe it picks up later at night? As for the Matterhorn, I guess the yodels are fading echoes.