I’ve actually driven past the Hugo’s location in West Hollywood several times over the years, but based on the restaurant name alone, I really had no clue what kind of food was served there. For some reason, I thought Hugo’s was a French restaurant and I didn’t even know that Hugo’s had a second location in Studio City until I met a friend there for lunch one afternoon.
After sitting down and perusing the menu, I have to tell you that I fell in love. There were a lot of interesting dishes from a Fried Green Tomato Napoleon to a Hippi Hemp Seed Black Rice Salad to a Roasted Beet Casserole. While I was trying to decide, I had a glass of their fresh lemonade sweetened with agave, which was nicely tart and not over sugared.
Craving greens, I started with their House Salad which was mixed organic spring mix, tomatoes, carrots and sunflower sprouts topped with sesame-ginger dressing. That salad was a thing of beauty. It had a lush green freshness to it that was appealing to the eye and the taste buds. I also liked how they brought the dressing on the side. There’s nothing more unappealing than salad that is wilted from being over-dressed. As for the dressing itself, it was light, nutty with just enough ginger to give it flavor without overpowering it.
For my entree, I went for their Create-A-Plate, where you could choose between three to five options from a list of various vegetables and proteins. I love veggies, so I actually chose three of them, which included the broccolini with garlic, roasted beets and green beans and shallots, but I also wanted a little protein so I went for the Turkey Loaf. The Turkey Loaf was made up of free range turkey with sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, egg and fresh herbs, served with mushroom herb gravy.
Just like the salad, everything on my Create-A-Plate tasted really fresh and you can tell that the chefs really know how to cook their vegetables. I’ve been in places where the veggies are cooked to the point of being way to soft, sometimes even a bit soggy. At that point, why even bother? There was a nice little crunch to the beans, a crispness to the broccolini and I liked how roasting the beets added a little caramelization to it. I was the most surprised by the turkey loaf. I was worried that it would be dry, but it was tender, moist and the herbs and sun-dried tomatoes added wonderful zings of flavor.
The only two things I’d point out is that I wish that the broccolini was more garlicky and although I didn’t get much in the way of the mushroom gravy, the turkey loaf was really able to stand alone without it. Overall, I really enjoyed my meal at Hugo’s and am definitely looking forward to a return trip.