Hugo’s Restaurant in Studio City…
While LA is famous for cutting edge restaurants boasting terms like “Vegan” & “Gluten Free”, that is not always a slam dunk that it will be a great experience. Luckily, with Hugo’s you know you’re in good hands as they not only have countless Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free & meat options, but it is seriously delicious.
Their menus bring to mind that of The Cheesecake Factory because its massive. With 3 locations to serve you, I have had the pleasure of dining at West Hollywood & Studio City (third is in Agoura Hills). At West Hollywood, I enjoyed myself with their almond flour power pancakes but was not so pleased with their coffee, while at the Studio City location, they have some of the best java I have ever had. For reals. Even Mike, who is an avid non-coffee drinker, admitted its good.
It was a real treat when he told me to choose a place for dinner last week. My reflex was to say Hugo’s, as its close & their menu features my 2 favorite words: Gluten free 😉
Directly across the street from a Whole Foods, Hugo’s is such a great choice when you want a spur of the moment date night without getting all fancied up, or, go ahead & glam up, as anything goes at this eatery. While they get a good overflow of hungry diners, we have not had to wait more than 10 minutes to be seated.
Nearly all menu selections have the option of being prepared vegetarian (they’ve got a turkey meatloaf they will switch out with tofu, which I am anxious to try), vegan (olive oil can be used instead of butter, & cashew cheese if you prefer no dairy cheese, & so on) & of course, gluten-free! Most items can be made with their gluten-free flatbread & they’ve also got countless pasta options like mac & cheese, spaghetti, & so on.
For our dinner, I chose the Mexican Kale Casserole. It sounded odd at first, but it was absolute perfection. Served in a piping hot bowl, & covered in cheese, it brought to mind a lasagna, minus the pasta. The kale was definitely present, but not over powering, leaving plenty of room to enjoy the mix of spices & cheeses to be had.
Then, as luck would have it, we found ourselves on that side of town once again & were in need of breakfast…guess where we went?! Trying to get out of my comfort zone & not opt for my usual Huevos Rancheros or ‘safe’ orders, so, this time around, I chose The Desayuno Fuerte. Its two poached eggs over potato pancakes with sautéed spinach, garlic, onions, tomato and shredded parmesan cheese. It was, just like that casserole, perfection! I’ve never thought much about parmesan cheese, but, this time, I did. It was so rich, flavorful & creamy. The potato pancakes were great, as well. I love potato pancakes yet often cannot have them due to gluten, luckily, not a problem at Hugo’s.
Mike chose one of their signature sandwiches, The Cuban: Grilled chicken breast with slightly spicy honey-chipotle sauce, fried plantains, goat cheese, organic mixed greens, tomatoes, and grilled red onions, & served on multi-grain wheat bread. Have you ever had a sandwich with plantains, which are basically fried bananas? It made me want to try cooking with them myself at home one day. He said it was delicious!
Hugo’s is definitely a must-eat if you’re in LA, especially if you’re health conscious. Get more info on their web-site & I will see you there! xo