Gregg Hunter’s Newspace

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I suppose the disappearance of comfortable restaurant seating can be attributed to the economy — or maybe the nation’s obesity. Either way, it’s hard going for confirmed boney butts like the Palate. I shudder at the sight of yet another naked table with all wood or metal slabs. They might as well hang a sign that reads “No Relaxing Allowed on the Premises. Just Order, Eat and Go!” That’s okay for a pizza or burger joint, but the fast food aura is invading serious dining places.

So I‘m happy to welcome The Napa Grill, where attention is paid to the creature comforts during lunch and dinner daily at 101 S. Westlake Blvd. in Westlake Village… The smartly casual setting also includes patio service when the weather allows. It’s comfortable without being extravagant.

There’s an array of tempting appetizers and tapas; a mélange of wild mushrooms include shiitake and Portobello.

The artichoke and spinach fondue is compelling; the lamb chops are tasty, and seafood specials include a quartet of jumbo seared sea scallops served with risotto and an asparagus garnish. Small and large plates are attractively presented. Prices are sensible considering the quality. Check out the chalk board in the full bar for daily specials.

Did I emphasize that patron seating at the super new Valley dining destination is really comfortable? It’s worth noting twice.

A pinch of salt may be a good thing, but the FDA has belatedly joined the anti excess sodium revolution that would reduce the typical American’s current intake of table and cooking salt by more than half. Salt hit runaway records because it’s cheap, plentiful and flavorful, but sensible salt limits would lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and save lives. Sure, “when it rains it pours,” but think and taste before you shake. Processed foods and many restaurant dishes are already loaded with the stuff. Don’t be a sodium casualty!

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The Curious Palate

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