Located in a quiet corner of the Westfield Topanga Plaza’s “Luxury Court,” the upscale Ritual Café & Wine Bar seems right at home in it’s location nestled between Neiman Marcus and Tiffany. Offering a menu of fresh-made appetizers, salads, soups and paninis and an extensive list of wines by the glass or bottle, Ritual Café is the perfect spot for a light meal or post-shopping snack. In addition, this coffee bar also serves delicious breakfast items all day such as French Toast, Eggs Benedict and croissant sandwiches and the café’s “happy hour” runs from 6:00pm to close on Monday through Friday with glasses of wine and food items starting at $5 each.
Owner Alexander Kush calls Ritual Café “rich with flavor and worldly flair” and it’s clear that Kush, along with partners Tatyana Kanayka and Alex Fishkin have, “[paid} attention to every detail, from the freshest food to the finest wines." The decor of the café is also very unique, pairing traditional black chandeliers with modern red and black design elements that instantly communicate both the restaurant’s warm atmosphere and cool vibe. In addition, the space is flooded with natural light from the mall’s skylights, which make this indoor restaurant feel like a European sidewalk café. According to General Manager Paul Jones, there are plans to add tables in front of the café to capitalize on the “outdoor” feel of this indoor location for summer dining. In addition, the café is available for private parties, incorporating both the indoor and “outdoor” areas for these types of exclusive events.
The menu is not overly large but still offers diners a wide variety of options that will please any palate, including many vegetarian selections. The most café’s most popular item, the Quinoa Salad, is made up of red kale, quinoa, chickpeas, artichoke hearts and shaved almonds, all tossed in a sesame soy vinaigrette. Also popular among diners are the paninis such as the New York Pastrami, Farmer Veggie and Roasted Turkey which is comprised of freshly sliced turkey, smoked gouda, caramelized onions, roasted bell pepper, sundried tomato and chili aioli on fresh ciabatta bread and accompanied by a side salad with a light lemon vinaigrette. For those diners wishing to fully experience the luxury of the mall’s “Luxury Court,” Ritual Café even serves Russian Royal Black Caviar, which may just be the perfect snack after shopping at the nearby Auto Gallery Lamborghini showroom.
Only open since early December, Jones says they are hoping that increased summer foot traffic in the mall as well as word of mouth in the community will build on the café’s current business as more and more people hear about this West Valley hot spot, which offers the perfect combination of great food, fine wine and an atmosphere that is both casual and elegant. With the philosophy that “the rituals we invoke daily become a way of life,” Ritual Café & Wine Bar is sure to be a way of life for the West Valley for a long time to come.