Cyrena Nouzille opened Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie on November 9 in the former Agoura Hills home of Chuy’s Mesquite Broiler. The concept combines a French & Belgian inspired gastropub with the only microbrewery between Los Angeles and Ventura.
Why the unusual name? “We wanted a name that reflected our local geography and colorful history,” says Nouzille. The establishment overlooks Ladyface Mountain, and of course the proprietor is a lady. Fun fact: the face in the logo was based on Nouzille’s daughter Chloe.
Executive Chef Ray Luna is a Los Angeles native who previously worked at Spago Beverly Hills, Shutters on the Beach and Bikini, to name just three establishments. He was most recently a private chef for Will Smith and his family. At Ladyface, he’s committed to sourcing meat, seafood, produce and beverages from local purveyors. He makes a point to list the purveyors on the menu, including McGrath Farms, Underwood Family Farms and Novy Ranch Beef.
Chef Luna’s menu features several dishes that incorporate beer, including beef short ribs carbonnade, slow braised in a Dubbel ale; beer- battered fish and chips; and Belgian frites served with red ale ketchup, blue cheese fondue and Ray-oli [garlic-mayonnaise] sauce. He changes his moules frites preparation on a weekly basis and makes a dish called coq-à-la-bière, a variation on coq au vin made with baby root vegetables. Ladyface also serves plenty of beer-friendly charcuterie, cheeses and sausages. For dessert, options include a spiced chocolate soufflé, tarte tatin and beer float.
David Griffiths, a third partner who was previously head brewer for BJ’s in Oxnard, is overseeing the on-site microbrewery. He’s a believer in Flemish-style ales, but his first two beers are Ladyface Blonde and Ladyface IPA. In three weeks, he plans to add to the roster, but for now, he’s arming the rest of Ladyface’s 16 taps with guest brews.
For the design, Nouzille was inspired by the brasseries and village pubs of northeast Europe. The space now features dark wood, communal tables, an outdoor patio and an ale-themed color palette. Look for hop patterns on the booths and bar pendants. You’ll even find five paintings of “ale muses” from artist Carla Palmese, which each represent one of Griffiths’ signature brews. Near the bar, you’ll find four stainless steel tanks.