The Raphael family, who previously owned and operated Bel-Air Bar & Grill near the Getty Center, recently debuted an eponymous globally-inspired French restaurant in Studio City. Alon Raphael, father Arnon and mother Terry lived in the community for years and thought Studio City needed a “city caliber” restaurant, so they opened Raphael on October 15.
Raphael occupies the former home of Scream recording studio. Terry Raphael, Alon’s mother and Arnon’s wife, redesigned the space, making it “eclectic modern.”
Chef Steven Berkulis, formerly of Water Grill, plans to change the menu seasonally and makes sure to list every dish on the menu by country with its country of origin.
At lunch, expect Mexican white ceviche – citrus marinated whitefish with avocado mousse, crema and achiote; a Southern French coq au vin sandwich with red wine braised chicken, mushroom duxelle, Munster cheese and crispy fries; and a half-pound Raphael Burger with Dijon mustard sauce and house pickled onions.
The dinner options are more sophisticated, including a Moroccan inspired roast duck breast with harissa spiked cous cous and candied tangering vinaigrette; a roasted rack of lamb with ratatouille, roasted peewee potatoes and lamb jus; and pan-roasted Scottish salmon with golden beet puree, roasted beets and fava bean tapenade.
Pastry chef Cynthia Nguyen, previously of Jin Patisserie, is producing desserts like banana bread pudding with house-made peanut butter ice cream, peanut brittle and tempura bananas; a chocolate mousse brownie with salty caramel ice cream and dark chocolate sauce; and several trios – crème brulee, ice cream and sorbet.
To drink, Raphael offers over 50 wines by the glass, which Alon Raphael describes as “world inspired, with choices from many growing regions.”
If you’re looking for more insight, here’s a link to a Chowhound post on Raphael from Food GPS reader Carter, who recommended the restaurant.