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EAT, DRINK & PLAY   -   THE DISH
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Nestled away among the oak trees along a stretch of Sierra Highway lies what appears to be a small, stone-cobbled castle. As strange as the existence of a castle may be in Santa Clarita, even stranger may be the existence of a fine French restaurant in Santa Clarita. In fact, both anomalies are one and the same at Le Chene French Cuisine: an unexpected French dining destination in Sleepy Valley.
Backwards baseball caps and t-shirts that read "I Love Dead Fish" aren't usually the standard garb for serious sushi chefs. But at Light & Healthy Sushi Bar on Lyons Avenue in Newhall, the seriousness of the restaurant is where it should be: in its fresh, top-quality sushi. In fact, the casual attire behind the sushi bar is all part of the charm at this no-frills restaurant, where substance over style is the key ingredient.
Since the opening of Mojito in late September of 2004, foodies and gourmands from all over Santa Clarita have slowly but surely been flocking to this new Caribbean-Cuban restaurant in Valencia. Serving forth haute cuisine in a chic setting, Mojito provides a gastronomic combination that has not been very prevalent in Santa Clarita, but was a necessary indulgence for the growing tastes of our ever-expanding community.
A panache version of "Cheers" is a good way to describe one of Santa Clarita's smoothest (but accessible) night-spots, The Social. This upscale "neighborhood" restaurant/bar, located in the old Chiaso building in Newhall, is a lot like the community's newest residents - classy, but with a wild side. The Social's owners have capitalized on the SCV's newest craving: fun but sophisticated places to enjoy good food, company, and libations without the kids. Less successful attempts at capturing the mood that draws young (and young at heart) professionals looking for a great time out have been made, but owners Patrick Lage, along with brothers Scott and Billy Bartholomew, have gotten it right. It's time to call a babysitter.
"Bada bing." Maybe not a phrase that rings with authenticity in Santa Clarita, but coming from implant Dick Lee, former New Jersey night club owner, it's a perfect description of co-owner Lee's newest venture: The Roast House Restaurant and Bar. With his two sons, Mike and Beau, the trio of East Coast restaurateurs are already making quite an impact on our little So Cal town.
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