82.1 F
San Fernando
Sunday, Nov 27, 2022
-Advertisement-

New Owners Take Reins at Saddle Peak

Traditional Indian dishes such as palak paneer, vegetable jalfrezi and tandoori chicken are the fare that restaurateur Deep Sethi is accustomed to serving. But the owner of two Indian restaurants in Beverly Hills is now the new owner of Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas, the rustic fine-dining establishment with an exotic wild game menu that has consistently won awards. Saddle Peak’s emu, buffalo, venison and elk entrees gave Sethi pause when he first considered buying the business. He liked the restaurant from his first visit, but it took him two years and several more visits before he closed on the deal in October. “It was outside my comfort zone – a cuisine I had not done before,” Sethi said. “But the service was what most attracted me to buy this place. When you go to busy restaurants, there is a quick turnover. But when you go to Saddle Peak, you’re encouraged to stay there – an hour and a half, or maybe two hours. That is really extremely important to me – that the customer wants to stay there and just linger.” That high level of service was cultivated by the prior owner, Ann Graham Ehringer, who took over Saddle Peak in 1992. Ehringer focused on creating an in-house culture, having a new logo designed and hiring authors to write exciting stories about Saddle Peak’s long history. But most of all, she set up strict rules of conduct all employees had to follow – regardless of position. “Everyone had to be very nice to each other – pleasant and kind,” Ehringer said. “No chefs were allowed to throw knives; there were no TV shows. I fired the man who got our Michelin (restaurant) star. I fired him the day I found out he was being nasty to people in the kitchen.” Ehringer, who holds a doctorate in management from USC and has advised the boards of more than 40 public and private companies, sold the restaurant to return to the academic world as a student and continue learning. She believes under Sethi and his wife, Harveen, Saddle Peak will maintain its award-winning reputation and expects “very good things” for its future, she said. As each of Saddle Peak’s owners have added their own mark to it, Sethi plans to add more vegetarian dishes, turn the third-floor loft into a whiskey room, create an affordable happy hour bar menu and add international wines to the American-focused wine list. The restaurant’s potential is “tremendous,” Sethi said, adding that the business basics of running restaurants are essentially the same, regardless of cuisine. “It’s very exciting, and these new challenges have revitalized my interest,” he said. – Carol Lawrence

-Advertisement-

Featured Articles

-Advertisement-
-Advertisement-

Related Articles

-Advertisement-
-Advertisement-