Chef Tal Ronnen is set to make a grand, plant-based impression on the west San Fernando Valley on Friday, October 14 with the opening of the third location of Crossroads Kitchen at the Commons at Calabasas. Ronnen opened the original Crossroads in West Hollywood in 2013 and expanded to Resorts World Las Vegas this past May. The restaurant is a mecca of sorts for those obsessed with vegan dining. Ronnen, along with Jun Matoshiro of Shojin and Matthew Kenney of Plant Food + Wine, have set the tone for plant-based fine dining in Los Angeles and beyond.
Crossroads goes to great lengths to remind diners that it’s simply a restaurant. To that end, Ronnen serves up an impressive wine list, a lengthy bar with unique cocktails, tables sporting white tablecloths, and service that rivals some of LA’s finest establishments. At the core of Crossroads is Ronnen’s commitment to taste and technique. The menu contains few tofu dishes and sparse use of meat substitutes.
Crossroads Calabasas, which is set in one of the wealthiest zip codes in the country, will appeal to those who live close by. Many of Ronnen’s regulars at the West Hollywood location make the trek from the Valley often, he says. Crossroads Calabasas is the largest of the three locations, with indoor capacity for 75 and a stunning 60-seat outdoor patio. Ronnen says there’s subtle differences in the menus, too. “All three locations go through seasonal changes four times a year,” he says. “But in Vegas, the portions are more entree style. At Melrose, there’s a lot more shared plates. And Calabasas is a hybrid between the two.”
Diners can opt for the seasonally driven, seven-course tasting menu for $175 or order a la carte from the regular menu, which currently features roasted butternut squash with toasted pumpkin seeds and pomegranate; an inventive caviar with kelp seaweed; and carbonara with house-made spaghetti and a runny, tomato-based “yolk.” Chef Job Servin, the former sous chef at Crossroads Melrose, will oversee Crossroads Calabasas. Brunch will follow in the coming months.
Regulars at Crossroads Melrose will find the dining room quite familiar, with the same red vegan leather banquettes, moody lighting, and ‘80s jams over the PA, along with photographs of rock and roll royalty by Neil Zlozower. There’s a massive image of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger towering over the bar, where imbibers can sip the Blackberry Fields cocktail made with mezcal, vermouth, and Aperol. The cocktail list comes from the restaurant’s veteran bartenders and bar managers, who have added their creations to the menu over the years.
Crossroads Kitchen will be open from Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations are available on the Crossroads website.