Classic Tables: Napa Valley Grille

Keeping Westwood seasonal for more than 10 years

As a destination in L.A.'s vast culinary landscape, Westwood Village is a walled garden unto itself. Most of the restaurants are geared toward UCLA coeds and hospital workers; others have short life spans.

But there is one exception: Napa Valley Grille, which turns 10 this year.

Whether it's for happy hour in the bar or long lunches on the patio, the sprawling restaurant still fills up on a daily basis. It might look and feel like a corporate giant, yet the seasonal menu from chef Joseph Guillard feels as intimate as one from a corner bistro.

Upon reading, you wouldn't know those mashed purple carrots listed on the menu with the tender, beefy short ribs ($20) come from Weiser Family Farms, or that the delicate greens and gem lettuces in that organic salad ($8) are from Country Fresh Herbs–but they are.

Most dishes change with the seasons: Right now there's grilled Catalina swordfish with lemony frisée ($22.50); house-made tortellini fattened with sweet butternut squash ($10); and silky grits and braised local greens with a hearty braised lamb shank ($22.50).

In fact, Guillard is so dedicated to the local farms that he even started a CSA program with Country Fresh Herbs in Tarzana. Participants pay about $420 quarterly for boxes filled with produce like Cara Cara oranges, radishes and baby spinach, all to be picked up at the restaurant every Wednesday.

The beauty of that: sticking around for a snack.

Napa Valley Grille, 1100 Glendon Ave., Westwood; 310-824-3322 or napavalleygrille.com