Renowned restaurant recently opened its doors, and, if you haven’t already been, you are in for a real treat. Located in the Whizins Shopping Center, Hugo’s is a chain founded in 1980 by Terry Kaplan, who had a vision to bring quality food and a zen-like atmosphere to his patrons.
Like their West Hollywood and Studio City locations, the menu is eclectic with endless options for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diners, and the food is made without the use salt or white flour.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Hugo’s is sure to please the palatte of every member of the family.
Drinks: Hugo’s is known for its vast tea selection. Choose from dozens of varieties in the categories white, chai, green, black, herbal, oolongs and pu erh. Depending on the selection, prices range from $2.75-$5.50. My favorites are the Jade Cloud, Drum Mountain White Cloud, Honey Orchid, Ginger and Mint. Along with soft drinks, fresh juices and flavored lemonades (make sure to try the strawberry), Hugo’s has organic house coffees, lattes and cappuccinos. If you’re looking for a real treat try the Scharffen Berger Hot Chocolate ($3.75). Sometimes a good cocktail, and they have a full wine and beer list. Enjoy a Mangorita ($9) and refreshing Sangria ($8), or try the signature Matcha Piccu ($9) with mango sorbet, tea, ginger and more!
Breakfast: Thank goodness breakfast is served until 4 p.m. daily. The Chilaquiles ($11.50) are a staple and delicious. Enjoy breakfast favorites like the Eggs Benedict ($11.50) and Build Your Own Omelette ($11.75). The Chipotle Scramble ($12.25) with diced grilled chicken, peppers, cheese and more, served over corned tortillas, is my personal favorite. Enjoy a large selection of your favorite vegetables cooked in the Go Green Frittata ($12). Look for specials like the Very Blueberry Pancakes ($11) or Breakfast Enchiladas ($11.50) that are often only served in the morning.
Starters: If you’re a macaroni and cheese lover like myself then you will be in a creamy heaven. The Traditional Macaroni & Cheese ($7.75) is tossed with four different cheeses. You can even order vegan ($7.75), made with cashew and sunflower cheese. Try the Red Pozole ($4.75), a tomato chili broth, or the Ginseng Chicken Soup ($4.75) before your meal. I am a fan of the Vegetable Empanadas ($6.50) with chimichurri sauce and Asian Spring Rolls ($7.75). Keep it simple with some Garlic-Parmesan Cheese Bread ($4.50) topped with parsley and paprika.
Salads: All the dressings for salad are vegan and gluten free. And don't be nervous, they’re all delicious. Salads are available in small or large. The Gorgonzola & Walnut Salad ($7) is delicious and crisp, and the Sesame Salad ($13.75) is full of flavor with oranges, jicama and a sesame-ginger dressing. If you’re a fan of beets, you’ll love the Beet Quinoa Salad ($8.50) with slow cooked beets and a sherry vinaigrette. Other customer favorites include the Mexican Salad ($13.75) and Power Of Green Salad ($11.75) with spinach, broccoli and green beans.
Sandwiches/Burgers: Enjoy either on a wheat ciabatta roll, challa egg bun, whole wheat or spinach tortilla. Pick some crispy fries, house made potato chips, a house or Caesar salad to go along with. You can’t go wrong with the Hugo Burger ($12.50, served with beef, turkey or veggie. Top your burger with three free toppings like jalapenos, crispy onions, Ortega chile or plantains. The Avocado-Hummus Wrap ($12.75) is delicious with a drizzle of sesame-ginger dressing. For a little spice I love the Cuban Sandwich ($12.75) with fried plantains and a honey-chipotle sauce.
Entrees: Hugo’s is known for many of its pastas, but the Pasta Mama was featured on the Food Network. With scrambled eggs, garlic, spices and Hugo’s special sauce, it’s a unique and savory creation. The Pasta Victor ($14.75) is made up of a light chipotle cream sauce with sun dried tomatoes and grilled chicken and it's is my personal favorite. Feast on authentic Mexican delights like the Green Tamale Plate ($13.50) or Tres Tacos ($12.75) with your choice of chicken, steak or tofu. Other popular menu choices are the Asian Stiry Fry ($14), Turkey Meatloaf ($14) and Hugo’s Shepherd’s Pie ($14.25). If you feel like trying a little bit of everything, have fun with the “Create-A-Plate” menu option. Choose for a variety of vegan and gluten-free sides to create a plate with three, four or five items. You can then add any sauce or protein for the complete meal.
Dessert: Ah, this is my favorite part. It’s the time of year for a slice of Pumpkin Pie ($8) topped with pumpkin seed brittle and whipped cream. Chocolate lovers have plenty of options with the Chocolate Mousse ($7.75), Brownie Tort with Fresh Strawberries ($8) or the Chocolate Pecan Brownie Sundae ($9). I love the Mango Sundae ($8.50) with strawberries, pineapple and banana, as it’s insanely refreshing. If you want to enjoy something different, try the Lemon-Ginger-Matcha Cake ($7.75) with fresh mint on top.