As they approach their eight month anniversary, Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie in Agoura Hills is not only a success but has been since day one. "We tried to open quietly" says owner and manager Cyrena Nouzille, "but we pretty much got run over right away." A first-time restaurateur, Nouzille took over the space that used to house a Chuy's mesquite broiler. It took close to a year to transform the restaurant from a kitschy cantina to a brasserie that's filled with art inspired by Ladyface Mountain, a small peak that the restaurant sits next to.
A longtime home beer brewer, Nouzille's approach was to create a gastropub that would give the locals a relaxing place to gather and introduce them to some really good beer.
In that spirit, Ladyface serves up a selection of craft beers from all over California, but more importantly, they are also brewing their own. As the only microbrewery between Ventura and Hollywood, they have about six of their own ales on hand daily and another three or four available seasonally.
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Two of their most popular are the Ladyface India Pale Ale and their Blind Ambition Belgian Amber. Their head brewer is David Griffiths, who ran the 30 barrel production facility at BJ's Brewhouse in Oxnard for about seven years. "Dave is back there at least 6 days a week," says Nouzille, "and he's always experimenting with something new." The team offers monthly brewery tours and eventually plans to serve up only their own brews.
The menu is made up of classic bistro fare like French onion soup, croque monsieur and moules frite. Nouzille brought on chef Ray Luna, who's done stints at Spago, Patina and Shutters on the Beach. Luna, a big beer lover, incorporates beer into many of his dishes, is committed to sourcing as much of his meat and produce from local purveyors as he can, and tries to suggest beer pairings for many of his dishes.
Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie: 29281 Agoura Rd. Agoura Hills;