Michael Young, Chef/Owner
Ombra is the quintessential neighborhood restaurant, featuring a menu highlighted by local, seasonal ingredients.
3737 Cahuenga Blvd. in Studio City | 818-985-7337 ombrala.com
Ombra is the quintessential neighborhood restaurant, featuring a menu highlighted by local, seasonal ingredients. “The idea behind Ombra Ristorante,” says chef/owner Michael Young, “is to provide the experience and feel of a local restaurant one could find not only in Venice, but in any Italian city.” This bistro features moderate prices, great food and a “cool, un-intimidating staff,” says Chef Michael, who draws from his Southern Italian heritage to create classical Italian cuisine “with a twist.” He has been cooking professionally since he was 18 years old.
Tell us about the name of your restaurant.
“In Venice, when locals want a light snack, they often head for the local `bacaro.’ There, they can order wine by the glass, known as an Ombra. This beverage got its name, literally meaning `shadow,’ from the city’s hardworking gondoliers and merchants, who stopped by periodically for some refreshment.”
Do you focus on cooking with local foods?
“Absolutely. I really try to incorporate local and seasonal ingredients in everything we do. Our creative process starts with the farmers market or what is available from the seafood market. Lately I really love the local white sea bass, Chandler strawberries and Tutti Frutti Farms heirloom tomatoes.”
Is there a new-to-you ingredient you’ve been using this year?
“Paso Prime Beef … grass fed, naturally weaned prime meat from Paso Robles.”
What is one word that you most want associated with you and your cooking?
The captivating tale of how Danna and Adam Caldwell turned one small Valley Village store into a rapidly growing chain and why they call their business “a love story.”