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?
They’re roadside attractions.