Mister O’s Honors the Past While Staying Current in Studio City
Mister O’s marks the triumphant return to Studio City for restaurateur Michael Hide Cardenas, a well-known former maître d’ at Teru Sushi.
- CategoryEat & Drink
- Written byJoshua Lurie
Restaurateur Michael Hide Cardenas has built an impressive resume since working as maître d’ at Teru Sushi back in the ’80s. Most notably, he co-founded an L.A. restaurant collective called Innovative Dining Group. Now Michael’s made a triumphant return to Studio City with a seasonally focused restaurant with mid-century modern design called Mister O’s.
Michael reunites with Chef Mario Alberto, who last worked for him at DTLA’s meaty Lazy Ox. Nearly a decade later, Mario’s taken a much lighter approach—yielding a menu that centers on coastal American cuisines. Mario says, “We wanted to do something with the menu that was very California-driven, but all through Latin America and the coast of the Bay Area, all the way to Baja.”
Mario groups dishes into three categories: smaller “Nibbles,” intermediate “Lights” and larger, heartier “Heavies.” The opening menu included colorful pluots plated with zucchini mousse, Swiss chard and stone fruit vinegar. A juicy, crisp-skinned sea bass fillet joined earthy chanterelle mushrooms, sweet corn, spigarello and lemon verbena. Dessert was especially stunning, featuring guava panna cotta ringing olive oil cake.
Bartender Rafael Barba relocated from Napa Valley to craft signature drinks at Mister O’s like the Trade Secret. Cazadores reposado tequila joins Thai-spiced shrub, passion fruit, lime and egg white—a combo that’s shaken and stenciled with Mister O’s in Angostura bitters. The full bar also houses more than 50 whiskeys from three continents.
The mid-century modern design evokes Palm Springs from 1958 to 1964. The space features a stylized cinder block frame, moody booths, a bar with mismatched lounge furniture, and retro baubles.
Mister O’s is named after one of IDG’s first investors, Jordan Ostrow. He passed away several years ago, but his son Chris is still around to see the exciting culinary vision come to life.
11838 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-358-3839
Servin’ soul food with a twist.