Catching Up with Café on 27

Annemarie DonkinBy Annemarie Donkin

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Catching Up with Café on 27
annemarie Donkin Delicious Zizulini Pasta at Café on 27
Café on 27 is a unique and delightful restaurant in the heart of Topanga where one can enjoy breakfast and lunch or simply relax with a Caffé Latte on the patio. You might even catch a glimpse of the red tail hawk hunting in the canyon below! Two weeks ago, Flavia Potenza, publisher of The Canyon Chronicle and I decided to drop in to Café on 27 for lunch. I had covered the restaurant when it first opened and it seemed time for an update. The patio, where we were sitting enjoying the fresh breeze, overlooks not just one deck but three, built at different levels. That wasn’t the only update for the cafe. While perusing the menu, I happened upon a new dish described as “Zizulini Pasta.” Intrigued, I asked the server for her opinion of this new menu item. She smiled and said it was one of their best, so I ordered it immediately. A short time later, a bowl of colorful Fusilli pasta lightly tossed with a sherry cream sauce infused with macadamia nuts and zucchini strings and garnished with fresh herbs and a yellow pansy, was set before me. It was love at first bite! Beautiful, light and lovely with delicate flavors unlike any I have experienced—and I have been to Italy. It was a revelation. When proprietor Amir Rofougaran visited our table, he informed us that the pasta dish was balanced with the five elements of the Chinese zodiac—wood, fire, earth, metal and water. These are derived from the Five Elements Theory—or Wu Xing—a philosophy used to describe the relationship and interdependence between all things. Amir proudly introduced the Head Chef Axel Aleman, who helped develop the pasta dish so we could thank him in person. A Unique Topanga Experience It was such a lovely afternoon and we couldn’t have asked for better company in Amir—he is an innovative restaurateur with the soul of a poet. “My philosophy about the restaurant is I want it to be a model of environmental consciousness,” he said after the Café’s Grand Opening in 2019. “In restaurant service, I believe in the move to fresh, natural life; we are going for 100 percent organic and would like to put as much into environmentally-safe disposal.” As one example, he installed a state-of-the-art water filtration system that makes the tap water they serve at every table truly remarkable for its pure, clean taste. The menu is not only up to date but evolving with new dishes such as the Zizulini Pasta—staying fresh, seasonal and organic throughout the year. Amir’s attention to detail shows, as on that day both the upper and lower patios were full of Topangans and tourists lingering over their salads and lattes while gazing upon the spectacular views of the canyon and hills beyond. Soon after the restaurant opened, Amir, who planned to remove a large eucalyptus tree, had it cut only halfway, then built an “eagle’s nest” on it. Golden eagles in the area are rare, but upon research, we discovered that two chicks had been born at the outermost edges of the Santa Monica mountains that year. Four years later, we asked Amir if anyone had moved into the nest. To our surprise, he pulled up a photo, not of an eagle, but of a red-tail hawk, who had just caught dinner from the canyon below. It’s comforting to know that Amir created a welcoming space not only for people, but for the wildlife we share it with, in this case the hawk and its sustenance. In these waning days of summer do yourself a favor and enjoy the space over good food, perhaps with good friends, at Café on 27. It is a magical experience—like taking a mini-vacation right in your own backyard. Café on 27, 1861 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, CA 90290. Open 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Daily Phone: (424) 272-7267. Contact for Private Events:;
Amir Rofougaran A red-tail hawk found its dinner in the canyon below Cafe on 27. Photo by Amir Rofougaran
Annemarie Donkin

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August 19, 2022