Voted L.A.'s most romantic restaurant for five years. Combining natural organic food with natural surroundings, classical music and new age philosophy, the Inn has been California's culinary agent for change, serving up much more than standard fare for almost two decades.
Deep in the heart of Topanga Canyon, the Inn hugs the bank of a gently flowing creek and is surrounded by greenery. Huge oak and pine trees grow through and over the restaurant's two terraces, filtering sunlight and creating a sense of intimacy. The name comes from the seventh ray of light passing through a prism, the violet one, signifying change. And since getting married constitutes a significant change in most people's lives, it seems perfectly fitting that the Inn hosts weddings.
Ceremonies are held in the Fountain Courtyard, a brick-and-stone terrace with an elevated, wisteria-covered gazebo. After they exchange vows, the bride and groom join their guests seated below for the reception. The courtyard is enclosed by a wild mix of canyon foliage on three sides and the Garden Room on the fourth. Tables are informally arranged around a white fountain, and beneath a lattice wood trellis laced with honeysuckle. Although the Garden Room is generally used just for food setup, it's also a quasi-rustic setting for small indoor receptions, with a glass ceiling, latticed walls, tall indoor plants and a fireplace.
The Creekside Patio, not surprisingly, sits just above the creek and stretches along it for about a hundred yards. A narrow version of the Fountain Courtyard, it's dominated by a gigantic, three-trunked oak, and bordered by a row of bushes and a low brick wall with a wooden railing.
Just behind the patio is the Church Room, the Inn's original structure. Once a gospel church, it's also rumored to have been Aimée Semple MacPherson's private mountain retreat in the '30s. Now a dining room, it still feels a little like a country chapel, with its steeply peaked, open-beamed ceiling and arched stained-glass window. Ivy clings to much of the building's exterior, and even thrives inside, wrapping itself around some of the beams.
The newest improvement to the Inn is a series of clear UV-rated tents placed over the patios. Open on the sides in summer and heated during winter months, they give diners access to everything around them, and permit outdoor celebrations any time of year.
Meals are pesticide- and additive-free, and the food is 70-90% organic. Fresh seasonal vegetables come from local organic farms. The restaurant has a staunchly loyal clientele whose allegiance is spiritual as well as gastronomical: the Inn's unique bookstore is stocked with books that have changed customers' lives, and the gazebo-purported to have a special energy-is considered a charmed spot for ceremonies. The soul-satisfying combination of uplifting garden atmosphere and high-quality food puts the Inn of the Seventh Ray in a class by itself.