Adam Horton Landing at An Expanded Raphael in Studio City

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Photo: Saddle Peak Lodge

Last week, we learned that longtime Saddle Peak Lodge chef Adam Horton is moving on to new terrain, specifically Raphael, the one-year-old, globe-encompassing bistro in Studio City that was featured when we rounded up a few of our favorite soup options in the city. So why the move from such an established restaurant to a new one?

Alon Rapahel, scion of the family that opened Bel Air Bar and Grill and owner of Raphael, tells us via email this was a partnership long in the making. Horton and Raphael have been very close pals since the fifth grade at Studio City's Carpenter Ave. Elementary, and continued on together through junior high and high school, along with Judd Weiss, who owns Park West, the valet service used at the restaurant.

Raphael goes on to say, "I wanted Adam to be our chef at opening, but we were a 60 seat, high end 'bistro' in the valley, not necessarily an appropriate venue for Adam's talents."

To this end, Alon tells us Raphael is undergoing a major expansion to debut sometime around February or March. Two media rooms and an extra 100 seats will be added. Raphael goes on to say, "Our childhood musings about our own place over dinner at my fathers' former restaurant, the Bel Air Bar and Grill, have become present today."