Skip to Content

Hugo’s Agoura Hills: Transforming Simple Ingredients to Create Great Food

Hidden in a nondescript strip mall in the Conejo Valley, a short 30-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles lies an oasis in the desert. An enclave of delicious food that will have you rethinking how food should be prepared, cooked, and served. Where great restaurants are as plentiful as the California sun, Hugo’s Restaurant stands out from the rest with one simple mission: transforming simple ingredients to create great food.

Disclosure: My trip to the Conejo Valley was provided courtesy of Augustine Ideas for the #VisitConejo #VisitConejo Valley #CatchYourBreath Press Trip before the #DiscoverOxnard16 #NATJA conference.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Hugo’s Restaurant Agoura Hills

Hugo's Restaurant is an oasis in the desert. An enclave of delicious food that will have you rethinking how food should be prepared, cooked, and served. Transforming simple ingredients to create great food. Travelingwellforless.com

Photo courtesy of Hugo’s Restaurant

We were greeted warmly by Tom Kaplan, CEO, and grandson of Terry Kaplan, the original founder of Hugo’s Restaurant. Tom was a gracious and welcoming host. Despite a long day that began with a hike followed by a long stint in the restaurant, he entertained us for hours with stories of the origin and the philosophy behind Hugo’s.

My dining companions on this trip included:

Stealthy Healthy

Hugo’s Restaurant is for foodies who aren’t foodies. Where ‘stealthy healthy’ meals are the norm. Children and even the pickiest of eaters and/or vegetable haters eagerly scarf down vegetables without pause. Hugo’s delicious vegan food can turn a carnivore into an herbivore.

You’ll want to check out the menu in advance because the choices are practically limitless. With over 70 choices, Specials, and “Create a Plate” options there’s something for everyone. Portions are large enough for two (or three) people to easily share. And unless you plan on bringing leftovers home, you may want to consider splitting a dish.

Asian Spring Rolls

Hugo's Restaurant's California take on an asian spring roll.These plump asian spring rolls were burrito sized. TravelingWellForLess.com

An easy way to get your veggies

A California take on an Asian spring roll. Traditional Vietnamese spring rolls are filled with pork, shrimp, squid, beef or tofu. Hugo’s serves a vegan version filled with snow peas, carrots, cucumbers, avocado, and kelp noodles.

And whereas most spring rolls are long and thin. These plump Asian spring rolls were burrito sized. Forks are necessary unless you can wrap your mouth around these bad boys.

The combination of crunchy vegetables with the soft ripened avocado and kelp noodles tucked in the soft rice paper made for a delightful ?.

The Asian Spring Rolls are vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free.

Cuban Style Croquettes

The Cuban Styled Croquettes are a must when you dine at Hugo's. Reminiscient of a California style Shepherd's Pie, these veggie Sloppy Joe filled potato balls are a must. TravelingWellForLess.com

The Cuban Style Croquettes are not something I would normally order. And the description isn’t intriguing.

But OMG. Melt in your mouth, give me more of these croquettes.

The Cuban Styled Croquettes are a must when you dine at Hugo’s. Reminiscent of a California style Shepherd’s Pie, these veggie Sloppy Joe filled potato balls surprised me. You will regret not trying these if you don’t order them when you eat at Hugo’s.

The Cuban Style Croquettes are vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free.

Mung Bean and Rice Flatbread Pizza

Sneak in extra protein into your kid's (or your) diet with the Mung Bean and Rice Flatbread Pizza from Hugo's Restaurant. TravelingWellForLess.com

Say goodbye to ordinary pizza

You can sneak in extra protein into your kid’s (or your) diet with the Mung Bean and Rice Flatbread Pizza. You could happily eat the Mung Bean and Rice Flatbread Pizza instead of regular pizza any day of the week. The flatbread is thin enough to be crispy yet thick enough to support the weight of the mung beans and rice.

The Mung Bean Flatbread Pizza is gluten-free.

Spaghetti With Turkey Meatballs

Spaghetti With Turkey Meatballs. Hugo's Restaurant makes their spaghetti from scratch every morning. And all pasta at Hugo's (spaghetti and fusilli) is vegan (no eggs are used) and organic. TravelingWellForLess.com

You must be thinking, “Spaghetti? Why would order spaghetti when there are so many other wonderful choices are on the menu?”

Because Hugo’s Restaurant makes their spaghetti from scratch every morning. And if you eat a vegan diet, all pasta at Hugo’s (spaghetti and fusilli) is vegan (no eggs are used) and organic. You can also order red lentils gluten-free penne pasta for an extra $3.

Perfectly cooked without being chewy or rubbery, the pasta was outstanding. I can’t do this dish justice in my description. Once you’ve had fresh pasta, you will be ruined and off-the-shelf dried pasta will forever pale in comparison.

The turkey meatballs are made with Shelton’s free-range ground turkey.

The Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs are vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free. If you choose the veggie balls they contain nuts.

I’ve included photos of my dinner companion’s entrees with whom we shared bites of each other’s food. There was nothing on the Hugo’s Restaurant menu that I would not hesitate to order again.

Red Lentil Bacon

Vegan friendly bacon made from red lentils at Hugo's Restaurant. TravelingWellForLess.com

Vegan friendly bacon made from red lentils

Red lentils have never been high on my must eat list but this bacon is a good way to add lentils to your diet.

Spanish Sorghum Wrap

Spanish Sorghum Wrap at Hugo's Restaurant, Traveling Well For Less

A wrap that packs a lot of punch

The Spanish Sorghum Wrap is vegan and vegetarian.

Very Green Casserole

Very Green Casserole from Hugo's Restaurant. Traveling Well For Less

You’ll never look at a casserole the same way again

The Very Green Casserole is vegan, gluten-free, and contains nuts.

Chicken Carciofi

Chicken Carciofi at Hugo's Restaurant. Traveling Well For Less

Sauteed Chicken breast with artichoke hearts, spinach, cherry tomatoes, garlic, Kalamata olives, chili flakes, lemon juice, white wine and butter

The Chicken Carciofi is vegetarian and gluten-free.

Chocolate Mousse

Hugo's Restaurant Chocolate Mousse. TravelingWellForLess.com

Creamy and light this chocolate mousse is sure to delight

The Chocolate Mousse is vegetarian and gluten-free.

Sticky Buns

wo crunchy churros topped with a caramelized pecan sauce of raw pecans at Hugo's Restaurant. Traveling Well For Less

We finished our meal with an order of sticky buns. This was and is the perfect ending to one of the most amazing, healthy, delicious dinners I’ve had in a long time.

These aren’t sticky buns in the traditional sense. They are more like California sticky buns. Because it was two crunchy churros topped with a caramelized pecan sauce of raw pecans.

The Sticky Buns are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and contain nuts.

Hugo’s Restaurant Agoura Hills is located at 5046 Cornell Road, Agoura Hills, California.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for simple, great, healthy food, a visit to Hugo’s Restaurant Agoura Hills in a must. Where everything is lovingly made from scratch without artificial preservatives or colors.

Hugo’s Restaurant Agoura Hills is only 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles and is known for ‘stealthy healthy’ meals. With generous portions and over 70 menu choices, even the pickiest of eaters can find something on Hugo’s menu.

Pin this to your food board

Hugo's Restaurant Agoura Hills is only 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles and is known for “stealthy healthy” meals.

Did you like this post? Feel free to comment, share this post, tweet, or give me a +1.

Comment, tweet, or share this post.

Get the best credit card signup bonuses.

Follow us on Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | YouTube

Got a question? Or want help, suggestions, travel tips, learn how to travel for free, find out about travel deals, and maximize your miles and points? Use the subscription box below to sign-up and get post updates by email.

Traveling Well For Less has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling Well For Less and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for beginning travel hackers. It is the first card you should get to start traveling for free because the welcome offer is 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.  
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5X points on travel when booked through the Chase portal (2X if direct purchase), 3X points on dining , $50 yearly credit on hotels booked through the Chase portal, no foreign transaction fees, and transferring points to 13 airline and hotel partners like Hyatt, United, and Southwest.
 

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of my favorite cards for earning cash back card and travel rewards. It offers a welcome offer of 3% cash back = an extra 1.5% cash back on up to $20,000 in purchases your first year.
 
My favorite perks about this card are earning 6.5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal , 4.5% cash back at drugstores and restaurants, unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and no annual fee. When paired with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, you can use your points to travel for free.
 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Mary

Sunday 1st of April 2018

How can you say that the Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs is vegan and vegetarian and that the Chicken Carciofi is vegetarian? Turkey and Chicken are not vegetables!

Debra Schroeder

Monday 2nd of April 2018

Hi Mary,

I should have been clearer in my post. You can modify both those dishes so that they're vegan and/or vegetarian.

Uncover Your Caribbean

Wednesday 13th of April 2016

I am about to eat my screen! Looks and sounds like you had a very good experience. The food looks great too!

Debra Schroeder

Wednesday 13th of April 2016

Hi Uncover Your Caribbean,

LOL. Thanks, glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Trisha Velarmino

Tuesday 12th of April 2016

I love how the food scene have evolved through the years! People are now thinking of eating healthy and that is something amazing!!!

Debra Schroeder

Wednesday 13th of April 2016

Hi Trisha Velarmino - P.S. I'm On My Way,

It's hard not to eat healthy when there are restaurants like Hugo's. :)

Megan

Monday 11th of April 2016

Fun! Maybe I'll have to try and make it out next time I'm in Los Angeles. Those Cuban Croquettes looked intriguing.

Debra Schroeder

Wednesday 13th of April 2016

Hi Megan,

Yes, please do. They have 3 restaurants in California: Agoura Hills (the one I visited), West Hollywood, and Studio City.

Brianna

Sunday 10th of April 2016

I love restaurants that take a creative twist on healthy foods. Everything at Hugo's looks fantastic!

Debra Schroeder

Wednesday 13th of April 2016

Hi Brianna,

Thanks. And they have so much more on the menu. It was hard deciding what to eat because everything sounded so good.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.