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  • Writer's pictureTheFork

Hugo’s: A Tale of Two Kitchens

As a restaurant critic, I take my job seriously, eating the highs and lows of the city to give you the most discerning and in-depth restaurant recommendations. Today, we’re reviewing Hugo’s, with two locations that we’ve frequented - West Hollywood and Studio City. It’s an interesting tale, as you’ll see, of two branches of the same establishment that couldn’t feel more different.


Our experience at Hugo’s is akin to an adventurous rollercoaster ride. Both branches offer a delightful assortment of dishes that can cater to every mood and palate, from the fussiest of eaters to those seeking a culinary thrill. The service? Top-notch at both ends. And let’s not forget the fact that they take reservations and offer free parking – a blessing in Los Angeles, if you ask me.


Let’s dive into the food. I often find myself swaying towards the Pasta Papa – fresh pasta scrambled with eggs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese, Hugo’s special seasoning, bacon, turkey sausage, and scallions. I customize it to my taste, requesting homemade fusilli, half the amount of pasta, two extra scrambled eggs, turkey bacon in lieu of regular, additional garlic, and jalapenos – sometimes, I even throw in grilled chicken for good measure.


But let me be clear: the Pasta Papa at Hugo’s Studio City branch is the stuff of dreams, whereas in West Hollywood, it’s just... fine.


The crux of our review lies in the house-made hot sauce. At the Studio City location, it’s divine – spicy, flavorful, and exciting. West Hollywood, however, insists on using ghost pepper, rendering the sauce too spicy, overpowering, and inedible. Repeated appeals for a return to the original recipe have been in vain, much to the chagrin of customers and servers alike. Could the chef not offer both versions? One for those who enjoy feeling the tips of their tongues, and another for the thrill-seekers with asbestos palates?


Unfortunately, there’s a bitter (or should I say, overly sour) note to this tale: the coffee at both locations is, to put it bluntly, abominable.


And yet, the allure of a varied menu, the convenience of reservations, and the free parking tempt us back time and time again. To the resilient and adaptable folks at Hugo’s, we give 3 out of 5 forks. If you’re not an enthusiast of extreme spice or terrible coffee, perhaps bring your hot sauce and thermos? You’re welcome.




breakfast pasta spaghetti noodles
The Pasta Papa (without bacon)



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