Need Good, Reasonably priced Restaurant in Sherman Oaks/Encino, etc.
My very friend wants to go to dinner this week. She suggested Cheesecake Factory or Macaroni Grill. Can't stand the crowds at either or the run-of-the-mill food. Max is my favorite but too pricy for her. I like to eat healthy. Any suggestions?
I live in Sherman Oaks, so here are my suggestions...
Il Tiramisu (Ventura Blvd. at Woodman)
Oliva (Van Nuys Blvd. just North of Ventura)
La Pergola (Ventura & Noble)
Another is Le Frite. I'm a bit tired of it, but every time we take people there they like it quite a bit. I have heard good things about Le Petit Jacques, but have not been there yet myself.
I've been bored in Sherman Oaks too long. Oliva is just plain disappointingly bad, Bizou caters to the greyhaired, but is geneally good, but it's always the same, La Frite has had the same menu since '75 when all the servers wore black and I liked my hamburger smothered in garlic, Pergola is overpiced and not worth it, Cordiale doesn't rate. Stanley's, Mistrial,zen,Amore's,no big deal. I liked Fiore's but it's gone. Do I sound depressed? Don't get me started by going west to Encino. I do like Pace in Laurel Canyon, Tony's Mexican Grill, Hugo's sometimes and believe it or not, Mexicali, because it is loud and fun and if you ask they make the margaritas strong.
I think La Pergola is way over priced. I second La Frite and also suggest Spumoni, on the north side of Ventura, just west of Van Nuys Blvd.
I think if Max is too pricey for your friend, La Pergola would probably be too.
Cafe Cordiale may be a good bet. Le Petit Jacques is reasonable and quiet. Food is a good value. My daughter and son in law like Le Petit Bistro near Le Petit Jacques.
I've never tried it, but Simon's Cafe (Sepulveda, just south of Ventura) has received rave reviews for its Moroccan/Meditteranean food. I've been trying to find people to go there to try the lamb tagine and homemade Merguez sausages. It's close to the Galleria, where your friend seems to want to eat. Here's a link: http://www.simonscafe.com/ (it also has a 10% off coupon). And here's a recent thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
On the same block is a new Italian restaurant, Cucina Bene. Someone posted a thread about a conversation with the chef that sounded promising. I don't know if anyone has reported on it, though. Here is a link regarding its opening: http://www.dailynews.com/dining/ci_41...
I second (or third) La Frite, where you can get a very good entree salad or chopped steak for the same price as a Cheesecake Factory entree. Spumoni also is a good option in your price point.
Stanley's is probably too obvious a choice, yet has good food, good prices, and serves good drinks.
Forget Cordiale period. The decor is like eating in a bad taste furniture store, and the food is its perfect compliment.
Oliva, Le Petit Restaurant, Taka sushi on Van Nuys across from Solleys, Pomodoro(while a chain, it is not bad and they serve beer and wine), definitely La Frite, Boneyard Bistro if you do not get carried away, and Senor Fred.
If you drive a little further down Ventura blvd. into Encino, you'll find Alcazar, a great Lebanese restaurant. Not just Mediterranean food like kabobs and falafal, there is an extensive menu of exotic <i>mezza</i> which are like Lebanese tapas. Spiced, meat filled pies, tartar, grilled meat and, of course, kababs. It's on the North side near or in a strip mall, but the entrance is right on Ventura.
Alcazar is great. It's about a half-block east of Louise, on the north side of Ventura, in the Plaza Del Oro shopping center (if that's what it's still called) across from the Town Center shopping center. It's in the same center as Quincy's BBQ (avoid) and Hirosuke. Here's the Alcazar website with a lot of pictures of their menu items: www.al-cazar.com