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Philly Cheesesteak in Tarzana

rainey Sep 16, 2006 11:13 PM

My husband (the connoisseur of cheesesteak in my family; he's been to Pat's in Philly) just found a new place at Ventura and Topeka in Tarzana. It's across the street from Peet's.

He says it's great. He says they get the consistency of cheese that's melted all the way through the sandwich and they get it with real cheese.

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  1. RacerX RE: rainey Sep 17, 2006 10:02 PM

    The place is called Sam's Philly Steak Depot.

    Never been to Philly so I don't know how authentic it is but I pick this place over South Street (both the Westwood and Burbank locations)

    They don't skimp on the meat and prices are very reasonable (their 7" Super Steak comes with cheese, mushroom, bell peppers, and onions and is only $5.19 and definitely satisfied this big eater.)

    Owner seems nice but business seems slow since the strip mall he's in has been undergoing a remodel for what seems like over six months.

    Sam's Philly Steak Depot
    18966 Ventura Bl.
    Tarzana, CA 91356
    818 776-9494

    1. r
      rainey RE: rainey Sep 18, 2006 03:39 AM

      Thanks for the specifics. We were going to have some this afternoon for lunch but it seems they're not open on Sunday.

      1. o
        Ollie RE: rainey Sep 18, 2006 06:54 AM

        Thanks, good cheesesteak is hard to find, not to mention the Valley. Been to SouthStreet and IMHO it's not all that. I'll have to check this place out!

        1. p
          Philly RE: rainey Sep 18, 2006 03:14 PM

          Will give it a try. John's in Huntington Beach is about the best I've found in LA/OC. BTW, Pat's is a tourist trap and clearly not a barometer for a good cheesesteak in Philly.

          1. k
            krustyjonez RE: rainey Sep 18, 2006 11:44 PM

            Just to get the typical disclaimer out of the way, an authentic cheesesteak is made with Cheez Whiz. It tastes better. It doesn't necessarily taste more natural, just better.

            Pat's (and Geno's) are definitely tourist traps, but it doesn't mean their steaks aren't any good. Both are excellent.

            I have not been to Sam's, but if a hound is looking for an excellent example, any of the Papa Jake's fit the bill. Excellent cheese fries as well.

            3 Replies
            1. re: krustyjonez
              Wonginator RE: krustyjonez Sep 18, 2006 11:49 PM

              I've also read that authetic Philly cheese steaks come with white American cheese.

              I've tried them with white American cheese, cheese whiz, and provolone, and I tend to prefer the white American cheese.

              1. re: krustyjonez
                Philly RE: krustyjonez Sep 19, 2006 03:41 PM

                Not true!!! Cheesesteaks were made with provolone or white american cheeses long before Whiz came into the picture. Most places that offer Whiz also offer provolone and/or white american; however many do not offer Whiz. Most native Philadelphians, such as myself, would not agree that Pat's and Geno's have excellent cheesesteaks. If I was in South Philly, I'd head to Tony Luke's, or a number of other places, not Pat's/Geno's.

                1. re: krustyjonez
                  rainey RE: krustyjonez Sep 22, 2006 04:26 AM

                  "Just to get the typical disclaimer out of the way, an authentic cheesesteak is made with Cheez Whiz. "

                  I realized that. I just couldn't bring myself to eat anything with Cheese Whiz on it and was happy to hear that they could get the same effect (my husband assures me) with real cheese. ;>

                2. s
                  siranush RE: rainey Sep 21, 2006 02:38 AM

                  WOW!!! i went to sams philly steak depot yesterday and i have to admit that was the best steak I've ever tasted.their super steak was fantastic it was almost like i was in philly. the super steak had mushrooms bell pepper cheese and onions in it and all of the veggies were fresh.i asked for extra cheese and wow it changed the whole flavor of the steak and made it more jucier and it just blended in with the bread because the bread is crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside. the owner was so sweet and he made me feel at home. i recomend you guys try it and you won't regret it i'm serious!!!!!!!!

                  1. p
                    pizzafreak RE: rainey Sep 21, 2006 06:40 AM

                    Went there tonight, and agree with all siranush wrote. It's a winner, and the bread, the bread, oh that bread!!!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pizzafreak
                      rainey RE: pizzafreak Sep 22, 2006 04:13 AM

                      I am so glad you guys enjoyed it! I still haven't been. But I hope to soon.

                    2. o
                      Ollie RE: rainey Sep 21, 2006 07:21 PM

                      Do they make Pizza Steak, & chicken steak also?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Ollie
                        RacerX RE: Ollie Sep 21, 2006 08:11 PM

                        Their menu does list a Pizza steak (comes with mushroom, bell pepper, onion, olive & tomato).

                        They also list philly steak charbroiled chicken on their menu - not sure if that is the chicken steak you're refering too.

                        Haven't tried either so I can't vouch for it.

                        1. re: RacerX
                          Ollie RE: RacerX Sep 22, 2006 03:58 AM

                          First chance I get, I'm there!

                      2. r
                        rainey RE: rainey Sep 23, 2006 04:50 PM

                        I went yesterday and had a mushroom steak sandwich and potato salad. The sandwich was yummy and generous with meat and even the 7" was too much for me. The potato salad was just fine. Nothing to write home about but I'm glad they had it as an alternative because I'm not much on chips or fries. It was also about a double portion.

                        They were busy. All the tables were occupied and a couple people came in for phoned-in orders while I waited for my sandwich. The guy at the counter was very friendly and the guy at the grill sounded like three tepanyaki chefs working simultaneously on the grill.

                        The take out menu says they take AmEx but they don't.

                        I'm gonna go back and try a pizza steak. Hope they have a green salad but I can't remember if it was on the menu.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: rainey
                          Ollie RE: rainey Sep 23, 2006 08:38 PM

                          I Googled them, do they have a website? Couldn't find one.

                        2. Arthur RE: rainey Sep 23, 2006 08:50 PM

                          I just insanely LOVE cheesesteaks and have posted about them several times on this site, but I must admit that I haven't ever before heard of this place. So I'm dying to know if anyone here can compare it to Markie D's in Culver City, which is my hands-down absolute favorite (and also quite a bit more convenient for me). Is Sam's really worth the half-hour road trip from the westside?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Arthur
                            pizzafreak RE: Arthur Sep 23, 2006 11:32 PM

                            If you already have a great place, why bother? All Sam's Philly can be is as good. When you have something else to do in the Valley, that's the time to try it. I hope that happens in the near future, because I would like the opinion and review of a cheesesteak maven

                          2. r
                            rainey RE: rainey Sep 26, 2006 09:25 PM

                            They also have generous delicious burgers. I'd compare the mushroom burger I had to the flavor of Carney's — one of my very favs. ...but next time I'd have them leave off all the salad — they use a mountain of finely shredded lettuce, bell pepper, onion and tomato.

                            1. b
                              Bria Silbert RE: rainey Nov 5, 2006 04:06 AM

                              I agree about the cheesesteaks, but the place was a huge mess - four tables not bussed at all, dried up food just lying t here, wrappers on the floor, papers all over and the owner and his friend chain smoking in front of the place with the door wide open so that the whole storefront reeked of smoke - it turned me off so badly that despite how good the food was, I will NEVER go back.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Bria Silbert
                                sel RE: Bria Silbert Nov 5, 2006 07:11 PM

                                It was sounding sooo good until I read your post. While I can handle the unbussed tables etc., the chain smoking stink is a dealbreaker!

                                1. re: Bria Silbert
                                  chuck RE: Bria Silbert Nov 6, 2006 04:31 AM

                                  I have been here a couple of times and enjoyed the sandwiches. You are right about the smoking though. They had the front door open and the smoke was coming in. My wife just got up and closed the door. I can see how this would keep some people away.

                                2. b
                                  BearCity RE: rainey Nov 5, 2006 07:23 AM

                                  I tried Sam's based on this thread, and I had a relatively good experience. The sandwich was good, but not great. The ingredients were quality, but the meat could have been seasoned better. For valley cheesesteaks, I prefer Springbok on Victory Blvd or the steak and cheese at Beeps at Sherman & Woodley (although it's a bastardized lettuce and tomato affair).

                                  1. SauceSupreme RE: rainey Nov 5, 2006 03:32 PM

                                    So far the most authentic cheesesteak in the area I've found is in Burbank.

                                    South Street
                                    117 N Burbank

                                    Amoroso rolls, just the right amount of whiz. There used to be a place in Pasadena that also did it right, but they've since moved to Monrovia and then closed entirely.

                                    I'll definitely check this place out, though. Thanks for the tip.

                                    1. s
                                      siranush RE: rainey Nov 6, 2006 06:46 AM

                                      since they've opened I've been going there often and so far I've seen no mess and i don't know what happened Bria Silbert but the place is always clean and the workers are very friendly. and the food!!! Wow don't get me started with the food. its fantastic.i don't know about you but I've found my place...

                                      1. b
                                        Bria Silbert RE: rainey Nov 7, 2006 03:19 AM

                                        I'm always willing to give a place a second try, so next time we're in the Valley I will do that. We were there on a Saturday night at about 8PM and were the only ones there and the owner had to get up to go inside to make our food. It took about 20 minutes. But I appreciate everyone's comments and will try once again. Thanks, Bria

                                        1. n
                                          nbraun83 RE: rainey Oct 8, 2007 05:30 PM

                                          just went today, and it was excellent. They nailed the slightly sharp/dry taste that a philly steak needs, and the onions were bliss

                                          1. j
                                            John911 RE: rainey Jun 25, 2009 10:02 PM

                                            This is my favorite Philly Cheesesteak place, better than its more famous NoHo counterpart. Whether its the chicken or beef, I love 'em. Sam's also has good fries and delivers. For those who like it hot, the few booths inside the location come with plastic bottles of Louisiana Hot Sauce. His cold and hot subs are good as well as re his hot dogs but I can't honestly recommend his burgers. Tell Sam that John 911 said hello!

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