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Good lunch spots around Ventura and Sepulveda

Within a mile or so - just started a new job around the area and I'm already tired of the mediocre but "safe" chains I knew. Now I'm ready to try some of the local places (as long as they're relatively fast and reasonably priced...)

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  1. Iwata sushi has some great lunch specials under $10 as well as their regular sushi and cooked items. Ventura Blvd., north side, just east of Van Nuys across the parking lot from El Torito.

    El Rancho has decent Mexican food - order at the counter, they bring it to you, very casual. Been there forever. Ventura Blvd., south side, just east of Noble next to the Baskin-Robbins.

    1. New place on Sepulveda Bl. across from Whole Foods called Cucina Bene as well as the nearby Simon's Cafe, and of course the market itself has a greatish takeout section in the back including good freshly made sandwiches, etc.
      Also, not necessarily all that fast, yet good, could include La Frite and Spumoni (both north side Ventura before Van Nuys Blvd.)www.spumonirestaurant.com Two blocks west you have California Chicken Cafe on the north side of the street.
      Up Sepulveda Bl. at Burbank, you have Zankou Chicken with its heavenly yet not necessarily office-friendly garlic sauce and the other items they do well.

      2 Replies
      1. re: carter

        I have heard that Spumoni closed and is now a place called Risotto. Can anyone confirm? If so, I will miss the daily gnochi specialst at spumoni.

        1. re: Noclue

          You're thinking of "Spumante" that was down near Ventura & Whitsett. That is now Risotto.
          Spumoni is alive and kicking...just ate there on Sunday night.
          Delicious as always - although the service was really slow, but everyone who works there is so nice that it makes up for it.

      2. zankou chicken, the wiener factory, boneyard (if it still serves lunch), kosher orange burger joint (???), sassi (really good mediterranean, with some north african dishes, and a great non-dairy moussaka). to be rubnin's red hots is gone.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kevin

          Has anyone heard if Max is going to reopen Rubin's anywhere? Last time I went he said that he was going to take some time off and maybe look for space elsewhere.

        2. Thanks! This'll give me a few options to try now. Didn't realise I was so close to a Zankou as well (Los Feliz is my turf)!

          1. Sushi Fukyu and Tufaan East Indian Grill are also on Sepulveda, next to Simon's. I hope you've been able to avoid Sisley's Italian kitchen which, for me, is one of the worst restaurants in town.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bob Brooks

              I have to give Sisley its credit if you're looking for a healthy salad... I order nothing else on their menu and don't eat the bread, but I do like the grilled vegetable appetizer pl.atter (sans oil) and chopped salad with chicken and grilled eggplant (sans cheese)... I like the fact that the staff is very accomodating, and when eating clean, I can get what I want.

              1. re: Emme

                I agree on the chopped salad at Sisley - with chicken and the grilled eggplant - quite delicious indeed. They may have a smaller "lunch" portion but I don't remember for sure.

            2. Try Pita Kitchen next to the newstand on ventura and van nuys. Fantastic food and super cheap. Filet Mignon kabob plate with your choice of two sides (greek salad and babaganoush get my vote) and a drink for under $10. Or a really good chick pea falafel with a side of pickles, olives and other accoutrement with a drink for $5.

              2 Replies
              1. re: davinagr

                If on a tight time schedule, parking around the Pita Kitchen can be more than a bit dicey, however.

                1. re: carter

                  True....sometimes I park in the shopping center behind Hamburger Hamlet and jog across the street, super easy, or the shopping center on the NE corner. When you're jonesin' for it, nothing will stop me ;-)