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In the Valley.....

George Sep 19, 2006 03:55 AM

To help my wife, who doesn't drive at night (! I know, but we are originally from NY), I will have time to kill in the Valley tomorrow night around dinner time.
Will be in North Hollywood, on Magnolia, near Laurel.
It's not my 'hood.
I am wondering about Valley hounds' chow recs for that area.
I've been to El Taco Llama on Magnolia, to Maximilien, to Caoiti's on Tujunga. But that's it.

  1. George Sep 20, 2006 02:38 PM

    Thanks all. I will take all the recs under advisement for future nights in the Valley, but for last night, I ate at Skaf's. It was good. A bit sketchy! Seeming homeless woman at the table behind me, she kept sneaking behind the counter to the kitchen area to steal empty plastic bags from the pitas for her collection. Owner yelled at her several times. I had the hummos, really good w/o being overpowered by tahini as often the case, and the cabbage salad was amazing, also really, really good kibbeh (not on the menu? I had to ask for them), and labneh with fresh mint leaves on top. Lamb kebob special (some pieces a bit sketchy but tasty). My comparison point is that I used to live off of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, eating around once a week at a Syrian restaurant called the Waterfalls Cafe. Sahadi's was my local grocery store, or one of them. Even in comparison to that, this was good--but definitely an "experience." Owner made me a free turkish coffee. Didn't try their desserts. Did go to Gelato Bar on Tujunga on the way home...see that thread!

    1 Reply
    1. re: George
      Das Ubergeek Sep 20, 2006 05:00 PM

      Wow. I've been eating at Skaf's for six years and I've never, ever seen anyone go behind the counter, except relatives (and me, once, when I needed a drink refill and they were in the weeds). That's unbelievable.

      There is a twelve-step meeting hall ("Spirit of Studio 12") next to the restaurant, and there are homeless people about, so it can look a little bit sketchy, but I've never, ever heard of anyone doing that in the restaurant. Salim must have been livid.

      I love their hummus. I think it's the best in the city.

      Glad you liked it. I promise you that the business with homeless people was an aberration.

    2. maybelle Sep 19, 2006 04:56 PM

      Right at Magnolia and Laurel Canyon is a small neighborhood Japanese place called MIYA SUSHI that I like. I usually go with my parents who are not big on sushi so we end up ordering their cooked foods. Tempura is light and not too greasy, sukiyaki is good, prices very reasonable and the staff nice and friendly.

      You can also drive another 5 minutes on Laurel Canyon and hit up the restaurants right there at Ventura Blvd like Outtake Bistro.

      1. n
        Noclue Sep 19, 2006 09:09 AM

        Skaf's Lebanese is good. If you can get to Ventura Blvd. and want a little more atmosphere, I would go with Senor Fred. Good upscale mexican food. Room's a bit dark.

        Cheap and quick - I would go to Que Rico's for a burrito or across the street at Carnitas Michoacan for tacos.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Noclue
          Das Ubergeek Sep 19, 2006 02:04 PM

          Sounds like you're right in my neighbourhood there. I like Que Ricos but the consistency is weird -- there's an old guy who sometimes cooks and his food is just no good at all. Carnitas Michoacan, if you can get past the ghettotastic decor (iron bars, neon, run-down), is really good -- and their tortas are damn tasty.

          You haven't been to Aquarium, next to Que Ricos, or Talisman, on the corner there, have you? Aquarium never looks open, and Talisman doesn't look like food is its primary focus (hence the sign saying "BEER" in Russian in the window).

          1. re: Noclue
            MarshRat Sep 21, 2006 06:10 AM

            You forgot to mention Que Rico's and Carnitas Michoacan are on Victory at Coldwater.

          2. Das Ubergeek Sep 19, 2006 05:26 AM

            Drive a mile and a half up the road to Skaf's Lebanese Grill, on the NE corner of Oxnard and Laurel Canyon. Get anything on the specials menu, or any grilled meat. It's amazingly good.

            If you really, really don't want to travel, go to Leonor's Vegetarian Mexican restaurant, in the plaza on the NW corner of Magnolia and Laurel Canyon.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Das Ubergeek
              gossamered Sep 19, 2006 02:44 PM

              When did Leonor's open at that location? Is this one
              connected to the Leonor's up on Victory & Tujunga or
              the one at Moorpark & Whitsett?
              From what I understand the Victory location is the original and still run by Leonor. The one on Moorpark was opened by someone who used to used to work at the original.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                stevedoggiedogg Sep 19, 2006 03:23 PM

                I went to that Leonor's once. They didn't have a chair to fit anything but the most svelte backside. I ended up going to the Chinese restaurant a couple of doors down. It was excellent. The best Chinese I've had in North Hollywood.

                Steve Doggie-Dogg

                1. re: stevedoggiedogg
                  Das Ubergeek Sep 19, 2006 06:10 PM

                  That's odd, I never had that issue.

                  Was the Chinese place China Lites? That's not bad at all.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                    stevedoggiedogg Sep 19, 2006 08:00 PM

                    No, China Lites is up by Chandler. I like that place too. This one is in the mini mall at Magnolia and Laurel. Two doors West of Leonor's.

                    Steve Doggie-Dogg

                2. re: Das Ubergeek
                  NeNePie Sep 19, 2006 04:46 PM

                  Oooh, Skaf's, yes, that would be my choice. They have a trout special on Saturdays and I am hooked on it.

                3. s
                  stevedoggiedogg Sep 19, 2006 05:24 AM

                  For great coffee shop, try the Coral Cafe on Burbank a block East of Hollywood Way. Avoid Sittons. We locals call it Sitton Wait.

                  Steve Doggie-Dogg

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: stevedoggiedogg
                    Noclue Sep 19, 2006 09:05 AM

                    I hate Sittons. I went there with my 5 year old and they left us standing at the door, totally ignored for 10 minutes (place was only 1/2 full at the time). I only got a table when I demanded they seat us. Grab the menu and there is absolutely nothing for children. I left and went to Twain's where I didn't have to spend $15 for a child's meal, half of which was going home in a bag to sit in the fridge for a few days before it got tossed.

                  2. r
                    running pig Sep 19, 2006 03:58 AM

                    mmm.....Casita Taco :-)

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: running pig
                      George Sep 19, 2006 03:36 PM

                      I searched and found one right there on Magnolia, and another on Victory Blvd in Burbank. Which one are you recommending?

                      1. re: George
                        NeNePie Sep 19, 2006 04:45 PM

                        I don't know about R. Pig, but I recommend the one on Magnolia at Bakman (near Tujunga). The neighborhood is getting pretty dicey at night these days, but that branch of Casita consistently outshines the one at Magnolia and Victory.

                        1. re: NeNePie
                          running pig Sep 21, 2006 04:57 AM

                          Running Pig can actually run from her home to both, but agrees with NeNePie---the one on Bakman is awesome! Haven't been to the other. Love the citrus-soaked chicken. Nice to go to a place that specializes in chicken tacos. YUM!

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