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Is the S.F. Valley (Woodland Hills area) Totally Desolate?

I grew up in West Hills/Woodland Hills and moved to Dallas after graduating college. Family still lives in West Hills and I visit a few times a year. My folks marvel at how many dining options are within an easy 15-20 minute drive from the North Dallas suburbs. In contrast, when I visit home, it's an exercise in frustration trying to find a quality restaurant without going over the hill into the city.

BTW - the Valley does have Brent's Deli in Northridge which IMHO is my favorite deli in America (and yes - I've been to Katz's in NYC etc) and I think the sushi at Terry's is phenomenal but SUPER pricey (not sure if that's the name - but the owner's name is Terry . . . it's next to the kosher butcher on Ventura Blvd and Roscoe). I also love Chick's on Valley Circle for roast chicken . . . it's been there since I was in High School in the mid 80's and still rocks.

Can you fellow chowhounds and foodies please help with suggestions for the follwing types of cuisine . . .

- Sushi

- Italian (real italian like carbonara, carpaccio and osso buco etc)

- French

- Pizza (prefer whole pies rather than slices)

- Indian


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  1. Geez, Woodland Hills has some great palces

    Anarbagh -good indian food, eh service.

    Gorikee _ bistro/garlic food

    Sushi Ike is near there,as is brother's

    People seem to like Brandywine.

    French, I dunno..same with Italian. My favorite Italin places are in West Hollywood and Sherman Oaks

    1 Reply
    1. re: Diana

      Hello, Diana. I have just a couple of clarifications: Sushi Iki is in Tarzana, while Sushi Ike is in Hollywood. I much prefer Sushi Iki in Tarzana; it is really good.

      The last report I read on Chowhound about Brandywine -- and please know that I have not been -- was less than flattering. Perhaps someone will chime in here on that.

      Otherwise, I quite like Anarbagh on Ventura near Fallbrook for Indian.

    2. Here is a link to a recent very comprehensive Woodland Hills discusion that should be helpful to you in your quest to eat well.


      1. Thanks to everyone for your feedback. Tony Michaels - thansk for the link to the previous post. Apologies if my post was a little too harsh on the Woodland Hills options. My folks love Anabargh . . . I forgot about that place (great tandoori chicken). Still desperately struggling for a good italian restaurant in the 818 area code - please help . . . :)

        3 Replies
          1. re: skedhead2000

            Spumoni, on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, just west of Van Nuys Blvd. Get the (non-fried) calamari appetizer and any of the gnocchi dishes.

            I can't bear Anarbagh... the service is slow and when you say anything it gets worse -- they simply don't care. They're also the champions of the "mixed up order" -- so you order dish A, which is $10.95, but they prepare dish B, which is $13.95, and then when you say you ordered A, they shrug.

            For great Indian vegetarian fast food, dirt cheap, no ambiance, go to India Sweets & Spices on Topanga Canyon and Sherman Way.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              yeah, Anarbagh doesn't seem to get the whole 'Customer service' idea.

              The food is good, but not always worth the hassle. Take out sometimes works better.

          2. To scratch your Italian itch give Adagio Ristorante a try.

            22841 Ventura Blvd
            Woodland Hills, CA 91364
            (818) 225-0533

            1. I liked Villa Piacere the one time I went there. It's more California food than Italian. I went there because it looked like the best option for a last-minute dinner that I could book through OpenTable. We were pleasantly surprised by all the food we had.

              Villa Piacere
              22160 Ventura Blvd.
              Woodland Hills, CA 91364
              (818) 704-1185

              Also, there is a La Frite in Woodland Hills. I normally go to the one in Sherman Oaks, but I have heard good things about the other branch.

              La Frite
              22616 Ventura Blvd
              Woodland Hills, 91364
              (818) 225-1331

              For sushi, Sushi Iki is in the middle of Tarzana, on Ventura near Yolanda, so it is not far from Woodland Hills. It's top-quality sushi, but very pricey and with a limited menu. For cheap, non-traditional sushi, I like Cho Cho San, which is on Ventura near Vanalden, even closer to Woodland Hills. The spicy tuna is some of the best in the city and, if you like rolls with mayonaise, the Rock 'n' Roll (baked scallop in mayonaise sauce with baked avocado) is truly decadent.

              1. Woodland Hills is sparse, but it's not dead. The aforementioned Anarbagh is nice, as is Taste of India. Brandywine has its moments, but can be hit or miss. Roys and Ruth Chris are high-end chains, but still nice. Brother Sushi is fun, and I also like Shirin for Persian food.

                1 Reply
                1. re: SauceSupreme

                  I think Brandywine is fantastic. Never had a bad meal there, and a great wine selection. No cocktails, though.
                  Adagio on Ventura is very good Italian at a reasonable price. Drinks are so-so, as is the wine list. But a lot of bang for the buck. Order the Chicken Caprese, they'll make it if it's not on special.

                2. Thanks everyone - Il Tiramisu's menu looks great. Also, got some feedback from my sister (of whom lives in Woodland Hills area). She had Milano's, Kate Mantalini's, Marmalade Cafe and King's Seafood on her list. I went to King's a few months back and had a truly forgettable meal . . . ordered scallops and got hockey pucks . . . tiny, little hockey pucks for like $22.95 or so. Also saw Howie Mandel there - another good reason to avoid the place. Has anyone been to Milano's, Kate Mantalini's or Marmalade Cafe? Apologies in advance if strings on the aforementioned places have been posted.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: skedhead2000

                    Marmalade Cafe is a small chain -- the service is OK, the food is OK, salads are routinely overdressed.

                    Kate Mantilini doesn't get much in the way of positive reviews here. I like the meatloaf.

                    Milano's (I assume you mean the one in Glendale?) is quite good but it's better at lunch -- their "insalata tagliuzzata" (which is separate from the "chopped salad") is incredible, their (may be summer only) melon and prosciutto salad is great, and they have good rigatoni con la norma. Trofiette alla genovese, if you can deal with some hot carb-on-carb action, is worth the drive.

                    1. re: skedhead2000

                      Milano--mediocre food, bad service...go somewhere else
                      Kate Mantalini's--overpriced comfort food; food not bad if you don't mind paying $20 for chicken pot pie
                      Marmalade Cafe--thumbs down except for maybe breakfast

                      My favorites so far:
                      Gorikee's--garlic bistro at reasonable price
                      Shibuya in Calabasas for sushi--excellent, try the toro, bluefin and Shibuya roll
                      La Frite for French--french onion soup, mussels and fries, escargot
                      California Sushi and Roll--very decent mall sushi; fresh fish and many options

                      I don't have any Italian recs, but I heard Nicola's off of Ventura Blvd is pretty good.

                      1. re: skedhead2000

                        I recently tried Milano's prompted by a coupon advertising "New Owner".I was pleasantly surprised. The food was good quality and service was good. I would definitely go back. Also I prefer Taste of India a tad better than Anarbah. Marmalade in Calabasas and Sherman Oaks is always consistent-good quality and service. TiraMisu was always one of my favorites but I haven't been there in quite some time.
                        Also for Italian--try Maria's Italian Kitchen not pricey ( more family oriented) and their chopped salad is outstanding. Hope this helps,

                      2. BTW -- the sushi place I was thinking of is called Sushi Tsune on Ventura Blvd. and it's absolutely fantastic but you can't enjoy the place for dinner for under $80 per person (excluding liquor).

                        1. For sushi, there's Brother Sushi on Ventura Bl., kinda across from Western Bagel. I've gone there once and it was good.

                          1. How I wish there were...my MIL lives in Tarzana, we in Benedict Canyon, and she doesn't like to come over to babysit. So we have to go to the Valley...

                            Moved out here in 1991...have yet to find anyplace west of the 405 that I really want to go to...a couple decent sushi places, some good ethnic dives, but ZERO restaurants that you would want to spend more than an hour. the high end ones are all mediocre, expensive chains.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: manku

                              manku - you really hit the nail on the head regarding the middle-upper to upper end of the restaurant scene in the valley. Stick east of the 405 and you stand a chance for some good food.
                              Gorikee has good enough food in minimal decor, in the back of the western bagel. Go with minimal expectations, and you will be pleasantly surprised. BYOB!

                            2. Angelo's in Woodland Hills or Mission Hills area. Authentic Italian owner, who grows his own herbs for the restaurant. Former Maitre'd of a cruise lines. And only serves freshly prepared made to order foods, therefore you won't get foods stored over night in the refrigerator.

                              1. When I worked in WoHi, I liked Brother's for sushi. Roy's for cocktails. And that Italian deli...Cavaretta's, I think?.. on Sherman Way for awesome Italian subs. The meatballs are good too. Cheap.