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Studio City to Glendale - where to take son's girlfriend to dinner?

It's my son's girlfriend's birthday, and she loves Italian food. We're trying to coordinate dinner halfway between Pasadena and the SFV. I love her, but not too expensive, please. Thanks!

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  1. Underrated, probably because it's in Glendale, is Far Niente (Brand at about California). Not overly elegant - but very nice - and you will be hard pressed to come up with better Italian cuisine outside of the Westside. Perfect pastas, reliable preparations of old favorites; lots of good veal including a never on the regular menu chop; burrata cheese is often available and a revelation; porcinis never disappoint; fish specials are very nice and reliably fresh. Not screamingly cheap, but you won't feel ripped off. Runs about $50 per, including modest drinks/wines.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Griller141

      absolutely 2nd far niente. it is by far the best italian in the area, is not too expensive, but not the cheapest. if you think that she may be a keeper, take her.

      you could also go to vitello's on tujunga in studio city (where bonnie blake met her demise). the atmosphere is very "clubbish", but the food is so-so.

      1. re: justanotherpenguin

        I want to try Far Niente myself! I'm in Silver Lake and my usual picks are more neighborhoody places like Farfalla, La Buca, Michelangelo -- good but I wouldn't make a special trip from the valley or Pasadena. I just wanted to say, please don't take her to Vitello's. My (now) ex-boyfriend's parents took me there last year, and the food wasn't so-so; it was really dreadful. But no, the breakup had nothing to do with the restaurant.

    2. Dude. Dating your son's girlfriend. That's cold.

      1 Reply
      1. re: klaatu

        Loved your reply - thanks for making me laugh!

      2. This is in the SFV, so it might be too far... but we love a little Italian place called Zach's, on Ventura Blvd. (cross street Lankershim). It's based out of a converted house, so very cozy looking and the food is excellent. I took my mom there last time she visited L.A. and she adored it.

        Prices are very reasonable, plus you can bring your own bottle of wine for a $5 corking fee!

        Zach's Italian Cafe
        10820 Ventura Boulevard
        Studio City, CA 91604

        1. FAR NIENTE
          One of my good ol' stand by places.
          The service has kinda gotten shakey lately but the bus boys (who have been there for at leat 15-20 years-I have been going there for that long) are terrific.
          This place has one of my favorite petite fillets in toen. Oh, good wine list too.

            1. far niente is nice place to go without getting too formal..love their FettuccineCardinal Mahony - lobster, bay scallops in cognac cream tomatoe sauce....yumm

              also little nicer imo down the street is fresco ristorante on brand

              1. Try Divina Cucina in Montrose right off of the 210Fwy.


                3 Replies
                  1. re: mrshankly

                    What would you suggest ordering there?I used to drive by it all the time when we were on our way to Bistro Verdu.
                    It looks cute.
                    Is there a bar where one could dine alone quietly?

                    1. re: tatertotsrock

                      Unfortunately, they don't have a bar. Their Pollo alla Gorgonzola is quite good. Let us know what you think of it if you go.

                  2. I just had a great meal at Market City Cafe in Burbank. 'm not sure if it's ritzy enough for a birthday but it cute inside and on patio (I'm a sucker for twinkle lights). Oh and their antipasta bar is delicious.