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Sep 28, 2007 06:50 PM

New to the SF. Valley. Where are the best places to eat??

Hi there,

We just moved to Northridge from the O.C. Where are the best places to eat in the Valley. Especially for weeknight dining? On the weekends we will probably venture a little farther, but we need to know good places to go after work. Any good sushi in the Valley???
We have already eaten at Brent's----my husband loves the big deli sandwiches.


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  1. Sushi Nozawa, commonly credited as the best sushi in the Valley, is the home of the infamous "Sushi Nazi," who's actually an OK guy as long as you go <i>omakase</i> and turn off your cell phone. Note that it's closed on weekends.

    I've never been to Urusawa in Beverly Hills, probably the hottest Japanese in LA nowadays, but I note that it's 16 miles from Northridge to Studio City vs. 20 miles from Northridge to BH. I haven't lived in the West Valley for a long while so this may be a bit unfair, but except for a few oases like Brent's it's not an area that's noted for great cuisine, and if that's your goal you may find yourself hitting the Sepulveda Pass a lot.

    Sushi Nozawa
    11288 Ventura Blvd Ste C, Studio City, CA 91604

    1. also try Katsu-ya for terrific sushi. locations in studio city and encino.

      1. You have good recomendations for sushi. As far as everything else goes: Mexican: Tacos La Fonda, truck after 6:30 @ northwest corner of Vineland and Vanowen; Tony's Mexican Grill, southwest corner of Coldwater and Magnolia; Vietnamese: Pho 999, Northwest corner of Sepulveda and Victory; Pho So, Northeast corner of Sepulveda and Victory; Pizza: Caioti; East side of Tujunga between Moorpark and Riverside; Middle Eastern: Cedar House, Northwest corner of Riverside and Magnolia; Skaf's Grill, Northeast corner of Laurel Cyn and Oxnard (neglect this at the Ubergeek's wrath); Thai: anyplace on Sherman Way between Coldwater and Woodman; Burgers: whatever the place with Ostrich burgers on Van Nuys and Magnolia; fozen yogurt; Farm Boy, Riverside and Hazeltine...Studio City Farmers' Market Sunday between 8:30 and 12:30. You're on your own after this. Oh yeah, Art's, Spumanti, and Mezzo Mundo on Ventura. Diana can fill you in if I have missed anything.

        6 Replies
        1. re: ebethsdad

          I was never a West Valley person -- my forays west of the 405 were limited, but here's what I have:

          India Sweets & Spices (Topanga Cyn and Sherman Way) for good vegetarian Indian fare, no decor whatsoever, in the back of a grocery store, and dirt cheap -- six people can often eat their fill for under $20 and stuff themselves senseless for $30.

          Villa Piacere, on Ventura -- go for the romantic patio, not as much for the just-OK Italian food.

          La Frite, Ventura near Shoup -- yum.

          A&W Seafood Restaurant -- one of three "authentic" Chinese places in the Valley (the other two being Sam Woo in Van Nuys and BBQ Unlimited in NoHo), and the only one that does a dim sum menu.

          Banh mi shops at Reseda & Sherman Way, and pho shops ditto.

          Vallarta Market, Woodley and Victory, because of their fantastic takeout meals and the best tres leches cake anywhere period.

          Springbok South African B&G, directly west of Vallarta, because how often do you get to eat boerwors in LA?

          Taboo Lounge on Ventura in Woodland Hills -- the food's just OK but the best martinis in the West Valley.

          Madeleine Bistro on Ventura in Tarzana -- vegan food, but not part of the "we want everyone to know we're vegan so we won't use salt or spices in our food either" contingent so ably represented by Native Foods and Real Food Daily. This stuff is tasty, it's appealing (at least somewhat) to non-vegans, and it's in a nicer surroundings than the usual "licorice all-sorts" decor of the other vegan places.

          Stonefire Grill at the Fallbrook Mall is OK when you want creative salads that are probably no better for you than a sandwich (seriously, I see single diners ordering the "large" salad, which comes filled above the brim in a bowl that my baby daughter could comfortably bathe in).

          Alborz on Ventura in Encino... yum, Persian food. Good tadig.

          Some added East Valley things (and yes, go to Skaf's, the hummus, my God, the hummus!!):

          Robin Hood Pub on Burbank between Woodman and Hazeltine for the best F&C in the valley, and pretty good everything else, and very nice sticky toffee pudding.

          Carnival on Woodman near Moorpark, because though I love Skaf's, sometimes you need decor. (This is changing now that Skaf's has a Glendale location with decor.)

          Tama Sushi on Ventura in Studio City for their $50 omakase that, in my OH-so-humble opinion, knocks the socks off of Sushi Nozawa (which, in my also-very-humble opinion, has declined recently).

          There are some excellent Peruvian places in the Valley -- for roast chicken, the best is Super Pollo, on Van Nuys Blvd. just north of Victory. For a more complete menu, there is Las Quenas on Sherman Way and Bellaire and El Hatuchay on Sherman Way and Coldwater Canyon.

          When you're jonesing for mole, there's a Oaxacan restaurant on Vanowen just a few doors west of Van Nuys Blvd., on the north side of the street.

          Cuban food is best at El Criollo, NE corner of Victory and Fulton.

          Good Filipino breakfast can be had from 8 AM at Manila Good-Ha on Woodman and Cantara, just south of Roscoe and the Kaiser hospital. Order things that are cooked to order, though, like anything "silog" (which just means "with garlic fried rice and fried eggs -- try tapsilog, which is the above with beef, or longsilog, which has sweet sausage).

          For standard luncheonette-style breakfasts, go to Nat's Early Bite, NW corner of Burbank and Hazeltine, or Du-Par's on Ventura and Radford.

          I hate to contradict recommendations but Uncle Andre's is not good -- it's not like Johnny Reb's, it's not like Phillips, it's not even as good as Lucille's. It's basically steamed meat with smoke flavour and sauce. There are a few non-bad barbecue places in the Valley but none of them are excellent. Let me save you time and direct you AWAY from Mr. Cecil's in Sherman Oaks, which on its good days rises just above the level of Hungry Man frozen barbecue dinners.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Re: Uncle Andre's - did not say it was great - said it was pretty good - when you live in a BBQ wasteland, you take what you can get which is preferably ribs from Corky's in Memphis sent via FEDEX - and even they lose something in the translation. Once I try the Boneyard Bistro, maybe I will have something to report on the local scene.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              I hate to contradict Das Ubergeek but I had such a disappointing experience at A & W...

              1. re: Fru

                I actually enjoy A&W, though the Dimsum does not touch that at 888 (my favorite) for taste or variety, but it is close. And the seafood meals I have had have all been quite tasty.

              2. re: Das Ubergeek

                I also do not enjoy contradicting Das Ubergeek, but I had probably my worst meal in Los Angeles in 25 years at Villa Piacere a few months ago. There is a post on the list that would come up in a search. It was truly a miserable experience and was heartily embarrassed that I had recommended the restaurant. I will never return.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  I love Stonefire. The quarter chicken and tri-tip combo is awesome, and a great deal. I love the lemon garlic chicken and the garlic butter on the tri-tip, with a greek salad and 2 breadsticks for about $10.

              3. I have lived in the West Valley for a long time now - and coming here from Memphis was culinary culture shock. There are some good places to eat out this way, but nothing great. I apologize in advance for not having a recommendation for sushi - it's not my thing.

                For cheap eats, Outdoor Grill on Devonshire at Reseda in Northridge for bbq chicken and sometimes for the ribs - also, Stonefire Grill on Fallbrook in West Hills for cheap eats - French Dip sandwiches, garlic mashed potatoes, and salads - I dont recommend the ribs - Uncle Andre's in Studio City is pretty good for ribs, catfish and sweet potato pie - best I have found in the Valley so far - take out is their gig - Les Sisters on Devonshire in Chatsworth has GREAT fried chicken and some decent vegetables but cannot say much about their cornbread or shrimp creole. Bobby's on Ventura at Fallbrook - total dive - good breakfast - and cheap!

                More upscale dining of the chain variety - Roy's on Topanga at Victory in Woodland Hills seafood Hawaiian style - Fleming's Steakhouse is next door to Roy's -
                King's Fish House at the Commons in Calabasas for seafood -
                Magianno's at the Topanga Promenade for Southern Italian served family style

                Independent upscale dining - Sol Y Luna on Ventura at Corbin in Tarzana for Mexican - (a couple sitting next to me in the bar recently told that the owners have two more casual places called Las Fuentes and Melody's in the same block on Van Owen just East of Reseda Blvd- cash only)

                Panzenella on Ventura near Kester in Sherman Oaks for Italian - owned by the Drago family - one of the best spots in the Valley -

                Villa Piacere on Ventura at Shoup is also a decent place - they have a good brunch menu on the weekend.

                1. Well, Studio City is known as sushi city, so judge accordingly - as there are about 25 sushi bars there alone, along with another 20 or so in Sherman Oaks, with the rest of Ventura Blvd also well represented qualitatively, yet not as densely so.
                  Gorikee in Woodland Hills in the shopping center on Ventura at Topanga Canyon behind Jerry's Deli is definitely worth the detour. For Mexican, Carrillo's deli on Sherman Way at Corbin, just west of Corbin, is quite good as is Las Fuentes or Melodys around Reseda & Vanowen(same owners). Woodlands on Topanga Canyon at Lassen for Indian vegetarian. Of course, the Whole Foods in Porter Ranch for its repertoire!
                  Best food - Mistral, Max and Boneyard Bistro - all in Sherman Oaks.
                  Mistral has no website.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: carter

                    Tell me about Boneyard Bistro - have been wanting to try it

                    1. re: prainer

                      Well, the ribs are dry, not sauced, yet they have 2 different sauces, one medium and one quite nicely spiced(my favorite) in a vinegary kind of way as opposed to an overly sweetish kind of way. Chicken, pulled pork, brisket, tri-tip, etc. are all options in various combinations, with sides selections of good collards, cole slaw, a fried macNcheese that I don't care for, or beans which are also good.
                      My personal preference is the bistro side of the menu where a salmon dish currently being offered is sensational, yet hardly an item you would expect from a "ribs" place. The ribeyes, size to your choosing and priced accordingly, are sensational cooked med. rare. Also, a kobe burger, the pulled pork dumplings, etc. Some nights, specials might include kangaroo, venison, elk, or whatever Aaron feels like cooking. Their sweet potato fries are truly addictive!
                      On Mon and Thurs, they have beer specials, while on Tuesday and Wednesday they have wine specials and their selections of both are truly wonderful. The beer and wine selections are among the best in the valley.

                    2. re: carter

                      I believe Gorikee is closed. The Original Texas BBQ King is open in that location.

                      1. re: dabruins07

                        Please note the date of my post, versus yours. This thread should be deleted, or started over. The subject is good, but so much of the info is SO out of date.
                        but do not eat at that BBQ place that replaced Gorikee.
                        And my comment included reference to Max, which is likewise out of business, but has been replaced by MarcheLA, with the former chef at Palate in Glendale now running the place. Food and prices really good and fair. Definitely worth the trip to Sherman Oaks. 818.784.2915
                        13355 Ventura Blvd.

                        1. re: carter

                          Repeat - do NOT eat at BBQ King that replaced Gorikee. It is the brother of the downtown BBQ King but is a pale shadow of it. Even the collards were flaccid.