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Oct 15, 2007 09:41 PM

Universal City lunch suggestions (oh and I'll have a 2 year old with me)!

A NY friend is in on business and she's staying in Universal City and she's a foodie. I'd like to take her to somewhere good and LA (read: something LA does well). It needn't be pricey. There are a couple catches though...we have to stay in the Universal City area and the restaurant has to be okay for a toddler.

Thank you.

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  1. You have quite a few choices in the surrounding Studio City/Burbank areas. I'd recommend sushi since there are so many of them around that area that are excellent, but as the parent of a toddler, I know that's not a safe choice.

    Maybe Ca Del Sole?

    9 Replies
    1. re: Faulkner99

      Thanks for the suggestion. I'd love to do sushi, but my toddler has been known to balk at Japanese rice. Do you like Ca Del Sole? The website looks big.

      1. re: MamaJ

        I enjoy the food there. I work at Universal City and have for quite a while so I might have burned out on the place, but I will admit that every time we dine there, the service is excellent and the food is consistent. They also have seasonal specials. I think for what they do, they are very reasonably priced. If you decide to eat there, ask for a seat out on the patio (weather permitting).

        1. re: Faulkner99

          Thank you. Next time, when the toddler stays home, I'm curious about your sushi faves in that part of town. I tend to frequent Sawtelle Ave.

      2. re: Faulkner99

        Ca del Sole is an excellent choice. If you can venture out towards Studio City, there's an Argentinean place called LaLa's. Food is good and prices very reasonable (sangria is delicious there). Aroma and Caioti on Tujunga are also great. And it's a nice place to take a lunch time stroll and grab some gelato after your meal in the little gelato shop (forget the name).

        Artisan Cheese Gallery is awesome...but it's tiny and I don't know how suitable it would be for a 2 yr old.

        1. re: search_for_the_holy_gruel

          I second the recommendation for Caioti which, in my experience, is very child friendly. A popular urban legend holds that Caioti's salad dressing can induce pregnancy in an overdue woman. Every time I go there there is at least one family with a young baby, and often more. Besides the pizza and pasta are quite good, and, if you let your child do sugar, they have a dizzying assortment of exotic sodas.

          1. re: ebethsdad

            Well, it doesn't induce pregnancy in overdue women-God, more pregnancy is the last thing those poor dears need.

            But it does seem to induce delivery!

            And it's not the dressing, but a particulart salad, called "The Salad".

          2. re: search_for_the_holy_gruel

            I third the recommendation, Caioti is very kid-friendly. Ed LaDou was Wolfgang Puck's first pizza chef at Spago, and he developed the menu at California Pizza Kitchen ... and now that he has his own place he's making the best pies of his career.

            Split a lamb sausage and a BBQ chicken pizza with a gorgonzola salad and a plain cheese for the rugrat, you'll be in heaven.

            Caioti Pizza Cafe
            4346 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604

            1. re: maxzook

              Caioti definitely. I have a 2-yr too. She loves their pizza.

        2. This is a tough one - good food and toddler friendly. My favorite in Universal City is a place called Minibar. You and your NY friend can order a whole bunch of small plates. Nice variety and very tasty. Not sure if it's a great place for two year olds unless you go early. How about Miceli's? It's right there in Universal City and very family friendly.

          1 Reply
          1. re: omakase

            Minibar is not open for lunch. In Studio City, you could check out Artisan Cheese Gallery; they have fabulous sandwiches and salads. I also like HealthyCA Foods, although seating is limited.

          2. There's City Wok for Chinese in the strip mall on the corner of Vineland and Ventura about 5 minutes from Universal City.

            1. As others have stated, the combination of foodie-worthy and kiddie-friendly is a tricky one.

              I like Ca Del Sole but I can't see talking a two-year-old there. HealthyCA has reduced their seating to where they are essentially just a take-out place. City Wok is a possibility if the young one is cuisine-compatible.

              The most toddler-friendly places in the area are the restaurants at Universal City Walk, of which I recommend the Wolfgang Puck Cafe.

              Wolfgang Puck Pacific
              Universal Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

              1. Second the recs for Caioti.

                Hugo's would also be easy and kid-friendly, if you'll travel a bit more west.

                Belwood Bakery would be easy w/ the toddler, and the food is good.

                Perhaps Carnival in Sherman Oaks.

                If you're willing to drive a bit, Thai food or Mexican food are the things LA does do well, but it depends upon what you're little one will tolerate.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Emme

                  Carnival is good, but a bit of a drive! I'd go with the majority and say Caoti.

                  1. re: Diana

                    I'd concur... we've taken our twin toddlers there a number of times and the servers are so kind to us. Food is good, not a ton of variety but enough that everyone should be able to find something they'd like. Grab dessert three or four doors down at Aroma Cafe or grab a mini-gelato cone at the gelato place right next door.