Best Valley takeout off the 101
I work in West LA and live in Ventura. The food in my lovely home city leaves something to be desired. Being relatively new to the area, I don't know the Valley very well. Can anyone recommend chowish places along the 101 between the 405 and Thousand Oaks, places where I can quickly jump off the freeway and grab something tasty (and interesting) for the family? I'm particularly interested in finding good Asian food, but I'm open to anything. Thanks in advance.
How about getting something in WLA after you leave work before you jump on the freeway to head home? I doubt the extra few minutes will mean that much in terms of food taste.
In Tarzana and Encino off the 101, there are two Gelson's. Good sandwiches, bakery, salad bar, deli and prepared foods.
There are good Sushi Bars along the way, Iki, 4 on 6 are in Tarzana and Encino, rtespexctively.
There's a Ce Fiore Froyo place in encino town center in encino, just off the 101.
Alcazar has great middle eastern food and is in encino.
Chili my Soul is just the best chili, and is in Encino.
The Firehouse has great Greek and Gyros
Hummous bar does several types of hummous, tuna salad (go figure) a few veggie dishes and has great pita. In Tarzana.
Bea's Bakery in Tarzana has the best rugalach ever. I can't eat them, cause of the nuts, but I've seen grown men swoon.
If you can find a branch of Big Mamma and Pappa's pizza, go and get their Khachapouri. Oh my god! Huge, yummy, and filling. Get two or three and be stuffed. one large one is enough for three!
I second a lot of these recommendations, especially Alcazar, Chili My Soul, and Bea's (I prefer the black and white cookies more than the rugalach, but my family swears by the rugalach).
There is a branch of Big Mama and Papa's Pizza on Ventura near Balboa. I've never tried it, so cannot second that rec.
A few other options. D'Amore's and Mulberry St. Pizza for decent pizza. I especially like their white pizzas.
In Encino between Encino and White Oak is Thai 'n' I. The barbecue chicken and rips are great. I highly recommend the combos in which you can get Pad Thai and Mee Krob on the side with ribs or chicken for about $10. The pad thai is a bit sweet and the mee krob is decadently so (it's almost candy). It is a takeout place.
If you like Koo Koo Roo (I like the original chicken, macaroni & cheese, and creamed spinach), there is a location on Canoga just a few blocks north of the freeway.
The best Chinese in the Valley (although not comparable to the San Gabriel Valley) is A&W Barbeque (believe it or not its a Hong Kong style seafood house not a drive-in) at 9306 Reseda Blvd. It's closer to the 405 than the 101 so it may be too far out of your way. Also just off of Reseda on Sherman Way is a decent banh mi restaurant whose name escapes my befuddled brain. If you are stopping at Sam Woo's you should consider Pho So or Pho 999 on the same corner for excellent Vietnamese dishes.
Right off the 101-literally a stones throw-is Chueys. Exit is Kanan. On the West side behind islands. This is Tex-Mex. Great grilled chicken tri-tip, fish tacos etc. If you are in Ventura they have a few outlets. Wish they had something closer. Very kid friendly. Inexpensive good eats. Where else can you get a fajitas plate w/ rice beans, tortillas, great salsa bar, endless chips for 7 bucks? Kick ass margs too. The original in Simi is a dive biker bar but the Agoura Hills is bright retro brand new. There is one in Ventura somewhere that is pretty nice too IIRC.