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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.

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  1. Sam Woo BBQ at Sepulveda and Victory has good chinese food.

    1. 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.

      1. 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!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Diana

          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.

        2. 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.

          1. 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.

            1. My favorite is Carnival, a fabulous middle eastern place two blocks from the 101 freeway on Woodman. Everything is great there including Lamb Shank on Tuesday's, kabobs, hummus. I've literally eaten my way through the menu over the years and it's all good.

              Carnival Restaurant
              4356 Woodman Ave
              Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
              (818) 784-3469

              Second idea, closer to your final destination is Latino Market. Right off the 101, exit Rancho, tkae a left on Thousand Oaks blvd. They have a great little counter inside with fresh made tacos (carne, pollo, cabeza, lengua, pastor, carnitas) and specials which change daily. I have been going there a lot recently and it's always cheap, fresh and filling.

              Latino Market
              711 E Thousand Oaks Blvd # 2,
              Thousand Oaks - (805) 379-4116

              1. Do not get Chinese takeout unless it might be ribs, as nothing will hold up for the balance of your trip as it will continue cooking in the car and you will end up with a mess if you are lucky, and slop if not. It does not travel well whatsoever!

                  1. Versailles for great chicken is on Ventura Blvd. between Balboa and White Oak.

                    1. there's Thai Original BBQ and China Garden on Ventura

                      there's also California Chicken Cafe, Bucca de Beppo, Cheesecake Factory
                      all along Ventura Blvd.

                      i would also rec. slight detour to the 405N. first exit on Burbank for
                      5658 Sepulveda Blvd., #103, Van Nuys, CA 91411

                      1. Where exactly in West LA do you work, as there are probably a number of places to stop right near there before you hop on the freeway for the drive? What's your starting intersection?

                        You could do take-out from a number of restaurants on the Sawtelle corridor... I'd call Curry House, Hurry Curry, Asahi Ramen, blue marlin, Yakitoriya, and see who'd be willing to do take-out with the most convenience.

                        Great Whole Foods at Canoga and Ventura, also one at Sepulveda and Ventura (at the ventura exit off the 405 north), but the one in Woodland Hills is sooo far superior... You've probably got the one in Porter Ranch/Thousand Oaks too that even outdoes WH IMO.

                        California Pita and Grill at Topanga, in the same complex as Jerry's Deli in WH, has some really good chicken kebabs, salads, and plates.

                        Heart of India, just off the 405 north at the Ventura Blvd exit where Tufoon used to be

                        Coral Tree Cafe - Encino

                        Daphne's Greek Cafe - Encino

                        Lima (for Peruvian) - Tarzana

                        Il Paradiso for Italian - Encino

                        More than Waffles (for breakfast for dinner) - Encino/Tarzana

                        Salar - Sherman Oaks

                        Islands - Encino

                        Sassi - Encino

                        Simon's Cafe (on Sepulveda) - Sherman Oaks

                        Kung Pao China Bistro (decent Amer Chinese just east of Sepulveda on Ventura) - Sherman Oaks

                        Rio - Encino

                        Gorikee - Woodland Hills

                        Rosti - Encino

                        Salads Galore (right next to Chili My Soul, another great rec!) - Encino

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Emme

                          Emme, what did you like at Rosti and Salads Galore? So far, I have been so vastly disappointed, but it is so close to my husband's work, it might be wroth take out for one or two good dishes!

                          1. re: Diana

                            Rosti has decent flattened chicken breasts (though admittedly the last time our friends brought it to the Bowl, twas a bit dry) and salads, as well as garlic spinach. Skip the side potatoes and pizzas as well as the gnocchi. Do like the sauteed mushrooms, caprese salad, vegetable or chicken and sundried tomato paninis. For brunch, make your own frittatas, or poached eggs hollandaise (the bf likes this), though I've only had brunch here a few times for convenience.

                            To be fair, at Salads Galore, I tend to order from the Fitness menu and enjoy the egg white omelette fare. I do also like the Chopped Salad, the Fajitas, Air Fries, and the Crab Bisque. However, I just did a game night and "catered" from there... the hits were the Eggplant Salad, Cucumber Salad, Chipotle Tofu Turkey Meatballs, Chicken Cacciatore, Felafel, Tabbouleh, Greek and Cobb Salads, Marinated Mushrooms, Caponata, Italian Herb

                        2. Thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. I work at UCLA (Westwood, I know, not West LA--sorry!), so driving south to get food during rush hour could add serious time to my commute. I'll definitely try the places in the Valley, though. Thanks!