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Mar 27, 2000 06:24 PM

A good meal in the Valley

  • r

Is there any good food in the San Fernando Valley? Particularly the West Valley.

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  1. Lots, actually. Good sushi (Studio City, Encino), a Valley version of Koreatown (northern Van Nuys) and the celebrated greasatorium Dr. Hogly-Wogly's on Sepulveda (a plate of succulent beef ribs that looks like a platter of dinosaur bones). For more traditional culinary excellence, Joe Joe's on Ventura (same owner as Joe's in Venice)is good if a bit cramped for space.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Eliot Wald

      Eliot--thanks for the post. I hear through the grapevine that your tips are dependable. Hope you'll join in more often (and spread the word...LA is full of chowhounds, but they haven't really found out about us yet)

      You think Dr. Hogly-Wogly's is good enough to live up to its name?


      1. re: Jim Leff

        Dr. Hogly Wogly's was almost good once--in the seventies--but has been pretty bad, or worse, for almost 20 years...although the crowds, inspired by pleasant Budweiser-swilling patio hours rather than anything that might issue from the kitchen, endure. Good barbecue will appear in the San Fernando Valley at approximately the time when continental drift juxtaposes Compton and Encino.

        1. re: j gold

          jgold -- To each his own re: BBQ, but I must say that in all my visits to Hogly-Wogly's, I can report that I have never, ever once seen anyone eating on the patio. The view -- of Sepulveda Blvd. exhaust fumes -- may have something to do with that.

          BTW - What's your idea of good LA BBQ?

          1. re: Eliot Wald

            My 5 favorite barbecues in Los Angeles, in order, are 1) Phillip's; 2) Woody's; 3) Jay Bee's House of Fine Bar-B-Q; 4) Gadberry's; 5) Mom's (on Imperial near Vermont). Although I would place Phillip's WAY ahead of the pack. If somebody put a gun to my head and forced me to eat barbecue in the Valley, I suppose first choice would be the generic yet adequate Ribs U.S.A., or perhaps Pecos Bill for their weekend-only Oklahoma-style slabs though not for the sandwiches.

            1. re: j gold

              Where is Phillips?

              1. re: Bob Barnett

                is located at 4307 Leimert Blvd.-- south of the I-10 Freeway and east of La Brea.

                1. re: Bill Cooney

                  Isn't there a location in Inglewood?

                  1. re: Larry

                    I guess so. "Phillips Barbecue II" is listed at 1517 Centinela Ave in Inglewood on Yellow Pages Search, a pretty good website for finding restaurants and other businesses.


              2. re: j gold

                I gotta concur with gold. Hogly Wogly isn't good barbeque. It's cooked meat with bbq "sauce". There's almost no smoking going on.

                I'm not on a mission to get good BBQ, so I don't hunt it out, but I know it when I taste it. It's got a deep smoky taste in back, a meaty taste up front that reminds you of the outer layers of a good steak, and a mix of sweet, tangy, and spicy bringing it together. It's greasy, but it tastes clean, and the quality of the meat has to be pretty high.

                Hogly's is like wet beef jerky in sweetened brown sauce.

        2. re: Eliot Wald

          Jo Jo's has a great Saturday dinner special we discovered when we ate early in order to see a movie.As long as you are seated between 6 and 6:30,you are offered a dinner consisting of an appetizer,main course and dessert,all selected from an abbreviated version of the dinner menu for an unbelievable $15.00 per person. I only thought older people ate the early bird specials but when I came across the same meal I gladly paid $30-40 for,I ended up going to more movies preceded by meals there.

          Other very good food,especially for the price paid are Paul's Cafe in Sherman Oaks and soon opening in Tarzana plus Cafe Bizou,also in Sherman Oaks and recently opened in Pasadena. Besides sushi places like Sushi Nozawa,better than Nobu and Irohi,the valley has very few choices for decent food.

          1. re: Eliot Wald

            Brent's deli on Parthenia! That's addictive fish they've got there. Also, there's a LOT of good sushi on Ventura in Studio City (just stay away from Todai -- spend your $25 elsewhere). It's surprising, since there aren't that many Japanese around. All the Thai food is pretty good, and there's on near Riverside and the 101 that's equal to any in Thai Town. I hear there are decent ones on Roscoe too. There are a number of Filipino mini malls, and it's sad to say, but I haven't had anything good so far. I really like Poquito Mas, which is like Baja Fresh, but a little better. It's gringo food, but it's good too.

            Right now, I frequent California Wraps, which is actually a Greek fast food place. Good green falafels! I also like Zankou chicken, which is on Sepulveda.

            My roommate made up a great recipe - Zankou chicken salad. Buy one chicken, and one salad. Eat the pickled turnips. Separate the dark meat from the light, and bone and chop up the light meat. Toss it in with the salad and onions. Chow down.

            There's a lot of stuff on Sepulveda, like Hogly Wogly and Western Bagel. Down further south, there's Pho So and Pho 777 competing. Pho So is better, but 777 holds its own. There's also a Sam Woo that doesn't suck, believe it or not. (This is at Victory, I think.)

            I'm looking for a good Korean place. I'm also looking for some really really good Mexican places. So far, the only one I like is that one near the McDonalds on Vineland(?) but I like it's hours more than the food.

            I haven't been that impressed with any of the more midrange restaurants, save a sushi bar on Saticoy and Vineland. Most of the yuppie style joints suck, so stick with the mini malls.

            Does anyone have a review of Zen Grill?

          2. Don't forget there's a Killer Shrimp on Ventura Boulevard.