Van Nuys recommendations
Hi Guys and Gals-
Going to test drive a car in Van Nuys on Friday night so I'm looking for some interesting dining suggestions in that area.
Italian or Chinese preferred or something totally eclectic is ok too. Looking for between $10-15 per entree.
Forget Chinese. With the possible exception of Hong Kong 88 (which I have had very mixed results from) nothing comes close to even decent.
At your price point there are, however, a couple of Italian places that are up to the task. First is Oliva, on Van Nuys blvd., on the west side of the street a block or so north of Ventura. Very pleasant, pizza and pasta and an overall good value.
Around the block on Ventura, just west of Van Nuys on the north side of the street is Spumoni. Also fine and well priced.
If you want to spend a few more bucks, you could try Il Tiramisu, on the north side of Ventura Blvd. just west of Woodman.
Finally, again keeping price per entree in mind, I have the most outre recommendation: San Remo, 13727 Victory Blvd., just west of Woodman. This is a very popular place with a devoted local following. Good value for the price. And, when you're done with dinner, go next door to Charlie O's and listen to some jazz before you go home.
The best food in Van Nuys is at Zankou Chicken on Sepulveda, just north of Burbank. It's very informal, a take-out place really, but with tables. Just incomproble Armenian food though. And fast service.
For outstanding Chinese, come to 15025 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks about 2 blocks east of Sepulveda to Kung Pao Bistro (also in Studio City east of Laurel Canyon). Nice decor, very affordable and casual. If you see food items on the menu that in your mind you want to be combined with something else, they can and will do it. Very lively sauces, your choice of heat, and NO MSG.
Carter, I know you were kind enough to share your opinion on this for me once before when I was seeing if I had missed any of the take-out options in my neighbor. I must say that I was surprised at your rec.
I tried the place shortly after it opened, quite hopeful that it would be good because it was within walking distance of my home. That was three or more years ago and I've never considered going back.
IMHO this place was about as Chinese as The Olive Garden is Italian. What's good there that I may have missed?
Both San Remo and Kung Pao Bistro are ok, but if you don't mind Vietnamese, let me suggest Pho 999 on the corner Sepulveda and Victory Blvd. I keep going back to this place as it's a cut above many of the Asian places in the Valley. Their pho is excellent, the other dishes fresh...and cheap, cheap, cheap (a 7-course Beef dinner that can feed 4 for only $13.99!). There's been a few posts in the past that you can read.
I think you might like the uncomplicated selections offered at Fab's Italian Kitchen on the east side of Van Nuys Blvd, one block south of Ventura Blvd. If they serve it on the day you go, the Zuppa di Clams is exquisite - but you really have to love garlic to enjoy this dish. The warm sourdough rolls in the basket are the perfect vehicle to sop up any leftover juices.
My favorite dish is the shrimp fra diavolo served over a choice of pasta. Full of vibrant tomatoey flavor, this dish never fails to leave my taste buds begging for more.
Pizza is just so-so.
I like their straciatella - a clear spicy soup which seems to have multiple layers of taste - from the white pepper, to the earthy spinach leaves, to the generous pieces of white meat chicken, to the the shreds of floating egg like you find in egg-drop soup.
I hope you'll have the patience to go hunting for a parking space on the nearby streets. You'll enjoy it.
4336 Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403