My nephew moved to Canyon Country and we'd like to take him out to eat when we go visit.
Canyon Country may as well be another planet from the SFV. I have NO clue where to take him.
Looking for something mid-priced where a starving student will be less starving (no buffets, please!).
Le Chene is the best restaurant in the Canyon Country/Santa Clarita area. Never eaten there, yet it has been around since the mid-80s. It is up Sierra Highway at 12625 Sierra Hwy, about 3-5 miles north of Soledad. .
http://www.lechene.com/ provides all the info you will need.
Look at the entrees and realize that 2 veggies come with the entrees, so ordering beyond that may only have to entail dessert, or you could even have that elsewhere, including home if you so chose.
Well, the Salt Creek Grille is about the same price as Le Chene, based on the menu on their website, and the food is not all that wonderful, unless the new owners brought in a better chef than the previous owner had. The setting is pleasant enough, yet Canyon Country is more proximate to Le Chene and it is set out in the country, as opposed to being on Town Center Drive, mall-adjacent.
For Cuban food there's La Rumba (Saugas, 27600 Bouquet Canyon Rd # 100)
or Mojitos ( Valencia at 26876 The Old Road) or Greek , Athena's (18853 Soledad Canyon Rd) Not fancy but good greek food
Not fancy by any means, but Las Delicias (there is one on Lyons and a few others) has really good Mexican. The other night I had the Cocido de Res (which I love) and my friend had the Costillas de Puerco, verde which he was very pleased with. Those two dishes, with two drinks came to under $19. They now (since the last time I was there) serve some FANTASTIC Ranchero beans with the chips and we had to get seconds on that. They also have Al Pastor on a spit, with the pineapple on top and on weekends have a cart in the front. Their AP is good, too, but I love their soup with tortillas (I think they are homemade).
In general I would say that the restaurant scene in the Santa Clarita Valley is abysmal! There is one sushi place that my Japanese friend likes, I still haven't tried it, a couple of casual to very casual Mexican places, a roast chicken place similar to Zankou and not much else as far as I am concerned! This area is a sea of mediocre at best corporate run chain operations. My favorite place to dine in the 'SCV' was Cafe Melisse, yes from Chef Josiah Citrin, but the locals did not support it. I miss it a lot!
One bright spot is a new place for breakfast and lunch only called Thelma's Morning Cafe. It was recently opened by Chef Luis Diaz (formerly Executive Chef at Puck's Chinois on Main) and his wife Thelma. I've had 3 good breakfasts and will try some lunch items soon. It's small and often crowded on the weekends but the wait has not been too long, 20 min. max.
Thelma's Morning Cafe
22876 Copperhill Dr (at Seco Cyn. Rd.)
Santa Clarita, CA 91354
The Sushi spot I think your friend likes is Love Sushi. They have a spot in Newhall and Canyon Country. The Zankou spot is Sam's Flaming Grill on Soledad. Sorry if I'm wrong, but those are my spots and I've been to both recently. You gotta go to Love Sushi if you haven't been there. I'm gonna try Thelma's Morning Cafe soon.
The sushi place is Maru Sushi on Town Center Drive, haven't seen or heard about Love Sushi until now, tell me more! You're spot on about the roast chicken place, it is Sam's Flaming Grill. Good chicken and a toum or garlic sauce that is different than Zankou's, usually a more powerful garlic flavor and not as firm/thick.
There is also that breakfast place on Lyons - Egg Plantation. I have eaten there once for breakfast and it was pretty good.
There is also a restaurant that I posted on over 6 months ago in the Old Newhall section of Newhall. Can't remember the name, but the food was really good - little Mexican/El Salvadorean place. Inexpensive.
My friend lives up there and says that Manee House Exotic Thai is really good. He says they have really good seafood dishes. It is east of Orchard Village on the north side of the street.
I also like the Mediterranean place almost across from Oggi's on Soledad Cyn. I think it is Athena's. Also, Caruso's Italian was not horrible the one time I went there.
I thought the Original Saugus Cafe was okay for the usual suspects.