On the basis of recommendations in this thread I had dinner at Simon's Cafe for the first time last night. The place was virtually empty, making me wonder how he can stay in business, but the food was terrific and Simon is as courtly and accommodating as advertised. My daughter and I shared the matbouha (stewed tomatoes and peppers), served with a basket of terrific warm pita, both white and excellent whole wheat; an order of cheese borek (puff pastry filled with oozy cheese); and a pastilla (ground chicken, duck, and hard-boiled-egg pie wrapped in filo pastry, dusted with a little powdered sugar and topped with slivered almonds). Simon recommended a very nice red wine from the Golan Heights in Israel, which was perfect, and we shared a piece of sour-cherry tart for dessert. It was just a terrific dinner, though we of course over-ordered -- price, including tax and tip, was about $70 for the two of us (including $10 a glass for the wine), and worth every penny. Plus the stereo was playing wonderful funky French music, which fit the place perfectly. As the Governator says: I'll be back.
taste of india - ventura and stern, minimall fine.
stanley's is good for composed salads. better for lunch. baby back ribs are good. Soups are hit and miss but often really good.
Panzanella is good but pricey for an evening with a movie.
14928 Ventura Blvd
pergola near la frite has its devotees. fresh, but not my fave.
Just visited Stanley's for lunch. Had a Cobb salad which the waitress was happy to customize for me. The salad was good enough -- not as good as the one at Brent's or Art's delis -- but tasty. Could have been bigger. The side of ranch dressing was thin. Maybe that's a health thing. Not sure. (Come to think of it, I asked for blue cheese. Well, I guess they screwed that up.)
I found the side of sourdough bread quite appealing: fresh, soft, warm, and very sour. More than I could eat.
The waitress was attentive and friendly. She kept refilling my water glass and checked back a couple of times to ask how things were.
Finally, for what it's worth, I think I saw the actor Matthew Perry a few tables away. (I know, I know: who cares!)
some mentioned already in this list:
Sushi House of Taka,
The Dressing Room,
Leda's bake Shop,
Hong Kong 88 and Sushi
Midori All You Can Eat Sushi
The other Pho Place
Aroma Bakery Cafe
Mulberry Street Pizza
Gelson's Salad Bar/Deli/Bakery
IN n Out
The Indian and Sushi places next to Simon's Place
Atis did ask for great food, not a laundry list of all restaurants near the Arclight. I hardly think Gelson's salad bar can be considered great, in-n-out, maybe.
The one true great place not too far from Arclight, in my humble opinion, is Max. I don't think any other restaurant in the area comes close.
Marmalade and Cafe Bizou are not bad at all, there are also a few great sushi/sashimi places around the area as well, Asenebo, Tama, or Nozawa. For really good sushi, not great, but excellent value I would go to Iwata.
Ahh, but Gelson's salad bar IS great. For a supermarket salad abr, it is amazing, as is the wonderful deli food and the bakery.
Perhaps you only like Max, but a person would be silly not to try the chowhound recs. Il Tiramisu is fabulous, and very nice for a special meal. I have celebrated special occasions there many times. The monthly wine dinners are amazing.
Simon's Place is great moroccan, without Kitch or bellydancers, just good food well prepared food served by an amazing man.
Alcazar is amazing for fabulous mezze. A good thing to do with groups, or alone with a big appetite.
House of Taka is the only really good Sushi in Sherman oaks. Asanebo is in Studio City, not near the Arclight. 4 on 6 is amazing, in Encino, and closer than Asanebo (which is one of my favorite susdhi palces, EVER!)
Max is good, but there are plenty of other options in Sherman Oaks and encino.
LA frite is good, I prefer to stick to the crepes, but the soup is also nice, as are the souffles and mains.
I just had a great lunch at Simon's Cafe, on Sepulveda just south of Ventura.
The pastilla was piping hot, filled with ground chicken and duck and covered with a delicious freshly baked filo dough.
The beef tagine was also fresh and served with tasty green olives and a delicious sauce.
Both, with 2 homemade iced teas was $35 before tip.
re: lil mikey
re: lil mikey
just been to simon's and it was fabulous! although we were the only diners in the restaurant (and to tell the truth i was a bit nervous), the food was surprisingly good. i think simon himself served us which was quite odd and comforting at the same time. we had the appetizer sampler which was a winner, the had the lamb tagine, very delish. i would totally recommend it to others.
thanks for the suggestions!
any particular price range or ethnic cuisine desired? where have you already discovered?
Zankou, Carnival, Spazio, Hugo's (farther east I know), Il Tiramisu, Boneyard Bistro, Bene Cucina, California Chicken Cafe (duh), Emilio's, 4 on 6, Max, La Frite, The Dressing Room...
I have to respectfully disagree with Stanley's listing. The food is lackluster at best. I have not been there in about two years, but several dinners there over the years convinced me that this is your typical microwaved entree place. I remember on my last visit the waiter recommended the Chinese chicken salad! I lived just two blocks away, so it was a handy place to go and the food was not bad if you just wanted a quick salad or burger, but nothing was really good either. The best I can say is that the food is better than those Claim Jumper frozen dinners, but not be enough to bother. Prices are not inconsiderable, especially considering the boring, cliched menu and mediocre food.
I always like Hugo's a lot. The service can be odd. The food I really like, but then I tend to crave organic healthy sorta but not quite granola-y food. I love the "Create a plate" option. The mung beans and rice are great, and the specials usually are amazing.
Breakfast there is good, too.
but I can see it not appealing to everyone.