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Sherman Oaks restaurants (preferably around the Arclight)

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I know there's limited good (if passable) restaurants around the area but I'm hoping there's a place I haven't discovered yet. Anyone knows great food around here? Thanks!

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  1. 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...

    6 Replies
    1. re: Emme

      no particular cuisine or price range, really. just good food. thanks for the reply.

      1. re: atis

        to add,
        Oliva Italian on Van Nuys
        Stanley's
        Great Greek
        Robin Hood Pub
        Aromi Cafe
        Aroma
        Great Greek
        Hong Kong 88
        Alcazar in Encino
        Pita Kitchen on Van Nuys
        head up to Sherman Way for Thai at Krua Thai or Sri Siam
        for desserts, Aroma, Nata's, Leda's

        1. re: Emme

          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.

          1. re: Nyinya

            The only reason to go to Stanleys is.....well I can't think of one. They do have that nice patio in the back, but it doesn't make up for their uninspired menu. Salads are ok if you can sit in the back.

      2. re: Emme

        i've eaten at hugos many times, and although it isn't bad, imho, it certainly isn't great.

        1. re: westsidegal

          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.

      3. 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.

        5 Replies
        1. re: lil mikey

          El Torrito Grill. Right next door to the Arclight. Surprisingly good for a chain.

          1. re: trojans

            You're so lucky to live in LA. I know many don't realize it, but you're in a center of great culture and food (I on the other hand live in the food wasteland of San Diego--hey we do have perfect weather). So I don't see any point in going to El Torrito.

            1. re: The Old Man

              There is a difference between the Grill version and the regular El Torito, albeit you are correct in that neither are wonderful, but the convenience factor is very high in this instance, and if you order carefully, you will survive to see another day!

          2. re: lil mikey

            Second Simon's. Walking distance fr: Arclight. Good dinners also. I love their couscous & the soup. Also the lamb tagine. Very limited wine list but corkage is $10

            1. re: archer

              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!

          3. "Limited"?!?!

            Lordy

            some mentioned already in this list:
            Simon's Place,
            Clay Oven,
            Boneyard Bistro,
            La Frite,
            Shiraz,
            Il Tiramisu,
            Sushi House of Taka,
            The Dressing Room,
            Leda's bake Shop,
            Gio,
            Oliva,
            Senor Fred,
            Alcazar,
            Great Greek,
            Hong Kong 88 and Sushi
            Midori All You Can Eat Sushi
            Pica Rico
            El Katracho
            Marmalade
            Cafe Cordiale
            Cafe Bizou
            Kyushu Ramen
            Pho 99
            The other Pho Place
            Aroma Bakery Cafe
            Ce Fiore
            Baklava Factory
            Golden Chicken
            Mulberry Street Pizza
            Humphry Yogart's
            Gelson's Salad Bar/Deli/Bakery
            IN n Out
            The Stand
            Brat Brothers
            Max
            The Indian and Sushi places next to Simon's Place

            4 Replies
            1. re: Diana

              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.

              1. re: hambriento

                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.

                1. re: Diana

                  I like La Frite. I had a great spinach salad there a few weeks ago, VERY generous on the bacon :-)
                  Super nice waitress also. I'm going to need to try Simon's Cafe based on the comments here.

                2. re: hambriento

                  fwiw, i understand that max has just totally revamped the restaurant and their menu.

              2. 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.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Jerome

                  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!)

                  1. re: SushioCity

                    Could have been bigger?!
                    My god, their salads are huge - unless of course you need 300 lbs of salad, in which case...

                    1. re: SushioCity

                      You could bathe a baby in their salad bowls -- the only salads I've ever seen bigger are from Rutabegorz and the Texas Cheesecake Depository, either of which can be shared by a bloody family of four.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        Though it might be entertaining to diners at a neighboring table, please do not bathe the baby in a Rutabegorz salad bowl. Their vinaigrette is not good for sensitive baby skin.

                        1. re: kiwi

                          You could have left off "...for sensitive baby skin" and the last sentence would have been true. I just make my own with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

                  2. I'll throw in another plug for Simon's. It's good, and it's close!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: lad1818

                      Simon's son is a sushi chef in Woodland Hills!!

                      1. re: lad1818

                        I'll throw my two cents in for another plug for Simon's. He really is an amazing dude.

                        1. re: valleychowhound

                          We love him too! His lamb tagine is fabulous, but I'm not a fan of his lamb chops. He makes some delicious cakes and desserts too.

                          1. re: valleychowhound

                            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.

                            1. re: ozhead

                              Next time you go, order the couscous Royale. You won't regret it!