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ISO Great Place close to 405/101 intersection

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Meeting my best friend for dinner. Looking for something with great food, somewhat interesting atmosphere, preferably close to the freeway and has good wine/drinks. I've searched the board, but can't find anything this exact. Thanks in advance.

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  1. Cucina Bene on Sepulveda just south of Ventura has good Italian.

    For Italian on Van Nuys, there's Oliva Italian.

    On Ventura east of Sepulveda, there's Spazio, as well as Panzanella.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Emme

      For great food you have to go further east into Studio City. Max's on Ventura is closest to the interchange, about 3 miles. Then a little further east is Pinot Bistro and Bistro Garden, just west of Coldwater. All 3 meet your requirements.

      1. re: pizzafreak

        Max and Pinot Bistro are both excellent choices. Bistro Garden is a lovely setting, but the food seems a notch or two down to those first two.

    2. Good food can be had without the drive to Studio City.

      Good Moroccan At Simon's Place right next to Cucina Bene.

      On Ventura a little East of the interchange there is Il Tiramisu. They are pretty wine knowledgable, the selection is smaller, but good. Mixed drinks are good, too. The food is divine!

      Gio Italian is the other way (West on Ventura, above Maui Wowie) and is pretty good, as is Alcazar in Encino.

      Spazio is also an upstairs eatery, pretty good, with live music sometimes.

      Valley inn is super old school Steakhouse, in fact, most of the people there are super oldschool, too. As in AARP. Good drinks , food and cheesecake, though. not very vibey.

      Thir Max. Not wild about Pinot, though.

      Boneyard Bistro right on the edge of Sherman Oaks/Studio city has a great wine list, an amazing beer list, out of this world bbq and burgers, and creative "bistro" dishes, too. ONe of my top picks in the area! The desserts are faboo, too. Probably one of the more creative chefs in the area, too. Try the inside out nachos or the BBQ burrito. ny of the specials will be great!