Universal City Walk
Going out to the universal city walk this Saturday (will see the dark knight at the imax :). Not really familiar with that area at all - what would be some good places to get some food before or after the show? Looking for a good sit down restaurant with a "lively" atmosphere, but emphasis is on the food. Preferably with a full bar. Any of the chains within the city walk itself worth checking out?
I've eaten at Karl Strauss (brewery), Comacho's (Mexican), and Hard Rock Cafe (Hard Rock Cafe). They're all adequate; I probably prefer Comacho's out of the three.
But if your emphasis is on the food, I think you're barking up the wrong tree with Citywalk. There are some places off the lot, just down the street from Universal, that have much better reputations (can't think of them offhand but there should be threads on the area); and if you're willing to venture as far as Hollywood (which isn't far) you have tons of options.
Nick is right, no real chow worthy places in UC. I haven't been and I don't know if it's the venue you want, but close by and always highly recommended by Chowhounds is Ca De Sol, on Lankersheim I believe.
Do a search and I'm sure you'll find out all you need to know about this place, it most definitely will be good chow.
There's also Barsac on Lankershim, pretty good expense-account French ... also Le Petit Chateau just north of the 134, the kind of place to go when you have a hankering for beef Wellington. Both have full bars; neither is open for lunch on Saturday.
Within the grounds there's a Wolfgang Puck Cafe and a Daily Grill, which are everything you could expect a Wolfgang Puck Cafe or a Daily Grill to be. Also a Buca di Beppo, Tony Roma's or Saddle Ranch Chop House (none of which I've been to). Daily Grill has a full bar, Puck's has beer & wine, can't speak for the full-barness of the others.
Le Petit Chateau Restaurant
4615 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602
4212 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602
Off the "Walk" and close by on Barham is California Cantina which is really good. Also, there's Ca del Sol on Cahuenga and a little further on Riverside is Chez Nous.
Thanks for advice everyone. Of course I was hoping someone would tell me I don't have to drive and stay at the city walk, but I knew there likely wasn't anything good there. Since I rarely make it out to North Hollywood/Studio City, i'll probably pick something from there. The Boneyard Bistro has intrigued me for a while. Please keep the suggestions coming though!
Don't hate me for saying this...but I kind of like Saddle Ranch. It's definitely "lively" and they have a full bar (plus bull rides!?) It's super fun, they have huge drinks, plus they give you free shots and play good music (and the waiters are hot b/c they are all inspiring actors/actresses). The food is decent - huge portions, so my fiance and I usually share an entree like roasted chicken which comes with salad, cornbread and a few sides. Stay away from the Sweet Potatoes (SO overly sweet).