A small group of friends and I are meeting up in the valley tomorrow night, and we want a unique or fun eating experience. Any suggestions? (Encino, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Northridge, Sherman Oaks, etc...)
The first place that popped in my mind when you mentioned "unique and fun" was Gyu-Kaku. This is a Japanese restaurant where you do your own cooking. They have an assorment of marinated and seasoned meats, chicken, fish, and vegetables which you cook at your table. I always see groups of people having fun. I believe they have a full bar at the Sherman Oaks location.
14457 Ventura Blvd.
Pasadena might be a little far for you, but I had a great experience recently with Villa Sorriso in Pasadena. Excellent penne with vodka sauce (I think it's been featured on TV?) Great courtyard with outdoor seating---nice ambiance. On summer nights they project old, black and white movies on the courtyard wall.
Max in Sherman Oaks
Vitello's in Studio City
Second Alcazar in Encino.
ON Friday nights, the buffett at Woodlands Pure veggie Indian in Chatsworth is AMAZING
Boneyard Bistro has bistro food, bbq, and the Valley's best beer list. I kid you not. Frankly, I'd prefer it to Father's Office. If I lived NEXT DOOR to Father's office, I'd rather drive to Boneyard Bistro. In Sherman Oaks.
The Great Greek has a nice greek feast or off the menu item, and the waiters dance and make you dance. it's fun. not the best greek food, but better than many.
People talk about the computerized ordering and group games at Uwink in Woodland Hills, but I hear the food is only so so.
El Katracho is great Honduran food in Van Nuys. A hole in the wall, but a bucket of cheap beer, a bowl of conch or blue crab soup and a pile of baliadas is gret for an evening chow.
Instead of Gyu kaku, go to Jingo in encino. Smaller, less packed, better food.
Aroma Bakery cafe is a true Israeli cafe, which is much closer to European cafes. Great isreali dishes, amazing pastry, no pictures of olive trees or cedar trees or date palms, more euro vibe. very popular. No alcohol, but there is a nice wine bar right across the street to start or finish your evening. it's in encino and has nothing to do with the other famous Valley Aroma, which is on Tujunga and NOT Israeli.
Hummus Bar is another euro style israe place, amazing food, too. It's in Tarzana.