Chow-worthy place around Universal?
For tonight for 8 people, several of them children, cheap or expensive.
A number of LA's best sushi restaurants are a few minutes away in Studio City, including Asanebo and Nozawa. Ca' del Sole on Cahuenga is literally next door to the Universal lot and is OK for Italian. They have a very attractive outdoor patio.
I've always enjoyed a meal at Zach's Italian Kitchen in Studio City on Ventura (just minutes away from Universal). It would be great with kids too.
One of the most kid-friendly places in the vicinity is Caioti Pizza on Tujunga Ave. in Studio, the restaurant of the late Ed LaDou, inventor of the California pizza. IMHO the best pizza in L.A. (okay, I haven't been to Mozza yet.)
You have LaDou to thank if you've ever had barbecued chicken on a pizza. He was the original pizza chef at Spago (wher Wolfgand Puck still takes cedit for LaDou's recipes), then he designed the original menu for California Pizza Kitchen. Caioti was his first restaurant, initially famous for the bizarre urban legend that his salad dressing induced labor in pregnant women ... ;/
Split a lamb sausage and a barbecued chicken pizza, have a plain cheese for the young'uns and you'll be in heaven.
Caioti Pizza Cafe
4346 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604