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Fab's in Van Nuys -- Finally Open!

Bob Brooks Sep 5, 2008 02:49 PM

In what has to be the longest remodel project in SFV restaurant history, Fab's doors were open for business when I drove by today. A chalkboard sign said "Stop In for Lunch." The place looks very nice. Hope the food will be.

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  1. Debbie W RE: Bob Brooks Sep 5, 2008 03:20 PM

    Hmmm. As a once-in-awhile patron of Fab's for many years, I would have assessed the food as adequate. I liked that you could match pastas and sauces. Their rolls were pretty good. There was a salad that I liked, maybe a chopped salad. And their pizza was ok too. I think I would settle for the same level of adequate-ness as before the remodel, especially since Mazzarino's remains boarded up. As you can see I have low expectations!

    1. c
      CompuDude RE: Bob Brooks Sep 5, 2008 08:30 PM

      You're kidding... I thought they had closed!

      Good to know they're back open, and it was just a remodel job. (badly needed) I was sad to see them gone... they're not amazing, but have been a nice consistent family Italian meal for a long long time in my life!

      1 Reply
      1. re: CompuDude
        GummyBear RE: CompuDude Sep 6, 2008 09:22 AM

        They did close and they did remodel. The restaurant was run by Joe Fab, he sold it to his grandson and son who have kept the name but have changed around the menu. So technically they are New owners with a revamped concept.

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        PD Girl RE: Bob Brooks Sep 5, 2008 08:45 PM

        My coworker went there for lunch yesterday and was totally disappointed. First, they no longer have the sourdough rolls. The baker retired and took his recipe with him. Second, the salads have gotten really small and really expensive. $9 for a small chopped salad. She and her friend ordered sandwiches that they both found totally ordinary. To top it all off, she found a hair in her salad. She said she will not be going back and advises everyone to skip it.

        7 Replies
        1. re: PD Girl
          carter RE: PD Girl Sep 6, 2008 09:34 AM

          sort of emblematic of all Italian restos on Ventura Blvd. in the area - nothing stands out as being anything beyond ho-hum!
          I know one that will be joining the competition in a while, and when it arrives...

          1. re: carter
            compucook RE: carter Sep 6, 2008 09:56 AM

            Okay, bad parking, ho-hum food and high prices. Nope, we won't be going.
            C'mon Carter, share the other name with us, we need something to look forward to! We won't tell...

            1. re: carter
              Jwsel RE: carter Sep 6, 2008 05:47 PM

              I've never had a bad meal at Spumoni, which aims for a similar neighborhood Italian feel as Fabs. I agree that most of the other Italian places in the area are weak.

              1. re: Jwsel
                carter RE: Jwsel Sep 6, 2008 05:55 PM

                The thing I hate most about the Italian dining scene in and around Sherman Oaks/Studio City is that the same 10-15 menu items appear on every menu, as if they are the only foods served in all of Italy.
                No creativity whatsoever, just same old, same old, including Panzanella, ill tiramisu, etal.
                A couple of places I will not walk into because of ownership/staffing issues, although those mentioned above are not on that list.

                1. re: carter
                  Dogbite Williams RE: carter Sep 6, 2008 06:08 PM

                  If you want something different, head to Antonio's at 13619 Ventura Blvd. Try the Spaghetti Caruso made with chicken livers, onions, marinara sauce, garlic and wine. I have always enjoyed it, and the last time I was there it was only $8.95.

                  1. re: carter
                    Jwsel RE: carter Sep 7, 2008 02:16 PM

                    I don't get that. Probably every "neighborhood" Italian restaurant in the city has certain basic items -- a caprese salad, checca pasta, arrabiata, etc. -- but that does not mean there is no creativity or quality in the food. Spumoni has 25 different pastas, plus a number of different gnocchi dishes, a half-dozen chicken dishes, scampi and cioppino. It also does a great sauteed calamari that I rarely see on other Italian menus.

                    Do I wish there were more regional Italian places in LA to reflect the variety of Italian food? Sure, but for the most part, those distinctions tend to exist in high-end Italian, not at the mid-range neighborhood eateries. And that is the same pretty much anywhere in the city, not just Sherman Oaks/Studio City.

                2. re: carter
                  Emme RE: carter Sep 6, 2008 06:38 PM

                  we find Oliva on Van Nuys to be pretty reliable. certainly not mindblowing but good service and solid Italian fare.

              2. m
                Morris Malken RE: Bob Brooks Sep 6, 2008 09:48 PM

                I’m joining the naysayers.

                Gone is the old comfortable Fab’s Italian Kitchen. It is now called Fab’s Corner Cucina. Gone are the friendly, knowledgeable servers, the family atmosphere, the abundant home-style Italian food. The venue has become a pretentious, cutesy, noisy, dimly lit, corporate-style creation. The food has turned chintzy, lukewarm, under-spiced and a lot more expensive.

                Oh well…. saves us a long trip over the hill on the 405 we always took in anticipation of simple affordable Italian food.

                Looking forward to the competition mentioned by Carter. Please let us know where/when.

                1. j
                  JFabrocini RE: Bob Brooks Sep 7, 2008 12:06 AM

                  I want to say for the record that Fab's Italian Kitchen in Sherman Oaks is in no way affiliated with Fabrocini's Italian Kitchen Beverly Glen or Fab Hot Dogs in Reseda which both come seperatly from the sons of the original Chef / Owner of Fab's, Vincent V. Fabrocini (1923-1986)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JFabrocini
                    trojans RE: JFabrocini Sep 7, 2008 01:09 AM

                    Ok? Did we just get a chowhound obit?

                  2. m
                    mrsteak RE: Bob Brooks Sep 21, 2008 03:26 AM

                    They spent all this time and money revamping the place and forgot to remodel the bathrooms! No more sourdough rolls! Chopped salad tastes different. No more reason to go there. If it ain't broke...

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