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In Studio City on Friday Night with No Idea Where to Eat...Help!

Funwithfood Oct 9, 2008 05:33 PM

Hi all--got a call to be in Studio City tomorrow afternoon (11000 block of Ventura Blvd). Where can I go (with a well-behaved) 6 year old for dinner? I'm open to all cuisines--just want good food! Thanks in advance for your guidance.

  1. Funwithfood Jan 15, 2009 05:52 PM

    Well, I'm heading out to Studio City again tomorrow. I'm in the mood for great soup--any recs? Also, are there any good bakeries or cafes with terrific take out (ala Clementine in LA).


    1. Funwithfood Oct 11, 2008 08:31 PM

      Well...we went to Max--good food (not extraordinary). I loved their Manhattan martini, and although their chicken marsala in no way resembled chicken marsala, it was very good. The Gorgonzola mac & cheese that accompanied it was the best taste of the night. The ribs were satisfactory. The butterscotch pudding was a huge disappointment, as the (oddly added) almond liqueur totally distracted from the flavor. Did I order wrong?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Funwithfood
        Maxmillion Oct 11, 2008 10:58 PM

        Well, apart from my lack of recent experience with Max (went there several times after it first opened, but not just lately) I'd offer the suggestion that is equal parts serious and facetious and say that if you ordered a butterscotch pudding that was NOT the sublime Budino at Pizzeria Mozza, then you were virtually asking for disappointment!!

        Yeah, I'd be pretty cranky about the addition of almond liqueur bc I would find completely overpowering.

        Didn't people upthread rec the burger and the ribs at Max? It's obviously still subjective as to what people will rave about and others will find "satisfactory".

        Did you have a nice time?

        Was your little one welcomed and happy with the fare?

        1. re: Maxmillion
          Debbie W Oct 12, 2008 08:59 AM

          I was never that big of a fan of Max, pre-remodel. We went once after the remodel and I enjoyed it much more. The burger was excellent, and we learned it was big enough to share (for future visits). People next to us were having the butterscotch pudding and it looked very pale in color. I asked them how it was, was it intensely butterscotchy, and they said it was just ok. I asked if they could compare it to the butterscotch budino at P. Mozza or the butterscotch pudding at Jar (which I prefer over the P. Mozza version but that's kind of nitpicking as they're both great) but they hadn't had either. Anyway, we chose a different dessert that night.

          1. re: Debbie W
            Funwithfood Oct 12, 2008 12:02 PM

            Yes--the butterscotch pudding at Jar is sublime!

            When I mean the ribs were satisfactory, I meant that the flavor was good...although they were somewhat overcooked, hence not very tender. I should have ordered the burger.

            The delicious martini helped me to have a wonderful time! My companion is always a delight :).

            P.S. The photographer from the LA Times was there doing a shoot in advance of a review of the restaurant...look for that in the next few days...

        2. re: Funwithfood
          carter Oct 12, 2008 10:05 PM

          Chicken Marsala at Max?
          Must have been a special, yet I do not remember ever seeing it as a special in the 6 or so years the place has been open.
          The butterscotch as I mentioned in another post on its reopening and remodeling was also a disappointment, as it had very little taste of butterscotch. Jar still does it best.
          Not being a Mac n cheese person, have no means for comparison.
          But the half chicken, any seafood dish, the shrimp firecrackers, crab cakes, any duck or pork dish, any soup, the filet mignon if available, etc. are highly recommendable.
          Desserts change quickly, so not sure of the current selection, beyond the butterscotch pudding.
          The ribs are good enough, yet If I want ribs, I go to Boneyard Bistro just a few blocks west of there.

        3. b
          burbankfoodie Oct 10, 2008 12:41 PM

          I second Max. Haven't been in a bit but have fond thoughts of the times I have been. Also second Ciaoti (sp?) on Tijunga - that's our favorite family place.

          1. mylastbite Oct 10, 2008 12:38 PM

            Laurel Tavern just opened this week. I went last night and loved the food. Heirloom Tomatoes with Buratta, Roasted Marrowbones, Burgers, Chorizo Fondue, Fries cooked in Pork Fat! I LOVED the Pork Belly Skewers. It's casual. Full bar. Address is 11938 Ventura Blvd.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mylastbite
              Pinkayaker Oct 10, 2008 04:56 PM

              We were there Wednesday night when Laurel Tavern opened. I'm glad to hear the food is good. We will definitely have to try it the next time we go. The marrow sounds good. I'm sure that will go well with one of their beers.

              1. re: mylastbite
                Maxmillion Oct 11, 2008 11:27 AM

                ^ not suitable (nor permissable) for a 6 year old, tho, right?

              2. streetgourmetla Oct 10, 2008 11:58 AM

                Caioti Pizza on Tujunga near Moorpark.There's Aroma Cafe for dessert or a gelato place just south of Caioti, great for familes in general, the whole Tujunga scene.

                1. Funwithfood Oct 10, 2008 09:12 AM

                  Thanks for all your replies!

                  The last time we were there we went to Boneyard Bistro, which was good. Tell me more about Max...

                  Trattoria Mezzomondo sounds good--what to you like to order there? (I do love Indian food, but my 6 year old may not be in the mood for it...)

                  What kind of food does Daichan serve? I do love a British experience--something to keep in mind! (How far away of a drive would Robin Hood be?)

                  TIA :)

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Funwithfood
                    Debbie W Oct 10, 2008 11:22 AM

                    Daichan is "homestyle" Japanese food with a Hawaiian influence. Lots of small plates too. Some sushi but that's not their specialty. Many healthy options. The people are very sweet but it can be a bit slow. One of our favorites.

                    Robin Hood is on Burbank Blvd. just east of Woodman. Probably a 10 minute drive from where you'll be, traffic depending. The food is way better at Robin Hood than the food at the Fox & Hounds (I think that's the name) pub near where you'll be.

                    Max is upscale-ish though they are refashioning themselves as a gastropub of sorts. I actually prefer the new, somewhat less formal, vibe. Menu here: http://www.maxrestaurant.com/Home.html

                    1. re: Funwithfood
                      Jack Flash Oct 10, 2008 11:59 AM

                      Mezzomondo has lots of good pastas, and usually a few interesting specials (meat, fish). I often get one of the specials. The carpaccio and antipasto platter are good starters.

                      1. re: Jack Flash
                        Maxmillion Oct 11, 2008 11:36 AM

                        Ask which of Elio's pastas are home-made that night. They usually have fantastic ravioli (I love it with "pink sauce") and lasagne and sometimes hand-cut parpadelle.

                        And if you ever go for lunch, Mezzomondo's pounded & grilled chicken fillet sandwich on foccaccia is just fantastic.

                        1. re: Maxmillion
                          Funwithfood Jan 15, 2009 05:50 PM

                          I had a great meal at Trattoria Mezzomondo--the service was wonderful and the ambiance was lovely!

                      2. re: Funwithfood
                        radman123 Oct 10, 2008 12:17 PM

                        Go to Max - I was there last week - best burger (they just added to menu) I have had in a real long time

                        food is very good

                        1. re: Funwithfood
                          Galen Oct 11, 2008 04:54 PM

                          Daichan: Hawaiian influenced Japanese soul food. Their Fried Chicken is good. Juicy fried chicken nuggets, spaghetti-like macaroni salad, white or brown rice and a slice of watermelon. Their Spam sushi rollis yummy: Spam mitsubi.

                        2. Das Ubergeek Oct 9, 2008 10:03 PM

                          If the kid is REALLY well-behaved (and can resist lots and lots and LOTS of tchotchkes), go to Daichan (11288, at Eureka). Other good places in the immediate (walkable) vicinity are Bollywood Cafe (11101, between the two ends of Arch) or Tortas Mexico (11040, across from the east end of Arch).

                          The Thai place in the same plaza as Tortas Mexico changes hands every 6 months or so but is usually not bad. The Pig and Bollocks (Fox and Dogs?) across the street from that plaza has forgettable British food but it's OK if you're craving fish and chips, though Robin Hood in Van Nuys is leagues better.

                          A bit further is the usual choice for AYCE sushi that's not bad (and don't worry too much about the 'rules'), Midori (11622, slightly east of Colfax).

                          Finally, I have to admit to having a soft spot for City Wok (10949, at Vineland, in the Ralphs plaza) -- while it's utterly Americanised Chinese food, I just... like it. Shameful, I know, but they do a decent job with sweet-gloppy Americanised Chinese food.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                            Galen Oct 9, 2008 10:30 PM

                            Laurel Canyon & Ventura Blvd.: Daily Grill's meatloaf.

                            1. re: Das Ubergeek
                              Veggietales Oct 10, 2008 05:07 PM

                              Do not be ashamed that you like City Wok, cause it is Americanized Chinese Food made very well. I love City Wok and would go there over the nasty chains like Pick up Stix, PF Changs and the like.

                              Affordable, made to order and delicious- don't feel bad cause it ain't "authentic"-- spread the word that its' great!

                              1. re: Veggietales
                                carter Oct 10, 2008 07:25 PM

                                Well, no one expected me to stay out of this conversation for too long, but City Wok's food all seems to taste of cornstarch, as in pasty. No lively flavors whatsoever.
                                The owner has more than one of them in the Palm Desert area, and this one just sort of runs itself, and the results are telling.
                                Better than the chains - yes, but.....

                            2. j
                              Jack Flash Oct 9, 2008 07:24 PM

                              Trattoria Mezzomondo. Really good food. Not overly fancy, and perfectly fine for a well-behaved 6 y.o.


                              If your tastes lean towards Indian, try Gangadin on Ventura Place.


                              If you like Thai, then Sompun, also on Ventura Place.

                              Sompun Restaurant
                              12051 Ventura Pl, Studio City, CA 91604

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Jack Flash
                                Maxmillion Oct 11, 2008 11:25 AM

                                YES YES and YES! All fantastic selections, from a cuisine perspective (I can't speak of the kid factor...)

                              2. j
                                jackattack Oct 9, 2008 06:50 PM

                                A 6 year old might like Amazon Bar & Grill, like a rainforest-jungle inside with a waterfall. Sparks Woodfire Grill gets good reviews. I like The Good Earth myself.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: jackattack
                                  Funwithfood Oct 9, 2008 07:10 PM

                                  This kid is used to fine dining--we both want **great food**, so don't think of the age as a limitation :).

                                  I especially like classic American food (ribs, meatloaf, mac & cheese), but my "date" likes shrimp...and Shirley Temples!

                                  1. re: Funwithfood
                                    perk Oct 9, 2008 07:24 PM

                                    How about Max? Very nice food. Or Boneyard Bistro. They even have fried mac & cheese. And terrific ribs.

                                    1. re: perk
                                      Emme Oct 9, 2008 10:51 PM

                                      i second Boneyard Bistro. good american food.

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