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Van Nuys, California

  • m

Is this town to be avoided completely? I've been told it's not safe unless you're right on the Sherman Oaks border. I know someone who is thinking of moving to the 5900 block of Cedros Avenue because it's easy to rent an apartment there with a dog that weighs 40 lbs. Also, any good Mexican and Italian restaurants you would recommend in this area?

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  1. Right outside of Van Nuys on Vanowen and White Oak is Adrian's Trattoria. Everything I've tried there from appetizers to pasta dishes has been really great! It's owned by a very nice Greek couple and the place has been there for quite a while. Give it a try!

    As for living in the Van Nuys area, sad to say it's not the greatest, but it has it's pockets of lovely residential areas. My best friend lives on the 5800 block of Cedros and it's a safe enough area.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Lulu

      Adrian's is definitley worth a try. They have one of the best pizzas I've tried in L.A. For comparisons sake I also like Joe Peeps and Miceli's meatball pizza but have yet to make it to L.A. favorite Casa Bianca when they're open. Make sure to ask for extra sauce at Adrian's - it delicious!

      1. re: moxiela

        Good call on Adrians. I think they may also have a schnitzel. I don't get pizza anywhere else. What about Dr. Hogly Wogly Tyler Texas BBQ. Even by Van Nuys standards its the DMZ but the ribs are great.

        Van Nuys Solidarity Forever!

    2. Van Nuys isn't so bad. I live on the 6500 block of Petit. Just stay away from North of Victory and East of the 405 freeway. The 5900 block of Cedros isn't so bad.

      As for food, it's in the middle of everything. Maybe there isn't much in Van Nuys per se, but smack dab in the middle of the SF Valley isn't so bad. Sam Woo and 99 Ranch market on Victory and Sepulveda, Costco right on Sepulveda, Lola's/El Loco de Pollo on Victory and Kester.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Greg

        Hey, I beg to differ politely with you on that estimation of Van Nuys! I live north of Victory (but West of the 405) in a lovely area known as Lake Balboa (adjacent) off of Sherman Way near Balboa and the homes are pretty nice. Now as far as food goes, I have to agree that Van Nuys proper has pretty slim pickins, but if you want good, huge portions of Mexican food you can head a little more east on Vanowen to Las Fuentes (I think it's near Vanowen and Reseda) -- really great, always busy, prices are cheap. And for retro BBQ, there's the Valley Ranch BBQ Restaurant on Sherman Way just west of Hayvenhurst. That's my story and I'm stickin to it!

        1. re: ChefLisa

          Hey, I meant more of the northeast quadrant bordered by Victory and the 405. Like Van Nuys and Vanowen is a bit sketchy, but the upside is that there is a Tommy's right there and all the adult bookstores and pawn shops you will ever need.

          Good call on Valley Ranch. Gotta love the short ribs.

          1. re: Greg

            I think the best thing on the Valley Ranch menu is the Super Sandwich with pulled pork.

            Beep's on Sherman Way is also a good place (diner) for breakfast or lunch.

            I agree on El Criollo - good Cuban food

            Pho So 1 is one of my favorite pho places.

      2. h
        Hershey Bomar

        El Jerezano is in Van Nuys, Hazeltine just south of Oxnard.

        1. You do not have to travel too far south to be in the heart of Sherman Oaks, with many Italian restaurants, including Panzanella, Fabs, Il Balcone, Il Tiramisu, La Pergola and Oliva, with all doing a decent to much better than average job. Also many more in Studio City.

          1. Hey Van Nuysers: Has anyone ever been to the Matterhorn? (Second inquiry--first, under Gustaf Anders head went unanswered, though people had alternative ideas for schnitzel. What about Matterhorn?)

            6 Replies
            1. re: juny1cat

              Lived in the valley all my life and have never heard of it.

                1. re: WLA

                  That's it, all right. But has no one ever been there??

                  1. re: juny1cat

                    OK, OK, yes, I admit it, I've been there. I didn't respond earlier because it was years (more than 6, probably) ago and I assumed more recent diners would respond -- but, with that qualification, and since no one else is biting:

                    My recollection, a bit fuzzy, is that I found it rather campy but in a mostly good way, warm and silly; but the food was just sorta OK, better than the Austrian food that our new governor used to serve at Schatzi but not much. I have some recollection of having read a rave from some local food critic, don't remember who, and that is what enticed me to try the place, and then I was disappointed because our very high expectations were not met.

                    Thinking back, I am pretty sure I had the Bernerplatte (smoked pork loin, bacon and sausages, served with sauerkraut and string beans) and that my verdict was: adequate, but that the next time I wanted some substantial Mitteleuropan food I'd probably prefer to head back to Warszawa (not a Swiss-German restaurant, obviously, but close enough for me and a great place) or even to one of the Wolfgang Puck establishments for some schnitzel. I don't remember what my dining companion had but I think she wasn't overwhelmed either.

                    That website is a kick, though. I might be persuaded to try again just to experience the " Yodeling & Entertainment for the whole
                    family. "

                    1. re: juny1cat

                      I go there every eight or nine months or so. Food is solid if not spectacular, but when that urge for food from the Heartland of Europe strikes, it's nice to have this place handy. The place is vast and kitchy but comfortable. The staff is friendly. Prices are a tad high, but not unreasonable. I recommend it.

                2. re: juny1cat

                  I've been there. Pretty decent, not great. Kind of kitschy. I read recently that they were closing the restaurant (owners are retiring), so you should make sure they're still open.