Between 405 and Shoup on the 101 tomorrow 4/7 only..
Alcazar in Encino for some of the best Lebanese in the city. I recommend sticking to the mezze -- the kibbye and the hummus alcazar (hummus with spices and fava beans) are my favorites.
Thai 'n' I for Thai barbecue chicken or ribs. This is really a two-dish place, but the ribs especially are fantastic.
Sushi Iki in Tarzana for excellent, but high-end, traditional sushi.
If you are in a beef mode, Sampa Grill is a better-than-average churrascaria in Encino. Its beef is not as good as Fogo de Chao, but its salad bar was more varied the times I went. I've never had their lunch, but it seemed pretty reasonably priced for a place like that.
17239 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316
18663 Ventura Blvd Ste 106, Tarzana, CA 91356
Thai 'N I
17544 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA
16240 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91436
I was gonna recommend Alcazar as well.
There's also Amer's Falafel in Encino
Gochi is gyu kaku type restaurant where you grill yourself, but it's better than Gyu-Kaku IMO
Zankou is on Sepulveda
in the same place as Alcazar, there's a great little bakery/restaurant that has great macarons, as well as sammies and whatnot (not as ethnic, but maybe just dessert here)
For casual Mediterranean style food, I like California Pita and Grill, in Woodland Hills, on Ventura Blvd, between Canoga and Topanga Canyon. Good kabobs, gyros, hummus, etc. I personally love their lemon chicken combo,
For sushi, Brother sushi, just down the street is pretty solid. Not cheap, but pretty reliable for quality fish.
21418 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364
California Pita & Grill
21753 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364
I think Gochi closed and, at last drive-by, had another name. Jingo, I think. I heard it is generally the same style of dining and I also agree with you that it is better than Gyu Kaku. However, I was just looking at the website and it looks like, in the change from Gochi to Jingo, they eliminated the dinners where you could get meat for BBQ, salad, soup, and either California roll or spicy tuna for about $15. That was a great deal and made Gochi much less expensive than Gyu Kaku. Because the items are now all sold individually, I suspect the price will be much higher than it used to be.
Emme mentioned Zankou. There was a post about a new Zankou in Tarzana, which uses fresh garlic paste (not the pre-packed foil ones). So I would go there over the one on Sepulveda.
For non-traditional sushi (i.e., crazy rolls), Sushi Ichiban Kan opened recently in Woodland Hills. The chef was the original chef at Hirosuke in Encino and he is very creative. Tha hamachi jalapeno was excellent and they make an incredibly decadent baked green mussel (with mussel, avocado, sweet mayonnaise and smelt egg). They have some reasonably priced lunch specials on the menu: http://sushiichiban-kan.com/default.aspx
Zankou Chicken Tarzana Inc.
19598 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91356
Sushi Ichiban Kan
19723 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA
Hello all, thanks for your replies. Just got back from an early lunch with my friend. Since its his area I ended up deferring on his selection this morning. A & W Seafood near Nordorff and Reseda. We had Dim Sum . The selection was rather small but tasty for the area. Im not sure I would rush back, but it was nice to connect with my friend.. Thanks again