I just posted this on another query. Itzik Hagadol in Encino, across the street from the Town and Country Shopping Center was really fun and had excellent food. It is an Israeli salad and kabob place, with a very lively/fun atmosphere, and a lot of food. Good family-style place.
If you want quiet and calm, don't eat there. Otherwise, the four of us really had a good time..
Belwood Bakery for sammies and bread and whatnot
Brussel mentions Oliva which is technically not on Ventura, nor is Simon Cafe on Sepulveda one block below Ventura, but they're both good
California Pita for moist chicken and great fro yo
Lala's Argentinian Grill
for healthy salad options California Chicken Cafe