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Non-chain restaurants in Santa Clarita

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I have a friend who lives in Santa Clarita who feels that the choices are limited to only chains. I want to wow him with amazing finds from the folks here on the Chowhound boards, as I've been telling him what a great treasure trove of information this site is. Any takers?

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  1. There is Salt Creek Grille, which is a franchise, but not bad for steaks. South Point also near the mall. Le Chene up on Sierra Hwy for French food and game meats. El Taco Llama in Old Town Newhall has goof Mexican food. The Wayside Station for breakfast (and a favorite of Clint Eastwood)

    1 Reply
    1. re: liindamerlot79

      That's Way Station. Didn't know Clint Eastwood liked it but I'm not surprised. Very ordinary food done right, for the most part, especially the (all-day!) breakfast items, most especially the massive fluffy pile of hash browns you get.

      At the eastern end of Greater Santa Clarita, in the hamlet of Agua Dulce, there is a very pleasant pizza-and-sandwich joint (yeah, and pasta too) whose name escapes me, but which our Alfa Romeo club always includes on our annual A.D. Winery excursions. I've had just a few bites of the pizza, but the bread for their hot sandwiches is made from the same stuff, and my ham and cheese was about as good as those get. As it is one of only two eatin' places out there you really don't need the name to find it...

    2. Here in SCV, we are extremely lucky to have one of the best restaurants in Southern California, MARU, it has been like our local's little secret since they opened. http://www.maruvalencia.com/.

      I have been there multiple times since their opening about 8 years ago. This is a place that just keeps getting better and better. Maru serves French, Japanese, and modern California cuisine. Chef Jason Parks truly loves what he does.

      It is true that we have mainly chain restaurants here, and we have other 'non' chain restaurants, but I have to really think what else I can recommend, since nothing will compare to the experience at Maru. Check their reviews on yelp. I also found sometime ago a blog with an article about Maru, with great photos: http://foodieuniverse.blogspot.com/20....

      I highly recommend you to order from their Market Menu.
      If your friend likes sushi, they serve excellent sushi, all prepared with the highest quality ingredients. Sushi Chef Luis is a master.

      Every Tuesday they have a Prix Fixe Dinner Special, from 5:30pm-7:00pm for $25.95.
      DONT skip dessert, my favorite is their version of Strawberry Shortcake, but I have tried all of their desserts and all are excellent in taste, ingredients, and presentation.

      Enjoy, and if you decide to go to Maru, please let us know about your experience.

      1. There are getting to more and more, here are some favorites. Tell your friend to look on yelp, because you can look by town so its easier than on chowhound
        Manoushee
        27131 Sierra Hwy
        #100
        Canyon Country, CA 91351
        (661) 251-6666
        www.manoushee.com
        Good chicken wrap sandwiches, shwarm sandwiches, hummus, tabuli

        Grill Kabob
        27653 Bouquet Canyon Road
        Santa Clarita, CA 91322
        (661) 263-7445
        kabobgrillkabob.com
        Falafel, chicken and beef kabob plates,

        Longhorn's Barbecue
        28070 Hasley Canyon Road
        Castaic, CA 91384
        (661) 295-9170
        longhornsbbq.com/

        Lily's Cafe - Lyons Ave, Newhall, attached to the bowling alley
        Fantastic breakfast, soups, salads, turkey sandwiches are made from real roasted turkey no storebought deli stuff

        Tortas Ahogadas
        23630 San Fernando Rd
        Newhall, CA 91321
        (661) 259-0884
        Tacos, etc, but especially the molcajete, - which has beef, chicken, cheese, shrimp and sausage all in a bubbling hot sauce.

        Kona Crisp - burgers and sandwiches
        24341 Magic Mountain Pkwy
        Santa Clarita, CA 91355

        (661) 287-3123
        www.thekonacrisp.com

        Cavi at the Big Oaks, on weekends they have pizza cooked in a woodburning oven
        33101 Bouquet Canyon Rd
        Santa Clarita, CA 91390

        (661) 296-5656
        www.cavibigoaks.com/

        jazmin's Bakery
        24330 San Fernando Rd
        Newhall, CA 91321

        (661) 799-2915
        Good pastries

        1. There are a few great finds. Emphasis on few. For excellent Mexican food, try Las Delicias on Lyons Avenue. Great chorizo tacos and bean and cheese pupusas. Cash only. For more upscale Mexican, try El Trocadero on "Main" (formerly San Fernando) in old town Newhall. Nice family run restuarant. I believe they also own one in Nogales. They have delicious tacos dorados and steaks. But to be honest, I go for the chilequile breakfasts and a pitcher of Margaritas. Cavi and Cavi at Big Oaks has good Italian Food. I really like the Indian food at Karma, but in the interst of full disclosure, I don't know that much about indian food. Get their eggplant dish. Thelma's Morning Cafe does a nice breakfast, but seriously needs to get a liquor license. I'm not a fan of the food at Salt Creek Grill, but they pour a killer "French Kiss" Martini. (Are you picking up a trend with me?). I also love Vincenzo's pizza on Lyons in Newhall...great garlic crust. Love Sushi on Lyons is also very good, but I'm not that schooled, so others may have a better opinion. Rose and Crown is a nice little bar/restuarant with mostly expats..but a good bangers and mash and nice family who runs it. I also like Sisley at the mall. For their brunch, pastas and salads. I hear good things about Athena's, greek restuarant in Canyon Country, but I've never tried it.

          That's all I can think of right now. I will post later if I missed something.

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          Thelma's Morning Cafe
          22876 Copper Hill Dr, Santa Clarita, CA 91350

          Cavi
          23754 Lyons Ave, Santa Clarita, CA 91321

          Las Delicias
          22928 Lyons Ave, Santa Clarita, CA 91321

          Rose & Crown British Restaurant
          24246 Lyons Ave, Santa Clarita, CA 91321

          Karma Restaurant Bar & Lounge
          23460 Cinema Dr, Valencia, CA 91355

          El Trocadero Steak House
          24274 San Fernando Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91321

          Sisley Italian Kitchen
          24201 Valencia Blvd Ste 101, Santa Clarita, CA 91355

          Cavi At the Big Oaks
          33101 Bouquet Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

          Vincenzo's Pizza Saugus
          24504 1/2 Lyons Ave, Newhall, CA 91321

          Salt Creek Grille
          24415 Town Center Drive, Valencia, CA 91355

          Athena's Rotisserie & Pizzeria
          18853 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91351