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Studio City area restaurants

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Just moved to Studio City (from West LA) and am absolutely lost restaurant-wise.

What are some good mexican and chinese places around?


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  1. Mexicali Cantina just west of Sav-On will provide fun, noisy cantina atmosphere, with ok food and quite good margs. Kung Pao Bistro in the block east of McDonald's does Americanized Chinese food better than most, especially some of their shrimp or scallops dishes. Sushi restaurants number over 17, with Nozawa having a very debatable hold on top position, yet with Katsu-Ya, Matsuda, Tama and Iroha all having major fans, yet none of the others are really bad, in that they must compete. Tortas Mexico on Ventura near Vineland in same center with Popeye's Chicken has some very good Mexican fast food, as does Poquito Mas on Ventura/Cahuenga across from Universal.

    1. I grew up in Studio City area (now live in Los Feliz) and my all-time fav restaurant is Casa Vesga. Other's on the board diss it, but come on, it's an institution -- great cheese enchiladas and salsa. It's on Fulton & Ventura. Also, for a great deal at lunch, go to Mogo's on Moorpark & Van Nuys for Mongolian barbeque. Then there's Mazarrino's on Coldwater & Riverside for good ol' fashion Italian. What else... hmmm.... I hear Max on Ventura is good for upscale eating. Sn Fred for trendy eating. Haven't tried because if I'm going "hip" gonna stick to my part of town (enter east side snob). Hamburger Hamlet on Van Nuys, again others diss on board, but, it's a great place that has "everything" (WAY better than Cheesecake Factory where everything is mediocre but huge). Jinky's for breakfast on Ventura (go early). Aroma for upscale coffee house on Tujuna (great area to shop & see where Robert Blake didn't shoot his wife - ha!). Also Caioti there... good Italian cafe. Bob's Big Boy in Burbank is my fiance's favorite and you may be able to see David Lynch drinking a milk shake if he is doing a WB picture nearby (where are you David Lynch, come back to the five & dime and make another pix!). Also, great Sushi restaurants all over Ventura Blvd in Studio City... read other links here about 'em. Sorry, long response, but you asked!

      1. Welcome to the neighborhood!

        Studio City ain't happening for Chinese food. I'm Chinese and grew up there. None are great, but they're passable in the Panda-Express kind of way. In order of preference, there's Kung Pao Bistro, Dragon X, and Bamboo Garden (all on Ventura.)

        My favorite place in Studio City is Outtake Cafe at Laurel Cyn & Ventura (next door to Mexicali, which I found bleh but good margaritas). Electic/fusion with great fish and pasta (esp the raviolis and buckwheat noodles.) I've never left unsatisfied. Give it a try.

        Tama's a good suggestion. Also like Miya Sushi. If you drive a few minutes out west towards Sherman Oaks, there's other great places. Carnival for Lebanese, Spumoni for gnocchi, Hugo's for breakfast, Zankou chicken...

        6 Replies
        1. re: Jennifer W.

          and further to the previous poster's comment about venturing to Sherman Oaks - try BAMBOO by Hazeltine on the Boulevard for very good Chinese.

          And while not your requested cuisines, I would recommend in Studio City:

          FIORINI on Ventura (right by the plaza w/ Trader Joes) great indv. pizzas.

          SPUMANTE - good Italian
          SPARK - wood fired cooking
          MATSUDA and KATSU-YA for Sushi

          1. re: Jennifer W.

            Quick little SC secrets...

            California Cantina on Cahuenga heading up to Hollywood Bowl. Great Basque Spanish/French food.

            Hortobagy for stick the ribs polish/russian food

            Best NY Pizza in the area is Albannos. Across the street for Art's (GOOD DELI).

            Spumante across the street from Jerry's (BAD DELI) on Ventura. Great PRIX FIXE deal

            1. re: CAVALIERE

              Note: Hortobagy is Hungarian

              1. re: Olga

                Bigger note: Horobagy is closed. Thye're opeing something new in beverly hills or west hollywood.

          2. s
            Steve Doggie-Dogg

            Studio City isn't the best for either of those things, but there are some options if you'll stray a bit North. The only good Chinese place I've found is Chinese Delight on Lankershim near Oxnard. It's not fancy, but at least the food is good. There's Casa Vega on Ventura Bl, but I've never been fond of that place. The best Mexican food is at Casita Taco on Magnolia near Lankershim.

            See ya

            Link: http://www.hotdogspot.blogspot.com

            1 Reply
            1. re: Steve Doggie-Dogg

              Treat you to dinner at Kung Pao to show there is some very good Americanized Chinese food in Studio City as I said! Great Hunan lamb dish, as well as many scallop and shrimp favorites, depending on your tastes. No one needs to go to North Hwd. Kung Pao will also deliver.

            2. As others have noted, there's not much in the way of Chinese. For years, my favorite was a little take-out place on Ventura between Tujunga & Vineland in the same plaza as Bally's, called Studio Wok. Nothing fancy, just good tangerine beef and velvet chicken type stuff for takeout. It changed hands a few years ago & has a new name, which I forget, but the recipes seemed pretty much the same. Parking is almost impossible, but they deliver in that area.

              You could do a lot worse.

              Far more plentiful are Thai options. My personal favorite in Studio City (I grew up in SC/North Hollywood) is called Sompun, on Ventura Place. It's been there for 20+ years. Very good, and friendly. No delivery, though. On the same block is an Indian restaurant, Gangadin, which I like a lot.

              1. Henry's Tacos.
                Tujunga & Moorpark.
                Soft tacos etc.

                1. I agree that Casita is the best Mexican around Studio City proper. There's one on Magnolia & Bakman, another at Lankershim and Ventura, and another in Burbank. The Ocean Burrito with freshly grilled shrimp is wonderful. The salsas are nice, chips are good, and the chicken and steak dishes are authentic. If you head north into North Hollywood you'll find lots of great Mexican food (like on just about any corner). Chinese, on the other hand, boy there isn't much. The place that's now called Kung Pao Bistro used to be okay but the ownership changes so frequently I can't speak to the current menu. We go over to Sam Woo's at Victory and Sepulveda next to the 99 Ranch market when we want Chinese. Good luck!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: NeNePie

                    The Kung Pao Bistro in Sherman Oaks has changed hands, yet the one in Studio City is now 7 years with the same ownership and counting. Jimmy Chi, the founder of the concept, still supervises and occasionally cooks in Studio City. Has not been seen in Sherman Oaks in around 3 years or so. He is also known to frequent the one in Weho on Santa Monica at Fairfax.

                    1. re: carter

                      Sorry about the mix-up! Are we talking about the same location that was a ceviche restaurant a while back? Maybe I am confused

                  2. Best Mexican in the area is Don Cuco's on Riverside, right by the Disney building. Sooo good, always consistent, great margaritas, friendly service. It's a popular local spot, which says it all, and makes it prett croweded about every night. But it's worth it.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: roasted138

                      Nothing more to say about Don Cucos.

                    2. Ok, if you're looking for good food and can give up atmosphere...there is some great mexican food at a place called Tony's. It's on Coldwater and Magnolia on the south/west corner in a tiny strip mall...it can easily be mistaken for an Italian joint.
                      Chinese...good luck.
                      For great food, a wonderful dining experience, great wine selection, wonderful cocktails, pretty room: La Loggia (I hope that's how you spell it) It's on Ventura, East of Laurel Canyon across from Spark. I'm not a huge fan of Spark but many of my friends really like it.
                      Don't forget to check out The Artisain Cheese Gallery on Laurel and Ventura...yum yum yum.

                      1. Good chines just a bit west in Sherman oaks can be had at Hong Kong 88 on Sepulveda, just next to Zankou, which has good shawerma but a bit of an odd attitude.

                        Casa Vega has good american mexican. The real thing can be had at local taco stands or such. Tommy's Tacos is OK.

                        At the Studio City Farmenr's Market on Sundays on Ventura Place (near where Ventura and Laurel Canyon meet, there is a tamale stand called "Gourmet Tamales" that has some great things!

                        The Encino Sunday Farmer's Market on Victory has a stall where they make fresh pupusas, sometimes.

                        I was not impressed by Kung Pao Bistro.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Diana

                          I used to live in sherman oaks/studio city and its still my haunt. If you don't mind a bit of a drive head down magnolia into burbank to handy market on a saturday for a good off the grill tri-tip sandwich. I like Tama, but you don't :) as i've seen from my other post, there is also Matsudo across the street and everyone gets treated like a regular. Matsudo has some good rolls. The head sushi chef will make you one if you ask for it with spicy tuna and sliced grilled shitake mushrooms on top sooo yummy. Not that i'm a big fan of rolls but that one is great. Carnival has good greek food but for chinese you nailed it HK 88 is the best i've found near there. Italian, there is this little place down near vendome liquers in studio city that has a huge glass window you can see into the kitchen, they ahve great italian. Reminds me i need to go back there soon :).

                          1. re: Ben7643

                            Carnival is not greek, it's persian or some other similar mediterranian (excuse my ignorance)

                            UI have a firend who ate there recently, she's jewish. When she heard a plate break, she absent mindedly hollered out "Mazel-tov!"

                            She said you could have heard a pin drop.

                            Probably the quietest Carnival has ever been.

                            Great food, though.

                          2. re: Diana

                            Hong Kong 88 cannot figure out whether it wants to be a Chinese restaurant or a sushi restaurant, so now it does neither very well.
                            Kung Pao in Studio City is still the best Chinese in the area, especially their seafood dishes, soups, house specialties, provided of course that meals are all eaten in the restaurant, not taken out or delivered, just like every other restaurant in that regard.

                            1. re: carter

                              I went just to try their soups...nasty...ick...ugg.
                              The broth...cloudy and slimey. The won tons, I had to chew as if I was eating over done flank, the salt factor-unforgiveable.
                              The service was so so nice, I couldn't say anything.
                              I will never go back though...still love Chi Dyanasty in Los Feliz for the soups over any place else.

                              1. re: carter

                                The Chinese food is still good. The egg foo young is the best I've had. Although I'm not sure how chinese that is.

                                I also like the veggie dishes, and the fact they'll give me brown rice!

                            2. For good Mexican, check out Tony's in the strip mall on the corner of Coldwater and Magnolia. The restaurant is nothing to write home about but the food is always good.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: anothernotch

                                Spumante has been closed for awhile, & there is now a new Italian place there (can't remember the name).

                                But Spumoni is a favorite, & you will not find a friendlier staff anywhere (north side of Ventura, steps west of Van Nuys). Dependable pasta dishes, & free tiramisu!

                              2. Avoid Zach's Italian Cafe. I went there once, and was really ill afterwards. I mean, ahem, I had to be enthroned for longer than I wished. It wasn't nice.

                                Frankly, if you can find a good Vallarta Market, the mexican food from the deli is pretty good. Also, the fresh tortillas and baked goods are to die for!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Diana

                                  Boy, do I agree on Zach's - do not get why they have any customers, unless proximity to Universal. Talk about a non-entity.

                                  1. re: carter

                                    Zach's is awful. The service and food leave one wanting. Should remove Italian Cafe from the name as it gives Italian food a bad name. You would expect a much better place given the location.

                                2. Sparks is good for and I also like California Canteen. Firefly is good for drinks, but can get really smokey outside. There is also a place next door to La Loggia that is fun for drinks, but I forget the name.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bosanova99

                                    Would you believe the next door place is called "Next door!"