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Sep 26, 2009 05:51 PM

any good food that isn't a chain in calabasas or woodland hills

help we're desperate! we moved from hancock park to topanga and love the change but can't find any great restaurants in the valley. we love shibuya sushi but need other regular spots. does anyone have any ideas that my husband and i can try? we were so spoiled living by mozza and lucques! help!!

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  1. Outside of Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas, your only, or main, hope is that "Les the Press" will opine in and ride to your dining rescue:

    2 Replies
    1. re: JBC

      thanks i'm looking for something more like a neighborhood restaurant than a destination if that makes sense? but i love saddlepeak too. i really appreciate your suggestion!

      1. re: frogcreek455

        Not Mozza or Lucques, but here are some local (and relatively local) suggestions from a Topanga guy: (1) The Bistro of Topanga, at Pine Tree Circle, is a nice little place. (2) Roccos in the Canyon, in the Center, has very good pizza. (3) King's Fish House in Calabasas has excellent oysters and a good bar; apart from that they are OK, particularly on a pleasant evening if you sit outside.

    2. Head to Malibu for some pretty good upscale places. Nobu is cliche but you cannot deny that most of their food is delicious. Tradinoi is good, and so is Charlie's! Charlie's is fairly new but really good flavors.

      3835 Cross Creek Rd Ste 1E, Malibu, CA 90265

      22821 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

      1. Brandywine - (Northeast corner of Ventura and Fallbrook - parking in the back lot)

        22757 Ventura Blvd
        Woodland Hills, CA 91364-1334
        (818) 225-9114

        1 Reply
        1. re: jotfoodie

          Amaranta's in the Topanga Mall had really good food the one time I went--I don't live close to there.

        2. Pat's Topanga Grill qualifies as a neighborhood place, with the plusses of surprisingly good food (great breakfasts) and dog friendly. Lunch and breakfast only. Brandywine noted above is excellent but expensive. For more casual, Boulevard Burger on Ventura has great burgers (they'll cook rare) and Dan's Super Subs has good sandwiches if you don't want to drive to Sherman Way for Cavaretti's market/deli.

          7 Replies
          1. re: TomSwift

            I've always found that Cricca's (Topanga Cyn. Bv. and Dumetz) has better subs than does Dan's. Even though Ron Cricca, who owned the place for many, many years, recently retired and sold it, neither the guy who makes the sandwiches, nor the sandwiches themselves, have changed. That said, neither Cricca's nor Dan's is as good as Cavaretti's.

            1. re: ozhead

              I agree completely. I didn't know that Ron had retired and sold; I did miss him siting in front of the place though. He was fun to talk to while Mrs. Swift got her nails done next door. I brought in a CH thread about his place that talked about his dad and he had it on the wall for a long time. Their Godfather isn't as good, IMO, as Bay Cities Godmother, but SM is a long drive.

              1. re: TomSwift

                Ron sold it a month or so ago. I went into the store during the transition and had a nice chat with the new owner, who assured me that he didn't plan to change anything. While that's not ENTIRELY true (the case of frozen stuff at the front is gone, for instance, and a lot of the new dishes that Ron's daughter added to supplement the mostly-sandwich menu are gone), the place is largely unchanged and the sandwiches are the same.

                My only wish is that the new owner would reconsider his bread purveyor, because the rolls they are using (which appear to be the same ones Ron was using, at least for the last 5 or 6 years) are not great -- OK, but could be better.

              2. re: ozhead

                Cavaretti's bread could be better, a little dissapointed frankly. Last time I was there it was just plain 'ol stale.

                1. re: Sgee

                  I've noted that also, although I'm sure they would call it "crusty." With a meatball sub, though, it's not so offensive.

                2. re: ozhead

                  I am glad they retired. They had no personality and bordered on rude. The sandwiches were marginally good. The stuff on the shelves in the store was there for years. I had stopped going there about 5 years ago but will give the new owner a try and I agree that there is no better then Cavaretti's!

                  1. re: rentsaks

                    Yes I agree with rentsaks, I had a sandwich with the bread very stale and very little meat, Dans super subs and Cavarettis are much better unless you can make it to the Eastside market and deli about 1 mile west of Chinatown.

              3. A couple of casual spots I like are California Pita Grill and California Chicken Cafe. Both are technically mini-chains, with a few locations, but both are decent choices for a casual lunch.

                For sushi, I like Sushi Ichiban Kan, on the border between Woodland Hills and Tarzana. Not as good as Shibuya, but quite a bit cheaper.

                California Pita & Grill
                21753 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

                Sushi Ichiban Kan
                19723 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA

                California Chicken Cafe
                22333 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364