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Jan 27, 2010 08:44 PM

Foodie searching for quality food near Universal City

We are meeting my uncle and his wife who are staying at the Hilton in Universal City. We are not familiar with the area at all and need some delish options within 15 mintue drive during traffic. We love Mori Sushi, Gjelina, or Hatfield's. Anything comparable near Universal City?

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  1. Ventura Boulevard between Vineland and Laurel Canyon is known as Sushi Alley, home to several great sushi places. Sushi Nozawa is hidden away in an very nondescript mall, the owner, chef is known for being a bit prickly (some call him the "Sushi Nazi" after Seinfeld, I find that a bit overblown, but you need to go omakase and not be ordering California roll or talking on your cell phone.)

    Caioti is my favorite L.A. pizza by a whisker over Mozza, this is the home of the late great Ed LaDou who invented California Pizza at Prego in SF and Spago, the designed the California Pizza Kitchen menu.

    Sushi Nozawa
    11288 Ventura Blvd Ste C, Studio City, CA 91604

    Caioti Pizza Cafe
    4346 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604

    2 Replies
      1. re: maxzook

        3rd Caioti, but a recent diner said he got chilly, Siberian reception (service is a hit or miss).

      2. there's plenty of good sushi near Universal. Sushi Nozawa, Asanebo, Katsuya are all within 15 min drive on Ventura Blvd. Other than sushi, it's slim pickins. Henry's Hat which is 5 min away has pretty decent gastropub fare (good mac and cheese, good burgers, etc)

        1 Reply
        1. re: TailbackU

          Nozawa is only good if you sit at the counter.

        2. Ca de Sole is just a couple of blocks north of Universal, and is a fine dine. As others have said, lots of great sushi in the area, although I would add the caveat that many people feel that Nozawa is by far the least of these. It's entertaining, but the fish is sub-par and the prices out of line with the quality.

          1 Reply
          1. re: farmertomato

            I thought the fish at Nozawa was fantastic, but the atmosphere stupid. He will comply with requests, I don't eat shellfish for instance. My issue with the place is that the decor is purposely ugly. He owns Sugarfish, a modern (in an IKEA way) place with a nice but sterile look. He knows that he can make his place look a little nicer and not spend a ton of money or go too far upscale. And the sake prices are ridiculous. Way too much money for just ordinary sake.

          2. Don't underestimate the very good buffet at Cafe Sierra, in that hotel.