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Need recommendations in/near Thousand Oaks

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I'm traveling to LA frequently on business for the next few weeks (from Durham, NC). I'm staying in Westlake Village and working in Thousand Oaks. Any recommendations for dinner places? I'm looking for places that would be no more than a 15 minute drive, that have really good food (places you look forward to eating, especially Asian, Mexican, South American... ie, things I don't find in NC), and where dining alone would be fun. Good take-out would also work. Price is not really an issue.

What say you?

Thanks!

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  1. We recently moved to Thousand Oaks (of which Westlake is part of) and have been trying the local eateries.

    There is definitely a plethora of restaurants in the area, unfortunately, not a lot of really good ones.

    I'll give you some recs and I'm sure others will chime in with theirs. We don't do Japanese or Chinese, so can't help you there.

    Fun Type places:

    Fin's Seafood at 982 So. Westlake Blvd. Nice atmospehre, haven't been for a while but call and see if they still have a jazz group playing.

    P6 - Agoura Hills (2809 Agoura Rd). - Never been, very modern hip type place, may be worth checking out - 5 minute drive from Westlake. Mixed reviews here when it opened, nothing recently.

    Bandit's BBQ - 589 Moorpark Ave. - 5 Min from Westlake in the opposite direction of P6. Lively bar, okay food, nice friendly atmposphere.

    Coming from the east coast I don't know your exposure to Mexican food. If you like it or want to try it, Lupe's Mexican Restaurant at 1710 Thousand Oaks Blvd. is pretty good, cheap, and quite authentic (not Americanized).

    For a fancy (not especially for a single diner) go to Boccassio's at 32123 Lindero Canyon. It's on the lake and a very good place to boot.

    Mandevilla's at 951 Westlake Blvd. has been recommended a few times but we haven't been there. If you check it out post a report.

    Lastly, if you have a group for just wine & Cheese, go to BellaVino at 3709 Thousand Oaks Blvd. The food (especially the appetizers) is good but I feel overpriced. Cheese and wine will set you back too but it's a fun thing to do with others.

    Good luck. Report back and enjoy your stay.

    5 Replies
    1. re: LesThePress

      Three's another place that my husband was taken to a few years ago called 2025 an American Bistro (or something close to that). DH loved it! very creative and delicious he said. Also there is Leila's in Oak Park which is part of Agoura.

      1. re: compumom

        I think the 2087 American Bistro closed.

        1. re: Alice

          Yes 2087 is closed.

          I wouldn't bother with Lupe's. Typical velvet-painting of a bullfight Mexican place with typical Mex-American food. Nothing special except for the help, which is great.

          Definitely try Galletto's for the brazilian fare. Two doors down is the aforementioned Tuscany Il Restorante, quite a lovely white tablecloth place that does a good job with pastas and Italian classics.

          My favorite cheap place is Sharky's Mexican Grill - meals under $10 with a great salsa bar. It is not real Mex, but Cal Mex with fish tacos etc, all organic though and quite tasty. Corner of Westlake and Thousand Oaks Blvd.

          A cheap and tasty burrito and taco place is Manny's, with locations in TO and Westlake. Burritos about $5.

          For a quick pastry, stop in at Gelson's market in Westlake - they have a beautiful selection, or the charming Chocolatine on TO Blvd near Kinkos - a French woman who makes a light lunch every day and candies and a few pastries.

          Cafe Provencal, near the Civic Arts Plaza, does a good job with rich French food. A charming space, too. They are two doors down from a bakery that sells traditional Mexican pan dulces.

          In the same plaza, Los Agaves does a workmanlike job with mid-priced Mexican food, though it is nothing to write home about, and most certainly do not go when the terrible mariachis will afflict you (weekend nights and brunches).

          A good place when you can't decide what to eat is Agoura Deli, on Kanan Road. They have one of those 300-item kind of menus. Their chicken soup is said to be delish. I like their falafel.

          Another good falafel place is Pita the Great on the corner of Kanan & Lindero Canyon (in the plaza across the street from the aforementioned wonderful Lailas). Only order the falafel, not the meat items. It's about $4.50. Do not go to the Falafel grill on Kanan - bad news, at least for falafel, and that is what they are named after. So.

          1. re: snackish

            2087 was no loss. They served their straight-up martinis with icebergs floating in them.

      2. re: LesThePress

        I agree on Boccassio's - more "fnacy" than Lakeside Terrace.
        There is also Lakeside Terrace which, along with Boccassio's is on Westlake Lake. Pizza, Seafood, pasta, etc.
        Le Cafe next to Westlake Inn is very good for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

      3. If you are willing to travel about 10 minutes east, to Woodland Hills,
        1) Gorikee, a "garlic fusion" restaurant, is at the corner of Ventura and Topanga Cyn in the Ralph's shopping center just off the 101. http://www.gorikee.com/
        2) Just north of Gorikee on Topanga Cyn is Roy's for hawaiian fusion http://www.roysrestaurant.com/docs/in...
        3) and Yang Chow is also on Topanga Cyn for decent chinese http://www.yangchow.com/

        Good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Eve

          the gorikee link doesn't work.

        2. There are quite a few new hip restaurants popping up in near Thousand Oaks. These aren't really asian or mexican though . . .
          I think these are the names, I've never been but maybe if you do a search, you'll be able to find more info?
          P6 Lounge
          Buddha's Lounge or Buddha's Belly (I get that one confused with one in LA)
          The Melting Pot
          Alessio's also opened and has neat decor and I believe a band or something.
          These are mostly in Westlake Village which is right next to Thousand Oaks.
          Wood Ranch in Agoura has great tri-tip.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Alice

            There is also a very good italian restaurant called Tuscany Il Ristorante that has nice pastas.

          2. I have family in Thousand Oaks so I've been there tons of times and in my opinion, Westlake and T.O. have awful, awful restaurants. I've been to Tuscany, Rustico, Lupe's, you name it I've probably been there. Really disappointing town for restaurants.

            By far the best and funnest restaurant for me is Cho Cho San on TO Boulevard. Very good Japanese-fusion sushi/tempura. Other than that I would say save your money and appetite for another town.

            1. Very surprised I did not see a nod for Bellavino Wine Bar, but that gets mine. www.bellavinowinebar.com
              Located right next door to Alessio's on TO Boulevard, dont be misled by "wine bar". It is mostly small plates but the food is outstanding. Braised short ribs, beef filet, pork chop...just a few of the dishes I have had there that were amazing. A few weeks back we started at Bellavino for apps and wine, then went next door to Alessio for dinner. I personally thought the food was better at Bellavino but they are both great.
              Great cheese selection as well at Bellavino.

              3 Replies
              1. re: MunkeeCIAO

                Is the Alessio mentioned any relation to Alessio's in Northridge?

                1. re: WildSwede

                  Yes, there's also one in Woodland Hills on Platt & Victory. The Northridge location is much better than WH, never been to the one in TO.

                  1. re: markn

                    Thanks! I have only been to the Northridge one and I love it!

              2. I like Leila's (already mentioned) and Cafe 14 in Agoura is a really nice bistro with decent food (exit Reyes Adobe, on Canwood behind the Play It Again Sports). Galetto's, which is Brazilian/Italian food, is pretty fun as a solo diner since the staff is so friendly--some things on the menu are better than others. It's next to Tuscany's. Sheila's wine bar in Camarillo (on Lantana I think) is probably just outside a 15 minute drive of Westlake Village, but has a nice bar to eat at for the solo diner.

                It's pretty limited in this area.

                1. Bocaccio's Restaurant on the lake in Westlake has a very nice continental menu and you can't beat the view if you sit by the window. The Landing Grill and Sushi Bar (next door to Bocaccio's, same owners) has a fun atmosphere when you can sit outside in the summer and watch the boaters. The food can be inconsistent although I really like their rolls and I usually order a bento box.

                  Cho Cho San is probably one of the worst teppan/Japanese restaurants in the area IMHO. Yamato's in Agoura is better in terms of teppan and dining although the wait is usually long so make a reservation! Takahashi and Kamanari are among the best sushi restaurants in the area and both are in Westlake Village.

                  For Italian restaurants, I prefer Mandevilla and Marcellos. Every time I've been to Mandevilla I've never been disappointed and they have wonderful desserts. I've been to Marcello's just once or twice and it's been pretty good but pricey. Bauducco's in Westlake (in shopping mall on Village Glen, near Hyatt ) is an Italian deli/market/quasi-restaurant that has GREAT pizza although I've never really liked their pastas. They have a much nicer, full-service restaurant in Moorpark.

                  Galetto's in Westlake Village (on Westlake Blvd. in Long's Shopping Center) offers some unique dining because they have Brazilian food with grilled meats, fish, and chicken as well as pasta. There too I've never been disappointed.

                  Lupe's, although popular, is of the red-naugahyde era and to me the food has the flavors of Mexican cuisine popular in mid-century (Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks and El Coyote in LA come to mind) which is probably why the older generations enjoy it. We're still looking for the truly authentic Mexican restaurant in the area.

                  For BBQ, as an alternative to Bandit's, there is the Red Sky Grill in the Whole Foods shopping center which is across from Bandit's on Moorpark. Red Sky is casual with take-out and people really like their pulled pork sandwiches.

                  Hope this helps!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Chris

                    i'm glad you mentioned bauducco's. i've never been but read that they make italian sausages (from my notes: neapolitan styles w/wine & nutmeg, hot, mild, fennel-free). have any hounds tried these?

                    2839 agoura rd, westlake village
                    818.891.4670

                  2. a few of my suggestions:

                    Galletto's on Westlake Blvd serves Brazilian & Italian. I personally get the Brazilian (halibut moqueca is my fav) since Italian is everywhere.

                    Eric's off Ventu Park in the hotel is really good now. They have a new chef and things have definitely improved.

                    Westlake Thai (Pookie's) on Hampshire in the Water Court - hard to find place that serves reasonably priced and good Thai food.

                    Lakeview Garden is my favorite Chinese food. It's on the corner of Lakeview Canyon & Agoura Rd. Try their shrimp & scallops kung pao.

                    Terri's Cafe in Agoura off Reyes Adobe & Agoura Rd serves good American comfort food. I like their Haley's Turkey Club. Good portions, good food.

                    Cafe Provencal is a small French restaurant on Thousand Oaks Blvd near the Civic Arts Plaza. It's a little hit & miss with the food but enough hits to make it worth it.

                    Not a fan of some of the other rec's: Lupe's, Leila's (want to like it but I never seem to enjoy my meals - they are adventurous but can't quite pull it off) & P6 (although great scene, not so good food IMO; worth getting drinks though).

                    Bellavino Wine Bar is pretty good. Have not been to Cafe 14.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: david
                      t
                      thousand oaks

                      Bellavino???Way overcharge for their glasses of wine. Cousins Wine Bar in Camarillo much better value. I personally like Ginos Tratorria for Italian. Great host and food decent prices. Padri in Agoura has the hands down best Caesar Salad. Boccaccios has improved their food and you can't beat the view.

                      1. re: david

                        Hey thanks... great recommendations for out of town travellers. I tried Cafe Provencal last night. The Marcelina Cab Sauv and Duck w/honey sauce were terrific. Also, it was a great little place to eat alone with a book!

                      2. Lived in Thousand Oaks area for over 45 years, so I am familiar with it's restaurants. Many have come and gone in that time period. Most won't be missed! I look for good food - do not care for Fuu-Fuu places, dark places, etc.

                        Do not Miss Lupe's on TO Blvd. - Still the best authentic Mexican food in the Conejo Valley. Lack the Fuu-Fuu looks that some are looking for, but for basic food it can't be beat. Also Mariscos Cancun on Los Arboles has great fish prepared the Mexican way.

                        There is a new Thai place in the Whole Earth Market shopping center on Moorpark roar - The White Elephant - that should not be missed.

                        The Claim Jumper in The Lakes Shopping Center serves huge helping of good food, and has a nice bar also. California Pizza in the same center is also worth a visit.

                        Roxie's Deli on TO Blvd and Jack's Deli on Westlake Blvd.are still the best delis in town, despite a bunch of newcomers.

                        For fish I prefer Pacific Fresh on Erbes Rd. in the Von's Shopping Center. Good food, good value and they even offer some Greek food!

                        Wok'n South Mongolian BBQ on TO Blvd. is worth a visit, if not for just their lunches.

                        A short drive away to Moorpark hold the discovery of the area - Two Guys From Italy - it has the best GERMAN food around.

                        Down the road in Simi Valley is La Louisianne Express - great Cajun/Creole food. Not much for looks, but food to die for.

                        In Camarilio, just 'over the hill' from TO is a new Indian food restaurant - Cafe India. Hidden away behind the Sizzler it is worth the search.

                        Being a Beer Nerd (or is it Knerd?) I'm alway looking for somewhere that serves something except fizzy yellow beer. In TO there are a few - BJ's Brewery and Restaurant on TO Blvd in one of the many shopping centers (Next to a Trader Joe's - which also a FIND!). Also there is the 'British' Pub - Crown and Anchor, also on the Blvd. The best place in town is the Stuff Crust Pizza on Moorpark Rd. - good choice and good food. The best Pizza place also! In Camarillo the is JJ Brewski's on the main drag of 'Old Town'. Serves Stone Brewery ales and Bear Republic, amongst many others.

                        The best Fast Food is still the original Baja Fresh, which started in TO several years, although then in a small center in NP, not it's present store on Moorpark Rd. ago.

                        I could give an even longer list of place to stay away from, but it looks like the others have recommed many of the - what do I know?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: IAMCLUNK

                          Sorry to report that my wife and I just had a terrible time at Galetto (for our 15th wedding anniversary celebration). We've been there before, and enjoyed the food, but tonight's experience left us vowing never to return. First, my wife requested no bell peppers in her entree. When the entree came, it was filled with bell peppers, so we sent it back. I ate my meal for 10 minutes before they returned with my wife's corrected entree. Also, my dish was listed on the menu as "skirt steak with chimichurri sauce", but it was actually flap steak (a big difference). FInally, I had asked our waiter for a little more Chimichurri sauce, which he brought in a small dish. When the bill came, I noticed that they had charged $2.25 for this extra tiny amount of sauce. I told the waiter that I was surprised by this extra charge (which I haven't ever seen before in any fine restaurant) and asked if, expecially in light of the screw-up of my wife's entree, he would talk to the manager. The poor waiter came back and told us he had talked to the owner, and the owner refused to remove the charge. Unbelievable!

                        2. LOS DOS AMIGOS on T.O BLVD. get the tortas

                          1. I agree with the general consensus about the food options in this area. We absolutely have room for improvement, but there are some nice little gems here and there.

                            Mexican food - Letty's in Newbury Park - it's hidden, but is authentic and they have great food. La Paz is also pretty good too. Very authentic feel. You could always go the Baja Fresh route (it's a chain and I'm not sure if they have them in N.C.), but I often times get really bad burps for hours afterwards. Definitely don't eat it at night or else you will wake up with those burps. Chipotle in Newbury Park isn't authentic, but their food is delish. Cisco's in Thousand Oaks (off Avenida de los Arboles is decent too).

                            Japanese Food - you should check out Yamato's in Agoura Hills - good money for big rolls and they are really tasty. I recommend the albacore strip roll and the yellow dragon - they are delish. You could also check out SushiKo, which is at The Lakes on Thousand Oaks Boulevard (same shopping center as Claim Jumper and California Pizza Kitchen). The rolls are expensive, but the rolls are good. They don't have nearly as many options as Yamato's but the rolls I really like them. Their fuji apple sake is amazing and I love their shishito pepper saute - they aren't spicy. I enjoy all their specialty rolls. Another good sushi joint is Bada Sushi which is just off of Moorpark Road across the way from Best Buy (behind the shopping center with Crib 2 Teens). They offer tons of variety - I ordered Korean BBQ once because I was really craving it and I loved them. People either love them or hate them, but I really enjoy their food.

                            My other favs include Zin, which is located at the Landing off Lindero Canyon Rd - I usually sit at the bar for the best service and order appetizers. Leila's in Oak Park also has amazing food. I love their cheese plate! Alessio's is clutch and Maestro's is to die for. I recommend their seared tuna appetizer with a side. It's HUGE and it's sooooo good! Their gnocchi side dish (it's new and not on the menu yet) is pricey but I'm in love.

                            Anyhow I hope you enjoy your stay!