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Mar 16, 2010 10:38 PM


So I will be tucked away in Encino for 4 weeks with work. They pay for my meals so I have to live with chains that take AMEX for 90% of my meals ..but I do try to branch out and enjoy local flavor on my 1 day off a week. So I ask for your help in hunting down anything Chowhound worthy. I will have my own car so I will drive a reasonable amount of mileage. (I'm sure I spelled that wrong) I am also lucky enough to be travelling with a fledgling chow hound and have enjoyed recomendations from the boards in the past. So bring it ...please

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  1. Encino has a lot of nice options, I'll start with a short list and I'm sure you'll get lot's of other input. Most of these restaurants will have separate reviews here and many if not all will take AMEX.

    Steak: Larsen's Steak House
    Sushi: 4 on 1 Sushi; Hirosuke; Sushi Ike
    Indian: Taj Mahal
    Israeli: Itzhak Hagadol
    Chinese: Sam Woo; A&W BBQ Seafood
    Lebanese: Alcazar
    Italian: Spumoni

    5 Replies
    1. re: Bob Brooks

      That's a pretty good list to start. I'm not a big fan of Larsen's or Sushi 4 on 1 (I prefer Sushi Ike in Tarzana for high-end sushi and Hirosuke for cheaper, non-traditional rolls). Spumoni is in Sherman Oaks (on Ventura, west of Van Nuys(, Sam Woo is in Van Nuys (at Sepulveda and Victory), and A&W is in Northridge (Reseda and Prarie), so they are bit farther away.

      To add to the list, I would include:

      Vietnamese: The pho place (sorry, I can never remember its name) across from Sam Woo; La Baguette for banh mi sandwiches, particularly the BBQ pork (on Reseda, just north of Sherman Way

      Hot dogs: Fab Hot Dog (Tampa, just south of Vanowen). A variety of different hot dogs (do a search and you can get some details) and don't-miss tater tots.

      South African: Springbok (on Victory west of Woodley)

      Mexican: Vallarta (a supermarket on Victory, west of Woodley that has a carniceria with nice carnitas, a variety of tacos, and guisados); Las Fuentes (on Vanowen, east of Reseda, a casual sit-down place where you order at a counter); Melody's (sister restaurant to Las Fuentes on Reseda, just south of Vanowen)

      Mediterranean/Moroccan: Simon's Cafe (on Sepulveda, south of Ventura)

      Sampa Grill: Brazilian churrascaria (on Ventura, east of Hayvenhurst)

      Tapas/small plates: wine bar on Ventura, between White Oak and Reseda

      1. re: Bob Brooks

        re: A&W on Reseda and Sherman Way - i drive by it everyday and noticed there is one of those "public notification for change in ownership" signs in the window. i don't know if this is going to change the food or not, but i just thought i would throw that out there.

        1. re: Bob Brooks

          the Spumoni in Santa Monica is horrific. avoid avoid avoid.

          1. re: 1newyorkguy

            Yes, but the Spumoni in Sherman Oaks is very different -- a small store front that seems family-owned -- and quite good for a neighborhood Italian place. Since this is a thread about Encino, I doubt people would need to know about the one in Santa Monica.

            1. re: Jwsel

              I agree with Jwsel here... get the calamari affogati (simmered in tomato and white wine sauce—save your bread for the sauce) and pick your gnocchi. I've never been when a dish of spumoni or tiramisù didn't arrive gratis, so leave a little bit of room.

              Is it Angelini Osteria or Drago Centro? No. But it's a nice, friendly, neighbourhood Ital-Am place.

        2. It's 4 on 6, not 4 on 1.

          1. for Chinese, i love Tampa Garden on Tampa and Roscoe Blvd - it's in a strip mall and from the outside looks like a steam table, 2 item combo type place. but it's not at all. they make their own dumplings and cat ear noodles from scratch. every dish i have tried there has been excellent. they do Americanized Chinese and authentic dishes, so you can get a nice mix for a large crowd.

            for Mexican - i second the recos from Las Fuentes and Melody's. they have 3rd restaurant on Ventura and Corbin called Sol y Luna.

            Fab Hot Dogs is a must, as well.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Jelly71

              Second the rec for Sol y Luna. Close by in Northridge is Brent's Deli. Get the black pastrami reuben and cabbage soup.

              1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                Brent's Deli is one of the best in all of LA.

                Brent's Deli
                19565 Parthenia St, Northridge, CA 91324

            2. One common thread to all these posts so far, is that virtually none are in Encino, so make sure you plan on driving elsewhere, as it is largely a gourmet wasteland.
              Cannot imagine your AMEX card will be useful in at least half of these places either, as they are smaller operators that will do the MC/Visa program.
              The Gelson's salad bar on Ventura & Hayvenhurst is very good at $6.95 a pound, as is the deli takeout section, btw., when you feel like staying local, regardless of credit card concerns.

              4 Replies
              1. re: carter

                "I will have my own car so I will drive a reasonable amount of mileage."

                And when did they move Itzhak Hagadol out of Encino? (or Alcazar for that matter)

                  1. re: carter

                    But ALL within easy driving distance for someone who already said they would travel "...a reasonable amount of mileage..." for good food.

                    1. re: carter

                      Actually, within Encino's georgraphic limits are Itzhak Hagadol, Alcazar, Sushi 4 on 6, Hirosuke, Larsen's, Sampa, Taj Mahal, and Vino. Given that Encino is a pretty small area -- Haskell to Lindley (about three miles) -- and the only stretch with restaurants is Ventura Blvd., that isn't too bad.

                      Oh, I forgot to include Thai 'n' I, which is a little storefront just west of White Oak that specializes in Thai BBQ ribs and chicken.

                      Some people also might consider Delmonico's, Katsuya, Cafe Carolina, Jingo (Japanese bbq), and Versailles as chowworthy places in Encino.

                1. IN ENCINO
                  THEY TAKE AMEX

                  itzik hagadol--
                  terrific israeli food
                  very reasonable prices
                  (they even have lunch specials)

                  17201 Ventura Bl
                  Encino Ca 91326

                  to my palate, this restaurant is good enough for me to regularly make the drive from playa del rey. lucky you, you will already be in encino!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: westsidegal

                    Hokkaido Seafood Buffet in Encino has an AYCE lunch for $9.99 that is really great and the restaurant is real nice looking. I just called, they take AMEX. .