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North Valley - Please God, Where is the Good Food?

Allow me to start by admitting that I am a Valley Girl. Born and bred. Since I"ve moved over the hill and don't know what's there anymore. Seems, however, that everytime I have to meet someone anywhere in the Valley, the choices boil down to chain restaurants like Chili's, Macaroni Grill or Islands. I have a lunch meeting next week in Porter Ranch. Is there anything there that's at least a single proprietor restaurant with excellent food and maybe a little ambiance? The only thing I could find that sounded even reasonably interesting was the Buenos Aires Grill. Help?

Buenos Aires Grill
8856 Corbin Ave, Northridge, CA 91324

Macaroni Grill
, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

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  1. Here are a couple of previous threads that should prove helpful in either giving you some specific ideas for places to eat, or at least as an overview of the general area and what you can expect to find:



    1. I've lived in Porter Ranch for 13 years now and I share your lack of excitment about chains. It seems to be getting harder to find local places as some have gone downhill. Its not fancy, but not divey - Hot's Cantina (Reseda and Devonshire) has really good food. Otherwise, it seems to be a 15 minute drive to elsewhere for us if we don't want order at the counter type places. Wish I could be more helpful...

      1. My mom lives in Sylmar and it's always really hard to find new restaurants to go to with her. It doesn't help matters that I'm vegan. One new place we tried was Cafe Graikos at Tampa and Rinaldi - same shopping center as Whole Foods.
        Really good Greek food, lots of vegan/vegetarian options and wonderful service!

        Cafe Graikos
        19346 Rinaldi St, Northridge, CA 91326

        1. Your choices are very limited, but there are a few good restaurants in the area.

          IMHO, the best is ANGELO'S in Chatsworth (Devonshire and Mason, near Carrows and Casa de Carlos). It's a really great Italian restaurant. Excellent food, far better than I would expect in a north valley strip mall. I've only been there for dinner, but I think they're open for lunch.

          LOS TOROS in Chatsworth (Devonshire, east of Topanga) is a family-owned non-chain Mexican restaurant that is very popular.

          ALEXIS GREEK RESTAURANT in Northridge (Tampa, south of Nordhoff, near Chi-Chi's pizza) has been around forever.

          OMINO SUSHI in Chatsworth (Devonshire, west of DeSoto) doesn't have great ambiance, but has excellent sushi. Another one I've only been to for dinner, but I think they're open for lunch.

          There are quite a few Indian restaurants in Northridge, but I couldn't tell you about the quality.

          THE STATION is a restaurant that used to be next to the railroad tracks in Chatsworth, but I think it may have relocated to Northridge (on Nordhoff, across from the Northridge mall, near BevMo?). Again, I haven't been to this restaurant, but I've heard good things about it. Maybe others can comment on it.

          Hope these ideas help.

          1. Can you head just a bit south? You could go to Brent's Deli in Northridge, or A&W for Chinese food... both are a bit lacking in ambiance, but...

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

            1. I think Graikos would be a good bet. Open for lunch, and they have some nice lunch specials. The food is on the healthier side too.

              1. Try Angelo's Ristorante Italiano on Devonshire at Mason.

                20539 Devonshire Street
                Chatsworth, CA 91311

                Angelo's Ristorante Italiano
                20539 Devonshire St, Chatsworth, CA 91311

                1. Les Sisters on Devonshire has good po'boys, fried chicken, and jambalaya. Skip the ribs. They also do a tasty and cheap hamburger.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                    I ordered the spicy chicken the one time I went and it was not spicy at all. My favorite things were the hush puppies!

                  2. This place has really delicious Cuban:


                    Rolando was the exec. chef for MADRE - now defunct restaurant of Jennifer Lopez in Pasadena.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Kitchen Queen

                      Queen, do you know your Casa Don Rolando link is to a page where the domain name is available for purchase? Doesn't speak all that well for the chow, if you ask me.

                      Casa Don Rolando
                      8755 Parthenia Place, North Hills, CA 91343

                      1. re: Steve2 in LA

                        Yelp is showing CDR http://www.yelp.com/biz/casa-don-rola... as closed. If that is true I'll be glad to put the closed sign on it in our database too.

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Garnachas And Beer is its new name since Spring of 2011.
                          Like Das stated, Brents Deli, also on Parthenia, is the first place that came to mind. Just west of Tampa.

                        2. re: Steve2 in LA

                          AHH yes, La Casa de las Garnachas & Beer w/YELP (818) 891-0100. According to a YELP review, Rolando sold the restaurant and the new owners changed the name. The food is NOT the same. :(

                          The chef: Rolando Gonzalez, former Exec.Chef of J.LO's MADRE restaurant in S. Pasadena. Keep a look out. Maybe he'll reappear somewhere. Too bad. It was a special place

                          Andrew Zimmern wrote an article about him. I sent Andrew an email on FB. Maybe he knows what happened to Rolando.