WIll be in Universal City for a meeting and looking for above average Dining spots from Sherman Oaks/ Studio City during Labor day weekend.
There must be some newer GQQD restrants, since I moved from Ventura Blvd & Van Nuys Blvd area in the 1990's.
This board seems to have an unusual amount of faster food places around L.A., rather then outstanding spots. And I do not mean expensive places, that I remember in the Encino area.
I live in Sherman Oaks and tend to go a little north of Ventura for great food. I guess I'm not sure from your comments whether you want upscale dining or fabulous food. I personally consider a lot of "faster food places" to be "outstanding spots." Generally, most of the fantastic places in North Hollywood and Van Nuys are casual and often holes in the wall. Nonetheless, you would be missing the best Thai food in the city if you did not go to the area around Sherman Way/Coldwater (my personal favorite being Krua Thai); great Peruvian at Puro Sabor on Van Nuys; Lebanese at Carnival; or any of a half-dozen great taquerias or taco trucks. For Italian, I like Sprazzo near Van Nuys (cue Carter's dissent) or Gio Cucina (just past the border of Encino). But are nice neighborhood restaurants, but neither would be considered an "upscale" establishment.
Krua Thai Restaurant
13130 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, CA 91605
6366 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91401
Moved to this area a year ago. There are some interesting/good restaurants, but you have to hunt.
Mantee: Mediterranean/middle eastern - Everyone I've taken here loves it. Make a reservation for the patio in the back if it's cool enough. Don't miss their "ravioli" traditional appetizer - ground meat and wheat, crispy, in a yogurt sauce.
Hayat's Kitchen for middle eastern, hidden in the corner of a mini-mall. 11099 Burbank @ Vineland
Mofongos, Puerto Rican. Try the Mofongo with shrimp, specialty of the house.
10962 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
Isn't Pinot Bistro still open in Studio City?
Max has remodeled, is Cal-Asian and serves microbrews as well as Cali wines, and small plates.
There was also a spanish place, Bokado, that serves tapas, charcuterie & large plates.
All three are in Studio City (Max is in S.O.) on Ventura Blvd. Maybe those Hounds who live in the area can give you more details. Sorry I don't have any more specifics on them, we don't get to the valley for dinner often. Good luck.
12969 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
The worst part of your statement is that very little had 'improved' since you left.
Many have come and gone, and you should never go west of the 405 on Ventura Blvd. for quality food - Encino is now basically just a wasteland.
However, that said, Studio City and Sherman Oaks are not in great shape these days.
Loteria Grill at Ventura & Laurel Canyon, formerly the space occupied by Gaucho Grill upstairs, is good and flavorful Mexican food.
For steaks, seafood and chops kind of menu, Le Petit Restaurant across from Maria's in Sherman Oaks, just west of Dixie Canyon, is not bad, and of course, Mistral in the block west of it at much higher prices is good as well for a somewhat similar menu.
Sushi is sushi and there is an overabundance of it in this area - others will chime in on their favorites.
There is no good Italian food, Kung Pao Bistro is still good for Chinese food, Indian food is still the same, meaning they all serve the same food prepared basically the same way.
Stanleys is still good at what it has always done. Hugo's on Riverside Drive just east of Coldwater Canyon is good for breakfast.
Raphael is good, with a limited menu, in Studio City, just east of Midori AYCE sushi.
Ca del Sole on Cahuenga at Lankershim is still a decent place to have dinner, especially on a warmer summer evening on the patio.
Thanks Carter for the comprehensive update.
Have all the Foodies moved to the Westside of LA or moved out of the area completely?
Many of my favorite moderate places are gone. Living in the growing San Diego/La Jolla now makes for a nice turnover of newer food choices.
Any places serving Short Grain Brown Unpolished Rice as a choice. I think of this as one of the healthest foods available.
I forgot that I had posted a similiar request before this one. Sorry.