Weekend lunch in the Valley?
I am looking for a good suggestion for a Saturday lunch in the Valley - ideally Studio City or Sherman Oaks area. Something nice - no pubs, taverns, or chain restaurants. Any suggestions?
Stanley's may have decent food, but the burger should be avoided there.
In fairness, the burger was comped. I sent it back with my waiter after I explained that it was bland and over-cooked. I tried a slice of my kid's pizza. The pepperoni slices were thick and satisfying. The other dishes coming out of the kitchen looked fine. Perhaps Stanley's Restaurant would be a great spot for cuisine other than burgers.
Interestingly, I have always found their burgers quite good, though not a regular burger eater there or anywhere, but thought their pizza was their weakest link.
I know many who go there just for their turkey burger, if that might be your thing.
Maybe not this weekend, but....
Ouch....I am sorry to hear that this is the state of burgers in the valley. The Habit Burger Grill made a passable burger.
On the Stanley's tip--two of us ordered burgers, and two of us sent them back.
The Burger Breakdown...
The Beef: This was a pre-formed, medium ground, flat disk of Chuck. It was Angus, and that was all the waiter knew about it. The beef was firmly neutral. Since it was aggressively over-cooked, I expected some flavor to come out of the melted collagen, but in spite of the lack of care on the grill, the burger had ZERO beefiness. There was not even a hint of aging to provide a front note. It was just bland and uninteresting.
The Sear: Meh. They tossed the puck of Chuck onto a not-hot-enough grill, which got some spotty, half-hearted grill marks on the patty.
The Seasoning: There was no seasoning. I repeat....there was NO seasoning.
The Preparation: My cheeseburger at Stanley's Restaurant was cooked to a bland Well-Done in spite of my request for Medium. The color of the interior of the burger matched the color of the whole wheat bun. Unless, one is fighting an E.coli epidemic, there is simply no reason to cook a burger this hard.
The Cheese: A wonderfully gooey yet completely insipid, mild Cheddar. It would have been great had it been salty and sharp--it was not great.
The Bun: A barely toasted, moist, whole wheat, burger bun with a sprinkling of oats on top. The bun was fine. The bun was the best thing about the dish--the bun was merely fine.
Meat to Bun Ratio: I only had three bites of this uninteresting burger, but the meat to bun ratio was just right.
The Fires: Unseasoned and lukewarm. I tried three of the limp, bland sticks of disappointment, and I gave up. Oh, the slaw was warm...warm coleslaw......yech.
The Value: The value would have been awful had I been required to pay 11 bucks for a burger that I sent back after 3 bites.
In fairness, the burger was comped. I sent it back with my waiter after I explained that it was bland and over-cooked. I tried a slice of my youngster's pizza. The pepperoni slices were thick and satisfying. The other dishes coming out of the kitchen looked fine.
While the burger was not offensive, it simply wasn't worth consuming or paying for. I would not return.
The Habit Burger
1608 Foothill Blvd, La Verne, CA 91750
I'm not completely clear by what you mean by "nice." The following are places
La Frite in Sherman Oaks
Rive Gauche in Sherman Oaks
Loteria Grill in Studio City (I don't really consider this a chain since it has only two other branches)
Rive Guache is probably the nicest in terms of ambience, but the food is probably the worst of the three. Both La Frite and Rive Gauche are places that I would take people for a birthday lunch, so I assume that qualifies as "nice." The reality, however, is that most weekend lunch places in the area are very casual.
15013 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Rive Gauche Cafe
14106 Ventura Blvd Ste 200, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Marmalade on Ventura Blvd is great for lunch. Also Carnival for middle eastern food on Woodman and Moorpark. Hugo's on Riverside and Fulton, Panini Cafe on Ventura Blvd. and Noble. Out Take Bistro on Ventura just east of Laurel Cyn.
Out Take Bistro
11929 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
I second Mantee -- very nice place with interesting & tasty food. Patio out back is sweet.
My fave lunch place is Mezzomondo near Whitsett - fantastic Italian trattoria - great homemade pasta etc LOVE this place!
Mezzomondo Caffe Trattoria
12415 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
10962 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
This request is a month old, but thought I'd throw in my two cents, better late than never. Malbec on Riverside in Toluca Lake does a nice brunch/lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. I went a few Saturdays ago. The room is lovely and there were hardly any folks there (which doesn't bode well for future service on Saturdays ...) They serve both their lunch menu and a brunch menu of omelettes, etc. It's one of the few "nice" restaurants open for lunch on Saturdays.