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Sherman Oaks lunch ... ?

Need some help for a lunch I'm having next week. Here are the criteria:

I'm meeting two old friends from high school. The live and work in the Valley -- I work in Westwood. I'm willing to drive over the hill to have lunch with them, but as the travel time makes this a long lunch for me, I need some place that's at least close to the 405 freeway so I can get over and back in a reasonable amount of time.

We used to meet at Nat's Coffee Shop (Hazeltine and Burbank) and we once met at a pub farther east on Burbank (Irish something? I can't remember the name). But we're looking for something else.

We tried California Chicken Cafe, but it's not my thing. I don't like chicken (or cheese) and making a lunch out of just the side dishes was sort of starchy. One of my friends is a vegetarian.

So -- to repeat --

I need a freeway accessible restaurant for lunch in Sherman Oaks area that will appeal to at least one vegetarian and one non-dairy/non-chicken guy. It also has to be reasonably quick (no three course meals) - but don't want fast food.

(Keep in mind that Ventura Bl is a pain at that time of day, so having to travel too far up or down Ventura is problematic. Nat's worked because Burbank is desolate by comparison.)

Thanks in advance everyone ...

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  1. Carnival. Just off woodman on the 101. Good schwarma.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cdub

      Another good call (between this and Simon's Cafe it would be a tough choice).

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      Carnival Restaurant
      4356 Woodman Ave, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

      1. I had a nice lunch at the new lunch spot Sweet Butter. It is right across the street from Stanley's and they have a bunch of vegetarian friendly items. Sat outside and enjoyed a nice salad and book.

        4 Replies
        1. re: PD Girl

          The menu for Sweet Butter looks great. They are seving Intelligentsia coffee too. Nice. I already want to try the trio of sliders with Niman Ranch beef. Which salad did you have?

          Thanks for bringing this place to the attention of the board.

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          Sweet Butter
          13824 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91423

          1. re: PD Girl

            But if you do go, be reminded that there is no inside seating. All seats are either on the awning-covered sidewalk, or in the middle atrium that while covered, is still not fully enclosed nor wind-free. Pick your day based on the weather.
            Stanleys has a fully enclosed patio in the rear and has a myriad of salads, soups, burgers including a very respected turkey version, and have tailored to many a dietary need over the 25 years of existence.
            www.stanleys83.com for info

            1. re: carter

              Love Sweet Butter! A great addition to Sherman Oaks. Excellent salads, soups, sandwiches, quiche, desserts, etc. There are many heaters on the patio; I was there on a chilly day, but was still comfortable. Service can be slow there though, so be forewarned if your time is constrained.
              Also, Simon's Cafe on Sepulveda, right near 405 exit. Middle-Eastern food and plenty of vegetarian options.
              Jinky's on Ventura Blvd & Stansbury, one block east of Beverly Glen (fr: Westwood you can take Bev. Glen to save time). A bit similar in feel to Nat's, although perhaps a bit more upscale.
              If you have time to go east on 101 to Woodman (or again take Beverly Glen so you don't have to travel down Ventura Blvd), highly recommend Natas on Fulton & Ventura. Wonderful Portuguese cafe & bakery. Lots of interesting choices for lunch

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              Jinky's Cafe
              14120 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

              Sweet Butter
              13824 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91423

              1. re: archer

                Good call on Simon's Cafe for this.

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                Simon's Café
                4515 Sepulveda Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

          2. Hamburger Hamlet is on Van Nuys Blvd near Ventura. Also, Marmalade Cafe at Ventura and Kester

            1. for Italian, there's also Cucina Bene on Sepulveda, just south of Ventura that is *right off* the 405.

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              Cucina Bene
              4511 Sepulveda Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403