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SF chowhound headed South to Westlake Village - critique requested

osho Sep 27, 2011 01:11 PM

SF ‘hound here - traveling South and looking for recommendations.

We’re staying in the Westlake Village area for a well deserved four night break, and I’d like to cram in the following cuisines/places if possible:

I’ve checked many of the previous threads and compiled the information below.
What I’d like to know is – is the information below current? What other places do you local ‘hounds recommend? We don’t have dietary restrictions.

Americanized Chinese – Lakeview Garden
Pizza – Toppers
Sushi – Kanda
Thai - Westlake Thai
Deli – Brent’s
Italian - Grissini – pizza and pasta
Grill - Fin's - Westlake Village
Mexican - Latigo Kid


  1. Chandavkl Sep 27, 2011 01:17 PM

    Lakeview Garden is awful. You couldn't pay me to go back.

    Lakeview Garden Restaurant
    4697 Lakeview Canyon Rd, Westlake Village, CA 91361

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chandavkl
      osho Sep 27, 2011 01:24 PM

      Cheers - Any other recommendations Chandavkl?

      1. re: osho
        Chandavkl Sep 27, 2011 01:54 PM

        Not a lot a Chinese food to begin with in the area, so good Chinese is scarce. Hot Wok in Agoura would be my choice.

    2. wienermobile Sep 27, 2011 02:25 PM

      Brent's is great. One of the best deli's in Los Angeles. Try the Black Pastrami Rueben, it's one tasty sandwich. And save some room for their homemade cheesecake. Brent's is also great for breakfast.

      Brent's Deli
      2799 Townsgate Rd, Westlake Village, CA 91361

      4 Replies
      1. re: wienermobile
        wienermobile Sep 27, 2011 02:30 PM

        Also like Hugo's. They just opened a new location in Agoura Hills at the Whizin Market Square just a few miles down the 101.
        28914 Roadside Drive
        Agoura Hills, CA 91301

        1. re: wienermobile
          osho Sep 27, 2011 04:47 PM

          Brent's is a must on my list. I've been craving Pastrami - my last trip to Katz's in NYC was 5 months ago.

          1. re: osho
            wienermobile Sep 27, 2011 04:52 PM

            FYI Langer's near downtown LA (and worth the drive) has a pastrami closer to Katz's (some including me say even better than Katz's). Brent's is a great deli but Langer's has the best pastrami in town.

            Langer's Delicatessen
            704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

            1. re: wienermobile
              osho Sep 28, 2011 10:25 AM

              Wienermobile - Much appreciated and I'd like to make it to Langers if possible. There can never be too much of pastrami or bacon or ankimo :)

        2. wienermobile Sep 27, 2011 02:39 PM

          If you are looking for fine dining try Saddle Peak Lodge up in Malibu Canyon. A beautiful rustic restaurant known for their wonderful game meats and in my opinion one of the best meals in LA.

          Saddle Peak Lodge
          419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, CA 91302

          3 Replies
          1. re: wienermobile
            LesThePress Sep 27, 2011 03:15 PM

            For a really nice dinner with great atmosphere right in WLV, our favorite is the Grill on the Alley, in the Promenade on the crnrs Westlake Blvd/Thousand Oaks Blvd. Great drinks and a great menu, I love the scallops (appetizer) and their short ribs are to die for. I'm a big eater and as much as I like them I can never finish them!!

            1. re: LesThePress
              Sgee Sep 28, 2011 05:24 AM

              Terrible experience for dinner recently at the Grill on the Alley, my steak special looked more steamed than seared and worst of all, the kitchen served my wife overcooked yellowed spinach under a cover of some more passable spinach - disgusting.

              Stick with Mastro's in TO for steak.

              Mastros Restaurant
              2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

              1. re: Sgee
                gr8pimpin Sep 29, 2011 02:46 PM

                TOTALLY AGREE with Sgee. Mastros is fantastic!!

                Mastros Restaurant
                2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

          2. r
            roundfigure Sep 27, 2011 03:30 PM

            Yes, by all means steer clear of Lakeview Garden.

            I'd ditch Fins and replace it with either Grill on the Alley or Zin Bistro (the latter particularly if you'd enjoy a view of the lake).

            Also strongly recommend taking a look at Cafe 14, Leila's, and Ladyface Brasserie.

            Toppers and Westlake Thai are both fine if not awesome, although there's not really any awesome to be had in those categories in this neck of the woods. Although I am intrigued to try the (admittedly limited) pizza offerings at Mediterraneo at the Westlake Village Inn after having their really great pan plano for brunch the other day. Blue Table's (Agoura Hills) pizza also might be worth checking out; I've only ever had their sandwiches, which are fantastic.

            Absolutely make sure you get to Brent's. :)

            Blue Table
            4774 Park Granada, Calabasas, CA 91302

            32037 Agoura Road, Westlake Village, CA 91361

            Westlake Village Inn
            32001 Agoura Rd, Westlake Village, CA 91361

            Lakeview Garden Restaurant
            4697 Lakeview Canyon Rd, Westlake Village, CA 91361

            Cafe 14
            30315 Canwood St., Agoura Hills, CA 91301

            3 Replies
            1. re: roundfigure
              osho Sep 28, 2011 10:48 AM

              Zin Bistro - the menu looks good. Solid American comfort food.

              Would they be fine with two kids (one infant and one 3 year old) chowpup?

              In SF, people are really weird about kids in the nicer establishments.

              1. re: osho
                roundfigure Sep 28, 2011 12:47 PM

                Yep, we took our little ones there at the exact ages you describe. It was for brunch, but I don't imagine dinner would be a problem either especially if your older kid is restaurant-savvy.

              2. re: roundfigure
                Sgee Sep 29, 2011 09:30 AM

                I'd skip Ladyface or just go for drinks, good local brews but kitchen has not kept up, food is mediocre at best.

                Mediterraneo is decent, worth checking out.

                32037 Agoura Road, Westlake Village, CA 91361

              3. puppychao Sep 27, 2011 04:53 PM

                I second Kanda for sushi

                Char Fas for Persian
                Blue Table for sandwiches and salads, lunch only
                Grill on the Alley or Mastros for steaks, etc...

                Mastros Restaurant
                2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

                1 Reply
                1. re: puppychao
                  osho Sep 28, 2011 10:49 AM

                  Thanks for the tip on Persian, puppychao.

                2. n
                  New Trial Sep 27, 2011 05:26 PM

                  If you must have Chinese, and can't make it out to the San Gabriel Valley, I would venture at least a little further down the Ventura freeway to Yang Chow. It is better Chinese than anything else between there and WLV.

                  Yang Chow
                  6443 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91303

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: New Trial
                    Chandavkl Sep 27, 2011 08:27 PM

                    Little known fact--if you go the other direction to Newbury Park, Sesame Inn and Red Wok have separate Chinese menus with some pretty good stuff on it.

                    Sesame Inn
                    3327 Kimber Dr, Newbury Park, CA 91320

                    Red Wok
                    2368 Michael Dr, Newbury Park, CA 91320

                    1. re: Chandavkl
                      osho Sep 28, 2011 10:42 AM

                      Chandavkl, could you recommend specific items to order at these places?

                      1. re: osho
                        Chandavkl Sep 28, 2011 11:41 AM


                  2. c
                    carter Sep 27, 2011 05:45 PM

                    If you might be staying at the Four Seasons Hotel, Hampton's restaurant might be a good brunch option, or a Friday night seafood buffet option.
                    Linked here for more info:

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: carter
                      osho Sep 28, 2011 08:28 AM

                      Great guess, we are staying at the FS.

                      We plan to have breakfast/brunch at the hotel everyday and that's why I didn't include any breakfast places in my search.

                      I will most definitely have the burger at the bar tonight as well.

                      1. re: osho
                        carter Sep 29, 2011 07:30 PM

                        The place gets quite crowded at dinnertime, so there must be a reason.
                        Ask questions regarding dinner - the commute is right!!!

                    2. g
                      gdodgerfan Sep 28, 2011 11:34 AM

                      if you do not mind I would like to through in my 2 cents as I would like you to really taste good food in our area.

                      Sushi, if you like very fresh fish go to Sayka in Oak Park
                      Steak, Mastro's is the best in the area
                      Great food great wine list go to Leila's my personal choice
                      Zin Bistro has great sunset views but food is so-so
                      Cafe 14 very good as well


                      Cafe 14
                      30315 Canwood St., Agoura Hills, CA 91301

                      1125 Lindero Canyon Rd, Westlake Village, CA 91362

                      Mastros Restaurant
                      2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

                      1. Das Ubergeek Sep 28, 2011 03:17 PM

                        A hundred thousand seconds on Grissini and Brent's. Ask them to make you the carciofi alla giudea from the bar menu at Grissini—they're addictive with an aperitivo like a Campari and soda.

                        Skip the Latigo Kid—seriously, potato skins and giant steaks? Why call that Mexican food? You'd do better at El Torito, honestly.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                          roundfigure Sep 28, 2011 03:47 PM

                          Yeah, I wasn't so sure about Latigo Kid either, haven't heard anything good but never having been there personally didn't want to diss it. FWIW, our go-to Mexican place in the near vicinity is Mariscos Cancun; I'm a sucker for their pulpo a la diabla. If you want to drive a little you could check out Money Pancho in Camarillo.

                          Latigo Kid
                          28914 Roadside Dr, Agoura Hills, CA 91301

                          Mariscos Cancun
                          573 W Channel Islands Blvd, Port Hueneme, CA 93041

                          1. re: roundfigure
                            Das Ubergeek Sep 28, 2011 08:54 PM

                            And if you're willing to go all the way to Camarillo, go one town further and go to Moqueca in Oxnard for Brazilian food that has absolutely nothing to do with grilled meat on swords—real Brazilian food, Baiana-style.

                            Moqueca Restaurant
                            3550 South Harbor Blvd, Oxnard, CA 93035

                            1. re: Das Ubergeek
                              roundfigure Sep 28, 2011 09:23 PM

                              Oh man, it's kind of a long way off the freeway, but Moqueca is absolutely fantastic.

                              Moqueca Restaurant
                              3550 South Harbor Blvd, Oxnard, CA 93035

                        2. osho Oct 10, 2011 10:25 AM

                          So here's where we ended up and what we ate:

                          Top of the heap for us has got to be Brent's. We loved everything we had here.

                          Excellent rec for the Black Pastrami Reuben, we also loved the chicken in a pot, roast chicken, cole slaw, kreplach as well as superlative lox .

                          We had two pizza's at Grissini's - very solid. The crust could have been a tad chewy but that's a minor nit. Good ingredients and efficient, polite service.

                          Hot wok was good with American Chinese standard fare, pretty bad salt overload though. Plus points for brown rice though.

                          Char Fasl - had the mixed grill - four types of kababs - well cooked, comparable with the best in the Bay Area like Shalizaar, etc.

                          The food at the Four Seasons did not impress. It's hard for them to get the supply chain right, I suppose. Seriously, I have had better omelets at the MGM in Las Vegas 10 years ago.

                          Tried a lot of items at the Lobby Cafe too like Crab Cake, Lobster rolls, gazpacho ...everything was mediocre at best. Other locations like Whistler, Jackson Hole, etc beat the pants off this location in terms of food. And they simply have no excuses at this price point.

                          Also we tried 9021Pho - I had zero expectations and the broth was insipid as expected. The chicken was pretty good though and not overcooked as at some other pho places.

                          Overall - a very good trip.

                          I will be back in two or three weeks so more updates to follow.

                          Char Fasl
                          5843 Kanan Rd, Agoura Hills, CA 91301

                          490 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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