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Feb 5, 2013 05:26 PM

Northwest LA: Eastern / Middle Eastern Food

OK. So I moved here about 7 or 8 months ago. I live close to the intersection of Kanan and 101 in Agoura Hills and I'm down in the Pacific Palisades all the time. I have found passable (barely) Chinese at Green Onion in Agoura Hills and passable cooked Japanese (I don't like sushi) at Bui-Sushi in Malibu. I'm willing to drive half an hour from home, or else out of the way a bit from the Palisades back to home for food.

Looking for:
Chinese (I think we've covered this, there is none)
Japanese (cooked)


HELP! :-)

(Geography: Westwood, Century City, Pacific Palisades, Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Malibu, Agoura Hills, Oak Park, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Oxnard all work, as might other cities I'm just not familiar with.)

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  1. Stretching your radius a bit more to Tarzana will give you Hummus Bar & Grill.

    1. I'm not particularly familiar w/ Agoura Hills or the Palisades, but, based on little I read about your area on the board, you'll likely need to drive *at least* 30 min to find good versions of the stuff you're looking for.

      If you're willing to drive all the way out to Oxnard (which I realize isn't *that* far from Agoura), you might as well drive an equal distance in the opposite direction to try bulavinaka's rec.

      Other recs:
      If you're willing to drive to Reseda/Northridge, there's Tampa Garden (very good central Chinese), Mandarin Deli (decent soup noodles, dumplings, and scallion pancakes). In Van Nuys, you'll find Pho So 1. Woodlands Cafe (southern Indian) is in Chatsworth. For mom and pop Moroccan, there's Simon's Cafe in Sherman Oaks. A rather tasty AYCE Indian buffet (weekday lunch) can be found in Encino at Streets of India (ignore the very corporate-looking interior).

      There's actually a decent-sized Korean population in Northridge/Granada Hills/Reseda. The only one I've been to in the area (Evergreen) is a homestyle restaurant in a large Korean strip mall at the corner of Sherman Way/White Oak. The restaurant is located in the "inner" portion of the strip mall. I've also seen scattered Korean restaurants on Reseda near Plummer and again at Reseda and Devonshire.

      Given that it takes me 15-20 min to just drive to and from UCLA to Brentwood during a normal weekday commute, I'm not sure if a 30 min ETA for Palisades to Westwood/Century City is all that realistic most of the time, but.... Shamshiri, Shaherzad in Westwood, or Javan in West LA. Actually, there is/was a branch of Shamshiri in Northridge, I believe. There's plenty of "cooked" Japanese on Sawtelle Ave (Ramen Jinya, Tsujita, Hurry Curry, Curry House, Fu Rai Bo, among many others), Chinese (ROC), Vietnamese (Nongla). A decent weekend Indian buffet can be found at Jaipur in West LA.

      For good Thai, I assume the closest location for the really good stuff will be North Hollywood (which isn't close at all to you).

      1 Reply
      1. re: ilysla

        not sure about the geography,
        a decent vegetarian indian buffet can be found in chatsworth

        re: oxnard
        although it's kosher and not open on saturdays, the food is good at Tierra Sur and the room is lovely.

        it is located in the baron herzog (sp?) winery

      2. for israeli in the western part of Encino,
        Itzak Hagadol

        8 Replies
        1. re: westsidegal

          I too have heard that this is some of the best Middle Eastern within striking distance of Agoura Hills. Just didn't remember the name!

          1. re: cant talk...eating

            it's one of the rare restaurants for which i would drive to the valley from playa del rey.

            1. re: westsidegal

              wsg, i've always wanted to ask:
              have you been to hummus bar and grill, just a couple miles down the street from itzik hagadol?

                1. re: westsidegal

                  thank you westsidegal.
                  being the restaurants are so similar, i was wondering why you prefer one over the other.

                  thank you.

                  1. re: linus

                    1) because i much prefer eggplant salads to hummus and, imho, itzak hagadol is the king of eggplant salads now that the magic carpet on pico is gone.
                    2) i prefer my hummus to be less oily than that served at hummus bar and grill.

                    unquestionably both of them are good restaurants.
                    it's simply a matter of personal preference.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      it's been a while since i've been to itzik hagadol. i'll have to go back and take notice if the eggplant salads there are more varied and tastier than h b and g. (now there's a law firm).

                      oddly, i don't recall the hummus at h b and g being all that; it's good, i haven't noticed it being too oily, but i'm not sure it's the best in town.

                      i do find the salads the best thing about both joints. the skewers are only o.k.

                  2. re: westsidegal

                    While we're at it, Cafe du Liban (Tarzana, so just east of Woodland Hills) is another Ventura Blvd. Middle Eastern spot that I've been meaning to try. These are all "sit-down" places, and I just haven't been in the mood for a long lunch alone when heading home.

          2. There is a pretty sizable middle eastern community that stretches from Westwood and through the west valley. I've seen plenty of Persian, for example, along ventura blvd west of tarzana. I have not eaten at any, however.

            There is a Moroccan place in studio city, I believe, that has been there a while, don't know how good the food is, have never been.

            The palisades has a decent Indian, Taj Palace, and Asian Pearl Dragon, but they are not destination places.

            I agree, west la/sawtelle area would be closest for most Asian you list. But perhaps there are hounds out there more familiar with your territory.

            1. Whiner -

              I'm just up the street from you (off Kanan). Welcome!
              Going through your list:

              Chinese - how wrong you are!! I've posted on a few places, including:
              -Szechuan Place in the Vons pkg lot on Kanan (ask for "Chinese menu", not the Americanized one.
              -Hot Wok just east of Wood Ranch (same deal - ask for Chinese menu).
              -Han's dumplings, Avenida de Los Arboles, just west of the 23 Fwy. about 20 min. from you. This is like an inner-city joint with a hot buffet, but ask for the off-menu stuff (hand-written in Chinese and taped to a wall - he'll translate).

              Japanese (cooked) - That's going to be tough. I have no idea, but Sushi and Wasabi (a few doors from Agoura's 'Famous' Deli) has passable chicken teriyaki, tempura, etc.

              Vietnamese - Doubt it.
              Cambodian - Long Beach
              Korean - Haven't found it

              Thai - Nothing better than generic L.A. Thai places. I guess I like the Exotic Thai (there are several) that's next to the movie theater, but I'd go east to places like Swan Thai in the Valley for the real deal. I usually get my fix off the 101 in Thai Town and don't even bother out here.

              Indian - the little Apna Spiceland on Thousand Oaks near Hampshire may get you close enough. Better stuff is in the Valley. This is a typical "sweets and spices" set up with the hot buffet counter. Last time I went the 'hot' part was out of order so I ate quickly and willed myself to not get sick (I didn't). Tasty stuff, and they do a brisk business so it doesn't sit around. We've also been to Karma in Thousand Oaks which is standard L.A. Indian, maybe a notch above, but they changed (owners? menu?) recently and a friend said he didn't like it as much. Didn't notice a drop in quality and would go back any time.

              Nepalese/Afghani - ok, now you're just being crazy.

              Persian - well, we've gotten take out a few times from the place on Kanan behind Starbucks (now called "Maral Cuisine"). I can't exactly recommend it, esp. if you've been to places in Westwood, etc. I had really good chicken fesenjon, taboule, etc. from "Diar Market" in the Palms stripmall on T.O. Blvd. (which also holds Apna spiceland). They have a big takeout selection, deli counter, market (lavash bread, rice, etc.) plus a sit-down cafe next door. Very no-frills.

              Moroccan - no
              Turkish - no
              Egyptian - no
              Lebanese - and no

              No Mexican?? Try Los Agaves on T.O. Blvd.