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San Fernando Valley

shf66shf Mar 11, 2013 10:24 AM

I have to go to Woodland Hills this week. We are looking for some place to go to dinner after our appointment. What are some of your favorite places in the Encino to Studio City area? I know it is a large radius....we are open to just about anything. Prefer Mexican, Peruvian, Middle Eastern....any suggestions appreciated!

  1. Servorg Mar 11, 2013 10:26 AM


    1. s
      shf66shf Mar 11, 2013 10:41 AM

      Thank you. The menu looks good.

      1. b
        bulavinaka Mar 11, 2013 11:28 AM

        +1 on Servorg's rec. Also Puro Sabor in Van Nuys for Peruvian and Mantee in Studio City Armenian.

        8 Replies
        1. re: mucho gordo
          kevin Mar 12, 2013 10:26 AM

          Puro Sabor is good.

          The area ???

          1. re: mucho gordo
            The Chowhound Team Mar 12, 2013 01:30 PM

            Folks, neighborhood safety is an area we try to avoid here on Chowhound, so we'd ask that people let this sub-thread go. Thanks.

          2. re: mucho gordo
            bulavinaka Mar 12, 2013 11:28 AM

            I'm not going to claim it's the best area in the San Fernando Valley. The area is very ethnic, the adjacent resi areas look a little rough, and the alley in back needed repaving when we last went. But we usually park in front. This mitigates the "sketchy" issues.

            The OP requested Peruvian. Puro Sabor to me is the best rec I know of in the SFV. The food is straight up Peruvian with no bastardization, the quality is great and the folks who own the place are very hospitable (as is the way of all Peruvians I've met).

            1. re: bulavinaka
              Servorg Mar 12, 2013 11:34 AM

              "The area is very ethnic, the adjacent resi areas look a little rough, and the alley in back needed repaving when we last went. But we usually park in front. "

              Keeping the rent low leading to much more reasonable food prices. If it was in Brentwood someone(s) would be bitching about the prices and the inevitable drift toward "fusion" dishes...

              1. re: Servorg
                kevin Mar 12, 2013 12:12 PM

                I really liked the Peruvian style french fries here too.

                Prices were reasonable here but by no means cheap.

                You are looking at 12.95 to 15 bucks for ceviche, and an order of fries for about 4 bucks.

                I remember there being a cool video store nearby too.

                I don't know if it's gang-territory, but the neighborhood is a little bit down and it's heels, and it's pretty close to the courthouse if I'm not mistaken.

              2. re: bulavinaka
                mucho gordo Mar 12, 2013 11:43 AM

                I've never been there but I've heard that there is an equally good Peruvian place in a somewhat better area. EL Hatuchay (sp) on Sherman way and Coldwater.

                1. re: mucho gordo
                  ebethsdad Mar 13, 2013 10:34 AM

                  Its good, but not in Puro Sabor's league.

                2. re: bulavinaka
                  ns1 Mar 12, 2013 12:49 PM

                  Well this was enough to put Puro Sabor on the radar for me...

                  bullet proof glass theory applies, always.

              3. t
                Thor123 Mar 11, 2013 11:32 AM

                Il Tiramisu on Ventura at Woodman is really good, family owned Italian, with a full bar.


                2 Replies
                1. re: Thor123
                  kevin Mar 12, 2013 10:27 AM

                  I once strolled by there and the menu looked interesting. Old fashioned red sauce italian I take it. But I have never heard much hoopla about it.

                  1. re: kevin
                    carter Mar 12, 2013 09:56 PM

                    there's not any hoopla to be heard. it is nearly the same as every other red sauce place on the boulevard.
                    Walked by the place tonight, had 3 tables at 9pm.
                    La Cava just east of Woodman, same north side of the street, is better, and by a considerable amount.
                    but if only the owner would stay off his cell phone...

                2. i
                  ilysla Mar 11, 2013 11:43 AM

                  Not sure how far north you're willing to head, but I recently went to Sri Siam (Thai) in North Hollywood and thought it was very tasty (see a search for Thai in North Hollywood, and you'll see several threads). Tampa Garden is good for central Chinese (don't get the "usual" entrees there).

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: ilysla
                    cdub Mar 11, 2013 02:07 PM

                    was just there on sunday and it's as good as ever. crispy rice salad. the papaya salda, the curry. my fav in the valley.

                    1. re: cdub
                      ilysla Mar 11, 2013 03:44 PM

                      Oh, I could eat the crispy rice salad all day long. I think I misread the posts about the crispy whole fish, though. Have you ever had it there? If so, do you recall it was called? I had a crispy whole fish there my first time there; it seemed like it was all batter w/ a hollow interior. I was quite good, but there wasn't any noticeable fish. I ordered the catfish fillets last time. It was only good (not amazing), and I can't imagine that that's what posters were talking about....

                      1. re: ilysla
                        sel Mar 11, 2013 07:52 PM

                        I order a whole fish at Sri Siam that was on the Thai language white board menu. Lots of fish, not all batter. In English ask for "Whole Fish with Garlic, Herbs and Chili (I also emphasize Thai hot/spicy)." Price varies depending on size, usually $18+ which is expensive by L.A. Thai standards but cheap for my idea of fine dining! For example, my Fresh Sea Bass on Drunken Noodles at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago was $29 and spectacular!

                        1. re: sel
                          kevin Mar 12, 2013 10:28 AM

                          I love the fucking sea bass with drunken noodles, it may just be the best item on the Lotus of Siam menu.

                          If I'm not mistaken, when I visited a few years it was roughly $24.95.

                          But then again it is Lotus of Siam.

                          1. re: sel
                            ns1 Mar 12, 2013 12:52 PM

                            " my Fresh Sea Bass on Drunken Noodles at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago was $29 and spectacular!"

                            While good I would not go back to LOS and pay $30 for the dish. I

                            1. re: sel
                              Jwsel Mar 12, 2013 11:52 PM

                              The whole fish in garlic, herbs and chili is fantastic. (I believe they typically use trout.) That dish also works surprisingly well as a to-go dish. If you get it to go, they pack it so the sauce is separate from the fish and the dry ingredients that top the fish (like the dry shrimp). However, having said that, I think the dish is even better when you get the same dish made with softshell crab instead of the fish.

                              My favorites are the soft-shell crab, the crispy rice salad with pork sausage (they do it with chicken in what I suspect is a nod to the large number of Kosher-keeping Jews in the area), the O-Lou, an egg and shrimp pancake with the most delectable spicy sauce, and the Nam Prik Oom, a spicy green chili dip that is on the Thai-only Northern Thai menu and is served with fresh vegetables and fried pork skin to use for dipping.

                              1. re: Jwsel
                                cdub Mar 13, 2013 08:21 AM

                                that o lou is great.

                                1. re: Jwsel
                                  kevin Mar 14, 2013 11:29 AM

                                  What restaurant is this in reference to where there is a lot of kosher eaters in the neighborhood ???


                                  1. re: kevin
                                    Servorg Mar 14, 2013 11:41 AM

                                    Sri Siam Cafe North Hollywood


                                    1. re: Servorg
                                      kevin Mar 14, 2013 11:53 AM

                                      Cool. And thanks for the link.

                              2. re: ilysla
                                cdub Mar 12, 2013 08:46 AM

                                you might have ordered the crispy catfish salad which is catfish that has been ground and then fried. looks like batter with no idea that any fish may be on the plate.

                                1. re: cdub
                                  ilysla Mar 12, 2013 10:51 PM

                                  Is there any actual "salad" w/ that dish? I don't recall there being a ton of greens, but the description otherwise sounds spot-on. Again, it was quite tasty, and I'd order it again (esp since I know now that there's fish in there somewhere! ;) ).

                                  1. re: ilysla
                                    cdub Mar 13, 2013 08:20 AM

                                    it has been a while since i had it but i recall it being like any other thai style salads. more onions and cilantro than actual greens. not a ton of greens. i was confused the first time i had it too until they actually explained it to me.

                              3. re: cdub
                                BearCity Mar 11, 2013 04:51 PM

                                They also have the best Tom Kah Kai ever. I hesitate to order it anywhere else, because I know it will be a disappointment compared to Sri Siam. The flavor of that broth just sings. And yes, the crispy rice salad, with sour sausage, is also sublime. It's not a fancy place, but they have some great food.

                            2. m
                              MarkC Mar 11, 2013 07:56 PM

                              Sadaf on Ventura Blvd in Encino is very good Persian. Also El Criollo for Cuban in Van Nuys. Be aware that some of the restaurants recommended on this thread may be rather challenged in the ambiance department (eg Tampa Gardens) if that is an issue.

                              1. c
                                carter Mar 11, 2013 09:08 PM

                                Sadaf, Puro Sabor and Hummus B&G are very good suggestions. As to Thai food, North Hollywood has many good ones, Sri being one of them. Krua and Sanamluang are also on that list.
                                Mexican food is a quagmire - i like the entrees at Senor Fred, along with the crab enchiladas, as well as the margs, chips & salsa. Other have other preferences. But salmon, lamb shanks, cochinita pibil, etc. are really tasty, priced in the low 20s, and come with a plateful of sides, including al dente veggies if desired.
                                Italian food in the Valley is a joke, so I am glad your request did not require a response in that regard.
                                Carnival, Hummus, Mantee, Joe's Falafel on Cahuenga (fast foodish), or Sadaf or Shirin for Persian and your Middle Eastern desires should be satisfied.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: carter
                                  cdub Mar 12, 2013 08:49 AM

                                  i've always been impressed with the pastas at ombra. a small italian joint near universal studios that does really good homemade pastas.

                                  1. re: cdub
                                    ns1 Mar 12, 2013 12:55 PM

                                    been meaning to check this place out; it replaced our old indian buffet :(

                                  2. re: carter
                                    kevin Mar 12, 2013 10:29 AM

                                    Crab Enchiladas sounds good. Can you please explain further ?

                                    I do like Joe's Falafel.

                                    And I love dumplings but for some odd reason I have not tried Mantee yet.

                                    I don't know why ?

                                    1. re: carter
                                      ns1 Mar 12, 2013 12:56 PM

                                      dropped by Krua yesterday after a long hiatus

                                      -pad kee mao was good as ever
                                      - tom yum was off
                                      - duck noodles were okay, generous portion but not nearly as good at hoy ka's (it's really several notches below hoy ka)
                                      - thai tea was too sweet

                                      I'll go back for more pad kee mao but I was a little disappointed by the rest of the meal.

                                    2. a
                                      archer Mar 12, 2013 11:07 AM

                                      Many good suggestions here. Particularly notable are Puro Sabor (neighborhood is fine, much improved from years earlier), Mantee and Ombra (which may be a little east for you, it's the most eastern edge of Studio City).
                                      Also highly recommend Simon's Cafe for Moroccan (on Sepulveda, south of Ventura, near fwy entrance)
                                      For Mexican, check out Loteria in Studio City--excellent margaritas, very tasty, interesting selection tacos & a varied menu.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: archer
                                        kevin Mar 12, 2013 11:23 AM

                                        Simon's is really really really good.

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