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Mar 11, 2013 10:24 AM

San Fernando Valley

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!

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    1. Servong,
      Thank you. The menu looks good.

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

        8 Replies
        1. Puro Sabor is good.

          The area ???

          1. re: mucho gordo

            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. 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

              "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

                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

                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

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

                2. re: bulavinaka

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

                  bullet proof glass theory applies, always.

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


                2 Replies
                1. re: Thor123

                  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

                    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. 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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            " 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

                              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

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


                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      Cool. And thanks for the link.

                              1. re: ilysla

                                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

                                  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

                                    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.

                              2. re: cdub

                                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.