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Apr 2, 2014 08:14 AM

Goodbye to Northridge

We've just moved away from Northridge, to greener pastures elsewhere. For the last year and a half I tried to put a brave face on my culinary experiences there. However, I can now sadly confirm that Northridge is indeed a culinary wasteland. In every desert there are a few oases though, and I bequeath this list to any wanderer traversing these burning sands.

Lum Ka Naad

This place just doesn't make sense in Northridge. It's as though a tornado lifted it from Thai town and dropped it there. This is not your usual pad thai and bbq chicken, but a voluminous menu of northern and southern Thai specialties. The crispy rice salad is better than the one at Sri Siam.

8910 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324

Roger's Rib Shack

The brisket here is waaaaay better than Smoke City, and the ribs are great too. A friendly spot, run by an African American family who obviously know their BBQ.

8450 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324

Bonnano's Chicken

Delicious, smoky, wood-fired chicken and ceviche with those Peruvian fried corn nut-thingy's.

8363 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324

Red Chili Halal

Pakistani restaurant, to neophytes pretty much indistinguishable from Indian. Food is delicious and very spicy. Expect them not to have a lot of things on the menu, especially at lunch. You'll recognize yourself as the one not wearing a turban.

18108 Parthenia St, Northridge

Vrej Pastry

Alright, Granada Hills, you have the past baklava in the universe, and it is at Vrej Pastry, in the shopping center on Balboa and San Fernando Mission Blvd. Nice Italian deli in the same complex.

There are other places with good food, but these are the ones I kept wanting to go back to. Brent's, of course, requires no introduction on this website. No good Mexican, you exclaim in disbelief? Nope. Just a few gringo-ized places not worth the effort, and the 118 east to San Fernando and Pacoima. For a quick taco fix, try Taco Charly's#2 on Laurel Canyon, or El Puercito, located in a tire recycling center on San Fernando Blvd.

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  1. While we haven't been I wonder if you weren't a fan of Tampa Garden for Chinese food? It's garnered a lot of favorable posts here over the years.

    One other place we have had food from (delivery) that we like is LA Lasagna Co. in Northridge.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Not the OP, but my workplace used to get stuff from the LA Lasagna Company frequently. It's certainly fine for what it is (and very consistent), but I don't think it's amazing. Love the spinach pizza, though.

      To the OP, did you ever make it out to an Italian deli in the area? A colleague once said that there was a great Italian deli on Balboa near San Fernando Mission, but I can't recall the name (and I never made it out myself).

      1. re: ilysla

        "A colleague once said that there was a great Italian deli on Balboa near San Fernando Mission, but I can't recall the name..."

        Sounds like Italia Bakery and Deli but I have never been.

        1. re: Servorg

          I really liked the eggplant parm and cannoli from Italia Deli in Granada Hills.

        2. re: ilysla

          Said Italian deli was alluded to by OP with this commentary:
          "Alright, Granada Hills, you have the past baklava in the universe, and it is at Vrej Pastry, in the shopping center on Balboa and San Fernando Mission Blvd. Nice Italian deli in the same complex."

          1. re: carter

            Oy. I tend to read posts (including my own) too quickly....

        3. re: Servorg

          I like the food at Tampa Garden, but always felt it was a little bit overpraised. It's also kind of a strange place, amateurish in a way, with iffy service.

          1. re: MarkC

            "...with iffy service."

            You're too kind, MarkC!

            It's really too bad that they can't deliver consistently.

        4. Shamshiri in Northridge for persian, Tampa Garden for Chinese, Katsu-ya for sushi... these are all very good/great places in Northridge too.

          If you venture 2 minutes out of Northridge into Chatsworth, or 8-10 minutes out into Woodland Hills and West Hills, there are some more great places. Los Toros in Chatsworth for Mexican, Go's Mart, Brothers and Litte Brothers for sushi in Woodland/West Hills, India Sweets and Spices for casual Indian veg food in Canoga Park, etc. There's Woodlands in Chatsworth for South Indian food, Las Fuentes in Reseda for Mexican, and Italia in Granada Hills for deli Italian. Casa de Pizza in Granada Hills has great pizzas and italian food too.

          Granada Hills also has the Friday Food Truck Night too which is always fun.

          1. I don't know if it still counts as Northridge, but Pho So 1 on Reseda has pho on par with SGV or Garden Grove. And La Baguette next door has pretty good banh mi (considering the location), as does the place around the corner on Sherman Way.

            Also, while it may not be terribly exotic, Mandarin Deli on Reseda near Nordhoff beats the hell out of driving to Alhambra for your noodle&dumpling fix. Try the potstickers, "spicy beef noodle soup with hand make noodle", and the beef roll. Be sure you get the hand-made noodles.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bjartmarr

              +1 for Pho So 1 and Mandarin Deli. The banh mi place across the street from Mandarin Deli (adjacent to CSUN) is also not bad.

              1. re: ilysla

                Good to know, we'll be at CSUN on Sunday, thanks.

            2. Joe's Cafe in Granada Hills is delicious for breakfast...always crowded.


              Across the street from Joe's is a Turkish bakery called Royal Bakery. They have chocolate baklava that is worth the chase.


              5 Replies
              1. re: liu

                I started out liking Joe's, but then stopped being a fan. The hamburger was so rubbery I could practically bend it in two without breaking it. Overpriced too, imo, and the dining area is tiny.

                For an agreeable diner type place, Emlee's on Reseda Blvd is good. Their chicken fried steak is the best I ever had. It's run by a Lebanese family, so they also have a page of middle eastern specialties.

                For Persian, go to Ali Baba's in Granada Hills. Much better than Shamshiri, in my opinion.

                The pizza at Casa di Pizza is good, but the rest of the food is terrible.

                1. re: MarkC

                  I have never had anything at Joe's except their breakfasts, which are quite good.

                  1. re: liu

                    I agree, the breakfasts are good, my kids loved it. I'm more of a savory breakfast guy, and would probably choose a place like Brent's.

                2. re: liu

                  Chocolate baklava is not baklava. I hereby declare a fatwa against it (though if it's tasty, I might let it live).

                  1. re: MarkC

                    It's SO tasty!
                    Please do give this bakery a try.

                3. We went by Lum Ka Naad not too long ago, and I was very curious about it.... Maybe I can convince the fam to try it when we're in the neighborhood on Sunday afternoon....will report back if we go.