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Sherman Oaks dining 'renaissance' - will it draw Angelenos?

Pretty impressed with the Valley recently, at least the southeast Sherman Oaks/Studio City area. In addition to the recently-opened & stylishTipple & Brine and it's rival On The Thirty & the lovely speakeasy Tunnel Bar, this is what's slated to open by end of summer on Ventura between Sepulveda on the West and Laurel on the East:
*The Tipsy Cow, gastropub burger bar (a bit redundant, but hey)
*at the site of Senor Fred's - Marlin and Ono Grille, a michelin-star aspiring menu (might be a bit tooooo much for the valley)
*at the site of Ole! Tapas, the Stout people are opening an as-of-yet-named Seafood Pub (interesting, kind of a fish answer to their burger spot but not sure how it will take)
*at the site of Smiles, Berkshire Tavern which is upscale gastropub
*at the site of Mad Bull's, Community Tavern which is a lower key 'tipple and brine' and basically the same as Mad Bull's
*at the site of Mr. Cecli's, The One Up will be an independent adult arcade in the mold of Dave & Busters, "only cooler"
and ready for this:
*at the site of Aaah's, a 3500 square foot Italian Restaurant project, Midici, from. . . wait for it. . .the CEO of Menchie's.

Anyway, interesting times for Valley denizens, but is ANYTHING enough to draw crowds from the other side of the hill?

'Sushi Row' used to be destination fishery for proto-foodies int he early to mid- 90's and Girasol in Studio City has individually pulled some crowds more recently but is it possible that Sherman Oaks becomes a destination?

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  1. Mistral on Ventura near Woodman is really good. Was there for the first time yesterday for lunch.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Thor123

      Second on Mistral. Haven't been there for a while but I remember a few good dinners. I just do not have a reason to go there unless someone wants to meet me there...

    2. The Seafood Pub sounds interesting. I'm always on the lookout for casual seafood places, so this has me curious. Thanks for the report!

        1. I still don't see non-valley folks traveling over the hill to dine, unless they are meeting their family. I know a couple who recently dined at Tipple and Brine twice. The first time they thought the service was bad and food was just o.k. but cut them some slack as the restaurant had only been open a short time. The next time was a total disaster. Everything which could go wrong went wrong. Suffice it to say they won't be returning. IMHO valley folks who want fine dining drive to DTLA or the westside. I don't see that changing.

          7 Replies
          1. re: maudies5

            Actually, the Valley crowd that used to go to Santa Monica doesn't dare go there now because of traffic and parking. The 405 is the new Berlin Wall. They go downtown when they have a reason, and they go to Hollywood when they have to, but not eagerly. And I'm sure the Valley folks are perfectly happy without the over-the-hill crowd making their local spots more crowded and less friendly.

            1. re: farmertomato

              << The 405 is the new Berlin Wall>>

              PERFECT phrasing!

                1. re: jessejames

                  i used to live in east berlin.
                  the only draws now are itzik hagadol and the laemmle movies in encino.

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    I don't care for the metaphor really.

                  2. re: jessejames

                    I know there's good stuff there, but getting past Checkpoint Church Lane into the land of driving fifteen minutes per block gives me heartburn.

                2. re: farmertomato

                  There is really nothing to go west of the 405 for.
                  I can take the subway DTLA, and do so for both lunch and dinner. Much more relaxing, many more dining and drinking options. During Philharmonic season @ Disney Hall, many ticketholders take the subway.
                  No reason to stop in Hollywood when DTLA is only 15-20 minutes further. Likewise, K-town or Chinatown.

              1. Maybe the Dave & Buster's type place since I'm a sucker for games. =) Although I kind of like the fact that Dave & Buster's isn't necessarily "cool."

                3 Replies
                1. re: ilysla

                  Tons of fun arcade bar type places have opened in ktown area large and small. Blipsey on western is one.

                    1. re: ilysla

                      Fun. Grab a drink. Play some old school vids or pinball with quarters. Beat your friends. The usual. Also 82 barcade downtown. Loads of smaller one long row spots in ktown.

                2. I've been to tipsy cow and had their Poutine and small sandwiches for happy hour. I liked it a lot. They have one drink on special $5 - it's good..Ginger lime mint? Plus $5 beers. I liked it ..the Poutine was delish but it was my first ever. Nice tiled interior.

                  1. With so many people buying expensive homes in Calabasas, (great schools in the area) one would think that there would be a market for good restaurants in that part of the valley, from Encino-Tarzana-Calabasas. A scattering of fast food/takeout/delivery/some ethnic seem most popular.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: maudies5

                      I was thinking of a variety of snarky-but-accurate answers to post in response to this (not directed to you, maudie, but more about Calabasas), but....

                      I think of Calabasas as a suburb. And, as is the case w/ many suburbs (regardless of how affluent the residents are -- or wish to project they are), I think convenience and affordability trumps taste....

                      Besides, you left out Woodland Hills, which takes up a sizable chunk of space btw Encino and Calabasas.... ;)

                      1. re: ilysla

                        Great response. Don't know how I managed to forget about Woodland Hills. I like your convenience trumps taste comment. Affordability isn't an issue in those very affluent suburbs. Convenience trumps all

                      2. re: maudies5

                        just because one has the money to buy an expensive home doesn't necessarily mean that one has the palate to appreciate a restaurant with good food.

                        (to really see this in action, check out the you tube of donald trump taking sarah palin and her kid out for pizza in NY at an albanian chain.
                        the donald, proceeds to eat the topping off the chain pizza with a plastic fork)


                      3. That 405 is just tough. Laurel Tavern overcomes, though that's a little further afield. Definitely enough people in Sherman Oaks/Encino/Van Nuys/Studio City area to support good food even without westsiders, though.

                        1. No, because traffic.

                            1. re: krystle920

                              The one who gets it best.
                              Very few of these places actually appeal to 2/3 of the population base in the area - those over 40 years of age.
                              Gastropubs, or variations based on a particular focus, yet still focusing on booze first, where every thing else becomes secondary. Local Peasant was the first to arrive in Sherman Oaks, and now everyone wants in on the "party".
                              Some more deals are on the horizon, yet none far enough along to be spoken of in a forum such as this one.

                              1. re: carter

                                I'd looked into Local Peasant. Saw their dress code. Lost all interest.

                                1. re: Gnoop

                                  dress code at Local Peasant? That is not a thing I have experienced.

                                  1. re: Tyus4pt8

                                    I've never been, but I looked at the website and saw no mention of a dress code, either....

                                    1. re: Tyus4pt8

                                      Does the dress code insist that customers dress like local peasants?

                                    2. re: Gnoop

                                      As others have said, they don't have a dress code other than you need to be clothed. You wanted something dressy?

                                2. Don't think the Stout Seafood Pub at Ole is happening.

                                  Have seen "For Lease" signs go up recently. Last update I can find is a year or so ago on Eater, so I think it's dead.

                                    1. The problem with the valley is not the 405 but the 101. There are more than enough people in the valley to support good restaurants but would you really want to battle the 101 or Ventura to get to Studio City from Calabasas. On the other hand, it's relatively painless for me to get to Studio City from Porter Ranch (and convince other family members to do so). It's so much easier than trekking over to the Westside.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Kalivs

                                        you wouldn't want to travel north on the 405 during rush hour traffic to get to sherman oaks from the westside either...

                                      2. Uh-oh, can't say I like the sound of that "Midici" place. What does the CEO of Menchie's know about Italian food?

                                        1. While the 405 and 101 are big problems, I'd argue that, in the vein of krystle's argument, that gastropubs aren't anything that would really pull people.

                                          I take that in contrast to the SGV where some Westisiders I know actually do travel to on occasion, despite the ugliness of travelling the 10 from the Westside, through downtown, and pass the East LA Interchange. The SGV is destination dining because of its concentration of high quality Chinese food (in US terms) that you can't get on the Westside.

                                          There are some excellent places in the Valley, but I don't think many of them would really pull people from the other side of the Hollywood Hills because none of it is really uniquely different based on the merits of the food alone.

                                          1. I hope so, if only because the typical Valley restaurant crowd can leave a lot to be desired. Living in Studio City over the past few years, I've seen it get better, and there are a few places where the crowd is great (Black Market, Blue Dog, Raphael). However, at most places on a Fri or Sat night, the crowd is significantly cheesier than one would find in West Hollywood, downtown or the west side. It's not a noticeable problem on non-weekend nights or at smaller neighborhood'y restaurants, but it becomes painfully apparent at 8pm on a weekend. Hopefully this influx will get some folks to cross the Hills and dilute the crowd.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Helper Monkey

                                              pardon the obvious, what is a "cheesy" crowd?

                                              1. re: Helper Monkey

                                                Oh, man, I don't know -- I live on the Westside, and "my people" ain't all that. Our "cheese" stinks too!

                                              2. i can't see it.
                                                the traffic situation is, too often, torturous.
                                                even though i adore the food at Itzik hagadol, and i like the movies shown at the laemmle located across the street from them, i no longer find myself actually undertaking the drive to get there.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                  WSG, what do you eat at Itzik hagadol?
                                                  Am I mistaken that you do not eat meat? I don't see anything
                                                  but meat on the menu. What's with that?
                                                  So many ?, I feel like Kevin, but without my ducks (?) in a row.

                                                  1. re: VenusCafe

                                                    they have a 19(?) dish salad spread...

                                                2. Girasol as a draw!
                                                  I just saw this comment. Not really.
                                                  May be a Valley Draw, but certainly not a crowd from any other area code.
                                                  Secondly, after re-reading this original post again, why should the Valley WANT to draw crowds from the other side of the hill - they are so obnoxious and stuck on themselves.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: carter

                                                    having lived in the valley AND having lived on the westside, i can say that neither location has the market corned on obnoxious people nor on good people.

                                                    carter: dunno how you came up with your position. doesn't square with my reality.

                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                      i agree. i've lived in the valley and the westside....the beach and the eastside. and i'm now mid city. i've found lovely folks....and people who were obnoxious and stuck on themselves.....in each neighborhood. don't think bad behavior is specific to a zip code. and....i could be wrong.....but i don't think the OP was saying he/she hoped people would come over the hill. just posed the question--has the dining scene in the valley improved to the point they would WANT to.

                                                      1. re: perk

                                                        And the answer is a resounding no.

                                                        Maybe if French laundry opened up a branch on Ventura.

                                                        1. re: perk

                                                          if my car could fly (or some other magical type of transport were available), i'd be having eggplant salad in encino at least twice a week.

                                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                                            Would that magical transport also make a stop at Brent's? We need to get Elon Musk on this.

                                                    2. People who live in Sherman Oaks ARE "Angelenos," since Sherman Oaks is firmly in the City of Los Angeles.

                                                      1. No...a few reasons:

                                                        1. Restaurants depend on business expense accounts, especially the pricier ones. The only part of the valley that could support that is Studio City/Burbank with the entertainment industry - however, in the past 25 years I can't recall a single destination restaurant in that neighborhood (some decent sushi places though, which seems to be the default choice).

                                                        2. Tourism. Unfortunately, aside from Universal Studios (and other studio tours) and the Brady Bunch House, there is no reason for a tourist to set foot in the valley. No museums, no galleries, no unique stores, no parks, no architecture. It may be a nice place to live, but like Westchester County in NY, no reason to visit. I won't even mention the heat in the summer.

                                                        3. These are all gastropubs, which center on drinking, not eating. Generally speaking, most people don't want to drive to far to drink - for obvious reasons!

                                                        4. While people may not want to admit it, the valley is different than LA. A lot of times, I feel like I could be in Middle America - not something you could say about Silverlake or Beverly Hills. Most city dwellers "look down" on the suburbs. And the valley is the suburbs, even if it technically is in the city of Los Angeles.

                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: manku

                                                          i hate your answer, but mostly because it's accurate. you paint a fair, if unflattering picture, of the valley - and though I personally love Sherman Oaks, Studio City & the like, I can't take umbrage with anything you said. good answer (unfortunately).

                                                          1. re: MagnoliaGardens

                                                            Sherman Oaks + Studio City are not like the rest of the valley.... (I say as someone who used to work in Northridge and Sylmar and who currently works in Encino)

                                                            Things are spread out in LA "proper." And they're even MORE spread out in the Valley. That + traffic + horrible summer weather = a no-go for many people.

                                                          2. re: manku

                                                            Most of LA outside of downtown started out as suburban, and a great deal of it, including much of the Westside, still is.

                                                            The Valley is a bit different because, despite being annexed to the city in 1915 when it was still mostly rural and agricultural (so that LA could sell aqueduct water to Valley farmers, which was vital to their business plan), it's never really been a suburb of Los Angeles.

                                                            Despite its rep as 'the Ultimate Suburb", the Valley's early residential development was based on local Valley industries, not on commuting to LA - first the studios in the 'teens, '20s, and '30s, then the War Industry plants in the '30s and '40s.

                                                            It wasn't until the great postwar boom of the late '40s and '50s that suburban tract developments began displacing farms, and infill dingbat apartments began replacing 'teens-and-20s bungalows - just like in Westside locations like Mar Vista and Palms.

                                                            The real disconnect here is treating the entire Valley as a single place - it would be like calling the entire Westside "a suburb" based on Palms and Mar Vista. You could be in Middle America there, too.

                                                            The southeastern Valley - Studio City, Toluca Lake, southern Burbank - has been the heart of the 'Hollywood' entertainment industry since the '30s, when all but one of the big studios fled Hollywood.

                                                            It's no accident the Valley has few tourist traps - that's Hollywood's gig. But the SE Valley is where about half of the working Industry actually happens, away from the paparazzi and tourist hordes.

                                                            There's plenty of decent food at fair prices in casual surroundings around there, but, no, it's not about celebrity chefs and high-end fine dining or cutting-edge fashion-of-the-moment cuisine. No real 'destination' dining.

                                                            It's not the same as LA, but the difference isn't "City" vs. "Suburb."

                                                            Pacoima and Toluca Lake are no more the same place than Highland Park and Brentwood are the same place.

                                                            1. re: GlenBlank

                                                              "The southeastern Valley - Studio City, Toluca Lake, southern Burbank - has been the heart of the 'Hollywood' entertainment industry since the '30s, when all but one of the big studios fled Hollywood."

                                                              Let's not overlook the film industry that's the "heart of the Internet" that centers in the San Pornando Valley. While the money may mostly exit the "Silicone" Valley the "talent" (and the behind the lens "staff") still spend most of their earnings where they live. Van Nuys, Chatsworth and NoHo still have plenty of fluffers working their magic in the SFV. Now that's what I call suburban stiff's...

                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                Actually, porn was late to the party in the Valley. Porn mostly stayed behind in Hollywood when the big studios departed, renting the cheap, dilapidated old facilities they left behind and trolling the Boulevard and bus stations for fresh meat, promising work with a "real Hollywood movie company,"

                                                                Up until the early '80s, porn was still centered in Hollywood. That was when the shutdown of the Southern Pacific freight spur down Canoga Avenue left the Chatsworth industrial parks along that spur with a lot of newer industrial tilt-up buildings for rent at really cheap prices - and with the trains gone, it was quiet enough to use those buildings as makeshift sound stages.

                                                                And since many of the below-the-line production workers in the industry who moonlighted doing porn already lived in the Valley because of the mainstream studios, it was a natural fit.

                                                                More porn is produced in the Valley than anywhere else in the world, because more movies of all kinds are produced in the Valley than anywhere else in the world.

                                                                The Valley's rep for porn was largely created by 'Boogie Nights', which was set in that '80s transitional period. I knew most of the real people that film was based on, because I was one of those moonlighting production workers back then - though I worked for one of the many companies still in Hollywood, not the Valley.

                                                                (And by the way, I'm told that no one uses fluffers any more - the guys just take lots of Viagra. :-))

                                                                1. re: GlenBlank

                                                                  I thought the 3 best known fluffers were named Levitra, Cialis and Viagra? And the porn industry (Deep Throat 1972) in the SFV was booming in the 70's, long before Boogie Nights (1997) was even a gleam in (the then 2 and half year old) Wes Anderson's eye.

                                                              2. re: GlenBlank

                                                                Thanks for the interesting history lesson!

                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                  Glad you liked it. :-) But I'd probably better stop rambling before the topic-cops descend... :-)

                                                              1. re: BryceB

                                                                Ramen by Omae is gone. Decamped to open a new location in Las Vegas.

                                                              2. No, I see no reason to go there, not unless by force. It's too big a hassle and none of the restaurants you listed appeal to me. I can get the same (and better) in Santa Monica, where I live, and downtown, where I work.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: yogachik

                                                                  "not unless by force" that's pretty funny

                                                                2. Back in the day sushi nozawa drew people over the hill

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: jessejames

                                                                    Back in the day the Wiener Factory drew many hounds (kevin - come home!) over the hill.

                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                      Forgot to add Brent's to the magnet draw pulling west side hounds over the hill for noshing on black pastrami Reuben's.

                                                                    2. re: jessejames

                                                                      He had to draw from elsewhere, because his act stales with familiarity--plus, he never used the best fish.

                                                                    3. 99 ranch still draws me over the hill on occasion, although usually it's more tempting to hit pollo a la brasa and Assi in k-town (not 100 percent overlap I know)

                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                      1. re: AAQjr

                                                                        99 Ranch, Chase Bank, car wash, Costco, Staples, Whole Foods, and occasional Zankou Chicken, the Sepulveda Corridor is my usual weekend errand destination.

                                                                        99 Ranch is the destination for live Maine Lobster.

                                                                        1. re: Ashibi

                                                                          And let us not forget The Secret Target (shhh). I won't go anywhere near the Targets on the Westside, but I will drive over the hill for the Secret One. And grab a big plate of grub at Mercado Buenos Aires while I'm at it.

                                                                          I like the Valley just fine (except for the 405 and the heat).

                                                                          1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                            The secret Target? Along the Sepulveda corridor??? I ask b/c, if that's the one to which you're referring, I think a lot of people know about it.... ;)

                                                                            I'll add that that's my preferred Target (not that I go particularly often), rather than the City Target that's substantially closer to my home.

                                                                            1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                                                              Noooooo not that Target on Sepulveda. THE SECRET ONE.

                                                                              I must remain shtum lest it be overrun with Westsiders (my people).

                                                                              1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                Ohmigod, can you e-mail me??? I MUST KNOW!!! And I promise not to tell anyone.... ::pinky swear::

                                                                                1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                  <<whispering>> Gotta be the one on Raymer Between Kester and Sepulveda? <<shhh >> The two story one on sepulveda is not my favorite Target store.

                                                                                    1. re: gr8pimpin

                                                                                      wha.... I used to drive by that area a decent number of times in the past. Must investigate....

                                                                                      1. re: gr8pimpin

                                                                                        Yup, the former Fedco site.
                                                                                        While I go to the Sepulveda version, it is difficult to park, find which floor your merchandise is on, etc.
                                                                                        But it does MAJOR business, and is definitely NOT hidden.
                                                                                        But Raymer is very convenient if you live in the Central SF Valley. Westsiders using it do so only at convenient traffic times, and only convenient times.

                                                                                        1. re: carter

                                                                                          Fedco, now there's a name I haven't heard in a while.

                                                                                          The Fedco in Costa Mesa became a target too.

                                                                                          1. re: carter

                                                                                            I was wondering if Fedco still existed. I moved out of LA up to the Bay Area almost 30 years ago and when we came to visit for the first few years after that, we'd hit Fedco for a "major shop." Sundries and food staples--they were so cheap then. The looks we got at one xmas time--sheesh. I still have a few items from them--apple cider vinegar for one. The bottle has to be from before we left. I can't even remember what I used it for.

                                                                                1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                  And the biggest non-event ever.
                                                                                  When will the Meekly ever get a list correct.
                                                                                  That list is so bad, that nearly half the list I have never heard of, and know many places in similar categories that are way better, sight unseen.

                                                                                  1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                    No. 2 on the Weekly's list of the ten best restaurants in the San Fernando Valley is the Saddle Peak Lodge. The Saddle Peak Lodge is indeed a very fine restaurant, but IT IS NOT IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY. It is in the Santa Monica Mountains, north and west of the San Fernando Valley. Having lived in the Santa Monica Mountains (Topanga Canyon) for the last 30+ years, I get testy when folks make this egregious error.

                                                                                    1. re: ozhead

                                                                                      Far apart from Ventura blvd but still calabasas

                                                                                      1. re: ozhead

                                                                                        Exactly! If anything, Saddle Peak should be considered part of Malibu. The Santa Monica mountains aren't the Valley (not that there's anything wrong with the Valley -- it's just geographically perverse to lump them all together)

                                                                                        1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                          "The Santa Monica mountains aren't the Valley"

                                                                                          I think that there a lot of folks living in Encino, Tarzana and Woodland Hills that would find that a very strange statement...

                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                            Good point, and I stand corrected for being overly-broad in my statement.

                                                                                            How about this: the parts of the Santa Monicas that are north of the 10, east of the 405, and west of Mulholland? Non-Valley?

                                                                                            Hard to keep those rules hard and fast with all the squiggly lines in them thar hills, though.

                                                                                            (No dog in this fight, really, just musing lazily. I happen to really like Calabasas -- great hiking area.)

                                                                                            1. re: spoonlicker

                                                                                              Saddle Peak Ranch is in unincorporated Monte Nido, in the Monte Nido Valley, a small interior valley of the Santa Monica Mountains just over the Piuma Ridge from Malibu.

                                                                                              It's not in the cities of either Calabasas or Malibu - and it's definitely not in the San Fernando Valley. :-)

                                                                                              1. re: GlenBlank

                                                                                                The address here says ...


                                                                                                The area code is 818

                                                                                                I think the valley is more than fair....but I hope we can agree its a great spot

                                                                                                1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                  The USPS's default names reflect how they route the mail - shoot, they call part of Studio City "Beverly Hills" because the delivery trucks come up the hill from the Beverly Hills PO - but that doesn't mean it actually is. :-)

                                                                                                  But note that the PO also says "Monte Nido" is valid for that address.

                                                                                                  The area code is 818? Well, yeah... and the Jet Propulsion Lab up in La Cañada Flintridge is 818, too.

                                                                                                  Would you call that "the San Fernando Valley", too? :-)

                                                                                                  1. re: GlenBlank

                                                                                                    Glen agree to disagree re SPL here. For me it's the valley

                                                                                                    1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                      I think if you look at Google maps https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sad... and pan out for an overview it becomes clear that SPL is in the Bulley...or is it in the ValleBu?

                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                        I'm stealing ValleBu. That's perfect.

                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                          Lol So is Inn of the 7th Ray in ValleyBu as well?! I am thinking yes.

                                                                                                        2. re: jessejames

                                                                                                          What can I say? Slicers vs. Lumpers, I guess. :-)

                                                                                                        3. re: GlenBlank

                                                                                                          Off topic, but... isn't "Beverly Hills Post Office" actually called that b/c, in addition to the reason you listed (the BH post office delivers mail to them), the zip *is* actually 90210, even though that specific area is unincorporated LA.

                                                                                                          I don't think most people -- esp real estate agents -- would consider that "Studio City" and property listings will specifically refer to it as "Beverly Hills Post Office."

                                                                                                          On topic: there's a lot of sushi in Studio City....

                                                                                                          1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                                                                                            'BHPO' in realtor-speak just means "City of LA really, but the PO calls it Beverly Hills 90210."

                                                                                                            (No unincorporated territory that I know of, unless the Doheny Reserve gets mail.)

                                                                                                            The gated development called "The Summit", south off of Mulholland east of Coldwater, is in Studio City according to the City of LA. But it's "Beverly Hills 90210" to the USPS.

                                                                                                            Realtors call things whatever they think will fetch the best price, IME :-)

                                                                                              2. re: ozhead

                                                                                                North & west - ?
                                                                                                Maybe south & west, but if your directions are wrong, what else do I need to know about being egregious?

                                                                                            2. I had an appointment in Tarzana today which didn't end until 1:45. I drove Ventura Blvd to Sepulveda trying to figure out a place to stop for a quick lunch. Nothing appealed to me, although I might have stopped at John O'Groats if I hadn't overshot it. Whole Foods at Sepulveda near Ventura Blvd worked. That stretch of Ventura Blvd from Tampa to Sepulveda appears to be a culinary desert.

                                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                That assessment is largely correct.
                                                                                                However, from what I have heard, or experienced, the Peasant Wine Bistro in Tarzana in the center across from the Peet's Coffee, co-habited by IHOP, is actually fairly good.
                                                                                                I like Chablis in Tarzana in the former Paul's Café space on the south side of the street about 2-3 blocks west of Reseda Blvd.
                                                                                                Gio Cucina for Italian is still around, upstairs, for decent Italian food.
                                                                                                My preference for both time and value is the salad bar at Gelson's.
                                                                                                And that JoG is not worth your time or money - much better on Pico.
                                                                                                4on6 or Katsuya sushi around Ventura & Rubio might also satisfy, assuming sushi is of interest. 4on6 in rear of line of shops fronted by Tony Roma's. Nearly across the street from each other.

                                                                                                1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                  There's Itzik Hagadol and it's doppelganger, Hummus
                                                                                                  Bar & Grill. I've always had good lunches at Kushiyu (in the same mall with Hummus Bar & Grill). What about More than Waffles or Prohibition Burgers & Beer?

                                                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                    Jeez, all I wanted was a salad or a sandwich. Wasn't looking for a big deal lunch or ethnic food. Clementine would have been perfect, but alas they are over the hill. I'll bet they would be a howling success in that stretch between Tarzana and Sepulveda. The only restaurant close to my appointment was Jersey Mikes (yuck). I do appreciate your suggestions, Servorg and Carter. Thanks.

                                                                                                    1. re: maudies5

                                                                                                      If you wanted a sandwich you missed the Carving Board is on Ventura just west of Reseda.

                                                                                                      1. re: gr8pimpin

                                                                                                        Went there for the first time a few wks ago, the food is QUITE tasty.

                                                                                                        Not necessarily super-chow-ish, but Veggie Grill is decent for a salad (and the lemonades/teas are great), Gelson's deli is of course good (custom made sandwiches are exponentially better than the pre-packaged items), and California Chicken Cafe is also respectable for a salad or a wrap.... And they're all located w/i about a 2 mi stretch of Ventura.

                                                                                                        maudie5, if you WERE in the mood for something a bit more "exotic," Amir's Falafel and Streets of India are also quite good.

                                                                                                        None of these, however, are easy to find (even if they ARE on Ventura) if you're driving by and don't know the area (which I think a big prob).

                                                                                                        1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                                                                                          I wish I had seen Veggie Grill. Next time I'll bring address.
                                                                                                          Thanks for the suggestion

                                                                                                    2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                      The latter two may be good, or not, but they would never be on my radar screen, meaning not eating any thing at the former, nor interested in a burger in general.
                                                                                                      As to the Hagadol, I know many Jews who will not step foot in that place - a total misrepresentation of its concept, but of course, ymmv!

                                                                                                      1. re: carter

                                                                                                        Never mind half empty, does your glass have any amount of liquid in it? Just for instance, More than Waffles has many salads, wraps, sandwiches, omelets and crepes on their menu.

                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                          With a name like that, why would I ever want to find out?

                                                                                                          1. re: carter

                                                                                                            That's the old "chowhound" spirit. I guess that glass is bone dry.

                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                              Seldom in that area to eat being but one reason.

                                                                                                              btw - in that same center, have you ever eaten at The Spot upstairs?
                                                                                                              Used to know the cook/chef from my days at the gym nearby.

                                                                                                      2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                        Itzik Hagadol
                                                                                                        Itzik Hagadol
                                                                                                        Itzik Hagadol

                                                                                                        'nuf said

                                                                                                      3. re: maudies5

                                                                                                        In-N-Out Burger on Van Nuys near Ventura is our savior in that neighborhood, if you do not mind extra calories

                                                                                                      4. My son and I tried the Tipsy Cow today for lunch after an appointment in the Valley. Huge burgers, fries are done well. Super friendly staff, very cute location. More than 25 craft beers on tap, full bar, milkshakes. Open all day everyday 11-midnight. Maybe some feel the gastropub is played, but it seems to be a good fit in a sea of fast food and generally mediocre places on Ventura.

                                                                                                        More details here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/984904

                                                                                                        1. One of the bartenders at Ye Olde Kings Head in Studio City told me this week that they are shutting down soon and reopening as a seafood restaurant.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: orythedog

                                                                                                            Killer shrimp...was hoping for better

                                                                                                            1. re: Discokill

                                                                                                              hopefully it will be better than the one currently operating in MDR.

                                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                Well, I think there is hope for KS fans, as we recently dined at the new location in Santa Barbara, and found it to be pretty darn tasty.

                                                                                                                The killer shrimp (in shell, with bread) was as tasty as I remembered from the olden days of KS. Shrimps were plump and the sauce wonderfully savory, perfect for dunking the crusty French bread into.

                                                                                                                Also, my wife, who's not a big shrimp fan, had the half a roast chicken in a Dijon-type sauce, and it was cooked perfectly and was very moist and flavorful.

                                                                                                                Let's all keep our fingers crossed on this.

                                                                                                          2. John O'Groats just closed. I thought that location would have been a clear winner. Closed after five years at their valley location.
                                                                                                            Sorry to see this news