• Pamela Froman

Eating in the Valley

Foodies rejoice! There are so many interesting and delicious tastes that you can experience all over Los Angeles. From yummy appetizers to fun and funky meals that redefine your palette it's the perfect time to get out there and thrill your taste buds.

At the Local Peasant (with locations in Woodland Hills and Sherman Oaks) you can grab their brunch specials on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. A unique menu item includes the Belly & Eggs – a crispy pork belly, two sunny-side-up eggs, potatoes, roasted tomatoes, salsa verde, and hollandaise sauce.

The Grill on the Alley in Westlake Village is a well-renowned steakhouse with a classic American menu to suit all tastes. Dinner offers a wide selection prepared in eight different styles. Try the Australian Lamb Rack with an all natural mint demi glaze. You can add enhancements like green peppercorn sauce, bearnaise sauce, bleu cheese herb crust, pepper, bacon, and onion.

Cookin' With Lenny's Smokehouse in Chatsworth features a down-home saloon feel, serving southwestern and cajun BBQ, steaks and seafood with a music bandstand and patio. The restaurant is owned by Lenny Bent, well-known chef and caterer for TV and film. Check out their smoked ribs with raspberry sauce and homemade desserts – they are to die for! The restaurant also hosts live music events with blues and rock legends and local talent.

Sweetsalt Food Shop in Toluca Lake is a farmhouse style café owned by Top Chef Season 5 contestant Alex Eusebio and his wife Sarah Mann. The breakfast menu is unique, and there's something for everyone. Try the Truffled Eggs Sandwich served with gruyere, truffle oil, avocado, and wild mushrooms. For a sweet accompaniment order up the Lavender Vanilla Latte, made up of housemade lavender simple syrup, vanilla syrup, espresso, and steamed milk.

Marmalade Cafe (Locations in Calabasas, Malibu, Sherman Oaks, Westlake Village) is unique in design and décor. Every Marmalade Cafe exudes a warm and cozy neighborhood ambiance. Try the Free Range Chicken Pot Pie, which includes naturally raised chicken with carrots, onions, red-skinned potatoes, mushrooms, and sweet peas, simmered until tender in cream and herbs, served in a flaky pastry bowl.

Five07 in Newbury Park is both a social and community space. Start your day with options that include Lavender Honey Toast, or Avocado Toast. Specialty Sips like a Strawberry Spiced Hibiscus Iced Tea round out your meal.

Dog Haus (with locations in Thousand Oaks, Woodland Hills, and Northridge) serves up hormone-and antibiotic-free hot dogs, sausages, and burgers all served on King's Hawaiian rolls. What's the menu favorite? The Pineapple Express! It's a bacon wrapped dog, served with bouillonnaise, sweet ginger glaze, pineapple, scallions, pickled jalapeños, and crispy onions.

If you want to try a truly unique pizza then you have to check out Farfalla Trattoria in Westlake Village. Their Pizza Alla Messicana offers up shrimp, red onions, jalapeno, cilantro, and avocado. The trattoria provides a very nice setting from the attractive exterior to the handsome interior, with beautifully appointed dark woods, cocktail-height tables as you walk in, and a full bar to the right.

Enjoy the craftsmanship of chef Adolfo Perez, a Le Cordon Bleu graduate, at North Hollywood's Cilantro Mexican Grill. They truly make the best burrito in the Valley. All burritos include the meat of your choice, pinto or black beans, Mexican rice, onions, cilantro, and salsa. Spice it up by going Enchilada Style. Muy delicioso!

Rhineland Deli in Thousand Oaks is an amazing German deli, with some of the best sandwiches around. The menu offers delectable items like the Rhineland Special with pastrami and corned beef, piled high with Swiss cheese, and house-made Thousand Island dressing.

The Original Pizza Cookery has been serving happy customers since 1975. While visiting this family-friendly spot, check out the warm homemade Pizza Rolls, which are garlic 'n' cheese rolls topped with pizza sauce and mozzarella. Pizza Cookery is moving to Thousand Oaks (75 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd.) in the near future, so be sure to check them out!

Fish is king at Lure Fish House in Westlake Village. They serve locally caught seafood, organically grown local produce, and wines from local vineyards. Try the truly yummy Blackened Seared Ono – Blackened seared ono with wasabi aioli and sesame ginger sauces. Served with organic brown rice and organic sauteed vegetables.

Spending time with friends and family is what Gyu-Kaku in Sherman Oaks is all about. Gyu-Kaku offers the fun of "Shared Plates." Customers share premium cooked meats over a flaming charcoal grill while sipping on Japanese sake, shochu, and frosty cold beers. Gyu-Kaku offers a wide range of meats including the best-seller Harami Skirt Steak in Miso Marinade.

At Lusys Mediterranean in Van Nuys the focus is on freshly prepared, healthy Mediterranean food. Recipes are family traditions – some handed down from generation to generation. From Westways Magazine to Daily News restaurant critic Merrill Shindler to hundreds of Yelp 5-star ratings, the word is out. Reviewers rank Lusy’s among the best Mediterranean spots in the city. With hundreds of five-star Yelp reviews and enthusiastic patrons from all over Los Angeles, chef Lusy Gradzhyan has two locations in the Valley – Valley Glen and Encino.

As a recent Yelp reviewer noted: "Lusy's distinguishes itself in an area crowded with Mediterranean restaurants with robust flavors, beautiful food presentation (even for delivery or takeout), excellent prices, welcoming staff and stellar customer service."

Lusy is proud there are no canned ingredients, pre-made sauces or packaged items. Just fresh, delicious, healthy eating. Start your meal off with Falafel Bites – Garbanzo beans crushed with garlic, onions, parsley, and herbs, rolled and fried crisp. Served with tahini sauce and tomatoes. Then choose a meal like the Shish Kebab Lovers Combo – Beef and chicken kebabs served with rice, pita bread, hummus and a green salad with feta cheese.

The food at Johnny Pacific in Winnetka is inspired by the delicious street food vendors of the Pacific Islands and Latin America. Menu items include the Island Style Skewers – Grilled Angus Korean style flat iron steak skewers with sticky rice, roasted veggie empanada and a handful of organic field greens with guava red wine vinaigrette. Delish!

Karma Indian Cuisine is an inviting restaurant that creates aromatic Indian dishes. Sumptuous choices include the Madrasi Chicken, which is boneless chicken cooked with coconut, spices, and curry sauce.

Mouthful Eatery is inspired by the flavors of Peru. Flavorful options include the "La Sarita" sandwich with roasted pork shoulder, sweet potato, pickled red onions, and Aji Amarillo Aioli.

Stonefire Grill (Locations in West Hills and Thousand Oaks) offers a host of delectable dishes that will satisfy everyone. Try the Mediterranean Sea Bass, sustainably farmed Branzino prepared with fresh lemon, olive oil and red chili flakes along with a Farro Salad.

Moody Rooster in Westlake Village offers a variety of delicious dishes. Try the Sauteed Spanish Octopus, featuring shishito peppers, chickpeas, and yellow tomato puree.

The Green Room in Burbank offers an immersive cocktail menu featuring carefully crafted drinks pushing the envelope and done exquisitely. All drinks are served in hand-blown glassware from across the globe. Try the Belle, a Ketel One grapefruit and rose botanical, with St. Germain, and clarified lemon.

Atmosphere is everything and Stonehaus hits it right on the money with views unique to the Conejo Valley. The patio extends into the vineyard creating an easy going and laid back environment. Stonehaus offers wine flights that range from Sparkling Wines and Champagne to Rhone Varietals and Cabernet Sauvignon. Each flight features a choice of wines within that varietal. Pair your flight with charcuterie, which includes an assortment of fresh salumi, prosciutto, and fromaggi!

Stanley's in Sherman Oaks features a bright, eclectic interior with a lively bar area and intimate booths. But it's their salads that are stars of the show! Specifically Amy's Grapefruit Salad. This mix of greens includes grapefruit, shredded chicken, avocado, cashews, and a tangy sesame dressing. The restaurant is also known for its hot and fresh sourdough bread.

Beers galore is what you will find at Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks. Try something from the Permanent Tap List or go across the pond and check out Afflugem Blond from Belgium, a dreamy, creamy pale ale.

Cake Monkey in Westlake Village offers a menu of cakes, pastries, cakewiches, morning croissants, and evening cookies. Try the mini layer cakes like the Black & White Cake – Chocolate Brown Butter Cake Layered with Tahitian Vanilla Buttercream and coated in Chocolate Cake Crumbs.

Brent's Deli is the ultimate in Jewish hearty comfort food. A favorite is a warm and generous serving of Grandma Eva's Noodle Kugel. This sweet casserole is made with thin egg noodles, rich sour cream, low-fat cottage cheese, cinnamon, and spices. Topped with a crunchy cinnamon crust.

Iroha Sushi in Studio City brings iconic Japanese food to the Valley, and it's delicious! This restaurant is a staple for high-quality sushi, but for more authentic fish try the Spicy Albacore Tartar, a tower of spicy albacore topped with creamy crabmeat, smelt egg and avocado served with wonton chips. Pair it with the spicy edamame to complete the meal.

Go Greek Yogurt in Woodland Hills is an authentic yogurt bar and café inspired by Greek culture and cuisine. They offer classic handcrafted Greek yogurt creations that are packed with probiotics, high in protein, and topped with authentic ingredients that are great for any meal of the day. Build your own sweet or savory Classic Greek Yogurt Combination using a variety of healthy fruits, vegetables, toppings, Greek Spoon Sweets and more.

Nat's Early Bite (Locations in Sherman Oaks and Woodland Hills) has been serving up great food and coffee in the San Fernando Valley for over three decades. A favorite dining spot, Nat's serves an award-winning variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes along with homemade muffins, cookies, and pies. For the best in comfort food, try their Tortilla Soup which comes with veggies, chips, cheese, and chunky avocado. It's served with a crusty French roll.

Carney's in Studio City offers some of the best hot dog and burgers around – and it is a landmark here in Los Angeles. The restaurant was built out of an old Pacific Railroad passenger train car. Their most notable menu item is their chili, which is velvety, tasty, and rich. Try the Double Chili Cheeseburger, topped with cheese, chili, onions, tomato, pickles, and mustard. This is classic diner eats at its finest.

Mistral in Sherman Oaks is a true French bistro with a warm atmosphere and traditional cuisine featuring prime steaks and daily fresh fish and seafood The best thing on the menu? The New York Steak "Tartare" served with green salad and french fries.

Tantalize your tastebuds with these amazing eclectic foods!

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