Where To Eat, Shop, Play And Drink In Studio City

Located on the north slope of the Santa Monica Mountains, and formerly known as Laurelwood, Studio City got its namesake after the area’s studio lot, CBS Studio Center, was opened by Mack Sennett in 1927. Bordered on the north by Valley Village, on the east by Toluca Lake and Universal City, on the south by Hollywood Hills West, on the southwest by Beverly Crest and on the west by Sherman Oaks, Studio City boasts terrific restaurants, boutiques for shopping, quaint bookstores, salons, bars and much more.
Where To Eat
(credit: Theresa L./yelp)

(credit: Theresa L./yelp)


Katsuya
11680 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 985-6976
www.katsu-yagroup.com

Studio city’s Katsuya, which opened in 1999, is an upscale Japanese sushi restaurant which has a reputation for fantastic food at a reasonable price. Following the success at this location, the restaurant opened four other locations across Los Angeles, including in Brentwood, Glendale, Hollywood, L.A. Live and others across the country. At every restaurant, menus are driven by Chef Katsuya Uechi with favorites being the spicy tuna with sticky rice, baked hand crab roll with no rice, and the seared albacore with crispy onions.

(credit: Marie Buck)

(credit: Marie Buck)


The Bellwether
13251 Ventura Blvd. A
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 285-8184
www.thebellwetherla.com

The Bellwether highlights a market-inspired menu that takes advantage of hyper-seasonal produce and features innovative twists on classic flavors. Co-owned by Executive Chef Ted Hopson and beverage director Ann-Marie Verdi, The Bellwether features a rotating R&D menu based off feedback from diners. Every seat in the house gives guests a direct view of the kitchen from which they can order menu highlights like their skin-on French fries, a patty melt and the crispy whole loup de mer.

(credit: Juan Baun)

(credit: Juan Baun)


Girasol Restaurant
11334 Moorpark St.
Studio City, CA 91602
(818) 924-2323
www.girasolrestaurant.com

Studio City’s Girasol Restaurant, led by Executive Chef Justin Abrams, creates a refined-rustic cuisine defined by the changing seasons and their relationship with the local farmers. The culinary concept that inspired their namesake, the Sunflower, revolves around a profound respect for the hyper-seasonal, local ingredients they bring into the kitchen. The restaurant even ventures on foraging expeditions around L.A. for ingredients for some of their stand out dishes which include the Hamachi and Wood Fire Roasted Cabbage.

(credit: SUGARFISH)

(credit: SUGARFISH)


SUGARFISH
11288 Ventura Blvd. C
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 762-2322
www.sugarfishsushi.com

SUGARFISH embodies the philosophy of celebrated sushi chef Kazunori Nozawa, well-known for his trust me-style sushi at Sushi Nozawa, concentrating on the purity of basic ingredients. From nurturing relationships with the finest fish purveyors across the globe, his artisan fish cutting and house made fresh soy sauce and ponzu, chef Nozawa serves guests quality fish atop warm and loosely packed rice. Featuring a variety of sushi, rolls and special options, each plate is served as soon as it is prepared and there are also three options for chef Nozawa pre-fix menus.

(credit: Sierra Prescott)

(credit: Sierra Prescott)


Barrel and Ashes
11801 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 623-8883
www.barrelandashes.com

Barrel & Ashes serves guests a chef-driven traditional American barbecue menu which focuses on family-style service with daily specials from the travels and family recipes of the chefs. All their meats are smoked over coastal California red oak and cooked over white oak alongside snacks, salads, sides sweets and more. The restaurant keeps the charm of its original 1940’s structure with indoor seating consisting of communal tables, classic table seating, and a chef’s counter, while the patio seating features picnic style tables.

(credit: Laure Joliet)

(credit: Laure Joliet)


Joan’s on Third
12059 Ventura Pl.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 201-3900
www.joansonthird.com

Following the massive success of Joan’s on Third at their flagship location on W. 3rd Street in West Hollywood, Joan McNamara opened a second location in Studio City in 2014. The beloved café/marketplace and vibrant epicurean emporium offers café-style seating and a wide selection of gourmet sandwiches, salads, soups and seasonally-inspired dishes to enjoy for breakfast, lunch, dinner or to take out. Their abundant marketplace also offers a unique selection of artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, freshly baked pastries, desserts, and handcrafted culinary products from around the world.

Top Dessert Spots
(credit: SusieCakes)

(credit: SusieCakes)


SusieCakes
13029 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 659-2253
www.susiecakes.com

SusieCakes is an all-American home-style bakery featuring traditional desserts made from scratch in their on-site kitchens. Inspired by the classic recipes of her two beloved grandmothers, Mildred and Madeline, Susie Sarich provides guest an alternative to the artificial flavors and preservatives found at most grocery-store bakeries as they use only the freshest and finest ingredients. Their specialties include decadent cupcakes and frosted layer cakes, classic cookies and bars, fresh fruit pies baked in flaky crusts and holiday-inspired treats. There are other locations in L.A., including Brentwood, Calabasas, Marina del Rey and Manhattan Beach.

(credit: McConnell's Fine Ice Creams)

(credit: McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams)


McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams
12073 Ventura Place
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 308-7789
www.mcconnells.com

Founded in in Santa Barbara in 1949, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams makes their ice cream from scratch and in small batches, with Central Coast grass-grazed milk and cream. This milk comes from the very same farms and purveyors McConnell’s has partnered with over its 70-years history, along with the finest local, sustainable and organic, raw ingredients. McConnell’s, situated on a quaint side street off of Laurel Canyon, features a rotating selection of ice creams like their Chocolate Almond Brittle, Salted Caramel Chip, and Whiskey & Pecan Pralines, as well as limited edition and seasonal flavors, sundaes, shakes and floats, along with fresh-baked cookies for McC’s legendary ice cream sandwiches.

(credit: Rachel Jacobson)

(credit: Rachel Jacobson)


Salt & Straw
12180 1/2 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 358-2890
www.saltandstraw.com

Salt & Straw, the Portland-based artisanal scoop shop known for its monthly rotating flavor series, opened its doors in Studio City in May of 2016 serving classic scoops along with sundaes and milkshakes. Guests can choose from one or more scoops from the shop’s 17 flavors in a cup or handmade waffle cone or enjoy special sundaes crafted by head ice cream maker Tyler Malek. From its New Year’s Indulgences series, ice cream lovers can try these five new flavors: Happy Birthday Elvis, Santa Barbara Pistachio Spumoni, Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie, Candied Clementine Almond Cake and Grapefruit Champagne Sorbet.

(credit: Mary Odson)

(credit: Mary Odson)


Big Sugar Bakeshop
12182 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 508-5855
www.bigsugarbakeshop.com

Since 2006, Big Sugar Bakeshop, a one-stop shop for all baked goods, opened by Studio City resident Mary Odson has provided patrons with classic American baked goods, custom cakes and retail items in a warm inviting atmosphere. All their items are baked on the premises using the finest all natural ingredients and they are a proud supporter of locals schools and several other non-profits. Featured items include the: Gluten Free Nutella Brownie, Vegan Chocolate Cupcake and Celebration Cake which is available whole or by the slice.

(credit: Sweet Rose Creamery)

(credit: Sweet Rose Creamery)


Sweet Rose Creamery
4377 Tujunga Ave.
Studio City, CA 91604
(310) 260-2663
www.sweetrosecreamery.com

Los Angeles’ home-grown, small-batch ice cream shop Sweet Rose Creamery opened its fifth location in Studio City in October 2015, housed in a vintage country cottage. Sweet Rose Creamery churns out seasonal treats using organic products whenever possible and farmers’ market produce, from the mind of Shiho Yoshikawa. Yoshikawa’s menu consists of imaginative, homespun frozen desserts with flavors like Sweet Potato Swirl, Orange Coriander and Fresh Mint with house made chocolate chips.
 
Other locations to satisfy your sweet tooth include: Local Ice, a vintage ice cream parlor making ice cream and non-dairy ices by hand on-site, Chill Frozen Yogurt, Crepes and Coffee and North Pole Snow Cream.

Fun Activities
(credit: PINZ Bowling Center)

(credit: PINZ Bowling Center)


Go Bowling at PINZ Bowling Center
12655 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 769-7600
www.pinzla.com

Since opening in 1958 by actor Joe Kirkwood, who starred in the “Joe Palooka” movies and TV series, PINZ has been part of the premier LA bowling scene ever since. Locally owned and operated, PINZ underwent a $250,000 revitalization in 2015 to their 32 premium bowling lanes and provides guests with a state-of-the-art video arcade, a VIP billiards room, a private lounge, and a full-service food and beverage experience. Whether hosting parties large or small or a competitive game night with friends, it is the place to bowl in the valley.

(credit: Brian Goodman/shutterstock)

(credit: Brian Goodman/shutterstock)


Stroll the North Valleyheart Riverwalk
North Valleyheart Riverwalk
Valleyheart Dr
Studio City, CA 91604
www.discoverlosangeles.com

Experience the revitalization of the Los Angeles River by taking a stroll along this 1.9 mile stretch in Studio City, flanked by two small parks. Enter from the Laurelgrove Avenue Footbridge at the intersection with Valleyheart Drive, the latter of which runs parallel to the L.A. River in the San Fernando Valley. You’ll encounter treasures such as Great Toad Gate, Valleyway Greenway, Rattlesnake Wall, and Butterfly Garden.

(credit: Kelly P./yelp)

(credit: Kelly P./yelp)


Go On A Hike at the Rainforest Trail inside Fryman Canyon Park

8401 Mulholland Dr
Studio City, CA 91604
(323) 644-6661
www.lamountains.com

Located in the Eastern Santa Monica mountains, Fryman Canyon Park offers tons of great hiking and walking opportunities in a beautiful setting. The Rainforest Trail is a one-mile, narrow footpath inside the park that’s a little harder to find. The trail leads to a gully covered by lush foliage which is quite a sight in the late afternoon. The Rainforest Trail connects with another mile-long pathway, the Dearing Mountain Trail, which leads to the Nancy Hoover Pohl Outlook on Mulholland Drive. There’s plenty of adventure and scenery along the way to satisfy your hunger for discovery.

Where To Get A Drink
(credit: Jakob Layman)

(credit: Jakob Layman)


Black Market Liquor Bar
11915 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 446-2533
www.blackmarketliquorbar.com

With an interior that has the rustic sophistication of a Prohibition-era speakeasy, and plenty of barstools and booth seating, Black Market Liquor Bar is a glimpse into the heart of American eclectic cuisine and sophisticated classic cocktails. Serving small plates and craft cocktails which are complimented by an extensive wine list and beer selection, guests can also coordinate custom wine, whiskey and cocktail pairings with their beverage directors. A standout signature drink is their Fade to Black, a stiff mix of 103 proof bourbon, cane syrup and walnut bitters.

(credit: Carly Molstad)

(credit: Carly Molstad)


Firefly
11720 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 762-1833
www.fireflystudiocity.com

Firefly boasts an elegant fine dining experience with a romantic patio dining area and a weekend late night lounge element. A valley institution since January 2002, the restaurant features a magnificent ambience, covered in vines and outdoor greenery, complete with a stunning library lounge and one of the Valley’s best patios. To complement their brunch, dinner and late night menus are a variety of cocktails including the Barrel Aged Old Fashioned Love Song and the Pineapple Express: vodka, elderflower liqueur, lemon and pineapple.

(credit: Page 71)

(credit: Page 71)


Page 71 Lounge
11916 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 980-4811
www.page71.net

Located in the heart of Studio City, Page 71 Lounge has quickly established itself as one of the valley’s favorite stylish hangouts. With DJs spinning in an intimate setting and a sophisticated outdoor lounge, Page 71 specializes in top notch drinks made with well-chosen ingredients and an endless array of premium spirits. Enjoy a fun night out listening to great music and sipping on cocktails like the Pura Vida in this sleek and modern lounge.

Where To Shop
(credit: Studio City Farmers Market)

(credit: Studio City Farmers Market)


Studio City Farmers Market
Ventura Place between Laurel Canyon Blvd. and Radford Ave.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 655-7744
studiocityfarmersmarket.com

Open on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. rain or shine, the Studio City Farmers Market supports locally grown produce, artisan foods and crafts. With something to offer for everyone in the family, the Market features farmers, hot food vendors, baked goods and even children’s attractions like their kid’s play area, climbing wall and train ride through the market.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)


Shop Antiques at Hide & Seek Vintage

12047 Ventura Pl.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 763-2060
www.hideandseekvintage.com

Owned by mother-daughter team, Breeze Munson and Kimberly Curtis, Hide & Seek Vintage is a unique vintage and design shop on Ventura Place. Offering carefully curated early 20th and mid-century furniture, vintage housewares and more, the mother-daughter duo also offer decorating services, studio rentals and personal gift buying.

(credit: William B + friends)

(credit: William B + friends)


Other Top Shops

The area offers many other great stores, including:

  • Free People – Women’s Clothing
  • William B + friends – Women’s Clothing
  • Paper Source – Stationary, Envelopes & Cards
  • Dungarees – Clothing
  • Bookstar – Bookstore
What To See
(credit: Darcy F./yelp)

(credit: Darcy F./yelp)


Sportsmen’s Lodge
12825 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 769-4700
www.sportsmenslodge.com

The original Sportsmen’s Lodge opened its doors in the 1880’s and since then has remained a popular location for events, with a variety of outdoor spaces featuring six acres of gardens, water features and towering redwoods, dining and lodging and features the largest swimming pool in the San Fernando Valley. After the hotel received a massive renovation a few years ago, the location is also set to be completely redeveloped into Sportsmen’s Landing, a nearly 100,000 square foot upscale shopping center featuring restaurant space, retail space and a large health club.

(credit: Yelp/John L.)

(credit: Yelp/John L.)


Tour Universal Studios
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
(800) 864-8377
universalstudioshollywood.com

Take a tour of the world famous Universal Studios backlot and go behind-the-scenes to see how Hollywood movies are made. Board a tram with a live guide and journey through Hollywood sets, sights and sounds and get a look at their rides, shows and attractions. Included with all Theme Park admission tickets, The Studio Tour includes the award-winning King Kong 360 3-D, exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and much more.

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)

(credit: Kristi Marcelle)


Universal City Walk
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
(800) 864-8377
universalstudioshollywood.com

Universal City Walk, a three-block entertainment, dining and shopping promenade, offers live music, movies, clubs and great food. Dine at a multitude of restaurants, shop everything from apparel to novelty souvenirs, catch a flick at Universal Cinema and play at iFly indoor skydiving.

Jarone Ashkenazi is a freelance writer who covers: restaurants, bars, dating, relationships, sports and other lifestyle topics. More of his work can be viewed at www.jaroneashkenazi.com. Connect with him on Twitter: @JaroneAsh.

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