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An Eater’s Guide to Ventura Boulevard

April 6, 2014 5:00 AM

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(credit: Jinky's Studio Cafe)

(credit: Jinky’s Studio Cafe)

(credit: JGKlein/Wikipedia)

(credit: JGKlein/Wikipedia)


Over the years, the San Fernando Valley has scored a few of its own great restaurants and cafes that keep neighborhood dwellers happy and satisfied. From Studio City to Woodland Hills, there are several places that you need to add to your must-try list.

Related: Best Happy Hours On Ventura Boulevard

STUDIO CITY
(credit: Laurel Tavern)

(credit: Laurel Tavern)


Laurel Tavern
11938 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 506-0777
www.laureltavern.com

This gastropub has exploded in popularity over the last few years, making it one of the places to be, drink and eat. Cocktails, beer and wine make up a large portion of the menu, in addition to comforting dishes that pair nicely with your choice of libation. The Pork Belly Skewers, Steamed P.E.I. Mussels, Chorizo Sliders and Crispy Brussels Sprouts Salad are all winners. There are also a list of burgers, including the Bacon Bleu Cheese Burger with green apple. Don’t forget to put in an order for the duck fat Steak Fries.

Related: Best Spots For Craft Cocktails And Beer In The Valley

(credit: Jinky's Studio Cafe)

(credit: Jinky’s Studio Cafe)


Jinky’s Studio Cafe
4000 Colfax Avenue
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 308-8418
www.jinkys.com

Jinky’s Studio Cafe is a staple for many regulars. The diner-style menu offers an array of breakfast dishes, sandwiches, salads, pastas, entrees and many healthy and diet-sensitive options. Specials rotate often, including a different house chili each day and various weekly specials. They also offer $2 domestic beers all day, which means happy hour starts anytime. There is a second location in Sherman Oaks with its own specials.

Related: Unique Pancake Creations In Los Angeles

(credit: Kiwami)

(credit: Kiwami)


Kiwami
11920 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 763-3910
www.katsu-yagroup.com

Kiwami is part of the KATSU-YA family of restaurants, and it is just blocks away from the original location. This little eatery is always packed, especially for dinner. If you want to sample several small plates on a budget, make sure to stop by any day during the week from 5-6p or over the weekend from 3-5p. Select plates range from $3-7 and special beers, wine and cocktails range from $1.5-5.

SHERMAN OAKS
(credit: Sweet Butter Kitchen)

(credit: Sweet Butter Kitchen)


Sweet Butter Kitchen
13824 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 788-2832
www.sweetbutterkitchen.com

The names says it all. Sugar and butter reign supreme at this bakery and cafe. Pick up sweets and pastries from the case, or place a special order if you’re looking for something for an occasion. There’s also a breakfast and lunch menu, in addition to a takeaway case if you want to pick up pre-made items for later in the week. Try the Truffle Roast Beef Sandwich, Buffalo Fried Jidori Chicken Wrap or the house Chopped Salad with kale. Even if you’re full, you won’t be able to resist something sweet.

(credit: Tweet Tea and Basil)

(credit: Tweet Tea and Basil)


Crave Cafe
14504 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 990-7888
www.cravecafes.com

It is one of the few places open 24 hours a day, nearly every day of the week, so Crave Cafe is a definitely a favorite for the Valley. Breakfast is always great after midnight, so try any of the crepes or French toast dishes. The Heart Stopper with pastrami, egg, avocado, pesto and cheese is a good one if you want a little bit of everything. You can also build your own omelette, crepe or panini. There’s a second location in Studio City as well.

(credit: Blu Jam Cafe)

(credit: Blu Jam Cafe)


Blu Jam Cafe
15045 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 906-1955
www.blujamcafe.com

Blu Jam’s second location in Sherman Oaks continues to stay packed. The variety of dishes feature homey classics, internationally-inspired platters and of course selections of seasonal elements. Brunch and lunch are served all day for those who can’t get enough. The Italian Breakfast Risotto, Crunchy French Toast, Chicken “Tingas” Tacos and Spicy Southern Burger are just a few of the restaurant’s signature offerings. There are special monthly dinners conceptualized by Chef Kamil Majer, and reservations are recommended.

ENCINO
(credit: Versailles)

(credit: Versailles)


Versailles
17410 Ventura Boulevard
Encino, CA 91316
(818) 906-0756
www.versaillescuban.com

Versailles is one of L.A.’s most well-known Cuban restaurants, and the San Fernando Valley is lucky to have a location in its midst. They serve all of your favorite dishes, including Arroz con Pollo, Yuca Frita, Lechon Asado, Camarones al Ajillo, Platanos Maduros and more. There is a long lunch menu offered Monday through Friday from 11a-3p. Don’t forget to order a cup of Cuban coffee at the end of the meal.

(credit: More Than Waffles)

(credit: More Than Waffles)


More Than Waffles
17200 Ventura Boulevard #109
Encino, CA 91316
(818) 789-5937
www.morethanwaffles.com

This little joint is known for their Belgian waffles, but as the name suggests, the restaurant can dish up a few other thing as well. There are more than 20 ways to enjoy your Belgian waffle, or you can try one of the many egg dishes, crepes, potato dishes breakfast platters or combos. Sandwiches, salads, burgers and pasta also make up a large portion of the menu. Enjoy a little live entertainment with your meal every Saturday and Sunday from 10a-2p.

TARZANA
(credit: The Little Cafe)

(credit: The Little Cafe)


The Little Cafe
19204 Ventura Boulevard
Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 705-8335
www.littlecafe.biz

This neighborhood gem serves good, hearty food to everyone who stops by. Sandwiches dominate the menu, including triple deckers, those hot off the grill and a few that feature their own house marinated chicken. They also offer a number of waist-conscious items as well on its Slim menu. The one thing to remember is bring cash for the bill. No cards allowed.

WOODLAND HILLS
(credit: Bobby's Coffee Shop)

(credit: Bobby’s Coffee Shop)


Bobby’s Coffee Shop
22821 Ventura Boulevard
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
(818) 225-1325

Bobby’s has been around for decades, and the coffee shop has many regulars who stop by each morning or every weekend for their fix. The menu is fairly priced and includes dishes such as Biscuits and Gravy, Corned Beef Hash and Eggs, BBQ Beef Sandwich, Fish Melt and more. They only serve breakfast and lunch, so get there early as the kitchen closes by afternoon.

View An Eater’s Guide to Ventura Boulevard in a full screen map

Chrystal Baker is a freelance food and events contributor for CBS Los Angeles, Basil Magazine and Frugivore Magazine. She is the co- editor of a recipe blog, The Duo Dishes, and manages her own lifestyle and travel blog, Any and Everywhere.

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