Food & Drink

The Definitive Studio City Dining Guide

Published On 04/23/2016 Published On 04/23/2016
Bellwether burger studio city
Bellwether | Marie Buck
Courtesy of Barrel and Ashes

Best BBQ: Barrel and Ashes

11801 Ventura Blvd

Whether you want brisket, tri-tip, wings, or hoe cake, Barrel and Ashes is your go-to for ‘cue in Studio City. Saddle up your Santa Maria-style BBQ with some balanced or boozy cocktails, and you’re on your way.

Best sushi: Asanebo

11941 Ventura Blvd

There’s great sushi available at all price points in Studio City, so when we highlight Asanebo, you know it’s top-notch. Your best bet is to go with the omakase (chef’s choice) at this former Michelin-starred gem so that you’re guaranteed the chef’s freshest selection of fish.

Dylan + Jeni

Best brunch: Black Market Liquor Bar

11915 Ventura Blvd

The combination of incredible food and cocktails make Black Market the top contender on Studio City’s brunch scene. Enjoy the twists on globally influenced food by a Top Chef alum beneath an arched brick ceiling while sipping on fancy drinks -- or a selection from the Bloody Mary bar.

Courtesy of Laurel Tavern

Best burger: Laurel Tavern

11938 Ventura Blvd

Sink your teeth into one of six fresh-ground burgers on brioche at Laurel Tavern. They’re all made pub-style -- aka, they’re thick and juicy -- and the variety ranges from BBQ to bacon blue cheese, so you’ll be able to find the ideal burger for your tastes. There’s an assortment of wine and cocktails on offer, but the move here is to down your burger with one of 18 beers on tap.

Mantee Café

Best Mediterranean: Mantee Café

10962 Ventura Blvd

Named after for the delicious house specialty of baked ravioli filled with Angus beef (the vegetarian version is filled with spinach), Mantee is a trusty Mediterranean spot that also serves up solid versions of classics like fattoush and hummus. Pro tip: couple the fattoush with the hot feta, and you’re golden.

Sierra Prescott

Best date spot: The Fiscal Agent

11801 Ventura Blvd

Upon entry to this impeccably classy hideaway (named after a forgotten cocktail), you and your date will be greeted with a complimentary amuse bouche to set the mood. Yes, it’s technically more of a cocktail bar than a restaurant, but there are some seriously tasty small plates on offer, like steak tartare and duck breast tartine. And sure, it’s a bit expensive, but this is a date after all.

Courtesy of The Gadarene Swine

Best for vegetarians and vegans: The Gadarene Swine

11266 Ventura Blvd

One of the most exciting restaurants to arrive on the Los Angeles scene as of late, The Gadarene Swine is single-handedly making Studio City a vegan dining destination. While the food is exciting (hand-torn pasta!), the atmosphere is decidedly casual -- go a la carte, or bring your crew and enjoy a Chef’s Choice Family Style Dinner.

Esther Tseng/Thrillist

Best fancy restaurant for when the parents are paying: Girasol

11334 Moorpark St

CJ Jacobson’s Girasol, which features ingredients foraged by the chef himself, has come into its own as a fine dining destination in the two and a half years since it opened. The lovage butter on house-baked bread will hook you, and the imaginative starters and well-executed mains (like the fried red snapper) may even have you inviting your folks into town again next month. But probably not; boundaries are important.

Marie Buck

Best newcomer: Bellwether

13251 Ventura Blvd

There’s a ton of buzz around this place, and for good reason: while everyone is seasonal these days, Chef Ted Hopson manages to be incredibly inventive yet disciplined with his farm-fresh ingredients, turning out dishes like big eye tuna crudo and Imperial Wagyu flat iron steak. The menu includes two dozen small and big plates, which means there’s bound to be something for you -- although it’s liable to change the moment you’ve decided on your favorites. Here are three words to kick off your week, though: Fried Chicken Mondays.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Barrel and Ashes 11801 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

For the best barbecue in Studio City, look no further than Barrel and Ashes. The family-style menu includes out-of-this-world Texas-style brisket, wings, and tri-tip, plus a gooey, buttery, hoecake for dessert. Add a friendly staff, communal tables, and boozy cocktails, and this spot is a go-to for a casual and beyond-satisfying dinner.

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2. Asanebo 11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

This former Michelin-starred gem is your best bet for top-notch sushi in Studio City. Asanebo is known for consistently fresh fish and creative rolls, plus an omakase menu and house signatures like halibut truffle and blue fin tuna belly sashimi.

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3. Black Market Liquor Bar 11915 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604 (East Valley)

Black Market's a mid-sized Studio City gastrobistro that's merged the talents of a Top Chef All-Star, the dude from Harvard & Stone, and the former GM at Bardot, with a moody interior that looks like a bar Van Helsing might pre-game at before taking on the Count, featuring intricately paneled windows, a multi-tiered mirrored bar, and a half-dome exposed brick ceiling.

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4. Laurel Tavern 11938 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604 (Glendale)

This Studio City gastropub focuses on hearty comfort food and a mix of cocktails, craft beers, and fine wine. The pub-style burgers (aka thick and juicy) come in six varieties that range from BBQ to bacon blue cheese, so you'll have no trouble finding the ideal burger for your tastes. Oh, and there are three kinds of fries (regular, gravy, and chili-cheese). Craving a burger and fries? Done and done.

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5. Mantee Cafe 10962 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Mantee Cafe is a trusty, family-owned and operated Mediterranean spot in Studio City. Hummus, hot, feta, and fattoush are all solid orders, but the real treasure is the eponymous house speciality: traditional Mantee. Baked ravioli is filled with Angus beef (the vegetarian version comes with spinach), topped with sumac and red pepper powder, and served with garlic yogurt.

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6. The Fiscal Agent 11801 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604 (West Hollywood)

Located above BBQ joint Barrel and Ashes, Fiscal Agent's the first standalone bar from cocktail-culture fixture Julian Cox. The impeccably classy hideaway in Studio City is a perfect date spot, complete with memorable drinks and tasty small plates. The drinks are pricey, so it's definitely the kind of place you go to nurse a well-crafted cocktail, not down a bottom-shelf one.

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7. The Gadarene Swine 11266 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Headed by Top Chef contestant Phillip Frankland Lee, this Studio City spot is a destination for vegan dining. Even if you don't adhere to a plant-based diet, the food is exciting (hand-torn pasta! fried olives! vegetables in a box!), and the menu, though it's always changing, features a family-style chef's tasting dinner that'll prove just how good vegetables can be.

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8. Girasol 11334 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91602 (East Valley)

CJ Jacobson's (of Top Chef fame) Studio City restaurant is a tried-and-true fine dining destination. You'll be hooked on the sophisticated California menu from the moment you taste the house-baked bread, and the rest of the starters and mains will have you back in no time. It's a fancy spot though, so you might want to invite your parents to cover the bill.

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9. The Bellwether 13251 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604 (Mid Valley)

This hip Studio City brunch and dinner spot started by Father's Office veterans Ann-Marie Verdi and Ted Hopson is full of colorful shared plates (charred octopus, chamomile roasted carrots), craft beer, and good cheer. The food menu includes two dozen small and big plates, and the beverage menu goes way beyond mixed drinks with cocktails and wine on tap.

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