Food & Drink

The Definitive Studio City Dining Guide

Bellwether burger studio city
<strong>Bellwether |</strong> Marie Buck

Sure, everyone knows you go to Studio City for strip mall sushi, but it’s time you learn the neighborhood has more great eating than raw fish. Luckily, we’ve got a guide to help you navigate the not-to-miss spots in every category. Check out these nine essential restaurants that make a Studio City trip absolutely worth it.

Barrel and Ashes in Studio city BBQ
Courtesy of&nbsp;Barrel and Ashes

Best BBQ:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">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:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">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.

Black Market Liquor Bar studio city
Dylan + Jeni

Best brunch:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">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.

Laurel Tavern burger studio city
Courtesy of Laurel Tavern

Best burger:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">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.

Best Mediterranean:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">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.

Fiscal Agent, Studio City
Sierra Prescott

Best date spot: <a href="" target="_blank">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.

The Gadarene Swine, The Gadarene Swine salad
Courtesy of&nbsp;The Gadarene Swine

Best for vegetarians and vegans:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">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.

Girasol, Girasol salad
Esther Tseng/Thrillist

Best fancy restaurant for when the parents are paying:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">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.

bellwether studio city
Marie Buck

Best newcomer:&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">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.

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Esther Tseng is a contributing writer to Thrillist Los Angeles and maintains that Ventura Blvd is also a great place to shop vintage clothing, if you're into that sort of thing. Follow her adventures in SFV and beyond: @estarLA.