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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1. Barrel and Ashes11801 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
2. Asanebo11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
3. Black Market Liquor Bar11915 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
4. Laurel Tavern11938 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
5. Mantee Cafe10962 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
6. The Fiscal Agent11801 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
7. The Gadarene Swine11266 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
8. Girasol11334 Moorpark St, Studio City
9. The Bellwether13251 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.