Food & Drink

The 11 best places to eat on Ventura

Published On 02/18/2014 Published On 02/18/2014
Warren's Blackboard
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1. Ramen By Omae 14425 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Run by a Michelin-starred chef, this cozy ramen house in The Valley is known to be one of the best in the city -- and actually lives up to the hype. Offering a variety of upscale Japanese cuisine, Omae has some seriously tasty bowls of ramen on the menu, too, such as the Kogashi ramen, which is made with a pork broth, instead of the usual chicken, and their always-scrumptious and chewy noodles. Trust us, you'll want seconds.

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2. 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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3. 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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4. Warren's Blackboard 4222 Vineland Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91602 (Hollywood)

This North Hollywood spot doles out a variety of grub, especially featuring its Mediterranean cuisine with a California influence.

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5. Boneyard Bistro 13539 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Located in Sherman Oaks, this place is a triple threat after establishing its identity as a BBQ joint, beer garden, and gastropub. You haven't lived until you tried the slow-cooked hickory-smoked pork baby back ribs. Or, equally, the mega platter.

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6. Blue Dog Beer Tavern 4524 Saugus Ave, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (Mid Valley)

Located just off the 405 in what used to be a dental office (which now looks like a mid-construction Victorian home thanks to wood lattices, antique light fixtures and decor, and a bar and walls made from the original 1940s floors), the Blue Dog Beer Tavern's got a vibe that's part local dive, part sports bar, part vintage flea market. Craft beer is thing place's specialty, and at any given moment they're sure to have more than 60 drafts from LA breweries that'll wash down a house-ground burger with ease. The spacious and surprisingly modern back patio offers some breathing space when the tables inside get cramped at rush hour.

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7. Iroha Sushi of Tokyo 12953 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Located in a converted house on Ventura Blvd, this sushi-war survivor’s been holding it down for decades. Offering both trendy dishes (yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño) and Japanese standards (such as bento and tempura), it's no wonder that Iroha has stood the test of time. Be sure to try spicy miso and spicy tuna on crispy spice. The nigiri, too, is highly praised.

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8. Casa Vega 13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91316 (Mid Valley)

Sometimes, you don't want to go to the hot new Mexican restaurant where bartenders are called mixologists and the menu is filled with unrecognizable small plates. You want the Spanish-roofed restaurant that feels like 1950s Mexico in an unironic way, where old-school bartenders make strong drinks with no-name tequila and every table has a side of rice and beans. That's when you go to Casa Vega, a 60-year-old bar and restaurant in Sherman Oaks where uncomplicated burritos and fajitas are the plates du jour and the signature margaritas flow like water.

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9. SUGARFISH 11288 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

This back-to-basics spot from Kazunori "Sushi Nazi" Nozawa takes the food he perfected at his namesake restaurant and makes it more accessible to the masses without sacrificing one iota of quality. This sushi spot forgoes flashy rolls and fusion dishes in favor of pure ingredients and simple preparations -- you choose from three set menus ranging from small to large-ish, and while a la carte items can be ordered on top of that, if you pick the right size and trust the master, you really won't need them.

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10. Sadaf 16240 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91436

This Persian hotspot is doling out seriously impressive eats -- from their delicious dips (try the Maust Mousier) to kebabs and rack of lamb, no order can go wrong.

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11. Bamboo Cuisine 14010 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

This Asian-fusion hub is known for their shrimp dishes, as well as rice dishes.

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