• Nicole Leonetti

Valley Restaurant Guide (Part 2)

It’s time for more of my San Fernando Valley restaurant favorites! The fact that I love so many restaurants in the Valley should be reason enough for you to come visit! This is a continuation of my Valley Restaurant Guide – Part 1 and these restaurants are just as amazing and provide so much variety.


Asanebo: Asanebo is a tiny sushi restaurant in Studio City that is such a good time! They don’t take online reservations, so you have to actually pick up the phone to call them. But make sure you do since this place fills up fast! They have amazing sushi, of course, but don’t be afraid to take the sushi haters in your life since they also have a wide variety of options for them, as well. I would suggest visiting Asanebo often so you can try everything! You can get everything from a Spicy Tuna Roll (no shame – I love them) to the Toro Tartare with Osetra Caviar. Whatever you are in the mood for – chances are they have it at Asanebo. Also, they have such quick and friendly service – you’ll want to just keep ordering food for the rest of the night….maybe they are on to something there.


Brent’s: Believe me when I tell you that Brent’s is worth the trip up to Northridge! I first discovered Brent’s because it was featured on “Best Thing I Ever Ate” as Marc Summers’ favorite place for Corned Beef. If my years of watching “Double Dare” taught me anything, it was that Marc Summers knows what he’s talking about. Brent’s is a traditional Jewish Deli that has been around since 1967. Yes, their Corned Beef is delicious, but so is their Pastrami! So, you and your dining companion should order one of each and split. Also, split a Potato Knish or a Potato Latke! Or both! You are in the Valley – enjoy! This place can get quite crowded so I would recommend either coming early for lunch or dinner. However, if you see people waiting outside, don’t get too intimidated – the wait typically goes by quickly.


Joan’s on Third: Yes, I know that the Joan’s on Third in Studio City is not the original location, BUT it’s the one I go to most frequently so, for me – it is a Valley restaurant! I just adore Joan’s on Third! You can dine there, but I think it’s the perfect spot to pick up salads and sandwiches to enjoy at home or to bring to an outdoor eating type event such as the summer outdoor movies that are popular here in LA or for shows at the Hollywood Bowl. I love their sandwiches – the Prosciutto with Fresh Mozzarella when I’m feeling crazy and the Garden Vegetable when I’m trying to be good. Their side dish of Szechuan Green Beans are seriously addictive! Also, you can pick up good snacks to take with you, as well. They have a lovely cheese selection and a variety of crackers, chips, popcorn, etc. They have a whole pastry case that I try to avoid, but always gaze longingly at. I may need to stop on my way home this evening – it’s so perfect!


MacLeod Ale: So, this is a brewery and not technically a restaurant. BUT they serve pizza so that’s enough of a restaurant for me! This place is fun! I would definitely suggest Ubering here since parking is not fun. (Also, helpful tip – you shouldn’t drive to a brewery.) This place has become a scene over the years, so don’t be surprised if you find an assortment of hipsters here in Van Nuys because this seems to be their Valley watering hole. Also, Macleod is dog-friendly, so it’s an amazing place to pet dogs! I would recommend trying to get a seat at the bar if possible – you will get the fastest service that way. For drinking, I recommend beer! Seriously though, they have so much fantastic beer to choose from. The first few times you go, you should get the beer flights so you can try as many types of beer as possible and then settle on your favorites. I couldn’t begin to tell you what beer suits your fancy, but there is truly something for everyone. Now – on to the food! Their pizza is delightful! I can never choose which to get, but I am a big fan of the British Pizza and, of course, the Hot Italian – which comes with a Spicy Calabrian Sauce that I love. For two people, I would suggest one pizza and one salad to share – they have a very solid Caesar Salad that I enjoy. But you must save room for dessert because at MacLeod you can get Soft Serve Ice Cream with the Cadbury Flake! Just like in the UK! If this isn’t the perfect brewery, then I don’t know what is!


Mizlala: Located in Sherman Oaks, Mizlala is a delicious Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant with an expansive menu. It’s a small place – nothing fancy – but the food is so good! They have the World’s Best Greek Salad (that’s what it’s called on the menu) and it is delightful. Also, they have so many hummus options to choose from. I always go back and forth between the more classic version and the Avocado, Feta, and Za’atar option. Then, you should really order as many kebabs as possible! My suggestions would be the Kefta, the Filet Mignon – and then my favorite – the Spicy Merguez Sausage! I would describe the service each time I go there as “indifferent”. But it works for me – as long as the kebabs come to the table – I am happy!


I hope you can visit all of these amazing restaurants. I’m sure this will be a continuing series as I dine at even more places throughout the lovely Valley that I call home!

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