The Best Restaurants In Studio City guide image


The Best Restaurants In Studio City

The 17 best places to eat in Studio City.

Studio City is a quiet and suburban neighborhood in the Valley where a lot of people live because they’re sick of forking over half their paycheck for a place on the other side of the hill. But that doesn’t mean exciting things don’t happen here. It takes one quick drive down the main drag of Ventura Blvd. to realize that restaurants are quite literally stacked on top of each other. Whether it’s family-run Armenian restaurants, divey burger bars, or one of the most impressive collections of sushi spots in LA, there’s no reason to be eating poorly in Studio City. Here are 17 spots you should be prioritizing.


Oy Bar

Open in 2022, OyBar is a dimly-lit dive bar that feels like it’s been around for decades. Formally called The Bar At Oyster House (hence the new name), this neighborhood drinking hole is now run by the Jeff’s Table crew with a menu full of bar bites worth braving the 101 at rush hour to eat. If it's on the menu when you're there, get the “Jeff’s Special," a pastrami-filled, jalapeño-crusted quesadilla or the Oy Burger topped with gooey Toma cheese, hoisin ketchup, and a heap of cilantro. This is the kind of place to come after a rough day of work when the only remedy is a stiff drink and to be left alone with your thoughts.

Add Avi Cue to your rolodex of great, quick lunch spots in the Valley. The beloved shawarma pop-up opened a permanent, order-at-the-counter location right on Ventura. Even if there’s a line out front, meals happen at lightning speed—we’ve never spent more than 20 minutes inside. The bare-bones menu starts and ends with a shawarma sandwich, arayes, fries, and a nutella-stuffed dessert pita. Skip past the ground beef-stuffed arayes (the $7 price tag feels steep for what is essentially two bites of food). Instead, if you’re by yourself, focus on the sandwich with juicy, spit-roasted wagyu beef, tomato, onion, parsley, tahini, and tangy amba. It’ll keep you full well past dinner. 

Daichan is a strip mall spot on Ventura that specializes in Japanese comfort food. There’s spicy curry udon, Japanese-style fried chicken, cold soba, and gigantic tempura rice bowls. The main draw at this family-run cafe, though, is the “original poki bowl.” Decades before chopped raw fish in plastic bowls became part of the LA food pyramid, Daichan was cranking out giant portions of fresh fish on top of rice and lettuce. It's also one of the most popular lunch spots in the neighborhood, and wait times generally run about a half hour.

When you’re in Studio City and looking for a splurge-y sushi experience, go to Asanebo. The high-end strip mall spot has a warm, wooden interior and excellent premium-grade sushi. If you’re a first-timer, the $200 omakase lets you sample every signature dish on the menu. There's a smaller option that comes with 14 pieces of sushi plus a handroll, appetizers, soup, and dessert for $140.

Mantee is one of our favorite Armenian restaurants in LA. The family-run spot has a quirky, rustic interior that feels like you’re eating lunch at a distant aunt’s one-bedroom apartment in Ojai, and there’s a lush back patio ideal for a quiet solo meal. As its name suggests, mantee is the specialty here, and while the sumac and yogurt-covered dumplings are among our favorite versions in town, don’t even think about getting the check until both the dolma and sizzling hot feta have made it to your table as well.

Joe’s Falafel is technically in Universal City, but this tiny strip mall spot has such good food, we’re choosing to ignore neighborhood boundary lines. Plus, its Cahuenga Pass location is around the corner from all the major studios, making it an ideal lunch hour pilgrimage. You can’t really go wrong with anything at this order-at-the-counter spot, but the beef kabobs, chicken shawarma, and falafel sandwiches on fresh-baked laffa are good places to start. Also, outside of the large combo platters, pretty everything falls under $16. 

Open since 1970, this underground jazz club is an LA classic and a place where you’ll find couples on dates, dudes who have been coming here for over 50 years, and high schoolers getting their minds blown by the power of musical improvisation. So, why is it called The Baked Potato? Because they only serve baked potatoes. There are 24 varieties on the menu with toppings ranging from melted cheese and maple ham to salty teriyaki chicken. Listening to world-class jazz and eating giant baked potatoes the size of your head—it’s no wonder this place sells out nightly. Be sure to grab tickets online in advance.

Sushi Katsu-Ya is one of the most recognizable sushi brands in the world, with locations from LA Live to Dubai. Most of those locations, however, are franchised by a global nightlife corporation and cater to a stiletto-wearing club crowd. That’s not the case at the original location in Studio City. This strip mall spot is independently-owned, meaning the prices are lower, the quality is higher, and the quiet, rustic space is filled with people who are actually there to eat good sushi. You should order the crispy rice with spicy tuna and a few baked crab handrolls, and from there, just ask about the sashimi and sushi specials that day. 

Come to Laurel Tavern any weekday after 4:30pm and you’ll find every type of after-work drinks situation going down. Studio coworkers bitching about how awful their managers are, roommates unraveling about their dating lives, and solo commuters grabbing a beer while traffic on Laurel Canyon dies down. Prices are reasonable—especially during their daily Happy Hour from 3-6pm when beer is $6 and select cocktails and wine are $8—and the bar food is all extremely solid. The Laurel Burger, which comes with a thick, medium beef patty and topped with honey mustard, onions, pickles, and cheddar, is worth pulling over for regardless if there’s traffic or not.  

There are so many euro-centric pasta spots along Ventura Blvd. that at times it’s tough to tell them apart. That’s why the arrival of Uovo feels like a breath of fresh air. Located in the Sportsmen Lodge redevelopment, Uovo is a casual pasta bar with multiple locations across the city. And yet, it hasn’t fallen prey to the pitfalls of mini-chains. This is well-executed, consistent pasta in a welcoming environment that works for lunch meetings, casual date nights, or grabbing a glass of wine by yourself at the bar. There are close to 15 different pastas on the menu, but standouts include the cacio e pepe and brodo, a broth-filled pasta filled with savory, pork-stuffed tortellini. 

Burosu Ramen opened quietly in 2020 and has since become one of the best ramen shops in the entire Valley. The menu here is fairly large—there are both hot and cold appetizers, plus an entire handroll section—but if it’s your first time, concentrate on the house ramens. The spicy Reddo is a standout, made with Japanese chili oil and sesame paste. For something lighter, go for the brothless Orenji with marinated ground pork and red ginger. We’ve yet to pick a favorite between the two, which is why we just order both and take the leftovers home.

Picking a favorite casual sushi spot in Studio City is like picking a favorite canyon to cut through during rush hour—everyone has one, and everyone thinks theirs is the best. For us, we’ll always keep Iroha close. Hiding behind a folk art boutique on Ventura Blvd., Iroha is a Valley classic with a large indoor/outdoor space that feels like you’re eating sushi in a bamboo forest. The menu is too expansive for its own good—we’ve yet to flip through every page—but you really only need to concentrate on a few things: the spicy tuna on crispy rice, spicy miso soup, and any of their bento lunch boxes (soup, salad, rice, three pieces of sushi, and choice of sashimi or tempura).

If you want to drink wine in Studio City, do it at Vintage Wine + Eats. For starters, this natural wine bar has a pastel-heavy, farmhouse chic aesthetic that’s quite soothing and the kind of environment where one glass of chilled gamay becomes four in the blink of an eye. Secondly, the food menu is good, with everything from cheese boards and mac and cheese to a delicious $16 bar burger topped with Raclette, tarragon aioli, and caramelized shallots. Swing by on Sundays and get a smashburger for only $2.50—one of the better burger deals in town. 

Black Market is an American gastropub that’s been open for over a decade and is one of Studio City’s most reliable casual restaurants. The expansive menu hasn’t changed a whole lot since 2011, but a place that serves everything from lobster rolls and spicy Korean wings to summer squash rigatoni, making it a place even the pickiest eaters in your friend group will be happy visiting. There’s also a large craft beer list, solid house cocktails, and large front patio that’ll fit any size party.

This all-day coffee shop/screenwriter safehouse on Tujunga is absolutely slammed during weekend brunch, but you should expect a line at all times of the week. And everybody’s here for two reasons: a big menu full of solid sandwiches, salads, and wraps and a winding back patio ideal for finally finishing that pilot you started last year. If you’re there for breakfast, we like the brioche french toast and bagel BLT. 

The Front Yard is the all-day restaurant inside the Garland Hotel that shouldn’t be written off as another sleepy lobby cafe. The sprawling courtyard space is one of the Valley’s best patios filled with a healthy mix of studio workers sipping wine during their lunch hours and retirees getting day drunk because they can. And on top of all that, the food is solid too. Weekend brunch is the most popular meal here, but cruising up to the bar and ordering the TFY burger made with a juicy short rib patty and a gin martini is an ideal midweek lunch in our books. 

Yume proves there's always more room for quality sushi in Studio City. This bright, wood-paneled spot is a great place for a quick lunch with a coworker, but we mostly prefer to use Yume for takeout. The name of the game is the Yume Box, which gets you six pieces of nigiri, truffle edamame, and a Yume Roll for $38—all in a nicely divided white box. It’s an excellent value, considering both the amount of food you get and the fact that the Yume Roll (spicy tuna and mushrooms, topped with avocado and more tuna) is $21 a la carte. 

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photo credit: Jakob Layman

The Best Restaurants In Studio City guide image