Best of Studio City

Whether you own real estate in Burbank, Toluca Lake, Hollywood Hills or Valley Village, Studio City is so close to these communities that you’ll probably be finding yourself spending lots of time there. Hence, here are my very subjective picks for “best of.” Please feel free to email me with your own bests, and check out my blog for other news on Studio City places. You might also like my “Life in Studio City” Pinterest board too.

…And my first entry is www.KulaksWoodshed.com. This great listening room offers serious singer/songwriters a place to hone their skills and play for their peers.

Aroma Cafe (www.aromacoffeeandtea.com) is a great coffee house/restaurant. Located on Tujunga Boulevard in Tujunga Village (just below Moorpark), it has two huge outdoor patios for dining. The food, coffee and baked goods are all consistently outstanding. It’s a great place to “people watch” too and is almost always busy (husband Steve is a daily customer). Celebrities are frequently sited there as well. Dogs are honored guests here on the patio and have their own water bowl at the front of the restaurant. Aroma’s pic is a little lower on this page.

Studio City has lots and lots of high- and medium-end eateries. As of this writing, Raphael is a great high-end pick and Loteria or Mexicali are good for Mexican food — and margaritas!

My latest “find” is the Studio City location of Stout Burgers and Beers. By now, you’re probably thinking, “Please God, not another gastropub” But this one is different. First, the burger I had was terrific. This place grinds their own beef every day and the superior quality is evident. The burgers are better than Umami. Really. And not too pricey — most of the burgers are $10 or $11. Of course, there are more beer choices than you can shake a stick at and — be still my heart — they’re only $4 during happy hour!!! The wine choices are very good for a gastropub and I had a very good Spanish red for only $8. The husband had a veggie burger which was okay but a little crumbly. Service was great, the room has a nice ambience, great place to watch a game, etc, etc. If all this isn’t enough, they even have a parking lot. I’m not being snarky; parking lots for restaurants are rare in Studio City. The lot is small, though, so get there early before the valet shows up.

Laurel Tavern is one of our favorite places for a casual meal. Although their menu is sophisticated, their simple hamburgers are outstanding. I guess this is because they grind their own beef. All kinds of beers are on tap for $5 to $6 and they have a full bar as well. It gets really busy in the evenings.

Best of Studio CityPlease don’t overlook Oyster House because of its modest exterior (12446 Moorpark, no website). Inside you’ll find a fun dive bar atmosphere, terrific fresh shellfish and great prices. The service is excellent, too.

Trinkets and Treasures is on the same block as Aroma, at 4342 Tujunga Ave. This gorgeous store offers all sorts of unique and semi-precious jewelry, furniture, accessorties and gifts in all sorts of price ranges. Linda and Suzanne run the place and are wonderful. If Linda looks familiar (and you’re my age), it’s because she starred on tv’s Petticoat Junction. Their phone number is 818-763-0111.

As a breakfast eater, I was thrilled when Jinky’s opened at Colfax and Ventura. Four ‘n Twenty on Laurel Canyon is another great place for breakfast — the eggs are fresh and they use real butter on their toast. Both Jinky’s and Four ‘n Twenty are open all day and have lots of menu choices for vegetarians as well as meat-eaters. Four ‘n Twenty is known as well for their selection of homemade pies.
The Studio City Farmers’ Market is a Sunday institution these days. It’s huge and can be found on Ventura Place, close to the intersection of Ventura and Laurel Canyon.

Public Elementary Schools: Carpenter Charter Elementary is one of the most outstanding schools in the LAUSD.  Other terrific schools in Studio City area include Rio Vista, Riverside Elementary, and Colfax Charter Elementary.