Old School Mom and Pop serves up good eats at The Little Cafe

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BY KAREN YOUNG

When you live in a place as expansive as the San Fernando Valley, sometimes it’s nice to be able to visit  an old school mom and pop restaurant for a meal. You know, the kind of place where the food has that quality homemade taste and the owner is always there to greet you?  Ray (that’s all his customers know), the owner of The Little Cafe, has been saying hello daily since 1982 when he opened the doors of this “blink and you might miss it” storefront on Ventura Blvd in Tarzana.

The Tarzana Omelette with polish sausage, onion, spinach and tomatoes topped with swiss cheese. Fruit instead of potatoes, add $1. Photos: Karen Young

Open for breakfast and lunch until 3 pm, there’s daily specials written on a white board as you walk in the door. On another white board is a place to write your name. Expect to have a bit of a wait on weekends, but tables usually move fast because the service is efficient. Tables are situated close together, but regulars are friendly, so you might just make a some new friends as you wait for your meal. Serving only breakfast and lunch until 3 pm, the menu is rather extensive for such a small place. But here’s a switch up — you can order breakfast or lunch all day, so if you’re craving a burger, a club sandwich or a salad in the wee morning hours, you can get it here.

The Little Cafe.

Breakfast is the main draw on weekends with a variety of omelettes, scrambles and Mexican themed dishes which come with home fries sautéed with bell peppers and onions (or not, per your request), tomatoes or cottage cheese and a choice of toast, bagel or English muffin. They are more like small chunks of potatoes, rather than fries, but tasty all the same. Also included is a choice of bread, sourdough muffin or bagel that comes with real cream cheese. Add $1 more for fruit and egg whites.

The Spring Training special with broccoli, sundried tomatoes, scallions and feta with home fried potatatoes.

Griddle specialties include pancakes, French Toast and Randall’s Waffle (a Belgian Waffle with fresh strawberries, banana, whipped cream and powdered sugar). Not to be forgotten is Andria and Bill’s Oatmeal which is basically a power bowl of oat Bran, oatmeal, flaxseed, egg whites, strawberries, banana, raisins, walnuts and cinnamon.

Club sandwich and fries.

The lunch menu offers an array of sandwiches from your basic fresh deli choices to grilled melts — all kinds of meat or tuna with different cheeses. A cross culture mix is the Garcia Melt — bacon, tomato, avocado and Swiss on rye. There’s a good selection of burgers, as well as marinated chicken and club sandwiches.

Egg White Scramble and Turkey Bacon.

The hefty NY Steak sandwich (7 oz) is the big guns on the menu, sandwiched between two slices of grilled sourdough, topped with onion rings AND served with French fries. All sandwiches come with a choice of homemade potato salad, cole slaw or French fries. Want to eat a little on the lighter side? There’s a section called “The Slim Way” with an emphasis on protein, fruit and vegetables. Fresh soups are also made daily.

The home-made Cinnamon bun is a must-eat. Live a little.

The Little Café’s twelve salads are filled with an array of fresh, crisp vegetables and are offered in two sizes. The half salad is called “mini” and is plentiful.

Tiffany's Chopped Salad.

The range of choices includes the Tiffany’s Chopped Salad which is on the healthier side with grilled chicked beast, chopped romaine, endives, carrots, red cabbage, raisins, apples, walnuts and feta, to the slightly decadent Cafe Chicken salad made made with chopped celery, chopped parsley, mayonnaise and a special seasoning. If after your meal, you’ve got a sweet craving, go for a homemade Cinnamon Bun — it’s just a perfectly doughy, gooey, sugary baked delight. Important to note: The Little Café accepts checks or cash only.  Average breakfast/lunch range is $5.95-$10.95. The Little Cafe 19204 Ventura Boulevard Tarzana, CA 91356-3101 - (818) 705-8335  www.littlecafe.biz Karen Young is the Editor/Publisher of MY DAILY FIND   Email: karen@mydailyfind.com

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • http://www.pastimesinc.com L.R. Wehrli

    This place looks great, however Tarzana is not convenient for me. When I want great “mom and pop” food I go to Vivian’s Cafe in Studio City. Their banana pancakes are worth covering in an upcoming MyDailyFind.com. They have a patio that is dog-friendly, too. I’ve been going there since the 1980s! http://www.venturablvd.com/vivians-cafe/index.html

    • Karen

      Vivian’s is great, I agree. My Daily Find covers the San Fernando Valley so we write about places that stretch across the 818. Plus, Tarzana is just 15 minutes away from Studio City without traffic. :)

  • http://amysculinaryadventures.com amy Jurist

    i just moved to woodland hills and i’ve been here a few times and love it! the owners are super friendly and i had the best patty melt i’ve ever had here! great fries and perfect breakfasts too.–chef amy

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