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Tasty Tidbits: Two new restaurants in Studio City and Encino

Posted By Karen Young On August 16, 2010 @ 12:36 am In Chinese,Cuisine,Dinner,Eat,Featured,Food,Happy Hour,Italian,Lunch,My Daily Find,Restaurants,spotlight | 1 Comment

BY KAREN YOUNG

Slowly, but surely,  more noteworthy restaurants are taking root on the Ventura Boulevard corridor.  In the last couple weeks, Chi Dynasty and Trattoria Farfalla,  two well-known Los Feliz restaurants, have expanded into the San Fernando Valley.

Farfalla in the Encino Marketplace has a good sized outside patio and tall communal table, booths and smaller tables inside. Photo: Jocelyn Freid

Restaurateur John Borghetti  opened Farfalla in Encino, adding to his locations in Los Feliz and Westlake Village (his reputation first started over two decades ago at the now closed La Brea Ave location). Replacing Rosti in the Encino Marketplace (which moved across the street a little east to 16350 Ventura Boulevard),  Farfalla bills itself as a “neighborhood trattoria” specializing in Northern Italian cuisine featuring specialty pasta, pizza, panini and calzones ($8.95-$10.95).  Dine al fresco or inside where it’s been revamped with communal tables, single tables and booths. Try the Panini di Carne alla  Toscana —a panini with grilled skirt steak, sliced tomato, caramelized onions and mozzarella with pesto di campagna dressing; the very thin crust pizzas; or  homemade eggplant parmesean . The Piatti Forti (main entrees) are served with a choice of Mista or Caesar Salad or a cup of minestrone ($13.95-$15.95). Lunch specials include a good selection of entrée salads topped with salmon, chicken, ahi and shrimp ($8.95-$11.95). The chopped salad has a twist with the addition of faro (spelt grain). Also for lunch, a special marinated skirt steak, served with roasted potatoes, fresh vegetables and choice of soup or salad ($13.95). There’s a nice wine list, as well as a selection of aperitifs, such as Sweet Vermouth and Prosecco. 16403 Ventura Blvd, Encino (at Hayvenhurst).

Chi Dynasty, a fixture in Los Feliz for 27 years, has expanded to Studio City in the Romanov complex. Photo: Jocelyn Freid

Chi Dynasty, which has been a culinary landmark  in Los Feliz for 27 years,  opened last week on the bottom level of  the Studio City complex housing Romanov.  This is the third restaurant to make this space a home in just a few years, but this one might just stick. Restaurateur Michael Israyelyan, who owns Romanov, along with his business partner, Rob Vinokur, joined forces with Chi Dynasty’s Jonathan Chi. Chi Dynasty has made its reputation on upscale cuisine that mixes traditional cuisine with modern influences.  The menu remains the same as the Los Feliz location (with the exception of  a new dish with manila clams), as does the dramatic interior with tables and booths done in red and black.  Napkins are folded as fans and servers are ready and waiting in bow ties.  The Chi Chinese Chicken Salad is a top seller ($7.95).  Chef’s specialties are the stand out here.  Try  Shrimp a la Chi — shrimp cooked in Xiao-Sing rice wine with ginger, garlic and egg white sauce ($14.95),  Yu-Shung Calamari  — a signature dish wok-tossed with a spicy garlic sauce. ($12.95), Double Delight Mandarin Scampi (in the shell)  is crispy shrimp wok tossed with peppercorn salt, garlic, scallions and jalapeno peppers ($14.95 ). The grandaddy dish is the Whole Duck which is slow-roasted and carved a table side. First course is duck skin served with cucumber, scallions and hoisin sauce rolled in Chinese crepes; followed by duck meat sautéed with vegetables ( $33.95).  Although they don’t have a full liquor license yet, Chi’s signature soju cocktails will do the trick in the meantime.  12229 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, Los Angeles, California 91604 (818) 753-5300

Karen Young is the Founder/Editor of My Daily Find.  Email: karen@mydailyfind.com

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