Tasty Tidbits: Restaurant News from Studio City to Agoura Hills

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Lots more food happenings in the 818 — a food truck goes brick and mortar, a gourmet winemaker dinner, elegant specials, and one eatery expands locations while another revamps.

Empanadas: Beef (front) and Guava/Goat Cheese

The popular Cuban food truck Cafe con Leche just soft opened its first brick and mortar location in Sherman Oaks bringing a little Miami culture to the 818. The food is up and cooking, but the interior and exterior are still a work in progress. Diners can now sit at small interior tables or a wall counter. The eatery will eventually seat 30—coming is conga drum chairs, wall decor, tables outside and a sign (it just says chicken from the past occupancy).  Truck/restaurant founder and co-owner Gabriel Martinez says that the concept for the eatery is based on Miami’s Cuban restaurants that are community gathering places for food, coffee (we’re talking real deal Cuban coffee with milk and sugar, hence the name), music and conversation. Martinez partnered with chef Francisco Tosta-mönch and actor Steven Bauer (best known for Scarface for which the sandwich El Manolo is named). Empanadas, salads, sandwiches, special dishes and desserts under $8 fill the menu.  This counter service restaurant will be fully together around March 13—and when that happens, it’ll be open 24 hours a day. Stay tuned for a thorough rundown from MDF when it opens large. 15053 Ventura (at Noble), Sherman Oaks.

Jinky's Agoura Hills

Jinky’s just opened its fourth location in Agoura Hills in a little cottage style building  bringing the same menu from its other locations.  Jinky’s is renown for its signature pancakes and omelettes, as well as daily chili choices.  29001 Canwood Street Agoura Hills (818) 575-4216

Bleecker Street

Bleecker Street in Tarzana is hosting a Winemaker dinner on Tuesday, March 8 with Winemaker Etienne Terlinden of Cordon Wine where five handcrafted wines will be paired with a four course meal and hors ‘d’ouerves from the restaurant’s Chef Marcel Vinson. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with passed hors d’ouerves. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. The menu includes: Smoked Trout with Homemade Chips & Cornichons, Fois Gras & Haricot Verts Salad with Truffle Dressing, Pan-seared Kurobuta Pork Chop with Creamy Grits & Sour Cherry Port Wine Reduction, Chocolate Molten Lava Cake.  Bleecker Street Restaurant 5442 Yolanda Avenue Tarzana (818) 996-3008 for reservations $65 per person not including tax or service.

Bistro Garden

The Bistro Garden in Studio City has got some ritzy specials happening now.  Kick off the day before work at their Sunday brunch that comes with a complimentary mimosa and a live piano music. The apple pancakes are not to be missed! If you’re celebrating a birthday, BG offers its famous chocolate soufflé as a gift when you dine (limited to one per table). There are also prix-fixe two-course lunches ($28) and three-course dinners ($42). If you’re in need of a sophisticated happy hour, the classic bar offers complimentary small plate hors d’oeuvres and half-price selected wine, beer and cocktails from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The regular-priced bar menu has a small but delicious menu, with dishes like grilled marinated shrimp skewers, shredded short ribs and rotisserie chicken quesadillas ($6.50–$12.50.)

The opulent Romanov Restaurant in Studio City, modeled after the Russian Tsars’ Winter Palace, has revamped its menu and has new opening hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. and weekends noon–2 a.m. There is live entertainment on Saturdays, which includes a cirque-style aerial performance and live international music.


The new menu consists of traditional favorites including blini with crème fraiche topped with caviar and Romanov’s own house-smoked salmon. Other new menu items include a hot duck salad (frisée, mixed baby spring greens, and citrus vinaigrette) and the chef’s own creation, “Beverly Hills”: a puff-pasty shell crammed with shrimp, scallops, julienne vegetables, and lobster bisque. There is also a special dish that is offered by request only: a kobe beef burger patty, topped with a fried egg and truffle oil. Russian kabobs are shared family style and the extensive vodka list complements the dining options.

An à la carte menu is now available for lunch and dinner (for two people only). If you have a party larger than two for dinner, you can chose from three different prix-fixe menus, at $75, $95, or $125 per person. Each menu is comprised of a combination of about 17 cold and hot appetizers, two to five main courses and two to three desserts—all served family style to share. One bottle of vodka is served for 10 people— from the restaurant’s “standard” vodka to Grey Goose, depending on the prix fixe chosen. Soft drinks and samovar tea and coffee are included. Entrees run $19–$27 for dinner and $15–$24 for lunch. Appetizers and small plates (zakuski) for both meals run between $8–$40.

These are not your average prices for the 818, but this isn’t your average restaurant either. It really is a palace, with an enormous imported crystal chandelier, luxurious booths, ornate decor, 24K ceilings, a private dining room with gold chairs, and much more, right here in the 818. Come have some small bites and a drink in the lounge. Or feast like a tsar. You’ll never feel more regal. 12229 Ventura Blvd. Studio City (818) 760-3177

Karen Young is the Founder/Editor 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

    So glad about Cafe con Leche being a permanent fixture. No more chasing that truck around town. Their Cuban coffee is excellent.

  • http://www.nohoartsdistrict.com Lisa Bianconi

    Si, Si, Si Cafe Con Leche is putting down roots. Thanks for this news, MDF. We’ll be going to Sherman Oaks more often now.

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