Tasty Tidbits: Studio City’s Zach’s Cafe Revisited

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I visited Zach’s Café recently after quite some time. If you’re like me, you might remember a magician years ago who  threw cards that amazingly stuck to the ceiling, much to the delight of many children (and parents).

The magician and the cards are long gone —and the menu has had a very extensive and exciting overhaul. But remember those legendary garlic cheese rolls? They’re still there.

The outdoor patio greets you as you walk in the door.

The outdoor patio greets you as you walk in the door.

Hidden off Ventura Blvd across from the Hollywood Bowl Park and Ride lot, on the way to Universal, Zach’s has been forever  known as the “hideaway.” Perhaps that’s why a bevy of celebs, including Mylie Cyrus,  Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green, have been sighted there recently.

Originally built as a house, Zach’s has the charming ambiance of a casual destination restaurant with a cottage feel. It’s a long time favorite for private parties because patrons can make use of the relaxing outdoor patio or reconfigure the cozy interior in a variety of ways.

Since Zach's Cafe was originally someone's home, it's a popular venue for private parties (as seen in this wedding photo).  Courtesy Zach's Cafe.

Since Zach's Cafe was originally someone's home, it's a popular venue for private parties (as seen in this wedding photo). Courtesy Zach's Cafe.

Zach’s Café is recognized for their Italian food with a California spin. “It’s our own flavor of Italian,” says Matt DeMasi, who has co-owned the eatery with Albert Manopla since 1995. “First and foremost, we’re one of the last of a dying breed. We’re a single restaurant, not a chain We make our food from scratch — not in a box, a bag or can.”

Perhaps that’s why their catering clients call them to deliver and set-up from as far as Long Beach to Lancaster to San Dimas.

The “California spin” to which DeMasi refers has as much to do with flavor as dining options. A big plus is that chicken dishes are available as vegetarian entrees. Vegetarian Parmigiana (served with spaghetti $16.50), a house specialty, is smothered in marinara sauce and topped with melted mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. The soy, meatless patty has the consistency of very moist chicken. You could have fooled me. Actually, they did fool me— and now I actually prefer it to chicken. If you’re vegan, there are choices for you too,

The Tiramisu is made with a classic recipe.

The Tiramisu, made with a classic recipe, is a popular dessert for dining, and travels well for catering.

Other menu options include two different sizes for entrees (and that means lower prices), as well as exchanges for pasta. Go low carb and switch out pasta for vegetables, or do a pasta carb trade for rice or mashed potatoes.

The extensive menu includes a variety of salads, homemade soups (Cream of Broccoli and New England Clam Chowder are available of assigned days, while Chicken Vegetable and Minestrone are available daily, $3.50-$5.95), signature designer pizzas (don’t miss Debbie’s Favorite with BBQ chicken, sundried tomatoes, fresh garlic, scallions and jalapenos chopped over cheese pizza and topped with goat cheese), burgers, sandwiches, subs, seafood, chicken, pasta, and calzones. Entrees range from $6.25 to $20, with the average about $12.

A not-to-miss specialty at Zach’s is the Goat Cheese & Mushroom Lasagna ($11/$17) that comes from an old secret family recipe. Although layered with noodles, it has a surprisingly light bite. Filled with mushrooms sautéed in a Marsala wine and shallot sauce and mozzarella, it’s topped with a goat cheese cream sauce. Pair it with Adam’ s Baby Greens Salad (apples, spicy candied walnuts, green onions, toped with feta cheese and a homemade sweet vinaigrette $4.95/$9.50)), and you’ve got a palate pleasing comfort meal.  Add a glass of house wine ($5.25-$6 a glass) and you’re set.

Oh, and don’t forget dessert. The Tiramisu ($6) is made simply in a pan with espresso, brandy, ladyfingers and mascarpone. It’s divine.

I’m glad I found my way back.   A casual, affordable, quality restaurant is always a welcome “find.”

Zach’s Café is available for catering for 10 to 200 people (starting at $9 a person). Or rent out a portion of the restaurant or the entire restaurant for a private party (complete dinners $15.95-$32.00 per person or make up your own specially priced menu with an “out the door budget”). For parties and catering, call (818) 512-2097 or email catering@zachscafe.com

Zach’s Café is located at 10820 Ventura Blvd Studio City, CA 91604 www.zachscafe.com (818) 762-4225.  Need dinner for the family? They’ll deliver within a few miles.


Karen Young is the Editor/Publisher of My Daily Find


About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.