Sunday lunch/brunch in Van Nuys?
October 16, 2009 7:54 PM   Subscribe

What are your restaurant recommendations for Sunday lunch in Van Nuys or surrounding areas?

We've got a friend visiting from out of town, but they're staying in Van Nuys. We're going out to lunch on Sunday, but being from Orange County, we're not all that familiar with the Van Nuys restaurant scene. Since we'll already be spending quite a bit of time on the freeway to get there, we probably won't want to drive too far outside of Van Nuys to eat. Anyone got any secret favorite restaurants? There's a pub, the Robin Hood, in Sherman Oaks that sounds promising, as well as a place called 94th Aero Squadron that serves a Sunday brunch, but I've never been to either one and I trust the hive mind more than Yelp reviewers, so I figured I'd ask.
posted by infinitywaltz to Food & Drink (16 answers total)
Best answer: The Robin Hood is actually supposed to do a pretty decent English breakfast, though I've never been there myself to try it (*makes mental note to try it*). There's also the Hugo's in Sherman Oaks/Studio City, if you lean more toward the foodie/healthy/organic side of the brunch spectrum. If you're up for a deli, I would recommend Art's in Studio City (rather than Jerry's Famous Deli, also in Studio City -- I like Jerry's too, but it tends to be a bit inconsistent in terms of quality and service, plus it's invariably LOUD).
posted by scody at 9:25 PM on October 16, 2009

Best answer: For some REALLY GOOD Bar-B-Que, go to Doctor Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas Bar-B-Cue on Sepulveda. LOTS of food, but a REALLY tiny place. SO good, and guaranteed doggie bags!

Also Brat Brother on Ventura has really good sausages and meals, another tiny tiny place, but hey, Oktoberfest!

94th Aero Squadron is pretty good, SUPER decor and a good meal the times we've been.

Mogo's Mongolian Barbecue is a REALLY good meal, on Van Nuys south of the 101 at Moorpark. Hamburger Hamlet is across the street, and they have great variety and good food.

For more casual brunchie, try Millie's on Sepulveda, just north of Devonshire in the strip mall on the east side of the street.

Art's is yummy, and Jerry's is ok. Good shakes!

There's a PF Chang's and a Cheesecake Factory at the Sherman Oaks Galleria on Sepulveda.
posted by Jinx of the 2nd Law at 10:05 PM on October 16, 2009

Best answer: Do not walk, run! Jump on the 134 and head to...


My fav so far is the chicken cutlet. Pray they're serving the split pea soup, although I've loved all the soups so far. We go about once a week to Polka, mostly due to unbelievable and undeniable cravings for their Polish comfort food.

We usually follow-up with a visit to the Huntington Garden in Pasadena. They're having the last day of their orchid show & sale tomorrow. Today I saw an orchid in the show that brought me to tears it was so lovely (orchids are from an alien world, I am now convinced!) I ended up buying 13 orchids for around $50 total today from various vendors. I saw amazing talks about the care of orchids, too. It was incredible.

OH, WAIT! You asked about lunch!

Polka was recently featured on the FoodTV network show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." I would categorize POLKA as "high-kitsch" with amazing food. Once will not be enough.

On the YELP! site I linked to, a few few folks give POLKA a bad rating. I've been there 6 times in 8 weeks. My standards are super high. I have no bad reports either concerning service or meal quality. Just want to make that clear.

Once you are over in that neighborhood - there's tons to do - including the Norton Simon art museum. But do check-out the Huntington. They have 5 separate art museums AND a botanical garden. Just saying.

POLKA+The Huntington=My Perfect Day in Los Angeles.

Have fun.
posted by jbenben at 10:16 PM on October 16, 2009

OK. Just re-read your post.

I might be biased, but once you get "over the hill" from Hollywood into the Valley - everything is pretty close via freeways. Like, within 20 minutes or less. Polka is within range.


If the 94th Aero Squadron is at the Van Nuys Airport (and I'm so certain this is true as the daughter of a pilot, I won't bother to google...) most, but not all, airport restaurants rock. Why? Because flying-in for good food is part of the private pilot culture!

Granted. Airport restaurants can be weird vibe-wise (I can't explain that much beyond saying that sometimes, they're so bereft of patrons & staff, you wonder how they stay open...) but these establishments do have a charm all their own. Plus - active runways!!


If you are looking for sheer entertainment and a semi-full day (Polka opens @ 11:00am, the Huntington closes @ 4:30pm) I would do that. But a one-off experience near-by with some aviation eye-candy... Vany Nuys Airport and the 94th, for sure.

posted by jbenben at 10:28 PM on October 16, 2009

The Robin Hood does do a pretty decent English breakfast if that's your cup of tea (as an ex-pat its definitely a fave!), and on unday lunchtime they will of course be serving sunday roast lunch.
posted by Joh at 11:28 PM on October 16, 2009

Do you like Peruvian food? Puro Sabor is in the heart of Van Nuys (Van Nuys Blvd near Victory) and is delicious and relatively inexpensive.

If you're in a pizza mood, Barone's (Oxnard near Woodman) is a huge sit-down place with great, rectangular pies. Technically "Valley Glen," not Van Nuys, although it used to be part of Van Nuys. Same with the Robin Hood place.

Pita Kitchen is in Sherman Oaks (Van Nuys Blvd and Ventura); really terrific shawarmas, hummus, etc. Their pita sandwiches run for around $6.

I'd also consider some of the Thai places in North Hollywood, like Sri Siam (Vanowen and Coldwater) and Bua Siam (Sherman Way/Coldwater).

Check to see when these places open -- I'm not certain about lunch hours.

I do know that Nat's Early Bite on Hazeltine and Burbank serves breakfast -- be prepared for a line, but it's worth it. There's a kitschy toy store next door where you can wait and be paged when your table is ready.
posted by mirepoix at 11:38 PM on October 16, 2009

I saw Hugos referenced above. It's a good place to go, but not if you're on a time crunch or have anyone in your party that has difficulty walking. It's always crowded in there, so you'll have to usually wait about 10 minutes at the minimum for a table. And forget about parking. You'll usually end up having to park down the street and walking up if you don't want to waste time circling their small lot. This will probably be especially true on a Sunday afternoon.

Food is awesome though. A little pricey, but I'd say worth the money and certainly the time if you have it.
posted by arishaun at 11:59 PM on October 16, 2009

Senor Fred's in Sherman Oaks is pretty good mexican, and works well for small groups. Reasonably cheap, and they have good margaritas. Valet parking:
posted by gribbly at 12:24 AM on October 17, 2009

Jinky's and nthing Art's. If you're ok with a fast food type place go to Zankou Chicken.
posted by brujita at 12:37 AM on October 17, 2009

Cafe 50's too.
posted by brujita at 12:39 AM on October 17, 2009

I might be biased, but once you get "over the hill" from Hollywood into the Valley - everything is pretty close via freeways. Like, within 20 minutes or less. Polka is within range.

Mmm, sometimes, but not reliably. I live right off the 134 in Toluca Lake (about 8 miles closer to Pasadena than Van Nuys) and go to Pasadena regularly, and sometimes it can be 20 minutes, while other times it can be 45 minutes or more each way. I think if the OP says they'd like to stay in Van Nuys or close by, it's only fair to take them at their word.
posted by scody at 1:50 AM on October 17, 2009

Seconding Dr. Hogly Wogly's. Man, that is some good food.
posted by equalpants at 3:27 AM on October 17, 2009

If you are interested in good Jewish delis, Try Brent's. It's famous in the Valley and close to Van Nuys.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 7:27 AM on October 17, 2009


I also highly recommend Boneyard Bistro. It's my favorite restaurant in THE ENTIRE WORLD!
posted by TheClonusHorror at 8:24 AM on October 18, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks you guys, you're all awesome. As it turns out, they're coming down closer to our neck of the woods, but I'm marking "Best Answer" to the places I definitely want to check out next time I'm down in the Valley. Dr. Hogly Wogly's sounds awesome, and so does Polka (Polish restaurants are actually something we don't have a lot of down in the Orange County area, though we have some great German joints).
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:18 AM on October 18, 2009

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