Steak Studio City

5 Best dineL.A. Bets in the Valley

More than a dozen Valley eateries are participating in dineL.A. from January 12 to 26. Check out our five top local picks, along with some recommended dishes.

More than a dozen local restaurants are participating in dineL.A., a biannual culinary event that offers prix fixe menus across the city. The winter 2018 event runs from January 12 to 26. Check out our five top picks, including recommended dishes and our preferred meal (lunch or dinner).


The Bellwether

The Bellwether always crushes it for dineL.A., and this year’s January offerings are no exception. The $29 dinner from chef Ted Hopson and front-of-house partner Ann-Marie Verdi offers a choice of any three dishes from a 10-dish pool. We recommend crispy tempura cauliflower with Thai chile, mint, Thai basil, lime and nam pla; and grilled skirt steak with blistered shishito peppers, shiitake mushrooms, brown butter, soy sauce and roasted ginger. Moroccan-inspired braised lamb with preserved lemon, green olives, harissa and almond couscous also sounds like a winner. Your only sweet option is a tantalizing pairing of Jameson bread pudding with candied pecans, salted caramel ice cream and Jameson butterscotch. (see full dineL.A. menu)

13251 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-285-8184

Dojo Sushi

In Japanese culture, a dojo is where people practice martial arts training. At Dojo Sushi in Sherman Oaks, a sushi bar is their culinary dojo. For dineL.A., lunch ($15) is an even better deal than dinner ($39) . Start with a small pour of hot sake and miso soup. Choose between six pieces of sushi or sashimi. We’d suggest sushi with two pieces each of kampachi, black snapper and salmon. From there, you get to choose two different rolls. We’d suggest Dojo’s spicy tuna cut roll and blue crab hand roll. (see full dineL.A. menu)

14423 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818-849-5376


Perry Pollaci continues to lead the effort to renew Firefly, with its airy patio tucked behind an ivy-covered wall. Their $49, three-course dineL.A. dinner starts with a complimentary pour of rosé. For your first course, we’d recommend ordering veal meatballs with Bearnaise, spicy Tabasco vinaigrette and frisée salad. For the main course, consider marinated skirt steak with buttery pomme aligot, garlic braised broccoli rabe, which we enjoyed last summer. For the coup de grace, go with coconut panna cotta with sweet orange marmalade and savory five-spice streusel. (see full dineL.A. menu)

11720 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-762-1833

Malbec Argentinean Cuisine

The original Malbec Argentinean Cuisine location in Toluca Lake is serving a $20 lunch and $39 dinner for dineL.A. Since meat is practically inevitable for your main course and Argentina is so strong on Italian cuisine, start with a baby kale Caesar salad with Parmesan cheese and croutons. For your entree, we’d suggest pincho de carne, a prime strip loin skewer plated with marinated onions and mushrooms, herbaceous chimichurri and French fries Provençal. Supplemental dessert is only $5, worth the price for chocolate panna cotta plated with slow-cooked pears and cherries in malbec syrup, Chantilly cream and berries. (see full dineL.A. menu)

10151 Riverside Dr., Toluca Lake, 818-762-4860

Woodley Proper

Although Phillip Frankland Lee describes Woodley Proper as a place get a “proper cocktail,” it is by all accounts a full-service brasserie, and the eatery’s $39 dineL.A. dinner menu covers all bases (available until 2 a.m.). It includes a choice of two starters from a group of nine items. Consider duck wings with Buffalo sauce, blue cheese ranch and celery; and Phillip’s accomplished pastry chef wife, Margarita, creates a house-baked sourdough with house-made triple creme cheese and smoked honey. The powerhouse burger with house-baked brioche, Cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and secret sauce is an excellent choice for a main course. Dessert from Margarita is at Woodley Proper’s discretion, but you can be sure that it’s top notch. (see full dineL.A. menu)

16101 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 818-906-9775