New Summer Eats

Enjoy a midsummer refresh at a favorite Valley restaurant, plus two new eateries for trendsetting desserts and healthy bites.

  • Category
    Eat & Drink
  • Written by
    Karen Young
  • Above
    The Village Trio Salad

Music and new menus at The Village in Studio City

Exciting changes have rolled out at The Village in Studio City over the past couple months with the addition of lunch, weekend brunch and a Cuban “pop-up.” An airy redesign adds to the refresh after seven years on the Boulevard.

The rustic/industrial exterior has been replaced with windows that open to the street. Restaurateur Frank Leon (who also owns the 32-year-old Ventura Boulevard mainstay La Loggia and the adjacent Ceremony just a mile east) describes the changes, including light blue and white elements, as imbuing a more “cosmopolitan” ambience.

Formerly open for happy hour and dinner only, The Village is now serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, with weekend brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The restaurant reopens for happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and closes “late.” For daytime hours, the space has been redubbed The Little Village as seen by the street-side mural by Kasey Jones, Ink.

Visiting Barcelona-based chef Josh Heller added to the existing Mediterranean-focused menu with flavorful new dishes including butter bean hummus with sobrasada; lamb chops accompanied by labneh and hazelnut dukkah; chicken za’atar and sumac chopped salad; and branzino with chermoula and Persian cucumber salad. Those opting for a lighter lunch should check out the salads, such as citrus beet, Moroccan carrot, and farro with asparagus, peas, herbs and goat cheese (choose three for $15).

The brunch menu adds a mix of global entrees with such offerings as shakshuka, Turkish eggs, chilaquiles and croque madame, along with waffles and brioche French toast. The menu also offers vegan and gluten-free options. Of special note for brunch: bottomless mimosas and a Latin jazz band on Sundays.

Come with your dancing shoes on Thursday evenings for the Cuban Sessions “pop-up” at 8:30 p.m. featuring a live, eight-piece band of professional touring musicians headed by film composer Carlos José Alvarez. This is also the band that actor/musician Andy Garcia jams with when he’s in town—and he stops by on occasion. Look for a few specialty dishes, including croquetas de pollo. |  The Village photos courtesy of Karen Young


Get your sugar rush at The Dolly Llama

Following success in DTLA and Koreatown and fueled by the power of Instagram fodder, The Dolly Llama recently opened its third location in Sherman Oaks—introducing its over-the-top dessert waffles to 818 dwellers. Choices include the bubble cone waffle (Hong Kong street food with a crispy and custard-like texture) and the OG Liege Waffle (Belgium-style)—both loaded with ice cream and toppings.

Build your own or choose a specialty combo such as Sugar ‘N’ Spice, featuring horchata ice cream, cookie, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and a caramel sauce drizzle; or Dolly’s Dream starring blue “cookie monster” ice cream, brownies and Nutella. Other options include ice cream sandwiches, waffle sticks and outrageous shakes. Look for a kiosk in the Northridge Mall coming soon.  |  Photos courtesy of The Dolly Llama



Health Nut opens a second location in Sherman Oaks 

Health Nut, a fast-casual eatery that’s been a mainstay in Calabasas for 30 years, opened a second location in the Sherman Oaks shopping center anchored by Gelson’s on Van Nuys Boulevard. The menu features a selection of salads, sandwiches, tortilla and lettuce wraps, noodle dishes, smoothies and ice tea—all with calorie counts listed.

Of special note are the homemade bottled dressings. If you’re a tuna fan, Health Nut’s version might just be your go-to.  |  Photo courtesy of Health Nut