Palate Pleasers

Two new spots to put on your Boulevard hit list.

You have to know how to find The Fiscal Agent bar—so far there’s no signage at this darkly elegant cocktail lounge located above Barrel & Ashes. Unless you come early, it takes a reservation to get past the velvet rope. This first solo effort of LA cocktail guru Julian Cox  offers exclusive atmosphere with inclusive attitude and welcomes a mostly young, stylish crowd with  inventive libations—often served in vintage glassware. Small plates include Peruvian scallops (served raw), octopus with potato confit, and duck breast tartine. In Julian’s signature style, cocktails sport amusing names including Are You Happy to See Me or Is It Sibona in Your Pocket? At press time, Ventura Blvd learned Julian had moved to Chicago; The Fiscal Agent remains open. 

11801 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-623-8088

Of course we’ve come to expect the trendy from Studio City, but what’s in Woodland Hills besides office plazas? Answer: Luke Bar & Restaurant, a sophisticated newcomer to an eatery-deprived strip of the Boulevard. Find Mediterranean-influenced shareable plates, an active bar scene and crystal chandeliers alongside home-style dishes to attract neighborhood regulars who brought the family for early dinner when this location was La Frite (there is another one still open in Sherman Oaks). The restaurant focuses on home-style cooking, concocting its own salad dressings and crafting kid-friendly soft pretzels, among other home kitchen touches. Luke also caters to the social-hour crowd with a full bar and elegant craft cocktails. 

22616 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, 818-876-6000