Fish Woodland Hills

Urban Plates Brings Fresh, Fast-Casual Food to Woodland Hills

San Diego-based Urban Plates serves fresh, fast-casual cooking and already has 13 Southern California locations—including a new Woodland Hills outpost.

The new Urban Plates in Woodland Hills is getting a lot of buzz. The menu focuses on hand-tossed salads, plates, sandwiches, bowls and soups. Urban Plates, a San Diego-based chain, is big on transparency, with most ingredients on the counter in a cafeteria-style line and nothing ever frozen.

Their grilled wild albacore Niçoise salad, grilled portobello mushroom sandwich, turkey meatloaf plate and a four side dish combo called 4 Up are listed on fixed faux wood panels. Urban Plates also rotates specials on white panels. That could mean an occasional Caesar salad or lamb shank osso bucco with mint gremolata.

We ordered barramundi—a type of sea bass dressed with miso sesame ginger lemongrass sauce. Plates come with char-grilled rustic bread and a choice of two sides. For us that meant roasted rainbow carrots and golden beets, and harissa zucchini and cauliflower.

As you get closer to the register, an array of cookies and cakes reveals itself. Tantalizing platters host sweets like banana cream pie, vanilla bean cheesecake, mango tart and towering banana cake layered with pineapple and walnuts called hummingbird cake that’s slathered with cream cheese frosting.

The Woodland Hills branch of Urban Plates has plenty of wood, an open kitchen and faux plants covering wood palettes. Yes, plates even factor into the decor, with green, white and black plates lining the south wall. Still, their food-filled plates are more interesting.

21857 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, 818-588-4141