Six Rodeo Realty agents ranked in REAL Trends The Thousand list, as advertised in The Wall Street Journal

REAL Trends Inc., in conjunction with The Wall Street Journal, has published the 13th annual The Thousand list of America’s top 1,000 real estate sales professionals and teams.

Rodeo Realty is proud to announce that six agents from the company qualified to take part in the prestigious list.

“In an industry that has nearly 1.3 million people involved in residential real estate sales, the fact that these sales associates have achieved the level of sales it takes to be in this esteemed group is outstanding,” said REAL Trends Inc.

The Thousand is divided into four categories, each listing the top 250 designees: Individual Agent—Sales Volume; Individual Agent—Transaction Sides; Agent Team—Sales Volume and Agent Team—Transaction Sides.

The following Rodeo Realty agents were ranked Top 250 in the nation for their sales volume: Jordana Leigh, Josh Flagg, Adi Livyatan, Carol Wolfe, Ben Bacal, and Joe Babajian.

“The average agent ranked in The Thousand closed 204 transaction sides and the average team closed over 533 transaction sides,” said Steve Murray, president of REAL Trends and publisher of The Thousand. “These kinds of results show that those who commit to being full-time professionals can build meaningful businesses and succeed beyond expectations. Achieving this level of results is simply incredible.”

Congratulations to all our agents who made the list!

The Best Waterfall Hikes In Los Angeles


The Best Places to Eat in LA for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is just around the corner, so make sure Dad knows you appreciate him with a special meal this Sunday.

Whether pops likes fine dining or food trucks, Southern cuisine or Japanese robotayaki, baseball or BBQ, we’ve got you covered.

Check out our list below and find a way to celebrate your dad in style for Father’s Day 2018. And don’t forget to make reservations ASAP!

1. Known for its coastal Italian flavors, Cal Mare is a great choice for Father’s Day, with items like Whole Roasted John Dory, Carbonara Pizza and Korumbuta Pork Chop tempting dear old Dad.

2. Burbank’s classic Castaway restaurant, set high atop a hill and boasting great views, has just undergone a major renovation. For Father’s Day, the newly reopened eatery is hosting a Grand Celebration, featuring an elaborate three-course meal for $79 (or $35 for kids), with options like Lobster and Waffles or Seared Tuna Tartine.

3. Does Dad like to check out exotic cars? The Concours d’Elegance, a free event that closed down the 400 block of Rodeo Drive, showcases the best of the world’s best autos. If you’d like to take Dad for a bite before or after, 208 Rodeo, perched above Wilshire Blvd. on the cobblestone streets of Via Rodeo, offers elegant but unpretentious bistro fare, noteworthy cocktails, and great people-watching.

4. For the father who loves baseball and BBQ, head over to Anaheim’s Angel Stadium. This Father’s Day, Dad can play catch in the outfield, crack a bat in the Angels’ batting cages, enjoy a free drink (for 21 and over), engage in a behind-the-scenes stadium tour, and savor a BBQ picnic buffet in the Lexus Diamond Club. Tickets are $90 for adults, $20 for kids 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under.

5. If Dad loves beer, take him to Riverside’s gorgeous Mission Inn. Brunch at this 19th century National Historic Landmark will be extra special this year, with an additional beer-centric menu created in collaboration with So Cal brewery Hangar 24. Options include Pugachev’s Cobra Russian Imperial Stout-infused BBQ pork rib with baked beans and corn on the cob, Hangar 24 Orange Wheat beer-can chicken with warm German potato salad, and beer-infused éclairs.

6. Chef Philip Mack is offering a very special Bull & Oyster Roast at Maple at Descanso Gardens this Father’s Day. The La Cañada Flintridge eatery’s Father’s Day meal reflects Mack’s Maryland roots and passion for soul food, with offerings like the Low Country Boil (with peel and eat shrimp), Cherry-Glazed Pit Ham, Mesquite Grilled Oysters, crab soup, and beignets.

7. Greenbar Distillery in DTLA is hosting an open house and BBQ this Father’s Day, with FREE liquor tastings and BBQ!

8. Boasting a goth-infused decor, Mexican eatery Mi Corazon, located in Silver Lake, is offering 2-for-1 beers on Father’s Day, along with a barrel-aged tequila Old Fashioned for $9, in addition to its regular menu. We suggest ordering the 20-ingredient mole.

9. Savor Southeast Asian flavors with Dad at Bone Kettle in Pasadena, with dishes like Bone Marrow with scallion confit, Crab Lumpia, Garlic Steak Nasi Goreng or Beef Ribs with bone marrow au jus.

10. Santa Monica gastropub The Independence is offering Dad a free drink on his day. On Father’s Day, brunching dads can enjoy a complimentary “Man-mosa” at brunch or a Man-hattan at dinner.

11. If Dad loves Japanese food, take him to Katana in West Hollywood, which recently launched its Sunday-evening Red Sun BBQ Series. The elegant patio set high above the Sunset Strip is the ideal spot for listening to a live DJ while savoring freshly grilled lobster skewers, tacos filled with carnitas or popcorn shrimp, ceviche and sushi rolls.

12. Enjoy a poolside cookout at The Restaurant at Mr. C in Beverly Hills. Lunch on the elegant pool deck will include live music, games, grilled burgers and veggies, salmon chicken mattone, Cipriani pastas, housemade desserts, and endless pours of Peroni Nastro Azzurro or house wine. And to top if off, Dad gets his choice of a Cipriani bottled beer or a signature cigar from La Casa Del Tabac to bring home.

13. Bond with Dad over Clint Eastwood and James Bond movies — not to mention dinner — at the Stalking Horse in West L.A. Movies will play from 4 p.m. on, while the burger topped with pork belly, onion rings, bacon-onion relish and arugula is just one of the Dad-centered specials.

14. French bistro Church & State in DTLA’s Arts District will tempt discerning dads with their $45 four-course Father’s Day menu, featuring dishes like Roulade de Porc and Steak Tartare made with grass-fed beef.

15. If Dad loves food trucks, take him to Angel City Brewery‘s Father’s Day Food Truck Festival. Downtown Taco Co. and other food trucks will serve up tasty temptations, the Vignes Rooftop Revival will play gypsy jazz, and an assortment of Angel City’s limited-edition craft beers will help Dad feel both relaxed and appreciated.

Article courtesy of We Like LA.

The Best Books of 2018 So Far


The Best Movies On Hulu Right Now

Netflix may have been first to the streaming game, but it’s far from the only player. Hulu, for example, has steadily improved the quality and diversity of its on-demand streaming offerings, to the point where now you can find titles that are just as good (if not better) than what’s on Netflix. Here, to make our case, are the best movies currently on Hulu:


The Best Brunch Spots in Los Angeles

LA’s a brunch town. On any given Saturday and Sunday, most of the city’s best restaurants serve some form of eggy goodness, and there’s a whole second subset of restaurants that exist on brunch and brunch alone, which makes sense: there’s no better meal. Not dinner, not lunch, and certainly not linner; brunch has it all, topped with a runny egg (and often, as an added bonus, served with bottomless drinks). That said, not every brunch is a brunch you should munch — which is why we’ve updated our list of the best all-around brunch spots in LA.



Jon and Vinny’s OG restaurant, and a sleeper brunch heavyweight
OK, so the brunch at Jon and Vinny’s or Trois Familia is probably what you were expecting to see here from the duo behind Animal, and for good reason: those brunches are very, very good. But Animal generally doesn’t have a wait for a table and is EQUALLY good, which gives it crazy leverage; the bodega breakfast sandwich (ham, egg, and American cheese on a kaiser roll) for less than $10 is all the reason you should need to hit here instead of one of their other spots.



The South Bay’s go-to for griddled favorites and delicious Bloody Marys
David LeFevre basically ignited the food world in Manhattan Beach, and his first outpost is still the best brunch hang spot in the South Bay. Not only can you get the signature bacon-Cheddar buttermilk biscuits, but there’s also a pork belly bibimbap, and drinks like the mezcal-and-beet-cordial-laden Lust of Aphrodite.



A longtime Westside chef’s new brunchy home
When Nyesha Arrington was at her former homebase, the Venice-beachside spot Leona, her brunch game was already A+ — but now that she’s at Native, that score’s been cranked up to A++. The unusual (and delicious) menu offerings include umami porridges, coconut brown butter pancakes, and a crowd-pleasing holdover from Leona: kimchi latkes.



Eat your eggs on one of Venice’s best hidden patios
Neighbor was one of the best under-the-radar openings of 2017, and its brunch launch was similarly buried under other local restaurant news. In other words, you can easily get a seat for cardamom-scented granola, aged Cheddar polenta with poached eggs and jalapeño, and bonito tuna on Danish rye, alongside delicious cocktails like the gin-and-blackberry Girl Next Door. Won’t you be her neighbor?



A Middle Eastern gem with an excellent breakfast spread
It would seriously be worth hitting this cute, acclaimed Los Feliz spot just for their craveable homemade bread, but it’s even more worth it when you’re dipping that bread into a tomato-stewed shakshuka, and the poached eggs that go along with it. If you’re with a group, you should definitely order the “Turkish-Ish Breakfast,” an Instagrammable smorgasbord of dips, breads, eggs, and mezze dishes that’s perfect to pick at. There’s a reason this place made our Best of 2017 list.



The West Valley’s home for eggs, pancakes, and more
The story of CiCi’s is as good as the food: CiCi, then a waitress at the Sherman Oaks brunch staple Jinkys, decided to go out on her own and open a namesake restaurant, which went on to become one of the best brunch spots in the West Valley. Over a decade later, she’s still running the game, with a massive menu that includes unique pancakes like the Night Rider (chocolate velvet pancakes topped with bananas, chocolate chips, Nutella & whipped cream), and a namesake omelette with turkey sun-dried tomato sausage, spinach, Portobello mushroom, tomatoes & Boursin cheese.



Mini-chain with truly unforgettable French toast
This beloved, ultra-casual mini-chain has expanded to six LA-area locations (and one in Tokyo!) on the strength of its all-day breakfast menu, which includes favorites like chicken chilaquiles and a wagyu brunch burger. The signature dish is the French toast, though, which is dipped in a secret eggy batter and then basted with corn flakes before it’s grilled, giving each bite a textural crunch as well as a heavy burst of flavor. You’re gonna want at least one order for the table.



Outdoor group spot that’s walking distance from the beach
There’s a ton of foliage in the back of this beach-adjacent bistro, and a ton of astonishingly creative dishes as well. The menu is gigantic, but the highlights range from burgers (topped with everything from eggs to peanut butter to spicy tuna sushi), to pasta scrambles with linguini, eggs, and homemade chili, to Hawaiian-style “Royals,” with sunny-siders over jerk chicken with red onions and bell peppers. There’s also a full bar, and (of course) sangria, mimosas, and Bloodys.



A morning-after (and night-before) favorite with killer egg dishes
Though the menu at this WeHo mainstay changes with the seasons, one standby is the Bubble and Squeak: a hangover-buster with a hash made of corned brisket, fingerling potatoes, and greens, topped with mustard seed and a sunny-side up egg. It’s as good (and sometimes lifesaving) as it sounds, and if you’re into the boozy side of breakfast, Eveleigh also serves up pitchers of mimosas and chamomile-tequila-infused lemonade for some extra morning oomph.



An all-around LA brunch classic, with a long line to match
There may be no more renowned brunch spot in LA than this now-legendary, completely bare-bones Silver Lake eggery, which started as a jarred-jam operation, but is now considered by just about everyone as one of the best breakfast restaurants in the country. Jessica Koslow, the unassuming Food & Wine-nominated chef who runs the kitchen, splashes out different specials at 8am (seared polenta cake w/ broccoli, artichoke, and fried egg) and 11am (short rib w/ sunchoke), and the must-order is the crispy-rice salad, full of texture, flavor, and love. If you come during peak hours, bring a book, or a game, or a friend — the line can take a long, long time.



Possibly the best brunch buffet you’ll ever have
This woodsy restaurant’s unfairly maligned as a hippie-dippy hang. Sure, the Sunday all-you-can-eat buffet has a ton of veggie options, but it also has all-you-can-eat crab legs, turkey sausage, and more for an extra $3, plus an opportunity to eat outside on one of LA’s most legendary decks, in the middle of the mountain canyon. If buffets aren’t your thing, you can also do a la carte dishes including gravlax omelettes and turkey and artichoke panini.



Expanded location of a tiny-but-great brunch spot
Thankfully, Salt’s Cure expanded to a larger location than its original blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Melrose home (though you can still go there for breakfast, too), which means it’s far easier to get a table without spending the day waiting in line. Once you’re seated, you’ll want to order up the 2x2x2, for what’s basically a high-end grand slam — including sausages and bacon butchered in-house. If you’re with a friend (or two?), you’re gonna want some biscuits and gravy as well. Mmm.



Eastside favorite with an in-house deli
Here’s some irony for you: Little Dom’s was originally the younger sibling of Mid-City’s beloved Italian restaurant Dominick’s — which is now closed. This means that bragging rights belong to the Eastside-only on breakfast sandwiches with wild boar bacon and steak and eggs with fennel-pollen hollandaise, as well as reasonably priced prosecco



Popular date spot with the best patio in LA
Cliff’s Edge is long-known as one of the best date spots in LA, thanks in no small part to their tree-shaded romantic patio, and there’s no reason that date can’t happen over eggs, especially when said eggs are over a bacon-and-Brussels-laden pork belly hash. The bar here is also not messing around: creative cocktails include the SLIT, made with Loft & Bear vodka, black tea, pomegranate molasses, lemon, honey, rosemary, and soda.



French toast, scrambles, and the city’s best fruit salad
The original Hollywood location of this also-in-Silver Lake no-frills cafe (with a breezy, similarly understated patio) sits under the looming gaze of the Scientology building on an otherwise unremarkable stretch of Fountain. What is remarkable is the food — the mustard and collard green baked eggs is one of the best brunch dishes in the city, and you should definitely get an order of the fruit salad, which goes far beyond melon and grapes and includes seasonal fresh picks including star fruit, mango, and dragonfruit.

Story courtesy of Thrillist. 

The 25 Most Popular National Parks in America

For many of us living in big cities, the sad truth is that the only time we remember there are parts of this great nation not covered in condos and fast-casual restaurants is when we’re Instagramming them from 36,000 feet. Which is also when we think to ourselves, “Wow, I wish there was a way I could see all that beauty up close and without a plane wing in my way.” Well, turns out, there is! And it’s called our National Parks System.

And as a reminder of the scope of America’s awe-inspiring natural beauty (and its 59-strong park system created by the coolest dude ever from New York), we thought it’d be fun to take the 25 most-visited parks in 2016 and rank them by their level of adventure and sheer, mind-blowing spectacle. Turns out, yes, it was fun.

Capitol Reef National Park

Ask anyone to name Utah’s five National Parks, and odds are Capitol Reef is the one they forget among its arched-and-canyoned cousins. You should remember Capitol Reef for the Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile wrinkle in the earth and a feature you won’t find elsewhere in the state. It’s also been designated as a “Gold Tier” Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association, so camping here in the summer will yield some of the prettiest stars you’ve ever seen. At just over a million visitors last year, it offers much of the red rocks and striking geology of other Utah parks, without the crowds.

Hot Springs National Park

The top tourist attraction in the Natural State (fitting nickname, right?) is the 16th-most visited yet smallest National Park in the country, hosting nearly 1.5 million visitors every year. The big draw here is  “Bathhouse Row” — where you can bathe in the healing natural waters of the hot springs — which makes for a rejuvenating weekend getaway, especially if you like the lit-fireworks aroma of sulfur. Beyond the baths, the park is a jewel of Arkansas nature, with winding roads and a mountain tower giving a spectacular view of the surrounding Ouachita Mountains.

Saguaro National Park

You know those comically oversized cacti Wile E. Coyote used to fall into every time his ACME contraption didn’t work? Those are modeled after the Giant Saguaro cactus, the most distinct feature is this park straddling the city of Tucson. The park, created to preserve the cacti, boasts some of the toughest short hikes you’ll find in a national park. Even during mild weather, a trek into nature here can take you up 5,000 feet of elevation in 15 miles of desert. Hiking Saguaro might not be for the novice, but a nice air-conditioned drive will take you through a Western landscape that’s unmistakably Arizona.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Is anyone surprised that a national park with the same name as a river that once caught fire includes an old Superfund site? And we’re not talking about the former location of the Richfield Coliseum, which housed the perpetually toxic Cleveland Cavaliers, although it’s actually in the park too. No, we’re talking about the old Krejci Dump. But why focus on 47 acres of toxic waste, when the CVNP boasts 33,000 acres (!!) of gorgeous waterfalls, caves, biking/horse trails, and historic sections of the Ohio and Erie Canal.

Everglades National Park

Once upon a time, most of America’s seventh-largest metropolitan area was a river of grass where alligators crawled through black water under mangrove canopies, sawgrass stood tall under flying herons, and almost no man dared to go. What’s left of it sits just about 45 minutes west of Miami in the Everglades, a flat swath of big cypress trees and inhospitable terrain that remains the most distinct ecosystem of any National Park. Take a drive down US-41 to Everglades City and jump on an airboat ride to really get in the thick of it. Or, if you’re exceptionally lucky (and quiet), you may see an elusive Florida panther.

Shenandoah National Park

Along the densely populated mid-Atlantic, no national park makes a faster, prettier escape to nature than this one, some 70 miles from DC and 100 from Baltimore. The main attraction here is Skyline Drive, a 105-mile road that winds through the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers sweeping views of the valley and, in fall, an explosion of insane colors. It’s also home to a big chunk of the Appalachian Trail if you’re feeling ambitious, or smaller side treks: jaunts to Rose River or to South River Falls are both hikes under 3 miles.

Death Valley National Park

California, Nevada
The only national park that’s regularly confused with two different college football stadiums, this striking desert scape can be an acquired taste if you’re not into arid environs, but will delight anyone who wants the sensation of driving across a barren moon. This stretch of the Mojave Desert is home to the lowest point in North America at Badwater Basin, an eerie salt flats sitting 282 feet below sea level. The park is also dotted with ghost towns, some of which still have concrete remnants of their Wild West heydays. For a close-to-spiritual experience, head to Dante’s View at sunrise, where you’ll see the morning light reflect of the Sierra Nevada in dozens of different colors.

Joshua Tree National Park

The only national park to get its very own U2 album named after it has exploded in popularity over the past decade, now the 11th most-visited park with 2.5 million visitors. They’re not coming in droves to see if the streets do, in fact, have no name. They’re coming because Joshua Tree boasts perhaps the best collection of rock-climbing faces in the US. The desert park also has 501 archeological sites, and is home to the lower Coachella Valley, making it a popular side trip for music festival goers in the spring as well.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Tennessee, North Carolina
The MOST VISITED PARK IN AMERICA spans four counties across two states, and runs through part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Accessible from both Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Cherokee, North Carolina, the park has more than 1,660 different kinds of flowering plants — the most of any national park. Its highest point is Clingman’s Dome, where a 50-foot observation deck allows visitors to soak in some spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding beauty. More than 11 million annual visitors make it nearly twice as busy as the second-place Grand Canyon.

Moments from Super Bowl 52 that everyone is talking about

The Patriots’ dynasty has crumbled. Thanks to stellar late-game defense and a well-timed strip-sack, the Philadelphia Eagles were able to do what last year’s Atlanta Falcons could not: stave off a Tom Brady comeback and claw their way to a 41-33 victory. While the gridiron heroics were exciting to watch, last night’s 52nd Super Bowl also notably saw some crazy ads, a weird Justin Timberlake halftime show, and, of course, the birth of a new, good meme. Read on to relive the night’s best on-field and off-field highlights:

Tom Brady wore a conspiratorial outfit
Most viewers — at least those not aligned with the Patriots — turned on their TVs and got into their seats wanting to see Brady fail, still recovering from the sting of the last Super Bowl. Simply put, the veteran quarterback started the night as a villain. It didn’t help that he showed up looking like Evil Inspector Gadget.

Carrie Underwood starred in a live-action Zootopia remake

OK, not really. But while some viewers were surprised at how much of a bop the country singer’s Super Bowl anthem with Ludacris turned out to be, we couldn’t stop thinking about how much it looked like the end credits of Zootopia. Not bad! Just saying.

NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns was taking photos

Undoubtedly, the celeb with the best seat in the house was basketball player Karl-Anthony Towns. The Minnesota Timberwolves star was spotted on the sidelines sporting a “Free Meek Mill” jersey and a nice camera. Some figured he got the same photog gig for The Players’ Tribune that Kevin Durant had at Super Bowl 50, many were just jealous. Nice work, Big KAT.

Pink was not chewing gum, you guys

Right before she was set to sing the national anthem, P!nk casually spat something into her hand. Many critics tried to go after her on Twitter, assuming it was gum, but many were incorrect. (“It was a throat lozenge,” she tweeted.) Other haters were met with a good ol’ Charlie Sheen clap back: “Yeah but at least I suck while singing our countries national anthem,” she added, “and you just suck by yourself on a dirty couch. #winning.”

Eagles fans lost it during this Rocky hype video

In case all the Brady booing didn’t convince you this was a mostly Eagles crowd.

Bradley Cooper was having a great night

The only Eagles superfan who was probably more pumped to be there than KAT was Bradley Cooper. The Philly native narrated a hype video, donned moderate green, and soon after Alshon Jeffery’s first touchdown snag, did his best Shia LaBeouf “Just Do It” impression. Fly, “Iggles”! Fly!

Brandin Cooks got freaking powerbombed

This Patriots receiver, on the other hand, was not having a great night. He started the second quarter by hauling in a catch and trying to hurdle over an Eagles defender for a touchdown. The jump didn’t go as planned, though, and for a few moments, the football game turned into a professional wrestling match.

The Best Places For A Big Trip in 2018

The Best Places To Eat On Ventura Boulevard

Not only are there great classic spots all over the Valley, but the past few years have brought a food renaissance to the SFV, which is why Thrillist has updated their list of the best restaurants on Ventura. Of course, there are also great cuts deeper north, but the Boulevard’s where much of the action happens, and is also way easier for any friends coming from over the hill to get to.



Strong cocktails and killer brunch from a Top Chef alum
The just-off-Cahuenga section of Ventura is one of LA’s trendiest gastropub havens, but one of the first to set up shop on the block was Black Market, which combines the efforts of Top Chef alum Antonia Lofaso with lauded barmen Pablo Moix and Steve Livigni. It’s jam-packed on weekend nights, thanks to the tremendously tasty drinks (the spicy/grapefruity Chilero is a favorite) and some of the city’s best wings, as well as an egg-laden brunch.



Divey spot with pub fare and 60+ taps
Not only does this (yes, again) gastropub have one of the best burgers in town that you’ve never heard of, but it’s also got an insane beer list, and is walking distance from the Galleria, where you’ll smirk at the people waiting in line at The Cheesecake Factory… right before you stumble up to the ArcLight.



Late-night Valley institution with terrific margaritas
Is this the best Mexican food you’ll ever eat? No, it is not. Still, it’s been a Valley classic for over 50 years, due in one part to amazing margaritas, and in another part to incredible chips-and-guac, and, in yet another part, to that old-school charm-y Mexican restaurant decor that falls flat when anyone tries to modernize it. And the oven-style burritos — wet with sauce and covered with drippy cheese — are pretty excellent too, all told.



Classic, family-style Chinese food
If you’ve got friends who grew up in the Valley, it’s likely that their taste for Chinese food started at this mid-Boulevard staple. But it’s not just nostalgia that keeps the lights on here: Bamboo’s a Zagat-rated favorite, with reliably delicious takes on classic dishes like well-salted wonton soup and sizzling hot beef & scallops.



Reliable reincarnation of a sushi classic
The transformation from Sushi Nozawa to Sugarfish — the most consistent chain of any kind we’ve ever eaten at, with some of the best sub-$50 sushi you’ll find anywhere — has not gone unnoticed. Sugarfish is great, and unequivocally so.



Middle Eastern spot with excellent kebabs
Sure, it’s as far west as you’re likely to go, but it’s worth heading under the 405 for this Persian treasure. In addition to melt-in-your-mouth skewers of beef and chicken, you’ll also want to try the rice boiled with sour cherries and chicken, and the juicy, thick savory stews of veal and eggplant. As an added bonus, there’s plentiful, under-the-405, shopping cart parking nearby!



Barebones space with barbecue and a massive beer selection
This long-standing BBQ spot is a classic for a whole host of reasons. It serves up tender, drool-inducing ribs, features a wide-ranging and ever-changing craft beer list (42 taps long), offers a half-priced wine special every Tuesday and Wednesday, and has a daily happy hour. Oh, and the Kobe beef & chili-filled donuts here are life-affirmingly good.



Longtime sushi spot serving both trendy & traditional takes
OK, props to one more sushi joint: this unassuming, tucked-away spot serves not only hearty helpings of salmon nigiri and crazy-good uni, but also has the best blackened cod on the Boulevard. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see a man throw a 13-foot python at you while you eat your dinner.



Bistro emphasizing farm-fresh ingredients
This New American spot got a rave review from Jonathan Gold and has become one of the surest bets for great food in the Valley. The dinner menu’s got tempura cauliflower and a patty melt that’s become a local favorite, and chef/owner Ted Hopson’s also got a poached-egg-topped grain bowl and a hot chicken sandwich for brunch on the weekends.



Romantic spot for a sit-down dinner
This longstanding nice-dinner favorite has an indoor/outdoor vibe, and a pedigreed chef who’s now doing a three-course tasting menu as well as a la carte options like an osso buco and lamb-rib duo. Try to get a seat outside by the fireplace: this is the rare Valley restaurant that feels romantic without being hokey, and the patio vibe goes a long way in establishing that atmosphere.



Counter service standby for lunch or dinner
There is tons of great Middle Eastern food in the Valley, but for the East Valley, Joe’s reigns supreme: their falafel is a lunchtime staple, thanks to a perfectly crisp exterior and a chickpea mixture that’s surprisingly spiced (is that… cinnamon I’m tasting??). Their bowl specials are also exceedingly affordable and always delicious.



Acclaimed restaurant group by a husband/wife duo
Vaunted Scratch|Bar chef Phillip Frankland Lee and his pastry chef wife Margarita have single-handedly (or is that double-handedly? How does that work?) changed the dining scene in the West Valley with a quartet of restaurants, all located in the Woodley Plaza center. There’s the gastropub-y Woodley Proper, the seafood-centric Frankland’s Crab & CoSushi|Bar (which trounces the Valley’s raw-fish mainstays), and of course the flagship Scratch|Bar, all of which have become destination restaurants in a part of LA that had never really been on the culinary map before.



LA landmark serving traditional Cuban dishes
This LA Cuban mini-chain is responsible for one of the city’s most iconic dishes (garlic chicken, yes please), but is also great for sandwiches, casual/inexpensive group dinners, and other events that don’t involve making out afterwards. Plus, you can tell your over-the-hill-friends that you ate at a bona fide LA institution, and then argue over why the hell they don’t believe you when you say the Valley’s every bit as good as the city is.



Well-made comfort food in a pub-style atmosphere
Gastropubs started trending in the East Valley nearly a decade ago, and the trend’s welcome crawl westward is exemplified by The Local Peasant’s two locations on Ventura — one in Sherman Oaks, and one all the way west in Woodland Hills. Does that mean Woodland Hills is the next Studio City? Maybe, but until we know for sure, order some chocolate chunk bread pudding and make yourself comfortable.



Addictive Middle Eastern fare inside a shopping center
Worthy of a Tarzana trip all by itself, the bubbly, doughy flatbread at this Middle Eastern mainstay has the perfect consistency to sop up any of the 12+ all-you-can-eat “salads” served with every dish, which include multiple deconstructions of eggplant, a chopped liver pate, and a slew of spiced vegetables. Here’s your go-to move: order one of the skewer dishes for every two or three people at your table, and then go HAM on the salads — and the bread. Oh, and also order the hummus (duh).

Article courtesy of Thrillist.