NFT Los Angeles Encino


Encino's location, convenient to both the 405 and the 101 freeways, makes it one of LA's most desirable suburbs. It's about as "Valley" as the Valley gets, having been immortalized in Frank Zappa's "Valley Girl," The Karate Kid, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Encino Man, and -- just as important, culturally -- Match Game with Gene Rayburn and Brett Somers. Whatever.

With an influx of decent restaurants and shopping, Encino has become not just a nice place to live, but somewhere you might want to go. This 'burb has come into its own -- exporting homegrown hot dog joint, The Stand, all the way to downtown. Enjoy it!


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Stacy Lane
Photo:  Stacy Lane

Jerry's Famous Deli
Okay, so the truth is…I’m a bad Jew. I’m just as likely to be found munching on a pile of bacon on a random Saturday morning as my 90 year old Grandpa is to be found at schul. Which is pretty freaking likely. I generally don’t enjoy Jewish food either—all those carbs, grease, and odd types of fish are not really my thing. But once in a while, my inner yenta takes over and starts bossing me around, demanding a bowl of matzo ball soup and a few half-done pickles. On these occasions, I find myself at Jerry’s Deli. Others may like Canter’s better (more old-skool) or Junior’s (cheaper), but Jerry’s trumps them all—their limitless menu features Jewish soul food like fluffy potato latkes and sweet blintzes. Quiet the yenta within and splurge on a few matzo balls. Make sure to order a side of bacon too, just to spite her.

Posted By:  adam c. marshall
Photo:  adam c. marshall

There’s a virile image of California as being a commune of sorts for all things veggie, granola, and health-nut. But, as anyone who’s spent any time here knows, that’s full of shit. Welcome to the birthplace of fast food, the land of meat. Californians love their meat. And Angelenos are no exception with their steakhouses, sushi, and their hamburger joints on every corner. And they love their hot dogs for a city that has no definitive taste for them. There’s no through line of style or quality to LA’s favorite places for a good dog. I’ve long tried to peg them down on the national scale of hot-doggery, but have failed. But, as of now, let’s say The Stand is it. It’s Los Angeles: the rat pack approach to dogs. A high grade fast food restaurant with an old-school feel, this place is the most formal and dressed up approach there is for a hot dog stand. Screw health, this is one glossy package for linked meats. And now they have a brand new location in the park at the Century City Towers. So, all you lawyers, agents and bankers, meet The Stand: LA’s hot dog.

Posted By:  Beth Deitchman
Photo:  Beth Deitchman

The very name "Baklava Factory" conjures images of an assembly line of workers, tirelessly rolling phyllo dough and grinding nuts to fill this Middle Eastern delicacy. The actual factory is apparently located up in Sylmar, but this Encino location (as well as the other retail outlets in Glendale and North Hollywood) is where the fruit of that labor makes its way to the masses. Upon entering the store, a baklava neophyte will likely be overwhelmed by how many different varieties there are of the dessert—caramel, pistachio, and "Bird's Nests" are among the traditional baklavas; but then there are nut confections, maamool (which sort of resembles a nut-filled New Orleans beignet), nougat, and Turkish Delight. Generations of children read about Turkish Delight in the Chronicles of Narnia, but after a trip to the Baklava Factory they may really begin to understand why the confection was enough to motivate Edmund to betray his family. We sincerely hope it doesn't go that far in your household, but just in case, you may want to sock away a little extra. We won't tell.

Posted By:  Beth Deitchman
Photo:  Chesley Andrews

It’s rare to find a restaurant as aptly named as More Than Waffles. It’s not like LA is crawling with places with names like, Melt In Your Mouth Sushi or Delectable Artery-Clogging Steaks. But More Than Waffles, does, indeed, have lots more than waffles. They have delicious omelets–we like the farmer, with mushrooms, fresh basil, and goat cheese–along with pancakes, salads, and sandwiches, too. But let’s be honest, the minute you walk in the door of a restaurant called More Than Waffles you’re going to get curious about the waffles. I did, and they’re fabulous–light, airy, and supposedly (we’d love to find an independent lab to confirm this) low in calories. That’s for the plain, of course, rather than the fancier variations with fruit, whipped cream, or even caramel. Did we mention that the egg dishes come with waffles? They do! Did we mention that the waffles come with a homemade jam on the side? They do! The restaurant is very busy on weekend mornings, though you can pass the time in the courtyard, listening to the vocal stylings of J. Michael Henderson. It’s more than breakfast, it’s More Than Waffles.

Posted By:  Jeremiah Hahn
Photo:  Jeremiah Hahn

If chili is your thing, then this is the place to go. Nestled in a small strip small just off of the 101 Freeway, Chili My Soul is a haven for lovers of chili and all things hot and spicy. Before going to Chili My Soul I had never been to a gourmet chili restaurant before and I was very impressed. They have more than thirty flavors ranging from straight up bean and beef chili to Habanero/Mango Chicken chili (a personal favorite of mine). The chefs cook each chili for a minimum of forty hours to make sure every batch lives up to their high standards of quality for flavor and texture. With so many flavors to choose from, making a selection can be quite intimidating; fortunately they offer free samples of any variety you’d like to try—that way you can check flavor and spiciness before you order. And if all that isn’t enough, you can even have chili shipped to you anywhere in the US.

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