The well-worn term “comfort food” hadn’t been introduced when The Valley Inn opened its doors way back in 1947, but that’s what the venerable restaurant proudly serves in its 62nd successful year on Sherman Oaks Ave. just south of Ventura Blvd. (a block west of Sepulveda Blvd. in Sherman Oaks). Experience shows. With its distinctive touch of class, no place in the vast Valley does it with such charm or finesse—not at any price.
The warm décor and surroundings urge us to relax and stay awhile. On a recent mid-day luncheon visit, the Palate observed that nobody in the rose-hued main dining room displayed any sense of gulping a bite on a tight schedule or doing business on an intrusive cell phone. How refreshing!
Seated in a comfy banquette, we ordered beverages from the full bar, and studied the lengthy, very legible menu with bountiful house specialties, appetizing starters, steaks, ribs, fresh seafood, an array of healthful salads, duckling or prime rib (at dinnertime), and hot and cold sandwiches. Our friendly server, Victoria, displayed perfect timing in taking and delivering our orders. How professional…
We shared a plentiful, searing hot order of Rocky Bay crispy-fried calamari with a tangy sauce ($10.95). I eyed, but resisted, the steamy bowl of classic French onion soup on a nearby table ($6.95) because how the hell can you share soup? Oh well. Maybe next time.
The Palate opted for abundant, tender slices of prime roast beef on a French roll with crispy, greaseless fries ($14.95). My chum went for seared, rare, peppercorn crusted ahi tuna, and devoured every tasty morsel, plus rice and fresh veggies. Clearly a treat at $21.95.
Genial host-owners Sophia and Boris Brodetsky circulated around the dining room, making everybody feel welcome. Sophia credits the Valley Inn staff, most of who have been there for decades, for much of patron satisfaction. Chef Gilbert Michael has held forth for over 20 years. How unusual.
Open for dinner nightly, the Inn serves lunch weekdays only. For reservations, dial (818) 784-1163.
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