Saturday, August 15, 2009

Memo to L.A. Times' Sandy Banks: Stop eating in chains!

Macaroni Grill's Apple Crispetti has 1210 calories a serving.

Sandy Banks writes in today's L.A. Times that it's depressing to see how many calories are in chain restaurant dishes. But is it really surprising that an order of "Dessert Ravioli" from Macaroni Grill is a nutritional disaster? Maybe I live in an urban bubble, but I had never even realized there was such a thing. I'm sorry that you're stuck in Chatsworth, Sandy, but if you stop eating at chain restaurants you'll accomplish two things:
1) Independent restaurants aren't required to post calories, so you can order the most indulgent thing on the menu and not think twice.
2) Plus, you'll be supporting local businesses and broadening your palate.
Maybe I need to take Sandy to lunch so she can branch out a little.
I'll start with two places I've wanted to try:
-Woodlands Indian is vegetarian and offers unlimited dosa night on Wednesdays. Probably just as caloric, but who could pass that up?
-My friends in Chatsworth like the Northridge Thai restaurant Lum-ka-naad, which makes a killer beef salad that I suspect is quite low-carb.
Any other suggestions for eating far out in the Valley?


Food GPS said...

The western San Fernando has some great ethnic eating options. Reseda Boulevard alone could take a week to explore. Here are eight spots for Sandy to try:’s-chicken-–-northridge-ca-–-july-14-2009/–-june-20-2009/–-june-20-2009/–-northridge-ca-–-june-19-2009/’s-mediterranean-cuisine-–-reseda-ca-saturday-may-24-2008/’s-donut-emporium-–-woodland-hills-ca-–-saturday-january-5-2008/

Kathy A. McDonald said...

Martin and I enjoyed our chicken sesame noodles (with lots of veggies) at Mandarin Deli on Reseda. (You sent us there in June). And I heartily second Josh's recommendation of Brent's Deli--it's old school. Best cole slaw in L.A.--roast beef sandwiches, pickles, pastrami, etc.

Unknown said...

My head is swimming in good places to eat, because I'm editing the next edition of EAT: Los Angeles (which you are part of, Pat!), and there's so much good food in every corner of L.A., including the West Valley. In addition to your and Josh's suggestions, I would send Sandy to the Indian buffet at Copper Chimney in Woodland Hills, to La Portena in North Hills and Mercado Buenos Aires in Van Nuys for Argentinean food, to Puro Sabor in Van Nuys for great Peruvian cooking, Uerukamu in Tarzana for good (and healthy) Japanese small plates, Sol y Luna in Tarzana for chips-and-margaritas Mexican, Top Thai in Reseda, and Madeleine Bistro in Tarzana for really good vegetarian and vegan cooking.

For fast food, she and her kids should try Falafel Express Kosher in Tarzana, Fab Hot Dogs in Reseda, Cemitas Poblanas Don Adrian in Van Nuys, and Panos Char Broiler in Van Nuys.

Friends don't let friends eat at Macaroni Grill.

Kate Coe said...

I keep wondering if the LAT has some style guide that keeps writers informed on how to be "regular people". The last chain I ate at was Houston's, in South Coast Plaza, and it was okay. Not amazing, but okay. Certainly not a destination.

Anonymous said...


Stephanie Ei-Mei said...

Aside from what's already been mentioned I suggest Los Toros and Les Sisters --both in Chatsworth. And 2 amazing Italian delis for sandwiches, pasta, fantastic bread, cookies, pizza dough etc.
There's Italia in Granada Hills and San Carlo in Chatsworth