Los Angeles is recognized as one of the foremost culinary capitals in the country, spoken in the same breath as metropolises like New York and Chicago, and with celebrated chefs bringing their talents to exciting concepts in L.A., we can foresee that it is only going to get better. Whether it’s local restauranteurs expanding with new outlets, a Top Chef eatery or two, restaurant-minded celebrities or some major out-of-town chefs bringing their cuisine to the City of Angels, there is plenty to stimulate the palate in So Cal.
Woodland Hills hasn’t been immune from this sweeping phenomenon, and as of late a number of “concept” eateries have sprung up around the Valley, offering unique menu items and dining room designs that transform an ordinary lunch or dinner out into something truly special…trust us when we tell you that one of the following concept restaurants in Woodland Hills will leave you wondering why you waited so long to try it.
HQ Gastropub takes proprietary recipes from American to international cuisine and combines them with a broad appeal of entertainment, thus satisfying the “gastropub” concept definition. A gastropub is described as a pub, bar or tavern that also offers meals of high quality (the “HQ” in HQ Gastropub’s name); as such, this Woodland Hills area hotspot mixes outstanding food, beverages and staff with atmosphere, music and art to create a memorable fusion that works. The interior design boasts a fresh twist on the “gastro-lounge” experience, embodying one of the most popular restaurant trends of recent years – where a prohibition-era drink parlor meets cutting-edge audio/visual technology, musical attributes and fashionable lounge-style seating. As HQ Gastropub’s Mark Matters sums it up, “Our principal focus is to pair high-quality cuisine, beer, wine, spirits and music with an eclectic and visually inspiring décor replete with classic vintage guitars and art to create a festive and memorable experience.” HQ Gastropub in Woodland Hills is located at 20969 Ventura Boulevard.
Eatsa is a concept chain that offers fresh and nutritious food that doesn’t cost a fortune or take forever to prepare, with the main ingredient in most of its dishes being quinoa. This complete protein, with all the amino acids necessary for human nutrition, is cholesterol and gluten-free, and unlike other “superfoods” remains a staple – not limited to being a topping or supplement. Eatsa has become known for its Bento Bowl, containing stir-fried quinoa with egg, edamame, crispy wonton strips, Teriyaki sauce, miso Portobello and apple-cabbage slaw, as well as for its Burrito Bowl, Smokehouse Salad, No Worry Curry, Spice Market Bowl and other delicacies. In Woodland Hills, Eatsa is located at 6320 Topanga Canyon Boulevard.
The Slaw Dogs at The Village takes the age-old hot dog concept and turns it on its creative ear, offering imaginative creations like a Chicken Caesar Salad Dog, Oaxacan Dog and Thai Slaw Dog that answer the calls for “hot dog as avant-garde art.” The fan-favorite Picnic Dog, topped with potato salad, two onion rings and a pickle spear, childishly arranged into an ever-so-slightly terrifying happy face, complements a roster of menu items that boast a little crunch, a little ooze and a little tang. The Slaw Dogs also have a handle on the classics, which is why it also serves what is often considered the single-best chili dog in Los Angeles. When an ordinary Ball Park frank just won’t cut it, head on over to The Slaw Dogs, conveniently located at The Village at Westfield Topanga, 6220 Topanga Canyon Boulevard #9080.
Cava Grill was launched by three childhood friends, Ike Grigoropoulos, Chef Dimitri Moshovitis and Ted Xenohristos, to celebrate the flavors of their families’ traditional Greek and Mediterranean cooking in a casual, modern setting. When ordering from Cava Grill’s menu, patrons start off by picking a base, which consists of salad, greens and grains, mini and soup, grain bowl, pita bread or mini pitas, to be complemented by dips and spreads such as eggplant and red pepper dip, tzatziki, “crazy feta,” hummus, harissa or roasted red pepper hummus, which is then capped off by a protein choice, toppings and, finally, dressings. Put simply, Cava Grill offers the flavors of the Mediterranean by way of a modern healthy concept restaurant platform. In Woodland Hills, Cava Grill is located at The Village at Westfield Topanga, 6256 Topanga Canyon Boulevard Suite 1280.
If you’re one of those people who sing and dance as the world sleepwalks by – in other words, if you view life through a different kind of haze and follow your own unique path – the idea of a concept restaurant may be just what you’re looking for.