Studio City is an area in the San Fernando Valley, just to the west of Universal City and about 12 miles NW of Downtown LA. As its name implies, Studio City arose to support the motion picture studios with affordable housing for their employees. Some of the studio's biggest stars, such as Gene Autry, lived in the hills of Studio City (more recently, George Clooney). Studio City flourished in the 1950s and early 1960s and has become a trendy, upscale neighborhood with great restaurants and shopping. Radford Studios and nearby Universal City Studios are still major centers of film and TV production. Ventura Boulevard's "sushi alley" is home to perhaps the largest concentration of sushi restaurants in the Los Angeles area.
U.S. Route 101 connects Studio City to Hollywood and Downtown LA, as well as to Interstate 405, which is the primary route to West Los Angeles and LAX Airport. Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Coldwater Canyon Boulevard traverse the Santa Monica Mountains and connect Studio City to West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, respectively.
Studio City is also accessible via the Metro Red Line subway (Universal City Station), which connects Studio City to Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood, as well as the Metro Orange Line, which travels to Warner Center in the West San Fernando Valley. A Metro Rapid bus line travels along Ventura Boulevard from Universal City Station to the West San Fernando Valley, with stops in Studio City at Laurel Canyon and Coldwater Canyon Boulevards.
Ventura Boulevard is the main thoroughfare through Studio City. The most pedestrian-friendly stretch is located between Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Whitsett Avenue. A landscaped walking trail follows the south bank of the Los Angeles River (just north of Ventura Boulevard), from Whitsett Avenue to Radford Avenue.
CBS Radford Studios, 4024 Radford Avenue +1 818 655-5000, was founded as Mack Sennett Studios, home of the Keystone Kops and Charlie Chaplin's earliest American films. It later became the Republic Pictures lot, and more recently it has been home to such sitcoms as Seinfeld and That '70s Show.
Wilacre Park, 3431 Fryman Road, offers panoramic views of the San Fernando Valley. The Betty B. Dearing Trail starts at the main parking lot and, after a short steep climb, levels off and begins a gentle descent before ending at a residential street. A walk up the trail and back to the parking lot through residential streets takes about an hour to complete. Parking is $1.
Farmer's Market, Ventura Place (corner of Ventura Blvd. and Radford). Held every Sunday from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Offers everything from meat & vegetables for sale to a petting zoo and face painting for kids.
L'Imagerie, 12117 Ventura Blvd., ☎ +1 818 762-8488. Awesome collection of vintage rock posters and movie eight-sheets.
Decor Art Galleries, 12149 Ventura Blvd., ☎ +1 818 755-0755, . Historic black-and-white photos of old Hollywood, classic L.A., and various famous faces.
The majority of the restaurants in Studio City are located along Ventura Boulevard. The stretch of Ventura closest to the border with Universal City is LA's "sushi alley", with literally dozens of sushi restaurants. Those who aren't fans of raw fish will also find offerings to their liking in this area, as well as in other locations throughout the city.
A Ca-Shi, 4037 Radford Ave., ☎ +1-818-760-0313 (fax: +1-818-760-0326). Located just off Ventura Blvd along Studio City's "sushi alley", this small restaurant offers up amazing fresh fish at reasonable prices. Be sure to share a cup of warm saki with Jay, the friendly owner. Dinner for two, including sake, will cost between $40 and $60.
Carney's (Rail Car) Hot Dogs, 12601 Ventura Blvd., . Unofficially endorsed by Jay Leno, Carney's operates from a bright yellow rail car, serving what it calls "Probably the best hot dogs and hamburgers in the world". The chilidogs and chili chesseburgers are probably worthy contenders-- and the whole experience, with indoor and outdoor seating, is good, clean, cheap fun. A second location is on the Sunset Strip.
In-N-Out, 3640 Cahuenga Blvd., . Sun-Thu 10:30 AM-1:00 AM, Fri-Sat 10:30 AM-1:30 AM. The iconic California burger chain has a location in Studio City. Its minimalist menu offers excellent renditions of fast-food staples at rock bottom prices. A "secret menu" offers a somewhat larger selection for those in the know.~$5.00.
Jerry's Famous Deli, 12655 Ventura Blvd., ☎ +1-818-980-4245 (fax: +1-818-766-5555), . One of many locations, Jerry's is nevertheless noteworthy for its pricey but massive sandwiches, soups, and desserts. The Matzo Ball soup ($7.15 for a bowl) is particularly good.
Katsu-Ya, 11680 Ventura Blvd., ☎ +1-818-985-6976. Another of the "sushi alley" restaurants, Katsu-Ya offers really good sushi at reasonable prices. The baked crab roll is a specialty and should not be missed. Parking is tough to find so plan on using the valet for $3.50. Waits can be long, so call for reservations. Dinner for two will cost between $40 and $60 with sake.
Risotto Ristorante, 12650 Ventura Blvd., ☎ +1-818-761-7600, . Mon-Sat 11a - 10p Sun 5p - 10p. Among the best traditional Italian cuisine in Los Angeles. Owner Claudio presents a unique menu offering his personal family recipies as well as familiar italian favorites. Be sure to ask about his nightly specials and indulge in the famous chocolate molten cake. Call ahead for reservations and be sure to request a table on the heated patio for romantic dining under the stars.$20-35.
Sushi Nozawa, 11288 Ventura Blvd. Ste C, ☎ +1-818-508-7017. Home of LA's famous "sushi Nazi", Nozawa serves up some of the best and freshest fish in Los Angeles. If you sit at the bar you will have to take whatever Nozawa sees fit to serve you, with his famous "Special of the Day: Trust Me" sign the rule of the house. Be aware that any insult to the food or rudeness will get you thrown out immediately. Prices are steep; expect to pay between $80 and $150 for a dinner for two (including drinks).
Vivian's, 10968 Ventura Blvd., ☎ +1-818-762-8710. A tasty and reasonably-priced casual dining spot, offering standard breakfast fare (try the banana pancakes) and simple lunch and dinner entrees. The outdoor patio is a neat spot to dine amongst trees and flowers. Expect to pay $5 - $8 per person for breakfast, slightly more for lunch and dinner.
Clear, 11916 Ventura Blvd., ☎ +1-818-980-4811. A trendy but not overbearing bar on Ventura that serves decent drinks at reasonable prices, offers comfy couches, and has a crowd that mixes the typical aspiring actors and screenwriters with the nine-to-five crowd.
Wine Bistro, 11915 Ventura Blvd., ☎ +1-818-766-6233 (fax: +1-818-766-2465), . The Wine Bistro is both a restaurant and bar, serving French food for lunch and dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. JB, the owner, is likely to join you for a drink and will most definitely entertain you with his infectious laugh. There is an informal wine tasting every evening from 6:00 to 8:00.
Days Inn Studio City - Hollywood, 12933 Ventura Blvd., +1 818-789-6900, .
Sherman Oaks - This neighboring city is home to stores, theaters, restaurants, and more attractions designed to tempt the shopaholic.
Universal City - Studio City's neighbor to the east is home to Universal Studios.
North Hollywood - Not to be confused with Hollywood, North Hollywood is a mostly-residential city that borders Studio City to the north.