Tarzana Is My Heroine

a poet considers the imaginary and reality of Tarzana


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At Crave Cafe, Sherman Oaks

I’ve been at Crave Cafe-Sherman Oaks a few times lately for lunch when I needed somewhere reliable and convenient to go during my Valley ramblings. www.cravecafes.com

I know Crave is a place where I can eat something quick but tasty, use the wi-fi without feeling antisocial, and have a decent espresso drink.

They are known for their crepes, omelets, paninis, and ice cream sandwiches made with two big cookies.

I happen to know the owner, Abe Abu-Dalu, and his family. I’ve had many fun breakfasts there with his wife, Nibal, and a couple of other friends, so you can take this with a grain of salt if you want!

Abe also owns the tasty Pita Kitchen restaurant that’s just around the corner. But at Crave, he has created a place with a lively, casual coffee house/bistro atmosphere with friendly, attentive service, even though you order at the counter and the wait staff just bring the food out. Without fail, the waiters come around at least a couple of times after you get your food to see if you need anything else or to remedy anything amiss (and with good grace, in my experience).

I really like that extra touch of good service that, as an order-at-the-counter kind of place, they aren’t really expected to do. I like it that they serve pesto and red pepper sauce as sides with every panini or sandwich.

They also serve a nice, fresh side salad with all the savory dishes–even with some of the breakfast items like omelets or bagel sandwiches.

The photos give a good sense of the ambience.

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Stop by and try it sometime, and tell Abe that Coco sent you!

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“The Valley Is Way Cooler”┬ávia the New York Times

Maybe I’m the last person to know, but I just found this feature about the Valley in the NY Times from July 2012! He likes us for our sushi, drinks, burgers, and parks, and because we’re a place to put down roots and relax rather than a place–like the Westside–to posture and strive.

Re. the sushi, I’ll have to try Go’s Mart in Canoga Park. That’s a new one for me. My regular sushi place is Hirosuke because, because, because. Well, because they’ve given me what I call my “sushi name”–Coco-san. And they know my kids. And I really like the Lemon Roll.