Sherman Oaks is a San Fernando Valley community that has long been popular with families and creative professionals seeking a more relaxed quality of life while enjoying a proximity to the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Named after developer Moses Hazeltine Sherman, who owned the land where it now sits, Sherman Oaks has an area of 9.15 square miles and a population of over 60,000 residents. It’s located in a prime spot in the central San Fernando Valley, bordered by Studio City to the east at Coldwater Canyon, and Encino to the west at the 405 freeway. In addition to the 405, residents can quickly take the 101, to get pretty much anywhere in L.A. within 30 min when traffic is light. (Okay, so, that would be late at night.) Sherman Oaks extends southward into the Santa Monica Mountains, all the way up to its southern boundary of Mulholland Drive, and stretches north to Burbank Boulevard in the valley basin.
Dine, Hang Out, Shop & Stuff
One of the most popular draws in Sherman Oaks is the Galleria, which was heavily featured in the 1980s teen classic “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Though, visitors expecting a 1980s timepiece will be surprised by what they find. Extensive renovations have transformed it into a modern, sleek, indoor-outdoor shopping and dining venue. Guests can also check out the latest movies at the Arclight Cinemas or drop in to Burke Williams for a massage or facial.
If you prefer an indoor mall, Westfield Fashion Square has 140 stores to roam through including Bloomingdales, Macy’s Banana Republic, and many other popular shops.
Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park
The Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park has numerous baseball diamonds, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a lighted football field, picnic tables, a lighted soccer field, and lighted tennis courts. You should also bring your bathing suit, because the park also features a heated swimming pool. The whole family can come out to enjoy the annual Sherman Oaks Chamber Street Fair, which has been a staple of the community since 1981. Today, it draws over 100,000 visitors who come to enjoy local food, music, and exhibitors and meet their neighbors in this eclectic community.
Another kid-friendly destination is Castle Park, a mini-golf course that has been drawing families for decades.
Of course, Ventura Boulevard is also home to many shops, bars, and restaurants catering to all types of palettes. So many, that it may by difficult to choose where to go. Here are a few selections to get you started.
Not only if Bluebird Brasserie the first brewery in Sherman Oaks, but it’s a brewery that is zeroed in on the Belgian types of beer. And the ambience is as much a part of the experience as the beer itself. Stepping inside, it looks and feels like you’ve stepped into the basement of some ancient abbey in Brussels, replete with vaulted brick ceilings. And to top it all all, they have quite the vegan line-up on the menu, which is no surprise given that the owner is also the owner of Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank.
If you subscribe to the idea that longevity is a sign of quality, then you can feel comfortable about enjoying a pizza or some other family style Italian meal at Antonio’s. Established in 1957, Antonio's is one of the Valley’s oldest continuously running restaurants. And go with a good appetite as their portions truly fill the plate.
If you want French, acclaimed chef Ludo Lefebvre’s initial venture in the valley (and his largest) is the place to go. With marble bars and countertops, checkered tile floors, mirrored walls, floral details, pale green banquettes, and gold finishes, you’ll be posting photos to instagram the moment you walk in. As for the food, their open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, maybe stoping for croissants morning, croque madame for lunch, and maybe some duck confit dinner.
Since 2010, this family-owned cafe has been delivering the perfect combination of a hidden European cafe feel, with delicious home cooked food.
Walking inside Kaiju actually reminds me of places that I’ve been to in Japan. It’s dimly lit with classic red paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, giving an overall sense of calm. Chef Go Nakabayashi serves up traditionaly favorites, as well as omakase offerings.
Built in 1938, this little courtyard of a shops and cafes with its Spanish tiled roofs is a Sherman Oaks treasure from a bygone era. 14106 Ventura Blvd.
Marjorie H. Meyer Residence - 3893 Deervale Dr. Ray Kappe 1961
Casa de Cadillac - 14401 Ventura Blvd. Randall Duell and Philip Conklin 1949
This double-height glass box is a superb example of Mid-Century Modern commercial architecture. One of my favorite features is the neon signage spanning the length of the showroom, which supposedly is rendered in a script that precisely matches the nameplate of a 1949 Cadillac. In January 2013, Casa de Cadillac completed a historically sensitive renovation. One of Duell’s most well known projects is the Avalon Casino on Catalina Island. He also worked as an art director at MGM Studios and was nominated for three Academy Awards.
Wolff House - 4000 Sunnyslope Ave. Rudolph Schindler 1938
Historic Cultural Monument #828.
Stone-Fisher Platform Houses 3625-3857 Oakfield Dr Richard Neutra / William S. Beckett 1962-1966
Foster House - 4235 Las Cruces Dr John Lautner 1950
“The Sunset” - 3461 Cody Rd. Edward Fickett 1956
Bernstein House - 15119 Valley Vista Blvd Rebecca Binder 1985
Meyer Residence - 3893 Deervale Dr. Ray Kappe 1961
Barsha House - 3515 Royal Woods Dr. Ray Kappe 1960
Handman Residence - 3872 N Royal Woods Dr. Ray Kappe 1963
Phineas Kappe House - 15541 Woodcrest Dr. Ray Kappe 1955
Lechner House - 1160 Amanda Dr Rudolph Schindler 1949
Remodeled in 1985 by noted architect Paul Sterling Hoag.
Residence - 3721 Alomar Dr. Buff & Hensman 1987
Mel’s Diner - 14846 ventura Blvd. Armet & Davis 1953
Originally built for Kerry’s Coffee Shop, this is a great example of Armet and Davis’ Googie stye work.
Residence - 3301 Longridge Ter. Benton & Park 1962
Dyer House - 4009 N Milaca Pl. Paul Sterling Hoag 1980
Residence - 4050 N Milaca Pl. Kenneth Lind 1957
Residence - 3666 Scadlock Ln. William Krisel (for Modern Trend Construction Company) 1957
Residence - 3711 Scadlock Ln. Richard Dorman (for Modern Trend Construction Company) 1958
Residence - 3533 Shernoll Pl. Young Woo (for Modern Trend Construction Company) 1959
Everts House - 1347 Contour Dr. Buff and Hensman 1979
Schwenk House - 14329 Millbrook Dr. Harwell Hamilton Harris 1941
U.S. Bank (originally Great Western Savings) - 13701 Riverside Dr. Deasy and Bolling Inc. 1965
This boxy 8-story building isn’t interesting just because it has a certain mid-century sexiness to it, it’s also cool because of it was built in reverse. That’s right, it was built from top to bottom, whereby each of the floors, which are made of prestressed concrete, is hanging from the top of the yellow steel frame around it. This construction technique became a prototype for similar high-rise buildings, in part because of its ability to sway in the event of an earthquake.