I was introduced to Bleecker Street by colleague and friend Debbie who recommended this restaurant for our business lunch. Located in the newly redeveloped area of Tarzana, Bleecker Street is located south of Ventura Boulevard on Yolanda Street.
With plenty of parking in the back, Bleecker Street is an open, airy space. Brick and dark woods grace the walls of the restaurant and offers seating at the bar, a large family-style table near the bar for larger parties. mezzanine seating upstairs for smaller, intimate parties and cafe-style seating outside. The inspiration for Bleecker Street comes from the eateries of New York’s Lower Manhattan and features a menu as eclectic as its own surroundings.
I was impressed by the bar, especially with their wine storage:
I spoke with Joey Nader, the restaurant’s manager and the restaurant carries an extensive wine collection from different vineyards all over the world and an impressive selections of beers. Their bar menu is separate from their lunch and dinner menus which means I’ll have to make a repeat trip just so that I can sample their bar food items and check out their wine selections.
Debbie’s colleague Randi also joined us for lunch. Both had dined there previously so I was in for a big treat. Bleecker Street’s lunch menu offered up a variety of appetizers, lighter fare and heartier entries, including a separate pizza menu as well as a variety of sides and desserts. I wanted to try everything on their appetizer menu so that I could experience their interpretation of some of my favorites: Wisconsin Cheddar Hush Puppies, Maryland Pure Style Lump Crabcakes, Bleeker Street Mac ‘n Cheese and Parmesan Truffle Fries. The Hush Puppies won out and we were served three generous portion sized hush puppies deep fried to a golden brown and served alongside with Jalapeno Jam. The inside of the hush puppy was warm, moist and flavorful, and not at all overwhelming. It was paired perfectly with the house made Jalapeno Jam which was mildly spicy.
The three of us decided to go with “healthier” options from their lunch menu. Randi and I opted for the Farmers Market Chopped Salad, a brightly colored, fresh salad with diced asparagus, carrots, green beans, radicchio, roasted corn, celery, mixed lettuce and tomato, topped with an avocado and served with a light citrus dressing. This salad can be topped with chicken (additional $4), shrimp ($6) or salmon ($7) for added protein. I added the shrimp that was grilled until succulent and Randi added the salmon–a very generous portion of salmon I might add. I loved the crunchiness and freshness of this salad and the citrus dressing brightened up the salad even more.
Debbie ordered the Free Range Chicken Paillard, a pounded and grilled tender chicken breast served with lemon and a tomato-arugala salad with shaved granna padano (a semi-aged hard Italian cheese similar to parmigiano-reggiano). Absolutely delicious raved Debbie and now on my “must try” list.
Manager Joey was generous and wouldn’t let us leave until we had dessert. Our server brought over a beautiful platter–works of art really, for us to choose from:
We chose the light and airy Strawberry Shortcake, a light sponge cake layered with vanilla custard, strawberries and fresh whipped cream sitting on top of combination of strawberry and chocolate ganache syrup. A great way to end a perfect lunch!
I will most definitely pay a repeat visit; there’s so much more to experience from a culinary point of view and am excited that Bleecker Street is another yet hidden gem in the San Fernando Valley. They are open for lunch Tuesdays thru Thursday from 12 Noon to 3:00pm, Dinner Sunday thru Thursday from 5pm to 11pm, Friday-Saturday from 5pm to Midnight, Brunch Saturdays & Sundays from 12 Noon to 2pm. Closed on Mondays.
18640 Ventura Boulevard
Tarzana, CA 91356