Best Joan's on Third That's Not Joan's on Third - 2011
Charlie's Pantry has taken over a formerly cursed restaurant space on Boulevard Le Ventura and turned it into a gleaming "Gourmet Eatery & Market." The place does a popular breakfast service. The eggs Benedict has a new legion of fans, and you can even get chive French toast with lox and creme fraiche. Or be like the French and have a croque Sophia with prosciutto, Gorgonzola and fig jam. At lunchtime, women in pairs linger over latkes and fruit salad. The sandwich list is extensive: Try the Anthony Quinn, thinly sliced lamb with tzatziki in pita; or the Russian with homemade gravlax with fromage blanc, heirloom tomato and arugula. From the marketplace, there are giant spears of gorgeous white asparagus, peas and pearl onions that reek of England, and fancier fare like osso buco. You could easily assemble an entire fancy-pants dinner party to pass off as your own. Just play coy about what went into the crabcakes. 12265 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. (818) 509-9085, charliespantry.com.