WHERE TO STAY
Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn, 4222 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood 91602; (818) 980-8000 or (800) 238-3759, http://www.beverlygarland.com. It has 255 rooms on seven acres with heated pool, two tennis courts. Rates usually $162-$180, less if you pay up front.
Hilton Los Angeles/ Universal City, 555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City 91608; (818) 506-2500, http://bit.ly/16yCzG. It has 483 rooms; standard doubles usually $165-$250 — but check specials, which go as low as $235 a night for room and two Universal Studios passes.
Tangerine Hotel, 3901 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank 91505; (818) 843-1121, http://www.tangerinehotel.com. Thirty rooms, recently redone in pop minimalist style. Heated pool, close to Bob's and Warner Bros. Rates usually $109-$129.
Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel, 12825 Ventura Blvd., Studio City 91604; (818) 769-4700 or (800) 821-8511, http://www.slhotel.com. Three miles from Universal, with 190 rooms, Patio Cafe, big pool. Built in 1962. Recently renovated but still fairly kitschy (that standalone fireplace in the lobby is new, not old). Walls filled with old photos of stars, fishing and stars fishing. Rooms about 400 square feet. Rates for doubles usually $119-$169.
Blvd Hotel & Spa, 10730 Ventura Blvd., Studio City 91604; (818) 623-9100 or (888) 885-2583, http://www.theblvdhotel.com. Blvd began a gradual opening in late January with 58 spacious rooms (which the hotel calls suites). Bar, indoor pool, minimalist contemporary design. Rates usually $149-$169
Sheraton Universal Hotel, 333 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City 91608; (818) 980-1212, http://www.sheratonuniversal.com. Its tired 1968 façade endures for now, but inside, this 451-room lodging has had a $30-million upgrade, with some work to come. Doubles usually $200-$300.
WHERE TO EAT
Aroma Café, 4360 Tujunga Ave., Studio City 91604; (818) 508-0677, http://www.aromacoffeeandtea.com. Pleasant patio setting for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Sibling bookshop, Portrait of a Bookstore, shares the building. Main dishes up to $13.95.
Bob's Big Boy, 4211 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank 91505; (818) 843-9334, http://www.bobs.net. Open 24 hours. Dining room seats about 150. Dinner main dishes up to $12.99.
Pitfire Artisan Pizza, 5211 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood 91601; (818) 980-2949, http://www.pitfirepizza.com. Part of a four-location Southern California chain. Main dishes and pizzas up to $11.
Sweet Butter Kitchen, Café & Market, 13824 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks 91423; (818) 788-2832, http://www.sweetbutterkitchen.com. Opened in 2010. Sidewalk tables. Breakfast and lunch main dishes up to $13.95. Closes at 6 p.m.
Nat's Early Bite, 14115 Burbank Blvd., Sherman Oaks 91401; (818) 781-3040, http://www.natsearlybite.com. Breakfast and lunch, with lots of sausage. Nothing more than $11.50
Jerry's Famous Deli, 12655 Ventura Blvd., Studio City 91604; (818) 980-4245, http://www.jerrysfamousdeli.com. Enormous menu, enormous dining room. Born here in 1978, now an empire with many locations in Southern California and Florida. Pasta and main dishes $10.75-$27.95.
Sardo's Grill & Lounge, 259 N. Pass Ave., Burbank 91505; (818) 846-8126, http://www.sardosbar.com. Karaoke every night, but the emphasis shifts from porn stars on Tuesdays to families 7-9:30 p.m. on Fridays. Dinner main dishes $8-$14.
Vitello's, 4349 Tujunga Ave., Studio City 91604; (818) 769-0905, http://www.vitellosrestaurant.com. Italian food and jazz upstairs. Dinner entrees usually $12-$25. For jazz upstairs, covers run $20-$25 with $13 food or drink minimum.
Vivian's Millennium Café, 10968 Ventura Blvd., Studio City 91604; (818) 762-8710, http://www.venturablvd.com/vivians-cafe. Breakfast combinations $10-$35.
Federal Bar, 5303 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood 91601; (818) 980-2555, http://www.thefederalbar.com. Lunch, dinner, drinks, brunch on weekends. Dinner main dishes $14-$18.
WHAT TO SEE
Universal Studios Hollywood, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City 91608; (818) 622-3750, http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com. This theme park and studio back lot tour gets as many as 30,000 visitors per day in the summer. Rates $74, or $66 for those shorter than 48 inches.
Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour, 3400 Riverside Drive, Burbank 91522; (818) 972-8687, vipstudiotour.warnerbros.com. Studio back lot tour for visitors 8 and older. Two hours, 15 minutes. $48 a person.
Mission San Fernando Rey de España, 15151 San Fernando Mission Blvd., Mission Hills 91345; (818) 361-0186, http://www.missiontour.org/sanfernando. Founded in 1797, open daily. To visit museum and grounds, $4 for adults, $3 for children 7-15, free for younger children.
Coldwater Canyon Park, 12601 Mulholland Drive, Beverly Hills 90210; (818) 753-4600. Includes headquarters of TreePeople, http://www.treepeople.org.
Big Kid Collectable Toy Mall & Retro Store, 14109 Burbank Blvd., Sherman Oaks 91404; (818) 785-9208, http://www.bigkidcollectables.com.
Tapia Bros. Fresh Produce, 5251 Hayvenhurst Ave., Encino 91436; (818) 905-6155, no website. Seasonal produce and flowers, closes in January, February and most of March.
Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank 91505; box office, (818) 955-8101, http://www.falcontheatre.com. Tickets usually $34-$42, with a five-show subscription series running August-April and one summer show.
Stoney Point Park, on Topanga Canyon Boulevard between Chatsworth Street and California 118, Chatsworth 91311; (818) 756-8060, http://www.laparks.org/dos/parks/facility/stoneyPointPk.htm. Open sunrise to sunset.
Socal Close-ups: San Fernando Valley hotel, restaurant and sightseeing details
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