22994 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills - 818-222-4944.
First, the name is a little misleading, in my opinion: The cafe is not
on Topanga and the best food there is not the pizza. Actually, I've
never had any there; I've heard it's alright, but nothing amazing.
To start with, as soon as we are seated, their rolls in garlic and olive oil arrive. They're pretty tasty, so I have a bad habit of filling up on these. But as for all the other food...
My favorite dish at Topanga Cafe is the salmon with ginger-lime sauce; it's nicely browned on the outside, moist and flavorful inside and topped with crisp, golden slivers of onions. They serve this with sauteed asparagus and julienned carrots, which are always bright and never over-cooked.
Sometimes I'll order pasta. The penne with scallops, shrimp, mushrooms and asparagus in a cream sauce is very good. the shrimp and scallops are sweet and moist, the penne firm - tossed with crisp asparagus and golden mushrooms in a tasty cream sauce. My husband sticks with his favorite - the roasted half chicken in a cream sauce served with medallions of potatoes.
For an appetizer we might get the calamari fritto; it's golden, crisp - not chewy - and served with their tomatoe sauce; the sauce is a nice and simple, but flavorful, tomatoe puree. Other times we'll have the mozzarella marinara: nicely crisp on the outside, without being too greasy; the cheese is creamy without being chewy, and served with their marinara sauce.
And almost always we finish our fantastic meal with coffee and a shared slice of their key lime pie - tart yet sweet, creamy lime dreaminess in a buttery, graham cracker crust, atop drizzles of caramel.
All these years of dining there, we're still amazed what a great place Topanga Pizza is: Good food, incredibly priced and great service, which is why we tend to go there a lot.
The last time we were there our bill came to just $35 dollars and change, after ordering a glass of wine, a soda, calamari, two entrees, two coffees and a key lime pie. Incredible!
Not bad for being in a very mini-mall, only a few doors down from an Arthur Murray dance studio. The parking lot is so small, you usually have to park on the street. But their decor isn't bad. You can see the chefs working over flames behind the counter and the walls are warmly painted. It's noisy and casual.
Anyway, my suggestion is this - ignore the Topanga Pizza name and try the non-pizza items on the menu and I think you'll be happily surprised.