The Valley, Sherman Oaks even is exploding with great places for brunch, with the newly opened Blu Jam up the street, Sweet Butter Kitchen also up the street in the other direction, Nat’s Early Bite, etc…Crave has been on the seen for a couple of years now and is a great place to go for just about anything. It’s a coffee house, a waffle house, a lunch spot, a creperie, they’ve got a kids menu…often at a place that tries to be everything, they end up doing nothing particularly well. That is not the case here. Crave Cafe does just about everything well. Notably well!
The location is great too…right on Ventura Boulevard a door away from Van Nuys Boulevard in the heart of the Sherman Oaks “Village” area. (Seriously how many Southern Cal. towns are going to put up a sign declaring their main street a “village?” On top of all of this the place is open 24 hours (except between Sunday night at midnight and whenever it is they open on Monday morning…) so if you’ve got a “Crave”ing for something at just about anytime you’re all set.
We’ve been several times, always for brunch and have always been satisfied. The coffee is excellent. Super strong, served in large mugs, refills galore. I recommend if you’re eating there (and by the way it’s an order at the counter place) to order a small coffee as odds are they’ll bring it to you in a large mug and in any case the refills are free.
All they’re dishes are presented well…I made my own omelette once…(or, well, it says on the menu “make your own omelette” but really you choose the ingredients and they make it…)…egg whites, spinach, onions, mushrooms and swiss cheese. The only issue here was the “swiss” cheese…some restaurants seem to use an american-like cheese which is not really swiss but it happens to be white and is labeled as “swiss.” Otherwise it was presented well, the mushrooms were savory and the portion was generous.
Crave Cafe Coffee
I Built My own Omelet!
I had a side of hashbrowns…served square, sort of reminiscent of what you’d get at McDonalds but not disgusting like you’d get at McDonalds. (Good hashbrowns just to be clear!)
A side of fruit also came which was strawberries and oranges…it’s always good when a side of fruit is thoughtful and fresh like this, as opposed to the typical melon based fruit sides where the melon is often not fresh and takes over the flavor of everything else.
On another visit I also noticed they had various quiches. As a vegetarian Francophile I can never turn down a good slice of quiche and they’ve got 3 options! A mushroom Spinach with Feta cheese, a sundried tomato and basil and a “Veggie” with zucchini, squash, onions, peppers and eggplant. I’ve had the first 2 on different occasions and they definitely satisfy my need for quiche.
There really is something everyone at Crave Cafe and we’ve never been disappointed with anything. This is a great casual place to eat.
Crave Cafe – Sherman Oaks
(There’s also a location in Studio City)
14504 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403