Jimmy's Famous American Tavern Does it Different. It's All About the Meatballs, Banana and Dip! Woodland Hills, CA.

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Great balls of fire!

Whenever I check out a new restaurant, especially one that is on the funky, fun side of the food and hospitality spectrum, I always scan for the most interesting or oddest items on the menu. Jimmy's Famous American Tavern is one of those casual, upbeat booze and grub spots. Furthermore, the new Woodland Hills location offers some creative spins on classic comfort foods.

In the starters section are "Buffalo Style" Meatballs. If you've never met a Buffalo wing you didn't love and devour meatballs like a carnivorous Pac Man, then the "Buffalo Style" Meatballs at JFAT (the stubbier moniker for Jimmy's Famous American Tavern) is the ideal mashup appetizer.

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Tangy, spicy & ballsy!

One bite of the "Buffalo Style" Meatballs and you'll get it. Any weird notions you had about this blending of Buffalo hot sauce and moist meatballs fly out the window like a winged buffalo. Bright flavors of the familiar tangy and spicy sauce completely penetrate the soft, moist meatballs. It's a total pleasure to eat and savor. Get a nice pale lager with it. That's a must.

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The (almost) French dip

JFAT's Prime Rib French Dip is not quite 100% French. The meat isn't sandwiched between a French roll or baguette. Instead, Italian ciabatta bread is the carb of choice. I preferred this over French bread. The ciabatta is lighter and less bready with a bounty of air pockets ready to take in the savory jus. Also, the meat to bread ratio tilts towards the beef side; the beef in this case is thinly sliced, tender prime rib.

When gooey Swiss cheese and flaky, crispy, fried onion strings are piled onto the meat, the texture party is on. (Mouthfeel party just sounds too kinky.) Horseradish cream and jus complete this just about perfect, albeit untraditional, French dip.

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Bananageddon is only a disaster for your waistline

Why is JFAT's signature dessert named Bananageddon? Because there's banana in it. Who cares! It's incredibly good and ridiculously fattening. And if fat equals flavor, then Bananageddon has more than you can possibly handle. Bananas, vanilla bean pastry cream, pecan blondie crumbles, butter pecan ice cream, salty rum-caramel sauce, candied pecans and whipped cream, this is sort of an evolved banana split for those of you who never got one at Farrell's when you were a little brat. Get this one and you'll make up for lost time.

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JFAT is where it's at.

I'm not sure how famous this Jimmy guy is. Hell, I don't even know his last name. But as far as the food goes, Jimmy's Famous American Tavern is a good fit for Woodland Hills and the ever-evolving restaurant landscape in the San Fernando Valley. Besides, you should never trust a restaurant called JThin. Am I right?

Jimmy's Famous American Tavern
(at Westfield Topanga's The Village)
6250 Topanga Canyon Blvd #1550
Woodland Hills