- EliseT Sep 27, 2006 08:12 AM
I used to live withing walking distance of so many great restaurants in Los Feliz. The main draw to Burbank seems to be that Weinerschnitzel serves beer.
It was suggested that I embrace Burbank. I am willing to go into Toluca Lake, Studio City and Glendale when necessary, but I really need a few reliable "non-"franchise" places locally. Here are a few of the Burbank restaurants I've tried...you can give me other recommendations, or chime in:
Bahia Corporales: Really like it
Bob's Big Boy: Pretty good, great onion rings, but limited menu
Buchanan's: I grew up on this type of food and theirs is really bad.
Chili Johns: Such great ambiance, but boring chili.
China Inn Bistro: Good appetizers, Pretty good main dishes
Coral Cafe: Good for soup, sandwiches and fried snacks when nothing else is open at 3am
Dino's: OK, not that impressed...got it "to go"
Frank's steakhouse: Good milkshakes, otherwise blah
Frontier Wok: Not bad
Genio's: good fish, unpredictable service, expensive for what it is. Everyone in there is 80 years old.
Guantanamera: Good, but I'm spoiled by Versailles
Hugo's: Excellent breakfast. Great veggie stuff. Just too far from our home near the 5 fwy.
India's Tandoori: Good, but super-small portions
Magnolia Grill: NO
Mardi Gras: So disappointing. I really wanted to like them and returned over and over, to no avail.
Michael's Bar and Grill: Unremarkable
Miss Peaches/Angelina's Soul Food: Great, but unpredictably closed.
Pichana: Great black beans and meats.
Pinnochio's: Heavy old-American/Italian. Once saw weevils in the store section that put me off.
Poquito Mas: I LOVE IT!
Porto's: YAY! Great Cuban sandwiches!
Ribs USA: good beef ribs. Unremarkable sides.
Salerno's: Great sandwiches, but heard they went downhill after recently changing owners.
The Smokehouse: I was surprised at how bad it was. At dinner, the server burned me, and the brunch was bad.
Thai Kitchen: Great Tom Kah Gai. My usual Thai place.
Tony's Bellavista: Good appetizers, Pretty good pizzas...kind of heavy gnocchi.
Zankou Chicken: I LOVE IT!
I also like the Chinese and Japanese places in the shopping mall on Hollywood and Verdugo.
I am curious about Tate of Chicago, NYPD Pizza, Royal Grill Kabob House...anything else you can suggest...
Now, now, I said embrace the Valley -- I'm not all that sure about embracing Burbank, except that it's near other, better chowlocales (and I'll cover the other ones in another reply, this is getting long).
IN BURBANK ITSELF:
Kuru Kuru Sushi (at Hollywood and Verdugo) is actually pretty good, my only complaint is that in summer they have the AC cranked and it blows right on the tables.
I can't agree with you on Frontier Wok (so sweet, so mediocre), and I think Guantanamera blows Versailles out of the water, but here are some more:
Taste of Chicago isn't bad. I don't know that I'd want to actually eat there, because it's four tables inside and it feels like a factory, but the food is pretty tasty.
Chadaka Thai, on San Fernando Road just south of the mall, has really tasty Thai food.
Ameci (yes, it's a local chain) on Glenoaks and Palm is actually my go-to for Italian food. Better than Pinocchio's, though Monte Carlo is my place to buy Italian ingredients. Also good is Tony's Italian Deli on Magnolia just a few blocks west of Victory -- the sausage sandwich is good.
Barragan's on Victory and Chandler has decent sit-down Mexican combo plates, and El Tapatio on San Fernando and Alameda is a good, tasty taqueria.
Lau's on Victory east of Buena Vista has decent Peruvian, but avoid Choza Mama on Olive and Alameda.
The teriyaki hut on Alameda and Main is pretty good.
Joy Feast on Alameda just east of the Walt Disney Studios is probably the best Burbank option for Chinese (it certainly isn't Wok of Fame or Gourmet 88).
The Korean place (Seoul BBQ?) on San Fernando downtown doesn't suck.
Costa Azul on Empire and Buena Vista has good mariscos.
Nothing really outstanding, but a lot of passable stuff. I don't understand why Burbank doesn't have any truly great restaurants (of any stripe, from ethnic cheap eats to high-end).
I like Granada, too, for certain dishes. I love their salsa and chips, and the tostada is terrific. The pork is good, yes. Their hard shell beef taco is tasty in a 70's way. The other stuff is back and forth.
I agree with Hugo's for sure, though it is a bit far and the service can be dicey. Skaf's Lebanese at Laurel and Oxnard is very good.
( It sounds like we have very different taste in food, though. Some of the ones you like a lot are my least favorite in the area! In particular Bahia Caporales and Frontier Wok. I won't eat at either place because of super-bad experiences. And although I love the pastry at Porto's I think their sandwiches are awful)
Ca del Sole (where Lankershim and Cahuenga meet near Universal) is very good.
I've heard that about Porto's sandwiches...I wonder if it is because I buy them for breakfast, when the bread is warm and crunchy.
To be honest, I've only eaten at Bahia Corporales once, and don't eat at Frontier Wok that often, but I was grasping at straws for food I like. I didn't want to sound like I am totally impossible to please.
This is just barely scratching the surface, but here's to get you started, within about 20 minutes' drive of Burbank on surface streets...
Nearby, and GOOD:
Skaf's [Leb], Laurel Canyon and Oxnard, North Hollywood.
Bua Siam, Swan, Sunshine, Sanamluang, Krua, Bhan Kanom Thai [Thai] all on Sherman Way between Bellaire and Fulton, North Hollywood.
Wat Thai food stalls, Coldwater Cyn and Cantara, North Hollywood.
Las Quenas [Peru], Bellaire and Sherman Way, North Hollywood.
Sri Siam [Thai], Coldwater Canyon and Vanowen, North Hollywood.
Mariscos Colima, Rigo's Taco, Pa' Comer [Mex], all on Vanowen between Vineland and Tujunga, North Hollywood.
El Criollo [Cub], Victory and Fulton, Valley Glen.
Pollo Dorado [Peru], Sherman Way and Coldwater Cyn, North Hollywood.
Carnitas Michoacan [Mex], Victory and Coldwater Cyn, Valley Glen.
Pho 999 [Viet], Sherman Way and Coldwater Cyn, North Hollywood.
Top Falafel [Arm], Coldwater Cyn and Victory, Valley Glen.
Manila Good-Ha sa Glendale [Fil], Colorado east of Glendale Bl, Glendale.
Shamshiri [Pers], Brand and Stocker, Glendale.
La Cabanita [Mex], Verdugo and Broadview, Glendale.
Divina Cucina [Ital], Verdugo south of Honolulu, Montrose.
El Morfi Grill [Arg], Brand and California, Glendale.
Carousel [Leb/Arm], Brand and California, Glendale.
Mandaloun [Leb/Arm], Maryland and Harvard, Glendale.
Great Grill [Amer], Verdugo and Canada, Glendale.
Bollywood [Ind], Ventura and Arch, Studio City.
Tortas Mexico [Mex], Ventura and Vineland, Studio City.
Daichan [Jap], Ventura and Eureka, Studio City.
Nozawa [sushi], Ventura and Eureka, Studio City.
Ohana BBQ [Kor/Haw], Ventura and Eureka, Studio City.
Tama [sushi], Ventura and Radford, Studio City.
re: Das Ubergeek
Wow! I have restaurants to try for a year! Thanks!
I love the Manila Good Ha in Koreatown. Is it a chain, or owned by the same people?
I've had Criollo, but not for years (an ex's favorite)
Studio City does seem to be the sushi capitol of LA. Pinot Bistro is my favorite Studio City place. That area is usually where I default to.
Good Ha is one of the dirtiest, not delicious filipino rest chains out there. The hot line doesn't look hot(i.e. i never see steam coming off the food), and the food looks old. Everything is too sweet, raisins in every stew (ulam), and the lechon kawali is super dry.
Go to Nanay Gloria's on Sherman way and Coldwater(north hollywood) or Salo Salo Grill on Harvard in Glendale.
Nanay Gloria's isn't exactly a paragon of housekeeping. My standard caveat at Good-Ha is to order things that are made fresh -- and since I really don't care for Filipino food outside of their outstanding breakfasts and a merienda now and then, I don't ever order off the "hot" line.
The Woodman branch has a 94, by the way, and no complaints about holding temperatures from the Public Health.
I went to the newly opened Granville on San Fernando Rd, and I'm not saying it's fantastic but has awesome potential; it's a scratch kitchen, but you wouldn't believe it with the pricing. I've been a few times, since a friend of mine works for the corporate office.
so far I've had:
Cheese playland- cheese plate of cabrales, point reyes, smoked gouda, gruyere and goat cheese mousse with honey, fig jam, served with apples and bread.
I liked it, only $11!
Split pea soup with tasso ham, that was great!
Beef Stew served over a base of mashed potatoes. The wine flavor needed to be mellowed a bit, kinda salty.
Taco trio, one chicken with mango salsa, breaded and fried lobster, and asada with adobo salsa. I thought they were great tasting, but the tortillas were dry and chewy.
BBQ Chix pizza- not a clone of everything out there, this one was spicy... it was good.
Chipotle shrimp pasta, not enough cream sauce, but the shrimp had this great chipotle spice rub and were grilled very nicely.
Lobster Pot pie, nothing bad to say about this... and I believe it's only $15.
My favorite would have to be the Rib Eye Sandwich, rib eye sliced med. thin, with caramelized onion, horseradish dressing, crumbled point reyes, and arugula all on an onion roll. I could have one right now.
The potato chips are addicting!!!!
The Berry shortcake is huge. The shortcake makes the dessert, flavored with almond extract and has a sugar crumb topping.
And the chocolate cake is dense, moist and rich, with sour cream/cream cheese glaze.
Stay away from the ribs, really dry. and the salad with strawberries and nut brittle, way too sweet.
I think the website is www.granvillecafe.com
Obviously I want to support my friend, but the food and priceline of Granville is great compared to the other chain and slophouses that burbank is known for.
Or on the menus posted outside!
I'll concur with Veggietales, though, it IS very tasty and possibly the best (but most expensive) Burbank lunch option. The avocado-bacon-cheese melt at $6.50 might be the best value on the meal.
Their name placard says "breakfast - lunch - dinner" but they're not open for breakfast.
I work in Burbank, so I have to embrace it.
Here's what I've found that works in Burbank and Burbank adjacent.
Swinging Door BBQ. (NoHo)Good, consistent Texas-style bbq. Great sides (like a fried twinkie).
Tacos LLama (NoHo) on Magnolia east of Cahuenga. A good taco spot.
La Maria (NoHO)(colombian/caribbean) This is a gem of a restaurant. If you like the plantain/black beans & rice cuisines of Latin America, you'll love this place. (10516 Victory Blvd)
Mambos Cafe (where Burbank meets Glendale) 1701 Victor Blvd (at Western) Good, cheap, Cuban food.
Pecos Bill (Just down the block from Mambo's on Victory.) It's BBQ, technically, but unlike any you've ever had. They claim it's Okie bbq, whatever that means. Good, though.
Try Dino's to stay.
If you like Zankou's chicken, the Corner Cafe chicken is better since that's pretty much all they serve(but their hommus is too soupy.) Riverside/Maple Street.
Just adding one more for posterity:
Osaka Teriyaki House on Alamada/Main. (In the AAA complex).
The thing to get here are the BBQ items, especially the chicken. (The place is actually Korean, despite the name.) It comes on a sizzling platter (ala fajitas) and is damn addictive. Their galbi is good, too.
re: Das Ubergeek
that's the thing. don't get the teriyaki! it's a korean run joint, so stick with the korean items. i had the bbq chicken entree and it was delicious. my only complaint was that i asked for medium spicy and it was not spicy at all. next time i'll get the 'real' spicy version. My friend had the galbi and it was good, not as great as at a real korean bbq place, but good by lunchtime standards.
Can't believe nobody's mentioned Tallyrand (1700 W. Olive, (818) 846-9904). Sure it's just a little neighborhood greasy spoon coffee shop, but they have nice breakfasts, and their chicken club sandwich is excellent (particularly if you have them add avocado and substitute fries for the fruit salad).
re: David Kahn
I second Tallyrand for breakfast. The only bummer is that it has that diner feeling yet they stop serving breakfast fairly early. It seems like the type that would serve breakfast all day, but alas, no. Also, the service is generally friendly, but spotty. It's one of those places that has a lot of regulars and we're not and sometimes feel a tad neglected.
My favorite Restarunt in Burbank is Cafe Colombia on Glenoaks. Great Ajiaco (soup that eats like a meal) also a breaded pork dish thats delicious. Baked goods like empanada, pandebonos, and bunelos. I go there every weekend. For Lunch I love the Corner Cottage, great tacos, chicken bowl, even burgers.
The tacos de carnitas & Campechana cocktail are pretty good at Bahia, but other than that I'm not too much into there food.
Is Great Wok chinese still good? In the subway mini mall at Victory and Olive?
Spaghetti & meatballs is the way to go at Tonys Bella Vista, steaks at Genios.
Emon's Japanese still open in Vons Pass Avenue mall? That used to be pretty good, I like Santa Fe Cafe there, too.
YUMMY CUPCAKES on Magnolia about 3 blocks west of Buena Vista!
Yes, Emon is still open and still very popular at lunchtime.
I was sorry to hear that Mo's is disappointing. When it was Hampton's is was some of the best and most creative burgers in LA. I never got why they changed the name but not the menu so much. Too bad they couldn't maintain the quality in that relaxed atmosphere.
Over the 5 there's the Market City Café. Great antipasti, great breadsticks baked in their wood burning oven, good food and nice atmosphere on the terrace by the fountain with grapes growing overhead. I also love that they serve iced tea with a carafe of simple sugar.
Thanks everyone, for taking so much time to help me out! Keep em coming, and I will start eating right away.
On Magnolia, go to Monte Carlo deli (the restaurant side is Pinochio, and I'm not wild about the food on the restaurant side), but get some asiago cheese, supressetta and the excellent flat Italian bread (what is it again, chumarra? Anyone know?)and that's a great meal!
Mardi Gras is now closed (a wine bar is going in it's place), but they merged their menu with Michael's Bar and Grill...and agreed, the food isn't great, but get the fried calamari, that's EXCELLENT (and on Tuesday nights it's half price). The buffalo wings are pretty good too.
I had take out from a place called The Healthy Bite (I think that's right?) or somesthing like that, near the corner of HOllywood Way and Magnolia and it was excellent. Great stuffed grapeleaves (long and narrow like fingers instead of dumpling shaped, and much easier to handle for finger food), excellent wraps and veggie dishes.
I hate the Smoke House, too, over priced mediocrity.
Mo's (next door to Bob's Big BOy) has good soups.
i second the reccomendation for joy feast. when i was working in burbank, i had lunch there at least once a week. the steamed fish w/ ginger and scallion is very good as are several of the tofu dishes. they also have my favorite egg rolls in all of la.
I don't know why so many people say Eat 'N Park is gross. I had the BEST pancakes there every. So good that I haven't been back to IHOP since. And it's so neighborhoody that I just have to love it. I even have a favorite waitress who's smart as a whip. Try it yourself. I haven't done the touted omelettes, but the prices are great, service is quick, pancakes are good AND cheap!
Tallyrand is great for breakfast. We've found getting there by 9 on weekends is important to avoid a long wait.
California Canteen over on Cahuenga is good too. I've been there for breakfast many times (love the potatoes) and my wife has been there for lunch and enjoyed it.
It's exciting to see new restaurants opening on San Fernando. Granville and Chadaka Thai are very good. We tried the new Smokin' Jacks and were not impressed. The sandwich I got was just warm meat on a bun with no spices or sauces, you just put your own bbq sauce on it.
Dalt's used to be my old standby and I really miss the Reuben. Does anyone know if there is something new going in that space? There's a lot of construction going on at the moment.
We were totally unimpressed by Smokin' Jack's.
Chadaka Thai has very good food, but it's a much, much better value at lunch -- the prices are high at dinner for what you get. Also, if you get it to go, learn from my sadness and realise that they use cheap plastic sandwich boxes for everything, so if you've got som tum or some other liquidous food, it WILL spill all over you.
Tallyrand- good chicken club
Wok of 'shame' - crappy chinese, soup is 9/10 water 1/10 meat
Frontier wok - horrible chowmein (noodles soaked in soy sauce)
Great wok @ Olive x Victory - pretty good chowmein (tho small -to me- in the lunch takeout box for 6$)
chinese buffet @ san fernando x delaware (next to kmart): lunch buffet was cheap ~7?, food was ok-not bad for the money.
Cheech's NY Pizza on Burbank BLVD is gooooooood. Especially their crust! I felt like I was in filthy New York.
NYPD Pizza- on San Fernando is pretty subpar. We liked the pizza right down the street at North End Pizzeria much better, and it's cheaper. Tony's Bellavista also has a pretty good pizza.
Joy Feast- We just ate at there over the weekend, seeing if it was worth catering a party with. We got the Sesame Chicken and Kung Pao Chicken- both were pretty bad. I had bone slivers in the Kung Pao and the Sesame was very fatty. Also, the flavors were nothing better than you'd get from any generic mall Chinese $5 combo plate. It's sad to say that the best Chinese I've had in Burbank is PF CHangs (have tried Joy Luck, Gourmet 88, Mandarin Deli, Lotus Garden, Frontier Wok, former Noodle Cafe, and a bunch of places on San Fernando on both sides of the mall)
We had a pretty good breakfast at Granville's, but no dinner yet- it has a great interior.
Also, ate sushi over the weekend at Wokcano- better than Kabuki, Sushizawa, Niko Niko, Octopus, Zono. But still not sushi-snob worthy.
Krust Bakery/ Coffehouse is now open in the old Martino's Bakery spot on Verdugo, near the shuttered old Vons. The house specialty that I tried is called a Krustata...basically a small turnover in a crust that's a cross between pie crust and shortbread. Mine was raspberry and had 3 or 4 plump fresh raspberries inside. It was delicious, but at $3 for the bite, would get a little expensive since it would take 3 or 4 of them to equal the heft of a slice of pie.
I also tried a brownie, $2.50, which tasted like Duncan Hines/ Pillsbury. Why bake from "scratch" if you can't make it taste any better than a mix?
On the way out I noticed a HUGE, appetizing Red Velvet Cake that was going for 5 bucks a slice. The line was slow and the service was novice/annoying so I didn't get back into line to try the cake.
The prices are more in line with a sit-down coffeehouse or restaurant dessert menu rather than a take-out bakery. I'm sure they'll have a tough time competing with Porto's a mile away....but Krust is open late into the evening (10pm?) on Friday and Saturday and is a nice spot for coffee and dessert I guess.
Tried the new dessert place Creme de la Creme on San Fernando, in the new strip mall next door to Zankou, next to the Vons and across the street from Ralphs. It was truly awful. I think they just opened, but their brownie was dry and inedible. They advertised Frozen Custard, but I know frozen custard- frozen custard is a friend of mine. Creme de la Creme, sir, you are no frozen custard. It was softserve. Blaaah.
Thanks for saving me the trip and $$$- I have seen Creme de la Creme several times when going to Ikea or whatever and had been curious...but suspicious. Thanks for settling it!
Two great places in burbank.
Choza Mama- I love everything there. on the corner of Alameda and Olive across from NBC. I would go in the evening though. The studio people tend to rush that place at lunch time so there can be an extra long wait, but if you willing to wait its worth it.
Mam Bos- Great cuban food. Also has a great Cuban Sandwich. Nothing beats Cuban sandwichs I had when I lived in Miami, but mambos is pretty, pretty Good. Bigger sandwichs than Portos, and you don''t have to wait in line just to sit down. Located on the corner of Western and Victory.
Choza Mama has a real issue with food presentation -- slopped over the edge of the plate, or stews that don't look appetizing.
Now that Lau's seems to be closed, it's the best Peruvian in Burbank (as well as the ONLY Peruvian in Burbank), but it's not worth driving to from anywhere else -- including Glendale.
re: Das Ubergeek
I would agree it's not road-worthy, but if you're in town, it's not a bad lunch option. They've gotten better since they've opened, and when they're not swamped by us studio drones and rushing your order they don't suffer from the aforementioned sloppiness.
That said, I would stick mostly to their stir-frys or chaufas (fried rice). Their stews do suffer from "wtf am I eating" syndrome, and I haven't had their chicken so I can't comment (mainly because it's not wood-fired, as advertised).
I don't like it very much and so I just skip it when I go there -- and as a studio drone, there ARE other places to eat!
The "OMG VOMIT WTF" factor of the stews just totally put me off the place in the first place -- but the saltados aren't all that and the ceviche was terrible. I'm spoiled by Las Quenas.
Magazzino on Pass just S. of Alameda. Great place for lunch. Always a good soup (non-dairy, vegetarian) and a hearty sandwich on good bread or salad.
Glad to see Market City got a mention - food is fairly good, but the breadsticks are fabulous, service is usually attentive and the other night they had 1/2 price wine - decent wine too! Particularly like their grilled shrimp & spinach with garlic. Have always wanted to try the barbecue place across the way - is that Smokin Jacks??? Looks inviting, but there is never anyone eating there which makes me suspicious.
Would Granville be down the street from Market City???
Smokin' Jack's was a lot better than I feared, but it's no old-timey barbecue shack... it's barbecue gone upscale. You never see people because the booths are so tall -- I'm 184 cm and I can't be seen above the booths.
Granville is two blocks south of Market City, across from Burbank Bar & Grill, yes.
There is a Korean BBQ place on San Fernando Rd. (where all the stores/restaurants are) that is really good.
Exotic Thai - in a strip mall on San Fernando Rd. near the Tommy's. Good Thai food try the ground chicken with mint leaf or the fillet of Sole. Good stuff.
Giamellas - sub shop - go with the meatball, pepper steak, pastrami or italian cold cut
Thanks, everyone for the great recommendations! I am exploring Burbank now in a new blog. I sure have a lot more to go!!! Thanks!
I'm really very fond of Frank's on Olive just w.of Victory. Though I agree it's not the greatest for major meals other than breakfast;( just decent passable diner fare)it's still worth checking out if you like authentically unchanged old-school 50's-60's diners.
Good people watching.You'll see everyone from hipsters to families to seniors.
I had been a breakfast regular there for years when I worked nearby--but even now when I drop in I always get a warm welcome.
It's always bustling on weekend mornings--but you still get seated pretty fast. Good egg dishes, coffee always hot and fresh-- and the service friendly.
Hnhh... You must be ordering the mild chili at Chili John's. I order hot. I like it because it's finely chopped, not ground. They take a vacation in the summer, and you can call and order the stuff by the gallon. Also, the dogs are made special for them. The tamale is also good, with a little spoonful of beans.
My fridge is broken so I eat a lot of take out.
Tallyrand - Love, love, love the egg salad with bacon on rye. Do they bake their own bread? You can't get rye bread like that at a grocery. Thanks to Tallyrand I'm now addicted to baked tapioca. All their salads are good, except WHY do they put dill pickle slices in them? I always have to pull those out. Weird. Anyway, try Karen's Special Salad. Their turkey & dressing is about as good as it gets. Chicken salad sandwich is good. The chicken wrap is good. Everything is good...except I'm not a fan of their soups and I loooooooooooove soup.
Pizza - What about Toni's in that triangle where Camarillo, Lankershim & Vineland meet? OMG the Toni's Special "Everything but Lankershim Blvd" and the pepperoni, meatballs & onion combination. It automatically comes on thin, crispy, crispy, crispy crust so you'll have to tell them if you want thick crust. I personally prefer the thin. The lasagna is great and do try the spumoni. You get a good amount of it for the price and I'm wondering if it's homemade.
NYPD Pizza: Not bad, but nothing to write home about.
One suggestion I would make is La Bamba on Glenoaks & Lamer. It's small and all outdoors, with really good chicken fajitas (huge portions) and fresh pico. It's tropical/Mexican food, for lack of a better term, with Cuban sandwiches & sweet potato french fries.
Also, for a quick meal or take out, Tokyo Yakitori on Glenoaks and...Angeleno maybe? has some good, cheap offerings. The chicken teriyaki with no skin is my standard, but they have a very spicy chicken dish (I think it's called spicy chicken) and a good beef curry & rice.
re: skinny malinky
Little Toni's pizza is actually one of the better pizzas in the area for thin crust pizza. It was a pleasant surprise and would recommend for those in the area. NYPD Pizza in Burbank was a huge disappointment for me. The sauce was bland and it just didn't cut it as far as NY pizza goes.
Tony's Italian Deli on Magnolia few blocks west of Victory. I've had a few of the sandwiches from Tony's but I love the meatball sandwich. the sausage sandwich is good also & the "Tony's special" is good also