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Taste Chicago in Burbank?

  • d

How is this place? is it worth it? Is the pizza even close?


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  1. To answer your questions in order.

    It's mediocre. I haven't had the pizza but nothing I've had (hot dogs, Italian beef) is worthwhile.

    5 Replies
    1. re: sku

      Agree...had the Chicago dog there once. If they can't do a decent hot dog why chance the pizza.

      Portillo's is the way to go if you want the Chicago experience, but I don't think they have pizza. They got other Italian dishes and they import the hot dog buns from Chicago.

      1. re: monku

        I'm glad to hear that Portillo's brings in hot-dog buns from Chicago. The hot dogs are also pretty good, even if they aren't Vienna Beef.

        It's too bad they don't import Gonnella bread from Chicago for their Italian beef. The beef itself is much better than anything else I've had away from Chicago, although it's not as good as the best beef stands in what the marketeers call the Greater Chicagoland Area. But the Portillo's bread has a distinct aftertaste that I find objectionable.

        P.S. They've recently opened a second California branch in Moreno Valley.

      2. re: sku

        You guys are crazy! The Italian Beef is delicious! if you're not from Chicago, you can't vouch. I've lived in Chicago my whole life and the beef is just as good as Al's beef, NaNa's, Portillo's and Taylor street.
        The pizza is made with water from LA, so NO bread, pizza or anything here will taste like Chicago pizza but it's not bad.
        For great tasting Chicago style pizza, try Mazzarino's.
        Vicki Wagner

        1. re: lesbianknowsbest

          Mazzarino's has been closed for a long time and still doesn't look like it's ready to reopen, sign on the door notwithstanding. Plus, their pizza is just standard pizza, not bad but I can't figure out why you would think it's Chicago style.

          1. re: Debbie W

            Agree with your post. Mazzarino's is not bad but it is not Chicago style.

      3. What about the Giardinera?

        1. I'm not from Chicago, so authenticity I can't vouch for. The hotdog was tasty, and so was the beef sandwich. I think in the past there's been a lot of discussion for and against. I wouldn't think of this place as a destination, but if you're in the neighborhood, it's a very decent choice.

          If you're looking for the Chicago experience and taste, you might check out Portillo's in Buena Park (across the street from KnottsBF, literally). A friend of mine (from Chicago) used to import their Italian Beef before they opened an outpost here. She and her group of Chicago ex-pats drive to Portillo's all the time now. I've been twice, and I have to say, the Italian Beef sandwich (or the 1/2 beef, 1/2 sweet sausage --I know, huh?) Flavorful, and worth the drive.

          Portillo's Hot Dogs
          8390 La Palma Ave, Buena Park, CA 90620

          Taste Chicago
          603 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

          1. Hot dogs: okay -- I prefer the Polish
            Deep dish: not even close
            Italian beef: I like it, but can't speak to its authenticity (I've only been to Chi once in my life and all I ate was deep dish and hot dogs) ...
            My fave is the potato wedges with garlic sauce
            Here's an older thread on the subject of "authentic" Chicago food in LA (Rubin's Red Hots RIP):


            1. Hi Diana,

              Agree with everyone's posts so far: Taste Chicago's pizza isn't worth it. I was pretty disappointed.

              The closest I've found to Chicago Pizza would be Tony's Little Italy and that's not close to the best Chicago offers, but it's pretty decent here in So Cal. :)

              Tony's Little Italy Pizza
              1828 N Placentia Ave, Placentia, CA 92870

              1. My brother and I are from Chicago and we really like the Italian beef sandwich. Never had the pizza, though, we go there only for the beef. Dare I say, I prefer New York pizza better. One of my favorite pizzas is at a real hole in the wall--Brooklyn Pizza on Tampa and Vanowen.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Kate is always hungry

                  The last time I ate at Taste Chicago, it wasn't very good.

                  The beef was very rubbery and the au jus (gravy, whatever) didn't
                  have much flavor.

                  They also had discontinued the frozen custard and the flourless
                  chocolate demi-cakes.

                  I kind of got the feeling maybe its new owners??? just speculating.

                2. Taste Chicago is ok and a tad overpriced for hot dogs and beef sandwiches. The pizza is sub-par to say the least. Portillo's is much tastier plus reasonably priced. QT Chicago Dogs in Sherman Oaks has good Chicago hot dogs as well -- 4344 Woodman Ave,Sherman Oaks (addtl locations in the valley). For thin crust Chicago style pizza try Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock: http://casabiancapizza.com

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: chowchi1

                    For me, with pizza crust,. the thicker the better. I want to try the REAL chicago stuffed pizza-maybe even with fouble crust. Nothing in LA, though. *sigh* I guess I gotta go mail order. A smart proprietor around here would order in a ton from Chi town and sell them here.

                    1. re: Diana

                      Albertsons (wilshire w. of bundy) used to carry deep dish from Chicago, (probably once frozen, but it was sold in the deli dept on the free standing display where you might find the brie and such). I can't remember if it was Uno's or Gino's, one of those. I bought it once, and while it's not the same as being there, I thought it was a tasty option-- it certainly reminded me of the crusty deep dish I'd been lusting for, after visiting Chicago years ago.

                      Disclaimer -- I have no idea if they still carry it, it's been at least a year, but it would certainly be worth asking about if you're interested. And if they don't have it, but you still want it, ask them if they carry it in IL (or other) supermarkets. About 10 years ago (before Abita was distributed in CA) they special ordered a case for me, because I knew they sold it at Albertsons in LA.

                      1. re: Diana

                        As is often noted on these threads, the deep-dish pizza at Chicago Pasta House in Moreno Valley, right off the 60 about 15 minutes past Riverside, is as good as you'll find in any of the famous places in Chicago. It's almost exactly halfway to Palm Springs - combine it with a stop by the wonders of Cabezon outlet malls and you've got yourself a day.

                    2. As a Chicagoan living in LA, I sometimes crave the culinary delights that remind me of home. A couple years ago, I heard about Taste Chicago and became excited at the thought of finally getting a taste of home. I braved the brutal LA traffic and reached my Burbank destination. I ordered what any self-respecting Chicagoan would order and happily asked for an Italian Beef. I wish I could end this anecdote on a positive note, but my experience was similar to "Just Cid's." The beef was sliced thicker than the norm and the aus jus lacked that robust flavor found in some of Chicago's finer beef establishments like Johnnie's. This isn't to say the food was horrid, but it didn't leave enough of an impression on me to get me make a trip out to Burbank just Taste Chicago. Luckily I can get my Italian Beef, Polish Sausage, and hot dog fixes at Portillos.

                      1. Don't get the pizza. It's disgusting. The IB is OK but not worth a drive from further away than, say, WB. What they do have that is outstanding is their anisetta salad -- marinated fennel, which is absolutely delicious.

                        1. Decent Chicago foods (pizza is so-so) but the place thrives even with high prices due to its location and the celebrity ownership.

                          As mentioned Portillo's (Buena Park and Moreno Valley) is the real go-to for hot dogs, italian beef, etc...same menu as in Chicago except prices are about 20% higher. Even better is Chicago's Best in Irvine...really good stuff.

                          On the pizza front, thin crust "Chicago-style" it's hard to beat Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock. For deep dish/stuffed, it's Tony's in Placentia, Chicago Pasta House in Moreno Valley, Banducci's in Lakewood, Romano's in Riverside, and there are a handful of others.

                          Note that Rosati's (popular Chicago area chain) recently opened in Corona and they have italian beef/sausage and thin/deep pizza.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: RSMBob

                            I totally agree TC is not worth the drive or walk. I lived within walking distance for 3 years and only went once becuase it was so bad.