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Sep 23, 2008 08:56 PM

Third and Olive--Burbank anyone been?

I have had dinner at Bistro Provence, but was wondering if anyone had any experience with Third and Olive.

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  1. Hi -

    I've been to Third & Olive twice. I like Bistro Provence much better. As you know, Bistro Provence is small, and I find it warm with charm to it.

    Third and Olive is different, mostly in terms of look/decor, ambience and attitude. It is a bigger space at the bottom of an office building. It used to be "Lashers" (yes, of Long Beach fame, but very different from them) and the doors still have the large Lashers "L" on the front. (I find that tacky/confusing, but it's not actually a big deal.)

    T&O is darker, with a more business look, and feels more old fashioned. It is also much bigger than Bistro Provence. At its best, there is a San Francisco dark-wood, have-a-martini feel to the place. The bar, in its own large space, sports singers crooning Rat Pack era music (Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Bobby Darin, etc.)

    The food has only been okay. Let me amend that -- for Burbank, it's good and that is why we've been there twice (and didn't stop at once). I had a fine fish dish there the first time; the second time, I had a gristly steak.

    The service feels phonier/snootier than Bistro Provence. Not warm, not attentive. Tables are close together and you can hear everything everybody says (except the person you went with!) Finally, I'll add that this is not an easy place to find or even to park at (at least at first).

    But, I will reiterate that for a suburb that thinks PF Changs is gourmet, it's worth a visit -- that is, if you have to or want to stay in Burbank. If not -- and for the money -- you can do far better.

    Best of luck!!

    1. I tried Third and Olive for the first time last night. Boyfriend and I were looking for a decent place in Burbank near a house-sitting location. We had a good experience and will return.

      Being Thanksgiving Eve, it was completely dead there except for a few people at the bar; so, it's entirely possible that our experience was atypical.

      I agree with the previous reply's description of the interior, "dark-wood, have-a-martini". The stereo was on Sinatra when we arrived, but transitioned to more contemporary music later. The interior was impeccably neat and clean.

      We were seated immediately and quickly received drinks and warm olive bread, which was better than the contents of many bread baskets.

      We both ordered the four-course tasting menu for $26.50:
      - Curried eggplant soup
      - Stacked salad with manchego, apple, walnuts, medjool dates
      - Picatta Pacific bass with mashed potatoes, green beans and shallots
      - Fresh strawberries with lemon curd and meringue

      The soup was nicely balanced and enjoyable. The salad was very good, combining sweet, salty and crunchy elements. The fish was perfectly cooked. The dessert was not elaborate, but was perfectly executed and delicious.

      Our server was friendly and pleasant, and was well-versed in the menu and wine list.

      It was not a life-altering culinary journey, but it was a well-prepared meal in a pleasant setting. Certainly one of the better restaurants in Burbank, especially in the Town Center mall area.

      Third and Olive
      250 E. Olive Ave., Burbank, CA 91505

      1 Reply
      1. re: queenofthemountain

        Thanks, I have been wondering about this place, reviews have been mixed but hopefully they are finding their way. I always like to give a place at least a few weeks to get into their groove before visiting, but I never did get to Lasher's since they seemed to only last a couple of months.

      2. LOVE this place! Just what Burbank needed, I hope they can find their niche and start packing 'em in. It's the perfect place to take the visiting-parents, and at lunch a nice space for a business meeting....the atmosphere is sort of like updated Smokehouse nicely renovated. My mom raved about her Beef Bourginion, and dad said something like "lots of restaurants used to be classy but cool like this... now they're all like that hectic place you took us to last night" (it was Granville).

        On weekends they have a "crooner", an interesting entertainer with a gift of a voice, singing along to music tracks with selections from the Rat Pack songbook, standards etc. He's a little loud for a dinner house at points, but everyone seemed to really enjoy the old-school vibe that he brought to the place. I wish I could remember his name, he'd be great to book for a 50th-anniversary party or any events like that.

        Third and Olive is, of course, right at the corner of 3rd and Olive in Burbank, with parking in the structure across 3rd Street. If you just want to "check the place out", I'd suggest Happy Hour on Friday, it goes until 7pm and the singer starts around 7pm so you can get a decent take on the vibe of the place without committing to full dinner experience. I think one visit will convince you to give this joint a try, the staff is friendly and ambitious, and my mom called it " a delightful evening from start to finish". If this place can get some buzz going and find it's place in Burbank, I think it can well fill in where The Smokehouse and Tony's BellaVista and The Castaway have apparently left off....all three joints apparently suffering from a downhill-slide in quality and service lately.

        Third and Olive
        250 E. Olive Ave., Burbank, CA 91505