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New job in Burbank - where's the food?

Tomorrow I start a new job at Warner Bros in Burbank. I'm unfamiliar with the area. There's an Arnie Morton's in the building but I certainly can't afford that every day. I'm up for most anything except Thai food...

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  1. I presume you're thinking lunch places. Unfortuately, Burbank is mostly Chain paradise, nothing really mom & pop outstanding. For lunch, while not really great food, you can look up: The Elephant Bar, B.J.'s, Islands, Fuddruckers and of course, Hooters. Burbank adjacent in Toluca Lake you have Bob's, Don Cuco and Paty's. If you can go to Glendale there's Billy's Deli and Foxy's Coffee Shop. Again, nothing outsanding but we are talking work day lunches, right?

    1 Reply
    1. re: LesThePress

      Been a while since I worked in Burbank, but there were some good little mom & pop places:

      La Bamba on Glenoaks, good Caribbean food

      Pinocchio on Magnolia, killer eggplant parm

      Rocky's fish on San Fernando
      also there was a good little sub place next to Rocky's

      There was a good little burger & beer place on Olive (Don's Place?) I believe it's gone now. Also Rocky's Burgers on Lincoln near Empire.

      ALso there was a little pizza shack on Magnolia that sold damn good slices, close to Chili John's

      Good little taco stand on San Fernando near Olive El tapatio, also Fiesta Taco on Hollywood Way

      Frontier Wok - Chinese on Hollywood Way

    2. Congratulations and welcome to Burbank! These places are relatively close by. There are also some good places in downtown Burbank.
      Decent Peruvian - Choza Mama
      Rotisserie chicken, salads, and wraps - Corner Cafe
      Pizza - Numero Uno and Dino's (the lasagna pizza is really good!)
      Greek - George's Patio Cafe (the gyros are good, but it's a pretty expensive quick lunch)
      Casual fare - Riverside Cafe (french onion soup and Ceasar salad with homemade dressing is so good!)
      Sandwiches and pastries - Porto's (cheese rolls, potato balls, cubano, medianoche, and their entire dessert display are some of my favorites)
      Do stay away from Ghindi Thai and Sushi...uninspired and boring Thai food. Sorry, couldn't find the links to some of the places.

      Porto's Bakery
      3614 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

      Dino's Pizza
      3520 W Burbank Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

      Choza Mama Restaurant
      3121 W Olive Ave, Burbank, CA 91505

      Numero Uno Pizza
      4006 W Riverside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505

      Corner Cafe
      171 N Maple St, Burbank, CA 91505

      1 Reply
      1. re: attran99

        Forgot to mention that Zankou Chicken recently opened in Toluca Lake...about 5-10 mins from WB depending on traffic on Riverside. Great wraps and chicken...I particularly like the garlic sauce.

      2. I assume you'll have in/out on your parking, so:

        Willie's Fish 'N Chips on Alameda and Victory
        Osaka Teriyaki on Alameda west of Main
        Philly's Best on Olive near Verdugo
        Arde's Bistro on Riverside in Toluca Lake
        Corner Cottage on Victory and Verdugo (also excellent breakfast burritos)
        The two Mexican places on the NE corner of Alameda and Glenoaks
        Cafe Bravo on Glenoaks and (?) Grandview in Glendale
        Ameci on Glenoaks and Orange Grove
        Trimana in the 3800 Alameda building (no pass needed to get in)
        Pupuseria del Valle on Victory between Verdugo and Alameda
        Priscilla's Coffee House on Riverside right near the DIC building
        Papoo's Hot Dog Show (go once to see if it's your thing).

        Concur on Porto's and Dino's. Do NOT concur on Choza Mama (minimally-acceptable Peruvian food).

        2 Replies
        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          Respectfully disagree on Trimana in the Disney building...I work in the building, and it's the last place I would eat...unless I'm desperate. The chicken in their salads/sandwiches are tasteless and rubbery. Their potato salad has some weird elements of cinnamon and nutmeg. The quesadilla special is made with the guacamole inside...warm guacamole...not my idea of yummy. The only good thing on their menu is their french fries. Because they're in the Disney building, their prices are higher than the nearby establishments.

          1. re: attran99

            Oh, I have never had problems there, but I usually get a burger or a hot turkey sandwich.

        2. Fiesta Taco (on Hollywood) ain't bad.
          Not in Burbank but a short drive are 818 Masala on Lankershim & Philadelphia Sandwiches on Magnolia.

          1. Choza Mama is walking distance and worth a try.
            Ciao Cristina recently opened across from the west side of the lot, happy hour!
            Arnie Morton's happy hour has been raved about here.
            Valentino Cafe across from Hollywood Way gate is okay in a pinch.
            Salerno's is a few blocks walk, gotta know what to order there.
            El Torito, also few blocks up Riverside, has a fajita-lunch-buffet.
            Numero Uno is up there as well, ya love it or ya hate it. There is also Nature's Pantry and the Paradise Juice fountain, (yeah, you gotta take a walk up Riverside, lots of lunch choices just 3 blocks from your office).
            WB has a breakfast/lunch cafe on Riverside behind your building.
            There's a Trader Joe's in Toluca Lake , and a Sharkey's Mexican, a Boston Market, a Robek's Juice and a Koo Koo Roo.
            Ribs Usa, Poquito Mas and Tony's Italian Deli are about a 1/2 mi up Olive.
            Best lunch in the area is Timmy Nolans pub, use the Mon-thurs lunch coupon from his website. http://www.timmynolans.net/1763507.html

            Timmy Nolan's Tavern
            10111 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake, CA 91602

            1. As a fellow WB employee, here are my houndish recs; chain hell but still good

              southstreet, philly's best, big willie's grill (fish n chips, burgers), el taco llama, InO, zankou, sharkey's, kansas city bbq (NoHo), portos

              Zankou is probably the best option around here IMHO. Glendale is also close "enough" if you have a long lunch, as is hollywood...

              Don't go to bob's big boy, big mo's

              3 Replies
              1. re: ns1

                Have you been to SouthStreet lately????? Downhill alert !

                1. re: jillso

                  I've been going to Philly's best because they have vinegar and condiments, but thanks for the heads up

                2. re: ns1

                  I Love Bob's Big Boy and Hate in n out...

                3. About a mile up Olive is Tallyrand. It's diner style food and it won't set the culinary world on fire but they've got very good burgers and excellent turkey dip sandwiches (fresh turkey roasted daily) along with very serviceable salads. It's also a hangout for retired Disney and WB workers who have great stories if you care to listen.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: trimtab

                    Note that housekeeping is a bit sketchy ("let's just wipe the tables onto the benches") and it's rundown -- but whatever you get there, make sure it comes with sourdough bread, because their sourdough bread is unbelievable.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      Actually Tally Rand scored a stellar 96 for their most recent health department inspection. Theresa's Family Restaurant, on the other hand, scary stuff. Also would be leary of Toluca Garden, Arunee House and Robano's pizza.

                  2. Nothing about the Smoke House?!! I know the food's not great but it's been a Studio fixture for decades - practically the WB canteen... Think of it as the Musso & Frank's of Burbank. Or the Sportsmen's Lodge of Burbank... well, you get the picture.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: FranklinJefferson

                      I was a big Smoke House fan until a few years ago, but it declined very fast. Musso's is much better.

                      Bistro Provence and Lucas Trattoria (different cuisines, same ownership/management) are hidden away in a Vons-anchored strip mall on Pass just north of the 134, five minutes away from the WB main lot and two blocks due west of the Ranch.

                      Haven't been to Lucas yet, but Bistro Provence is great upscale French, more expensive than Bob's Big Boy or Papoo's but certainly cheaper than Morton's. Chowhounds have expressed a few service complaints, but I can't report any problems after several visits.

                      Bistro Provence
                      345 N Pass Ave, Burbank, CA 91505

                      Lucas Trattoria
                      267 N Pass Ave, Burbank, CA 91505

                    2. Porto's - meat pies, potato balls, cheese rolls, macaroons, custom cakes, I could go on.
                      Tony Italian Deli (the one on Magnolia) - love the meatball/sausage sandwich, bowtie salad.
                      Kansas City BBQ - ribs, burnt ends, sweet potato fries
                      Hy Mart Deli - great middle eastern sandwiches toasted on a panini press; try the "veggie baby" (veggies, falafel). Note: they say they will be moving across the street soon.

                      Hy Mart
                      4762 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602

                      Tony's Italian Deli
                      1124 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506

                      1. For good sub sandwiches, I like Santoros at 1423 W Burbank Blvd. Just west of the intersection of Burbank and Victory Blvds.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Nradick

                          Venice Deli just up from Santoro's has good sandwiches too. And it's the cleanest little place in town.

                        2. First, welcome to Burbank, and congrats on your new job! I'm a relatively recent (couple of years) transplant to Burbank and I'm still seeking complete satisfaction food-wise, but I fiercely support this neighborhood. I don't post a lot, but I eat and read obsessively.

                          I work about a block from you (NBC Burbank), so I know that area as well as downtown Burbank (where I live). Actually, if you work in the same building as Morton's, do you work in the Pinnacle building? (or at least that's what we call it...the Charter building, perhaps?)

                          The one top recommendation I would give in terms of quality chow is Kansas City BBQ Company in North Hollywood (good call BearCity!) (Magnolia and Satsuma, don't let the very crummy strip mall keep you away). Granted, I'm from Alabama so the number one thing on my agenda was finding good pork sandwiches with crispy fries to go with it.

                          Das (whom I have the utmost respect for, by the way) said "The two Mexican places on the NE corner of Alameda and Glenoaks", which first of all is slightly inaccurate, in that the only place actually in that location is a Del Taco, and then just not great in my humble opinion, in that the two Mexican places on the NE corner of Alameda and San Fernando (one block down) are places that I desperately wanted to like but would never, ever recommend or even return to for any reason. I was hoping to find a good Mexican place within walking distance that I could have a couple of margs and a good dinner at on a regular basis and then walk home (which I could have), but these places are far, so far, from good enough to fit that bill. There's a Don Cuco's opening a few blocks away any time now that I have high hopes for. If I absolutely had to pick a Mexican place for lunch around us I would go with Poquito Mas on Olive, though it does get busy. With that said, I've pretty much given up on what I want from Mexican/Southwestern cuisine and have learned to make my own salsa, my own chips, and my own margaritas any night of the week.

                          I've picked up MANY a take out order from George's Patio Cafe (Greek), right next to us on Riverside, though if the people ordering saw the kitchen it was coming from they probably wouldn't order. It doesn't bother me because I like food that tastes good and am not snobby, but be forewarned it's not the sexiest place to pick up from in the entertainment industry. George is nice, though, and remembers repeat customers, especially at lunch.

                          If you're looking for a diner, Paty's in Toluca Lake is pretty standard and a favorite for local industry folks. Very close for lunch.

                          I've been to Choza Mama (Peruvian across the street), and it's actually pretty tasty, depending on what you want, though it won't blow your mind. Roasted chicken is standard but good flavor and for lunch at least, very convenient.

                          I'm not obsessed with it personally, but Porto's (Magnolia at Hollywood Way) is beloved, but can get crowded at lunch, though more so on weekends.

                          I've gone to Michael's (cajun/seafood) a little ways up Olive, and it's hit or miss depending on what you order. They are not busy at lunch, and they have discounts for NBCU employees (and I expect they will for WB employees as well). If they didn't it would probably be overpriced (though they do have a lunch menu which makes things cheaper as well).

                          It's not a chow-centric place, but if you're looking for a good watering-hole in Burbank, I support Fantasia Billiards in downtown Burbank on San Fernando. No cover, easy and free parking, strong and cheap drinks, and a decent vibe. The bartenders are friendly and the fries are infamous as sort of the "perfect bar fries", in that they are exactly what you want to eat, IF you are already a couple of drinks in.

                          Same thing with the Acapulco right across the street. I wouldn't recommend it for an amazing food experience, but for Margarita Monday and the $1 tacos on the same day, it's sometimes worth stopping at for those of us that work as close as we do.

                          A bit further away is Aroma Cafe in Studio City. Also probably overpriced (it tends to be taken care of when I go), but a broad menu and VERY nice atmosphere in the outdoor seating area (busy at lunch). I recommend the lobster club, and a lot of the breakfast items as well.

                          I might go to Joy Feast on Alameda for lunch simply based on your location, if you really want Chinese, but to be honest it's only the best average version of that genre that's nearby.

                          I imagine there are things I will think to add or revise on this subject, but there's my first thoughts. Say hi if you feel like and/or work next to me, maybe I can give you more specific info and/or grab lunch.


                          7 Replies
                          1. re: mygirlbakes AL

                            Doh, you're right about the corner. It's Alameda and San Fernando. I find that the one right on the corner is not as good as the one just off the corner. I like them fine, but avoid the carne asada as it tends to gristliness.

                            Good call on the discounts -- you need to remember to show your badge everywhere in Burbank as most places give a discount, whether you're NBCU, WB or Disney.

                            My favourite watering hole in the area is the Blue Room on Alameda and San Fernando, but mostly because I just go to have a beer. They're not great at mixed drinks. I like Fantasia too but parking in downtown Burbank sucks.

                            Joy Feast is across from the Disney lot and gets crowded with the Disney folks but you're exactly right, it's just the best version of average Chinese-American glop.

                            1. re: mygirlbakes AL

                              AL....have you tried Alambres Mexican spot in downtown Burbank yet? I haven't been but I've heard good things. They have coupons in the clipper mag.

                              1. re: mygirlbakes AL

                                Granada at the intersection of Victory & Burbank used to have decent Mexican food and margs.

                                1. re: mygirlbakes AL

                                  I'm gonna try to go to Kansas City BBQ today - wanna meet?

                                  1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                                    Get the burnt ends + beef ribs

                                    Best things on their menu IMHO

                                    I did NOT like their brisket

                                    1. re: ns1

                                      Too late! I had the brisket sandwich and a hot link. Both were great!

                                      1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                                        Interesting. Maybe I need to give it another shot then :)

                                2. Since no one mentioned Mo's just west of Bobs Big boy, I will. Good salads and burgers, not the cheapest, definitely good though,
                                  Believe a Poquito Mas may exist on the Warners lot, but not positive, but I am sure you will find out on day one or two.
                                  The Vons shopping center on Pass Avenue just north of the 134 Freeway has several dining options, the best one being Bistro Provence, which will not work into any daily rotation due its higher price point, yet it is hardly Arnie Morton expensive either.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: carter

                                    Whether or not there's one on the lot, there's a Poquito Mas on Olive west of Burna Vista. IMHO it's gone downhill, but still probably the best Mexican within lunch distance of WB.

                                      1. re: carter

                                        Sorry, Mo's was absolutely the worst burger I've ever consumed. Crappy meat, crappy toppings, decent bun. And I paid a whopping $10 bucks for the experience + tax/tip/drink too

                                        Save yourself the trouble and go to In N Out.

                                        There is a Paquitos Mas on the lot in the caf.

                                        1. re: ns1

                                          Never had a bad burger at Mo's nor a bad salad - and as I said, the prices are not a handout, but in these times, nothing is cheap.
                                          And I don't do in n out - sorry sorry product, as in totally flavorless.

                                          1. re: carter

                                            Well then we'll have to agree to disagree because a fresh InO burger > the frozen POS that I got from Mo's

                                            If they've never done you wrong then that's great :)

                                      2. I really like the Paradise Juice & Deli on Riverside. Really fresh sandwiches on lavash bread - they even seem healthy too, though who knows these days, it's probably dipped in butter. (Ha ha.) They have smoothies too, though I've never tried one. Very homey, friendly and inexpensive.

                                        Mo's has a great chopped salad.

                                        1. Cafe Colombia on Glenoaks, and La Maria on Victory, both strong Colombian restaurants, excellent if you order the right things.

                                          On border of No. Hollywood and Burbank on Magnolia, Don Huarache, only Mexican place nearby that if good.Mexican in Burbank proper, no thanks.

                                          Bistro Provence, already mentioned is nice.

                                          1. on victory, a little bit north of alameda, on the west side of the street, is a mexican place called super antojitos. i think they have a menu, although i've rarely seen it. mostly latinos in there, just asking for what they want, which mostly seems to be the caldos, which i have not had.
                                            i get the same thing every time, a chicharrones burrito. the filling is very funky, crispy and delicious. their chips are pretty great, and i like the salty, earthy red salsa.
                                            the couple times they didn't have the chicharrones, i had the carnitas, which were o.k., but without the funk and texture of the chicharrones.
                                            the folks that run the joint are friendly.

                                            el linus

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: linus

                                              Malbec on Riverside, Toluca Lake.
                                              Sweet Salty, almost across the street.
                                              Olive & Thyme, at Pass and Riverside, opens Tuesday 1 February.
                                              The WB Commissary on the Lot.

                                              1. re: Sandra W

                                                Vitello's nearby ...... not Burbank but worth the drive 4349 Tujunga Avenue, Studio City

                                                Vitello's Restaurant
                                                4349 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604