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Mar 31, 2011 09:53 AM

Smoke House in Burbank

Someone told me about Smoke House in Burbank,

Has anyone been? What do they do well, what poorly? TIA

Smoke House Restaurant
4420 W Lakeside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505

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  1. It is something of a relic from the land that time forgot. If you like old school, red leather booths and surf and turf and a piano player in the lounge then you'll like the Smoke House. As you can tell by their website URL (the 1946 part of it) they came into existence right after WWII ended and they are still doing their thing.

    1. The place is legendary, like Lawry's. They do everything well but their cheese/garlic bread is superb and one of the things they're famous for. If you have any dietary restrictions, they will work with you.
      You really can't go wrong there but, if you're looking for something extraordinary, you may not find it at the Smoke House.

      Smoke House Restaurant
      4420 W Lakeside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505

      1. I can't really think of anything they do well. The famous cheese bread is powdered cheese (probably from a can) on bread with garlic salt and butter. They do have great ambiance, but you can get better food in a similar retro-environment at Taylor's or Taix.

        3 Replies
        1. re: sku

          And you can buy similarly powdered-and-garlic-buttered bread, but better, at Monte Carlo Deli in Burbank, for cheaper. It's in a barrel by the cash register.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            sku and Das are absolutely correct. After hearing so many good things about the garlic cheese bread, I too was horribly disappointed by the gritty, powdered stuff they used on it. The steak I had was expensive and otherwise unmemorable. Wonderful old-school atmosphere, though.

            Mr Taster

          2. re: sku

            Can't think of anything they do well? Have a salty dog.
            And you might see Larry Sanders in a booth in the corner.

          3. Interesting.

            Sounds like a place I went to in Pasadena years ago--Barkley or something like that. Are the places similar?

            5 Replies
            1. re: Funwithfood

              Maybe Beckham Grill on Walnut? If so, it is still there.

              Beckham Grill Restaurant
              77 W Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91103

              1. re: WildSwede

                Wild Swede, I think Funwithfood is talking about a restaurant called The Barkley Restaurant and Bar at 1400 Huntington Drive in South Pasadena. I used to go there quite often for lunch, as I worked in the area. I haven't been in awhile, but I remember it being very similar to The Smoke House. On the other hand, Beckham Grill also has that "Smoke House" feel to it, as well.

                1. re: WildSwede

                  I hadn't been to Beckham Grill in a few years, so I went a month or so ago. Friday night at 7 and they were out of prime rib. It's a prime rib restaurant for criminy's sake.

                  Beckham Grill Restaurant
                  77 W Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91103

                  1. re: martyR

                    I'm theorizing that several buses from some of the local elder-care facilities showed up at once for the Early Bird Special and all those geezers got prime rib, because they couldn't think of anything else. Hey, could happen!

                    We've been there just once, with a family we know that always takes their kids there on St. Patrick's Day, when they have the pipers. It was too much of a zoo to charm either of us - lots of other families had dragged their ankle-biters along as well, nor were they all well-behaved. As an elderly acquaintance of mine eats there faithfully every night, at the bar, I have to assume it's worth a visit.

                    The Barkley is next door to our vet's clinic, and I have been curious about it. I've been told it's pricey - it'd just about have to be, in that location - but I'm open to taking a look-in.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Update: we did get to the Barkley a month or two back, when we were in South Pas one night, Mike & Ann's was overflowing, and we weren't feeling rich enough for Bistro de la Gare. Very old school indeed, started by a popular '50s DJ whose extremely corny-joke dish names and descriptions are preserved on the menu. As we expected the cocktails were perfect, the food was old-fashioned and adequate-to-good, and the entertainment was a kind of New-Old-Timey-Country group that was very good indeed, except for us they were competing with an outdoor-club party in progress in the next room. Not terribly pricey, cheaper than Taylor's; I'd say about as spendy as Mike & Ann's but that's apples vs. oranges. If we're in the mood sometime we'll probably go back.

              2. I have fond memories of dining at the former Encino location 45+ years ago, when the Mrs. and I payed a visit to the original Toluca Lake location a few years ago the food, and the famed garlic/cheese bread did not live up to expectations.

                But I would return for the vibe of the piano lounge.