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Smoke House in Burbank

Funwithfood Mar 31, 2011 09:53 AM

Someone told me about Smoke House in Burbank, http://www.smokehouse1946.com/.

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. Servorg RE: Funwithfood Mar 31, 2011 09:59 AM

    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. mucho gordo RE: Funwithfood Mar 31, 2011 10:13 AM

      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. sku RE: Funwithfood Mar 31, 2011 10:36 AM

        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
          Das Ubergeek RE: sku Mar 31, 2011 10:10 PM

          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
            Mr Taster RE: Das Ubergeek Mar 31, 2011 11:14 PM

            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
            cls RE: sku Mar 31, 2011 11:31 PM

            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. Funwithfood RE: Funwithfood Mar 31, 2011 11:49 AM


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

            4 Replies
            1. re: Funwithfood
              WildSwede RE: Funwithfood Mar 31, 2011 03:49 PM

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

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

              1. re: WildSwede
                omakase RE: WildSwede Mar 31, 2011 09:59 PM

                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
                  martyR RE: WildSwede Apr 1, 2011 12:41 PM

                  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
                    Will Owen RE: martyR Apr 1, 2011 06:04 PM

                    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.

              2. ChinoWayne RE: Funwithfood Mar 31, 2011 11:59 AM

                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.

                1. a
                  attran99 RE: Funwithfood Mar 31, 2011 02:47 PM

                  I've been there a few times (all-expenses paid lunch by the company), and it's not something that I would consider special. If I want to pay a la carte for steak, Morton's is only a few minutes away. People I know have raved about their clam chowder (with optional shot of sherry) and their garlic cheese bread. I tried both, and while the sherry lifted the clam chowder, it wasn't fabulous enough to entice me to come back. The garlic "cheese" bread is garlic bread, but with orange cheese powder sprinkled on top...the cheese powder reminded me of the stuff from the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese box. The steak was okay, but I wasn't impressed. There might be some celebrity sightings because of it's close proximity to the Disney, Warner Bros., and Universal Studios lots. I saw Edward Hermann (of Gilmore Girls fame) during one of my visits.

                  1. p
                    pointone RE: Funwithfood Mar 31, 2011 03:26 PM

                    I love this place for sentimental reasons (my mother worked at Universal and would go here all the time and I even had my sweet 16 party here). I wouldn't say it's a life-changing culinary experience though. I'd go more because I have good memories of this place and it reminds me of my childhood than I would for the food itself.

                    I adore the garlic bread. It is wholeheartedly and unabashedly artificially orange, but I don't think they've ever held it out to be the ne plus ultra of garlic bread.

                    As other posters have noted, it has a great, old-school, dark, red vinyl booth atmosphere. And it's the real deal unlike some places that try to cultivate or imitate the feel of an old school steakhouse.

                    1. Funwithfood RE: Funwithfood Mar 31, 2011 06:21 PM

                      How does this place compare to the Dal Rae in Pico Rivera (I've not been there either).

                      Dal Rae
                      9023 E. Washington Blvd., Pico Rivera, CA 90660

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Funwithfood
                        ChinoWayne RE: Funwithfood Mar 31, 2011 06:47 PM

                        Same old school atmosphere, the food is better at Dal Rae, but nothing spectacular.

                        Dal Rae
                        9023 E. Washington Blvd., Pico Rivera, CA 90660

                        1. re: ChinoWayne
                          Funwithfood RE: ChinoWayne Mar 31, 2011 06:53 PM

                          Are the prices similar?

                          1. re: Funwithfood
                            ChinoWayne RE: Funwithfood Mar 31, 2011 07:06 PM

                            Don't remember pricing from Smokehouse, and their web site does a great job of displaying a slide show, but the menu link does not work. I suspect Dal Rae may be pricier, but a much larger menu, with a lot of classic old school continental type cuisine. I'd seriously go for Dal Rae over Smokehouse.

                            Dal Rae
                            9023 E. Washington Blvd., Pico Rivera, CA 90660

                        2. re: Funwithfood
                          justanotherpenguin RE: Funwithfood Apr 2, 2011 07:00 AM

                          have been to both. numerous times to smokehouse, 3 times to dal rae. the only thing that smokehouse has going for it is location and continuity. i would not go out of my way to go to smokehouse, would do so for dal rae. similar ambiance, much better food, and IMHO considerably friendlier service.

                        3. monku RE: Funwithfood Mar 31, 2011 08:24 PM

                          Went to their Sunday champagne brunch a few weeks ago and was surprised it was pretty good for the price $20 at 10:00am-10:45am then $23.


                          5 Replies
                          1. re: monku
                            radman123 RE: monku Apr 1, 2011 11:34 AM

                            i like the Smokehouse -- I mean I wouldn't bring a first date to the place, but the Garlic Bread is very good (powdered cheese and all), the atmosphere is unique, the prime rib is solid, and the prices are fairly reasonable. Anyone who knocks this place is a snob and doesn't get it.

                            1. re: radman123
                              mucho gordo RE: radman123 Apr 1, 2011 01:52 PM

                              Well said, radman

                              1. re: radman123
                                coffeebrownies RE: radman123 May 19, 2011 07:55 PM

                                Taking into accoount your last statement, it is indeed a perfect spot for a first date...

                              2. re: monku
                                Norm Man RE: monku Apr 1, 2011 02:35 PM

                                Monku, thanks for the heads up o nSmokehouse's Sunday Brunch Buffet. Will give it a try.

                                1. re: Norm Man
                                  monku RE: Norm Man Apr 1, 2011 05:49 PM

                                  For the price and the offerings it was a decent deal.
                                  + the AYCE famous garlic cheese bread= (Griddle fry, powdered parmesan cheese, garlic powder and paprika)

                              3. t
                                trimtab RE: Funwithfood Apr 2, 2011 12:40 PM

                                George Clooney became a star during his days on ER. He and his fellow cast members ate many a meal at the Smokehouse, as it was right across the street from Warner Brothers Studios. Later, When Clooney formed his own production company, he named it Smokehouse Productions. If it was good enough for George Clooney, it's good enough for me.

                                1. maxzook RE: Funwithfood Apr 2, 2011 04:00 PM

                                  Just posted about them yesterday:


                                  1. d
                                    Dogbite Williams RE: Funwithfood Apr 2, 2011 06:59 PM

                                    My family ate there years ago. All any of us can remember is the garlic cheese toast.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Dogbite Williams
                                      Mr Taster RE: Dogbite Williams Apr 2, 2011 09:19 PM

                                      Don't leave us hanging! How, exactly, do you remember that cheese toast?

                                      Mr Taster

                                      1. re: Mr Taster
                                        Dogbite Williams RE: Mr Taster Apr 3, 2011 10:30 AM

                                        Sorry. We all really liked it, but the rest of the meal suffered in comparison unanimously.

                                    2. Funwithfood RE: Funwithfood Apr 4, 2011 11:20 PM

                                      Thanks for all the replies. Sometimes a mediocre classic really hits the spot! :)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Funwithfood
                                        Mr Taster RE: Funwithfood Apr 5, 2011 09:16 AM

                                        Beautifully stated!

                                        Mr Taster

                                      2. o
                                        oldusedcop RE: Funwithfood Apr 6, 2011 04:08 PM

                                        Basically Blah! Certainly doesn't live up to the hype.

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

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: oldusedcop
                                          radman123 RE: oldusedcop Apr 6, 2011 05:58 PM

                                          um, what hype -- it is what it is

                                        2. tenxtone76 RE: Funwithfood May 19, 2011 06:04 PM

                                          please get the cheese bread and thank me later! junky food at its very, very best

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