Iconic Neighborhood Restaurants: Burbank | KCET
Iconic Neighborhood Restaurants: Burbank
Burbank, a former ranch settlement in the Northeast part of Los Angeles County, was not named after famous horticulturist Luther Burbank as commonly thought, but rather a David Burbank. The latter was an East Coast dentist-turned-entrepreneur who headed west and purchased acreage from former Spanish and Mexican colonial land grants to strike it rich.
The city as it is today has seen massive developments over the years from its early ranching days. It's now home to many entertainment companies, including Warner Bros, the Walt Disney Company, and Universal Studios. With its rich history in the entertainment world, it's easy to find a classic establishment that hearkens back to the "two martini lunch." You're never far from a delicious greasy spoon breakfast either.
Bob's Big Boy: A cultural American icon, Bob's Big Boy was built on Riverside Drive in 1949, but the popular chain's oldest original outpost was started by Bob Wian in 1936. But it's this location of the world-famous burger joint that has appeared in many classic films and was named a California Historical Point of Interest, driving hordes of young and old alike to its doors every day. Come on a Friday night and check out the classic car show that happens here every week and nosh on the Bob's "Big Boy" special: with a double patty burger, a pile of fries, and a garden salad with homemade dressing. Or just stop by as many do to rub the Big Boy statue out front -- he's rather like a Buddha.
4211 W Riverside Dr, (818) 843-9334
The Smoke House: The Smoke House is perched along the winding banks of the Los Angeles River, directly kitty corner from Warner Bros Studios. It was first established in Burbank in 1946 and moved to its current locale in 1949. It still looks like a joint out of a noir film, but it's most known for the famous cheesy garlic bread and barbecue-centric offerings. But steak, too! It's also always been a place for plenty of celeb sightings: Bing Crosby and Bob Hope used to nosh here back in the day and local lore has it that the cast of "Friends" used to frequent the Smoke House every week after filming. Come here to sip a dirty martini when want to you feel like a movie star (or at least work for one).
4420 Lakeside Dr, (818) 845-3731
Gary Bric's Ramp: You can't get any more "Burbank" than Gary Bric's Ramp. (The fact that it's technically in another zip code actually proves the Burbank-ness of it.) Bric, the former mayor of Burbank and city council member, bought this aptly-named steakhouse located right next to I-5 and Bob Hope Airport in April 1993 from a previous owner, who opened the restaurant in 1962. The bar is where they used to film the 1970s crime series "The Rockford Files." Gary Bric's serves classic steakhouse fare, including various cuts of steak and seafood at a more affordable price and less stuck-up attitude than its Beverly Hills cousins. Dark lighting, wood paneling, and a full bar makes you feel like you're in the '70s, about to catch a Pan-Am flight. I wouldn't try Instagramming food pics here (they've got a "This is a cellphone-free zone!" sign), though you will be tempted.
7730 N Hollywood Way, (818) 768-6499
Tallyrand: Named after a soup inspired by the 19th-century French politician Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, the restaurant was founded in 1959 by Al and Delores Thomas and immortalized in a classic episode of "Visiting With Huell Howser." Try the killer cinnamon roll French toast, the famous hot turkey sandwich of epic proportions, and unlike at most chain diners, the cocktails are delicious and strong!
1700 West Olive Avenue, (818) 846-9904
Monte Carlo Deli / Pinocchio Restaurant: In 1969 the Brankovich family bought Pinocchio Italian Restaurant and the adjoining Monte Carlo Italian Market, keeping it a family-friendly affair and very affordable (the prices are almost 1960-esque). As soon as you enter, you are quickly transported to a New York Italian cafeteria in the '60s where you have to wait in line for a generous sandwich, pizza, or the popular pastas and lasagna doused in sauce, served on plastic trays. Be sure to dine in their classic '60s-style back room full of Pinocchio-inspired paintings and red leather booths.
3103 W Magnolia Blvd, (818) 845-3517
Correction: This article originally stated that Burbank was named after "Dennis" Burbank. This has been corrected to "David."
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