Thursday, February 23, 2012

Magnolia Restaurant

My lovely friend Dylan joined me for lunch in support of the continuation of Burbank Bites & I am ever-so-thankful for her company. Though she will probably not share with you what the food looked like when it came out of her, like our pal Cory, I have dined with her many times & think she knows her stuff!

The Basics:

I have driven past Magnolia Restaurant many times as I cruised down Magnolia & always noted its blue awnings & tables on the sidewalk. It usually looks like a pretty inviting scene & had always hoped we would take a Burbank Bites trip to check it out.
So, I guess I was sort of under the impression, for some reason, that this would be a Mediterranean joint. It does have some dishes like "Greek salad" and so on, but most of the menu seems to include Georgian fare, or an overarching Armenian theme. I don't want to pigeon hole the place- so I would say it is Mediterranean meets Middle East & leave it at that.

Sometimes when you walk into one of these places- which are large and dark inside, and have older men who seem to be the bosses communing in a side room, and barely any customers, you are in for either terrible food or terrible service. And they frequently make you feel like you are intruding. I had a moment of fear when I peered inside, but thankfully, these fears did not come to fruition.

Our waitress was a sweetheart & she tried very hard to help us navigate the menu & was not even mad when I spilled a bunch of my food on the ground. A woman who seemed to be family of the joint was cruising by, stopped in for a moment and then took a moment to tell us she hoped we would have a wonderful lunch. It is nice to feel one's business is appreciated!!!

The indoor seating was not for me, and I had always imagined eating at the tables outside, so we moved ourselves to the sidewalk and dug into the menu.

Looking at this menu, I was tempted to order something wild. Something strange & unknown- once I realized there were things on there I had never had or had even heard about. I know there is danger in this game, but I was planning on letting the waitress help me with my decision. At first I thought I might try my hand at the Harisa but she informed me that it would not be possible to make at the time. Probably saved myself from an odd texture experience.

I did, however, immediately spot the mutabel dish- as did Dylan. We are lovers of eggplant for sure. I make babaganoush on a semi-regular basis & try to order anything that resembles mashed up eggplant with bread items to dip into it. So we agreed quickly on adding this to our order. When it came, it came with a basket of breads & we immediately started dipping in. This is one of the sharing dishes that make me feel a little competitive for a moment- like- AM I GONNA GET ENOUGH!??! And the wolf inside of me begins to quietly growl. I thought it was pretty good. I have had better & worse. But I feel if you are going to go somewhere with Middle Eastern flare- you best get something that you dip- and I would recommend that this is what you get.

For my main dish, I got the Chicken Shish Kabob sandwich. Seemed pretty basic- something I could recommend to a wide audience if it was good, so I felt confident in my choice. I was really looking forward to it. And then it came...

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Never mentioned in the menu, the main ingredient appeared to be my mortal enemy, CILANTRO. I never thought to ask about it- I don't imagine Mediterranean OR Middle Eastern cooking to be blasting out their wraps with that dirty weed. I whimpered. And gave up. Stressed out about a project at work, and semi-full with mutabel and bread, I decided I would dissect my sandwich in the privacy of my own home for lunch the next day.

I did take a bite of the chicken and it was good. It was good the next day too, but I really cannot give you a full assessment of the wrap a whole. I think with all the cilantro dislikers out there, it should allllways be mentioned on a menu. It's not salt. It is an offensive herb (if you can call it that). COME ON. So yeah. That happened. I have a feeling if you specify ahead of time that you do not want a cilantro sandwich, this wrap would be pretty delicious.

We closed the meal with Armenian coffees- which are apparently like Turkish coffee. Rich and thick- just like I like my women. So Dylan is blowing it there. But let's let her talk about the food anyhow...

I would like to begin by saying how honored I am to have been invited to join this particular creative endeavor. I have been a fan of Burbank Bites for some time, and getting asked to be a part of it felt kind of like that movie where Marky Mark gets asked to be in that hair metal band he's loved for all that time because their singer is dead. Except, Cory is not dead and Jennifer Aniston is not my girlfriend, which I feel is for the best.

So anyhow, we met up at Magnolia Restaurant and as it turns out we were both wearing blue dresses and blue hoodies, which was great. I recognize this detail is not pertinent to the review of the restaurant, but it IS pertinent to how I felt when I was there (which is great) and that may have influenced how I felt about everything else.

In any case, as Alissa has pointed out, this place isn't really a Mediterranean place, it's Georgian, which I think of more as a plus, since I am into trying new things. However, apparently Georgians are not that into falafel, which obviously is their prerogative (haters!). Side note: I had no idea prerogative was spelled that way until just this minute. How weird! Anyway, Georgians are not into falafel, or apparently other non-meat things.

The menu at Magnolia Restaurant is essentially meat-heavy. There are some salads and hummus, but beyond that everything is basically meatish. Alissa and I split that eggplant app (she talks about it so I won't bore you with it again - it was yums). I also got a Greek salad and a lentil soup. The salad was nice - if you are fine with cilantro. Obviously, you know that Alissa is not, but I am and I thought the salad was easily delicious. To me a Greek salad is kind of a Greek salad no matter where you go, but this one had spicy peppers and good feta and olives, so I would say that kicks it up into the next gear. But the soup... sigh. I should have asked.

At a restaurant where the menu is basically meat dominated, I should have thought to ask if there was meat in their lentil soup. I did not, and that turned out to be an error. I am of the opinion that it's worse something dead should get thrown away than eaten, so when people screw up my orders at places and they turn out to have meat in them, I usually just try to eat it. I ate this soup and I would have to say, were I not somewhat distracted by the unfamiliar texture of meat in my mouth, it was probably really good. Someone else who eats meat would probably have liked it quite a lot. At any rate, I am definitely with Alissa on the Armenian coffee being delish.

Good bites? Or just totally bites?
A: I'd say it was a good bite. Actually maybe a good sip. I feel like the thing I would most likely go back for would be the Armenian Coffee.

D: I would say that if you are somebody who likes cilantro and eats meat, you will probably like this place a lot. However, sadly for the veggies out there, I would have to say that this is probably not the place for you. And neither is Georgia.

A: (she means the country- but that might apply to the state as well)

1950 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91506
(818) 974-9374

**Our reports are based on one visit/meal- so we're far from experts on these joints! If you have advice or experiences you'd like to share, please feel free to enlighten us & our readers! Our goal is to give enough info that someone might feel okay trying somewhere new (or know to avoid it!). Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In Case You Hadn't Heard...

Hey folks, it's Alissa. I know that many tens of our readers are family & friends, so certainly many of you know that Cory up and left working in Burbank for pursuit of otherness and togetherness with his new bride. That's nice, right? Yes.

This is also a nice picture of us from the afterparty/math at his very traditional wedding. Picked my own groomsmaid suit & also made up that term cause there wasn't a wedding party. Just a wedding PARTAYYY:

So good for him. But really... should we all suffer due to Cory's attempts to suffer less? I'd like to be completely happy for him that he is now taking his lunches in Hermosa, most likely at his home... but it's totally killing our game over here, man! What does Hermosa have to do with the rest of us? Nothing! That damn beach bum! He said he wouldn't forget us- that he would come up and have lunch now and again for the sake of the readers, but not a once since June has he done it. I can't really think of anything better than getting to spend quality time with me, but apparently Cory has forgotten how magical it is. That gets a TOTALLY BITES vote from Alissa. I can hardly imagine that not having to come to the office and getting to hang out with your wife more is comparable???

In any case, I wanted to apologize for the lack of posts. And I would like to try to start making some more... perhaps with special guests, or all by my onesies. Because, after all, I'm still having to take lunch in Burbank. And believe it or not, I still want to continue my quest to let you know what's happening inside those restaurants you always pass by, but just can't get up the nerve to try for the first time. Cause I'm brave. Yeah. And extremely muscular. So, step back and let me handle it, babe.

Oh but wait... what I don't have is a stomach-o-steel. So, if you want to know about anything that is meat-wrapped-meat or that involves the words "gut," "bust," or "heart attack" in the name, I'm afraid that taste tester has flown the coop. But hey- if you can get him to Burbank, I bet he'll eat it. Whatever it is. Bless him.

Happy 2012!

Awesome photos by:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Papoo's Hot Dog Show

*update: this lil joint closed! sorry folks- read on to see what you missed...

As you can see from the posting date of this entry, Cory started it many weeks (months!?) ago. Yet, all he wrote was:

Alrighty, folks - today's (and when I say "today's" I really mean "several weeks ago's") mid-day adventure takes us to the world famous Papoo's Hot Dog Show in the heart of studioville.

Cory has recently made a number of LIFE-CHANGING-DECISIONS. Including deciding he wants to not work here as of sometime in MAY. Which means he will have to drive up here to Burbank to join me for lunch if he still wants to bite Burbank with me. But as you can see by his failure to complete this blog posting- even before he put in his notice at work, it may be a bit far-fetched to think he will continue to participate. In his head, he's already miles away... but hopefully we get a few more in before he leaves! Even if I have to be the main author on them.

SO! Yes. We did indeed eat at Papoo's Hot Dog Show. Cory's choice. He mentioned it long ago- and I always told him that if he could verify it was in Burbank, I'd go. It is a place I had definitely been curious about for years- it almost seemed like you would get in there and there wouldn't be hot dogs at all- just some weird left over name or set from a long time ago... but no. There were hot dogs. And there were top dogs. That's right. Me. And Cory, I guess.

The Basics:
Hot dogs are not the only thing on the menu, but they are certainly the star of The Show. You can, however get things like an Elk Burger or Grilled Pastrami Rueben if you are looking to eat a sandwich in a booth in a place with checkerboard floors and do not want a hot dog. There are many hot dog choices- covered with things like onions or chili or sauces. The dogs themselves can be ordered boiled, grilled, or deep fried. There are fries and other sides, and a variety of fountain drinks. Even a couple beers on tap. You can saunter up to the counter and get something to go (as a few people did while we were eating) or grab a booth and wait for your waitress. If you are like me, you should totally not go here- cause nothing on the menu is really great for a sensitive stomach. But if you are REALLY like me you will go here anyhow, in an ongoing attempt to make others think you are unstoppable. Dangerous. Badass. Woman (with terrible acid reflux and tendency for nausea) vs. Food (as long as it is not beef or any other spooky specialty meats, or has too many onions or cilantro and is not too fatty). I can't believe I don't have my own show.

And now for the hot dog show...

I know I am boring sometimes. There are just certain staples that I use to gauge a place's worth. If they pass that test, I might try something else the next time. If the staple dish is too good, I may never try anything but that & eat it over and over for years. Now that I am back in the Bacon Game, the BLT or any near relative of it is one of those staples (another example is mac & cheese- you know what I mean?). That is how I decided upon choosing the ABC dog here at Papoo's. That particular dog is loaded up with Avocado, Bacon and Cheese.

A white board boasted that they now had Turkey Dogs, so I chose one of those. Those only come grilled, so that's how it came. I did not get a side, but I pulled my classic move of getting a totally unnecessary drink and ordered a chocolate/coffee shake. I do this for you, you know. People of Burbank. So that if you want to just go out for a shake sometime- since this is 1955, you know where to do it.

Now there was certainly no lack of food. Let's get that straight- this dog was big. On a big bun. With lots of crispy bacon. As promised there was avocado, and 2 slices of American cheese melted over the whole deal. But not very melted. And I think that is where my issue began. I am from the San Francisco Bay Area- I have been told that this is why I do not like American Cheese. Cory is from Iowa and he sees no problem with it. In fact it is better for some things according to him. I am not a fan, nor do I think I was raised to properly appreciate this form of cheese- so usually I just feel annoyed if it shows up on something. I think menus should have to say it is that kind of cheese. But again, this is quite possibly a totally strange perspective. In any case, what I don't like about it is that it is rubbery and by the time it got to me, was not hot and therefore rubbery. Boom. The dog itself was fine, good, moist. But I think this sandwich as a whole is just too dry. Needs some sort of special sauce on it or something. Less dry bun. I think I could recreate this beautifully at home though. Don't get me wrong- I ate it. But I think it was missing a little LOVE. I also drank most of that milkshake, of course. It was good- in my opinion, if you jam ice cream, chocolate and coffee together, you're probably gonna do alright.

As far as the place went, I liked the setting. You feel like you are in a soda shoppe or something. You can play video games if you come with someone like Cory and you are totally bored of listening to him talk about how you are going to probably try to eat his fries. Our orders were correct, but the waitress didn't seem very excited about helping us decide what to order- seemed more fond of the regulars who were coming through, but our spirits aren't crushed that easily. I don't mind a little 'tude as long as I get a seat and my food (you can make that a little rap. try it. it's gonna be a huge hit.).

Oh, look at me...I'm Alissa & I'm from Northern California. It's so fancy up there. I'm too good for American Cheese. In fact, I don't even LIKE America. I love cotton candy, disco, and the Taliban.
Well, listen sister - a fat animated man once spoke these words: "NO ONE MAKES CHEESE LIKE THE AMERICANS!" And he was right. NO.ONE.
Unfortunately, however, you are also right in this instance. That cheese was rubbery & funky. And it wasn't much better on my dog than it was on yours.

I opted for the namesake Show Dog & ordered it ripped, like me. It was topped w/ grilled spinach, bacon, and "swiss" cheese (american-made, presumably). It was pretty good, but woulda been infinitely better had they used actual swiss cheese & melted it instead of just kind of laying it limply across the top of the dog, hoping the heat from the spinach & bacon would melt it (it didn't). I also ordered steak fries; and yes I did assume Alissa would seize some for herself, but she pretty much steered clear of them for once. I'm assuming that's because her frydar indicated that they were a bit overcooked & yet still cold. Regardless, I slathered them with salt & ketchup & had my way with them. I washed it all down w/ a coke, which had just the kind of ice I like - small & crumbly.

Good bites? Or just totally bites?
A: If you want a dog and a soda, this is a good bet/bite. I probably won't go back because I totally don't care about hot dogs!

C: Uhh...I suppose I can call this a good bite. It didn't overwhelm me with awesomeness; but, like the lady said, it's good for a dog & a soda. I might opt for something cheeseless next time though...

4300 West Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 846-1511

**Our reports are based on one visit/meal- so we're far from experts on these joints! If you have advice or experiences you'd like to share, please feel free to enlighten us & our readers! Our goal is to give enough info that someone might feel okay trying somewhere new (or know to avoid it!). Thanks for reading :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Frank's Coffee Shop & Restaurant

Today we went to Frank's Coffee Shop and Restaurant. This, I feel, rounds out our Diners-Along-Victory-Tour which has included such spots as Lancer's and The Tallyrand. Yes, not only were Cory and I able to somehow escape from our desks (finally) for lunch, but we had our first guest diners... avid supporters of Burbank Bites... my parents! Mr. and Mrs. Miss Alissa Senior. Thank you for joining us!

Graphically speaking (not the way Cory does, where he mentions the state of his bedsheets or what happens in the bathroom after he eats, but as pertaining to graphics) I like the signage at Frank's very much.

It is what caught my eye so many months ago when I was first entertaining the idea of lunchtime adventures. Big, bold, and classic. Neither of my parents or any of the much older walker-wielding visitors have any need to use glasses when attempting to read this sign even from a great distance, which I feel is very effective. I know it is hard to tell when I am joking- sometimes I have no idea if I am being sarcastic or if I am just a total bitch, but I am being serious. I like the sign. Signs catching our eyes is how Cory and I choose dining spots, so it is actually an important feature!

Anyhow we met up in the somewhat wet-from-rain parking lot and ventured in. As Cory and I explained to my dad that we did not need help deciding what to photograph, there was a decision to sit in a booth in the corner. I thought it was a little silly because there wasn't anyone in the whole place really except for a young dude next to whom we were about to sit. I completely forgot about him though, and I am just now realizing he was sitting on entirely the other side of the joint when we left. Smart guy. Sneaky too.

We mused over the menu for so long that the fellow serving us- who was a polite 20-something year old boy who was cool enough to offer to take our photo- not a lil old lady with a name tag- brought us the breakfast menus as well. But, by then we had actually decided. And bravely, with the power of the bravest and most finely crocheted symbol around guiding us, we each ordered from the not-breakfast menu!

The Basics:
It's a diner. They have some sandwiches, soups, salads and entrees involving various meats. I would argue that the most interesting entree involves sand dabs. Only because I don't really know what one of those guys looks like. I told Cory it was some sort of 'marine life.' Goddamnit I am looking it up right now....... Okay. Those guys are- well not very sexy. Whatever, no one got those so let's move on.

There is also a breakfast menu where you can pair about a million kinds of meat with eggs and potatoes and the like. You can have that stuff any time- I do like that option. At the end, thankfully, you can choose if you have room for pie.

Perhaps this is not adventurous, but I had the BLT. It was supposed to have A in there too, but there was a miscommunication. My mother ordered first and said she wanted a blat. This is not how it is listed so I think it send our waiter's mind for a spin. I would recommend saying ADD AVOCADO. I said 'I'll have what she's having' and then included 'add clam chowder,' which was white clam chowder. I also got me some coffee, since this is a coffee shop. First came the coffee and the soup.

I was starving by this point, and dove into that chowwdaahhh. And it was good. I didn't expect it to be anything special but I ate every bit. This week the Top Chef contestant who went home had undercooked potatoes in his soup, and I was thinking damnnn these potatoes are cooked perfectly. They were. Meanwhile, my mother announced that the coffee was terrible. I dunno. It seemed okay to me- tasted like diner coffee. I had vanilla creamer in there and probably wouldn't have considered it not being passable if she hadn't spoken up. My dad said the brand was in line with proper diner coffee and I think I am just going to stick with saying it was 'fine'.

My sandwich came and it looked fineish too. Coleslaw looked fine. Only sad part was the lack of avocado. I had totally forgotten and Ma didn't mention it until she was nearly done. That would have been a really nice element because the bacon was piecey and crumbly. You throw and avocado in there and it acts like a bacon magnet. This is the only way you can have a truly successful bacon bits sandwich- like the awesome one they have at Trails in Griffith Park. Did you know most of those lil bacon bit shakers are filled with soy based matter that is flavored like bacon unless they say 'made with real bacon'? Cool, right? Oh well. In any case it wasn't a BLT to die for. Pretty straight forward, but I think could have used a little more love. I don't like overly fancy BLTs but if you are gonna keep to the very basic elements you need to really pour love and attention into each ingredient. My mom later said 'there was NO bacon on the sandwich,' and for a sandwich that leads with a B, I'd say that is not a good review. I tried Mom's fries. They were the thick kind. I liked them fine- but I think Cory is suggesting I ALWAYS like the fries everywhere and basically eat 90 percent of his any time he orders them. F U, Cory!!!!

Meanwhile, my dad had a Reuben? I think his comment was: it had a lot of meat. But that was mostly as a counterpoint to my mom complaining about lack of meat.

He also got some berry pie, heated up and a la mode. The flavor was really nice actually but we both thought it was too soft- probably should have foregone the heating up.

When we left we spoke with a woman behind the counter. She was the mom of our waiter. My mother had made some hollering sound from the table, and he immediately appeared having sensed a mother calling. I see he is trained at work to respond to Mom, so it all made a lot of sense. On the counter she had another awesome American Flag blanket in production. Apparently she started making them after 9-11, and this one was a custom order. They take 100 hours to make!!! But hey- if you are looking at it and thinking I NEED THAT, it is not entirely out of the question that you could procure one. Insider's tip. You're welcome.

After assimilating myself seamlessly into The Family of Miss Alissa, I examined the menu at length & opted for a tried & true favorite: the meatloaf. See, when I was a young Suddenly Cory, my mama used to make a mean meatloaf. A meatloaf I didn't come to fully appreciate until much later in life. A meatloaf I often attempt to imitate, but can't ever get quite right. A meatloaf that makes me try meatloaf at pretty much every restaurant that serves it.

I had envisioned a gloriously browned hunk of meat, topped with a tomato-based glaze. What I got instead was a few meager slices of loaf drowning in a sea of brown gravy & topped with mushrooms most foul. Alright, perhaps that's a little on the harsh side. The mushrooms were not at all "foul" (at least in comparison to other mushrooms), but I simply try to avoid them in most of my dinners; and the gravy was fine (just not what I expected). All this lay beside an artful pile of mashed potatoes.
After quickly getting over my initial bummed-outedness, I dug in. The meatloaf was decent. It may even have been spectacular, but there was really no way to tell with all that gravy masking the flavor. The pretty potatoes tasted just fine but, again, they were nothing to write home about. In the end, I even tried a few mushrooms. They were mushroomy so, if you like that sort of thing, here's where you can find em (though you better really like gravy too).

Oh! I nearly forgot...the soup. My meatloaf came with a cup of minestrone, which was actually quite good. It had a nice zesty broth with lots of flavor & the ingredients were fresh and tasty.
Once we were all finished, Alissa's father proudly displayed his flaccid carrot for all the restaurant to see. We were all suitably impressed.

Good bite? Or just totally bites?

A: Hmmm I dunno- sometimes I feel like my lack of love for meats keeps me from experiencing the more signature experience at some of these places. Who knows. I thought the soup rocked (homemade or canned, I have no idea) and the pie tasted somewhat bite-able. Sandwich I could take or leave and probably leave. If I could afford to have that nice lady crochet me an american flag blanket, I would because it would make an amazing gift. I'd stop in for coffee and pie if I had something to write/work on. I'd guess they get some people coming in to write. I don't know what show or movie I was watching lately- but Frank's was being passed off as a coffee shop in another state. But I assure you, it's in Burbank, California.

B: Wait, what's this??? I see that Alissa has given me the label of "B" today. No doubt it stands for BADASS, cuz that's totally what I am. I know this because both of her parents told me so. With their eyes. I'm, unfortunately, inclined to say this place simply Bites. I mean, it wasn't terrible, but it also just wasn' do you say......"good." Were it not for the sparkling company I was keeping, it would have been a forgettable experience.

A: THAT IS WHAT I GET FOR WRITING FAST. I guess I can't change it now. Please enjoy this glamorous photo of me n good ol' "B". You probably thought we were the same person, as we are never photographed together. No, he is not a midget, I am a giant.

And here is proof my mother is very nice, as there is no way something Cory said could have been funny enough to cause this reaction without some acting on her part. You're a real sport, Ma!

916 West Olive Avenue
Burbank, CA 91506-2210
(818) 845-2216

**Our reports are based on one visit/meal- so we're far from experts on these joints! If you have advice or experiences you'd like to share, please feel free to enlighten us & our readers! Our goal is to give enough info that someone might feel okay trying somewhere new (or know to avoid it!). Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Illness Strikes Burbank!

Ughhhhhh. So. Cory and I have been totally sick. Possibly both with some flu, but mine was the barfmania/fever/pains/chills thing where I could not leave my bed & Cory has been coughing and hacking and fevering. That was last week and I am still having a hard time eating. Cory just had to get some shot of medicine or something. I finally have gotten un-dehydrated enough that I don't wake up feeling like I'd had a bottle of vodka before bed. Maybe I would have felt better sooner, but I was made to go to work the very next day after my barffest- even though it was the most violent flu I've had since childhood. Cool right? Totally! So... last week's Burbank Bite was basically ALBERTSONS. At Verdugo and Hollywood Way. Because that is on the way to/from work.

Ehemmm... I recommend their brand of ready to eat chicken soup over the Campbell's condensed. And as far as Gatorade goes- I recommend the blue ones. I didn't know there was a low calorie one until yesterday... but if you are going to drink 2 large bottles of Gatorade every day in an attempt to regain hydration, then it's probably a good idea not to go bananas on sugar. Mmmmm. Bananas.

If Cory can swallow foods, we will go this week and get a post up for you next week. But if we're both sick, maybe you are too. So rest up. And get ready for us to get back on track.

No, I did not take that photo of Albertsons BUT it is the right one!

And YES. Being sick totally bites.

Friday, January 28, 2011

La Bamba

As you might guess, Cory and I have been super swamped at work. Mostly eating over our keyboards. I saw Cory eat in the kitchen one day actually, which I have never seen before. It was only because the paint fumes in our suite were so strong that we were all dizzy and gagging. If I hadn't already felt like fainting, I would have fainted from seeing Cory eat in the kitchen. Anyhow, I can say quite assuredly that it bites eating at our desks. So, there's that.

Anyhow- this adventure took us to a place called LA BAMBA. Cory chose this place- I don't know how we got to where we are choosing the places that the other person will have to write about, but personally I would like to turn that around. I like to write about my own success or failure in selection. In this case, Cory's selection was based on seeing a sign outside this joint that read:

We're a restaurant! Try us! We don't want to close!

Cory- kindhearted Cory came back and told me we were going to help save this restaurant. And when we finally got a chance, there we went to try them.

Upon initial viewing I thought DANGGGG that patio looks great! This place looks festive! And also- What a weird place for a restaurant in this residential neighborhood! Perhaps, I thought, that was why there was an attendance issue- as it sort of blends in with the homes. It very well could be, but ultimately I think Cory and I had to agree... that might not be the only reason.

The Basics:
The food at La Bamba is basically "island" or "Carribean" cuisine. This means lots of ajillo. You know- GARLIC. It also means lots of seafood, beans, rice, fries and even yuca and plantains. They have a big list of soft drinks, beer + wine. Liquids a-plenty. The seating is on a covered patio- so grab a table and watch cars cruise through the neighborhood. ?

Uhhhh what the hell did I get? This is why I need to write my report right after I go. Let me look at the menu... Okay. I think I got a Garlic Avocado Shrimp burrito. That sounds right. Anyhow, it had everything it said it was going to have in it- shrimp in garlic sauce, diced avocado, cheese, rice but hold the pico de gallo. All in a flour tortilla. I think partially the reason I forget is because I tried to forget.

I admit it- I was disappointed. I really tried to enjoy it- but the shrimp was not really my fave, and there was cilantro stuck with the avocado or in the sauce, and the whole thing just sort of opened up and limply fell apart in front of me.

I tried to eat it with a fork- but then got disheartened and just quit. I supplemented my meal by stealing garlic fries from Cory... but god they just had so much chunks of garlic. So much chunks. My mouth was suddenly just an unholy hole of stinky garlic. You know how sometimes the garlicky thing was so good you are like... proud of your breath? Well I just felt shame. 13 dollar fall-apart-burrito shame.

The only thing saving me here from disappointment and burning mouth was a TWO DOLLA BUDWEISER! Which I guess is available at that price always. That is great. And the patio is pretty great. I bet it looks really nice with those lil lights on when the sun starts going down. Ambiance CITY.

I mean... if you are within walking distance this would be the BOMB - I mean- LA BAMBA. Wait. No. La BOMBA. That pun works better out loud. Sorry. Anyhow- 1.95 beer. Yeah. I was at El Cid in Silverlake last week and Budweisers are SEVEN DOLLARS. God. How could you purposely drink a Bud for 7 dollars. 2 dollars? Okay. Yes. That has hints of sanity.

You know...I was really really really REALLY ready to love this place the moment I accidentally stumbled across it while driving aimlessly around Burbank. Sure it was in a bizarre location, but it looked quaint. It even looked like it had the potential to be fairly festive.

And, considering that it specialized in Mexican-ish food, I could only assume that it would at least be decent. I mean, how hard could it possibly be to make a decent burrito? Well, as Alissa already mentioned, it's apparently next to impossible for these guys. Her burrito managed to rapidly unravel right in front of my very eyes, distracting me from enjoying the terrible carne asada grilled cheese I'd ordered.

Yes, I said carne asada grilled cheese. Sounds good, right? Nay, sounds GREAT! Well, it wasn't. It was strangely seasoned - a little too sweet & tangy, and way too tough for my teeths.

I actually had to add all the cilantro-laden salsa (which was actually AWESOME, btw) & cholula within arms reach just to make it palatable. I'd write more for you about this, but it honestly doesn't deserve the wear & tear my fingertips have already given it...

Thankfully, the crappiness was quelled by the wonderful $1.95 Bud Lights.
There. I'm done. Sorry this was crappy, but so was the food.

Good bite? Or just totally bites?
A: Uhhhh well. I guess there could be amazing things on the menu. But they are not the thing I ordered. I would give this a 'Good place to sip a 2 dollar beer on a patio.' And our waitress was really nice.

C: Boooooo! If you can't build a burrito that won't completely unravel & fall to pieces onto the plates of you patrons, maybe you don't deserve to be a restaurant! Or, at the very least, you should take burritos off them menu. And, if that's not an option, how about putting some food that actually tastes good inside there? Skip the food, drink the beer. Maybe they'll get the hint & either step up the food or just become a bar. A bar that I'd totally hang out at, btw...

2600 North Glenoaks Boulevard
Burbank, CA 91504
(818) 846-3358

Sexy Cory Pose
**Our reports are based on one visit/meal- so we're far from experts on these joints! If you have advice or experiences you'd like to share, please feel free to enlighten us & our readers! Our goal is to give enough info that someone might feel okay trying somewhere new (or know to avoid it!). Thanks for reading :)