Dinner at Mo’s Restaurant in Burbank.
I NEVER eat in Burbank. Not that I have anything against it – the only reasons I’m ever there are for auditions/IKEA. So I’m usually alone and snack in my car. Yesterday Abe and I are invited for date night in the Valley by Mo’s Restaurant, a 15-year-old institution in the Burbank/Toluca Lake area. Traffic on the 101 is still heavy at 7ish on a Monday, but we still get there in less than half an hour from Hollywood.
Reason #1 Dinner in Burbank is a good idea: Free, easy parking lots
Reason #2: Tons o’ room
For their anniversary, Mo’s updated their interior. The building is actually the first-ever IHOP (from 1958) which you can see from their steeped roof outside.
I love all the black and white photos by Leigh Weiner, framed in X-mas lights
So cozy and relaxed, I even have a sip of Abe’s beer (!!!)
Yelp Reviews are very mixed, I decide to order something akin to what a paying customer would choose. They’re known for their burgers, so we stick to that for our main entrees. You can sub a turkey or vegan veggie patty for any of their specialty burgers, and additional toppings are just 50-cents (yes, you see right – they do have a Peanut Butter and Jelly option)
Our waiter is so cute and friendly! I love how he memorized the entire specials menu – that’s something I never bothered doing when I was a server at The Joshua Tree in NYC. It was a loooong one – we get one of the appetizers he mentions.
Grilled artichokes with two dipping sauces – I like the chipotle mayo A LOT. Probably consumed half of it with my share of leaves.
Also start with their Grilled Vegetable Salad, which comes with buttered garlic toast.
As you know I eat A LOT of salads, and this os a particularly stellar one. Wild baby greens, feta cheese, avocado, and fresh basil perfectly dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette tossed with lightly grilled seasonal veggies.
It’s an entree, so I just serve myself a smaller portion and get the rest wrapped in a Julius bag (not that he’ll get any of it).
My favorite part of the night: “Follow me to the Burger Bar.”
There are our babies, waiting for us!!!
Why is this so insanely fun?!? Like the Roy Rogers’ Fixin’s Bar on steroids!
I start with pickles…
…a layer of tomato…
…crisp lettuce, plus sauces – ketchup, mustard, and a little pickled relish on the side
The Burger Bar also includes pasta/bean/potato salad and coleslaw.
One of the main complaints on Yelp is the price of their burgers ($12). If you want a side of fries, it will cost you $5 extra. I don’t go crazy on the Burger Bar sides, but if you want to, you could go to town filling your plate with them and get a great deal. They are pretty standard. Nothing mind-blowing, but definitely better than what you’d expect from a buffet. All vegetarian, too!
I don’t go veggie. In fact, I go where I’ve never gone before – all the way to Kobe, Japan.
For those of you unfamiliar with Kobe, it’s a special grade of beef from cows that are massaged and fed a lot of beer so they’re nice and fat. Mo’s Restaurant uses US Cattle raised to Japan standards. It’s supposed to be the tenderest, most flavorful meat ever.
I dunno, maybe my taste buds are crazy but I can’t tell the difference between the Kobe and a regular beef burger. Vegetarians will be happy to know that I actually prefer Abe’s vegan patty – which includes caramelized onions and swiss cheese. He loves it too.
Obviously, I didn’t hate my dinner, though:
We are almost too stuffed for dessert. ALMOST.
A seasonal special – Pumpkin Bread Pudding.
It is still hot!!!! This is a dish that could have easily gone overboard into saccharine head/toothache territory so I am pleasantly surprised by its subtlety. The pillowy bread, the soft sweetness, the delicate pecans. All balanced out with the smooth, vanilla whipped cream. I polish off about 1/3 of it and took the rest home.
I’m curious about coming back to Mo’s during the day – it’s been dubbed the “Warner Bros. Commissary” (because of its proximity to all the studios) and is supposedly a great place to spot stars. Celebs from Steve Carell to Julie Andrews to Miley Cyrus have eaten here. Or on Friday nights, when they have Lou Serrano, a slight-of-hand magician. And on weekends they have brunch with free champagne!
All that sounds crazy fun, but I have to admit I have a great time just chilling with my honey on one of their slower, mellow nights. Thank you so much, Mo’s!