Mo’s Restaurant, Burbank

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.

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Reason #1 Dinner in Burbank is a good idea: Free, easy parking lots

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Reason #2: Tons o’ room

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HUGE booths

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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.

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I love all the black and white photos by Leigh Weiner, framed in X-mas lights

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So cozy and relaxed, I even have a sip of Abe’s beer (!!!)

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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)

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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.

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Grilled artichokes with two dipping sauces – I like the chipotle mayo A LOT. Probably consumed half of it with my share of leaves.

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Also start with their Grilled Vegetable Salad, which comes with buttered garlic toast.

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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).

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My favorite part of the night: “Follow me to the Burger Bar.”

There are our babies, waiting for us!!!

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Why is this so insanely fun?!? Like the Roy Rogers’ Fixin’s Bar on steroids!

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I start with pickles…

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…a layer of tomato…

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…crisp lettuce, plus sauces – ketchup, mustard, and a little pickled relish on the side

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The Burger Bar also includes pasta/bean/potato salad and coleslaw.

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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!

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I don’t go veggie. In fact, I go where I’ve never gone before – all the way to Kobe, Japan.

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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.

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Obviously, I didn’t hate my dinner, though:

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We are almost too stuffed for dessert. ALMOST.

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A seasonal special – Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

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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!

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12 thoughts on “Mo’s Restaurant, Burbank

  1. Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen)

    Burger bar…now you are talking! I wonder why they don’t have fries on the bar. That seems weird to me. It looks delicious though!

  2. emily (a nutritionist eats)

    Love that you can add your own toppings! I would probably add way too many and wouldn’t even be able to bite my burger!

  3. Anna

    Burger bar?! Fun!

    We had a diner in the town I went to grad school in (in Indiana) that was famous for its PB topped burgers. Sadly, I never had one 🙂

  4. katecooks

    it’s crazy right? you go to a restaurant so you don’t have to do any work, but make-your-own burger bar sounds like so much fun! looks like you two had a great night 🙂

  5. Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat)

    mmm artichokes are sooo good!

    I can never tell the difference between kobe and regular beef in burgers either. It’s never been worth the price difference to me.

  6. lequan

    I’ve yet to try Kobe beef. I’m not a huge meat lover, but all the hype surrounding it makes me really want to try.

    Now you’ve got me craving burgers.

  7. vanillasugarblog

    artichokes: it’s really all about the sauce.
    i love cruising thru toluca lake–miss it there too.
    i think all eating joints should have big ass booths for privacy you know

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