If you look at the Restaurant Page of this blog, you’ll notice that 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 were invited for date night in the Valley by Mo’s, a 15-year-old restaurant in the Burbank/Toluca Lake area. Traffic on the 101 was still heavy at 7ish on a Monday, but we still got 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 loved all the black and white photos by Leigh Weiner, framed in X-mas lights
So cozy and relaxed, I even had sip of Abe’s beer (!!!)
Mo’s menu is humongous, with everything from pasta to pizza to steak, and I was encouraged to try sampler portions of whatever I wanted. Since their Yelp Reviews have been very mixed, I decided to order something akin to what a paying customer would choose. They’re known for their burgers, so we stuck 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 PB and J option)
Our waiter was so cute and friendly! I loved 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 got one of the appetizers he mentioned
Grilled artichokes with two dipping sauces – I liked the chipotle mayo A LOT. Probably consumed half of it with my share of leaves.
Also started with their Grilled Vegetable Salad, which comes with buttered garlic toast
As you know I eat A LOT of salads, and this was 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 served myself a smaller portion and got 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 were our babies, waiting for us!!!
Why was this so insanely fun?!? Like the Roy Rogers’ Fixin’s Bar on steroids!
I started 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 was the price of their burgers ($12) – that if you wanted a side of fries, it would cost you $5 extra. I didn’t go crazy on the Burger Bar sides, but if you wanted to, you could go to town filling your plate with them and get a great deal. They were pretty standard. Nothing mind-blowing, but definitely better than what you’d expect from a buffet. All vegetarian, too!
I didn’t go veggie. In fact, I went where I never went 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 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 couldn’t tell the difference between the Kobe and a regular beef burger. Vegetarians will be happy to know that I actually preferred Abe’s vegan patty – which included caramelized onions and swiss cheese. He loved it too.
Obviously, I didn’t hate my dinner, though:
We were almost too stuffed for dessert. ALMOST.
A seasonal special – Pumpkin Bread Pudding
It was still hot!!!! This is a dish that could have easily gone overboard into saccharine head/toothache territory so I was pleasantly surprised by its subtlety – the pillowy bread, the soft sweetness, the delicate pecans – all balanced out with the smooth, vanilla whipped cream. I polished 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 had a great time just chilling with my honey on one of their slower, mellow nights. Thank you so much, Mo’s!