Experience a Global Dining Scene in a Single Block in Valley Village
From street Thai to old school kosher.
- CategoryEat & Drink
- Written byJosh Lurie
- Photographed byMichael Becker
Burbank Boulevard may not have the status of Ventura, but it is rapidly earning stripes as one of the Valley’s most robust dining scenes. The stretch along Valley Village, near a charming bedroom community, LA Valley College and several office buildings, provides steady foot traffic and a diverse customer base. The corner of Burbank and Whitsett Avenue is the epicenter of the action, with a half dozen spots worth hitting.
Steampunk Coffeebar + Kitchen
This small space with art-lined walls seems perpetually packed with customers. A wide-ranging coffee program includes classic choices like French press and a sweet, velvety Habana espresso drink. But as the owner is quick to point out, they don’t come for the beverages; they come for the comfort food. Among the most popular choices: buttermilk fried chicken, bacon and a sunny side up egg served atop a Belgian waffle.
12526 Burbank Blvd.
Valley Village houses the northernmost outpost of this kosher institution that dates to 1954. Schwartz bakes breads like challah and 7-grain, plus bagels and cinnamon rings. Breakfast pastries and chocolate babka also have devotees.
12522 Burbank Blvd.
This versatile Israeli café eschews meat in favor of fish, pizza, pasta, and sandwiches on house-baked bread. Their toasted, horseshoe-shaped, sesame-studded Jerusalem bagels are particularly good. The Jerusalem bagel sandwich known as Moran teams za’atar with hard-boiled egg, stretchy mozzarella, salty feta, kalamata olives, avocado and garlic sauce.
12519 Burbank Blvd.
Chiang Mai Urban Thai Kitchen
This colorful eatery, with a covered patio, sprinkles northern Thai dishes across the menu. Skip the all-too-common pad Thai and satay in favor of regional dishes.
Khao soi, the famed coconut curry noodle soup topped with a crispy egg noodle nest, is available with chicken drumstick, crispy pork or shrimp. Chiang Mai larb features ground pork stir-fried with funky pork liver, chiles, mint leaves, garlic and scallions. Eat this dish with purple sticky rice, which doubles as a utensil. Chiang Mai got in early on the butterfly pea (anchan) trend. The blue flowers supposedly aid the immune system and circulation and factor into a vivid beverage with honey and lime. Butterfly pea flowers also stain sticky rice blue in a dessert that’s available with either custard or mango.
12510 Burbank Blvd.
This fast-casual Israeli restaurant (formerly a food truck) delivers on its name. The rich, creamy garbanzo bean dip is available with toppings like mushrooms, garlicky garbanzo beans and fava beans. Mach’lutta is an even split of fava and garbanzo beans with hummus. Soft, herb-flecked falafel and sabich—fried eggplant with hard-boiled eggs—are other tantalizing hummus toppers.
The falafel blend, crafted with garbanzo beans, parsley, garlic, cumin and secrets, also forms waffles and “burger” patties. The fantastic vegetarian burger features a crispy coat and soft core, plus the classic burger accompaniments. Supplement with mushrooms and a sunny egg. For dessert, try malabi, a creamy milk pudding sporting house-made syrup with a hint of rosewater, shredded coconut and crushed pistachio.
12514 Burbank Blvd.
Like Augustine Wine Bar, Mirabelle (from some of the same team) offers more than 30 wines by the glass, plus a small selection of more-obscure bottles and nine rotating craft beer taps. The cozy denlike hangout with a marble bar initially focused on wine, cheese, charcuterie and small plates, but the menu has become increasingly ambitious.
Some of Mirabelle’s boldest bites involve fingerling potatoes served with walnut romesco, smoky Idiazábal cheese and pickled green garlic. Creamy burrata’s seasonal accompaniments might include cara cara oranges, Calabrian chiles, pistachios and arugula. A dark chocolate sesame tart highlights two desserts, costarring burnt honey, walnut and sesame cream. Bargain hunters will delight in Mirabelle’s three-course, market-driven Sunday menu priced at $35 per person.
12518 Burbank Blvd.
Warren Bregman studied architecture in South Africa before he immigrated to the U.S. in 1993.
Another French-trained chef is hitting the BBQ circuit. Chef Johnny Zone (who was on the Bouchon opening team with Mike Kahikina, now chef de cuisine of Barrel & Ashes) has been invited by Chef Kahikina to give "Valley-ites" a preview of his upcoming Howlin’ Ray’s Hot Chicken food truck with a one-night-only pop-up dinner on May 4, where he will […]