NFT Los Angeles Burbank


Burbank sports an exceedingly low crime rate and an affordability (free parking everywhere!) that makes it a big draw for families--and consequently the chains families patronize. It's also the best way to fly into the LA metro area--through the wonderfully sleepy Bob Hope Airport. To the west of Warner Brothers lot, Magnolia Boulevard is an up-and-coming destination strip, featuring vintage shops, kitschy stores, and a few hip bars full of young "Industry" types.

Thanks to its easy access to the 5, 101, and 134, Burbank is a favorite of commuters who don't want to pay city prices. If your car does have something weird go wrong with it, Victory Boulevard sports a Murderer's Row of quality specialty mechanics. Speaking of cars, it's not unusual to see Jay Leno zipping up Hollywood Way, probably coming from or going to the classic car show at Bob's Big Boy.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Emerson Dameron
Photo:  Emerson Dameron

Coral Café
In drowsy, overpriced Burbank, the Coral Café is one of the only places to “end up” after regular hours. Despite its lack of serious competition in the 24-hour dining racket, the Coral thinks enough of Burbank to boast a huge, eclectic menu, serving everything from acceptable omelets to acceptable wings to acceptable huevos rancheros. None of the food is particularly distinctive, everything is a tad more expensive than it could be, and the service is a crapshoot at best. But the Coral is open, and there’s no shame in finding oneself there. Its true value stems from its clientele, which consists of everyone in the area with nowhere else to be and is even more diverse than the food selection. Southern California boasts America’s finest eavesdropping opportunities, and the Coral comes recommended to insomniac screenwriters of all stripes. The menu threatens “limited refills” on coffee, but NFT (which is actually just me, Emerson Dameron) has yet to be cut off.

Posted By:  Beth Deitchman
Photo:  Beth Deitchman

Cupcakes might be nature's most perfect food. The ratio of icing to cake, proportions of butter and sugar, originality of flavors… But the L.A. cupcake market is so saturated that even I—the Jane Goodall of cupcakes—stifled a yawn when I found Yummy Cupcakes along a quaint, neighborhood-y stretch of Magnolia Boulevard. And inside this small store I found kindred spirits, epicurean geniuses who pick up the gauntlet thrown down by Sprinkles years ago and concoct a staggering fifteen varieties of cupcakes every day—out of a possible 100. The mind reels! Yummy Cupcakes aren't just the sugary pastel confections that appeal to five year-olds and the cast of Sex and the City. They feature flavors that seem more adult, whether they're inspired by cocktails (Mojito Cupcake, anyone?) or childhood memories (The Tomato Soup Cupcake—we kid you not). The menu also includes a big-ticket item called a Cupcake on a Stick ($5.50-$6.50). Yep, any flavor you want. Yep, they dip it in chocolate and toppings, too. No, I haven't tried it yet. It sounds just too perfect. And I like knowing that the perfect cupcake might be just around the next corner.

Posted By:  Danielle Chitwood
Photo:  Danielle Chitwood

Full O' Life
Before the Trader Joe’s explosion and Whole Foods became the go-to destination for natural foods, there was Burbank’s own Full O’ Life. Opened over 40 years ago, the spot still maintains an appealing anonymity and personalized customer service that you simply won’t find at other health chain stores. The resident pharmacist will share homeopathic remedies for whatever ails you, and the in-store café serves up delightful lunches of the wholesome variety. Shop a wide selection of natural foods, vitamins, supplements, dairy, produce, and cosmetics or just plop down and enjoy a home cooked meal made from all-natural, organic ingredients. The daily specials change often and are out of this world, so be sure to ask. Just don’t ask if they carry Two Buck Chuck.

Posted By:  Danielle Chitwood
Photo:  Danielle Chitwood

The name of this undiscovered little boutique is something of a misnomer in that Swift is located on a lazy stretch of Magnolia in an otherwise un-hip part of Burbank. And the vintage goodies inside will immediately send you on a leisurely walk down memory lane, back to a time and place when clothing trends lasted for more than fifteen minutes. Swift’s owner carefully stocks the store with only the best authentic and revamped vintage featuring inspired touches and creative flair. The jewelry and accessory offerings are authentic versions of the stuff that is poorly replicated in Melrose boutiques and assorted mall stores. Even the belts and bags are a carefully edited selection of items you totally coveted in the ‘80s. The vintage shoes—albeit adorable—are so small and delicate that it’s impossible to believe that women ever covered any distance wearing them. But, then again, what’s the hurry?

Posted By:  adam c. marshall
Photo:  adam c. marshall

In case you weren’t aware, no two hot dogs are created equal. A hot dog in New York, one in LA—all very different. And, in my opinion, all pale in comparison to the authentic Chicago-style dog. Picture it: Chicago’s North side, 2003. There’s a cool breeze off the lake and the Cubs have a chance at the pennant. And there in your hand, a beautiful Vienna beef hot dog with a poppy seed bun, mustard, chopped onions, atomic green relish, a pickle spear, tomatoes, two sport peppers, celery salt, and not a drop of ketchup anywhere. But, alas, it’s 2006 and we’re in LA—and let’s not even talk about the Cubs. So it was rough going until an industrious high schooler tipped me off to Taste Chicago, owned by actor Joe Mantegna and his wife. When I raced out to Burbank, Mr. Mantegna was there himself. I was, of course, wearing a Cubs hat, so he gave me a coupon for a free custard. And ever since, Taste Chicago has been my home for Chicago-style dogs, Eli’s cheesecake, and potato wedges. All that leaves is my search for Chicago deep dish pizza in LA. I’m all ears people.

Posted By:  Danielle Chitwood
Photo:  Danielle Chitwood

Porto's Bakery & Café
There are two types of people in LA: those who love Porto’s, and those who have never been. It’s simply impossible not to fall in love with this delightful Cuban bakery and restaurant—a kind of reckless, delirious love that will make you drive hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic and brave scorching Valley temperatures for a fix. Porto’s has been a family-owned business and local Glendale favorite for 30-plus years, and just recently opened a second location in Burbank. You may be initially suspicious of the chaotic atmosphere and long lines, but give it a chance and you’ll undoubtedly be won over by favorites like meat pies, Cuban sandwiches, refugiado (guava and cream cheese strudel), mango mousse, and flan. If that’s not enough, there are the famous potato balls. It’s a deep fried mashed potato ball. Stuffed with ground beef. For eighty cents. What could possibly be better?

Posted By:  Ellen Flaherty
Photo:  Ellen Flaherty

With Easter approaching, the Jelly Bean Factory offers all things Jelly Belly to fill your baskets. Choose the festive candies by flavor or color—the shop offers every imaginable flavor. Novelty candy (including unusual confections inspired by Harry Potter characters), licorice, and even some chocolate varieties are available at the sweet shop. If you’re not fond of making the trip to Burbank to merely buy a pile of candy, order online and have it shipped to you. And for those who detest conformity, the Factory also sells M&Ms in every color from lavender to deep teal.

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Restaurants (17)
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