Tag Archives: Toluca Lake

Live Entertainment at Lucy’s 51

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It’s Thirsty Thursday! Tonight at 8:30 p.m., Ed Roth & Friends will be playing at Lucy’s 51 with no cover charge. Lucy’s 51 is a restaurant, bar and lounge and is a great spot for some local nightlife, with a jazzy vibe inside and patio seating outside. Lucy’s 51 has a full event calendar filled with live entertainment almost every night.

Lucy’s 51 Happy Hour is from 5-7 p.m. so it’s the perfect time to grab some drinks and food at a good price before the entertainment comes on. They have a full bar and some killer martinis, and I would suggest ordering the deliciously fruity “Pink Panther.”

Friday, Saturday and Sunday is also packed with entertainment at Lucy’s 51, featuring Phil Soussan, Dennis Harerra and Skin Deep.

Be sure to check out Lucy’s 51 for live entertainment and a variety of drink and food choices.

Find Lucy’s 51 on twitter at @Lucys_51. Check their twitter account for the latest information about live entertainment and their event calendar.

Toluca Lake’s Malbec Perks Up Lunchtime

By Lisa Paredes
Associate Editor

Malbec, in Toluca Lake, brings the flavors and style of Argentinian cooking to the Burbank area, with expertly-prepared steaks, fish and salads. Long a mainstay of the business lunch, making reservations or arriving on the early side is the best way to get your choice of seating on the patio or inside. On busy days, there is a back room that can hold latecomers.

Chimichurri and fresh bread. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Chimichurri and fresh bread. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

While we have been eating at Malbec for years, we’ve only ever stopped by for lunch. Malbec is open into the evening for dinner and even has a Tapas and Wine Menu, served from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. The dinner menu is the traditional expansion of the lunch menu, providing more variety in appetizers and hearty options for steaks and fresh pastas.

Recently, we visited Malbec for a quick and early weekday lunch. We ate inside, as it was overly warm outside. The inside dining space is very live – when the room gets full, the noise level can get fairly loud. Malbec does a great job with portion size – plates aren’t overly big, but often, enough to share if family-style is your thing. Often, I get the steak salad and a glass of Malbec wine, but this most recent lunch, I was determined to spice things up and try some different plates.

Beet and pear salad. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Beet and pear salad. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Starting off the meal with a light red sangria served over plenty of ice and the homemade chimichurri sauce and soft pieces of bread was delightful. We deliberated between the always-delicious, buttery and garlicky Almejas y Mejillones Provenzal – a rustic broth of clams and mussels, and the slightly larger bowl of soup Cazuela del sur – a mixture of small shellfish and seafood in a tomato base, both served with crostini.  We ended up trying something new for us, the Cazuela del sur. While the seafood soup was tasty, it just did not reach the heights that the clams and mussels always do, so it was a bit of a let down.

Milanesa, breaded steak sandwich. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Milanesa, breaded steak sandwich. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Our main entrees arrived: the Remolachas y Peras (Beets and Pears) and the Steak Milanesa (Breaded Steak.) The substantial salad tossed together yellow and red beets, roasted pears, tomatoes, walnuts and blue cheese crumbles on a bed of arugula, dressed with a light red wine vinaigrette. The pears were roasted to a soft, yet firm texture and a delicious complement to the beets, walnuts and cheese. The Steak Milanesa has changed in composition since our last visit to Malbec, turning out even more delicious. Beef tenderloin, pounded thin, breaded and fried, is served with avocado, tomato, lettuce and mozzarella, with a creamy aioli between two pieces of extremely soft and airy bread.

Our server was extremely attentive, and plates were cleared away quickly. By the time we had finished our early lunch, the place was packed. The food was delicious; the restaurant remains one of the better choices for lunch in the area. Malbec makes it high up On The Marquee, closing in on Tops In Town, because Malbec can always be relied upon for prompt service, clean amenities and dining room and consistently delicious food. Perhaps a visit in the future for tapas and/or dinner may change that rating.

Restaurant Info: Malbec is located at 10151 Riverside Dr., Toluca Lake, CA  91505. 818-762-4860. Open Monday – Tuesday 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Wednesday – Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., Saturday 12:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Malbec receives: On The Marquee

myBurbank Ratings:
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Roadkill)

Special Olympics Holds Torch Relay Through Burbank

Burbank Police Officers run the Special Olympic's Torch past NBC Wednesday afternood. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Burbank Police Department participated in the Special Olympics Torch Run Wednesday  afternoon as Burbankers came out and cheered on members of the Burbank Police Department as they passed through the city.

Burbank police officers on the running team accepted the torch from the Los Angeles Police Department’s North Hollywood Division team in Toluca Lake at Riverside Dr.and Clybourn Ave around 12:50 in the afternoon.

The torch was carried through the heart of Burbank (Photo By Craig Sherwood)

Special Olympic athletes, with the assistance of the officers, carried the torch up Olive Ave. with a quick stop at NBC before proceeding up to San Fernando Blvd.  After making the left, they then proceeded up to the front of the Burbank Police Station.

There was a brief presentation ceremony on the steps of the station, before the runners continued with the torch on Glenoaks Blvd. to the city limits which ended at Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizza at Alameda and Glenoaks.  The torch was then passed to the team from the Glendale Police Department.

In addition to the Torch Run, the Burbank Police Department is also be taking part in the “Tip-A-Cop” event on June 12, at the Black Angus Restaurant, 235 S. First St.  Between 5 and 9 p.m., department personnel will be serving as waiters and entertainment to raise

Special Olympians Matthew Raymundi, Marisa Watkins, Fred Orr join Burbank Police Detective Martha Jimenez with the Special Olympic Torch. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

funds for the Special Olympics.  All of the funds raised will go to local athletes.  It helps pay for transportation, training, and equipping athletes of all ages who participate in the program for the developmentally disabled.

For additonal information about the Tri Valley Special Olympics program, contact Laura Mayo, Regional Directo, at 818-342-0017 or 661-253-2121, or visit their website at www.sosc.org.

 

Gotham City Takes a Detour Through Burbank

Friday if you were sitting at our famous Bob’s Big Boy, you could wonder if you were really in Burbank, California or actually in Gotham City.   Several Batmobiles drove down Riverside Dr. and pulled into the parking lot for  Friday night’s car show.

The various models of Batmobile eventually returned back to their home at Warner Bros. Studio with an escort of Burbank Police Department Traffic Officers around 7 p.m..   Patrons sitting at Priscilla’s coffee did a double take as the cars rolled by.

Back at Bob’s, hundreds came out for the evening’s car show,  enjoying Southern California weather and a look at some of the classic cars and hot rods on display.

 

Batmobiles make their return home to Warner Bros. via Burbank Streets. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Customers Prepare For Last Supper at Marie Callender’s

Turkey Pot Pie? Potato Cheese Soup? Slice of Razzelberry pie? Which famous dish was I going to choose to be my last meal at Marie Callender’s? Last meal you ask? Well, after four decades of being a Burbank/Toluca Lake landmark, the famous establishment will be closing their doors forever on January 2, 2012. In its place will soon be another branch of Chase Bank. That will make the second Chase Bank location just a few blocks from the other, on Riverside Drive.

As I sat at the counter and ordered the potato cheese soup, I watched for expressions of the soon-to-be unemployed staff members as they scurried around the packed-house restaurant. There wasn’t anything different in the air… The beautiful lighting, solid oak tables and chairs, the unique high-back booths, large fans, charming knick knacks and the hard-working staff, were all the same. Except for the knowledge I had learned the night before, Marie Callendar’s would soon be a distant memory.

It was my first place of employment right out of high school. I was their first sandwich delivery girl ever hired. It was so exciting delivering food to Warner Bros, Disney Studios, Dick Clark Productions, many other post-production houses and to the set of my favorite soap opera, Santa Barbara on the NBC lot.

I even sold Tommy Chong a sandwich or two. Back at the counter, our customers and staff were always entertained by Jonathan Winters. Waiting on him was the highlight of any waitress’ day. He never failed to make us laugh with his kind, jovial spirit and famous smile. Needless to say, he was always the charming, famous, adorable funny man you would see on TV. Even as a teenager, I knew I was talking to a legend.

Not only is Marie Callendar’s known for their amazing pies, but for their burgers, chicken pot pies, and not to mention their famous potato cheese soup, which I savored as I struck up conversations with the staff members. Waitress, Adelina Adamyan stated, “I have been working here 7 years and this is so sad for me. It’s like a second home. I have spent every holiday here. They’re [staff] my family.” One could not help but feel horrible for her situation, being so close to Christmas. She added, “We didn’t even know this place had been sold until we saw it online a few days ago”. The owners failed to inform their faithful employees that the doors would be closing permanently. Other sources have reported that the land was sold to Chase Bank for 4 million dollars this past year.

Katie Pessagno, another 7-year veteran said sadly, “We’re going through the grieving process now. You should have seen us yesterday during our denial stage. We only found out on Monday that they’re shutting down. A friend called me to tell me bad news”. After talking to a few more employees, I learned that even General Manager, Goyo De La Cruz had no idea that he would be unemployed right after the holidays. Ismael “Izzy” Sanchez has been working at MC since the day they opened, over 40 years ago. What happens to these people? Katie also admitted, “We had our annual Christmas party last night, but I was too depressed to go. I just stayed home”.

Busboy, Miguel Martinez, who has been gainfully employed at the restaurant for the past 5 years, quietly said, “I am very sad”. I then inquired if he was sending out resumes, he nodded, put his head down and then went back to work. I know I was not helping the raw emotions of the MC crew by asking questions, but I knew in my heart that I had to share their sadness with the community. I too, was in the grieving process. My family and friends have been coming here my entire life. My family took me to dinner to celebrate my high school graduation. That night was very memorable. The entire place was packed with fellow John Burroughs alumni and their families.

It is hard to reconcile that another landmark has fallen…

Night manager, Leanne Lawson informed me that the recent filing of Chapter 11 (bankruptcy) only affected the corporate level of Marie Callendar’s. The franchises were thriving and the employees were under the impression that they were safe from the national job loss catastrophe. “How many more banks do we need on this street, seriously?” protested, Leanne.

As I was tying up my interviews and paying my bill, MC regular of 20 years and local resident, Doug Menick sat at the counter to order his usual bowl of soup. That’s when Katie told him the bad news. The look of shock and disappointment flooded his face as he sat down. He shook his head in disbelief and said, “I feel so sorry for the workers. This is more than disappointing.” I wanted to give him my condolences, but I too was feeling the wave of sadness for my own memories.

As I was leaving, I met child TV star, Wayne Stam from the hit TV show, “My Favorite Martian” and Australian graphic novel artist, Peter Greenwood. They were viewing the first copies of a new book that’s coming out called, “My Favorite Martian. The Complete Series Volume One.” It was a bittersweet moment for them because they were celebrating the new book when I shared the grim news. Peter shook his head and said, “It’s pathetic. We don’t need another bloody bank.” Wayne added, “many business have started over coffee at this place. I formed my theatre company at Marie Callender’s many years ago”.

I took a few photos of the restaurant and didn’t ask the staff to smile, because it was not a celebration. They were more than kind to me and for that, I am thankful.

What would restaurant founder, Marie Callender, think about the swift, impersonal and untimely business decision? One would think that a fair and decent business owner would have handled this tough decision with a little more empathy and class. Seems cruel and unfair to treat such faithful workers in such a harsh manner.

I guess Ebenezer Scrooge is alive and well in the Toluca Lake area.

The Smokehouse Celebrates 65 Years

The Smokehouse was abuzz October 12, 2011 when celebrities and local politicians stopped by to help celebrate the 65th Anniversary of Burbank’s well known Smokehouse Restaurant. Burbank Councilmen Dave Golonski and Emily Gabel Luddy were present along with Assemblyman Mike Gatto, and Los Angeles City Councilmen Tom LaBonge. LaBonge presented the current owner, Lee Spencer, with a proclamation from the complete Los Angeles City Council. The evening guests were treated to Champagne and special prices. Celebrities from Cary Grant, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, George Clooney, and a slew of others have been seen there throughout the years. Of course, one of the great things about the Smokehouse is their specialty Garlic Bread which they went through well over a couple hundred loaves. Deborah Dodge was on hand to interview LA City Councilman Tom LaBonge and the owners of the historic Burbank restaurant.

The Smokehouse Celebrates 65 Years

The Smokehouse was abuzz October 12, 2011 when celebrities and local politicians stopped by to help celebrate the 65th Anniversary of Burbank’s well known Smokehouse Restaurant. Burbank Councilmen Dave Golonski and Emily Gabel Luddy were present along with Assemblyman Mike Gatto, and Los Angeles City Councilmen Tom LaBonge. LaBonge presented the current owner, Lee Spencer, with a proclamation from the complete Los Angeles City Council. The evening guests were treated to Champagne and special prices. Celebrities from Cary Grant, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, George Clooney, and a slew of others have been seen there throughout the years. Of course, one of the great things about the Smokehouse is their specialty Garlic Bread which they went through well over a couple hundred loaves. Deborah Dodge was on hand to interview LA City Councilman Tom LaBonge and the owners of the historic Burbank restaurant.

Papoo’s Hot Dog Show Closes It’s Doors

BurbankNBeyond was the first to report it last week and after 62 years, many makeovers and many generations of customers, Papoo’s Hot Dog Show shut it’s doors for good Sunday night. BurbankNBeyond’s John Savageau stopped by the local icon one last time to talk to longtime regulars who came by to relive a memory, and of course, a dog. See his full story on www.burbanknbeyond.com