Since opening in the fall of 2016, Pablito’s Kitchen has worked hard to make the transition from popular food truck to brick-and-mortar restaurant. The kitchen serves Peruvian classics with an Asian twist, focusing the menu on grilled steak, rotisserie chicken and fresh fish.
Although we have been die-hard fans of Mario’s Peruvian in Hollywood for over 20 years, excellent Lomo Saltados are not easy to come by. Choza Mama, when it was open in Burbank, was just okay.
Pablito’s Kitchen takes the saltado and puts its own unique spin on the dish. They make a standard saltado – filled with rich flavors – with grilled steak/chicken/tofu/pork/seafood, fries, onions and rice, ranging in price from $13.99 to $16.99.
And then there’s the $19.99 Lomo a lo Pobre, a steak (“lomo”) saltado with fries, Yuca a la Huancaina, plantains, fried egg and white rice. It’s a huge plate that is easily shared by two.
The steak is grilled to perfection – charred on the outside yet still medium in the center, juicy and tender – with long-lasting flavor. Plantains are perfectly made: sweet, carmelized and crunchy on the outside. The egg comes a tiny bit runny and mixes nicely with the rice and steak. The fries soaked in the juice are a favorite taste.
The Yuca a la Huancaina is fantastic. Mild, thick yuca pieces are lightly fried and served with the spicy, creamy yellow huancaina sauce. Delicious.
Pablito’s Kitchen offers five kinds of ceviche and they are large enough to be a meal for one. We’re more used to ceviche as a smaller plate, to eat alongside a taco or sope. Pablito’s ceviche is a thing of beauty.
We enjoyed the Ceviche Clasico. For $14.99, we received a huge amount of marinated fluke, served with the large-grained peruvian corn made two ways – boiled and roasted. Instead of a tostada, the Peruvian corn provided the crunch and the accompaniment for the very citrusy fish. Soft sweet potatoes, red onion, fresh seaweed and sweet peppers make the plate pop.
The Pollo a la Brasa sandwich is pretty filling for $7.99. Served on a roll that’s both crusty on the outside and soft inside, the sandwich piles some of the best rotisserie chicken we’ve ever had on top of lettuce and tomato.
Topped with an aji mayo that’s mustardy and a little spicy, the sandwich is perfection. Pour on a little of the Peruvian aji verde – the creamy green sauce with heat from aji chiles – to take that next bite to another level.
Some have commented on the higher price point of the items on Pablito’s menu. But, when you look at the amount of food and the quality of the meat or fish, the higher price makes sense. Maybe offering a half portion of ceviche might be a way to get more items on the menu under $10.
We also tried the Alfajores – a small sandwich-style cookie filled with dulce de leche/caramel-type filling and rolled in powdered sugar. Four tiny cookies are $5 and taste best when allowed to warm up to room temperature.
There’s so much more on the menu we haven’t been able to try yet – loaded fries, sandwiches, amazing soups, pasta and fried rice dishes. We will be back again and again, to eat at the restaurant and for take out.
The colorful and vibrant food at Pablito’s Kitchen is matched by the festive, bright dining room and the infectious Argentinian music. The bathrooms, while clean, are still in the process of finishing work. Some parking is available in the lot to the west of the restaurant and on the street.
For fresh, high quality food and an exciting, large menu, Pablito’s Kitchen receives at Tops in Town.
Restaurant Info: Pablito’s Kitchen is located at 3803 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505.
818-859-7755. Pablito’s Kitchen is open Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 pm. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Poor)