Toluca Lake sounds like a pristine nature reserve for those not familiar with the place, but it’s actually a quiet neighborhood, nestled between Studio City and Burbank.
Over the years, it’s been home to rich and famous. Hollywood stars like Bob Hope, Bette Davis, and Frank Sinatra all had houses there.
Present-day celebrities like Hilary Duff and Steve Carell now call it home. It’s no surprise that the neighborhood has proven to have such allure, especially given the equally rich and famous restaurants there.
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Here are the 12 best restaurants in Toluca Lake, California:
Rustic Spoon is an Asian fusion restaurant that focuses on Thai and Vietnamese dishes. A great way to start a meal there is with one of their appetizers, a great list of rolls and sharing dishes like chicken sa-te and fried calamari.
Their main menu is split among curries, noodle dishes, stir fries, and house specialties. You can pair any of these dishes with a mix of sides, even add extra grilled salmon.
Don’t forget dessert either, when you can indulge in their Thai tea creme caramel or mango sticky rice.
They even offer catering platters. Rustic Spoon is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, and open for dinner on Sunday.
4384 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602
Bob’s Big Boy
Bob’s Big Boy is an institution in the realm of hamburgers and 1950’s fast food restaurants.
You may know it from its charming, cheeky mascot. You may know it from its slogan, “the Nationally Famous, Original Double–Deck Hamburger.”
Or you may know it as a famous location the Beatles enjoyed a meal during their 1965 tour. Either way, they’re a must-visit for many locals and out-of-towners.
They still serve the “Original” Big Boy Combo, a double-decker hamburger with lettuce, cheese, mayo, and red relish.
They also offer fried chicken, chili, and other entrees. Pair your meal with a classic milkshake, flavored coke, or root beer float.
4211 W Riverside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505
Cascabel is a modern Mexican restaurant that opened in 2014, serving food blended through the multicultural culinary world of Los Angeles.
Their menu features your expected carnitas a mole, but also mix in duck confit, lobster, and shiitake mushrooms.
The chic dinner spot is housed in a historic 1920s Spanish-style house and features a lengthy tequila list, house cocktails, tacos, enchiladas, and house specialities like Mexican corn bread.
The restaurant’s name comes from a specific chili pepper that is used in their signature recipes. They’re open every night of the week and feature a weekday happy hour, 5 to 6:30 pm – for drinks and food.
10717 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake, CA 91602
&Waffles gets its name from the founder’s dream: to open the best place for breakfast, lunch, & waffles.
It is run by a father and his two sons, serving breakfast all day and pairing all things savory and sweet with their waffles.
They’re so into waffles, you can even substitute your side of toast with a half waffle.
Aside from omelettes, other egg dishes, and breakfast burritos, a whole portion of their menu is dedicated to – you guessed it – their authentic Belgian waffles.
Plus, all their sweet dishes feature waffles. There’s even a churro-flavored one! Lunch extends the menu to salads and burgers.
4141 Lankershim Blvd North Hollywood, CA 91602
Sushi Yuzu is a traditional sushi restaurant that specializes in the Japanese classic, serving up a range of raw and cooked sushi.
Their extensive menu varies from vegetarian to chicken to fish sushi, sashimi, and rolls. You can also order classic entrees like chicken or beef teriyaki.
Make sure to indulge in the full experience and wash down your bite-sized bits of heaven with sake – served hot or cold.
They also have shochu made from sweet potato or barley.
You can eat in their open-kitchen restaurant and watch the chefs roll your sushi Thursday though Sunday night.
10118 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Patys of Toluca Lake have been serving the community for over 60 years. Their traditional diner is still every bit retro, from their big sign on the roof to their famous Green Room, where many big Hollywood deals have been signed over the years.
Today, they offer fresh ground Angus burgers, fresh roasted turkey, fresh salmon – high quality ingredients.
Like all good diners, Patys is known for its breakfast menu. Their pancakes are made fresh from scratch daily.
They also offer a low-carb, high-protein menu and gluten free options. Don’t forget dessert.
Patys features a classic front desk glass cabinet full of the day’s pastries and sweet treats.
10001 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Hungry Crowd is a restaurant that caters to all. Considered “new American,” they blend Mexican, Korean, and American dishes – enough variety to appeal to the crowd.
Some of their best dishes are their kimchi biscuit with bacon, cheddar, and lemon butter and spicy fried baby back ribs.
For those wanting a global blend of flavor, we’d recommend the spicy pork taco with maple gochujang.
Go crazy on Taco Tuesday with discounted prices or benefit from their happy hour, Tuesday through Saturday, on both food and drink.
Hungry Crowd is open every day but Monday for lunch and dinner. On Sunday, they’re open non-stop, serving brunch with the option of bottomless mimosas.
10140 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake, CA 91602
JINYA Ramen Bar
JINYA Ramen take the traditional dish to heart, trying to feature ramen’s two main ingredients: – broth and noodles – in the best way possible.
They slow-simmer their rich broth from a base of pure FUJI water for over 20 hours and offer six signature flavors. Their noodles are aged and handmade, only cooked to serve.
Their menu is broken into three: main, vegetarian, and gluten free. Alongside their ramen, they offer small plates like bao buns, gyoza, and takoyaki and Japanese- flavored mini tacos.
While ramen is obviously the draw to JINYA, they also have entree alternatives like cashu and poke bowls or curry. Finish off with green tea mochi ice cream bites.
Forman’s Whiskey Tavern
Forman’s Whiskey Tavern is the place to go to for reliable, quality pub food and drink. As the name suggests, they have quite the collection of whiskey – nine pages worth of whiskey, to be exact.
The pages are broken down in bourbon, rye, Scotch, Irish, Japanese, French, Canadian, Italian, American, and Tennessee. Because there are apparently that many different varieties.
Head spinning from choice? Order a flight: three or four different whiskeys either over the years, aged different ways, or for different lengths of time.
Don’t forget their cocktail menu with eight different Old Fashioneds to choose from. They also serve a full menu of food, including burgers and salads, so you should probably line your stomach …
10149 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake, CA 91602
MA’s Italian Kitchen
MA’s began as a home cooked catering service delivering food to the nearby studios. Their success brought them to finally open a full restaurant.
They make Italian classics like ravioli, and bolognese from scratch. Their aim is to have your meal taste just like your ma’s.
For any of their pasta dishes, you can add extras like meatballs or shrimp or even substitute the pasta for spaghetti squash or gluten free alternatives.
For slightly lighter fare, choose a panini at lunchtime. Although maybe that meatball sub won’t be that light … Every meal at MA’s Italian Kitchen should be finished off with the Italian classic dessert, a decadent tiramisu.
267 N Pass Ave, Burbank, CA 91505
A change in the usual LA menu full of Asian fusion and Mexican-inspired eateries, Zankou Chicken specializes in Mediterranean fare.
It’s been owned by an Armenian family since the ‘60s. In fact, the restaurant started in Beirut before the founder’s son emigrated to America to open his own.
Zankou Chicken specializes in spit-roast chicken, falafel, shawarma, and more classics. They are best known for their very own “secret” garlic sauce.
It’s a casual eatery with fast food vibes, popular for take out, that lets its food speak for itself.
The kebab shop is well known in pop culture, having been mentioned in songs by Beck and Childish Gambino and in TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
10760 Riverside Dr, North Hollywood, CA 91602
Malbec Argentinian Grill
Malbec blends two Argentinean traditions: the bodega rural markets where friends and families would gather and share the other tradition, asado – more or less an Argentinian barbecue.
All of the meat they serve at Malbec are cooked over an open fire. They have four mouth-watering steak options, all served with chimichurri sauce.
Other dishes on their menu are inspired by a blend of their Italian and Spanish roots. They have a list of homemade pastas including stuffed raviolis and squid ink pasta.
Of course, they also serve their namesake, the famous Malbec wine – eight different vintages from Argentina and the USA.
10151 Riverside Dr Toluca Lake, CA 91602