I finally checked off an item that’s been at the top of my Los Angeles area to-do list by going toBob’s Big Boy in Burbank/Toluca Lake. And what better way to be introduced to this new pleasure than a meetup with my fellow blogging.la-ers?
We got together last Saturday afternoon in summer-like weather. Almost all of the b.la bloggers made it there, and we had a table of 10 or so. Some of these folks were obviously Bob’s veterans, such as Will, who ordered an elaborate-looking double burger from memory, then scarfed it in record time (though, to be fair, he bikes everywhere & is entitled to replace those burned calories), and Jodi, who lives nearby and wrote a great post last August about how Bob’s is one of L.A.’s greatest landmarks.
Although Bob’s seems to be most famous for burgers, fries, and shakes (I know, chili spaghetti too), some of which were represented at our table, I opted for pancakes. Mine were very good, although the “fruit” on the side consisted of “Caine Mutiny“-style canned strawberries. Quick, somebody call Captain Queeg. We also learned some interesting Bob’s trivia. For instance, there may or may not be a secret dessert there called “Ross’s Ass.” Supposedly, a server named Eli can hook you up, but really, do you want him to?
When we finished, we took the obligatory photo with Bob. It was a great get-together at a well-deserved L.A. area landmark. And fear not, readers, Bob’s is still high up on our list of future Classic Eats candidates.
From the towering neon sign to the statue of the rotund boy in his distinctive red and white checked overalls to the 1950’s coffee shop architecture, Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank is undoubtedly one of L.A.’s most well-known and beloved landmarks. In 1993, this oldest remaining restaurant in the national chain was restored to its 1949 glory and designated a “California Point of Historical Interest.” At that time, the sign was repaired, the dining room was remodeled, and an outdoor patio was added. Car-hop service was also re-established on Saturday and Sunday nights. Every Friday night, a classic car show is held in the ample parking lot, which fills with shiny hot rods and cruisers from the 1950s and 60s.
I discovered Bob’s Big Boy shortly after moving to L.A. in 1994. We could walk to it from our apartment and more importantly, discovered we could do so 24 hours a day! While we can still walk to Bob’s from our current home, it does take quite a bit longer. Much more frequently, we take advantage of the hours and catch a bite to eat after a concert or movie. It’s become our go-to place after Halloween festivities because the place is packed with other costumed people and the party seems to continue.
If you’re looking for a gourmet meal, Bob’s will not be your first choice, but they do serve up decent, affordable diner fare. You can get breakfast and homemade milk shakes around the clock. The staff is friendly and we recognize other regular customers, as well as the occasional celebrity, when we eat there. I’ll admit that we do go to Bob’s about once a week, often on a particular night to see some friends who have a regular meet up at the restaurant.
Bob’s Big Boy is located at 4211 W Riverside Dr. in Burbank/Toluca Lake. You only have a couple of hours to catch the classic cars, but you have all night to grab a burger or some chili spaghetti.
A full list of the posts in our L.A.’s Great Landmarks series can be found here.