Tag Archives: toluca lake

L.A.’s Greatest Landmarks: Bob’s Big Boy

I took this photo of Big Boy in 2006

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.

It’s The Most Magical Night Of The Year

Photo by Jodi
Photo by Jodi

For the fifteen years I’ve lived in Los Angeles, every Christmas Eve I’ve enjoyed The Magical Christmas Caroling Truck. For the 26th year, the sixty-two foot tractor-trailer will wind it’s way through the neighborhoods of Toluca Lake and North Hollywood between 4:30 and 11pm tonight, spreading lots of holiday cheer along the way.

Honestly, I can be a bit bah-humbug this time of year, but the truck never fails to get me feeling a little more of the “holiday spirit.” Back in 1994, we had no idea what the racket was outside of our Toluca Lake area apartment. We ran outside and were amazed by the brightly lit holiday show traveling down our street. When we moved into a house a couple of years later, we were delighted to find out we were still on the caroling truck’s route! It has become a tradition that I hold near and dear and  look forward to every year now. Our neighbors have a party and when the truck hits our street, we rush out and enjoy, occasionally even walking along with it for a while. Instead of having to go out and find lights to look at, they come to us!

The vehicle is adorned with thousands of lights, blasts holiday music, all while over 200 people sing and dance on and along side the truck. A separate train car rides behind carrying Santa (or one of his “helpers,” since his will be busy, of course) and there is snow. The truck ambles along through the neighborhoods, stopping from time to time. It seems like it gets just a little more festive every year, if that is even possible.

Even if you don’t live in the neighborhoods The Magical Christmas Caroling Truck visits, you can bring the family to the area and enjoy. See the truck’s website for photos and videos, as well as a map of the approximate times and locations. This just might become one of your favorite holiday traditions too!

Burbank/Toluca Lake Menchie’s Now Open!

Menchie’s, my favorite of all of the many frozen yogurt chains in L.A., just opened their latest store within walking distance of my house. It’s a nice, longish walk, but can certainly be done when time permits. As mentioned on L.A. Metblogs about a year and a half ago, there is a location in Valley Village, which isn’t too far from me either, but I have to drive to it. I suppose I could ride my bicycle over. Nah.


I haven’t been in the new Burbank/Toluca Lake spot yet. I’m suspicious that it will happen within the next couple of days. So what makes Menchie’s so much better than the omnipresent Pinkberry?

Click here to read more about why Menchie’s rocks!

Toluca Lake Restaurants Offering Recession Discounts

When economic times are tough, dining out is one of the first “luxuries” a lot of people cut out. Back in September, the L.A. Times reported on the sudden hit local major chains were taking. More expensive specialty establishments in Los Angeles and across the country are suffering as well.  It seems in bleak financial times, fast food joints are the only ones experiencing an increase in business.

Even though I’ve been trying to eat in more, I’m really not one for cooking and do go out or get take out several times a week. I was picking up a pizza the other night and noticed what seems to be a growing trend among restaurants in Toluca Lake, and possibly L.A. in general.

Robano’s, at 10057 Riverside Drive, is offering discounts on all food and yes, even alcohol every day of the week. Mo’s, at 4301 Riverside Drive, has special prices for certain menu items on Mondays after 5pm. This is great news to me and others who aren’t too interested in staying in every night and preparing meals. Hopefully we’ll see more of this around Los Angeles, which might also help the restaurants stay afloat.