Sometimes you just need to eat something that tastes exactly like it did when you were a child, or a teenager. Fortunately, since I grew up in L.A., I can replicate some of the tastes of my childhood fairly easily, although many are long gone. Continuing the childhood theme from the Smokehouse, below, we had lunch at Pinocchio in Burbank on Saturday. It was actually Pinocchio in Santa Monica, on Santa Monica and 14th, where I spent much of my teen years, but they're virtually identical. Except the Santa Monica one had a dive bar with Pong tables in the back, whereas the Burbank one has the very credible Monte Carlo Italian market in the front. I moved in with my boyfriend at the tender age of 17, and although I was an ambitious cook, I was not terribly consistent or energetic. So more often than not, we walked across the street to Pinocchio's for dinner, where $1.50 bought a massive plate of eggplant parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, etc. and garlic bread.
Well, it's up to an outrageous $5.95 now, but I'm happy to report the eggplant parmesan tastes exactly the same as it did when I had my first date there in 1975 or so. Matt was happy with his spaghetti and Italian sausage plate, although we could barely walk afterwards. Not that you could possibly have room, but Monte Carlo now has a pretty nice gelato bar in the front of the market. And they're building a covered patio next door, so dining on beautiful Magnolia Blvd. should be even nicer soon.
Pinocchio/Monte Carlo Market
3103 W. Magnolia Blvd.