Really good Vietnamese Food right in the heart of Burbank.
There’s a bunch of…tied strings on the wall.
Yeah, you heard me.
The strings are a little strange. They’re part of a big multi-colored lit display, matching the Fishing Net boxes tied to the ceiling.
Yeah, there are a lot of ropes in this place, but they’re things that only a food blogger would notice.
Chances are you won’t. You’ll be too busy eating.
Mama Hong’s Vietnamese Kitchen really should be considered a neighborhood place, place to go get lunch if you work at one of the nearby studios. It’s got a bit of slickness to it, highlighted by…well…the light show and the ropes.
But the food’s good. You come here and you get a nice cross section of all things Vietnamese, Pho, Banh Mi, Spring Rolls. They’ve even got a few inventions on the menu I haven’t heard before, but that are still, good and fun to eat.
It’s only been open for a year or so. Whoever owns it put a lot of money into renovating the space, and making it look like a place you want to go in and have a meal. Still, once you get inside (and it can get busy inside), the informality and causalness of the place jumps out at you. You relax. You decide you’re not underdressed (maybe that changes for Dinner). The rest of the time, you’re just helping yourself to a wonderful array of Vietnamese classics, and what an array it is.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: The thing that first leapt out at me when I first ate here was the Grilled Sausage Spring Rolls. It’s the classic Vietnamese Spring roll, with fresh, crisp veggies, delicate, yet sticky rice paper, but with a healthy rectangle of grilled sausage slipped in there. There’s an extra bit of fried somethin’-somethin’, that I like. Haven’t been able to identify it, but doesn’t matter. I like it in there. I like the texture it gives the dish, and makes me want to come back for more.
I also had the Grilled Pork Banh-Mi. Right, like I’m supposed to resist still more pork being offered to me. This time, it comes to me in convenient sandwich form. It’s a healthy, healthy mouthful. At times, it felt like I needed to turn into an Cottonmouth just to bite into it, but it was so worth it. And did I mention the addition of a fried egg? (For just .95 cents more). Oh, so worth it.
Another thing I’ve tried, and have massive doubts is even remotely Vietnamese, was the Shaken Beef Tenderloin Fries. Now, basically it’s just French Fries with tossed with choice cuts of Beef and a little sauce. It feels like a house invention, but…I ain’t complaining. It’s not the greatest thing I’ve ever had, but still pretty damn good. The only thing that keeps me from ordering it more often it it’s rather prodigious size. It’s meant for like three people. Even two people might find themselves stuffed after ordering it.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Because of where it is, it’s a really, really, really, really popular for lunch. That’s about it.
PARKING: Pretty much the same as with all San Fernando Blvd. Businesses in Burbank. Thus, consult our handy, if somewhat old Downtown Burbank Parking Map.
Mama Hong’s Vietnamese Kitchen (There’s only a Facebook page, so…)
221 N. San Fernando Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91502
Tel: (818) 558-6262
Monday-Sunday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm