If you’re not looking close enough, you’d miss Studio Café Magazzino.
Hidden in plain sight between 1950s apartment buildings and a small dentistry office, the diner has been serving nearby Warner Brothers Studios employees for nine years.
I stop into the little eatery before heading to work early this week at the recommendation of Patch Editor Arin Mikailian. He’d spotted it during a recent drive and mentioned it might be right up my alley.
Nostalgia for Parisian cafes hits me as I walk up to the European-esque restaurant. Two cast iron-legged tables and wooden chairs sit outside, and from outside I see a chalkboard-style menu across the wall behind the counter.
It’s a small place that appears to seat no more than a dozen or so diners. The charming, country home-style décor includes baskets suspended from the ceiling and vintage kitchen accessories displayed from a grass-green shelf.
I order a double shot of espresso and a feta spinach crepe to go; both are much-needed to fuel me through an hour-long commute.
The restaurant serves health-conscious and budget-friendly options. In addition to crepes, there are bagels, oatmeal, yogurt-granola parfait and pastries for breakfast. For lunch, there's a variety of sandwiches: turkey & arugula, black forest ham, vegetarian, and arabo are just a few of the offerings. The menu also includes salad with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, vegan soups, and a full espresso bar and teas. And for local customers, the diner also offers online ordering for pick-up.
I strike up a short conversation with the man at the counter. It’s his wife’s restaurant, he tells me, and he’s on duty to serve breakfast. Up until recently, the café was only open for lunch, he says. They decided to expand their offerings to their customers, most of whom come from the studio down the street.
He serves me the espresso to enjoy as he’s cooking the crepe, and the rich coffee does its job to jump-start my morning. As I finish the last drop, the man asks if I’d like “a little kick” to my crepe. I take him up on the offer, and he sprinkles a bit of red pepper to top off the feta cheese.
As I drive to work, I sneak in bites of the crepe (only at full stops, of course). The red pepper adds the perfect amount of spiciness to the spinach, feta, tomatoes and eggs in the crepe. To fully savor the delicious dish, I decide to wait until I can enjoy breakfast as I usually do on weekdays: within the three walls of my home-sweet cubicle.
Studio Cafe Magazzino is located at 109 North Pass Avenue, Burbank, 91505. Business hours are Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
About this column: I'll be your adventure guide through the bustling arts district, Toluca Lake and the rest of North Hollywood, surveying theater, film, books, music, politics, places and people for your daily culture intake.