Once in a while it is fun to step out of the kitchen and enjoy the cuisine of restaurants around town. Since the boyfriend was going out with the guys from work, it meant only one thing, girl’s night out! In searching for a new restaurant to try, we stumbled upon the Continental in Toluca Lake. Now, I had been to this location many a time before when it was Mo’s, but after a recent management change, the Continental has emerged and it did not disappoint!
A brief history rant on the location if I may….In the late 1950’s the original IHOP opened here with the original Bob’s Big Boy right across the street! About twenty years later, with the help of Paul Newman, IHOP was replaced with Hampton’s, hangout to the Hollywood stars. In the mid-90’s Mo’s came along with its oh so popular burger bar. This Spring, Mo’s closed its doors and when they reopened, the Continental had taken its place with an all new menu and decor, the focus of which is a beautiful scenic mural of Toluca Lake spanning over 35 feet. Okay, rant over, let’s get down to the heart of the matter, the drinks and food!
Being a girl’s night, what better way to test out a new restaurant than with cocktails and appetizers. After a friendly greeting at the door, we were promptly seated and our amazing waitress made some great drink recommendations. We decided to go with the refreshing Debutante of gin, pomegranate, lime and orange bitters, and the classy Hendrick of bourbon, sugar, bitters, and a splash of absinthe. Our cocktails were quickly in hand and we went to work excitedly exploring the new menu. With so many great options such as grilled artichoke, skirt steak tacos, mini burgers, and beer battered pickles we definitely had quite the decision ahead of us. Being indecisive and quite hungry in the moment, we ordered six of the nine appetizers and couldn’t wait to dig in! One signature ingredient that seemed to work its way into a lot of the dishes was sriacha, the best way to add kick to any sauce! The beer battered pickles were thick slices of homemade pickles covered in a crispy tempura that took this fair food staple to a gourmet level indeed. The grilled artichoke had a great char to it and the turkey meatballs tasted like your Italian grandmother was back in the kitchen making them herself.
While we had definitely eaten more than our fair share of savory food, there is always room for a sweetie in what I like to call my “dessert stomach.” All I had to hear was salted caramel pot de creme and I was won over. This delectable dessert was topped with homemade vanilla whipped cream AND homemade toffee bits, I could hardly contain my excitement! And as if this after dinner treat could not get any better, it was served in a mason jar 🙂
Choosing the Continental was a great choice for our night out on the town and I can’t wait to go back to try their brunch and dinner! So what are you waiting for? Get in your car and head over to this new Toluca Lake hot spot!