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The Castaway

1250 E. Harvard Rd. Send to Phone
The Castaway in Burbank features specialty steaks and sweeping views overlooking the San Fernando Valley and beyond.

Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun.

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The Castaway, Burbank, CA

The Castaway Restaurant Review

About chef Perry Pollaci: As chef de cuisine at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena hotel, Perry Pollaci helped relaunch The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse, and then subsequently helmed the stoves at Firefly. He was also a champion in two episodes of “Cutthroat Kitchen.” Now at Castaway, he oversees a steak-forward menu and an in-house dry-aging program.

The décor: This iconic golf course-adjacent hilltop landmark built in 1963 hearkens back to the old Burbank studio days, where Bob Hope could be spotted at the bar. After a 10-million-dollar renovation in 2018 it’s become one of the most breathtaking spaces around, with panoramic views of the valley, downtown and the Hollywood Hills --- particularly grand at sunset. A wall of windows offers every seat in the elegantly lofted, modern dining room sweeping vistas. But the best spot is on the wraparound patio; it’s casual, even good for kids, and includes spacious circular booths and seating with firepits right at the edge of the cliff. Inside, the expansive standalone bar is crowned with a large eye-catching driftwood sculpture, and the glass-walled dry-aging room glows with an entire backlit wall made of pink Himalayan salt.

Likes: Gorgeous design throughout, with striking views and sunsets.
Dislikes: Salt and sugar can be less than judicious in some dishes and cocktails.

Food & Drinks: While the focus here is undeniably steak, you can easily graze through an evening on the patio with bites from the cheese and charcuterie bar, share a luxe seafood platter ($165) or head for the surf with a duo of Hokkaido scallops, a refreshing Peruvian ceviche, or simply a good old-fashioned shrimp cocktail. Entrées include organic chicken and a whole roasted branzino, but if you walk by the meat shrine of a dry-aging room you’ll be quite tempted to try some of the beef cuts. Go big with a giant premium Black Angus tomahawk steak from Creekstone Farms in Kansas, or a Revier Cattle Company rib-eye. One of the kitchen’s less expensive cuts is the zabuton, which means “little pillow” in Japanese (aka “Denver steak”) --- it’s less tender but flavorful. The roasted cauliflower is one of the best dishes, turned out in a creamy sauce with hazelnuts and cinnamon scented currants. A molten lava cake is skillfully done. Sommelier Paul Coker (Stonehill Tavern) offers a global wine list with choices from French classics to “hip and avant garde.” Cocktails can lean toward the sweet side, though fancy punches serving 4-6 are perfect for groups around the firepits.
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