Magnolia Park

A sleepy haven in the San Fernando Valley that’s known for its old standbys gets some jazzy new arrivals

Photograph by Mindee Choi

When Earl L. White broke ground on Burbank’s Magnolia Park in the 1920s, there were plenty of naysayers. But the people came, and the modest ranch-style homes were sold to WWI veterans. Years later, Industry folk lured by short commutes to the studios arrived, and a slew of businesses followed, setting up shop along Magnolia Boulevard, the neighborhood’s main artery (the area is still lacking in nightlife choices; this is Burbank, after all). What won’t you find? Starbucks, fro-yo, or parking meters.

1. Yummy Cupcakes
Bakers toil in full view at this cupcake dispensary, which distinguishes itself with the hefty size of its treats. The red velvet is irresistible: moist ruby red crumb topped with plenty of rich cream cheese frosting. The only bummer? No seating. » 2918 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-558-1080.

2. Atomic Records
Weathered brick walls and a painted cement floor provide a fittingly spartan backdrop for the meticulously organized collection at this hub for DJs (it’s one of L.A.’s last LP specialists). The shop’s strength is classic jazz collectibles, including plenty of Blue Note treasures. Prices start at 50¢ and head into the stratosphere. » 3812 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818- 848-7090.

3. Totz Only
The airy new boutique for kids 18 months to 8 years carries playground and special-occasion fashions from trendy labels, including Splendid, Junk Food, and Okkies. We also love the retro toys, like Sea Monkeys and Lincoln Logs, as well as classic books such as The Giving Tree. Titles read during the twice-weekly story-time sessions are discounted 10 percent that day. » 3009 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-845-8689.

4. The Train Shack
Not much has changed in the 23 years since Gary Keck opened his hobby emporium. It still stocks just about everything a hobbyist or hard-core miniature train lover might desire, from tracks to tiny country houses. » 1030 N. Hollywood Way, 818-842-3330.

5. Monte Carlo Deli and Pinocchio Restaurant
Lasagna loaded with marinara sauce and groaning meatball sandwiches draw snaking lines to the cafeteria-style restaurant and deli, which has been owned by the same family for 40 years. We’re partial to the imported prosciutto, salami, and homemade sausages, both mild and spicy. » 3103 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-845-3516.


Photograph by Mindee Choi

6. It’s a Wrap
Clothing and accessories for men and women from such labels as Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, and Lucky Brand typically sell for about one-third the retail price at this well-edited boutique. Most pieces are culled from film and TV productions. We lucked out with some adorable Lilly Pulitzer capris for $28. » 3315 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-567-7366.

7. Autobooks-Aerobooks
Jay Leno makes regular stops here, lured by the dizzying array of auto-related books, manuals, and magazines. » 3524 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818- 845-0707.

8. Handy Market
On Saturdays, follow the billowing smoke to this neighborhood market’s parking lot, where locals queue up rain or shine for barbecue. Don’t expect to hang around: Food is wrapped in foil to go. » 2514 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-848-4294.

9. Burbank Antiques
The collections at most of the area’s half-dozen or so antiques stores are unfocused, but this small shop, with its concentration on 20th-century Americana, is more gallery than garage sale. Tin Coca-Cola signs and Fillmore West concert posters shoulder up against Popeye and Beatles memorabilia. Most items are priced to move, excluding a few big-ticket pieces—like a 1978 California Originals Wonder Woman cookie jar that goes for $650. » 3429 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-843-1023.