For those looking to make Thanksgiving more destination than dinner, Castaway restaurant in Burbank is offering a wholly different take on the great American feast day.
With dreamy views of the Southland, a touch of Hollywood glam, and a creative menu of the sort that you just didn’t see in Burbank back in the olden days, the hilltop landmark originally opened in 1962. Two years ago, a $10-million-dollar makeover pulled the restaurant — as well as its cuisine and service — into the 20th century.
“Almost everything is new,” said Derrick Badenhorst, general manager at Castaway. “Although the name and the view are the same, everything else has been changed, including the menu, chef, design and service model.”
Executive chef Perry Pollaci has crafted a flavorsome, seasonally inspired and steak-forward menu with a variety of interesting meat cuts, as well as vegetable-centric dishes, communal small plates and charcuterie. Signature items include steaks from Mishima American Wagyu, Flannery Beef and Cape Grim from Tasmania aged in Castaway’s in-house dry aging room, Pasturebird chicken, lamb bacon and roasted branzino.
Even the view is better, elevated by redesigned multi-level seating. Both indoor and outdoor seating options were designed to create an awesome dining experience no matter where you sit. Built to accommodate any type of party, Castaway boasts a large outdoor patio with fireplace elements, intimate lounge seating, large booths and hidden nooks.
“No matter where you sit in the restaurant,” said Badenhorst, “you’re given an A-list seat and view of the vast valley below.”
Speaking of A-list, the new Castaway pays homage to Burbank’s movie heritage with subtle nods to a same-named film, like a signature “Wilson!” cocktail, a canopy of driftwood above the bar, and even a replica of the volleyball prop in the center of the dining room.
That certain shipwrecked movie character wishes he’d had a Thanksgiving feast like the buffet brunch and a la carte dinner being served high above Burbank on November 28.
The menus run a mouthwatering gamut from pumpkin velouté poached lobster and an organic turkey duo with brioche, pumpernickel stuffing and cranberry compote for dinner, to mustard-crusted prime rib, seafood raw bar and charcuterie station for the brunch buffet.
Guests can sip unique drinks like pumpkin pie martini, apple-cranberry mule, or bottomless lavender activated charcoal lemonade and fresh cucumber and mint mimosas.
“Thanksgiving is the ideal day to spend time with loved ones catching up, playing a game of flag football, or relaxing on the couch,” said Badenhorst, explaining why the restaurant is offering both brunch and dinner on turkey day.
“We wanted to give our guests the option to come to Castaway at a time that was convenient for them. This allows them to plan their day as they please, without feeling restricted by our hours.”
Aside from the tasty food, Castaway will have special fun activations on Thanksgiving including holiday photos and special gift for guests.
Food critics around the Southland are already lauding Castaway’s reincarnation. Open Table named it “Top 50 Best Restaurant for a Date,” Thrillist placed it among the “Best Restaurants in Los Angeles Right Now,” while Eater LA ranked it among the “20 Restaurants with Amazing Views.”
Castaway is located at 1250 E. Harvard Rd., Burbank 91501. For reservations, visit castawayburbank.com.
–Joe Yogerst Custom Publishing Writer