Whiplash is one of the hazards of my job. I take unfamiliar streets when I drive around town with the express purpose of discovering new restaurants. Peacha's, a tiny place on south Victory near Alameda in Burbank, made me do a hard double-take, almost hitting the car in front of me. Luckily, I didn't. Instead, I got to enjoy the best chimichanga of my life.
In all fairness, I don't normally do chimichangas, with the deep-frying and all, but I had to believe the nice guy behind the counter when he said they were really good. This one felt heavy to the hand but light and crunchy to the mouth. Filled with fabulous shredded chicken, gooey cheese, Spanish rice, whole pinto beans and guacamole, it was supremely filling. The shredded lettuce and pico de gallo topping, spanning from one goal post to the other of this football-field-sized creation, added a cooling element to the warm mixture within ($6.95). The accompanying salsa is different from most, more like canned tomato sauce with finely ground chiles, but delicious nonetheless. I think it's one of the tricks owner Ferrari Monterey learned from her mother. According to Monterey, most of the items on the menu are her mom's recipes.
Rock 'n' roll is a definite theme at this hole in the wall, with posters, illustrations and impressive pastel drawings of rock greats like Steven Tyler, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. The dining room rocks Elvis tablecloths, guitar-head hooks and a KISS lamp.
On a second visit, we figured we had to try one of the burgers named after rock stars, but it was tough to decide between the Motley Crue with bacon and bleu cheese, the Slayer with jalapenos, the Misfits with barbecue sauce and cheddar, or the simple Angus Young burger, made with Angus beef, of course. We went for the Toto's Delight sandwich ($6.25), a pumped-up grilled cheese with chicken, avocado, onions, peppers and bacon bits. It was the right decision.
The hard tacos are another excellent choice ($2.99). Shredded chicken or asada-style beef is tumbled with sharp cheese before being placed in the tortilla with lettuce and salsa. The whole thing is deep-fried for an authentic flavor and texture. The breakfast burrito ($5.25) gets a solid 92 out of a hundred.
Peacha's is not exactly refined dining. The place could use a paint job and it smells of hot oil. The service is a bit lackluster too, but the restaurant is friendly to all — kids, business people, single diners, roadies taking stuff to-go on the tour bus. It's too bad this place isn't open till 2 a.m. It would be a perfect spot to come after nightclubbing.
While the food is undeniably fresh, I wouldn't call it healthy. These things pack some major calories and some major satisfaction. Mick Jagger ought to come here.
Where: 809 S. Victory Blvd., Burbank
Hours: Mon through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Sunday.
Cost: Tacos, burritos, chimichangas $2.99-$6.95; Burgers, sandwiches, salads $5.50-$8.
Contact: (818) 736-5065; www.peachas.vpweb.com
LISA DUPUY has reviewed more than 100 area restaurants. She welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.