Working from at an entertainment studio lot is a pretty typical LA experience. These buildings are impossible to miss around the city, with Fox’s menacing soundstage in Century City, Sony’s sprawling Culver City lot, and the old school Paramount Studios on Melrose Avenue. These massive production facilities span throughout Southern California, where thousands of employees create TV shows and movies for the world.
Many of these workers are often stuck on-site during lunch hours. The Warner Bros. Burbank lot is a whopping 142 acres, which adds significant travel time when leaving and returning to the lot for a meal. To minimize time spent leaving and returning to work, many productions order-in for lunch, typically picked up by a production assistant.
If long workdays are spent on Disney, Fox, Sony, Universal, or Warner Bros. lots and the studio’s commissary cafeteria won’t do, here are 22 places to grab lunch.
Disney — Burbank
Disney Studios headquarters sits on 51 acres in Burbank, just around the corner from NBC’s Burbank Studios. It’s a bit lacking in dining options, where office buildings and residences are a part of the landscape. Skip the salads and sandwich menu at Porto’s Bakery & Cafe and go for the chicken croquette, chorizo pie, or pastel de carne. Order the beef short rib bolognese, or carbonara risotto from Prosecco Trattoria. Call early, since it closes at 1:45 p.m. Jinya Ramen is an easy quick pickup for lunchtime ramen, which is less than a mile away from Disney’s iconic building with Mickey Mouse’s sorcerer’s hat.
Paramount Studios — Melrose Avenue
Paramount’s iconic main entrance is an eye-catcher. It’s central location allows for plenty of dining choices, but opt for the bucatini carbonara or sliced hangar steak at Osteria la Buca. Kali’s modern California menu can hit any craving with a fried chicken sandwich or sea urchin pasta. A solid choice is Mario’s Peruvian & Seafood. Casual, fast, and operating for nearly two decades, Mario’s arroz chaufa/fried rice, lomo saltado, and ceviche are some of the best in the city.
Fox — Century City
Century City is full of convenient choices in the Westfield Mall, but if a lunch pickup is required, why not venture to Hinoki & The Bird? It’s far less crowded than dinnertime, and the barbecue Jidori chicken and dungeness crab dumplings are a refreshing and slightly pricier break from the standard salad or sandwich. Wexler’s Deli and Crack Shack have locations within Westfield with options that can satisfy, as will the soup dumplings or sweet and sour baby back ribs from Din Tai Fung.
Sony — Culver City
Sony Pictures Studio is probably the most conveniently located of the bunch. With options that span Culver City and The Palms, order from Peruvian specialist, Lonzo’s Restaurant & Bakery. Try the dazzling hummus or North African chickpea stew from Jaffa. Mee & Greet’s casual and cheerful South Asian menu skews Vietnamese, Peranakan, and Singaporean. And Bushwick staple Roberta’s is tucked away in Culver City’s Platform, where its Millenium Falco pizza is topped with breadcrumbs, red pepper flakes, garlic, and basil.
Universal — Universal City, Studio City, Toluca Lake
Thanks to easy access to the 101, Hollywood, and the Valley, Universal has an abundance of restaurants within a short distance. Traditional Indian favorite Lal Mirch serves incredible masalas, tandoori, and korma. Sun Cafe Organic’s vegan menu fits the bill when leaning healthy. Feu Pho Kitchen’s non-traditional menu includes Vietnamese tacos and oxtail pho. Daichan can satisfy a sushi craving, and dishes that span curry udon and Japanese fried chicken.
Warner Bros. Studios — Burbank
Restaurants near Disney and Universal can also service employees at Warner Bros. Studios. Kebabs with rice and tabbouleh are available at Tonir Cafe, but don’t sleep on the chicken cornish or lamb ribs platter. And the formidable Sushi Yuzu steps far beyond sliced fish with a deep fried, marinated free-range chicken.