More American diner, revised
13359 Sherman Way (in North Hollywood)
Phone: 818-765-7111 | map
Like Armon's and Tokyo 7-7, the Hungry Fox is a comfortably homely diner hosted by absurdly nice Asian women bantering with the regulars. It sits along a bone-dry stretch of Sherman Way, ignoring the Valley heat and happily broadcasting its motto: Happiness You Can Eat.
The decor is a composite of doctor's office (salmon tabletops, scratchy neutral wallpaper) and blue-collar eatery (wooden plaques, dry green carpet, paintings of wolves*). Thai statuettes are dotted in corners and... er, what is that hanging on the walls? Is that a square of fake clover? Yes, I believe it is.
A nice touch is the four tins on your table with homemade jams and salsas, and one notable feature: the pumpkin spread. At first one thinks, is this a bean dip? but then discovers how wonderful it is on toast. It's lighter than peanut butter, thicker than Nutella, and I believe they will sell a jar of it to you if you ask.
The menu is as broad as a deli's; the breakfast specials have friendly, inexplicable names like Fountain Rock, Early Fox, Camping, Volcanic Rock, and Bee's House. They do waffles a little darker and drier than desired, and the bacon might be crisped to splintery brittleness, so experiment.
The Spicy Thai Sausage and Eggs, for instance. The sausage is pleasantly griddle-blackened with a spark of heat. Eggs are done properly here (I like them over medium or over hard; my days of "um, scrambled, I guess" are past) and the Home Fries are fork-tender with bits of green pepper. The flavors of both are brought farther out with spoonfuls of the homemade salsa.
Later in the day is when I really wish Hungry Fox was closer to my neighborhood, because they do a satisfying Turkey Melt Royal, grilled screamingly hot, its swiss cheese melted into long strands. With bacon, tomato and sourdough with a glint of butter, it all settles comfortably together, like a twenty-year marriage where love still lives. The fries are decent and unsurprising, well done and finger-thick.
Hungry Fox is a breakfast-and-lunch affair, open daily from seven until three in the afternoon. There's a large lot, and endless parking along any of the streets.
As a side note, because I love diners with personality: the aquarium in front contains one brawny goldfish hovering alone, staring accusingly at you. Taped pieces of paper explain its solitude: My name is 'Goldie' and ... And I don't need friends! (because I ate them all!. Do not feed Goldie.
* Hey, who can find paintings of foxes nowadays? Sometimes you gotta work with what's thematically adjacent.
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Diner, American, The Valley, Burbank/North Hollywood, Sandwiches/Burgers/Hot Dogs )
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