Everybody knows what a deli is supposed to be: an enormous dining room, stinking of garlic, bolstered by corned beef and chicken in a pot, with giant halvah displays teetering by the cash register. And then there's Moore's Delicatessen, a sparkling diner across from Burbank City Hall: The backroom is an animation dweeb's delight, walls crawling with drawings from the sweaty imaginations of the animators at Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network, both of which have studios within a couple of blocks.

If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to live inside the perforated skull of SpongeBob SquarePants — or to drop in on a Monday night and watch premieres with the cream soda-swilling dudes who drew them, Moore's is your kind of place.

You may have run into co-owner Christine Moore, a veteran of Campanile's pastry kitchen, at her Little Flower Candy Company, a Pasadena café that is home to both the finest sea-salt caramels on the planet and cinnamon rolls that fall into the category my mom used to call “pie crust cookies.” Her husband, Robert Moore, was in charge of the food at Dodger Stadium.

Moore's Delicatessen occupies the useful ground between traditional deli and gastropub, which means you can still get bagels, a lox scramble, a turkey sandwich or a pastrami on rye with coleslaw, Russian dressing and nippy cheese, but also a decent plate of meatloaf, a bowl of yellow-lentil dal, a Jersey-style hot dog and a proper cheeseburger. There are microbrews on tap as well as Dr. Brown's.

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