The highly quotable buddy comedy “Dude, Where’s My Car?,” about two “No. 1, extra special, very good looking guys” (played by Seann William Scott and Ashton Kutcher) and their quest to remember the details of a wasted night, turns 20 this week. Though not initially a hit with critics or audiences, the lowbrow early-aughts precursor of “The Hangover” has since become something of a cult favorite.
With scenes filmed in California’s Santa Clarita, North Hollywood and Glendale, the most memorable locale is easily Chinese Foooood, the fast-food spot where Kutcher’s Jesse encounters an overzealous drive-thru operator. Filming of the segment took place at 2320 W. Victory Blvd. in Burbank at what was then Steve’s Burgers. No drive-thru was actually located on the premises at the time, but the site has since changed hands and now houses plant-based eatery Blazin’ Burgers ’N Fried Chicken, which — in a case of life imitating art — recently implemented drive-thru service. Sweet!
The 885-square-foot property, built in 1949, was dressed quite a bit for the “Dude” shoot, with the production team adding a roofline with upturned eaves, Chinese Foooood signage and the drive-thru lane, as well as a take-out-carton-shaped speaker box, which Jesse proceeds to destroy. Despite the many embellishments, the restaurant is still very recognizable in person.
It’s also something of a screen regular: An employee is tossed into a dumpster there during a rather contentious car repossession in a 2009 episode of “Operation Repo”; hitman Martin Jones (Miles Teller) tracks down a victim at the eatery in a segment of the Amazon series “Too Old to Die Young”; and the place pops up as hot dog joint World of Weiners, where Preston (Jeffrey Tambor) performs an impressive trick at the beginning of 2020’s “Magic Camp.” Now that’s shibby!