Even though I hardly ever agree with “Best of…” round-ups, I must admit that I cannot resist reading each and every one that comes across my radar. What can I say? Lists are fun!
Take for instance the list of America’s 50 Best Donuts that appeared in last month’s Saveur magazine. The authors’ omission of deep-fried paradises Dough in Brooklyn and Frost in Washington state caused me to question the soundness of the research and the overall validity, but I still couldn’t help devouring the entire issue. Twice.
Los Angeles made an excellent showing with a total of four shops making the cut. Joining well-known doughnut powerhouses Stan’s Doughnuts in Westwood Village and The Donut Man in Glendora were Doughnut Hut in Burbank and Earl’s Donuts in Chatsworth. The Astronomer and I hit up both dark horse contenders one Saturday afternoon when family commitments took us to Thousand Oaks. Both shops were on the way, sort of…
Due to its close proximity to home, we swung by Doughnut Hut first. According to the list, the shop’s orange glaze with “bits of zest” was a real treat, as was the “eggy Frenchie” (a.k.a. cruller).
Continue reading ‘Doughnut Hut – Los Angeles (Burbank)’
In this 498.3 square mile metropolis with notoriously bad traffic, meeting a friend for a meal can mean an hour-long commute. When my Valley-dwelling friend Sam and I wanted to meet up for lunch, it made sense to dine somewhere in the middle to save a little time and gas.What city is halfway in between Pasadena and Sherman Oaks? Why Burbank, of course.
Eating out in an area that neither party is familiar with can be a bit of a crapshoot. To avoid a dining disaster, I called upon my sometimes trusty, but oftentimes flaky friendYelp. Since Arde’s Bistro was the number one rated restaurant in Burbank, I figured it would be a good enough spot to hit up.
Mother and daughter duo Arde and Nina opened up Arde’s Bistro in 2000. The restaurant is smallish in size and laid back in attitude. The menu reflects Arde’s previous training as a Greek, Armenian and Lebanese cook, but with a couple of California-inspired additions like wraps and salads thrown in.
We started off our late lunch with an Appetite Teaser Platter ($10.95), which included hummus, baba ghanouge, stuffed grape leaves, a feta turnover, falafel, a small Greek salad and a side of Tahini sauce. Sam’s favorite of the bunch was the flaky and salty feta turnover. I was especially mad about the pleasantly tart stuffed grape leaves, with the smoky baba ghanouge coming in a close second. The falafel were decent, but paled in comparison to the one’sMama made back in Philly. I like my falafel spicy and rustic.
The generous Appetite Teaser Platter was served with warm pita and lavash—a soft, thin flatbread. Both were excellent vehicles for scooping up the hummus and baba ghanouge.
Continue reading ‘Arde’s Bistro – Los Angeles (Burbank)’