For those who are totally turkey-, cranberry sauce-, and stuffing‘ed out, meet Adana, a J-Gold recommended spot in an unlikely corner of Glendale. Sarah and I stopped in for lunch a few weeks back and ate our weight in superb Middle Eastern cooking.
Every meal at Adana begins with a basket of pita bread and pita chips. Both are addictive, especially when the hummus hits the table.
Lunch started with a fattoush salad ($9.99), a bed of verdolagas (also known as purslane) adorned with tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, herbs, feta cheese, and pita chips dressed with lemon and oil. Sarah liked this plate o’ greens very much.
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Glitz. Glam. Glendale! Can you dig it?
I made my way to The Americana at Brand last week, the epicenter of Glendale’s aforementioned glitz and glam, for a very special dinner celebrating Chef Michael Mina’s newly opened Bourbon Steak and the upcoming Vegas Uncork’d. Both merited plenty of wine and red meat.
This is Chef Mina’s 18th restaurant and the 5th Bourbon Steak; there are additional locations in Scottsdale, Washington D.C., Miami, and San Francisco. The space feels incredibly swanky with an impressive patisserie up front, plush leather seating throughout, and a grand piano by the bar.
The evening’s menu featured a diverse selection of dishes highlighting Bourbon Steak’s contemporary approach to classic American fare. There was plenty of meat and seafood, of course, but also very thoughtful and interesting starters and sides. [See full menu here].
Back when Chef Mina’s XIV was alive and kickin’ on the Sunset Strip, these duck fat fries were a happy hour mainstay. Fried crisp-golden, the shoestrings were served with house-made ketchup, barbecue sauce, and truffle aioli.
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Every meal at Raffi’s Place begins with sabzi, or “something green”—sprigs of basil, chopped parsley and white onions, and whole radishes served on a plate, along with pats of butter and a basket of unleavened lavash. When pulled together, these aromatics and herbs make for a uniquely Persian appetizer.
The sabzi to start, as well as the bougainvillea-shaded dining room, have been a part of the Raffi’s experience since 1993, when Rafik Bakijan and his wife, Gohar, opened the restaurant to share treasured family recipes with Los Angeles’ burgeoning Middle Eastern community.
For an appetizer, The Astronomer and I shared an order of tadig, a prized crispy rice crust, served with ghormesabzi (stewed greens with beef, kidney beans, and dehydrated limes) and gheimeh bademjan (stewed split peas and eggplant). The rice was a textural powerhouse, while the duo of stews were soulful and hearty.
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A few of my favorite gal pals and I are packing our bags and flying to Portland for a weekend of serious face stuffage next month. To plan and plot our ambitious dining itinerary, we recently powwowed over a most homey and comforting Greek-Armenian dinner at Elena’s. This trip is going to be epic.
Hourie grew up in the neighborhood and has been dining at this three-decade-old restaurant for as long as she can remember. According to a 1997 Times write up about the place, “Elena Tchentchenian is the woman responsible for the cultural mixing. She was born in Greece but reared in Armenia, which accounts for the Armenian touches.”
Every meal at Elena’s begins with a basket of warm flatbread accompanied by the most addictive garlic “sauce” ever. Rumor has it that the sauce gets its body from mashed potatoes!
When I arrived at the restaurant, Lien and Hourie were already diggin’ into a sumptuous mezze spread. There were pretty pink pickles that make my mouth-water just thinking about them…
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