Dining Reviews

Dining Review: Pickles help form a more perfect Union

Dining Review: Pickles help form a more perfect Union

In the past decade, chefs have reached celebrity superstar status. Bruce Kalman has his credentials — winner of "Chopped" Season 15 and head chef at the Churchill. At his new Pasadena restaurant, Union, Kalman is definitely in charge but he seems to have lots of friends helping him, friends...

Dining Out: Save Sunday for Bashan's burgers

Dining Out: Save Sunday for Bashan's burgers

Gourmet burgers are nothing new, but in the hands of Chef Nadav Bashan they're something special. Bashan recently launched a Sunday Gourmet Burger Night at his eponymous bistro on Verdugo Road, and it's been all the rage.

A GLAZA gala for the jet set

A GLAZA gala for the jet set

If there were a Yelp site for fundraisers, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn.'s Beastly Ball would probably rank five stars. The event, a casual nighttime affair taking place in different locations around the Griffith Park zoo, is known in social circles as one of the most enjoyable ways to raise...

Dining Out: Check out these vintage diners

Dining Out: Check out these vintage diners

The 1950s and '60s saw a construction boom in the San Fernando Valley, Burbank in particular. Armed with newly invented building materials and a sleek car culture aesthetic, soldiers returning from war helped construct businesses and restaurants frequented by their growing families. Some of the...

The Asian Project gives diners a few choices

The Asian Project gives diners a few choices

An interesting new fast-casual concept has sprung up in a strip mall in Burbank. The Chipotle motif (based on the Subway motif) is continuing to gain traction in dining culture but mostly with Mexican-style foods. This restaurant, called the Asian Project or TAP for short, uses foods and flavors...

Dining Review: Seasoning Alley is creative on the sides

Dining Review: Seasoning Alley is creative on the sides

Walking into Seasoning Alley is a little like walking into a sunrise. Bright orange and yellow paint coat the walls and prints of big red poppies lift your spirits.

Dining Review: Commonwealth dishes up uncommon delights

Dining Review: Commonwealth dishes up uncommon delights

Forget the fact you have to park in an auto repair shop across a busy stretch of Glenoaks Boulevard. Ignore that this hard-to-find eatery is next to a hectic multipump gas station. Overlook the limitation that it's only open at night. Just get yourself to Commonwealth, an outstanding little...

 Expect fair fare at high-flying Bourbon Steak

Expect fair fare at high-flying Bourbon Steak

It's official. Glendale has arrived. It now has a supper club on par with steakhouses in San Francisco, Miami and Las Vegas. It's no surprise because Michael Mina, head of the Mina Group of restaurants and the force behind Bourbon Steak Los Angeles, has 20 other concept restaurants in cities like...

Cooking up the competition at Gelson's, Ralphs and Whole Foods

Cooking up the competition at Gelson's, Ralphs and Whole Foods

A parking lot lined with red tassels marks the opening of the 18th Gelson's Market location in La Cañada Flintridge. Food chat sites like Chowhound suggest that the shopping experience at Gelson's is somewhere between that at Whole Foods and Ralphs. In an effort to get to know the store...

Dining Review: Room for improvement at Thee Elbow Room

Dining Review: Room for improvement at Thee Elbow Room

New restaurants are popping up, or set to pop up, all along Honolulu Avenue in Montrose. The most recent opening is Thee Elbow Room at the eastern end of town. With a Cordon Blue chef-curated menu of unique sandwiches and salads and a quiet patio to enjoy them in, Thee Elbow Room carves a distinct...

Dining Review: Modern Coffee Commissary fills an old-school niche

Dining Review: Modern Coffee Commissary fills an old-school niche

Back when I worked in television, I was always on the lookout for a place to get a quick breakfast that wasn’t made of sugar and white flour. Those early morning shoots required more substance. If Coffee Commissary had been around, it would’ve been my go-to spot. It’s no...

Dining Out: A French café that is a crêpe above

Dining Out: A French café that is a crêpe above

In the charming village of Sierra Madre, a new French cafe has popped up with an atmosphere as fresh as the food they serve. Monsieur Crêpe is a light-filled space with easy counter service, making it a top choice for local workers, shoppers and residents wanting a place to read the paper or...

Dining Out: Bar Verde proves to be hidden treasure

Dining Out: Bar Verde proves to be hidden treasure

There's a secret spot in the Americana with a wicked hamburger and a mean Mai Tai. You won't find it street side as you wander down shopping lanes. You probably won't see it from the fountain or green. No, this hidden gem is up three escalators, past mannequins bearing high-end children's clothing,...

Dining Review: Rediscovering an old favorite

Dining Review: Rediscovering an old favorite

Have you ever had a favorite restaurant but for one reason or another stopped going there? Such was the case with the Olive Branch in La Crescenta. Perhaps it was the chipping exterior in need of a facelift that kept me away. Or the fact that I go to dozens of kebab places. But when a friend from...

Dining Out: Handy Market serves up delicious barbecue

Dining Out: Handy Market serves up delicious barbecue

No need to wait for summer to enjoy smoky, backyard barbecue. Handy Market, the well-stocked corner store where Magnolia Boulevard meets Buena Vista Street in Burbank, spills out into the parking lot on Saturdays, 'cueing up pounds and pounds of beef, pork, chicken, turkey and sausage for the hungry...

Dining Out: Pizza of Venice has the right perspective

Dining Out: Pizza of Venice has the right perspective

A few exits east of La Cañada Flintridge, in a mini-mall anchored by a security-bar-heavy liquor store, sits a little restaurant with a big heart. Pizza of Venice oozes neighborliness and a spirit of unbridled experimentation. The one long, communal table ensures you'll be making friends...

Dining Review: Far Niente still has that special vibe

Dining Review: Far Niente still has that special vibe

When I was a little kid, my father was an executive with Pan American Airways. I would sometimes get to tag along on his business lunches in Manhattan. I remember linen tablecloths, waiters in neat clothes and a table full of men's hands holding amber-colored liquid in short glasses. I knew it was...

Dining Out: It's worth making a Sunland-Tujunga side trip

Dining Out: It's worth making a Sunland-Tujunga side trip

Even the residents of Sunland-Tujunga would agree the community is not exactly a foodie mecca. Still there are some good reasons to head over to this historical, artsy section of our valley. Sure, there are plenty of smoke shops, body shops and wrought iron fences but who knows? It could become...

Dining Out: Meeting the checklist at the Wooden Fork

Dining Out: Meeting the checklist at the Wooden Fork

I asked my husband recently what he looks for in a lunch place near work and he prioritized his requirements this way:

Dining Out: JC's Cuisine is short on niceties, big on taste and service

Dining Out: JC's Cuisine is short on niceties, big on taste and service

While it's not a hard and fast rule, we generally avoid highlighting chain restaurants in this column, preferring to review independently owned businesses. Mom & Pop restaurants are a little hard to find in Burbank. So I was happy to see a new spot open up that is owned and operated by Chef Juan...

Dining Review: Tip-top service matches the dining at Brand 158

Dining Review: Tip-top service matches the dining at Brand 158

The first thing they tell you when you sit down at Brand 158, the month-old restaurant across from the Americana, is that they don't accept tips.

Holiday hangover cures abound around town

Holiday hangover cures abound around town

In the spirit of the spirits imbibed this season, this column is dedicated to the best hangover cures in our area.

Dining Review: At Frame 128 soup is the ticket before the show

Dining Review: At Frame 128 soup is the ticket before the show

It's ironic that at Frame 128, a restaurant dedicated to luxury, the shining star is the humblest of foods: soup. With the Soup King in charge, how could it be otherwise?

Dining Out: Goodie Girls cupcakes are the surprise of the season

Dining Out: Goodie Girls cupcakes are the surprise of the season

I try to approach restaurants with impartiality but the cold hard truth is I don't like cupcakes. The white sugar, white flour, and unnatural colors turn me off. They're the adult version of Barbie dolls. I prefer my sweets more rustic.

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Columns

Read On: Following a dream is no secret

Read On: Following a dream is no secret

Anyone who believes there isn't much television and film production going on in Glendale simply isn't paying attention. Certainly, ThiaMedia Studios has started to take hold as a permanent fixture...

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