Chili with a side of brotherly love
David Brothers Chili Parlor, open weekdays, offers a compact menu.
The cornbread bowl house chili at the David Brothers Chili Parlor (owned by Judd, left, and Eric, right) is made with slow-cooked tri-tip steak, red peppers, onions, kidney beans and cilantro, stewed with fresh tomatoes and spices, at the restaurant on the 1100 block of East Chevy Chase in Glendale, on Wednesday, January 22, 2014. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / January 25, 2014)
In the back, per a big sign that reads, simply “Laundry,” is a coin-operated laundromat. At the front, for more than two years now, there's made-from-scratch chili courtesy of the David Brothers Chili Parlor.
Eric David, 37, and Judd David, 33, grew up in Long Island with another brother, Yoni. While their younger sibling remains on the East Coast pursuing a music career, the two older David brothers commute daily from Venice and Mar Vista, respectively, to tend to their growing business.
The students at nearby Muir Elementary may be a little young to opt for slow-cooked tri-tip steak, red peppers, kidney beans, cilantro and other ingredients in a corn bread bowl. But the pair say a steady stream of adult clientele have been helping them make an 11 a.m to 3:30 p.m. weekday go of it.
The brothers have gradually widened their net of parlor regulars partly through their work as musicians. Eric, Judd and two others — under the same name, The David Brothers — perform all around town, including in Silver Lake and the Arts District downtown.
And the folk music quartet's most recent album, “Smells like America,” befits a couple of culinary jammers.
The menu at this Chili Parlor is simple. There's House Chili ($8.50), Veggie Chili ($8) and a small choice of drinks. For a fully loaded chili experience, the brothers recommend all four 25-cent toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, diced onions and jalapeno peppers.
Though they say the freshly-made corn bread bowl is what made their name in the neighborhood, they offer a non-edible bowl option and muffins or chips on the side.
The restaurant business runs in the David family. Their father still operates, in Long Island, a less spicy joint by the name of Miller Place Bagels.
The brothers’ Chili Parlor opened in the fall of 2011 at the site of a former pizza joint. They looked at a lot of different spaces before settling on the south Glendale location.
“When we decided to open a restaurant, it was an interesting time,” recalled Eric David. “Around then, there were a lot of spaces available for rent. We spent a lot of time looking, but this place just felt right.”
The seating capacity is small. There's no room inside to eat, only a couple of picnic tables facing Acacia with folk-like music playing on an overhead speaker.
If all goes well, the brothers said, there might soon be a second location or, even better, a companion food truck. The latter expansion route seems like a natural, logical way to go, they said, given the hearty, simple menu.
The only sad tale the brother can relate about the shop is that their favorite regular customer, Sam, an older gentleman and musician, moved to northern California to be with his daughter as well as be closer to a day job organizing local rodeos.
“He was great,” Eric David recalled. “He was sort of our champion, our big cheerleader in the beginning.”
Although the Chili Parlor did experiment initially with being open on weekends, it just wasn't busy enough.
“Our chili is all fresh tomatoes, stewed down,” said Judd David. “No cans. It's all good stuff, and the beef is grass-fed beef.”
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