NFT Los Angeles Glendale South

Glendale South

Essentials
Glendale has grown up. Statistically, it's one of the safest cities in the state, if not the nation. Thanks to one of the largest Armenian populations in the world, you can score legit kebabs and baklava along Colorado Boulevard, or just about anywhere you look. Between the Alex Theatre, the Glendale Galleria, and Americana on Brand, it's the all-American, ridiculously overcrowded weekend family getaway. And, at Foxy's Restaurant and the diver bar Big Fish, it flaunts peaceful, limitless diversity.

Sundries/Entertainment
Need a car? Yes; yes, you do. Try the strip of dealerships along the "Brand Boulevard of Cars," and brace yourself for the hard sell. Afterwards, drive north and flaunt your new ride in one of the eclectic parking lots in this hoppin' area.See more.




         



On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Brian La Belle
Photo:  Brian La Belle

Glendale Galleria
I live in downtown Los Angeles which means if I need anything other than a dozen socks with "USA" printed on the top of them I must get in the car and head out of the core. For months I asked neighbors where to shop and was directed towards The Grove or Beverly Center, which would be fine if I was made of money or famous and needed to be seen. Luckily I stumbled upon the Glendale Galleria, a suburban mall in, well, a suburb. The mall is anchored by Target, Macy's, Nordstrom and JC Penny and includes numerous major retailing chains, along with a few high end stores. Unlike every other mall in LA the Galleria doesn't charge for parking. The food court is adequate and I'm still confused by the pictures helping me to remember where I parked (I'm pretty sure I parked in the chili pepper section, row 6 recently). Of course they just built The Americana next door so if you need something expensive or want to strut around a mall in club clothes you don't have to go far. Otherwise everything you need can be had at the Glendale Galleria.



Posted By:  Emerson Dameron
Photo:  Emerson Dameron

Glendale Car Wash
I'm passionate about free parking. Some of my fellow tenants pay a monthly fee to stash their cars under our building, but I prefer to leave my piece-of-shit Kia a few blocks away, on a street where the "two-hour parking" rule is consistently uninforced. Under low-hanging tree branches. Factor in the world-famous air pollution and general LA filth, and, every couple of months, some punk writes "PLEASE WASH ME" in the grime that covers the rear windshield. (Probably the same kid that keyed the door. Bastards.) I'll usually pump some change into a self-service car wash (actually, I'll usually wait for the thrice-annual rainshowers), but when it's really dirty (and the interior is host to more dust and dead leaves than I can ignore), I'll splurge on a tunnel wash. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Glendale Car Wash cleans cars, inside and out, for nine bones. (More serious packages, with hand-waxes and such, run toward three figures.) Thrown in gratis, I get happy memories of watching my parents' Chevette journey through the Forest of the Spinning Brushes on a hot summer day. The basic wash usually takes about fifteen to twenty, although some of the older employees might take longer. Once, when I stupidly locked my keys in the car, they very patiently helped me slim-jim my way in. They'll also change the oil, which really is a good idea every 3,000 miles or so.



Posted By:  Emerson Dameron
Photo:  Emerson Dameron

Sizzling Dollar Store
Never underestimate your local dollar store. This place made my Halloween. As always, I put off picking out a costume, figuring I could pull something out of my closet. The best I could do was one of the world's only long-sleeved Hawaiian shirts. So I was all set to go as long-sleeved Hawaiian-shirt dude ('cause, you know, that's kind of weird, right?) when I popped into Sizzling $1. Emerging $5 poorer, with a plastic chain, a pair of mirrorshades and three sleeveless "wife-beater" undershirts, I became "porno director." (I could've shot one with about six Sarah Palins, but I think Larry Flynt already did something like that.) Sizzling $1 specializes in cheap-shit party wares. It won't get you everything you want. (There's an entire shelf of saucepans, with nary a kettle in stock.) But if you invest $1.59 in a hacksaw, you can get a lot of free bicycles.



Posted By:  Susan Milam
Photo:  Susan Milam

Forest Lawn Memorial Park
Yes, that Forest Lawn. Knowing that a lot of dead celebs make their homes at FL, I kind of thought it would have a celebrity slant to it or at least be about famous buried people but no, Forest Lawn Museum has had some really interesting small temporary exhibits as well as a permanent collection which defies categorization. Be aware if you walk up from the main parking lot, it will feel as though you are on the Stairway to Heaven 'cause it's a long winding uphill trek. The first time I made the hike to view The Art of Silkscreen: WPA Posters 1935-1943, I was blown away by the quality of the pieces exhibited, the manner in which they were exhibited and the care with which the narrative had been laid out. A few weeks ago I made the hike again to look at In Search of Tiki. Who knew there was an original surge of interest in Tiki (apart from a few bars I could name), much less a resurgence? Exhibits this ecumenical will keep me coming back/have me wondering a little about what they're doing in all those exhibition selection meetings.




Posted By:  Emerson Dameron
Photo:  Emerson Dameron

Foxy's Restaurant
You're not a tourist. You're moving in, just. You looked at a few places in Echo Park, Boyle Heights and "near USC," and you picked a place in Glendale, because you found it nice and peaceful and you feared for your shitty car stereo. Now, you need to find your way around. You need to find at least one thing to do in your weird little neighborhood. But first, you need a damn good cup of coffee and something involving eggs. I humbly recommend Foxy's, the first place your reporter got food as a CA resident and the ideal introduction to the Twin Peaks, Magritte-vs-Rockwell absurdity of Glendale. The menu ain't expensive (not LA-expensive, okay?), but it is expansive, covering Southwestern taquerias, New England crab-fisheries and the nationwide Sunday-morning hangover. The walleyed rock-star owner always gives you "the best seat in the house." If you're a smoker, that's on the patio, where you can puff away for days, pampered by sexy, tip-thirsty staff. Me, I quit the coffin-tacks a while ago, but I never shunned anyone with an oral fixation. How do you like it so far?




Posted By:  Susan Milam
Photo:  Susan Milam

C&C Internet Cafe
Open 24 hours. Oops, no. Despite what it says on its food and services menu, the hours listed on the front door say 9 am-1:30 am and the person who answers the phone says 9 am- 2 am; either way you cut it that's 17 hours. Which is a shame because the price, service and atmosphere at C&C certainly outrank those of the only other place I know for 24 hour Internet access in Glendale: the FedEx/Kinko's down the street (or has FedEx now officially killed off Kinko's)? The atmosphere inside is dark and quiet, there's good food and many of the computers are ramped for game play. Meeting rooms are available. The best thing though is that you can pay with cash. Unfortunately, you're still stuck with the noise, fluorescent lights and credit card funding at FedEx down the street from two till nine. Also, for a company that should be on the cutting edge (or at least on the dull butter knife edge) of technology, they don't even have a working website.





Posted By:  Noah Albert
Photo:  Noah Albert

The Americana at Brand
So many (powerful) feelings poured through me as I strolled across Caruso's new consumer extravaganza in Glendale: The Americana. Nostalgia and comfort were there, based on how much this place resembles my old haunt, the Grove. Mystery(!) arose too, when I saw the cops talking to the suits near the Tiffany outlet (word is Tiffany's now hawks silver to the masses). Of course I was disappointed as well: no mosaics in the sidewalks? No terrazzo? Mostly, I was overcome by a quiet intimacy with capitalism, a deep submersion into consumerism. Here is a mediated public space to behold. Remember to behave--they can always kick you out if they want. Behave and preferably spend a lot too. There is always the perennial street car going nowhere to hop onto too.



Posted By:  Susan Milam
Photo:  Susan Milam

Notte Luna
Notte Luna used to advertise by placing a sandwich board with a picture of Bill Clinton playing the saxophone out on the sidewalk next to the brick paved portion of Maryland across from the Mann Movie Theatre but I haven't seen it out there for a long time; so you're going to have to search for this place. Every once in a while if I haven't been there for a few months I cut through the alley just to make sure it's still there and thankfully it is. I've had some meals out on the patio underneath the roll up tarp but for my taste the best seat in the house is at the bar (but then I'm a big fan of eating at the bar--you can meet some really interesting folks doing that or take a book and ignore everyone). Just like Fortune Inn around the corner this is also great place to call ahead and pick something up on the way home. Try the bruschetta and the Caprese (you know the big slabs of mozzarella with the sliced heirloom tomatoes); if you already have a bottle of wine at home, you'll get away for about twenty bucks.



Posted By:  Susan Milam
Photo:  Susan Milam

Fortune Inn
The only menu I can empirically call "authentic" is one which includes green beans made with bacon grease and white onions and ends with sweet potato pie so I have no idea if the Chinese cuisine at Fortune Inn is authentically Chinese or not. I can recognize friendly service and good food at reasonable prices and those things Fortune Inn has in abundance. Try visiting late afternoon before all the tables are full or call ahead and pick up your order on the way home. The tofu spinach soup is so good I can actually get men to eat it and not lament that it's made out of tofu. That little dollop of white chocolate they add to the fortune cookies turns them from just a fun way to end a Chinese meal into an actual dessert. Don't forget to add "in bed" to the end of every fortune which for some reason turns even the most mundane little slip of curled up paper into hilarity--or maybe that's the alcohol.



Posted By:  Susan Milam
Photo:  Susan Milam

Dolci Mango
I've never quite understood the Pinkberry concept--frozen yogurt with fruit on top equals wait in line for fifteen minutes and spend most of a ten spot? Plus, it's not something that you can easily patent. I mean it's frozen yogurt with fruit on it. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that hundreds of frozen yogurt shops have sprung up all over LA. On about two blocks of Brand Boulevard in Glendale there are three such shops. Dolci Mango, however, has added something to the concept that really appeals to me: pay by weight. It's self-serve, take as much or as little as you want, then add fruit and toppings yourself. Some days I get away for under two bucks. The idea must be working--this store used to be a standard yogurt shop but changed over to self serve soon after its sister store in Montrose made the move. On Friday nights in Montrose the lines can outdo Pinkberry. Still, I don't mind standing in line for frozen yogurt with fruit on it when I can walk away with the better part of a five dollar bill still in my hand.



Posted By:  Susan Milam
Photo:  Susan Milam

Brand Bookshop
Not to say that it doesn't happen but I have yet to walk into this used bookstore and find the staff on cell phones having personal conversations or drinking coffee from paper cups while customers meander the aisles searching in vain for a Bill Bryson book or the latest Alexander McCall Smith. Not only that but the staff also knows where the books are (even the really esoteric titles) and there are a lot of books here to know--a large, varied and well-organized lot of books. About twice a year they have a 30% off and no sales tax sale (sign up to get a notification card) and the knowledgeable owner will give you the best prices going for your used volumes. Throw in the a sizeable collection of vinyl and it's no wonder that Brand Bookshop is one of the best and most well thought of used book shops in the area.



Posted By:  Susan Milam
Photo:  Susan Milam

Left Coast Wine Bar
It's not cheap. My favorite lambic ale sets me back more than $12.00 before the tip but if a European football game is being played it will be on the set over the bar and the owner is always willing to discuss the ongoing game (or how Liverpool either played brilliantly or got screwed in its last game). Upstairs there's a piano as well as art displays. Every night except Wednesday and Thursday there's some sort of entertainment: live jazz, a singer, Sunday is open mic night, wine tastings on Friday. Stop by midday for a lunch. If having the Americana across the street brings this place the added traffic it deserves then I guess I have to stop griping about it. On second thought, no, I don't.



Posted By:  Susan Milam
Photo:  Susan Milam

Barnes & Noble
Even though you can still hear the blaring show tunes and Rat Pack music that are trademarks of Caruso shopping malls, sitting on the third floor outdoor balcony of the Barnes & Noble at Glendale's Americana ain't half bad. This rousing endorsement is particularly true if you get there right after the store opens every morning at nine (I'm not suggesting that you get there every morning at nine, that's just when it opens). The store is so big you could probably live there for a couple of months without being discovered. There's a Starbucks on the third floor if overpriced beverages and foreign names for small, medium and large suit your taste. Oh yeah, there are books, too, a whole bunch of them.



Posted By:  Emerson Dameron
Photo:  Emerson Dameron

Eat Well
Hidden on the "Brand Boulevard of Cars," Glendale's Eat Well is free of the hipster meat-market madness that characterizes any weekend brunch in Silverlake, free to be a straight-up diner (as opposed to the Silverlake Eat Well, which feels like a diner-themed diner) with counter seating, crinkle-cut fries, and a distinctively Californian cultural hodgepodge. It's not a place you go, it's a place you end up, albeit with little regret. It lacks the pyramid-scheming power-lunchers (conventioneers, probably) that populate most G'Dale eateries--the clientele represents a mix of extended families, tattooed laborers and glacial retirees, paying their checks to a teenager with spiked hair and a Reefer Madness t-shirt. Veggie options are plentiful and colorfully marked on the menu. The ingredients are nothing special (order more complicated dishes and risk disappointment). The coffee keeps coming.



Posted By:  Emerson Dameron
Photo:  Emerson Dameron

Porto's Bakery & Café
It's a restaurant. It's a bakery. It's a little agora, with morning and noon crowds that can make it as overwhelming as the freeways, or even an East Coast mass transit system. It gets packed! Few lunch spots draw the sort of praise and patronage that G'Dale's Porto's does, and the support is well placed--the Cuban specialties are unique and habit-forming (and not just for the significant helping of salt), and the lines move much more quickly than one might imagine, hustling through customers with systematic precision. The "cake side," with the large dessert bar, usually moves at a much faster clip, and can provide the same cheap, distinctive, filling lunch. Instead of potato chips or fries, you get "mariquitas," crispy plantain chips with a side of Cuban garlic sauce. Show up with friends, so someone can scout a table while someone else orders--you don't want to stand there with potato balls rolling around your plate and nowhere to sit. There's also a less intense Burbank location.



Posted By:  Emerson Dameron
Photo:  Emerson Dameron

Big Fish
One bartender answers to “Cheeser” and makes mixers that could peel paint. The other bartender (or is he a regular who sometimes staggers behind the bar by accident?) has the bar’s address on his driver’s license. There are plastic fish on the walls, and there’s a dartboard next to the door. Welcome to the Valley’s most unapologetic dive. The regulars take frequent nic breaks. They often scream at each other, and at newcomers. But, in the manner that old-man dives can be friendly, the Fish is extraordinarily so. It might bust your chops or make an indiscreet comment about your ass, but the Fish accepts you. Tuesday’s underground comedy showcase provides a convenient Big Fish on-ramp for Silverlake young’uns, and it’s the perfect place to watch a comedian’s inner character emerge--most bomb gloriously, and even the sharpest endure hardline heckling from the staff. Be warned: The bar’s location in heavily patrolled Glendale makes it a dangerous place from which to plot a DUI, and it’s an easy place to get pixilated.



Posted By:  Bon Vivant
Photo:  Bon Vivant

Red Carpet Wines & Spirits
Located in the terribly un-chic area of north Glendale, Red Carpet Wine is one of my favorite places for wine tasting. A couple of nights a week you can stop at the wine bar and pick and choose. There are usually three flights offered, the cheapest being around $12, the most expensive well over $70, and then something in between. If you don’t feel like a full flight, each wine is offered as a pour (this really works out if you are low on funds since you can nurse a pour for as little as $2). What I really like about this place, other than the selection of great wines, is its neighborhood feel: people show up after work to appreciate the oenological finery. Not so into wine? Don’t despair. Check out their beer tastings and extensive hard liquor selection.



Posted By:  Noah Albert
Photo:  Noah Albert

Griffith Park
In the mid '60s the Griffith Park Zoo was moved from its older site to the current location. This created the problem of what to do with the old cages and enclosures, most of which had been built in the 1930s by Works Progress Administration and County Relief crews. The obvious answer was to install some BBQ pits and call it a picnic area. Well, that’s exactly what happened. The grottoes make an excellent place to enjoy some hamburgers and hot dogs. Further up the hill from the picnic area are deserted cages and buildings. It makes for a spooky scene and a very pleasant stroll. Continue past the old cages and you can gain access to the numerous trails that traverse this huge park. The Old Zoo Picnic area is located inside of Griffith Park off of Griffith Park Drive, very close to the intersection with Crystal Springs Drive. This is towards the eastern Side of the Park. . . nearby landmarks are (to the east of the old zoo) Shane's Inspiration Playground and (to the south-east of the old zoo) the Merry-Go-Round.



Posted By:  Edoardo Ballerini
Photo:  Suzanne Cope

Yes, it’s a cemetery, but it’s also one of the most beautiful parks in Los Angeles. There are a few branches of Forest Lawn Park in the area, but the one at the edge of Los Angeles Avenue and Glendale Avenue is spec-tacular. With its architecture, style, and landscaping, you’ll swear you’re in Europe. And it’s so big that you can’t see the city unless you go to the top. There is also a museum and a visitor’s center, but the star of the show is the park itself. It’s definitely worth a Saturday afternoon getaway from tinsletown.



Posted By:  Ellen Flaherty
Photo:  Ellen Flaherty

Sure, you all know this park—but do you use all 4,107 acres of it? The Central Park of LA, this underappreciated, beautiful and serene park was developed from land donated by Col. Grif•th J. Grif•th in 1896. Griffith Park offers some of the best butt-burning hiking in the area, as well as a view of both the Paci•c Ocean and the San Fernando Valley. Climb (for free) to one of the lower landings and eat your picnic lunch while looking across the city and, on a clear day, out to the ocean. Hike a little higher to get as close as humanly possible to the Hollywood sign. On a recent trip, I saw a coyote, several snakes, and tons of little reptilian critters—so stay alert and wear suitable attire. Expensive hik-ing boots are an unnecessary purchase, but be sure to wear adequate tennis shoes/sneakers with a little bit of grip, as the terrain becomes slightly steep at times and the dirt on the trails can be loose, depending on recent weather conditions.




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