Thursday, January 29, 2009

Porto's and Sarkis Make LA Magazine's Top Bakery List

Last month, Los Angeles Magazine named Glendale's Palate the best new restaurant in greater Los Angeles. This month, they've named L.A.'s top 20 bakeries, and two Glendale favorites are on the list:
Sarkis Pastry

Glendale's first Armenian pastry shop, which opened in 1983, sells baklava in every guise: bourma with glistening whole pistachios, shredded kataifi filled with walnuts, finger baklava rolled around ground cashews. The display cases span the Middle East with zulubia (squiggles of deep-fried dough) and yards of cookies; walnut-stuffed nazuk, macaroons, tahini. Less-mainstream specialties include a transporting ashet-sarayan, a layered bread pudding lined with the rosewater-scented pastry cream called ashta and smothered with crushed pistachios, and halawet el jibn, pinwheels of sweet cheese and ashta drizzled with syrup.

1111. S Glendale Ave, Glendale, 818-956-6636

Porto's Bakery

Guava has yet to make inroads in American cuisine (although the trees grow well in L.A.), but its jam is elemental in Latin American pastries. Porto's, the 38-year old family owned Cuban restaurant and bakery, showcases the fruit in crescent-shaped empanadas, sugar sprinkled turnovers, and high touted pies. The postres deserve all the message board praise they receive, but they aren't the only sirens here. We're suckers for the elephant ears, their myriad layers pressed into a sweet, crunchy substantiveness, and for the luminous coquitos en almibar - Ping-Pong balls of coconut paste encased in a golden candied shell. The shortbread kisses, filled with dulce de leche, melt on impact.

315 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, 818-956-5996
My new favorite item at Porto's is the apple strudel. It concentrates all that is good and pure about every slice of homemade apple pie you've ever eaten into four transcendent, buttery bites.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The LA Times Has No Idea Where Glendale Is

Two articles in Sunday's LA Times Business section misidentified locations as being in Glendale.  The first error is in "Man, What A Bargain", about finding quality men's clothes in thrift stores:
But I recently scored that herringbone Brooks Brothers suit for $12.95 at the Goodwill on Fairfax, and a J. Press chalk pinstripe for $29.95 at Out of the Closet in Glendale. If I didn't admit these facts in print, none would be the wiser.
Of course, Glendale doesn't have an Out of the Closet location - the author is presumably referring to the Glendale BOULEVARD Out of the Closet in Atwater Village, which is in Los Angeles.

The second error is in David Lazarus's column about having his credit cards and identity fraudulently used after his wallet was stolen from his gym locker.
The thief then jumped into his car and high-tailed it to Glendale, where, shortly after 2:30 p.m., he used my American Express card for a $1,350.80 purchase at Best Buy.

Tim Fisher, Best Buy's director of loss prevention, said the thief bought an Apple laptop. He said security tapes showed a tall, white man who was "large in frame, athletic in nature."

The thief next drove to a Toys R Us in Glendale, where this time he used my Bank of America debit card to buy $497.98 worth of stuff. Then, with considerable moxie, he returned to the same Best Buy where he'd been a half-hour earlier and used my Chase card to buy a Canon digital camera for $1,298.97.
There isn't a Best Buy or Toys R Us within Glendale city limits.  Again, The Times is referring to Atwater Village, which is clearly in Los Angeles.  As much as I'd love for Glendale to annex Atwater Village, it hasn't happened yet!

The Times is currently working on a project to quantify the boundaries of every single neighborhood in the region - maybe they'll take a look at a map of Glendale next.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Letters To The Glendale News-Press Getting Dumber

An easy meter is worth the dime

What an idiotic, stupid idea, the new parking meters on Brand Boulevard (“Frenzied feeding of meters,” Dec. 6). I asked a young man to help me.

He could not figure it out, then said, “Do your shopping in Burbank, like I do. They have the coin-operated meters.”

Why weren’t the regular coin meters installed? Everyone knows how to drop a coin.


I could rant about the letters published in Glendale News-Press for a long time, but let's just take a look at this one. The premise of this letter is that someone is apparently competent to drive a 4,000 pound automobile from Glendale to Burbank but is completely baffled by the parking meters on Brand Boulevard. Really?

Free Lunchtime Concert This Wednesday, January 21st

Another free Glendale Noon Concert is coming up this Wednesday. Highly recommended:
Wednesday January 21, 2009 12:10-12:40 pm
Ruth Kasckow and Mark Frankel , flute duo
perform Telemann, Kuhlau and "Lovebirds" by Gary Schocker

Light lunch created by Angela's Bistro
available for $6 after the concert.
First Baptist Church of Glendale
209 N. Louise St. (at Wilson)
Glendale 91206
323 242 2113

What's Going On With Dolci Mango and Twinkles?

Are the major combatants in the mid-Brand froyo wars dead? Dolci Mango and Twinkles both "took a break for the holidays", but are still closed well after their supposed reopening dates. Here are the signs in their windows as of January 19th.

Between the two, I'm partial to Dolci Mango - better fruit. Twinkles is (was?) more candy bar oriented.

Poorly Timed FourOneSix Condo Project To Become Apartments

The giant FourOneSix development on Broadway has been sold to a new company and will now be apartments instead of condos. It's also now called "416 On Broadway". The leasing office on Brand has been closed for months and has this sign in the window.

From the News-Press:
Intracorp pushed back its planned October opening of the project at 416 E. Broadway to January, beset by a distressed economy and a soaring number of city inspections.

The sprawling mixed-use complex between Jackson and Kenwood streets in downtown Glendale includes 9,463 square feet of retail space and more than 100,000 square feet allotted for residential units. It was slated to be finished by the middle of 2008, but due to an increasing number of inspections and slower-than-expected condominium sales, the project was delayed.

Before Intracorp transferred ownership to Alliance on Jan. 6, the Long Beach company sold less than 15% of its units. Alliance officials said they plan to open units to residents by March 4, while deposits for those who purchased condos were returned.

Volunteers Begin Work on Community Garden Site

Work proceeds on the Monterey Road Community Garden. From the Coalition For A Green Glendale site:
Equipped with metal rakes and shovels, volunteers diligently began leveling the grounds in preparation of the mulch to be delivered this week. The fine grading process is in fact quite arduous. It involves removing large rocks, hauling soil, and cleaning up debris. What’s more, on Sunday we discovered a labyrinth of stubborn roots underground. Yet persistence paid off and we successfully removed them all.
And in the News-Press:
Tree People of Los Angeles is scheduled to drop off 65 fruit trees Jan. 25 in what will be the first major “greening” of the lot since the City Council voted 4 to 1 in December to approve the land deal that allowed the garden to move forward.


Organizers said they intend to plant only 30 of the 65-tree donation, and so will give away the remainder to the public next weekend.

After the trees will come the city-installed irrigation infrastructure, soil tilling and compost, a tool shed, benches, bike rack and other accessories, and then the fence. When all is said and done, the site will be able to accommodate 20 planting plots, for which 25 people have already been approved to garden, coalition co-founder Alek Bartrosouf said.

Very exciting. The initial batch of 25 participants were chosen based on their proximity to the garden to avoid generating car trips.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Downtown Glendale Circuit City To Close

Circuit City is likely to shut down and liquidate all of its remaining stores by this March, which would of course include the location at Maryland and Broadway.

From CNN Money:
In a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Circuit City - the No. 2 electronics retailer after Best Buy (BBY, Fortune 500) - said it had reached an agreement with four companies to start the liquidation process.

The company said the sale would begin Saturday and run until March 31, pending court approval.

The retailer's Web site and call center will cease to operate after Jan. 18.

Circuit City said employees will receive 60 days notice of the termination.

Employees who are laid off earlier will get pay and benefits for the 60-day period beginning Friday, the retailer said.

Those who remain with the company to assist with the liquidation, will receive pay and benefits.

Circuit City also operates about 765 retail stores and dealer outlets in Canada. The company said its Canadian operations, which employ 3,000 workers, will continue to operate.

The company said it will redeem its gift cards through the liquidation sale, but the cards will have no value once the stores are closed.
Downtown Glendale has been exceptionally hard hit by retail chains going out of business: Tower Records, then CompUSA, Linens & Things, and Mervyn's.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Peek Into The Fevered Minds Of My Accidental Readership...

Here is a small selection of the search keywords that have led visitors to this blog recently:
animal style fries
strip club glendale
"i opened the car door into traffic"
"mildred pierce" glendale location
rick caruso mistress
blog glendale armenians
best pancakes in glendale
blog primitive archer
breyers cookie dough no cookie dough
city of glendale large x-mas tree
does toonerville beef it with 18 street
girls girls girls stripclub in glendale sanfernando
glendale girls nude
how many suicides at shooting ranges
is chevy chase blvd named for actor
is the americana in glendale closing down?
live nude strip club atwater
marshmallow pizza
nude girls sledding
porto secret tip
shia leboeuf live in glendale
hiking old zoo griffith park
fairmount extension project glendale what is doing
rick caruso - italian or armenian
Fellow bloggers- what are the most interesting items you've found in your search logs recently? Please share.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Where's Liz?*

Where in Glendale is Elizabeth Taylor (and her crazy sweater)? Submit your answers in the comments.

*An anonymous commenter posted the correct answer: La Cabanita! La Cabanita has many photos of celebrities with their mouths full, as well as some impressively affectionate photos of Rene Russo with the staff. (And the food is good, too!)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Hollywood Collectibles Sale This Saturday, January 10th

Local prop house History For Hire is hosting a Hollywood memorabilia and collectibles sale in their North Hollywood parking lot. Here's the flyer I received regarding the sale.

Saturday, January 10th
7149 Fair Avenue, North Hollywood 91605

Quite an interesting selection of items -coffins, mason jars, light saber handles, plants, Aloha shirts...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rose Parade Float On Display At The Alex

The City of Glendale's Rose Parade float is currently on display in front of the Alex Theater. Here are some photos:

Staples Opening In Former Salvation Army Space

Staples will soon be opening a store in the former Salvation Army/Woolworth's building at the NW corner of Wilson and Brand. Not quite as glamorous as the "upscale restaurant" the landlord was hoping for, and I'm not sure if the existing larger Staples at the Glendale Fashion Center will remain open.

Free Lunchtime Mozart Concert This Wednesday, January 7th

Another excellent free lunchtime classical concert is coming up this Wednesday, January 7th.
Free Admission Glendale Noon Concert
Wednesday January 7, 2009 12:10-12:40 pm
Relax during your lunch hour with live music.

The Bright Light Chamber Players
performs an all Mozart program
featuring the Oboe Quartet.

Light lunch created by Angela's Bistro
available for $6 after the concert.
First Baptist Church of Glendale
209 N. Louise St. (at Wilson)
Glendale 91206
323 242 2113
Show your support for the arts in downtown Glendale by coming to the show!

Chuy's Bites the Dust

Chuy's, one of the largest restaurant tenants in the beleagured Exchange complex, has closed.

I've been tracking the depopulation of The Exchange closely, but I had no idea Chuy's was going under until I saw this chalk outline on the ground at the entrance at Maryland and Wilson:

1 More Mexican Minute"

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ben Franklin Bench Spotted Intact In Santa Barbara

I've posted previously about the incredibly sad Ben Franklin bench at the Exchange, which has been largely stripped for scrap metal. While in Santa Barbara this weekend, I came across a pristine duplicate Benjamin Franklin bench. Behold the glory of the Ben Franklin bench with birds, cane, and Constitution intact!
Santa Barbara:


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Some Say...That Atwater Village Gets My License Plate

This note was left on my car on New Year's Day in Atwater Village. Two years ago I registered a ridiculous vanity plate referring to a brilliant British TV car show called Top Gear that very few people in America have ever heard of. At long last, someone in America has gotten the reference!

The Stig (Wikipedia)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2009. At a New Year's party tonight I hung out for a bit with Jeff Voris. Who's Jeff Voris?

Here's a hilarious clip of Jeff putting the smackdown on Eric Spillman on live TV while waiting in line for an iPhone in Burbank...