There was a time in history when Glendale was nothing more than a big patch of strawberries. Later it was home to the affluent Brand and Verdugo families. Later still it was known as a “bedroom” community, meaning the homeowners lived here and worked in the big city. Now it is a bustling big city of its own. A diverse population leads to an amazing array of things to do no matter your economic standing or whether you are looking for time with the family or a date night for two. Nestled in the center of the 134, the 2, the 210 and the 5 freeways, it is easily accessible from all areas of Greater Los Angeles.
What started back in 1993 as a small sandwich shop has flourished in almost 20 years to a wonderful gourmet restaurant reminiscent of the Armenian culture of Glendale. From traditional Luleh Kabob to a more modern Salmon Kabob all entrees are served with their fragrant Basmati Rice and grilled tomatoes. The intimate atmosphere is perfect for a date night with your spouse.
A mainstay in Glendale since 1937. The Polynesian décor may seem cheesy at first, but it is indeed a part of the ambiance of the restaurant, I can’t imagine Damon’s without it. Along that same line is the infamous Mai Tai created by bartender Moe Elliott back in 1956.
It began as a 300 square foot bakery on Sunset in Echo Park and has become a 20,000 square foot, full fledged cafe with world famous Potato Balls™ and Cheese Rolls™. Don’t be put off by the line that forms down the street, Rosa Porto’s Cuban cakes and pastries are totally worth the wait.
There are over 75 shops at the Americana not counting the restaurants and Movie Theater. But it isn’t your average mall. It is an outdoor shopping experience complete with a grassy area a small park for the kids and a relaxing fountain to give you the feeling of being out of the rush and bumble of life.
Want to feel like you’ve stepped back to 1923, stroll around Kenneth Village for a while. Yes the shops are updated boutiques and such but the feel of the neighborhood, the nodding of a hello from a passerby will make you feel as if you have entered another realm.
Straight from the runways of Paris come Madlen’s couture fashions. Designers include Didier Parakian, Lauren Vidal and Double Jeu among others. Tucked away on Central avenue steps away from both the Galleria and the Americana, Madlen’s is a one of a kind boutique.
During the first couple of seasons of American Idol, when contestants were told they were going to “Hollywood” they actually went to Glendale, to the Alex. When the iconic Disney El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood underwent renovations and Disney needed a place to premier Mulan they chose the Alex. Catch a performance of the Glendale Youth Orchestra or the Los Angeles Ballet or one of the many stage performances and classic movie showings.
By day it looks like a rundown dive bar but by night……well it still looks like a dive but it is anything but run down. They don’t need a website; word of mouth keeps them busy. With Karaoke every Wednesday and Friday the atmosphere is always lively but not loud. You can still chat with the bartender and try to pick up a date with the special someone eyeing you from the end of the bar.
When is the last time you roller skated? Inline and 4 wheels welcomed! You can skate to a live DJ or be lucky enough to skate on a Tuesday night to the live organ music played by acclaimed organist and rink owner Dominic Cangelosi. Fun for a family outing or a great first date!
Adrienne Van Houten is a Glendale area blogger. She can be found blogging at Adrienne’s House hanging out, come on over and put your feet up.