Don’t Call It a Comeback

Americana Mall Glendale

…I’ve been here for years. But, much like jogging, or any other activity ending in “ogging,” blogging is easy to cast aside in times of laziness. It’s been a few months in the no-blog zone, but here I am, typing into WordPress because it’s been on my to-do list for those few months.

I have left the West Side. After eight years of living in Santa Monica and packing a bag every time I had to go east of the 405, my wife and I have relocated to the Atwater Village area to be around other approaching middle aged people that never stopped dressing like it’s the 90s. I’m getting a nice, different perspective of Los Angeles and I am enjoying exploring new areas that previously seemed like a day trip away. I have already been to five Dodger games this season and I can still only name half of the lineup.

I’ve been exploring Glendale a lot. There is a lot to see and do in Glendale. It’s conveniently located to a lot of interesting places. It’s right next to Griffith Park, but frustrating in that you have to take a lot of side streets to get there on foot or bike. So, I just drive to the park. The running trails are endless there, though the horse people do insist on taking up the full width of the path. I have not been horsekicked yet, but it is one of my new concerns. (In Santa Monica my main concern was being eaten by a shark if I put my toes in the ocean.)

One overwhelmingly noticeable thing that I see in Glendale is an abundance of 60-year-old men hanging around on street corners. Also, everyone walks right into traffic without a care in the world. Whatever, Glendale.

Places to see in the Glendale / Atwater Village area:

My wife and I have been to the Pub at Golden Road Brewing way too many times in the past few months. It’s a fun patio area, especially if you can find a seat.

Being from Rhode Island, I’m always interested in finding classic seafood restaurants. We hit up Clancy’s Crab Broiler twice but were disappointed both times. For some reason I want to go back just because I like the atmosphere. Maybe I’ll pack my own crab legs.

We went to Canelé because Eater LA told us they had one of the best lunches around, but I must have read that as “best brunches around” and the brunch menu seemed weirdly non-brunchy (but kinda lunchy, I guess). I had dumplings for breakfast. I love dumplings, but it felt wrong.

Speaking of dumplings, we went to Din Tai Fung at the Americana which was so amazing that I am pretty much forcing myself to not return every day. Everything tastes like a pillow of deliciousness.

We’ve enjoyed a nice casual bar crawl from the Tam O’ Shanter to The Griffin (hit me up if you want a website) to The Bigfoot Lodge to The Morrison. We stopped into the Village Tavern but they ignored me when I tried to order at the bar so we left.

The Famous is a nice cocktail bar in Glendale. The drinks are creative and the room is nice and spacious. I’d like to hear some cool loungey music playing in the background, maybe they’ll let me DJ soon.

I have yet to visit the Moonlight Rollerway, but it is on the list. This NSFW video for “Throw Sum Mo” makes it look pretty fun.

Being close to Burbank has been nice too. Standouts include Chili John’s and Don Cuco. Also, I finally went to an Islands and it was fine by me (I’m not a food blogger).

We’ve only done some light exploring in North Hollywood so far, but we’ve made Tiki No/Little Toni’s our go-to date night itinerary. I can’t believe I just linked to a Google+ page.

Sooooo, things are good on the north east side. We have a little more space out here and my wife let me put a little recording studio where the dining room should be. That was nice of her. I hope to have something musical to share soon. In the meantime, we are on the hunt for a new go-to sushi spot. We’ve tried a couple and have yet to fall in love. We are open to any recommendations.

This blogging thing isn’t so hard, I guess.

Edit: I’m getting a lot of recommendations for Porto’s. That might deserve its own post. Thanks!

Waterloo & City, Callahan’s: Don’t go on me


There is no shortage of places to dine out in the LA area, I am aware of that. But the older I get, the more I prefer to go somewhere I know I’ll be comfortable and love the food. Trying new places is risky. What if I get seated next to solo diner that eavesdrops on my conversation and makes way too much eye contact? What if the food his charred? What if the meal is beautiful and very creative but I’m still hungry after the check? Eating out is stressful.

There are a few restaurants that I can go to that I will enjoy no matter what. Waterloo & City in Culver City is one of those restaurants. I’ve been there with coworkers and with my wife for our anniversary and it’s always great. Great ambience, amazing food, it’s really all I need. But last night, I learned that Waterloo & City is closing down for a bit and moving to a smaller location. Waterloo & City is a good sized restaurant, but apparently after it closes in January, it will relocate to a “much” smaller place. The headline does say that the chicken liver mousse will be back, but I really enjoyed eating it in a private corner of the restaurant during the middle of the week.


I’ve found that when you order charcuterie in a smaller restaurant, the people next to you can’t help but watch while you sample everything on your big wooden board. This was the case at Tar & Roses, anyway. I can’t sample under a spotlight. I need some room to plan my eating strategy. Start with a cheese? Make a little sandwich? Is this mustard? People don’t need to witness this. This is also why I need to order ramen to go. Am I supposed to use the spoon? Is slurping cool? I’ve watched ramenstructional YouTube videos but I’m still not there.

On the comfort side of things, I kinda like Callahan’s diner in Santa Monica. Since moving to LA 8 years ago, I haven’t found too many diners I like. Callahan’s is a pretty legit diner. It’s not spotless, the food is not amazing, the overall green color is interesting, but interesting in a way my Irish grandmothers may have painted their houses in the 50s, so it works for me. Well, for various reasons, Callahan’s is also closing at the end of this year. I walked by this morning and it looks like they’re removing the sign. Maybe new owners LGO Hospitality will put something great into the Callahan’s space, but it feels like the end of an era, even though I have not been around for most of that era.


I should be eating at home more anyway. My wife is on a tear with Blue Apron, and I just realized that most Blue Apron members are making the same recipes on the same weeks. I had thought there were just a lot of coincidences in my Twitter feed (Oh you’re doing the meatloaf too?) So far the meals are about 70% good and 30% why did you put eggplant in this?

My current favorite restaurant is R+D Kitchen in Santa Monica, and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. I saw Elle Macpherson there. You don’t close a restaurant that Elle Macpherson likes. They have amazing deviled eggs. The best part about my current freelancing situation is that I have made R+D Kitchen my conference room, so when anything needs to be discussed in person with a client, we head there for lunch.

I’ve also been going to the new Dunkin’ Donuts in Santa Monica a lot. Too much, probably.