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Any chow worthy eats near Glendale galleria?

Any thing besides Din Tai Fung and Portos? Doesn't have to be fancy pref ~$20/head.

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  1. Elena's on Glendale Avenue for Greek/Armenian food.
    Canele in Atwater.

    11 Replies
    1. re: carter

      Second Elena's. The value is fantastic and the kabobs are amazing. The only concern is that it's basically an outdoor place with plastic covering. It may be a little cold in winter, but during the day it should be fine.

      1. re: granadafan

        They also have an indoor dining room. Small but there!

        1. re: happybaker

          Was just at Elena's this weekend. They are stunningly consistent, and the food is an extraordinary value.

          Every time I go, I get perfectly cooked kebabs with not a hint of dryness. I don't know how they do it-- it's just wonderful.

          The chicken kebab is great, but I usually end up with the combo-- a lulu kebab, filet, and a lamb chop plus a grileld tomato and chile pepper, a mound of rice and soup or salad with pita bread and garlic paste for $10.50. It's enough for 2 average people to share, though I finished the whole thing myself :)

          I don't know why anyone would go to Raffi's, which is fully double the price, for kebabs that are far less consistent. Raffi's done have a nice courtyard, but please. It's not worth it for me to pay double for inferior food in pretty surroundings.

          I also recently found out that Elena's will substitute the rice for tabbouleh for no charge! (Tabbouleh as an a la carte side dish costs $5.00.) Hooray for healthier eating choices at affordable prices!

          Mr Taster

            1. re: ns1

              i like the falafel at elena's, although they are rather...kooky. the lentil soup is excellent.
              hummus good. kebabs top notch, too.
              salads crisp and fresh.
              love the grape leafs.

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  Can't see pic. Is it the donut kind?

                  1. re: ns1

                    yeah, they're kind of donutty shaped.

                2. re: linus

                  +1 on their lentil soup. Maybe the best I've ever consumed.

              1. re: Mr Taster

                Damn, that is good in these days of exorbitant pricing in 2013 verging on 2014

                1. re: kevin

                  I'd say Elena's and Zam Zam are in the running for the top spot for price:quality/quantity in Los Angeles.

                  Mr Taster

          1. Damon's for that Disney vibe, Chi-Chis, ribs and steaks.....for a little more than $20 pop. Their barbecue is delish. Recommended, especially for snowbirds.

            1. Would you not be interested in Din Tai Fung cross the street in the Americana?

              I went at 11:15AM on a Sunday and we were seated immediately.

              Unless you absolutely must drink, I'd skip the cocktails. They were just average and, at $11.00 a pop, add greatly to your tab.

              2 Replies
              1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                I'm just a bit worried about the wait

                1. re: Xan7hos

                  I understand your concern.

                  They also have a bar albeit small. I wonder about their bar seating policy.

                1. re: J.L.

                  ... and the Gheimeh and the ice cream sandwich.

                  1. re: J.L.

                    Raffi's is really good...pretty space, attentive and professional service and good food.

                    I had barley soup that was outstanding!

                      1. re: Mr Taster

                        I like the white space at Raffi's...pleasant dining.

                        I didn't order the usual suspects because the portions are generous. Rather, I ordered their barley soup and some hummus with pita; both were quite satisfying.

                  2. Well, what are you looking for?

                    There's tons of great food in Glendale. Some sit down, some divey - what do you want?

                    Sushi Kai on Maryland has actually given my hubby and I many a nice meal and, for lunch or happy hour, is not too pricey.


                    Love Porto's. Love Damon's. Heck, Mario's Deli is fun. And the lunch specials at Fortune Inn won't change your world - but they're awfully nice.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: happybaker

                      Also, Phoenicia on North Central Avenue. Very good Lebanese food, in more of a dinner-type setting. Ara really knows how to cook.

                      1. re: carter

                        Phoenicia ????? Hmmm. I never even heard of it.

                        Anyone try Aleppo Kirchen (sp?) some rqved about it supposedly. But I have never tried it.

                    2. Thanks for the responses everyone bookmarking this one for future reference. Ended up going to Din Tai...I'm officially calling the Americana location DTF for White People...was simply not up to par in quality or service.

                      30 Replies
                      1. re: Xan7hos


                        What a shame.
                        You were given this restaurant, as a recommendation, and you came away with this experience?
                        Could you please elaborate as I'm in the area periodically and am always looking for great places to eat.

                        1. re: latindancer

                          I shared my thoughts over at the DTF Americana thread as to not derail this one.

                        2. re: Xan7hos

                          I'm officially calling the Americana location DTF for White People...was simply not up to par in quality or service.

                          Same could be said for DTF Arcadia (both locations).

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            What a relief to hear someone say that. I tried the Arcadia location a year ago(when I happened to be in the area one night), and couldn't imagine what all the fuss was about. Seemed like standard Chinatown fare to me. I didn't post my opinion, for fear of finding myself under a dogpile of DTF worshippers.

                            1. re: MarkC

                              I didn't mean my remark about DTF to suggest that the food there is "standard Chinatown fare."

                              It's just that their business model is now catered more towards primarily a non-Chinese clientele. It's like where all the rich non-Chinese folks who live in Pasadena (and who have yet to sell out to wealthy Chinese real estate speculators) go to eat Chinese food.

                              Of course, they still do a booming business with Chinese customers, but that's no longer their sweetspot.

                              Again, this isn't an indictment on the food, per se, just an observation.

                              I still enjoy going to DTF for select items (fried rice, chicken soup) but things change.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Was the DTF in Arcadia ever *not* geared more toward the non-Chinese folks? Ever since it was written up the LA Times yrs ago, it's the place I've been recommending for at least the last 7 yrs or so for those who want "authentic" but probably couldn't tolerate it very well....

                                1. re: ilysla

                                  When Yang first opened up the first Arcadia location back in 2000, about 85-90% of their clientele was Chinese.

                                  Now? Barely 50%, give or take a couple of percents here or there.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit


                                    I noticed some of your comments echoed here:


                                    In 2000, when Arcadia opened, 59% of Arcadia was Asian. But 80% of DTF customers were Asian. Today, as you note it's 50%.

                                    Sounds to me like they have won the hearts of the more diverse Arcadia area and non-Asians who drive long distances to partake.


                                    I'd also like to comment on quality. Apparently DTF has spent time on finely honing the making their famous soup dumplings.

                                    I'd like to introduce an article:


                                    It would seem that, as they decided to expand, that they have applied some quality control. I noticed each dumpling maker had a miniature scale by them as they formed the dumpling.

                                    According to the article each dumpling begins with exactly 5 grams of dough. Only then, exactly 16 grams of meat completes the 21 gram dumpling.

                                    I realize cooking is as much an art as science [possibly more], but how far different can a dumpling made in Arcadia differ from one made in Glendale? I know flour and it's complex makeup would affect it more … but do Arcadia and Glendale source flour differently?

                                    1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                      .... but how far different can a dumpling made in Arcadia differ from one made in Glendale?

                                      After having made more than my fair share of dumplings (more than I care to remember), and having suffered countless tongue lashings from mama ipsedixit, I can tell you dumplings made from the SAME pair of hands within seconds of one another can be vastly different.

                                      Just ask mama ipsedixit. She'll tell you all about it.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        Ok, that's fair.

                                        But you have a team of DOZENS of dumpling makers in Arcadia … and DOZENS of dumpling makers in Glendale. That is vastly different than someone lovingly making dumplings and not measuring.

                                        If what we have been told in the article, if they use their very obvious scales, the two teams should produce pretty uniform results, no?

                                        1. re: SilverlakeGirl


                                          Dumplings are not like, say, hamburgers (which is not to denigrate hamburgers by any means).

                                          Just to say that making dumplings -- good consistent dumplings -- is not something for the Henry Ford conveyor-belt approach.

                                          The quiddity of a good dumpling lies not in X grams of this, and Y grams of that, and Z folds of the skin, etc. If it were that simple everyone could crank out dumplings willy-nilly.

                                          In fact this is true of so many food items. Just take a look at all the posts on the Home Cooking board lamenting "I followed this recipe precisely, and it came out yuck, what did I do wrong?"

                                          In other words, cooking is an art, not a science.

                                          Maybe DTF's problem is that they are measuring. Period.

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            The only thing I can say to that is, having watched various people "follow a recipe precisely" is that a lot of people have never mastered technique and simply cannot cook.

                                            End of story.

                                            I expressly indicted the results that should come from teams of dozens if not hundreds of dumpling masters presumably applying the same technique that should, in theory, standardize results.

                                            Anyway, I will have to go into the field to test results for myself. =:o)

                                            How did you like Glendale?

                                  2. re: ilysla

                                    I'm not Chinese and I thought the food was poor. Not recommended.

                                    1. re: chewbacca

                                      I thought their Shanghai Rice Cakes were VERY overcooked. They're not supposed to be like that, are they?

                                      My fav was the Pork and Shrimp Wonton in Spicy Sauce, Where can I get this elsewhere?

                                      1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                        My fav was the Pork and Shrimp Wonton in Spicy Sauce, Where can I get this elsewhere?


                                        SinBaLa, Liang's Kitchen, Dings, Lucky Noodle King, Mama's Lu, JTYH, Dean Sin World, any of the typical Taiwanese boba places, and if you had joined the Chowhound meetup today at Flavor Garden (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/928960) you could've gotten them there as well.

                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                It's been over 3 years since I've gone to the Arcadia branch, I liked it back then so I can't speak of how it is now...no way in hell I'm waiting more than 30 minutes for XLBs

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  My experience at Din Tai Fung Dumpling House at the Americana was pretty good. The wait seemed really timing-dependent. I was immediately seated when I arrived twenty minutes after they opened for lunch, but during my meal a line built up, though it again dissipated to no wait. We ordered the noodle with sesame sauce, which was EXCELLENT even if it more resembled the menu picture of the soy noodle salad, than that which was ordered. Certainly had great sesame oil leading (delicately) the dish, so regardless of which we really received (sorry), it was fantastic. Other than this question, our service was flawless and swift.

                                  We then partook in some fish, and some shrimp, and some pork-crab, dumplings, which even though were not memorably outstanding (or as good as my MIL’s), they surely hold their own with—not blow away—most any North/South American places, save perhaps for some select places in SF, LA, NY, Toronto (I’ve not been to Vancouver)? I was hungry at a very beautiful upscale mall and was served 10 fresh handmade dumplings for $10. Maybe the hype irritates people, but I don’t see how customers who happen to already be hungry in Glendale can objectively not be happy with this place if they hit it when there is not a waiting line.

                                  This particular branch chose to establish itself, for reasons known better by others than I, as a dumpling house, so I didn’t go with a deep expectation of being offered chicken feet, intestine and pig’s ear. Admittedly, I have only a one-visit data point; but, the day I was there, the clientele was 70%+ Asian, with the vast majority of those folks being of Chinese heritage. I guess I can understand when the majority of the previous posts surmise about the proprietor’s business model, referencing that a MINORITY, albeit not miniscule, of customers are white in this USA location. As, I assume there would be the same deluge of concerns/scrutiny regarding the barbecue places in Tennessee (burgeoning domestic and foreign-transplant automotive plants/suppliers attracting engineers and other outsiders) which are seen serving, among many good ol’ boy diners, several tables of Yankees or Asians.

                                  Additionally, I’d like to recommend a place just around the corner from DTFDH Americana on Colorado—Foxy’s Diner. A local favorite. Huge breakfasts, solid on quality, and offered with an option for everybody. Wholesome style, pig style or even “Mexican” style. Warm biscuits, multiple potato options, fresh fruit/avocado and friendly service. http://foxysglendale.com/

                                  Several blocks away is Varouj’s Armenian Kabob restaurant (more of a window service). This place was great, but was hard to find. Kind of in a very safe alley BEHIND a strip mall. Cash only. Not quite as inexpensive as it looks, but the food is authentic and “homemade.” I had lamb chops, a chicken kabob and a ground beef kabob (all grilled over charcoal to a precise doneness) over rice, as well as hummous and babaganoush, both of which were very different from Lebanese styles. The bread was sourced very well too. Wish I had tried some of the good looking grape leaves. I have not yet had the pleasure of trying Elena’s (just saw pictures), but I would bet that Varouj’s could give them a run for their money on any dishes where the limited Varouj’s is competing. BTW—I did not see people doing BYOB (from the adjacent liquor store) at Varouj’s, though it would not have been hard to imagine. There were numerous Armenian men eating on the little patio, smoking and seeming to be doing whatever they damn well pleased, so I don’t think a nice beer (in a brown paper bag for the paranoid?) would raise any eyebrows whatsoever. 1110 S. Glendale Ave, just south of Chevy Chase.
                                  PS- Don't go to Glendale Shamshiri. The kabobs are passable because it would take effort to ruin them. The other Persian dishes (fesenjan etc.) represented an embarrassing bare minimum effort (seemingly from one big batch reheated daily) which was edible at best, and otherwise only of passing cultural interest. Too bad. At least it was not expensive.

                                2. re: Xan7hos

                                  wow, can purple or blue people go there anyway?

                                  1. re: linus

                                    I also kind of figured that Linus would be the first one on the dogpile.

                                    1. re: MarkC

                                      i'm usually underneath it, markc.

                                  2. re: Xan7hos

                                    Hey Xan7hos, you violated my trademark! The Chowhound penalty for this trademark violation is for you to pick up the tab for my wife and I at Urasawa.


                                    Walked past the Glendale DTF on Christmas Eve and was HORRIFIED by the crowd. Line spilling out the door and onto the sidewalk. Hen duo de laowai.

                                    It made me wonder what the crowd was like at the Arcadia locations. And I'll bet you that there was no waiting at J&J :)

                                    Still, I think it's pretty fascinating that Din Tai Feng has managed to "crack the code" in breaking into the lucrative laowai market. The 101 Noodle People must be seething with envy...

                                    Mr Taster

                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                      DTF is like a gateway Chinese restaurant for neophytes.

                                      It's good, simple basic fare with one sort of exotic item (XLB). Once you've OD'd enough times on DTF, you move on to more exotic stuff.

                                      No one really starts off by doing Meth followed by Molly-chasers, right?

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        In a clean environment to boot. Not a big deal for us hounds but I know a lot of people who wouldn't step in anything rated less than an A by the health department

                                        Not sure what DTF is rated but they could at least fake an A

                                        1. re: ns1

                                          A = Average food
                                          B = Better
                                          C = Chinese approved!

                                          1. re: J.L.

                                            Exactly. My friend was horrified with a V
                                            My friend was horrified at the sight of a B grade. But I noted how the food would be much much much better if the joint received a C.

                                            1. re: kevin

                                              I too would be horrified with a V grade.

                                              Mr Taster

                                      2. re: Mr Taster

                                        Everywhere in the SGV was cheek to Jowl busy yesterday.

                                        Think 2 hr waits.

                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                          I've been to J&J when there was a (short) wait, esp if you had a bigger party....

                                          Agree that DTF having a signature dish (esp when that dish sounds better than "cold, sliced beef w/ hoisin sauce rolled up in flat bread") has helped w/ them capturing a different demographic.

                                        2. re: Xan7hos

                                          Well, I'm white and I enjoyed my meal there (aside from the silly truffle XLBs). And this white person seems to like it a lot:


                                          Maybe you are right...

                                          1. re: djquinnc

                                            It's not really a white or Chinese thing.

                                            There are lots of Chinese folks (ABC's primarily) who treat anything this side of PF Chang's like a bag of boiled Brussels sprouts. For them, or really anyone who is not familiar or facile with the in(nnards) and outs of Chinese food, a place like DTF is the perfect gateway restaurant to get acclimated to all the nooks and crannies that Chinese cuisine has to offer.

                                        3. Instead of Damon's, with it's tired décor and mediocre grub, try Jax Bar and Grill next door. Monday night is open mike night, and even if you're not a jazz fan, it's loads of fun. It's usually the same folks who get up and sing (including a ninety year old woman, the night we were there), and they're surprisingly good. Great vibes all around. And the food's not bad either.

                                          1. Rather than dredging up an old DTF thread ... I'll just ask here:

                                            Are the Dan Dan Noodles at DTF worth ordering or something to avoid?

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                              It's not worth ordering.

                                              But if you put a bowl of it in front of me, I wouldn't necessarily push it away either.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                "But if you put a bowl of it in front of me, I wouldn't necessarily push it away either."

                                                Is that along the same idea as if Kate Upton happened to be standing right in front of you wearing a string bikini and she asked you for a hug you wouldn't necessarily push her away?

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  If memory serves, replace Kate Upton with Jessica Alba for Ipse.

                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                    Is that along the same idea as if Kate Upton happened to be standing right in front of you wearing a string bikini and she asked you for a hug you wouldn't necessarily push her away?

                                                    Depends if Jessica Alba was standing next to me. In a string bikini.

                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                      Well, if Kate Upton where in the vicinity in a tiny string bikini, all bets are off. :)

                                                  2. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                    No...not really. portions are small, taste is nothing to write home about, certainly not at asking price.

                                                  3. Adana, for Persian cuisine. Wonderful.

                                                      1. re: Dogbite Williams

                                                        which location or address of Carousel ?????


                                                          1. re: linus

                                                            Thanks Linus.

                                                            And have a great New Year's Eve buddy ?

                                                            You hitting up a copious number of drinks tonight ?????

                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                              i usually stay in and weep uncontrollably. happy new year.

                                                              1. re: linus

                                                                maybe if you moved closer to where all the good food can be found.