No Tipping, No Kidding   Leave a comment


There’s nothing unusual about a restaurant banning credit cards, but the opposite is true at Brand 158: no cash. Even more unfamiliar is the concept of no tipping. That’s right, no tips, Zilch. Nada. While these atypical policies are hard to embrace; the real news is the quality and creativity of the food augmented by attentive servers.

Brand 158’s menu emphasizes ingenuity. Pastas, pizzas, salads, sandwiches (mostly, but not exclusively, wraps) and entrees including salmon, beef tenderloin and lamb are among the offerings at lunch and dinner.


More than a dozen variations of pizza are offered, and 158’s are imaginative departures from popular standards. Arugula is no longer necessarily a noteworthy topping, but it assumes some of its lost grandeur when blanketing caramelized pears, Italian Coppa salami, and pistachios on a white cheese sauce. The abundant toppings make it a difficult to eat this pizza with your hands, although the wheat crust could certainly have met the challenge of not folding under pressure. The pears, by the way, are pure genius.


Lobster Brioche featured what the menu described as “homemade mini brioche.” The light, yeast rolls were actually “branded” with B158, and with chunks of fresh lobster, lemon and dill provided the equivalent of lobster salad sliders. This came with a side of potato chips, which I usually ignore. These placed equal weight on their namesake – and were difficult to disregard.

Serving portions are large and it’s tempting to want to clean one’s plate. However, leftovers were a treat later.

Brand 158
Four Plates
158 S. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, Calif.


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