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Archive for the ‘Glendale’ Tag

Cupcakes AnyTimeMachine   Leave a comment

cupcakeatm

I used an ATM for the first time on a recent visit to California. It’s not because I haven’t seen them before or had a need for cash at an odd time of day or night. I just have an inexplicable aversion. The ATM I recently used was for cupcakes! I’ve wanted to try Sprinkles Cupcakes ATM in Glendale at the Americana shopping area for quite a while. The ATM experience was fun, but the cupcakes were unsatisfying.

Sprinkles has been a mainstay in the cupcake world for a decade with shops around the country. I’ve enjoyed their small frosting-laden cakes in Beverly Hills and New York City. Cupcakes are one of my favorite foods. I like their compactness, the ratio of cake to frosting and the creativity of flavors many bakers incorporate.

cupcakebacks

It all begins at the ATM’s touch-screen that reveals a menu with several flavor options, including Red Velvet and a few gluten-free varieties. I know the Red Velvet is rich and moist, but decided to try something new: peanut butter and chocolate. We also ordered Double Chocolate, Marshmallow Chocolate and Black and White. Four is the maximum number per order. With a quick swipe of the credit card, within minutes four separate boxes containing the baked goods are ready for retrieval.

 My choice was underwhelming. It was dry and the amount of frosting was disappointing. The other flavors were fine, but I regret not ordering the Red Velvet. Guess I’ll have to give the cupcake ATM another try.

Sprinkles Cupcakes
629 American Way, Glendale, Calif.
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No Tipping, No Kidding   Leave a comment

B158sign

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.

B158pizza

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.

B158lobsterroll

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.

Partaking Take-Out   Leave a comment

barraganmenu

A recent trip to Los Angeles to see my mom was a bit different than previous visits. She’d had surgery last month and I had gone to provide some belated help. Mostly I cooked. And cooked some more, filling her freezer until the next time I can return to offer more over-due assistance. Dining at special or new restaurants is one of the many things we usually do when I go to LA, but on this trip circumstances allowed for only one restaurant meal, which we ate at my mom’s. Thank goodness, one of our long-time favorite Mexican restaurants, Barragan’s, has take-out.

It’s practically a tradition for us to dine at Barragan’s when I’m in town. We’ve gone for dinner, lunch and even brunch. We take friends there. We’ve got a thing for Barragan’s because the food is consistently fresh and flavorful. I am glad to know those same qualities carry over when ordering in.

baraganmole

I ordered the Mole Enchiladas which came with a salad, rice and beans. The enchiladas were filled with chunks of chicken slathered in mole thick with an abundance of spices that blend perfectly with one another. The sweet taste of cinnamon was the perfect foil for the hint of bittersweet chocolate. Not only were my taste buds enamored with the entrée, but the rice and beans – especially the beans – were also loaded with flavor. These are no canned variety.

My mom ate very little, but I made up for it relishing my meal – food I didn’t cook.

Barragan’s
Four Plates
814 S. Central Ave.
Glendale, CA