Thursday, June 9, 2011

Around Town: Conrad's gone. where to eat?

Now that Conrad’s is closed, folks are wondering. Where to eat? Where will we eat at midnight?

Where will the Presbyterians eat after church?

Where will Paco go for lunch?

(Paco’s Barbershop is awesome. Confidential to Vons: We can survive without Hallmark and Conrad's, but please don't mess with Paco's!)

Now that the local Conrad’s is closed (although the Pasadena Conrad’s is still open), the dilemma continues. For breakfast, there’s always Dish, with homemade veggie patties, signature tofu white egg scrambles and home-grown pumpkins during pumpkin season. Plus, the prices are reasonable.

There are some other world-class options close to home. For coffee in the morning (coming this summer) and dessert at night, there’s Leo Bulgarini’s world-class at gelateria in a run-down neighborhood across from the Altadena Sheriff’s station. The neighborhood may be iffy but the food is spiffy. Go the back way past JPL, take Woodbury to the east and then jig north to 749 E. Altadena Drive Altadena, CA 91001.

For lunch, do what the Queen of England does when she’s in town. Try the broiled swordfish, grilled halibut, macaroni, cheesy potatoes, coleslaw, sour dough rolls, tartar sauce, sushi, cioppino, grilled salmon salad and Diet Coke at Fish King’s Gallery Deli in North Glendale. Fish King is where the Queen’s royal ship chef re-stocked during the 1983 royal visit. Take the 2 to the 134 to the Glendale off ramp. Head north to 722 N. Glendale Ave., Glendale, CA 91206. Take the 2 back to LCF at Mountain. Alas, Fish King closes at 7 p.m. (5 p.m. on Sundays).

What will we do for dinner, now that Conrad’s is closed?

The solution is a stunning surprise. As one person commented, “this restaurant is way too cool for Montrose.”

The restaurant is Bashan.

Bashan is not just way too cool, it is a labor of love. Chef Nadav Bashan and his wife, Romy, have created a jewel with an exquisite menu and intimate venue. The sound-absorbing wall and ceiling treatments result in a peaceful atmosphere.

I can’t wait to go back.

Romy seated us. She was very sweet. Our server was Dustin, who turned out to be a coffee expert. Romy and Nadav describe Bashan Restaurant as “a casual fine dining neighborhood restaurant. Constantly searching for the best ingredients, our menus are farmer’s market driven and change seasonally. We incorporate classic French technique in all of our preparations infusing California, Mediterranean and Asian practices…”

I began with an exquisite vegetarian (not vegan) corn soup with some caramelized onions, a small floating corn fritter, chives and olive oil. Len had a different starter, but I didn’t care. I was in love with the soup, which had a depth and breadth of texture and flavor.

Then the chef sent shot glasses filled with cold beet broth to cleanse our palates.

This was followed with the wild Alaskan halibut with roasted macadamia nuts, cauliflower, fava beans, (I asked them to hold the Manila clams), a Meyer lemon puree and roasted baby tomato.

Len had the braised short ribs, but I didn’t care. I was in love with the halibut.

Our memories of Conrad’s began to fade as we tucked into a wonderful meal, followed by various shared desserts.

Dustin brought some French press coffee.

Conrad's may be closed, but life is good. Right here in Montrose, I mean La Cañada.

You’ll need reservations at Bashan Restaurant, located at 3459 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale, CA 91208 (818) 541-1532. It’s down the street from La Cabanita, where Elizabeth Taylor used to eat.

Around Town: Conrad¿s gone ¿ where to eat? - Hartford

Around Town: Conrad¿s gone ¿ where to eat? -

Around Town: Conrad¿s gone ¿ where to eat? - LA Canada

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