When told his new café, Recess, is like Glendale's answer to Joan's on Third, chef and proprietor Sevan Azarian-Abdessian takes no offense. Rather, he's thrilled by the soon-to-be cliché comparison.

Recess' doors on upper Brand Blvd. have only been open since last Friday, but it's already doing a brisk eat-in and take-out business. Interior vintage-y details such as contrasting exposed wood and white hard lid ceilings, mable counters, white subway tile walls, polished dark concrete floors, and pastel color accents in the ordering/counter area and the adjoining dining room is a win-win aesthetic. Marketplace items (pasta, legumes, fancy sodas, etc.) evoke obvious associations with the West Third Street establishment, too.

Azarian-Abdessian, an alumnus of the Joaquim Splichal/Patina school, says he wants Recess to be a reminder that a restaurant need not “be stuffy to be nice.” He aims overall for “something fun” with whimsically named menu items (“Pig Headed” and “Bully” sandwiches, “Detention” and “Kaleidoscope” pizzas) and a deli case that's classy and fitting for the 1931 building, which had been previously occupied by a copy shop for many years. Stare at the desserts on display while you eat, and then end the meal with red velvet cake, brownies, pecan bars, and chocolate-dipped macaroons that have the right mix of crispy and soft textures.

Fully loaded and ready to play: Recess' deli case.; Credit: Photo credit: Jessica Ritz

Fully loaded and ready to play: Recess' deli case.; Credit: Photo credit: Jessica Ritz

Hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the moment, but Azarian-Abdessian plans to add blackboard dinner specials any day now, and then he'll let the recreational eating needs of his clientele direct Recess' future.

Recess: 1102 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; (818) 507-0592.

LA Weekly