Just steps off the crowded and frenetic energy that is Glendale’s Brand Boulevard, lined with one food chain after another, is the enchanting new family owned modern Mediterranean hideaway, The Brandy.
With its exposed brick walls and industrial-style lighting fixtures, it has a sophisticated and elegant ambiance as well as a welcoming atmosphere. The family business is owned and operated by Hovig and Jizell Chahanian, and together with general manager Robert Arsenyan and executive chef Gevork Bazrkanian have put a modern twist on their traditional Armenian roots for one of the best Mediterranean options in a city where the bar is competitively high.
Bazrkanian and team have created a selection of staple mezze plates like creamy labneh and drizzled with pomegranate carrot salsa, orange-marinated spiced olives served with warm grilled pita bread and hummus decorated with almonds and chili tahini. And while I’ve been avoiding my cherished charcuterie boards lately because they’ve shrunken into more board and less charcuterie, The Brandy mezze is a mound for two. It’s a generous selection of seasonal cheeses, assorted meats, salty fried pita chips, housemade crisp marinated vegetables, spiced olives, almonds and raisins on the vine.
Seasonal salads include a sweet dish of persimmons and feta with marinated purslane, sumac onion and walnuts. Bazrkanian’s Armenian culinary DNA is undeniable in his perfectly charred and tender lamb rack cooked to pink perfection served over baba ganoush, honey-glazed root vegetables and jeweled rice.
The mixology program curated by bar manager David Arsenyan features a number of fortified wine and craft cocktails like the Red Dragon, which is hibiscus-infused Han Soju, Gekkeikan Sake, lemon juice and simple syrup. The Shaloma is a tangy twist on a Paloma with Spanish sherry, lemon and grapefruit juice. A full bar will be coming soon.
The Brandy’s hidden outdoor patio is specifically designed to serve hookah, with a choice of more than 40 flavors, as well as specialized house mix concoctions curated by Harry Keseian, like Adderall, Dirty Lingerie, Alice in Wonderland and Jolly Rancher. And thankfully, for some beautifully designed reason, none of the smoke aroma can be detected in the intimate remodeled dining room that used to be home to The Royal Vanak.
On Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Ryan Roberts will host live jazz nights in the dining room, which is otherwise filled with subtle Armenian club music by candlelight.
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