Name of restaurant: Bourbon Steak
Happy hour: 3 to 6 p.m. daily at the grand new Glendale location of Michael Mina's modern steakhouse. The beer du jour is $4, the daily punch is $6, and either the happy hour wine (in red, white or bubbly) or cocktails are $7. A menu of appetizers such as duck spring rolls, beef tartare, black truffle mac 'n' cheese and burgers is $5 to $16. Oysters are $2 each. Anything from the case of pastries (from Larder Baking Co.) is $3.
The menu is sort of an updated take on some of the culinary hits of the early-aughts, a refreshing throwback to an era of appetizers and entrees (it's a steakhouse after all -- no small plates here) with great ingredients and a well-staffed kitchen and dining room.
Best bang for your buck: The $7 cocktails are carefully prepared with fresh ingredients at the fully loaded marble-topped bar, with Japanese barware no less. If you're hungry, splurge for the $15 burger. It's thick and juicy, and a deal at this high-end steakhouse with prices to match (the Wagyu burger on the dinner menu is $28, a dry-aged rib eye is $52). The burger is served with duck-fat fries, thin and crisp. Duck spring rolls ($6) are expertly fried. And it's hard to say no to a $2 oyster.
What are you drinking: The Bourbon Steak Manhattan. It's a classic: bourbon (or rye) with Carpano Antica Formula vermouth, Angostura bitters and a Marasca cherry. Like the other cocktails, it's $7. A $4 beer goes great with a burger too.
Who's at the next table: A couple walk in on a cloud of cologne and take their seats at the bar for pre-date drinks. Next to them, a bromance blooms over a platter of oysters. And meanwhile, a mom and her son befriend the lone diner at the end of the bar.
Uh-oh: Yes, you're at the Americana at Brand, but the restaurant entrance is on a street corner, so if malls aren't your thing, you might never notice the Forever XXI.
Service: Affable and attentive (but not obtrusive).
Info: Americana at Brand, 237 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale, (818) 839-4130, www.michaelmina.net.