For two months, Angela Gevorgian has enjoyed the genuine work of running a restaurant far more than her 17 years at a bank. She enjoys the fact that she’s finally her own boss, and the small, simple menu reflects that it is just what she wants to do right now.
Her bistro is on the outer edge of The Exchange in Glendale and faces Wilson Avenue, halfway between Brand and Maryland. It’s warm and simple with natural wood counters and tables, mustard-colored walls with beautiful scroll stenciling at the top. It smells good right when you walk in.
The menu is a collection of lovely choices for a light lunch on a hot day, or a breakfast treat. The soups of the day when I was there were Lentil and Turkey Ball. We tried the Light Lunch Special ($6.50) of a half sandwich and a small salad. We ate with plastic utensils that had been placed on a large paper napkin, and the food came on cool square plates and bowls, with a handful of Sun Chips for a salty crunch.
Steven had a cold smoked turkey sandwich on sesame stone bread, which looked like dark wheat bread with oats sprinkled on top. It had mixed green lettuce, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing and a tepenade, adding a nice flavor. They also asked if he wanted mustard and mayonnaise. He chose the beet salad that had diced boiled potatoes, chopped romaine lettuce, onion and Italian parsley, garlicky pickles, and those wonderful purple pickled beets quartered and tossed in.
Other cold sandwiches include the Mediterranean ($3.80) with feta, tomatoes and basil; Russian Ham ($3.80) with mixed greens, tomatoes and cheese; and Grilled Vegetables ($4.50) with zucchini or eggplant and bell peppers, basil and cheese.
I tried the hot German Sausage sandwich. It was a tender knockwurst-style sausage on a crusty baguette roll with the same trimmings. Mustard is required with any German sausage by any German worth his salt! I chose the festive Italian Pasta salad with bow-tie pasta, shredded carrots, chopped basil and parsley and lots of strips of bold, sweet orange bell pepper. It had a light, lemony olive oil dressing.
We watched a plate of French Toast (only $2.50) go by piled high with slices of egged white bread and a side of fruit. There are also omelets ($3.50 to $4), a ham and egg sandwich ($3.50) and oatmeal with almonds and cinnamon sugar ($2).
The most unique things we found were the little borags ($1.50), potato, ground turkey or cheese wrapped in a puff pastry.
I love just about anything when it’s wrapped in a pastry, so I had to try these 3-inch triangles!
The differences between the three were mostly in texture since they each had a mild flavor: The potato was firm, the turkey a little spicy and the cheese very creamy and dreamy.
To accompany the meal here is Snapple, Vitamin Water ($1.50), soft drinks (75 cents), and smoothies ($3.50). The herbal iced tea is refreshing, and the latte is creamy and mellow, tasting like the crème café I’d have in Paris (no, really! I drank one every day.)
Our table-side service was great until they got a little busier, naturally. It sounded like the local businesses were smart enough to take advantage of the free delivery.
Angela whisked by, her hair back in an elastic hair band, denim apron and mules, looking like the Mom Next Door, the one who loves to cook ’cause she knows her way around a kitchen. She doesn’t need a boss to tell her what to do here.
JOANNA LINKCHORST is a lifelong resident of La Crescenta. She can be reached at Joanna@vveagles.com.