Glendale’s Brand Boulevard, home to Americana at Brand, the buzzing shopping, dining and residential center, has become one of the best streets for eating in all of Los Angeles. This is where you can walk from Shake Shack to In-N-Out for the ultimate fast-food taste test and where The Halal Guys is another quick and satisfying option if you’re in a hurry. But even better than that, this loaded cluster of Glendale has become home to both L.A. restaurant powerhouses and upstarts who are slinging bold flavors and taking diners around the world.
Here are Glendale’s five standout restaurants.
This big and comfortable outpost of the city’s best ramen shop is part of the Americana at Brand’s impressive culinary makeover. The standard tonkotsu ramen is thick, murky, fatty and wonderful. But The Tsujita’s greatest hit is tsukemen, a bowl of noodles you dip into a bowl of ultra-rich pork broth. Get it with a seasoned, soft-boiled egg. You can also double up on pork by topping your noodles with some slices of char siu.
Mira Setiabudhi’s newly opened Indonesian restaurant, located on Broadway just off Brand, has debuted with satay samplers, soul-warming noodle soups and entrees like beef rendang made with nine-hour braised short ribs, coconut and lemongrass. If you want to try a lot of delightful things in one visit, the move is ordering the $24.95 rijsttafel, a feast that gets you a wide selection of dishes served with rice. Think of it as an affordable family-style tasting menu. On the recent Friday we visited, some guests were starting their weekend early by ordering this for lunch.
This Cuban mega-bakery attracts huge crowds with its incomparable guava-and-cheese pastries, meat pies and potato balls. It’s incredibly inexpensive to eat here: Every item we just mentioned is less than a dollar. It’s hard to walk into this place and not want to walk out with boxes and boxes of food. Beyond individual pastries, Porto’s also features nice Cuban sandwiches and lavishly decorated (but reasonably priced) birthday cakes.
This Taiwanese chain’s recently expanded restaurant at the Americana is known for some of the world’s best soup dumplings (xiaolongbao). And despite the fact that Din Tai Fung has been expanding all over L.A., you should still expect a wait if you come at prime dining hours. We love the crab-and-pork soup dumplings, and you can ball out with truffle-and-pork xiaolongbao. The fried rice and beef noodle soup are also wonderful at Din Tai Fung, but the reason everybody is here is to slurp soup dumplings.
Alvin Cailan’s Glendale location of his famed egg-sandwich shop is a lot less crowded than this original Grand Central Market stand, so this is a more relaxed way to get a bacon-egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwich or a fortifying egg-topped cheeseburger. Another delicious option, simply known as the Slut, is a coddled egg atop potato purée in a glass jar. Eggslut is located conveniently across the street from the Americana.
Andy Wang, the former real estate and travel editor at The New York Post, has covered West Coast food and drink for more than a decade.