Very few under-40 Angelenos would admit to liking it, but Glendale is LA's choice suburb. It’s where big box stores and giant malls meet the best Armenian and Lebanese food in the county. And while Glendale hasn’t been known for its nightlife—there’s a roller disco if you’re feeling retro and mall drinking can be had 'till 10 or so—the SFV's mountainside city finally has a respectable bar.
The Famous is directly across from the infamous Americana, but, once inside the brick-facade watering hole, the vibe is much closer to the Varnish or Harvard & Stone. The furniture is all wood and leather, exposed brick walls project stills of classic movies and obscure liquor brands are served by vested and mutton-chopped barkeeps who are deeply passionate about their craft.
Think Hollywood minus the pretention. It’s a friendly neighborhood place with casual eats—sliders and quesadillas are available before 9pm—and elegant drinks. And though we suspect it’s killing them inside, barkeeps will still pour you rounds of vodka shots with a smile.
Drink this: Try a classic cocktail like the Original French 75 ($12)—made with cognac, not gin—or something thoroughly modern like the Mole Mole Mole Mole ($12) made with mezcal and mole bitters, a savory and smoky libation and perfectly suitable substitute for dinner.
Good for: Seeing where the original Seven Grand staff ended up while decompressing after a round at Target. And drinking some genuinely tasty stuff.
The scene: Pre-9pm, sit at the rather large bar for one-on-one service and let barkeeps like Matt Wallace (formerly of Harvard & Stone) and Nick Vitulli (Eveleigh) mix up something special. When it gets more crowded, head for one of the banquettes lining the room. Just don’t put your feet up on the tables. Even bars in Glendale deserve respect.
The bartender says: Ask a bartender why one of the drinks is named "Grey Goose and Vodka."
The playlist: Classic rock, with live folk rock bands on Tuesdays.