Glendale, November 20, 2010—WE ARE ENTHUSIASTIC about this small cozy quiet restaurant in upper Glendale. We found it two or three years ago, I don't remember how, and have been back at least three times, each time finding everything perfectly in order. Good ingredients, skilful kitchenwork, respect for traditional procedures, interesting variations. Cook in the kitchen, wife running the floor, polite, friendly, but retiring wait staff.
Tonight the amuse-bouche was a little cup of pumpkin soup, bound with cream, flavored with cumin as I recall, with textural interest from pumpkin seeds that had been browned slightly in oil (I suspect sesame oil) and chopped.
I went on to tuna tartare heightened with both chives and scallions and a little red pepper, a truly delicious thing; then duck breast with braised romaine and cipollini, with almonds, date purée, and pickled red jalapeño — it sounds like one ingredient to many, but in fact the dish was beautifully integrated.
Dessert was a rich, substantial, yet delicate and almost fluffy chocolate "courant", cake on the outside, molten chocolate inside, with a scoop of fine house-made vanilla ice cream. A perfect dinner, beautifully served.
Verdejo, Marquéz de Irún, Rueda, 2008; Cabernet, Bodega Norton, Mendoza, 2009
Bashan, 3459 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale; tel. (818) 541-1532