I’m not a real restaurant reviewer, even though I take pictures of meals when they’re placed before me. Perhaps it is my delight in being served that pulls the camera out to immortalize succulent beads of jus and steam, artful morsels and a vivid season of colors. Yet here I am without a memory card, only human memory, to recast last night’s sublime dinner at Bashan Resturant in Glendale.
New American cuisine is in the white-hot spotlight at this welcoming but serious (and minimalist) restaurant. Decorated in dark woods, a grass wall covering and abstract light fixtures, the room converges at the intersection of earth and ether. The service was crisp and attentive. Thankfully, we were not invited into a first-name relationship with our server. (Awkward! I never know what to get my server for her birthday.)
The amuse bouche: a shot glass filled with puréed corn soup with squid, melon and the prettiest little wisps of chive ever sliced. For dinner, one of the specials: tender, caramelly short ribs with seared baby yams, roasted and quartered Brussels sproutlets and tiny carrots topped with a veal reduction that would have been more heavenly only if I’d freebased it. The starter cauliflower soup was creamy and rich, heightened with juicy grapes and salty marcona almonds. The La Brea Bakery breads were warm and chewy, while the house-made carrot cake, drizzled with a light icing, was punched with a little pile of roasted pineapple cubes. Depressing the plunger on the French press coffee maker was just the right amount of exercise to end the meal so I could go home and dream of the other menu items I can’t wait to try.
3459 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale, 818.541.1532, bashanrestaurant.com. D nightly. Beer & wine.