By Charly SHELTON
Bourbon Steak Los Angeles and Trattoria Amici are two of the finest restaurants in Glendale. Located in the Americana at Brand, both of these upscale dining locations are perfect for a night out on the town, a business lunch or anytime you want to feel pampered with great food and great service.
Recently, I was invited to sample some new summer flavors at each of the restaurants and discover how great a happy hour can be.
First up is Trattoria Amici.
Classic Italian cuisine and cocktails combined with a modern mixology flair result in some of the most inventive cocktails in town. There are drinks to fit every palate, from French oak barrel aged, premixed cocktails like the Negroni, which is mixed by a master bartender and aged for 12 weeks, to the light and fresh summertime cocktail created in-house by master bartender Diego – scotch and tequila infused with hibiscus flower, Crème de Violette, lemon juice and topped with Italian sparkling wine. This is a nice place for dinner (the crab cakes are life changing) and drinks, or just a happy hour visit.
Next up is Bourbon Steak. (CV Weekly has previously published a full review of the restaurant, so check online to read that if you haven’t already.) This is the place for steaks and bourbon, hence the name. The Old Fashioned hits the spot for those in the mood for something simple and sweet. The Lucky Lindy (vodka, orange, Aperol Kaffir lime-honey and lime juice) is one of the best cocktails on the menu, but remember: you are at a place called Bourbon Steak, so ordering the bourbon cart is a must. Freshly smoked table side, this experience is more than a drink order – it is a lesson in whiskey appreciation. The sommelier William Mountford explained what he was doing to the bourbon and why it worked. He offered guests the chance to sample the bourbon before the smoking and after to register the difference.
The Japanese whiskey ceremony is similar in that it involved fresh smoking whiskey table side, but the Japanese whiskey is very different from American bourbon. It has to be tasted to be believed.
The food at Bourbon Steak is always amazing. Pastrami dusted French fries with house made barbecue sauce, tuna tartar with Asian pears, Hamachi on toasted rice poppers, fresh duck spring rolls – the list goes on and on with each dish better than the last. This restaurant, though on the expensive side, is worth the price.
And what better way to end the night than in an adult candy store? At Sugarfina in the Americana, grown-ups won’t find sticky tong handles while digging to separate gummies to fill a mylar bag. Each serving of gummies or chocolates at Sugarfina is in a self contained plastic box that easily fits into the slots of the beautiful gift box for taking it on the go. Fresh organic apple pie gummies that taste like the real deal are the best. Well, maybe the maple bourbon caramels. No – the champagne gummy bears. Wait, the pale ale pint gummies. I don’t know, they are all good.
Head down to the Americana at Brand for a happy hour that can’t be beat.
Scan the QR code to see some pics and video of the demonstration at Trattoria Amici and Bourbon Steak, and check back with CVWeekly in future issues to see some recipes for drinks and foods mentioned here.