Monday, September 08, 2008
Though the name and graphics make you think you're walking into a kebab shop, in reality, Bashan serves up fantastic contemporary global cuisine in an intimate setting nestled in one of Los Angeles' most under-appreciated districts. Located in the former Bistro Verdu spot in the quiet mountain hamlet of Montrose, Bashan serves dishes of unexpected flavors that satisfy the palate.
Bashan is the kind of place you want to be a regular at. Its rare that a restaurant hits all notes with excellence and Bashan doesn't fail to miss the bullseye. Service is warm and friendly, knowledgeable and competent. One thing is clear: these people love food and they love to serve it to you. Details pepper the meal like a good novel, right down to the small dish of honey that comes with an order of tea. "Its a lavender honey made by our sommelier's father who is a beekeeper."
My trusty dining companion and I ventured into the menu full bore. We're presented with a subtle amuse of watermelon juice and french feta. The sweetbreads were crispy, tasty morsels of glandular goodness--supported by the piquant notes of capers and sun dried tomatoes. My field green salad was a tasty combination of the season's flavors-earthy jicama, summery nectarines, mini tomatoes, manchego and a bit of vinaigrette laced with truffled exotica.
The menu is small but excellent, with dishes sourced from sea to sky. I ponder the Maple Leaf Duck Breast or the 21 Day Dry Aged New York Steak..... The menu is a celebration of delicious decadence enjoyable through airlifted treasures brought to you by the waning days of the global economy. Both of us elected for sea--Alaskan halibut and Australian barramundi. The halibut was a solid, fleshy preparation with squash and eggplant; while the barramundi was crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. The fish from Down Under is paired with creamy shrimp, crispy chorizo, Jerusalem artichoke and sweet and unctuous Italian cipollini onions, the global range of unexpected flavors harmonizes happily on a single plate. It is the culinary equivalent of Barack Obama.
We declare the cheese plate to be one of the best we've ever had. Small dollops of creamy flavors arranged on a rectangular plate, come paired with figs, walnuts and toasted walnut bread. We innovate and add the honey that came with the tea. All is well with the world.
Bashan is the place you want bring someone you care about. Not only that, the staff and chef are lovely people, passionate about food, and you want them to succeed.
3459 North Verdugo Road
Glendale, CA 91208
818 541 1532
818 541 1538
PS. This lovely note came into SAM HQ from Bashan-land:
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your kind words.
Thanks to customers like you, we get the word out there. I'm thrilled that
you and your dining companion enjoyed yourselves. Bashan is here for the
long run, I'm glad that you were able to see the heart, love and soul that
enables this restaurant to keep succeeding. Thank you again and we look
forward to your next visit.
Romy and Nadav Bashan"