Is It Any Good?

The main drag in Downtown Glendale.

For the most part, within Los Angeles, Brand Blvd. is mostly known for the Brand Blvd. of Cars, which is basically like a bit auto-mall with dealerships parked on the same stretch of land competing with each other, allowing you to hopscotch your way to a better deal.

We won’t be dealing with that here.

Brand Blvd. is also something else, an actual food and shopping destination.

Consulting ye olde Wikipedia, it turns out that Glendale was incorporated in 1909, and one of its biggest civic boosters was one Leslie Brand. Mr. Brand was big on Glendale. He built a private airstrip in 1919 and hosted “fly-in” parties. He partnered with Henry E. Huntington (yeah, THAT Huntington) to bring the Pacific Electric Railway, or the “Red Cars,” to the Southern California. He even built a fantabulous mansion in Glendale called El Miradero, that still exists today. (Mr. Brand even willed it to the city, and it’s now a Library).

So, long and short of it, Leslie Brand deserved to have a street named after him.

For you, the visitor, Brand Blvd. may be the place your in-town friends bring you to, but it really should be a stop for a tourist. For one thing, it’ll get you off that Beverly Hills-Celebutard-stalking pathway that brings most Tourists to town. You can come out here, and see how…well…regular folks live and eat. We’re not talking the local version of T.G.I.McFunsters (although we’ve got that, too). We’re talking the good stuff that the locals swear by, like the original Porto’s Bakery, like the Carousel, like Raffi’s Place, along with dozens of other Restaurants and Eateries (Pho Citi and Granville are located there). We also have a lot of lovely boutique shopping, used book stores and bars.

For the higher-end shopper, we have the new Americana Center, which has got a number of good places to chow down on like Trattoria Amici and Ahn Joo. The Glendale Galleria also rests along Brand, and will be soon opening a Bloomingdales in 2013. And best of all, one of the easiest to access (and biggest) In-N-Out Burgers is on Brand.

Freeway access from the 134 is pretty easy (just get off at Brand). You’ll start in the Financial part of Brand (yes, Glendale has a Financial district) but keep going South and you’ll hit the good stuff.