Glendale’s best old-school Italian.
This was my gold standard of Italian places until I discovered Osteria Mamma. That being said, there’s no bloom of this rose. It’s good Italian cooking, with very little of the checkered tablecloth DNA that befouled so many Italian places of the past.
It’s cozy and intimate. You can bring a date there. You can bring your Dad there. It’s so quiet and out of the way, that it borders on a local’s only joint, but thanks to Zagat’s more people (thankfully) know about it. Far Niente is usually busy, but never crowded…and I mean that in the best way possible. It’s always, and I mean ALWAYS got about 75% of its tables going strong every night, but you can still get yourself a table when needed.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Wow. Lot of choices, and remember you’re in safe hands, so…sky’s the limit. My favorite was the Penne Arrabbiata, which is a tube shaped pasta in spicy tomato sauce. If you’re worried about it being too spicy, don’t be. The temperature of the thing is more likely to get ya, than the spicy. Still it was tasty. I will say that I tried the Saturday Special Lamb Shanks once, and wasn’t thrilled. (It was my fault. Bigger plate than I was expecting.)
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: The place, for whatever reason, looks like a Bank or a Title Company from the outside, and not a restaurant. Step inside, and its everything I talked about. Just be aware, otherwise you might walk past it once or twice trying to find it.
PARKING: Glendale has a massive public Parking Garage called the Orange Street Structure (believe it or not, just off Orange Street). It’s got 625 Spaces and the first 90 minutes are free. Validation is usually provided by the businesses along Brand Blvd., and last I checked Far Niente was one of them. Street Parking is available, if you’re willing to hoof it a block or two. Parking on Brand Blvd. itself is rather like hitting the lottery.
Orange Street Structure
222 N. Orange Street
You could even park at the Galleria, or Americana Center and hoof it from there. It may not be a bad idea, especially if you want to walk around either complex a bit after dinner or go see a movie.
Far Niente Ristorante
204 North Brand Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91206
Tel: (818) 242-3835
Monday-Thursday: 11:30am – 9:00pm
Friday: 11:30am – 10:00pm
Saturday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Sunday: 5:00pm – 9:00pm