Pan Asian in Glendale.
I’m always wary of chains like this. Chains that just…kinda explode onto the scene, pre-packaged and pre-formed.
Guppy House seems to be launching an assault on Southern California. A location in Glendale, just across from the Americana center has just opened. Another in Pasadena is in the process of opening.
And I say pre-packaged, because it’s not like we’ve had much of a chance to check the place out and see if we want a second location. It’s just kinda all happening without us.
And it’s not that Guppy House is bad. It’s not. It’s just…not a place I’m in a hurry to get back to anytime soon.
Basically, Guppy House is meant to be a afternoon/after work hangout, or late-night party joint with a bit of Sports Bar DNA thrown in for good measure. Even though it’s taking over the space of the late, lamented Glendale branch of Pho Citi, it’s a really big, space, bigger than it looks from the outside. The tables seem to stretch back forever.
And the funny part? Even though its been open now for a little while, I have seen the place decently packed. People are flocking here. Doesn’t mean I’m going to. (Doesn’t mean I’m not either. It’s just…not a priority.)
Oh, and they serve Asian Food.
Notice I didn’t say…Korean food, or Chinese Food, or Japanese Food. I said Asian food. Guppy House is the very definition of a Pan-asian restaurant. They pull little bits of everything from everywhere. On the menu during my visit, I saw Hawaiian (Spam), Taiwanese (Beef Noodle Soup, Snow Ice), Japanese (Udon, Gyoza), Korean (Kimchi).
There was an old saying about…I don’t know, being good at many things, but a master of nothing. I don’t want to dismiss Guppy House out of hand, calling it a master of nothing, but it’s lack of specificity is something that’s keeping me from endorsing it wholeheartedly.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, here’s the good news. The meal starts off with Banchan. Light. Kimchi, pickled cucumber, corn, daikon radish, potato salad. That’s all pretty traditional.
Then I had the Pork Meatballs, which is just two humongous meatballs in a sweet, beef stock broth, with Tofu and Glass noodles. It was actually pretty tasty, all things considered.
It was also the single heaviest meal I’ve had in some time.
Between the Pork Meatballs (which were the size of Baseballs), and the broth which was nearly the consistency of syrup, the meal hit me like a brick. Keep in mind, this was a dish with chunks of Tofu in them. But even though it was a small enough bowl, I couldn’t finish it.
I also got some Kimchi and Pork Dumplings. They come ten to a plate, and they weren’t bad either. They weren’t great. I tasted more Pork than Kimchi, so if Spice level is a worry for you…don’t be concerned. They’re steamed, not pan-fried. I wound up liking them the best out of what I had, but…they’re still not great. It comes with some Dumpling Sauce and what looked like some Sriracha, if you feel it needs a flavor boost.
I also ordered a sweetened Green Tea, which wouldn’t be all that extraordinary, except that it was a really strong Green Tea, which was a good thing.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Nothing too weird or unexpected. Just keep in mind this is a party place, and I can see it getting really loud at night.
At least, I’m betting Guppy House hopes it gets loud at night.
PARKING: Easy enough. Consult our Glendale Parking Guide for complete details but this place is attached to the Glendale Marketplace on Brand. But there is a large complex between E. Broadway and E. Harvard. That’s your first choice. Second choice is you can try (and again, I know the Galleria folks are just going to love me for suggesting this) in the Galleria Parking garage near Brand and Broadway, just behind and above In-N-Out Burger. Failing that, you can still park in the Americana, but be sure to visit one of the stores in the Americana center so you can get validated.
Guppy House (Glendale)
152 S. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91205
Tel: (818) 552-8888
Monday-Wednesday: 5:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Thursday: 11:30 am – 11:30 pm
Friday: 11:30 am – 12:30 am
Saturday:11:30 am – 12:30 am
Sunday: 11:30 am – 11:30 pm