Tag Archives: Glendale Restaurants

Go Big or Go Home

Chicken Barg
Everything about Raffi’s Place is big — the space it’s in, the portions, the flavors, and the wait for a table on weekends. Located a couple blocks from The Americana in the heart of Glendale, Raffi’s Place is a palace of Persian-Armenian delights. First there are the Persian stews, Gheimeh Bademjan with chunks of beef, split peas, fried onion and eggplant, and its cousin Ghormesabzi with sautéed parsley, leek and fenugreek leaves, beef chunks, kidney beans, and pierced dehydrated limes. Both are excellent and served on delectably crispy and chewy “rice crusts.”

Then there are the kabobs. It would not be an exaggeration to say they’re the best in the city. There are beef, lamb, salmon and mahi mahi kabobs, but my favorites are the Chicken Barg (pictured above) and the Chicken Koobideh (also known as luleh or ground meat kabobs), which are expertly seasoned and charbroiled to perfection along with roasted tomatoes and Anaheim peppers. With Persian food, it’s all about the rice and all entrees are served with heaps of fluffy basmati rice with saffron and your choice of either fresh herbs, barberries, lima beans or my favorite — sweet and tart black cherries. You can end big was a piece of sticky, buttery Baklava and a sweet fragrant scoop of Rosewater Ice Cream.

Raffi’s Place is located at 211 E. Broadway in Glendale.

Sabzi (a mix of fresh Basil, Onion and Radish)

Sabzi (a mix of fresh basil, onion and radish)

Flatbread and Hummus

Flatbread and Hummus

Gheimeh Bademjan (chunks of beef, split peas, fried onion and eggplant served with rice) and Ghormesabzi (mixture of sautéed herbs, consisting of parsley, leek, fenugreek leaves, cooked with beef chunks, kidney beans, and pierced dehydrated limes)

Gheimeh Bademjan
(chunks of beef, split peas, fried onion and eggplant) and Ghormesabzi
(sautéed parsley, leek and fenugreek leaves, beef chunks, kidney beans, and pierced dehydrated limes)

Chicken Koobideah Kabob with Albaloo Polo (Rice mixed with Black Cherries)

Chicken Koobideah Kabob with Albaloo Polo (rice mixed with black cherries)



Great for large groups

Always packed

Raffi's Place on Urbanspoon


Filed under Glendale

Cuban Pastry Crisis

Porto’s Bakery and Cafe is a loud and lively LA institution selling pastries and awesome Cuban comfort food to Angelenos for decades. All three of its locations (Glendale, Burbank and Downey) have counter service only and the lines are usually long, but move fast. With so many delicious offerings, the only real crisis at Porto’s is deciding what to order. Here are my seven favorites:

Potato Ball

1. Potato Balls. Also known as Papas Rellenas, these are balls of mashed potatoes which have been filled with seasoned ground beef and deep fried; kind of a spherical mini Shepherd’s Pie. This is my favorite thing at Porto’s and an absolute must-have.


2. Rellenitos. These are small pieces of sweet plantains filled with black beans and coated with sugar. I love plantains and these little concoctions are not too sweet and perfect for an appetizer.

Chorizo Pie

3. Chorizo Pies. Another favorite of mine are these Spanish-style empanadas with a flaky, buttery pastry dough crust and stuffed with spicy ground pork sausage. What’s not to love?

Medianoche (Midnight Sandwich)

4. Hot-Pressed Sandwiches. There are fifteen sandwich choices, but my favorites are the hot-pressed Cubano (Cuban Sandwich) with slow roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, butter, mayo/mustard and pickles on Cuban Bread, and the Medianoche (Midnight Sandwich) which is the same as the Cubano except on a sweet roll.

Mariquitas (Plantain Chips)

5. Mariquitas (Plantain Chips). Crispy, salty and slightly sweet, these are perhaps the best chips ever. They come with all of the sandwiches or you can get a separate order with a side of Cuban garlic sauce.

Individual Tres Leches Cake

6. Tres Leches Cake. I’m actually not a huge fan of the kind of creamy, fancy pastries sold at Porto’s, although most people love these desserts. I do however love Porto’s traditional Tres Leches Cake. Soaked in three kinds of milk and topped with meringue, this yellow sponge cake is moist and delicious.


7. Malta Soda. Malta is an acquired taste. Sometimes known as “Children’s Beer,” it’s a carbonated non-alcoholic malt soda which is essentially unfermented dark beer. It’s sweet and tastes like molasses. Other beverages at Porto’s include horchata, mango smoothies, mamey shakes and coffee drinks such as cafe con leche and dulce de leche latte.

Always a line, but worth the wait

Porto’s Bakery & Cafe is located at 3614 W. Magnolia Blvd in Burbank, 315 N. Brand Blvd in Glendale and 8233 Firestone Blvd in Downey.

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Porto's Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon
Porto's Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon
Porto's Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon


Filed under Burbank, Downey, Glendale