In September 2007, chef Nadav Bashan and wife Romy opened their eponymous Mediterranean restaurant in Glendale’s northernmost neighborhood, Sparr Heights. Nadav has a distinguished background, having previously cooked in kitchens at Providence and Michael’s. He’s only been a chef for 10 years, resorting to culinary school after a failed attempt to become a firefighter. Romy cordially runs the front of the house.
The Bashans live in Eagle Rock, and were hoping to find a space in their neighborhood conducive to their vision, but Eagle Rock is already approaching critical mass commercially, and it couldn’t be done in an affordable way. Lucky for them, while scouring Craigslist, they spotted a familiar available space, the former home of Bistro Verdu. They remembered eating at Bistro Verdu two years ago and really liked the space. Nadav said, “We thought it would be the perfect spot, only 40 seats, where we could touch every plate that went out.” They quickly jumped on the listing and were soon restaurant owners.
For their logo, the Bashans chose a funky family tree with five pieces of fruit on it, with oranges representing their three children and two pets.
The north wall of Bashan holds these three pieces of driftwood, which a woodworking customer recently identified as Asian. The space also featured interesting white globe lanterns lined with jutting white rectangles that almost looked like index cards.
After ordering, we were each served a warm house-made sourdough roll, which was outstanding. To accompany the bread, we received a dish of soft butter.
For our Amuse Bouche, we received a plate holding three white spoons, each holding a small portion of charred squid, punchy olive tapenade and a single chive slice. My friend John was so hungry that he couldn’t wait for me to take this photo.
We shared a bottle of 2002 Vache Pinot Noir from California’s Cienega Valley, a wine producing region I’d never heard of before. Turns out it’s in the middle of California, a no man’s land between the 101 and 5 freeways. The pinot noir was incredibly smooth and well-balanced, with no tannic kick or after-burn.
With our check, we received a plate holding a tiny coconut macaroon for each of us. It was a simple but satisfying touch with a subtle liquor kick.
Although the Bashans’ Mediterranean influenced restaurant has only existed for two months, Nadav’s deft use of premium ingredients at a reasonable price point has ensured that the family-run restaurant can already compete with most of the heavy hitters on the Westside.