Maran: Armenian/Russian Oasis in Glendale [CLOSED]

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Restaurant Sign Glendale

Maran is a destination for Russian and Armenian cuisine in north Glendale.

After driving north along an industrial stretch of San Fernando Road that parallels the concrete trash flume called the Los Angeles River, I arrived for lunch at Maran, an Armenian/Russian restaurant with a plain exterior and fancy interior that’s best known for their weekend extravaganzas. During daylight hours, don’t expect singers, dancers or streaming vodka, but it’s still worth visiting Maran to sample Chef George Egezaryan’s food.

Robert Chargchian, who owns Robert’s Russian Cuisine in Hollywood, debuted Maran in 2006, naming his Armenian/Russian restaurant after the traditional oven.

Restaurant Glendale

From the outside, Maran doesn’t look like much. Inside is another story, with faux stone walls lined with old wine barrels and Armenian carpets, wood beams supporting decorative pottery, a bongo, even a jackalope “skull.” Maran has a dress code at night.

A complimentary basket of rye bread and something akin to focaccia came with a pitcher of zesty pepper-studded tomato sauce.

Armenian Food Glendale

Jajegh ($4.99) was basically a big dish of tangy tzatziki – yogurt flavored with garlic, flecked with cucumber and plumed with a single mint leaf. It tasted good slathered on the bread.

Russian Food Glendale

My entrée came with the soup of the day, in this case, a hearty bowl of borscht. The traditional Russian soup was loaded with julienned beets, carrots and potatoes and served with a dish of sour cream.

Armenian Food Glendale

In order to sample as many dishes as possible, I ordered the Combo Entrée ($12.99), receiving a single lamb chop and skewers of chicken shish kabob and beef lula kabob. The luscious meats were laid on lavash and paired with seasoned steak fries and an uncooked waffle-cut carrot.

Russian Food Glendale

Energized by the Russian options, my friend ordered Chicken Kiev ($10.99). The chicken breast was breaded and deep fried, kept juicy from the stuffing of butter and dill, which melted during cooking and streamed out of the meat when cut with a knife. The entrée even featured decorative doilies, which are normally reserved for lamb chops.

Armenian Food Glendale

On a previous visit, we started with thin-sliced basturma and soujouk, both lean, smoky and spicy.

Armenian Food Glendale

Maran didn’t have spinach and cheese fatayer, due to an E. Coli scare involving spinach, but they did have a long rectangular pastry, straight from the oven, filled with oozing cheese, mushrooms and cabbage. Flaky and outstanding.

Armenian Food Glendale

We got a kebab sampler served with fluffy rice studded with vermicelli strands and thick-cut cross-sections of fried potato. The lamb and shish kebabs were juicy, as was chicken lule.

Maran is a top-level option for Armenian food, even after considering the heavy competition in Glendale. Next time, I’ll opt for a weekend dinner show, since it’s uncomfortable being outnumbered by servers.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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