Glendale, say hello to East Coast burger icon Shake Shack.
In fall this year, the Shack will join the Americana at Brand dining and shopping complex alongside four other restaurants – Eggslut, Mainland Poke Shop, Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop, Philz Coffee – developed by Los Angeles real estate giant Caruso Affiliated.
The New York burger king landed in Southern California for the first time in March, when it kicked off with an opening in West Hollywood.
“We’re back to where burger culture started,” said Michael Tuiach, the brand’s Southern California area director. McDonald’s started in San Bernardino in 1940, and In-N-Out followed eight years later, in San Gabriel Valley. “I feel like we fit into Californian culture. We encourage our guests to come in, hang out, have a beer, have a burger, have some fries, meet new people. We really just want to be a community gathering place for the immediate surrounding area.”
Asian Americans made up more than 16 percent of Glendale’s constitution as of the 2010 U.S. Census.
Glendale Mayor Paula Devine called the city “one of the hottest neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area” and welcomed Caruso’s efforts in building on growing momentum. Since its 2008 launch, Americana has seen waves of big-name eateries joining its ranks, from Din Tai Fung in 2013 to Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak in 2014. The new storefronts will sit right across the street, at 252 S. Brand Boulevard.
“[Glendale] is an incredible shopping destination for East L.A., surrounded by tons of cool brands,” Tuiach said. “This is a vibrant community we’re stoked to be a part of.”
Shake Shack’s WeHo location, which is flanked by a Instagram-friendly mural, has attracted massive – reportedly two-to-three-hour-long lines in the first days of its opening – crowds of curious locals, most of them more familiar with animal-style, thin-bun, lettuce-heavy Californian bites.
Its menu – including burgers and shakes, of course, as well as signature crinkle fries, hot dogs, chicken, beer, wine, floats and frozen custards (including one, the Rainbow Connection, that gives 5 percent of its proceeds to L.A. Pride) – is headlined by the ShackBurger, a classic cheeseburger served with an in-house sauce that remains a customer favorite.
Shake Shack is hoping that Angelenos will continue to embrace the chain, as it plans to launch at least two more locations, in the heart of Downtown and in Century City.
Get ready for its neighbors as well, each of them trendier than the last:
One of Grand Central Market’s most popular stands is expanding fast: in addition to its coming Glendale location, two more stores are planned in Las Vegas and Venice Beach, according to the Eggslut team. Johanna Merida, general manager, said Eggslut’s appeal comes from its roots in “classic egg cookery paired with modern simplicity.”
What’s good? The Slut: A soft-boiled egg sitting on a potato puree inside a tiny mason jar, gray salt and chives on top, with baguettes on the side.
Mainland Poke Shop:
For owner Ari Kahan and chef Kayson Chong, the new Glendale space will be the second after their original Beverly Grove poke shop.
“We use fresh fish every day, we serve that fish, and when we run out, we close. We’re all about freshness and quality,” Kahan said. “We don’t pre-marinate the fish, so you can actually taste the quality, and that’s really what makes us stand out. That’s why people come back to us.”
What’s good? The So Cali, a delectable mixture of salmon, avocado, sweet onions, jalapenos and sriracha aioli, is a bestseller.
Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop:
Greenleaf, based in Beverly Hills, has opened seven locations since its launch in 2007 by chef Jonathan Rollo. It focuses on using all-natural and organic ingredients from local farms.
“We bring in 96 produce items daily,” said Cissy Baldwin, marketing director. “We’re not just a sandwich shop. We’re a place you can come every day. We’re not based on any fad diet — it’s just healthy food for any lifestyle.”
What’s good? Build your own salad! Baldwin’s favorite dressing is nonna’s basil pesto, made in-house.
Started in a San Francisco corner grocery in 2003 by Phil Jaber, Philz offers artisanal blends one cup at a time, including the Tresora, which famously took seven years to perfect.
Alison Race, Hollywood store leader, said Philz is also launching a Pasadena location this year. “We care about the quality of what goes into the cup,” she said. “We hire great people that are really important to us, and I think it comes out in the coffee. We call it the ‘cup of love.’”
What’s good? Race loves the Jacobs Wonderbar dark roast.
“Glendale has quickly become a mecca for both destination fashion and food concepts,” said Caruso Affiliated Leasing Head Kloe Colacarro. “We are excited to welcome these cult-cool, new tenants as the latest additions to Glendale’s downtown district. These tenants further define the city as one of the hippest enclaves of Los Angeles.”