These 4 spots in Glendale prove you don’t have to travel far for great live music, food and cocktails. Best part of all, you can give the DVR a rest and enjoy a show nearly every night for the low, low price of…FREE!
Gauchos Village is still one of my favorite Brazilian meat meccas. Love them so much that I hired them, their bartender and Bossa Nova band for my housewarming party a few years back. Not too long ago, Gauchos Village was a tiny hole in the wall located where the Americana on Brand now stands. While they’ve grown tremendously, the quality and consistency of their food and booze has remained top notch. I’ve yet to find another Caipirinha that’s as potent and tasty as the cachaça concoctions here. There’s live Brazilian music from Friday to Sunday and Samba dancers on Friday and Saturday nights. Gauchos Village, 411 North Brand Blvd., Glendale, 91203, 818-550-1430
The Neat Bar
Had the pleasure of checking out Neat Bar last week. Had the even greater pleasure of getting custom crafted cocktails at happy hour prices when it was clearly not happy hour–thanks guys! This little bar reminds me of the Bigfoot Lodge with a cabin in the woods feel, low-lit lighting and a fireplace. Neat Bar has a very straight forward concept: savor the liquor straight up and have the mixer/chaser on the side. I wasn’t too sure about this since I don’t do the hard stuff unless it’s buried in a fruity, girly bath. I relayed this to the bartender and he proceed to transfix me with mesmerizing pours from here and there. The end product was a fancy pants rum (don’t remember the name) and a “citrusy, creamsicle chaser.” He had me at creamsicle and it was spectacular. These guys are artists and this bar might be a bit too trendy for this part of Glendale, but a very welcomed addition. Three custom crafted drinks = $19. Happy Hour 1/2 Off Everything 5-7:30PM. Live music and entertainment most nights. The Neat Bar, 1114 North Pacific Ave., Glendale, 91201, 818-241-4542
Left Coast Wine Bar & Gallery
Left Coast looks and feels like Manhattan. Tucked between two Armenian banquet halls is this best kept secret for food and live music. We’ve driven past this busy wine bar with its inviting outdoor area so many times that we finally decided to stop by Saturday night. The loft-like setting and super high ceilings provide perfect acoustics for the musicians upstairs. The menu features mostly small plates, sushi and a very nice selection of wines. We order the charcuterie, savored the Malbecs and stayed for the 1930s music sung by a soulful lady crooner. Happy Hour 4-7PM. Live music 7 nights a week from 8-11:30PM. Left Coast Wine Bar & Gallery, 117 E. Harvard St., Glendale, 818-507-7011
Jax Bar & Grill
Sadly, Jax is another Glendale institution we only discovered last week. Along with Damon’s, we avoided Jax like the plague because we assumed it was one of those fuddy duddy places frequented by Glendale’s Boomers. And boy, were we right and it was awesome! The menu is comprised of classic American fare from baby back ribs, pastas, burgers and steaks. I had the fall of the bone ribs and it did not disappoint. The “healthy” fried chicken made with corn flakes was a satisfying surprise. Martinis came stiff and included a sidecar carafe for a potent refill. Music that night was surprisingly, not jazz, but an eclectic mix of everything of Elvis, Coldplay, Josephine Baker and Neil Diamond. Enjoyed it so much that I promptly looked into Neil at the Greek later this year. Don’t laugh–Neil rocks. Happy Hour 3-7PM. Live music 7 nights a week, see calendar. Jax Bar & Grill, 339 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, 91210