Mark Bittman Gaga for Glendale, Plus Patric Kuh’s Top 10 Armenian

How the New York Times Magazine columnist’s kebab-slinger-of-choice compares with with our own critic’s Armenian favorites

In this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, food columnist Mark Bittman visited our neck of the woods for his piece “This Armenian Life,” to dine on what he considers some of the best Armenian grub in the country.

No kidding.

The How To Cook Everything author is in the Baskin Robbins birthplace for Adana, an understated (by Armenian dining standards) Armenian-Russian-Persian spot just on the border of Burbank where chef-owner Edward Khechemyan prepares an assortment of of kebabs, salads, and a few Russian standards.

“The menu is a hodgepodge in the best sense of the word,” writes Bittman, “boasting of innumerable kebabs and more than a few intriguing salads and dishes of beans, and of rice and other grains.”

Apparently Bittman has been popping by this joint for years, so it’s only slightly awkward when the How To Cook Everything author joins Khechemyan in the kitchen and discovers he’s dousing the lima bean and rice dish, baghali polo, with jarred garlic powder: “an ingredient I haven’t used in 20 years or so, but hey…”

The article also includes recipes for Adama’s baghali polo, baby-back-rib kebabs, chicken-thigh kebabs, and a classic Persian salad, “something I’ve been making all summer,” he writes. “If I were you, I’d just start chopping.”

Anything you say, Bittman!

Our own Patric Kuh weighed in on his Armenian favorites in his 2011 piece, Armenian Rhapsody. Here remain his top 10.

(For detailed descriptions, read Kuh’s full article.)

10 Great Armenian Restaurants In L.A.

17239 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 818-789-0991
Lebanese Armenian 

Araz Restaurant
11717 Moorpark St., Studio City, 818-766-1336
Russian Armenian 

Chicken Al-Wazir
1219 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale, 818-500-1578
Persian Armenian 

Elena’s Greek Armenian Cuisine
1000 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale, 818-241-5730
Greek Armenian 

Falafel Arax
5101 Santa Monica Blvd., Little Armenia, 323-663-9687
Lebanese Armenian 

Moon Mart Kabab
400 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale, 818-241-2314
Persian Armenian

Phoenicia Restaurant
343 N. Central Ave., Glendale, 818-956-7800
Lebanese Armenian 

Raffi’s Place
211 E. Broadway, Glendale, 818-240-7411
Persian Armenian 

Sahag’s Basturma Sandwich Shop
5183 W. Sunset Blvd., Little Armenia, 323-661-5311
Lebanese Armenian 

Sasoun Bakery
5144 Santa Monica Blvd., Little Armenia, 323-661-1868
Lebanese Armenian