There is a lot to do in Westwood. A shopping and entertainment wonderland, it’s the playground for UCLA students and the backyard for a bustling business mecca. When I was a kid, I used to spend weekend nights in Westwood seeing a movie and snacking at some ice cream or frozen yogurt shop. Now that I’m older, I still do those things, but I also frequent chic eateries for good food, fun and to attempt an air of sophistication.

This past June, Glendon Avenue’s high-end lounge bar/restaurant, the Glendon, launched its lunch service weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. With Nick Jacobs in command of the kitchen since it opened in April, the cuisine is California bistro comfort food, and in-house pastry chef Renee Faris, star of TLC’s “Cake Boss,” creates the seductive desserts.

The atmosphere is classy and casual. One afternoon this summer during the World Cup, I stopped in to find a row of men in suits at the bar wolfing down their lunch while cheering on their team. I was told that during the Lakers Finals you couldn’t fit through the door, and they almost ran out of food. With double nightly happy hours (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight) and multiple TVs above the lengthy bar, the Glendon is ideal for avid sports fans.

While you’re busy soaking in the chill scenery, the classy components come creeping in. Like their all-day $5 martini and new low-calorie cocktail menus, vaulted ceilings and furniture specially designed by elite designer Jecco. If you’re not an oenophile but would like to choose an appropriate selection, wine is listed by first date, second date and third date.

Most impressive of all though is the wide-ranging menu. Dip into an order of fries (regular or sweet potato) with ketchup and your choice of one aioli (each additional one is 75 cents). The aioli options are garlic, pesto, cinnamon pecan, spicy red pepper and sweet n’ spicy Honey Dijon. Think of all the fun your taste buds will have alternating between and mixing up the different flavors.

If you’re in the mood for non-fried finger food, try the Pretzel served out of the oven with their sweet n’ spicy Honey Dijon. Other standout appetizers are: the Slider Duo or Slider Tasting Plate (choose between beef, chicken breast and crab cake or splurge on all three), Tijuana grilled corn on the cob (smothered with Queso Fresco cheese, paprika and lime), Cajun Calamari, Black Bean Hummus and Baked Mac n’ Cheese. The description alone for the mac n’ cheese will make your stomach growl: Three Cheese Bechamel Base with a Pankou Parmesan crust. I don’t even know what that means, but its incredible taste will knock out any semantic confusion.

The Glendon serves up seven sandwiches and just as many salads, ranging from Prosciutto Goat and the BS-LT (the extra “S” is for Grilled Atlantic Salmon) to the Cobb and the bursting-with-flavor Westwood Medi (avocado, asparagus, kalamata olives, feta cheese, romaine lettuce, mixed greens, baby tomatoes and scallions tossed and chopped with citrus vinaigrette).

For heartier fare, the restaurant offers Lunch Plates, including New York Strip Steak, burgers and pizza. The name may not be a deal closer, but the Ugly Goat pizza (parmesan, goat cheese, grilled zucchini and red and green bell peppers) is pretty delicious.

That brings us to dessert, which might be the only reason you’re here. I’ve got one word for the Fleur de Sel Carmel Cheesecake: wow. And two for the Flourless Chocolate Cake: my favorite. The Apple Currant Cobbler looked equally as inviting, as did the Cherry Bourbon Bread Pudding. And then there’s the tempting Daily Cookie Plate – hot out of the oven.

As an added bonus, you might get lucky and catch the down-to-earth chef Jacobs walking around, chatting with the customers. He embodies the same hip and cool vibe that matches the place. He makes you feel like you’re in good hands: a pair of your own.



For more information, call (310) 208-2023 or visit theglendonla.com.