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Beyond the Stars Cafe offers a nice option for salads, sandwiches

May 29, 2010|By Lisa Dupuy
  • Beyond The Stars Cafe barista Remii Martinez, left, hands out free samples of BBQ and buffalo pizza in front of the Brand Blvd. location in Glendale on Thursday.
Beyond The Stars Cafe barista Remii Martinez, left, hands… (Raul Roa/News-Press )

Folks who work in the cluster of office buildings in the 400 block of North Brand Boulevard have something new to cheer about. Just outside their front door lies the Beyond the Stars Cafe, a small but mighty sandwich, salad and coffee spot with quality that is a notch above the ordinary.

Perhaps you've seen the historic Beyond the Stars Palace. This supper-club-type theater can be rented for large social and business events. They also have the occasional public performance. The owner decided to put the catering kitchen to more use by creating a few ready-to-eat sandwiches and salads, and offering them to local workers and passers-by from a newly created cafe in the front corner of the theater property.

Customers may choose pre-packaged goodies from the display case and take them to go, or sit outside on the sunny sidewalk or in the wind-shielded outdoor foyer of the theater. Both spaces have a pleasant, leisurely feel.

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Beyond the Stars features organic teas, coffees and espressos roasted locally by the Supreme Bean. The fresh and flavorful meats, veggies and breads are shopped for daily at Whole Foods and other markets. The recipes are unfussy, yet uncommon.

For example, they take an ordinary turkey sandwich and add fruit. There's the green apple and turkey ($5.99 for all sandwiches), which has slices of tart Granny Smith commingling with creamy brie cheese and mounds of shaved mesquite turkey on a gigantic croissant.

In another inspired turn, the turkey apricot has the same croissant, but this time with roast turkey, a touch of cream cheese, chopped apricots, sliced almonds and red onion. It's really satisfying but not heavy. The same can be said of their roast beef sandwich on a crispy French roll. One suggestion I'd make is to offer a sandwich option on good whole grain bread.

A nice little perk — all the sandwiches come with iced tea, which is a refreshing herbal blend, but the predominant flavor is mint. Another nicety is that the drinks come in big clear plastic cups with good ice. I'm a sucker for good cups and ice.

The entree salads are standard but fresh and well-priced. Don't take this the wrong way because I love Trader Joe's, but the salads are similar in type and price to ones they sell at TJ's (Berry & Nut Chicken, Caesar, Asian Chicken, and Veggie Delight — all $4.25 each). But at Beyond the Stars, they're bigger and fresher.

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