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Dining Out: Bar Verde proves to be hidden treasure

Eatery, located at Nordstrom, offers menu featuring burgers, soups and cocktails.

March 10, 2014|By Lisa Dupuy
  • Bar Verde is located on the third floor of Nordstrom at the Americana at Brand in Glendale, photographed on Thursday, March 6, 2014.
Bar Verde is located on the third floor of Nordstrom at… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

There's a secret spot in the Americana with a wicked hamburger and a mean Mai Tai. You won't find it street side as you wander down shopping lanes. You probably won't see it from the fountain or green. No, this hidden gem is up three escalators, past mannequins bearing high-end children's clothing, tucked into a corner on the upper floor of Nordstrom.

Bar Verde is a bastion of low-key elegance and unostentatious quality with a distinctive Seattle vibe. Warm wood paneling, flattering vintage lighting, private booths and cool alternative music define the dining room. Out on the airy veranda, sounds can be heard from the shoppers below.

The well-stocked bar inside has a timeless quality, meaning you have no idea what time it is. Therefore, having a Mai Tai Chi at two in the afternoon seems perfectly reasonable. But this is not your typical Mai Tai. This one, expertly mixed, has chai tea syrup, lime, house made orgeat and rum. The huge ice cube in the cubical glass only makes this enchanting cocktail better. At Bar Verde, they change the cocktail menu according to seasonal availability. Come summer, basil or berry syrups may be all the rage.

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I mention the cocktails up front for a reason. This may not be your first thought for a place to have a drink, but it's a good one especially with a flatbread pizza alongside. They offer daily brick-oven fired pizza specials as well as their standard wild mushroom, arugula or Neapolitan style for $10 to $12.

If you're interested in a full meal, there are some mouthwatering options. Don't think of Bar Verde as a store cafeteria. Think of it as a casual fine dining spot that happens to be inside a store. Popular lunch fare includes Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad ($11) with roasted peppers, grilled corn, pepitas and jack cheese and Roasted Local Beets ($12) with baby gem lettuce, Humboldt Fog chevre, toasted hazelnuts and walnut vinaigrette. Dinner sees some of the same menu items plus upscale plates like Sake Marinated Black Cod ($26) with shiitake mushrooms and shrimp dumplings or Ancho Crusted Beef Coulette ($24) with a red wine demi-glace. Wait staff are professional and courteous.

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