Reclaimed Charm

Drinking at The Famous

Americana is a running theme in Los Angeles' resurgent cocktail scene.

From the postwar nostalgia of bars like Harvard & Stone to such bars' reliance on American-made spirits and classic drinks, there's plenty of vintage flag-waving being done in local bars.

With historic photos of Glendale on the walls and an enviable bourbon list, The Famous is the latest bar to follow this playbook. And it doubles down on Americana by virtue of its location directly across from The Americana at Brand.

The Famous feels worlds away from that mall, though. The bar's classy-grungy décor comprises half exposed brick and half dark-wood paneling; it's an ideal pre- or post-shopping escape.

The cocktail list caters to a broad range of tastes. The Vitulli ($12), a Manhattan-like concoction in which the usual rye and sweet vermouth are joined by Amaro Nonino and Fernet Branca, will satisfy bitter-loving palates. The Live Young and Die Fast ($12), which augments the classic combination of gin and lime with basil and black pepper, strikes a balance between familiarity and inventiveness. It's a cocktail that drinks almost too easily.  

Oh, and if you're thinking the bar's name is a bit presumptuous, it comes from a onetime inhabitant of the same Huntley-Evans building: The Famous Department Store.  

The Famous Bar, 154 S. Brand Ave., Glendale; 818-241-2888 or thefamousglendale.com