Abstract for the impatient:
New Italian restaurant in Montrose/Glendale, 'Bric Montrose'. Just west of La Crescenta Ave. on Honolulu. Food is in the Genoa/Italian Riviera style. Smallish menu but food I tasted was FANTASTIC. Service marginal.
Now on with my review.
Ever notice those shopping malls which are the bermuda triangles of restaurants. You know what I mean, that store front which has had 4 or 5 restaurants in it in the last 2 years, all of them bad.
Such a place once existed in Montrose, just a half block west of La Crescenta Ave. on Honolulu. Churning out bad food by the truckloads.
I am happy to report that the new restaurant there, 'Bric Montrose' is excellant and has broekn the cycle. Rivals the other italian in that city (Divina, Cafe Sole).
I don't know why I even bothered to walk into Bric Montrose after the awful places that existed in that place before it. Maybe I am a gluton for punishment. Maybe I had two screaming kids that just had to eat so I pulled over 4 blocks sooner then I meant to.
Anyway, the restaurant has the same drab interior as it always has. Something like cheap Mexican restaurant. Complete with the alcoholic regulars who have been haunting this space through all the horrible food because BUD is BUD, let's face it.
I was very scared at this point. When I get my chair I notice the waiter doesn't speak very good english. Only because his first language is Italian. Now I am getting tingly. Next he hands me menus that say in bold letters, "The Chef is from Genoa". To test this statement I look for the mandatory pesto dish. Low and behold, the pesto has green beans and potatoes just like they make in Genoa, along the Italian Riveira. More good news.
So I order a salad w/ artichoke hearts and my wife gets the bog standard mista. Our main coarse is gnocchi in a tomato basil and cheese pizza (remember the kids). The salad arrives and the artichoke hearts are not marinated, they are fresh. Full of their own flavor. Large shavings of cheese over the top. The mista has way too much balsamic vinegar, but otherwise fresh.
The gnocchi shows up and it is hand made, the sauce is very fresh and tart. The pizza is very good, I had to fight w/ my two year old for the last piece (he won).
This place has to stay. I cannot suffer another bad restaurant in that space. So if you are in the mood for Italian and you are in the foothill area, drive by. It is worth it. And block off some time. This is the chef's first american restaurant - so service is marginal. Expect to eat an Italian pace.