Recently, I discovered one of the newest sunset dining destinations in greater L.A., the rooftop of the new Glenmark Hotel. On the seventh floor, the almost 5,000-square-foot, open-air dining terrace offers sweeping unobstructed views of Glendale, the Los Angeles skyline, Hollywood Hills and Verdugo Mountains.
The new modern boutique property opened in mid-July, with Mila, the al fresco dining venue, opening last month. There is a comfortable outdoor lounge area with fire pits and heat towers to keep guests warm when the nights grow chilly, and low glass walls for diners to gaze out into the distance.
In the entrance of the Glenmark Hotel you will see attention-grabbing art on the walls leading into the main lobby and elevators. One wall featured a display of earth-toned evil-eye “stare” pieces, and another wall has colorful Dali and Picasso replicas.
Renowned Santa Monica-based firm Hirsch Bender Associates designed the thoughtful property to reflect the location’s heritage and creative identity. Executive chef Tony Trujillo incorporates Middle Eastern-inspired dishes and sushi on his menu to pair with creative cocktails, wine and beer.
Trujillo’s extensive culinary portfolio includes almost 20 years of experience at Urban Kitchen Group’s Cucina Enoteca, Salt Creek Grille, Parkway Grill and Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern. Now at the helm of Glendale’s tallest rooftop bar, his seasonal menu at Mila has become the talk of the town.
The night my husband and I dined, we ordered skewered chicken, which was marinated in earthy spices before being grilled on an open flame and served with yogurt, lemon juice and garlic aioli, with julienned cucumbers and onion salad on the side.
The pork shawarma sliders topped with slaw, cilantro and pickled veggies were a sell-out the night we dined, and almost every table had a shrimp cocktail displayed with multiple prawns on the outside of a serving glass filled with a slightly spicy Mila sauce made with horseradish and a squeeze of lemon for dipping.
The za’atar-enhanced chips with a spicy yogurt dip is one of many slightly spicy offerings; another is a spicy tuna stack that arrived on two layers of long, sesame seed, crisp crackers. It looked almost like a Napoleon dessert, but instead of being sweet, it had chopped ahi, dots of avocado cream, microgreens, ginger and chopped serrano for a kick of heat.
We enjoyed the crunchy yellowtail tostadas that arrive three or five on a plate with a sweet and spicy slaw on top of large chips. These can be picked up with one hand and offer about three bites each.
The tapas-style menu offers one salad and two different types of flatbreads – a Middle Eastern flatbread topped with spicy and fermented sojouk sausage with ricotta salata, oregano and a spicy aioli; and a milder three cheese flatbread with diced tomato, red onion and a sprinkling of basil.
With the smoke from the recent fires, the sunset views while dining at Mila have been vibrant and spectacular. Most of the tables are set for two to four people; however, the lounge area can accommodate groups of six reclining on sectional outdoor seating.
Glendale is known as the Jewel City, and Mila’s rooftop dining area lives up to this name. As the evening grows dark, the lights in the distance look like jewels in the sky. Hours are currently Wednesday through Sunday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. $$ 1100 N. Brand Blvd., (818)900-2701.