We poppped on over to the Americana at Brand for lunch today and it was sheer chaos---at least in front of the Cheesecake Factory. Were they handing out free cheesecake or something? Because the line that spiraled around the front door after the noon debut was ridiculous. And with so many other options....well, actually, there weren't that many other options, but we'll get to that in a follow up post. According to the Americana flacks, the goal was to have everything open today, but that didn't quite happen, at least for the restaurants and eateries. Here's what you will find:
Caffe Primo: And what a primo spot it has, too, right in front of the valet stand. As soon as we poked our head in, the staff told us they were running about 45 minutes behind. It was packed.
Katsuya: So they don't have to weather a similar onslaught, Katsuya is only taking limited reservations, maybe a few walk-ins. They anticipate full speed by mid-May. Lunch today was solid, but everyone's still getting their footing. But one of the first tables was Mr. Rick Caruso himself (pictured in the gallery). After running around the mall taking pictures under the noon sun, our watermelon-cucumber mojito totally rocked it. (Res line: 818.244.5900)
Cheesecake Factory: As we said above, stupid lines right when the door opened. Better be some free cheesecake waiting in there.
Granville Cafe: On the Brand side, another full dining room spot. Completely packed. We noticed some ridiculous-sized sundae on one woman's table.
Beard Papa's: The only food kiosk open so far was for cream puffs. Long lines, natch.
Coffee Bean: Open, managers holding the doors and greeting customers.
Jamba Juice: Open, with a young woman in a banana suit out front handing out fliers. A banana suit, people. It's not even hot out but still too hot for banana suits.
Good Humor Truck and Soda Cart: Again, sheer pandemonium in front of the Good Humor truck. Just so many people wanting frozen treats all at once. This is one of the original trucks, a 1931 model A Ford retrofitted with a modern freezer.
· Americana at Brand Mega Preview: Day 1 [~ELA~]
· Americana at Brand Mega Preview: Katsuya [~ELA~]
· Americana Mega Preview Day 2: The Rest [~ELA~]
· Americana at Brand: What Isn't Open and When [~ELA~]