3/11/2013 05:38:00 PM

The Proper Brings "World's Largest Gin Selection" to La Canada

La Canada Flintridge isn't necessary a dining wasteland, but it's not really a culinary mecca either. Enter The Proper, which soft opened last week, hoping to fill that void. Taking over a former Mexican restaurant, the new space was designed by Sam Marshall, who did Laurel Tavern and helped with Gjelina's look, with tufted leather banquettes, dark and natural woods and high-backed armchairs. The downstairs is a bit more casual for daytime or light nighttime dining, but the upper level has lounge seating and a marble-topped cocktail bar. It's meant to be comfortable and homey, the place where anyone could drop in for brunch or a late-night snack, and it's very kid-friendly considering how family-oriented foothill community is. With chef Kevin Napier (District, Patina Group) behind the stoves, the menu skews that way, too.

So far the dinner menu features dishes like deviled eggs topped with cold fried chicken and pickled onions, clam chowder croquettes, "smooshed" potatoes smothered with blue crab, asparagus and hollandaise, Thanksgiving turkey pot pie, and a burger topped with double-smoked bacon, house-made American cheese and Thousand Island dressing. Napier, who you'll see at the Hollywood Farmers Market on a regular basis, also adds seasonal specials (look for grilled quail with cardoons this week).

According to the website, the bar has "the world's largest gin collection" (at this count it's about 70, but they plan to have more than 200), with drinks created by Billy Ray, who helped launch the cocktail program at the LA outpost of NYC's Blind Barber. The Proper is currently only serving dinner, with a lunch, brunch and grab-and-go coffee service launching in about two weeks.

464 Foothill Blvd.; 818-790-4888

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