Today we’re going to be looking at the restaurant Bread and Barley in Covina!

As a sophomore who spent her first year online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, exploring the Azusa area has been super fun for me! I’m an out-of-state student who never toured campus before moving here. Needless to say, I’m very clueless regarding good spots around APU. That was, until I decided to tackle this review of Bread and Barley.

First of all, let’s talk about the ambience. Something that I really enjoy about the spot is that it’s somewhere in between being incredibly fancy and a casual fast food chain. You don’t have to dress up to go here or pay incredibly high prices, but you do get treated very professionally by the wait staff. The inside is made up of exposed brick, and there are a couple of televisions that normally play different sports games (without the volume — a key difference between this place and a sports bar). 

There are minimal decorations and nice lighting fixtures, which give the restaurant a more upscale feel. The noise level stays around a medium level, there’s normally low volume music playing along with customer chitchat. It’s a small space, so it’d be an easy place to get overwhelmingly loud, but I haven’t experienced an evening there where people chose this as a place to be rowdy.

Now, let’s talk about the most important part: the food! The focus seemed to be on American food, with a few different burgers, sandwiches and a variety of salads and sides. There weren’t a large number of vegetarian or vegan options, but there were some salads and grilled vegetable options. I got the house salad, while my friend tried their cajun chicken sandwich. 

If you’re feeling adventurous,  you can try their ahi poke salad or the peanut butter and jelly flatbread with mariana, pineapple, bacon, jalapenos, scallions and pineapple drizzle. 

The house salad was fresh, light and drizzled with a blue cheese dressing that was tangy but not overpowering. My friend described his chicken sandwich as generously portioned with the right amount of flavorful zeal.

The price points reflected the ambience of the environment. Most burgers were around the $15 mark, with sides ranging from $9 to $16. While the prices might be alright for a casual date night, with a larger group the bill may add up quickly. 

It is worth noting that there have been some issues with the owner of the restaurant and authorities concerning COVID-19 regulations. The owner of Bread and Barley has occasionally chosen not to enforce Azusa Police Department suggestions regarding COVID-19 guidelines.

Regardless, I enjoyed the time I spent at this restaurant, and for this reason, I hope that they expand their menu some more in the future. There weren’t as many vegetarian options as I was hoping for, and I think more alternatives to common allergies, such as dairy or gluten, would benefit the restaurant. 

Bread and Barley is the perfect place to take your parents when they visit. It has a medium price range and a good balance between a mature and casual ambience. If you’re looking for a local dinner spot, be sure to check out Bread and Barley!