New to Pasadena
I just moved down to Pasadena to study to be a chef. Wondering where are the spots that I HAVE to go eat at here in Pasadena. Any suggestions...I know you got em :) Thanks a lot. If there are any other places you can think of that arent in pasadena...or are just in the food experience of livin in LA Wouldnt mind hearin about them too. THANKS!!!
Welcome, and props for you to check out chowhound.com. I'd also suggest signing up to dailycandy.com LA edition for a fun daily email about random cultural/edible/novel finds in and around the area, not just in the food scene. I've found a few cute spots that way (lately, T on Fairfax for excellent tea selection and inventive vegetarian lunch menu tonfairfax.com)
IMHO, the most dependably delicious restaurant in Pasadena is Saladang on Fair Oaks. I've been going there for over 8 years and I've never been disappointed. Very relaxed, prompt service, set in a warehouse filled with orchids.
My favorite eat in Pasadena, however, would have to be 21 Choices on Colorado at De Lacey, 21choices.com, frozen yogurt with mix-ins (try the express items) that you seriously can't beat anywhere else.
Search Chowhound for posts on breakfast places, other ethnic spots, holes-in-the-wall etc. Pasadena has grown exponentially in the past 10 years, so you will find plenty of spots to try! (parking spots excepted)
Having gone to school in Pasadena myself, I most recently like Briganti's in South Pas, but I agree that Saladang is the most consistent restaurant, although the Arroyo Chop House / Parkway Grill conglomerate is also good. While we're on steak houses, we have to mention J.J.'s.
I second the Parkway Grill mentioned above.
I've never found consistently better Indian food in all of LA than at All India Cafe.
You've got easy access to great Chinese with Yang Chow and Fu Shing.
Great beer-on-tap selection at Lucky Baldwin's.
Enter the greatest LA Chowhound debate cycle by having an amazing burger at Pie N Burger.
Slide over to Eagle Rock for FANTASTIC fish tacos at Senor Fish and probably the best pizza in this half of CA at Casa Bianca.
Here are some more:
Maison Akira for French-Japanese.
Bistro K for outstanding, inventive, and inexpensive French.
Ritz Carlton Huntington Restaurant for fine French and international influences.
Bulgarini Gelato at Laemmle Theatre or Pacific Asia Museum.
Famima! for nifty snacks and drinks.
Zona Rosa Caffe for Mexican hot chocolate.
Europane for delicious pastries, egg salad, and chicken yogurt-dill sandwiches.
Violet's Cakes for cupcakes.
Crepes at CrepeVine Bistro.
Mediterranean at Cafe Santorini.
Wide beer selections at Yardhouse.
I'm newish too. And here's how big the Pasadena food scene is. At first, I was certain chica had some typos. I thought she meant "Dona" Rosa, not "Zona" Rosa. And surely she meant Tutti Gelati next to the theater in One Colorado.
But no! Zona Rosa and Bulgarini are just places I haven't been yet. Impressive, Chowhound, impressive.
(FWIW, I recommend Tutti Gelati and the hot chocolate at Dona Rosa. Yes, DR is a tad corporate, but the hot chocolate with corn meal is nice.)
You've got a lot of great selections already, so I'll just add
The Lebanese Kitchen
1384 E Washington Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91104
For some delicious, authentic Lebanese food. They have the best hommus I've had in LA and one of the best felafels I've ever had.
For an added treat, next door is an old cookbook store that is even more addictive than food.