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Dec 1, 2006 09:23 PM

San Diego to Pasadena

I'll be up at the USC v. UCLA game for the weekend. I be staving at the Pasadena Hilton (Old Town), I need some recs for dinner on Saturday and Breakfast on Sunday (walking distance). I seen some of the other posts on the area, what is the current take on Luna Negra? The misses loves tapas and wine. A reccomendation for a nice bar that's not too crowded for after dinner would be great as well.

Thanks, and if your planning on comming to San Diego please let me return the favor.


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  1. Are you sure on your hotel location, the Pasadena Hilton is not in Old town, it is about a half mile east (if that is significant to you), on Los Robles, south of Colorado.

    1. You are correct, thanks for the correction, it is the Pasadena Hilton. 0.5 miles not a big deal, I'd could use the exercise, believe me. What's your spot when in the area? as you can tell, I'm a bit out my element.


      1 Reply
      1. re: stevuchan

        When in Pasadena I like Arroyo Chop House and Saladang Song (Thai). Here is an old report on the Chop House, it is still relevant:

        Here is a report on Saladang Song:

      2. You will be very close to Paseo Colorado. There is a good wine bar there called Bodega Wine Bar. It has good nibbly eats, not exactly tapas, but good, and you can walk from the Hilton:

        La Luna Negra is good, more real tapas style, though the dishes can be quite big. There's also Bar Celona, on Colorado in Old Town. It's a bit hit & miss but their wine is good:

        For a wine bar with non-tapas-style food, there's E's wine bar, also on Colorado in Pasadena (just noticed that they are now calling themselves a martini

        Restaurant Halie is a more upscale wine bar, also located in the Old Town district:

        Hope this helps-

        1. I enjoy Luna Negra - they have a fantastic olive tapenade and I love their sangria. I'd call and see if they have live music on Saturday night -- they typically have music and flamico dancers and when they do - the room gets LOUD (you won't be able to carry on a conversation loud).

          If the mrs. likes wine, I'd suggest Vertical Wine Bistro (way over Luna Negra). It's only been open for about a month, and the people are SO nice. It's in Old Town (70 N. Raymond) and on the east side of Old Town (aka - closer to your hotel). It's a very lovely space with affordable wine flights, interesting selections and a small plates menu. OR, if you end up going elsewhere to dinner, it would be a nice spot to have some wine after dinner (it's only wine, not a full bar).

          Are you looking for a full bar, post-dinner?

          For breakfast - 2 spots come to mind -- Green Street Restaurant (about 1/2 mile east of the hotel) and Russell's (in old town, on Fair Oaks).
          Green Street Restaurant will have a wider selection (menu is online).
          Russell's has great, no-nonsense food. Yummy b'fasts!

          Have a great time! (and report back!)

          1 Reply
          1. re: The Oracle

            I second the vote on Russell's. They do have good breakfasts -- be sure to order hashbrowns.

            Another reason to eat there is to honor what Russell's used to be years ago when they had three or four locations in Long Beach, as well as one in Seal Beach. They served a fine hamburger in those days, but the hash browns were really superior to any others in the Los Angeles area (they're still good but not extraordinary), and their pies were beyond compare, with light and moist meringues that rose about a foot above the flakey crust. I once took a coconut meringue from Russell's on a flight, and people begged me for a taste after the toasty aroma began drifting through the cabin from a tall cake box with the lid half-open.

          2. There's a ton of winebars in Pasadena right now. Haven't checked all of them but the best I've experienced is Red White & Bluezz at the corner of Green & Raymond on the perimeter of Old Town (and they have a full range of drinks and food).