Eagle Rock Italian Bakery on Colorado Blvd.
The sandwich rolls are baked there and are crusty outside, light and airy inside. The cold cuts/cheeses are high quality and the cold case holds lots of great stuff like marinated mushrooms, artichoke hearts and all the usual salads. The wait can get a little long during the lunch hour (15 min.or so), but it's worth it.
Pretty soon, I'm going to do a little write-up of various sandwich joints in and around Pasadena, but you can find a couple of fairly authentic Italian hoagies at Lee's Hoagie House and Luigi Ortega's, both on Colorado Blvd. in eastern Pasadena. LO's uses Amoroso rolls from Philadelphia, and gets its sandwich fixins (peppers, etc.) from a supplier back east as well.
Lee's has a local bread, but it's darn close. Their signature is their pepper relish spread, reminiscent of one used at a sandwich shop I frequented in Philly.
Lee's Hoagie House:
2269 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena Ca 91107 (626) 577-2250
M-F: 7am-7pm; Sat: 7am-4pm
1655 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106
re: Jack Flash
Connalls on Washington Blvd. is real good. Pasadena Sandwich Shop on Madre St. (across the street from Best Buy) is terrific. Luigi Ortega's is okay, been twice, first time was good. Got the Italian sub, too much lettuce, quality cold-cuts, good bread. Second time we got lasagne, terrible. They do have delicious cannoli for desert, the only ones in Pasadena.
I like Connal's for other stuff, but for me, their sandiwch is several notches below Lee's and LO's. I did not like Pasadena Sandwich Co. at all the one time I went there. It certainly didn't remind me of an East coast-style sandwich. The theme seemed to be more about quantity than quality. The place definitely has its fans, though. All kinds of crazy combinations when all I want is an Italian hoagie with the proper fixin's.
After living out here for 5 years, here are some closest facimile's I have found.
Pinnochio's/Monte Carlo in Burbank. 3103 W Magnolia Blvd
Another good place in Burbank is Santoro's 1423 W Burbank Blvd.
You'll never find something exactly the same, so don't spend a lot of time trying, appreciate what is good and unique out here, and get a good sub next time you go back.
That's a tough one out here, and you are bound to be disappointed repeatedly. That said, however, and as a former Jersey girl, I really like Bay Cities Italian Market. They use Boar's Head products like so many East Coast places (good and mediocre alike, of course), and the bread is really, really crusty and flavorful, sometimes even warm. It does get insanely packed at lunch--45 minute waits, some punctuated by aggressive behavior--are the norm--but if you go at off hours you can be in and out really quickly.