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Thanks Jonathan!: Tonny’s in Pasadena aka Chile Verde Heaven...

Dommy Dec 29, 2006 07:42 PM

Last month, P. and I found ourselves heading towards Pasadena for an event featuring Jonathan Gold at Cal Tech. It’s rare we get up there, and I had hoped for dinner at El Portal... But thanks to traffic, we entered the city only a few minutes before the event, STARVING and hence we ended up picking up a few things at Famima instead... Yes... I was slightly ashamed....

While we were in line to meet Jonathan after the event we talked about going over to El Portal afterwards, but we nixed that idea because after the Famima feast, we didn’t feel up to tackling a huge combo plate. Besides, it was getting late. So when we got up to Jonathan, I decided to make most of the face time and ask him what he recommended around town, casual and open late. His first and only answer was Tonny’s... He mentioned their wonderful fruit juices and Chile Verde, one of my favorite things in the world... We suddenly got out appetite back... :)

Tonny’s is located right on the Corner of Lake and Orange Grove. It’s a stand alone little café with parking in the back, a cheap little patio and a few tables inside. Just from the sparse décor and regulars hanging out we know this was destined to be a chowhound place... and then when we walked in to the café, we got out biggest clue to it’s chow worthiness, we ran into two real chowhounds! Will Owen and his lovely wife!! :) They recommended the Birria, so that rounded out our ordering... :)

When we sat our table, we received a little basket of chips and a watery salsa... nothing at all special... thankfully, that was the only disappointment...


Along with dinner, I ordered a juice of Carrot, Orange and Pineapple. From our seat I could see the HUGE juicer and them making it up fresh. What I got was a mammoth glass....


In typical Mexican style, it wasn’t served chilled or even with ice!! It was THICK and meal within itself. I should have ordered a small because I left half of it there... :P

For our mains, we decided to go the burrito route, thinking it would lighter than a combo plate. Man... we were wrong when they brought them over... they were HUGE!!!


And as we broke them open, absolutely stuffed with meat... I let out a little squeal when I saw all the Chile Verde in my Burrito... HUGE chunks of pork... absolutely tender and luscious. The Chile Verde Salsa was thick, almost creamy... And the flavor was bursting... almost as good as the ones I’ve had in New Mexico... I was in heaven...


The birria did not disappoint either. The red sauce was wonderfully complex, not just spicy. It worked SO well with the flavor of the goat to create this wonderful meaty balance. And the meat was not tough at all... P. loved it...


And so I offer this post as a thank you. First to the gang at Tonny’s... For whom the pictures above would not have been possible... in more ways than one too, in a happy food coma, I walked out of the restaurant without my camera!! They ran after us as we pulled out of the parking lot!! :) And to Jonathan who once again did not steer me wrong...


  1. f
    FED Dec 29, 2006 08:08 PM

    i'm sure the chile verde was good dommy, but just for the record, mexican chile verde is based on tomatillos while new mexican is based on green anaheim chiles. they can look pretty much the same, but the flavors are different.

    1. spankbot Dec 29, 2006 10:11 PM

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking pictures... Bravo

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