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Anything new in Pasadena?

suskela Jan 3, 2007 08:13 PM

We are looking for a wonderful dinner to take friends visiting from Japan. Each time they visit, we try to take them for food/experience they might not get in Japan - past dinners have been AOC, Ciudad, Joe's in Venice. Now looking for someplace in Pasadena. Thanks.

  1. Clare K Jan 4, 2007 11:18 PM

    I would also recommend Vertical Wine Bistro, and Parkway Grill for an amazing dining experience - and I am happily half-Japanese (from Japan), so I should know! Just kidding :) Definitely get the lobster crepes for appetizers if you go to Parkway...

    1. o
      Ogawak Jan 4, 2007 09:31 PM

      Being Japanese American myself, I know that visitors from Japan often crave American steak, which is extremely expensive in Japan. I always take visiting Japanese relatives to the Arroyo Chop House for a good ribeye or filet mignon. Not that new, but always a winner.

      1. t
        trojanita Jan 4, 2007 07:12 PM

        caveat about villa sorriso: don't plan big parties here. we had our holiday party there. they planned very poorly even though we ordered from a set menu. we waited 2 hours for our entree's to come out. the food was subpar: my ravoli was cold dry, and bland. i was still starving after dinner. service was mediocre.

        i'll never go there for dinner ever again.

        1. avivale Jan 3, 2007 11:28 PM

          We love Villa Sorriso-- the food (Italian), wine, ambience, and service are always spectacular. www.sorrisopasadena.com

          Another recommendation might be Xiomara-- Latin cuisine and great mojitos. I've only visited the one on Melrose, which is architecturally so beautiful, but there's another branch on Raymond Ave. in Pasadena. www.xiomararestaurant.com

          While neither of those are new, there is a new wine bar (besides Vertical mentioned previously): Red White and Bluezz. They feature live music (on weekends?). They've been discussed previously on Chowhound... I haven't yet gone myself... I found out about them at a Cal Phil concert for which they were a corporate sponsor. www.redwhitebluezz.com

          1 Reply
          1. re: avivale
            AquaW Jan 4, 2007 07:14 PM

            I've been to both Xiomara's and Red White Bluezz (the latter of which I reviewed on my blog), I enjoyed them both. However, Xiomara's evoke a lot of mixed reactions from CHers (mostly due to value, some feel it's overpriced -- I think it's OK, but I usually go there for happy hour.)

            Or, you may take them to the crepevine and let them see how the French does it :)


          2. chica Jan 3, 2007 09:55 PM

            What about Italian? While not new, a reliable place is Trattoria Tre Venezie - a fine, quaint, and very authentic Italian restaurant.

            1. c
              chefthisguy Jan 3, 2007 09:51 PM


              Try Vertical Wine Bar and Bistro on 50 N. Raymond. It's much like AOC...very cool food and vibe.

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