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Solo Dining in Pasadena

I am staying in Pasedena tonight (at the Westin--Los Robales, near Colorado) and I'm looking for a good option for dining alone (other then hotel restaurants). Any recomendations would be welcome.

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  1. On the same block as the Westin - going away from Walnut toward Colorado there is a McCormick & Schmicks that does a good (cheap) happy hour and dinner. There is also a California Pizza Kitchen right there if you are into that sort of thing. If you get down to Colorado and go west (towards Old Town) there is a Thai Restaurant called Thai Dishes that people around here seem to like. There is also a Yardhouse in the Paseo (an outdoor starts at Los Robles/Colorado and goes west) they also have a PF Changs along with some gross Chinese (which I know you won't want to go to!!). Nice wine bar in there, too. Also, on the northeast corner or Colorado and Los Robles is Terrace (more loungy inside) which has pretty good sandwiches and salads. Really good clam chowder. Also, if you want really good Margaritas, head east on Colorado a couple of blocks to La Fiesta Grande. Their fish dishes are really good (grilled snapper) and their La Fiesta Tostadas are a house fave. Or, if you are in the mood for some Yucatecan specialties, continue on the same side as La Fiesta Grande (south side of Colorado) and head to El Portal (when you see Yahaida's, turn into the courtyard, they are at the end on the left). Get the conchinita pibil and gazpacho if they have it. Then there is the infinite selection to be had in Old Town. Happy eating!

    1. What kind of cuisines do you enjoy? Italian options include La Maschera Ristorante, Celestino; Indian includes Radhika's, All India Cafe; Thai includes President Thai, Saladang, Saladang Song; finer dining are Parkway Grill, Arroyo Chophouse; sushi w/ lots of sake options would be Japon Bistro.

      1. Lots of good suggestions already, but I would also consider VERTICAL WINE BISTRO (http://www.verticalwinebistro.com/ ), which is about 1/2 mile where you are staying. Just head west on Walnut and then hang a left (going south) onto Raymond, about half a block and you're there (just remember it's upstairs).

        Lots of wines by the glass and variety of small plate items (think tapas) on the menu.

        Enjoy your stay.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Off topic, but if you do walk to Old Town, I would recommend you go south to Colorado and walk on that busy street for safety reasons. The civic center (along walnut) is pretty much devoid of life at night.

        2. wow ipsedixit, thanks for the tip about vertical wine bistro. it looks great, i gotta try it one day.

          1. Vertical Wine Bistro & Red White + Bluezz are good wine bar options.

            In that area you can also go to McCormick Schmicks (yes, a chain, but one of the better ones)

            In the nearby Playhouse District on Green St. for 561 Restaurant (the Cooking School restaurant, they have very creative dishes -- not always a hit though) or Maison Akira (Japanese-French fusion) or Bistro 45 (Contermporary American). On Colorado there's also Sitar Indian Cuisine. And for breakfast/lunch, Euro Pane Bakery.

            If you're heading to Old Town (a walkable distance from the Westin - at least for me), I like Xiomara's/Cafe Atlantic (Cuban Fusion), Saladang/Saladang Song (Thai), CrepeVine (French, also good selection of wine), or Kanpai (Homestyle Japanese).


            1. Brit's in Pasadena on Colorado has the best fish and chips in town...


              7 Replies
              1. re: spankbot

                Possibly the best in the world, but that would still be very much a schlep - it's about a 1 1/2 mile walk from your hotel.

                If you don't mind spending some money and are in the mood for very good food and some serenity, Maison Akira really is the pussy's PJs. French with a very faint Japanese accent, with chamber music playing very softly on the soundtrack. Comfy seats, too.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  But would you really want to eat at Maison Akira ... alone??

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Depends on my mood. Not a good place for people-watching - El Portal, which is as good as next door, is better for that - but if I wanted just to be absorbed in the food, I'd certainly do it.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Actually, now that you bring up Maison Akira, it reminds me of Tarantino's, which is a just a skip and hop across the street from Maison Akira.

                      Good pizzas and friendly staff, and would be a nice place to grab a plate of pasta or calzones for a solo diner ... cash only.

                      784 E Green St
                      (626) 796-7836

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I love Tarantino's. Definitely one of my favorites, and most certainly fits the description of Hole in the Wall.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          For whatever reason, Tarantino's is about the only "sit-down" restaurant in that area where I've felt totally comfortable alone (despite occasional run-ins w/ old high school friends!). I've said it before but I will again - the best carbonara going. Total non-scene, too. I love it!

                      2. re: ipsedixit

                        I did - but I had a book & a BlackBerry to keep me company ;) (and very few places phases me out as a solo diner nowadays.)


                  2. i second crepevine, that place is great

                    1. If you go into Old Pas, your options open up quite a bit. There's a free shuttle bus that takes people up and down Old Pas as well as the South Lake district, so even if you don't feel like walking, there's easy transportation available.

                      In Old Pas, I like La Luna Negra (on Green, near Bucca di Beppo; tapas and wine) as well as The Kitchen (on Union and Delacey; Italian).

                      1. Heading to Pasadena from SF for a wedding in September. Any updates to these recs? Am flying into Burbank and am debating renting a car; is anything walkable from the Westin? Restaurants, convenience stores, etc.? Into Mexican, Cal-cuisine. Faves here in SF are Zuni, Delfina, Range if that helps. Thanks.