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Pasadena Recs?

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Hey all --

Any recommendations for dinner in Pasadena. Not too fancy is what we're looking at. It can be anything from budget/takeout to inexpensive sit-down. Ethnic is great.


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  1. If you like Thai food, Saladang or Saladang Song in Pasadena are good choices. Good food, reasonable prices.

    1. For good ethnic eats, there's Azeen's Afghani on Union and the Tibet Nepal House on Holly. Both have websites so if you google them, you'll find more info.

      1. I like the Green Street Cafe on a little street called "Shopper's Lane" (one block away from and parallel to Lake) and Cordova. Get the Diane salad :0)

        1. It has its supporters -and detractors- on the board but I would say avoid Saladang (and Song) - it's pricey and very Americanized. I'd recoomend PresidentTwo instead for Thai in Pasadena. I'd second Azeen's and I would also suggest Mezbaan for Indian on Fair Oaks (the only consistently decent Indian in Pasadena and the only one Indian friends of mine will go).
          I'd give a huge recommendation to the Cenaduria-style Mexican restaurant "Tonny's" on Orange Grove and Lake. It has great food, fresh tortillas, fresh juices, etc.
          Also, Roscoe's Chicken and Waffle on Lake for the fried chicken craving.

          1. I would also plug La Luna Negra on Green near Bucca di Beppo for Spanish tapas and flamenco dancers.

            1. Briganti in South Pasadena for Italian. http://brigantirestaurant.com/

              Cafe Santorini in Old Town for Mediterranean. http://cafesantorini.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: ipsedixit

                I second both these recs. They both also have a great patio area. Cafe Santorini is actually upstairs over a gelateria and has a cool hip vibe on that patio overlooking One Colorado Place.

              2. For casual Italian, try the frantic, noisy, beautiful hole in the wall Tarantino's (on Green, east of Lake). Expect a short (5-10 min) wait during peak hours.

                (Oily/Buttery)Garlic Rolls
                Pepe Salad (a mix of pasta, veg., & bean salads) - a must
                Florentine Pizza

                1. I second Azeen's, Tibet Nepal House, and Cafe Santorini, though these aren't exactly at the budget end of the spectrum. I've always had good experiences at Santorini, barring the occasional slow service when crowded. It's a good spot for summer evening dining on the patio, and for larger parties. Santorini is probably one of the less annoying restaurants in the Old Town area.

                  Saladang and Saladang Song are definitely overpriced for what it is. Your tab subsidizes the admittedly striking architecture and the bountiful display of orchids everywhere. The food is alright. For budget Thai, I like Chandra on Arroyo.

                  I strongly recommend Europane on Colorado. The flavors may be toned down for some palates but I love their sandwiches.

                  Tonny's. Definitely.

                  La Estrella on Fair Oaks has good tacos and fish tacos, though there are tons of other cheap Mexican food to be had above the freeway. Find your favorite. Puebla Taco on Lake is not the cheapest but they have a great chile verde burrito.