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Lucky Baldwin's-Pasadena: Lousy

have been going here for years for the belgian beer festival, as well as other times, and have tried not to see the slow decline of the place but tonight was just too much. The place smells like a frat house (it is plain distracting and foul), the lines for tap beers are not cleaned often enough which leads to metallicy tasting beers (although this could be the glassware), the food is okay at best, and the music is just plain rotten (a decent jukebox that is sprinkled with nice stuff but too much silence and too much lovey dovey). the service is the only thing not worth slamming-the staff is always pretty nice and knowledgable. i will try the sierra madre location because a beer bar with great belgians is tough to find in la, but i will avoid the pasadena location from now on....

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  1. sorry to see this. i remember going about 5 years ago and i had a great time. though, granted im not a beer aficianado nor snob and would probably not be able to tell much difference in the finer aspects of taste.

    still planning on trying to go at some point tho, maybe make a day of it in pasadena.

    1. There is one in Sierra MAdre now. Its not as gross. Anyone been there?

      1. I guess I wouldn't expect much more from a place like Lucky Baldwins. It's unpretentious, old-school and it is what it is - a divey pub with fried food that tastes good but leaves you feeling like crap afterward. The jukebox hasn't been updated in centuries and they'll never upgrade the beat-up patio furniture. Strangely enough, I find it charming...

        Clare K.

        1. It's a pub, not a wine bar or a cocktail lounge. They serve beer and watch soccer. You watch soccer and drink beer. The food is fried and that's about as good a compliment as it deserves. Sure it's lived-in and the bathrooms are gruesome, but it's a pub fer chrissakes.

          1. i know it's a pub. i have been to a few. i want my beer to taste good (especially when you are having a beer festival) and i want the place to not smell of rotting frat house. unpretentious does not mean dirty, divey does not mean foul, and a soccer on tv with volume would be better than some 80's love duet.

            1. I hate to agree about the beer lines, but I've noted (with sadness) a slight "manky" aftertaste the last few times we've been. Might have been off days? As far as the food, it's never been a culinary destination. As stated above, it's a Pub not a bistro. (The sandwiches approach "abysmal" in terms of quality.) *However* I will still go there for the Ploughman's Lunch - you can't really go wrong with cheddar, stilton, chutney, and fresh bread. That, the patio, and a cold beer merit a visit.

              1. There used to be a nice French place at Lucky Baldwin's location, I used to go there a lot for breakfast. Haven't stepped foot in the place since Lucky Baldwin's opened, bc it looked and smelled like a frat from the start. I've been to plenty of pubs in England and some here, and it just doesn't have to be that way.

                1. I used to Love Lucky B's, but in the last 2 years, Pasedena location has absolutely tanked.

                  1. Not in agreement. I love beer, though, so its not hard for me to like it. I agree about the lines, but something keeps me going back. It's just a chill place, and the pepperoni pizza (just pepperoni, not on the menu, but you can ask for it) is delicious. The cheese they use is awesome. Good beer, on a patio, is great.

                    1. The Sierra Madre location is a world of difference from Pasadena's. It's cleaner, small & intimate, with a more mature crowd. The residential neighborhood it's in must make the difference.

                      1. Brit's in Pasadena doesn't have the great beer selection (or charm) LBs has but the food is ten times better. Plus the place doesn't stink.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: spankbot

                          Agreed. Brit's for food, LBs for getting plastered.

                        2. Have you ever tried The Yardhouse, in Paseo? They have quite a selection of beer.

                          1. On a little getaway from San Diego, I stumbled into Lucky Baldwin's for a drink. First of all, they appeared to have a large variety of microbrews on tap. I was happy to see a lot of San Diego beer and overheard a lot of praise about what San Diego has to offer. I asked to taste a beer on tap, and got the response, "yeah you can taste it for 5 bucks!" That was immediately followed by the comment along the lines of, "well, some people get drunk off "tastes" of the beer, so that's why we don't give them away..." Sheesh!

                            After three beers I was offered the choice of a "taster" glass as opposed to a pint. Why didn't I know that from the beginning?

                            1. Ouch. LB's has been a special treat for me, ever since I discovered it about three-four years ago. What little of their food I've had (always the specials at the Belgian fests), I've enjoyed very much. The smell has never bothered me, but I don't think I'd put up with dirty tap lines. Here's hoping they clean them up before my next visit.