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Pita! Pita! in Pasadena (rave)

I couldn't find much posted on this place, which is in Pasadena on Colorado Blvd. just east of Lake Ave.

It's Lebanese, and I went there for lunch and was totally satisfied. Dad ordered dark meat roast chicken plate w/ 2 sides, and I had roast lamb plate. Two iced teas and the total was $20 and change.

You order at the counter, and there's a long, open kitchen. Service is very prompt, with lots of staff cooking. The plates come with a (very fresh) Romaine-tomato-cucumber side salad with the same vinagrette dressing that nearby Tarantino uses (not sure what this is though). Chicken dish included basically two legs and two thighs (yes, a lot of chicken), and mine was a generous mound of tender, well-spiced lamb pieces over aromatic rice, with a little side of bean stew. (Often, subpar restaurants seem to pile lots of mediocre food on your plate, so I was skeptical, was this was really chowish and tasty stuff.) Also, the lamb was topped w/ toasted almond pieces, which lent that nutty, smoky flavor. Our order also included pita bread, pita chips, and two excellent homemade hot sauces (plus garlic sauce for the chicken a la Zankou). I didn't have the falafel, but they appeared to be cooking it to order, which is a good sign.

As we ate, we observed that food seems to improve a certain distance away from Fair Oaks/Colorado (i.e. the "heart" of Old Town). I'll be back!

http://www.sangabrielvalleymenus.com/...

Pita! Pita!
927 E. Colorado Blvd., #101
(Between Lake and Mentor
)Pasadena CA 91105
(626) 356-3099

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  1. Let me second the motion, and also recommend the spicy eggplant. It's full of flavor and hearty enough to make a very satisfying vegetarian dinner. We often go there before concerts at Caltech. The only downside is no wine.

    1. I work in the building next door and used to go often until they raised their prices once again now its $10 for lunch too many cheaper options around especially since Skewers opened down on Lake a block away. The place does not seem nearly as busy anymore either. the food is consistanly good and service always friendly. I always got the chicken shwarma platter.

      1 Reply
      1. re: monkey

        I just checked out the website for Skewers. Have you been? If so, how's the food?

      2. I've passed it numerous times on my way into Japon Bistro and have always seen a large dining crowd of all ages. Thanks for the heads up!

        1. I have gone several times and all skewers are real good and prices reasonable. Also my office now uses them regularly to cater to large meetings. I like their hummas and rice as well. Chicken kabobs are tender and juicy always cooked just right never dry.

          2 Replies
          1. re: monkey

            Are you talking about Skewers or Pita Pita?

            1. re: monkuboy

              Monku,

              I believe he was responding to me regarding this place:

              www.californiaskewers.com

          2. Just wondering, but is this the same Pita! Pita! that used to be in Old Town on Fair Oaks?

            3 Replies
              1. re: kajtf

                Fantastic! It was one of my favorite restaurants in Old Town and I was sad that it disappeared. I'm so glad that they found a new home and now I can visit. :)

                1. re: pleasurepalate

                  While it is run by the same people, the ambiance is more of a take-out place than the restaurant setting of the former location on Fair Oaks. Admittedly, it has been a couple of years since I've been there, but I did not find the quality to be as good after they moved from Fair Oaks to Colorado/Lake.

            1. I want to try this place now. Sounds yummy. :)

              1. i like to get the pinto beans the vegetable curry. they are both excellent on their rice.

                1. Much as I'd like to agree (that would mean that I'd have enjoyed my recent meals at Pita! Pita!), I've been fairly unimpressed and underwhelmed with Pita! Pita! since it left Old Town. Their meats are often over cooked and dried out, and none of their side dishes/salads are a real stand-out. The Old Town location, however, boasted an extensive menu with many sumptuous platters and delectable Mediterranean salads to choose from - all of which were above average (the interior of the restaurant was also a lot nicer - a casual yet elegant space with a friendly "mom and pop" who ran it). For whatever reason, the quality dipped considerably - in my opinion - when they made the move. For my money, Mediterranean Cafe on South Lake is a better bet..

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: sanangel

                    That's funny. Out of all the Mediterranean places in Pasadena, Mediterranean Cafe is my least favorite.
                    From Pita! Pita! I have had their chicken shawerma, spicy chicken (not spicy), greek salad, hummous (just okay - much prefer Zankou's). Their soups are really good. My friend loves the Veggie Combo (it is pretty big). Service is always with a smile and friendly.
                    My favorite, though, is Good Times Pita Kitchen on Arroyo Parkway, kitty-corner from Trader Joes (you can get coupons on the back of your receipt if you shop at Vons on California/Pasadena across from Huntington Hospital). I love their Gyro and my friend swears their Falafel is the best (cooked as it is ordered). Service can at times be iffy (you place your order at the counter then they bring it to your table) but the food is good.

                    1. re: WildSwede

                      WildSwede - You know that have you to thank for showing me La Fiesta Grande (that taco bar thing is the best!) but I'm a little surprised that Mediterranean Cafe is your least fave place in the South Lake area. Is it the quality of the food, or cramped seating, or....? Once I discovered this place, I crossed La Estrella off my what-should-I-eat-tonite-because-I'm-too-tired-to-cook list, and moved this one near the top. La Estrella on Villa not serving fish tacos, and all.....

                      For the record, I usually get the chicken plate (the one with salad and hummus). When I'm getting take out for a bunch of people, I'll get the tabbouleh, too, and almost every time, people ask where the food came from!

                      1. re: kotatsu

                        Do you know their hours? I've tried a few times to stop by randomly and they've been closed.

                        1. re: ozzygee

                          They close at 7:00 - and I do mean by 7:00. By 6:30 they are already packing up and stacking the outside chairs, etc., so the place is dark exactly by 7. On Saturdays I think they close earlier, like 2 or 3. And Sundays they are closed. I think they have really good food, though. I'm gonna have to give California Skewers a try and compare the two.

                        2. re: kotatsu

                          Thanks, Kotatsu! ;-)
                          You know, my friend (who is a vegetarian) and I set out to try the local Mediterranean restaurants (okay, only 3 of them) and we both agreed that MC was our least favorite. I believe it was mostly a flavor issue. Just not impressed. However, since I do have a "3-tries, you're out" rule, I have to be honest and say that they still get 2 more chances - I just have not been moved to go back when Good Times Pita Kitchen is there. I have not had the chicken plate, but will try it.
                          Now, I just have to get you to go try the Al Pastor (or whatever you prefer) at my little hole-in-the-wall taqueria. It is in the back part of a neighborhood market on the northwest corner of Hammond and Summit (1 block east of Raymond and 1 block north of Mountain). They are open til 8 M-Sat (sell outside during lunch and evenings) and til 2 on Sundays (but they are usually starting to clean up around 1:40-ish). La Estrella (on Villa - NO MORE FISH TACOS??!!) was my go-to before I found this gem. ;-)
                          Also, at LFG, try their grilled fish - either one is really good! And their carne asada - YUM!!

                          1. re: WildSwede

                            According to Oracle, the La Estrella on Villa doesn't serve fish tacos, but the one at Altadena and Foothill (same name) does. Allegedly this is how the owners of La Estrella decided to split the assets (recipes?) after some kind of dispute. Ok - I'll be sure to get to get myself to Hammond and Summit one of these days.

                            Ozzy - mokuboy is totally correct about the short hours and with my work schedule, this is one of those things that must be planned. It's a shame they close so early.

                            1. re: WildSwede

                              Tried this market on your rec. Really good. Super Nice lady grilled up good carne asada and al pastor and made me and my 2 little kids comfortable at the table in the kitchen. We got our Jarritos sodas from the fridge in the front of the market(pay separately at the front cashier). Will be back!

                              1. re: RoachCoach

                                YAY! I am so glad you liked it. Her name is Isaura (and if her toddler was there - her name is the same). Her husband (he comes in after she has been there through lunch) is Fernando. They are the nicest people. I also get a Jarritos and enjoy myself!

                              2. re: WildSwede

                                Agree on Good Times Pita Kitchen. It's the best I've tried in Pas, probably b/c it's all cooked by the owners' mother.

                            2. re: WildSwede

                              I went today to Pita Pita for lunch, after reading this thread. I enjoyed it. Chicken shwarma plate with salad, beans, two kinds of hot sauce, pita, pita chips-- the whole deal. I do not need to eat again until tomorrow. Huge portions.

                              I prefer the chicken tarna at Zancou, but I'm happy to know that there is another good option close to home. Next time at Pita! Pita!, I will try the tabouli and the grilled eggplant and zuchini (there was a huge fresh-grilled tray, and it looked delicious). :)

                              1. re: WildSwede

                                I went to Good Times Pita Kitchen today, and ordered some baklava to go. I didn't try the food myself yet, but they told me something that was really good to know: they do delivery within a three mile radius of their location on Arroyo Parkway. :)

                            3. Oh yeah, the salad dressing at Pita! Pita! seems to be fried dried mint (I know dried mint-- we use it a lot in Persian cooking too), olive oil, lemon juice, and perhaps something else. :)

                              1. i really enjoy pita pita. i usually split a chicken shawarma wrap and a side of hummus with the gf, enough to fill us up. i just recently moved right up the street from zankou's and tried it out. all i had was a chicken wrap, but wasn't impressed. i need to try out mediterranian cafe, but for now pita pita gets my vote.

                                1. I used to come here a lot, but after they came out on the news for having dirty veggies and other stuff I stopped going for a while. I just recently started again and maybe it's just me, but the food just doesn't taste the same anymore. For me there are just better options down the block.