Roma Market, Pasadena -Great!!!!
If you are a transplant from the East Coast, like I am, and miss the atmosphere and aroma of the east coast Italian market, a visit here is a must. I've been to several Italian Markets out here and they are great on quantity of items, but too neat!!!! My favorite italian markets back east had stuff crammed in every corner - so does this place!
I can't say they have a vast selection in terms of different brands of the same items like some markets I've been too. They do have quite a large selection of imported pasta in all shapes and sizes. They also have a good selection of produce.
The best part was the owner. I got some cold cuts from the deli (small deli counter, but everything I got was the best quality). Everything I asked for, he gave me a taste of before hand (great mortadella, capicola, salami, proscuitto from I think he said bologna that is incredible, it isn't salty like others I've had). He said he has over 70 different kinds of cheese! I got a chunk of a 10 year aged provolone that is delicious!!!! Got a nice wedge of parm. reggiano too that was alot less expensive than other places.
Great rolls and bread too, he says they are baked 7 days a week. On weekends, the loaf of bread I got is made with olive oil, but only on weekends. I'll definitely have to get back and pick up one!
It was easy to spot going down Lake, it is on the corner in a small strip mall.
918 N Lake Ave
Pasadena, CA 91104
I'm glad that you liked Roma's - I love their deli people and have been extremely pleased with the service and the food. The proscuitto I purchased a couple of weeks ago barely made it home - had to rip open the package to "taste" it a few times. I concur, too, on the breads and rolls. It's a wonderful establishment.
I love this place too. The owner always suggests which olive oil, which pasta etc. to get when I describe what I'm making. And he made a big point of telling me that his prosciutto is NOT prosciutto, it is something like prosciutto but MUCH, MUCH better! (and he is right!)
His sausage is easily the best in the area - I like Claro's OK, but his is both better and cheaper, so why bother? I asked him a few weeks back if he makes it himself, and he bridled a bit and said, "More than fifty years!" I'm still trying to find a good excuse to by some of his mortadella after he handed me a paper-thin slice some time ago, when he was cutting it for another customer and I was waiting my turn. Mortadella is most emphatically NOT on my diet, but the way that wisp of it melted on my tongue and spread richness and wonder all through my mouth still makes me kinda buckle at the knees.
In herb-growing weather he has fresh basil, too, which entirely too many people know about. I managed to score enough last year for one big batch of pesto.
I've been a big fan of Roma's for 5-6 years now but I should warn that the owner can be a bit of a "soup nazi". Everything will be fine as long as you enter knowing all of your purchases (which cheeses, meats, etc) will be very much on his terms and not yours. He can be touchy if you go against one of his recommendations.
Also, watch the sell-by dates on any perishables there.
That said, I go regularly and you can't beat the prices.