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Mar 26, 2007 10:02 PM

Nano Cafe in East Pasadena

Had breakfast at the Nano Cafe last weekend and really enjoyed it. They have a really wide selection and the service was great - really attentive and pleasant.

It's certainly not much to look at (in the Albertson's parking lot) but the patio is actually pretty nice on a wknd morning

If you go I recommend getting something to accomodate the fresh salsa. I don't think I've had any better in southern cal in the last 6 months or more - I would go back just for that.

PS - there's another location in Monrovia but I have yet to try it

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  1. Nano is in my regular breakfast rotation. I agree on all counts, especially about the salsa.

    More often than not, I get the "prime rib" machaca, which is really quite tasty...and perfect for the salsa!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jack Flash

      Well, since you and I agree on the salsa I'm going to have to follow your lead and get over to Luigi Ortega's now. I keep saying I'm going to try it!

    2. I was happy to see your post! I drove "around" it, looking for a place to eat after the Wistaria Festival on Sunday and wondered about it. They said that they were only open til 3 and it was 10 til, so I did not want to go in and order during their last 10 minutes of operation. Good to know. I will definitely try it! Thanks!
      I just looked at their menu. WOW! Has anyone tried their Eggs Benedict or Chicken Fried Steak? How about biscuits and gravy? They have a Monte Cristo!! Hell, I am going on Saturday after the Farmer's Market!! THANKS AGAIN!!! ;-)

      3 Replies
      1. re: WildSwede

        You're Welcome! I just hope it lives up to expectations now :-)

        You'll have to let us know if you try the biscuits & gravy or chicken fried steak. My great grandmother was from Oklahoma and made homemade sausage, biscuits and gravy, all from scratch. I 'm spoiled now and it's hard to find anything that compares in this neck of the woods

        1. re: WildSwede

          I live in Sierra Madre and Nano, The Only Place in Town and Corfu on on my regular weekend breakfast rotation. I like Nano for certain things, they offer and incredible fruit option instead of potatoes and their hashbrowns are better than the other 2 options. I did not like their eggs benedict or omelets, Nano has not got the hollandaise right and they used sliced american on the omelets. I usually get bacon and eggs, either poached or over easy, hash browns extra crispy or fruit. Consistently good. Corfu's omelets are the best of the 3, but I don't like their potatoes, they serve them Greek style. Corfu can't get he hollandaise quite right either. I get the benedict with bacon instead of ham at The Ony Place, but their hash browns can be iffy, sometime good sometimes mushy, even though they are ordered extra cripsy. The hollandaise, while not the best I have even had, is pretty ok, their omelets are decent too. They also have some interesting brunch specials which others I have eaten with have raved about. All in all I continue to go to all these places, they are close to home, and all serve until 2:00. I do want to try Lucky Baldwins breakfast that they recently began serving.

          1. re: rantsnravesnreviews

            Yeah, it seems that restaurants have a tough time getting Hollandaise right. I like the Eggs Benedict at Kathleen's on north Lake in Pasadena. They seem to get it right, to me. Not a whole lot of places can.

        2. We went to the east Pasadena location for dinner last night (thanks for the recommendation!) and will definitely return.

          We asked to be seated on the patio - were given the dinner menus (next time, if we're there at dinner time, I'll ask for the breakfast/lunch menu, since I was craving a sandwich) - service was a bit haphazard but nothing horrible.

          App: the fried shrimp (came in a beer/tempura like batter with a side of very spicy cocktail sauce).

          Grilled halibut with a cup of clam chowder and sides of rice pilaf and steamed veggies (halibut was very good, pilaf was tasty, steamed veggies were pretty mushy and bland, chowder was fine).

          Other main was chicken-fried steak with mashed potatoes/gravy, steamed veggies, and a garden salad with blue-cheese dressing (salad was fresh, cold, and good - mashed potatoes were fresh and tasty, chicken-fried steak was fried in same batter as the shrimp [I'm used to more of a breading/floured coating] and was fork tender - my one complaint was that when it was plated they put down some gravy, then the steak, then more gravy, so the coating was soggy and not crunchy).

          No desserts, one glass of house Cabernet.

          Total about $40.00, before tip/taxes.

          We'll be returning.

          11 Replies
          1. re: ElsieDee

            I stopped by for breakfast on Saturday. Arrived around 9 (after a stop at the Farmer's Market) and all the inside tables, with the exception of maybe 4 were taken. I preferred and asked to sit on the patio. Only one table was taken out there - but by the time I left all but one were seated.
            I, too, had the Chicken Fried Steak - but the breakfast version. Came with hash browns or country potatoes. Opted for the hash browns, well done. Two eggs, over easy, please and a biscuit with gravy. As Elsie describes the CFS, I agree, although they did not put gravy on the bottom of mine. I looked at the coating and immediately thought of fish-fry coating. It was fine, one of the more decent versions I have had (Chili's and Coopers (in Hayward, WI where my brother lives) still reign supreme). Eggs were cooked perfectly to order and I wish the hash browns were not in such a thick clump, so more of it could have been crisp (that may sound weird, don't even know if it makes sense). It was all good. The biscuit and gravy is the same stuff that you can make from the packages sold at the Oroweat outlet across the street from my mechanic in Glendale. Powdery fluff biscuit and the gravy needed some doctoring (I requested a side of their raved-about salsa). In addition to sprinklings of the salsa, I added salt, pepper and some tabasco. I am a flavor girl! Coffee was good. Service was spotty (no one came and asked me how I was doing) but the other waitress (not mine) was good at coming and refilling my coffee cup. I will definitely go back - want to try the Eggs Benedict. I would also order the CFS again. Great little place that seems to be very popular with the locals.

            1. re: WildSwede

              I would say the benedict at TOPIT (The only place in Town) is better. I like their hollandiase alot more. It is just a couple blocks away.

              1. re: rantsnravesnreviews

                Okay! I definitely have to try it! This Saturday after the FM, it will be! I have driven by it many times, but always opted for other places (for lunch & dinner, not breakfast). Do you know what time they open? What else is good there? Thanks!

                1. re: WildSwede

                  I agree that the breakfasts at TOPIT (I like the Eggs Emily) are good but I'm not a fan of their lunches or dinners. If I'm in the mood for something a little lighter I go to TOPIT, if I'm really hungry, I go to Nano


                  1. re: RoxyGrl

                    I am not a fan of anything at TOPIT except breakfast. They serve breakfast until 2 in the afternoon, which is nice.

                    1. re: rantsnravesnreviews

                      I went to TOPIT, as promised, on Saturday. Arrived around 9:30-ish. Place was pretty packed at this early hour. Several tables still available, though. Sat on the upper part of the side room. Waitress was great and kept calling me "hon" - which I loved. Ordered the Eggs Benedict, hash browns, well done and coffee. Refills on the coffee and water were constant (which I appreciate). Food came out promptly and was very good. Nothing makes me more irritated than when poached eggs are overcooked with the yolks not runny. I am happy to say that these were cooked properly! The hollandaise could have been a little more flavorful and lemony for my tastes, but it was perfectly passable (I sprinkled on some green Tabasco and it put the perfect tartness into it!). I thought it was really good. The hash browns could have been more cooked, but they were good as well. I will definitely go back. Thanks for the recs!! ;-)

                      1. re: WildSwede

                        LOL! Iw as there Sat morning also! Went to the farmers market. Got my old standard, Eggs benedict with bacon instead of ham, no olives (I don't know why they insist on putting black olives on top!) hash browns extra crispy (although they never seem to be crisy enough). My daughter (23) had A benedict with broiled tomato, and proscuitto on a toasty ciabatta bread with hollandiase, I can't remeber the name!. It aslo was good. I liked the crunchiness of the bread, as they never toas the muffins enough for me!

                        1. re: rantsnravesnreviews

                          Yup, FM first, breakfast second! I know, I was eyeing the olives as well. Either way, I ate 'em!! ;-) I made a point of asking if they toast their english muffins and she said they did, but neglected to ask for them cooked well (I hear ya about the hash browns!). BTW, what is up with those english muffins??!! Biggest damn EMs I have EVER seen!! Stood out almost an inch all around from the ham and eggs!! ;-) I noticed the other Benedicts, but decided to stick with the original for my first taste!!

                          1. re: WildSwede

                            LOL! I usually scrape everything off the muffin and then tear pieces off for dipping. Too much bread, and not toasted enough. But I do like the hollandiase better than at Nano. Have you tried Corfu foo breakfast yet? It is good too. But they only serve greek potatos, no hash browns :/

              2. re: WildSwede

                Not to derail this thread, but have you tried the CFS at Henry Moffett's Pot Pies in Bellflower on Lakewood? Comes close to being the best I've had (though I've only had it once) - large serving, very crisp/crunchy and yet also fork tender. We went there thinking to do a pot pie comparison with the Moffett's in Arcadia - ended-up that neither of us ordered a pot pie, so we have to go back. Anyway, the CFS was incredible.

                Back on topic - your description of why the hash browns weren't crispy enough to your preference makes perfect sense :) I need to get back to Nano Cafe to try their breakfast options myself.

                1. re: ElsieDee

                  No! Thank you for reminding me. I have been to the one in Arcadia (and had the chix pot pie) and got some of them with gravy to go (I thought they were good). I know that I do have to get to the one in Bellflower... it is definitely on my list! Thanks again! ;-)