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Help in Pasadena please!

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  • Naama Mar 28, 2007 09:41 AM

I'm taking my 72-year-old mentor out for dinner tonight. He originally suggested the Chart House in Marina del Rey, thinking I lived on the west side... and after agreeing to meet me in Pasadena instead left it up to me to recommend the place.

Help? Please?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Smitty's on Lake Street (parking in rear off alley), Celestino on Lake also, just across the street, adjacent lot parking. (both have better food/ambiance than Chart House imho, same price range, and not the parking chaos of Old Pasadena). http://www.smittysgrill.com/

    3 Replies
    1. re: Local

      Smitty's is a good choice, but definitiely need reservations.

      Celestino - not so much. Last time I ate there the pasta was far beyond al dente - it was hard, bordering on crunchy. Service was slow. Not worth it for the $$$. They do make a great Cosmo though.

      If you want to splurge, and your mentor is a meat-eater, Ruth's Chris, but $$$$!

      1. re: jazzlover

        note that the main room at SMITTY's is often too loud for a good conversation and for anyone who is hard of hearing. it's too loud for my parents in their 70s.

        1. re: revets2

          Agreed; the back rooms at Smitty's are much better for conversation.

    2. Parkway Grill: http://www.theparkwaygrill.com/
      Crepevine Bistro: French food, crepes, cheaper than Parkway Grill

      1. Briganti for Italian. www.brigantirestaurant.com

        Holly Street Bar & Grill is another option to consider. www.hollystreetbarandgrill.com

        1. Food/ethnicity preferences? Price limitations? About what time would you be dining?

          1. I agree with the Parkway Grill suggestion, it is excellent!! For great steakhouse fare, I would go to Arroyo Chophouse, which is next to Parkway Grill - having the same owners and same great food. For memorable Italian, my absolute favorite is Trattoria Tre Venezie on Green Street. Since he originally suggested the Chart House, all of these places are very close to the Chart House in price and the food is better!!

            1. Any word on a fish place, by any chance?

              2 Replies
              1. re: Naama

                Parkway Grill will have several fish dishes to choose from - I love the white fish that's always on the menu - and once had a John Dory special that I still drool thinking about... Parkway is the solid pick of the group (be sure to call for reservations). Derek's Bistro would also be a good pick for seafood dishes (although, Parkway is more visually pleasing, IMO). Although.... if your mentor is adventurous - I'd head directly to Bistro K (BYOB).

                1. re: Naama

                  I also recommend Parkway Grill, for seafood and other fare. It's been a Pasadena mainstay for good food and service; both of you won't be disappointed. Great ambience, too.
                  http://www.theparkwaygrill.com/

                2. Maison Akira and Shiro's (So. Pasadena) for fish. There is also Firefly Bistro is So. Pasadena that is an excellent, quaint place. I do agree with the board on Smitty's (which also serves fish). The last is Bistro 45 (also serves fish). Have fun...

                  1. You might consider "Fatty's" in Eagle Rock. The wine menu is extensive and creative. The food is EXQUISITE and the service excellent. It is, however, vegetarian and has a more down-scale dress code/ambience. But, when I'm making the trek from the westside, I'm never disappointed by Fatty's.