Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Apr 10, 2007 12:31 PM

Dining in Pasadena

I am visiting Pasadena for Saturday night. Looking for a great Italian or Mexican restaurant. Nothing crazy or exotic- reasonably priced.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. For Italian, get yourself to Briganti in South Pas.

    9 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      LOL ...can't help appears that one of your apparent fave restaurants is now sporting a new name...

      1. re: Local

        (good job - we love the "edit" feature...;-) )

      2. re: ipsedixit

        I wholeheartedly second Briganti, but make reservations asap.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          wow...when I went to culinary school 9 years ago...this restaurant was my first! The menu looks great!

          1. re: chefthisguy

            I thought this restaurant was only a couple of years old?

            1. re: Clare K

              "couple of years"??

              More like since summer of 2006.

              Maybe "chefthisguy" is talking about La Buca, whose owners also operate Briganti??

              1. re: ipsedixit

                IS this true?? Are Briganti and La Buca related? This is the first I have heard of this. How do you know?

              2. re: Clare K

                He means that this location used to house one of the kitchens of the Culinary institute that is now in Pasadena. They had a little bakery there that used to sell student-baked items (like the current Cafe up on El Molino).

          2. Briganti is really good. Another really good Italian place is Celestino on South Lake.

            2 Replies
            1. re: slacker

              Sorry, S - gotta disagree on Celestino - have had some OK meals there, but last time the pasta was way beyond al dente - it actually had a crunchy center. Not to mention that it was oversalted. Sent it back which is something I rarely do, because I just don't like raw, crunchy pasta. The waiter did not even suggest a replacement. I didn't want to make a fuss, because the other people I was with were in the middle of their meals, but.....Will never go back!

              Briganti on the other hand is a delight!

              1. re: jazzlover

                Sounds like we've had very different experiences there. I've only been to Celestino once, but it was quite fabulous. The pasta I had was perfectly cooked and sauced, the dining experience relaxed, the waiters accomodating. Based on that, I would definitely go back and also recommend the place.
                I've been to Briganti many times and love it.

            2. Gale's (Fair Oaks, between Del Mar & California) would also be a good pick for Italian - more of a 'bustling bistro' feel in comparison to the more refined Briganti.

              3 Replies
              1. re: The Oracle

                I second Gale's. Great food and good service.

                Also, if you use the "Search" feature of this site you'll come up with thousands of Pasadena options. Pasadena questions come up almost weekly.

                1. re: spankbot

                  I third it! Great food! Reasonably priced as well. For Mexican, there are several options: for your basic, cheesy enchilada Mex: Mijares (the Pasadena Avenue location) or La Fiesta Grande (best margaritas!!) - LFG offers an all you can eat taco bar which is very popular and their grilled fish dishes are really good. Also good is their LFG Enchiladas.
                  For your Mexican (where you can also get good Yucatecan food) #1 El Portal (go with the conchinita pibil) or Margaritas (they have cheesy enchiladas and Yucatecan offerings - huge menu and good margaritas!).
                  You should be able to find at least one of the others here (below), but the site seems to be down:

                  1. re: WildSwede

                    I love Gale's. You will eat your weight in pasta! If you go for dinner I recommend the Burratta. I may have spelled it wrong. Soft mozzeralla cheese on a fresh tomato with basil and procutto. Oh heaven.