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Dining in Pasadena

k
krisT Apr 10, 2007 12:31 PM

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

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  1. ipsedixit Apr 10, 2007 12:35 PM

    For Italian, get yourself to Briganti in South Pas.

    www.brigantirestaurant.com

    9 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      Local Apr 10, 2007 12:38 PM

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

      1. re: Local
        Local Apr 10, 2007 04:33 PM

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

      2. re: ipsedixit
        Clare K Apr 10, 2007 04:19 PM

        I wholeheartedly second Briganti, but make reservations asap.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          c
          chefthisguy Apr 10, 2007 04:25 PM

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

          1. re: chefthisguy
            Clare K Apr 10, 2007 05:10 PM

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

            1. re: Clare K
              ipsedixit Apr 11, 2007 11:33 AM

              "couple of years"??

              More like since summer of 2006.

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

              1. re: ipsedixit
                kellydeez Apr 11, 2007 11:42 AM

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

                1. re: kellydeez
                  ipsedixit Apr 11, 2007 11:56 AM

                  Well, if Jonathon Gold says it, then it must be true ...

                  http://www.laweekly.com/eat+drink/fir...

              2. re: Clare K
                r
                ruddy Apr 11, 2007 05:48 PM

                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. s
            slacker Apr 10, 2007 12:45 PM

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

            2 Replies
            1. re: slacker
              jazzlover Apr 11, 2007 08:14 AM

              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
                s
                slacker Apr 11, 2007 11:29 AM

                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. The Oracle Apr 10, 2007 02:55 PM

              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
                spankbot Apr 10, 2007 05:20 PM

                I second Gale's. Great food and good service.
                http://www.galesrestaurant.com/

                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
                  WildSwede Apr 11, 2007 12:19 PM

                  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!).
                  http://www.elportalrestaurant.com/default.htm
                  http://www.mijaresrestaurant.com/
                  http://www.galesrestaurant.com/
                  You should be able to find at least one of the others here (below), but the site seems to be down: http://www.sangabrielvalleymenus.com/

                  1. re: WildSwede
                    m
                    mmarnell Apr 14, 2007 01:18 PM

                    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.

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