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Colonial Kitchen - San Marino

onebite Apr 18, 2007 11:43 AM

Has anyone ever been to this place? Whenever I drive by it (on Huntington Drive), I always wonder about it, but I've never eaten there.

  1. ipsedixit Apr 18, 2007 11:49 AM

    Nothing special. Think typical diner fare.

    More of a convenient meeting place for social and civic groups in San Marino than a real dining destination.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit
      onebite Apr 18, 2007 12:03 PM

      Thanks. I won't bother stopping there.

      From the outside, it kind of reminded me of some of the little New Jersey diners of which I have some fond memories from a long-ago visit. But now that I think of it, the food wasn't all that great at those places, either. I enjoyed the ambiance, though. Which is bringing to mind thoughts of the movie Diner. Great movie. Okay, enough rambling.

    2. mstinawu Apr 18, 2007 11:58 AM

      Wow. There are restaurants in San Marino? I've only been to Tony's Pizza which is awesome.

      6 Replies
      1. re: mstinawu
        onebite Apr 18, 2007 12:04 PM

        Julienne's is an actual restaurant in San Marino. Quite nice.

        1. re: mstinawu
          ipsedixit Apr 18, 2007 12:06 PM

          Tony's Pizza is indeed very good (my second choice next to Zelo's in Arcadia).

          In San Marino, there's quite a few "hidden" places (not gems necessarily, but hidden nonetheless).

          For example, there's Tongdang http://www.tongdang.com/ just a skip and hop down on Huntington from Colonial Kitchen. Go there if you enjoy very pedestrian Thai food.

          Further east on Huntington is a nice little fish market, San Marino Fish Market, then of course there's Julienne. But no doubt, San Marino gets overshadowed by Pasadena when it comes to restaurants.

          1. re: ipsedixit
            Will Owen Apr 18, 2007 12:18 PM

            That's because Pasadena gets overshadowed by San Marino when it comes to real estate prices! Which probably has something to do with why Julienne's very good but not amazing "bar-burger" costs a good bit more than Second City Bistro's or even the one at Ford's Filling Station. Of course, it's still a damn nice place to sit and feed.

            As for Colonial Kitchen, having actually gone voluntarily to Conrad's and Norm's on several occasions, I think I am fated to check these guys out. Hey, someone's got to do it.

            1. re: Will Owen
              onebite Apr 18, 2007 12:43 PM

              Oooh, goodie. I'll be interested to know what you think of Colonial Kitchen.

              I go to Julienne for breakfast, which seems fairly priced to me. Their coffee is great, and I love their rosemary-raisin toast. It's very pleasant to sit there and read the paper while my mechanic (Leon's on the corner of Mission/Los Robles) is working on my car.

              I did have lunch there one day and recall some sticker shock.

              1. re: onebite
                Will Owen Apr 18, 2007 12:49 PM

                The burger, at eighteen bucks, is still one of the cheapest items on the menu. I don't remember how much the roast lamb sandwich is, but it's worth every penny. It's served on that rosemary-raisin bread, which initially struck me as just TOO precious, but the flavor in combination with the lamb won me over.

                1. re: Will Owen
                  ipsedixit Apr 18, 2007 12:52 PM

                  I think the lamb sandwich is around 10 or 12 bucks.

                  I believe you the chicken salad sandwich (which is very good) is around 12 bucks as well.

                  My favorite sandwich item there is the grilled steak sandwich.

        2. r
          revets2 Apr 18, 2007 01:05 PM

          san marino greasy spoon. a favorite of families. memories of high school prom breakfasts the next morning...20 years ago!

          7 Replies
          1. re: revets2
            Will Owen Apr 18, 2007 03:44 PM

            See, that's why I've got to go there - places that have this kind of history sort of resonate with it, for better or worse. It's why we like Twohey's, for all of its shortcomings: if I sit there long enough, I can feel the Brylcreem creeping back into my hair, and the wrinkles and extra poundage melting away...and then I start believing it and get the hot fudge sundae, so maybe it's not such a good idea after all!

            1. re: Will Owen
              revets2 Apr 18, 2007 03:55 PM

              okay, will, that might be going a bit far. we tried TWOHEY's for the first time in a long time after Z SUSHI (not great) and i couldn't recapture that lovin' feeling. didn't finish my pie and gagged at the coffee. so jaded am i. some nostalgia works, but i can't put my finger why it failed me at TWOHEYs.

              1. re: revets2
                bigtums Apr 18, 2007 04:29 PM

                I actually like Twohey's burgers and homemade chips.

                1. re: revets2
                  slacker Apr 18, 2007 04:34 PM

                  Twohey's serves a good turkey burger.

                  1. re: slacker
                    ipsedixit Apr 18, 2007 04:39 PM

                    The malts are good, but then again that might be one of those hazy childhood memories ...

                    I think Twoheys hit rock bottom when they started offering AYCE ribs.

                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      Will Owen Apr 18, 2007 06:19 PM

                      Hey, you just don't GET those. Get the malts, shakes and sundaes, get the giant cookie. Get a grilled cheese and fries. Get something a drugstore lunch counter couldn't screw up. Please note that I did say "for all its shortcomings"...

                      What I love about their HF sundae is that they'll happily make it with chocolate ice cream. In fact, they'll make any ice cream dish with any flavor they have.

                2. re: Will Owen
                  mstinawu Apr 18, 2007 04:23 PM

                  I tried the famed onion rings and hot fudge sundae at Twohey's and was not impressed. The onion rings at Johnny's Pastrami (on Adams in Los Angeles) are way better--they're my favorite in fact and the messy sundae from the sammy's pizza chain is also better by leaps and bounds.

                  I guess this was more of a reply and where to get the best onion rings and hot fudge sundaes. So, to recap:

                  Best onion rings: Johnny's Pastrami
                  Best hot fudge sundae: Sammy's Woodfired Pizza

              2. monku Apr 18, 2007 06:21 PM

                I'm with you....driven by Colonial Kitchen many times in many years and never eaten there. I guess there's no reason to change and wonder anymore.

                1 Reply
                1. re: monku
                  onebite Apr 18, 2007 07:54 PM

                  You know, I still might stop in there for breakfast or a hamburger sometime. There's something about old diners that hits a chord with me, as long as they're clean. Even if the food's not that great, it might be worth a visit just to catch the diner vibe.

                2. ElsieDee Apr 18, 2007 10:00 PM

                  I've eaten there twice - food is very dinerish - stick with the breakfast menu (but nothing too "exotic") or the lunch menu. Had an okay CFS for dinner one night - dining companion ordered Rarebit which appeared (and tasted like) melted Velveeta over cold toast. I would not recommend ordering it. Breakfast foods (I had a basic egg and sausage plate) were fine.

                  But it is worth stopping in, just to see the decor. Really. I keep meaning to ask if I can take photos (but then forget, 'cause I'm usually on my way to somewhere else) - it's, um, kind of difficult to describe but oddly comforting in one of those "idealized New England diner with no windows" kind of way. Odd experience to contrast the decor to the Asian server who spoke little English (we ordered by pointing to what we wanted on the menu).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ElsieDee
                    onebite Apr 19, 2007 01:08 PM

                    Love your description! Yet another reason to drop in.

                  2. s
                    Spiff Apr 19, 2007 01:45 PM

                    I've been there and agree with the posters who have said it is nothing special. I used to teach in San Marino and went one morning with another friend before school started. We were the youngest people in there by 50 years!

                    Believe me, I am not picky by ANY stretch of the imagination, but it is just really mediocre.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Spiff
                      MaryT Apr 21, 2007 04:34 PM

                      The owner and several employees are Asian. One nice thing, it is open most holidays. It is dinerish and an older demographic clientele wise, the soups and most entrees are pretty average or a little better. I do enjoy the trout almondine most of the time I've had it. And you don't see Welsh Rarebit on most menus nowadays . . . all entrees come with both soup and salad.

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