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May 12, 2007 10:19 AM

An alternative to Bistro K?

We have reservations at the formerly incredible Bistro K, but w/the new chef I'm wondering. The new menu is very traditional French (escargots, stuffed mushrooms, frog legs, fois gras for appetizers - onion and turtle soups - sauteed monkfisk, john dory,scallops, coq au vin, duck, filet for entrees - millefeuilles, creme brulee for dessert) while we prefer Laurent's more inventive fare.

We're from Pasadena and want to try someplace new in SoPas as we've really covered the Pasadena places. We hope for good food, but in an unfussy setting which is what we loved about Bistro K. I'm hoping someone will go to Bistro K this weekend and post a report, but failing that - any opinions about an alternative?

Shiro we've done. I like Mike and Anne's but have never been for dinner so that's an alternative. Maybe Brigante although I cook alot of Italian and prefer something else when we go out. I've heard alot about Firefly on this site, but have never been. I think there are mixed chow opinions about Bistro de la Gare. Appreciate your advice.

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  1. My favorite of all of those is Brigante. They do more than pastas and have nice specials. Mike and Annes is nice too. My experience was not stellar, but it think it was becuase of the table we were at, everyone on the boards loves the place and I am going to give it another chance. But none of those places are as creative as "K" in terms of dishes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rantsnravesnreviews

      We ended up going to Briganti last night - thank you for the suggestion. I'm dying to try Cafe Beaujolais and will make that a priority, but since we were taking a guest I didn't want to risk a long wait at a bar that doesn't sound suited to waiting. We thought the food at Briganti was delicious with wonderful service from our charming waiter. We came at 7:30 and were one of three tables left at 10 p.m. and they didn't rush us out. We had the calamari and carpaccio as appetizers; I had risotto as my entree; and my husband and our friend had the parpadelle w/wild boar. It looked like they had homemade canollis, but we were too stuffed from pre-dinner cocktails/appetizers to try. All of us were very happy. Thank you for the recommendation. We'll definitely be back.

    2. Maybe try Bistro de la Gare.

      (Also, it's "Briganti" and not Brigante. Just FYI.)


      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Maybe try Bistro de la Gare some night when it's not slammed. Last time we went both rooms were so packed the waiters couldn't get around, and the food showed clear signs of a kitchen coming unravelled. We haven't been back since, though I'd like to drop in again some quiet weeknight and see if the Steak Frites is back to normal...or if that last poor plate I got *WAS* normal.

      2. Firefly was spectacularly ordinary on Thursday. I am not planning to return.

        No opinion on the others, but Firefly was definitely not worth the prices they charged.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ttriche

          Firefly IS spectaculary ordinary on ANY day! Bistro de la Gare is not so bad--the last time I went there, the service was very attentive, and the food was great (it was too early in the evening, so we were the only ones there) though foodwise, it is nowhere near Bistro K.

        2. go to cafe beaujolais in eagle rock and I heard bistro de la gare is good but it did not seem as innovative as bistro k

          5 Replies
          1. re: kmgsun

            cafe beaujolais: so worth the short drive from pasadena

            1. re: patz

              Thanks to everybody for your advice. I'm excited to try Cafe Beaujolais and called today to make a reservation. They're closed on Mondays, but apparently they don't take Friday/Saturday reservations. Is there a bar where you can have a cocktail if there's a wait? If it were just us I wouldn't care, but we're taking guests and if the wait is too long I don't want to scramble to find somewhere else to eat on a Saturday night in Eagle Rock.

              1. re: mocro

                when i went last saturday it was packed, so we waited about 30-40 min at the bar w/ a bottle of wine -- there were only seats for 2 of us, and it was a little awkward b/c we felt like we were in the way of the servers. but it's worth the wait! i believe that there's also a bar closeby on Colorado.

                1. re: mocro

                  You can wait at the Chalet a few blocks up the street (east) on Colorado, past CB.
                  Nice, low-key place for drinks.

                  1. re: ozzygee

                    yes, that's the one i was thinking of