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Good Italian in Pasadena

I am looking for a great Italian Restaurant to go to after a football game at the Rose Bowl. I like homemade pastas in a cozy setting. Please no Bucca de Beppo places.

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  1. Briganti's in S. Pasadena. Do a search, all good revues

    1 Reply
    1. People on this board seem to really like Briganti - I've never been so, can't weigh in however, some other options you should probably consider are Celestino on S. Lake and Tre Venezie on Green St.

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      Celestino
      141 South Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

      Trattoria Tre Venezie
      119 W Green St, Pasadena, CA 91105

      1 Reply
      1. re: bodie

        Wholeheartedly agree. And I would definitely add Briganti.

      2. I like Domenico's for their Eggplant Parmesan, Garlic Bread and Clam Chowder soup (which I think is a special?) though I don't actually like eating in the restaurant.. just get it to go.

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        Domenico's Italian Restaurant
        2411 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104

        2 Replies
        1. re: adevejian

          I also like their antipasto salad!

          1. re: adevejian

            They are closed for vacation until after labor Day. But it's the best place on here. So it's not in Old Town, sorry, your loss.

          2. Note that we don't all love Briganti. I for one find it relentlessly mediocre, like a bad, expensive Brentwood place transplanted to South Pas - Celestino does the same sort of food much more carefully. Tre Venezie is wonderful, although expensive and specializing in a region, Friuli, that you may not have in mind. Domenico's, on Washington near Altadena Dr., serves the kind of homey, straightforward Italian-American pastas and pizzas we all grew up eating.

            1 Reply
            1. re: condiment

              I def. agree that Briganti is mediocre at best. Celestino is one the best italians in Pas. Gale's is also very good.

            2. you might add Gale's...not a little trattoria type place, but definitely not Bucca... nicer environs, food is good, south of Old Town central...not a checkered table-cloth/Chianti-bottle candle kinda place, but not chichi either.

              http://www.galesrestaurant.com/

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              Gale's
              452 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

              7 Replies
              1. re: Local

                I tried Gale's over the weekend. The best thing was the house salad. I found the food to be exceedingly bland. Not a place I'd go back to anytime soon.

                1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                  curious what you had...i stick with seafood pasta, linguine with clams, or the special fish for the evening. Though I don't eat there regularly, the shellfish and fish filets have always been fresh and flavorful, sauces not too heavy, but with depth and zest, ...particularly remember a lobster with vodka sauce over linguine that was pretty good stuff ...dunno...and unfortunate, as even a good salad is rarely enough to be a deal maker.

                  1. re: Local

                    Wife had linguini with clams, I had linguini with scampi. The sauce was almost like water, just almost tasteless. She ended up dousing it with pepper, and even that didn't help much. The shrimp and the clams themselves were fine. Unfortunately, Domenico's is closed for vacation, or I would have went there. They know how to do it.

                    1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                      ...such a different experience...the broth on my clams was briny and tasted of white wine, leek, and subtle hints of ocean...the seafood linguine may have been a special, ...sauce was not a thick sauce but had substance and hints of citrus, fennel and again, flavorful. That said, no question that Gale's is a different style than Domenico's... I'm not a big Domenico's fan because i find the "old style" tomato sauces with all the oregano, etc. to be a bit heavy handed for my current tastes. To each is own - glad that Domenico's works for you ;-)

                      1. re: Local

                        the lingiuni scampi I order at Domenico's is not a tomato/oregano sauce at all, but rather lemon/butter/garlic/white wine sauce. Sounds like you haven't been in a while

                        1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                          Sorry, not what I meant. Actually, I never got around to the scampi because, over many years of going to Domenico's, I've just never been particularly impressed with their food- whether pizza, basic pasta/marinara sauce or pasta/clam sauce combinations...other's I've dined with have had their scampi- too much butter...just not my gig...and yes, you are correct, it's been at least two years since I was last there.

                          1. re: Local

                            Fair enough, for me there's no such thing as "too much butter". Curiously enough, Domenico's is known for their pizza, but I've never thought it that great. I'd much rather have pasta, veal parmesan, a sandwich, or even a calzone before pizza there.