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Middle Eastern food in Pasadena?

I'm looking for a good middle eastern restaurant in Pasadena to take my boyfriend to for his birthday for dinner on a Saturday night. There will be a group of about 8-10 of us. Any recs?

We like Raffi's place in Glendale, but I'd like to stay in Pasadena if I can, so something similar would be great.

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  1. Maybe Sahara Restaurant on E. Colorado? Here's a recent thread:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/78241

    It's been there several years and is consistently good, with standard kebabs and sides. Not a fancy place at all (they do have table service, just not much atmosphere), but if you're just after the chow, it may be your place.

    1. It's not far from Pasadena, but we really like Mediterranean Garden Grill on Foothill Blvd in Monrovia.

      1. Along the same Lines as above .. Lebanese Kitchen up on Washington. I've consistently gotten good food there.. they have great shishk and falaffel. The Chicken is ok.. i can't tell you about the others because i tend to always go back for the shishk. Ambiance isn't super but its much better since they remodeled maybe a year ago? Foods really good though.

        1. I used to think Sahara was good, but then a friend of mine took me to Heidar Baba. OMG, no comparison. Heidar Baba takes the kebab crown.

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          Heidar Baba
          1511 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

          3 Replies
          1. re: stochasticgirl

            Hey, that's great news. I was going to recommend Sahara, too, but now I'm psyched to try Heidar Baba. Sahara is tasty & the best option I've had in Pasadena, but I've never thought it was exceptional.

            1. re: stochasticgirl

              We have been to Heidar Baba a few times now. Each time the service has been horribly slow and very bland. It's been about six months since our last visit, has it improved recently?

              1. re: Kevitivity

                Food still bland. But serviceable, not horrible.
                Also, they keep their air conditioning turned down low so I spent my entire lunch today sweating in our booth and chugging ice water.

                Service still inexperienced. The server looked to be someone's daughter and she nearly spilled soup and salad on me. Poor thing, she was trembling.

            2. I second heidar baba...... It is soooooo good!!!!!! All the food is so fresh and leaves you feeling full, but no heavy. The only thing is, is if you are looking for atmosphere, this may not be the place. It is nice and clean , but the ambiance is " so so"