HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Pasadena choices

jtartar Aug 29, 2007 09:02 PM

If you had time for one dinner in Pasadena which would you choose: Vertical Wine Bistro, Derek's, or Bistro 45?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. katkoupai RE: jtartar Aug 29, 2007 09:16 PM

    I would go to Vertical Wine Bistro. I don't know much about the other places, but I have read about Vertical here on Chowhound and in the LA Times, and it's a place that I would love to try.

    1. g
      Griller141 RE: jtartar Aug 29, 2007 09:21 PM

      In order:
      Bistro 45
      Bistro 45

      2 Replies
      1. re: Griller141
        WildSwede RE: Griller141 Aug 30, 2007 07:58 AM

        I'm curious, what about Bistro 45 is it that you like? I admit, I have only been there once, but I found the experience to be less than stellar. I have not been to Vertical, so would say Derek's.

        1. re: WildSwede
          Griller141 RE: WildSwede Aug 30, 2007 08:54 PM

          I am fully aware that Bistro 45 is not a favorite on this board, but I have been there probably 15 times over the years and have yet to have a bad experience. Food is innovative and generally well executed. The service can be a minor problem at times, but no worse than most similar places. The room is comfortable if you can stay away from the middle areas. Maybe the clincher is the wine list - excellent often hard to find wines at very reasonable prices.
          Derek's, on the other hand, has never failed to disappoint. Failed executions, lukewarm and even cold food at times, hugely overpriced and food that rarely lives up to the great menu descriptions. Beef "Wellington" is a prime example of a great description that comes out, well, rather underwhelming.
          Vertical is AOC Junior. wines are more ambitious and more expensive, especially if you calculate what you're paying per glass for the tasting flights. Food can be good, even very good, and the place is much less frenetic than AOC - relaxing even. Service, even after a long break in period still needs a lot of work.
          I also agree that there are better places than these three in the area, but just answering the question.

      2. ipsedixit RE: jtartar Aug 29, 2007 09:26 PM


        Don't ask me why, and I won't ask you why your only choices are these three rather different restaurants.

        1. Clare K RE: jtartar Aug 30, 2007 08:35 AM

          I guess Vertical? But don't sit in the bar area if you want to be able to hear your own thoughts.

          Then Derek's, then Bistro 45.

          But there are plenty of better choices in Pasadena, including Parkway Grill, Briganti and Mike & Anne's (south pas).

          Clare K.

          1. r
            rickym13 RE: jtartar Aug 30, 2007 09:39 AM

            my vote goes to derek's. little bias since they did our wedding.
            never been to vertical but bistro 45 is good too.

            1. c
              chowchow12345678 RE: jtartar Aug 30, 2007 09:50 AM

              Haven't tried Vertical, but have tried the other two -- we didn't think the food at Derek's was all that impressive to go back for dinner again, it was okay but not anything to rave about. We're willing to try their new Sunday brunch though. Bistro 45 however, was absolute perfection!!! And I know other people who LOVE Bistro 45 too.

              1. The Oracle RE: jtartar Aug 30, 2007 10:59 AM

                Derek's by a hair over Bistro 45. I've had spectacular meals at both and just ok meals at both. I find Derek's to be less cramped than Bistro 45 and a bit quieter.

                I love the space at Vertical - but I think you'd get better bang for your buck from a food perspective elsewhere.

                ...I'd personally head to Parkway Grill over your 3 choices...

                1. SauceSupreme RE: jtartar Aug 30, 2007 01:21 PM

                  Heh, my answer would be Red White + Bluezz.

                  Show Hidden Posts