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Aug 29, 2007 09:02 PM

Pasadena choices

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

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  1. 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. In order:
      Bistro 45
      Bistro 45

      2 Replies
      1. re: Griller141

        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

          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. Derek's.

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

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