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romantic first date spots in pasadena?

Hi, thanks for reading and offering suggestions. I just moved to LA and am looking for a nice, quiet, romantic spot in pasadena to take a first date. Not looking to WOW her with a classy, expensive place, rather somewhere quaint, simple with a nice atmosphere. I'm open to all kinds of food and looking to spend near 25-30PP. Also looking for some ideas for an after dinner spot like a coffee shop, dessert place, lounge, again, somewhere with a nice/romantic atmosphere. I appreciate all your suggestions and know chowhounders know what they're talking about!

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  1. Just a couple of places that come to mind.
    La Luna Negra - Tapas. It does have live music at times (weekends?) which may make conversations difficult. Probably better on a week night.

    Vertical - Wine Bar. The food was okay. I don't know enough to comment on the wine aspect of it, but the ambiance is good for a first date.

    1. I think Cafe Bizou is a nice choice, and this time of year, the patio of Cafe Santorini is very comfortable as well. Both have great food, and a bonus of Cafe Santorini is that if the date goes well, grab some gelato from downstairs and eat it in the courtyard.

      1. many good places to go in pasadena but not sure i would consider any of them romantic...its too crowed and more of happening places....few in south pas:

        mike & ann's

        1. If it's lunchtime, then you could go to Julienne's in San Marino. Combine that with a walk through the Huntington and you'll look like a regular old casanova...

          1. Briganti in South Pasadena. Great Italian food, cozy yet spacious so that you're not having dinner with people at the next table; they also have a lovely heated patio area; medium-dimly lit; can fit in your price range.

            1 Reply
            1. re: slacker

              Ditto what slacker said, esp. the atrium part.

            2. Marston's is actually pretty cozy intimate during dinnertime (a stark contrast from the lines-out-the-door hustle and bustle of the day) and they have pretty good dishes.

              But I also second Mike & Anne's & Briganti. Saladang Song also has a nice ambience if you're into Thai.

              For desserts, CrepeVine or Fair Oaks Pharmacy.


              1. Definitely check out CrepeVine. It's a cute, intimate spot with really good food. My BF was reluctant to try it out because he's not a huge crepe fan but he got the mussels & loved them. We went on a Saturday night & they had some live jazz.

                Here's there website....http://www.thecrepevine.com/

                Have a great time : )

                1. I would second Marston's and Crepe Vine Bistro (or you can just go here for dessert), and also Saladang Song (their outdoor seating is really2 nice and will give a great ambiance for a date night).

                  You should also look into Green Street Restaurant (atmosphere is pretty simple but I like it, nice and quiet).
                  Also, I like Celestino and they have good food there. If you can spend more, Maison Akira has a nice, cute, victorian-esque atmosphere. They have pretty good food there, although expensive.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: burumun

                    I really enjoy Crepe Vine, but probably wouldn't pick it for a first date since all the tables are squished so close together. I've been there many times and each time, the service has been a bit inattentive. And last time, the hostess made a pretend-joke comment about our not having a reservation, even though we walked in 5 minutes after they opened for dinner and hardly anyone was there, and there were empty tables when we left. Give me a break. But agree about dessert, sitting at the bar for a dessert crepe and a glass of wine or some coffee would be nice.

                    I also really like Celestino, great food, and romantic too.

                    1. re: burumun

                      I have to disagree about Maison Akira, both in terms of food and decor.

                      For the past 2 years or so, the food has been in a steady, slow decline. Now? It's no longer declining. It's hit rock bottom.

                      Decor? If you're about 80, you'd find it quaint. Otherwise, the place plays like a spoof of what the Marquis' chateau must've looked like in Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities".

                      This is actually really rather sad. I used to be a big fan of Maison Akira. To see what it has become is rather disheartening.

                    2. Wow... thanks for all the great suggestions. Considering I just moved here from NYC, I'm going to have to try all these restaurants at some point. It's going to be hard narrowing down this list, but I'll be sure to write a review of whichever place I need up going. Thanks for all the great suggestions and comments! Much appreciated!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: mkm710

                        you cant go wrong with Cafe Bizou- its romantic, yummy, and the price is right!

                        1. re: ragazza

                          I'll third and fourth Cafe Bizou for all of the reasons above. Also, a couple of small places with good interesting food are Yahaira's http://www.yahairascafe.com/ (check the hours) and Cafe Verde http://www.cafeverdepasadena.com. Yahaira's also has music, again check for days and times.

                      2. Passing along a solid recommendation I received earlier this year on this board, I would recommend Raymond House way before Bizou. Its really cute, the service is great and the food seems better, while still price reasonable. Brunch on the patio is lovely.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Heidi

                          I like The Raymond too but I think it is a little high end for a first date. The entrees alone are in the high 20's to low 30's.http://www.theraymond.com