I know it's a hot topic, but we'll be in town visiting and would like to go out a couple of times, perhaps with the toddler in tow. This would be for lunch and/or dinner and is obviously not for any four star-type places.
Any suggestions? We'll be in Pasadena mostly, but traveling around to Hollywood, Malibu and perhaps the valley (SF).
One of my standards for toddler-friendly/family-oriented in Pasadena is Green Street restaurant, breakfast, lunch or dinner...inside or outside patio. Nice and casual, but definitely not a coffee shop. We were just there over Thanksgiving weekend with a 6-month old (friend's grandchil') along with a few other families with kids of all ages. http://www.greenstreetrestaurant.com/
also El Portal, Mijares or La Fiesta Grande for Mexican fare (El P. has Yucatan specialties, others YMMV...not a big LFG fan; Mijares- margs are good, okay combo plates, etc.).
Green Street Restaurant
146 S Shopper's Lane, Pasadena, CA 91101
Zankou Chicken in Pasadena would be a good bet for lunch or dinner. And not too far from Pasadena, in Garvanza, is My Taco, which is also kid-friendly. Neither is much to speak of in terms of atmosphere, but the food is good and there are highchairs and kid-friendly menu options at both.
6300 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042
1296 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106, USA
There is a cute, comfy, cozy, relaxed place in Eagle Rock called Larkins
It's contemporary soul food...lots of comfort food in a cute old craftsman home.
There is an aoutdoor patio. It's very neighborhoody and I've seen several families with well-behaved toddlers.
The place is just a hop skip and a jump from Pasadena.