New poster here. Heard about this site on a program on the Pasadena public radio station yesterday (Sunday, Oct. 1). I am so glad to find this resource.
Does anyone know anything about Ducz, a new restaurant in Pasadena? It's on Lake Avenue and seems to be specializing in seafood. Somebody we know said they thought it's by the same people behind the Arroyo Chophouse, but I don't know if that's correct.
We're looking for a good place where we can get a table tonight -- okay so it's last minute. A good friend of ours who has a busy schedule suddenly had an open dinner, and I'm fishing around trying to come up with something that isn't one of the usual suspects.
This friend is a big fan of Patina. We've been there about five times with him. Time for something new.
We've had good food at Arroyo Chophouse, only we've been there about three times in the past couple months. (On a visit last Spring, I think it was, Julia Child was there. I overheard her telling a friend in the bathroom, "Well we've certainly had good food tonight.")
Oops...looks like no one got a suggestion in time. Where did you end up going? In my opinion, there are no restaurants of the same caliber as Patina in Pasadena, especially Old Town. Some places that LOOK nice, but I've never been is Cayo next door to the Pasadena Playhouse, and Nick's which is on the block next to the South Pasadena Library. Anyone have comments on those restarants? I'd like to try it some day.
Use the link below to access my previous post on Cayo and Pasadena restaurants in general. I agree with the reponse of Jonathan Gold that there are some good restaurants in Pasadena, but if you're aiming at the high end, you're better off west of Pasadena.
Well, we ended up at Arroyo Chophouse. Again. The friend we were taking to dinner, who is a fan of Patina, also has a fondness for the occasional large hunk o' steak. So we chickened out and returned to a place where we knew what to expect.
They made him a very good martini, and after that he was happy. He had the filet. We had ribeyes. There was much good conversation.
I did go by and pick up the menus for Ducz, and learned they are owned by the same people behind the Arroyo Chophouse and the Parkway Grill.
I first ate at the Parkway Grill about 11-12 years ago, and it was wonderful. When I went about 18 months ago, it was only okay. I am not sure if it has gone downhill, or if I was just less picky 12 years ago.
We've lived in Pasadena almost three years, and we're way behind on what's going on out here. So far, I would have to agree that if you're looking for a high-end restaurant, you've got a lot more choice and a much surer bet east of the I-5.
I'm still pulling for Pasadena and points east to come up with some great stuff, though. I have a lot still to experience out here.
We make our way out the 134 into the main LA area quite often. Several times a week. I need to start catching up on what's going on foodwise throughout the region.
I first moved to Los Angeles (from North San Diego County) in 1984. I got a book, "Fantastic Dives," by Elliott Koretz and Michael Nankin (now out of print), that listed what they called "LA's Best Hole in the Wall Dining." It was a terrific resource.
I started learning how to eat. I found joy at both the most expensive restaurants in town, and at the most affordable, tiny little places.
In 1990 I moved to Manhattan. Much good eating there. I miss it. Overwhelming food memories.
I came back to Los Angeles in 1994, only to find that many places I remembered had changed. Some had even disappeared. I had to start over. We had a child, which limited how often we went out. We moved to Pasadena, complicating things even more.
I want to start rebuilding my knowledge of local good eats. This website, which I heard about only last weekend, is a great find.
P.S. I note that there's another Cheryl posting here. I'll be Cheryl H.
re: Cheryl H.
Sorry, the above post should read "west of the I-5." You've got a surer bet of finding great high-end food west of the I-5 than in Pasadena and other easterly cities.
When I was growing up in North San Diego County, there was a saying: "There's no life east of I-5."
And now I live in Pasadena.
Anyway, many thanks to Tom A. for the link to the post about Pasadena restaurants.
re: Cheryl H.
'When I was growing up in North San Diego County, there was a saying: "There's no life east of I-5."'
Wow, really? That doesn't leave much room to work with down there.
Having grown up out there, I would say 'life only begins east of I-5.' :) Of course, high end stuff was never my bag.
Well, the saying about there being no life east of the I-5 was used by surfers and others who associated their lifestyle closely with the ocean. And yes, the idea that it didn't leave much room was the general idea. These were people who generally lived within a short walk of the beach, if not on it, and spent their evenings at restaurants and bars along Highway 101 in towns like Encinitas, Leucadia, Del Mar, Solana Beach, La Jolla, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach.
Having grown up amongst such people, I can say that one great weakness to the beach culture of that era was that a lot of people didn't know bad food from good food. If a restaurant served margaritas and had large portions, they considered it a great restaurant. The popular Happy Hours up and down the coast served the same horrible fried foods and huge wedges of bland cheese.
And oh, I hated that. To find really good food, you had to be willing to go east. Sometimes pretty far east. Great barbecue, for instance, was usually found in neighborhoods that weren't all that familiar to a lot of people who frequented the North County Beach Scene.
There were exceptions, but they were few.