Late Night Food, Empanadas, and Haute Cuisine
Unfortunately, not all three subjects at the same time; I had three things to say, and decided to say them at once.
1. Aside from Canter's and the multitude of bizarre eateries in San Gabriel, what are some good restaurants that are open around the clock? Right now, I usually rely on taquerias. I would sell my own mother for a really good all-night diner near Pasadena.
2. Empanada's Place, on Sawtell Ave at Venice Blvd in Carson City, is rapidly becoming one of my favorite places; I have volunteered to go to LAX from Pasadena 5 times in the past few months just to stop there and purchase a few Arabe Empanadas.
3. Back to questions; I owe someone about $100, and I want to pay him in one meal. Any recommendations or warnings as to where we should head?
My favorite 24/7 place has got to be El Gran Burrito, on the southwest corner of Santa Monica and Vermont. Really fine carne asada tacos, quite good al pastor and cabeza. It is actually my favorite place for carne asada outside of East LA, 24/7-ness or no.
The carne asada there is *deep*.
I meet a friend from Glendale all the time, so it shouldn't be much of a trip for you. It's right off the 101.
Especially late at night, I find myself to be the only non-Mexican or Mexican-American in the place, if this means anything pro or con to you. This is odd, because it used to be a lot more racially mixed. Who knows.
I've never been there at night and not have it be packed. It's better then, too - turnover is faster, important for tacos.
These may be kind of a haul for you out in Pasadena, but
my fave late night eateries are Fred 62 and Suehiro.
Fred 62 is a Los Feliz 24/7 diner that's almost too hip
for its own good, but the food makes up for it. Suehiro
is a Japanese diner in downtown LA, open till 1am during
the week and 3am on weekends. Highly recommended.
I'd consider sushi as well but I am unfamiliar with Naples Sushi? I'd recommend you head downtown for Tsukasa or Sushi Gen. I wish I had more inspired thoughts about late night Pasadena and if you come up with any please share. Otherwise I'd have to direct you downtown again, to one of the Chinese places or Pacific Dining Car.
On item one, you might also consider taking your friend to Water Grill or Campanile or somewhere for lunch, where that $100 would go a bit further.
Thanks all for the recommendations.
As for Sushi near Pasadena, I am a great fan of Sakana Seafood, on Duarte at Baldwin. It's a little pricy, but it's really great stuff, especially if the proprietress is in. When I first went there, they didn't have English menus, and we accidentally spent twice as much money as we had. A friend put it on his father's credit card. I don't think we ever paid him back...