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May 6, 2008 09:46 PM

Graduation Dinner for 12 ppl in Pasadena - Need advice!

I'm graduating from college (yessss) in a week and a half and need to make arrangements for dinner. Pasadena is the most central location for family from lots of different areas and I'm confused as to where to reserve. As this dinner is for graduation and birthday, budget isn't too much of a concern. Nothing too exotic, and definitely good service and an upscale feeling are what I'm looking for. Most important is that it is quiet and accommodating of large groups!

I was thinking of:

- The Dining Room @ The Langham
I ate here one four years ago when it was the Ritz. How is it now? Overpriced? Called to request they email me the menus, no response yet. Is The Terrace--the other restaurant in that hotel--nice enough?

- Parkway Grill
Was good last time I ate there in January. Good for a large party?

- JJ Steakhouse
Worth the hype? Overpriced because of location right on Colorado Bl?

- Madeleine's
Had good dinner here once, definitely quiet, but is it good for groups?

Any other suggestions?? So many of the large, seemingly upscale restaurants in Pasadena have mediocre food and are really noisy. (e.g. Mi Piace)

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  1. The Dining Room was still good about a year ago, but have not gone since the sale. That said, the same chef and dining room operation was retained by the Langham so I can't imagine much has changed.

    Parkway Grill is fine for large groups; the restaurant has little nooks that can give large parties a sense of "private room-ness" without being totally closed off from the rest of the restaurant.

    I would pass on JJ.

    Madeleine's is fine. Probably on par with Parkway Grill in terms of appeal and suitability.

    I would also consider any of the of the following: The Raymond and Firefly Bistro, as well as Cafe Santorini.

    1. You may consider Arroyo Chop House and Maison Akira. I took my SO's mom from NJ who's not too adventurous to Maison Akira and she loved it. Nice service too and an upscale feel.

      1. A friend of mine had his college grad party at Parkway...about 15 years ago (yikes)! It was a fairly large group...I'd say at least 30 people. They booked the entire back room. It worked out quite well. You might be able to get that room for your smaller group.

        Madeleine's has a room, they call it the Bordeaux room, which would be great for your group if they'd let you take it over. It's not huge, but more than big enough for 12, especially if they let you have it to yourselves.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jack Flash

          Parkway was booked. :( Maison Akira has lots of good prix fixe so thats convenient. Going to try there. Thanks for the suggestion!

          1. re: jb8765

            Also, Celestinos on Lake Avenue has a nice private room if you're in the mood for Italian. Maison Akira is a little old school for me but you know your group. I think that new Mojitos on Raymond in Old Town has a private room and that night be fun. Congratulations on your graduation!