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May 24, 2008 12:18 AM

Nano Cafe now Fresco's?

Hmmmm - I must have gotten the new name wrong - just doesn't look right, but it's what I scribbled on my palm before we left.

Anyway, apparently Nano Cafe (in far east Pasadena, off of Michillinda - maybe technically in Sierra Madre?) was sold 10-months ago. The menu has changed, decor hasn't - name change has happened, but the old sineage is still there.

Sadly, no CFS on the new menu, though I was told that they're in the process of revising the menu, so maybe they'll be offering it again. The new menu (as of tonight) is a mixture of sandwiches, pasta, some tex-mex ... kind of all over the place. We had a couple of salads (side salad was fine but nothing wonderful - the "cafe salad" [or something similar - greens, gorgonzola, pears, walnuts] was pronounced "refreshing" and the main "mango and shrimp" salad was devoured). Club sandwich was meh - nothing wrong, but nothing outstanding - and came with steak fries which were also meh-ish. On the other hand, the handmade (or homemade?) ravioli were very flavorful and it was a decent sized serving. The garlic bread which came with the main salad and the ravioli was surprisingly good - tasted almost like Cuban bread (rather than French) - more dense and a little chewy.

Dessert options were scarce (apple pie, a berry pie, what appeared to be Costco-like chocolate chip cookies, banana nut muffins, and chocolate muffins).

Service was friendly, earnest, cheerful, and well done. Prices seem to be higher by a buck or two from the previous incarnation, but hey, it's been over a year since we've been there, so maybe not unexpected. Still a decent local family joint - we'll return to check-out the new menu sometime in the upcoming weeks.

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  1. No CFS (chicken fried steak, I'm assuming?) That was one of my regular breakfast choices at Nano.

    Our last visit was probably about 10 months ago, must have been right after the sale. We didn't recognize any of the staff and it was clear that just about everyone there had no idea what they were doing. Orders took forever, and were wrong. Kitchen staff had to come out every time they put up an order to explain to the clueless servers what it was (kitchen staff must have been retained from prior ownership, because they were the only ones who knew what was going on). We haven't been back since, figuring they needed plenty of time to figure out what they were doing.

    Did you happen to see the breakfast menu? We liked Nano because there was pretty much something for everyone.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jack Flash

      Yep, sorry, CFS = Chicken Fried Steak.

      I didn't get a gander at the current breakfast menu or the new menu that they're supposed to be initiating sometime in the next couple of weeks. Yeah, I, too liked their old menu because it had something for everyone and everything was decently made.

      I'd walked in with the intent of ordering the CFS - when I realized it wasn't on the new menu I was stymied and it took me forever to decide what I wanted to order - I just kept reading the options and hoping to find something that twigged the "I really want to eat that" reaction; that didn't happen and I settled on the club sandwich, which was pretty generic, though the ingredients were fresh.

      Our service was fine, though there weren't that many customers while we were there - it looked like there were only two people working the front, though, so if they'd been busy I imagine that things might have been tight.

      Oh, and I think that they're now open 7-days a week.

    2. There's still a Nano Cafe on Duarte Rd in Monrovia, west of Myrtle. I've never been there but I drove past it today and it looked as crowded as ever. No evidence that this one has changed ownership.

      2 Replies
      1. re: monkuboy

        Thanks for the reminder - I remember reading that they had two branches of the restaurant but haven't made it over to the Monrovia location. Next time I'm in the area I'll have to stop by and see if it's the original owners - or if they have the CFS on the menu.

        1. re: ElsieDee

          The original owner of Nano still owns the one on Duarte. Not sure about the CFS tho

      2. The new owners have had a naming contest going on for a while with gift cards as the prize. I used to occasionally have breakfast there, but never tried the CFS. If you want that, I heard the best is at that tex mex place that is on Citrus in Covina. Cant remmebr the name now!!!

        4 Replies
        1. re: rantsnravesnreviews


          I believe you are referring to Taste of Texas.

          Aside from the CSF (which is quite good), they also make a decent Tamale Pie.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Yes!!! Thats it! I have never had it, but people I know seem to love it. I think the beans are quite good!

            1. re: rantsnravesnreviews

              Does anyone know if they still have the weird hours and if they still serve beer and wine?

              1. re: MaryT

                I think they have more normal hours, and are open for dinner every night. Not sure about the beer and wine, but I think they still do.