Pinot Bistro - Valley
Had dinner with a friend last week mostly due to suggestions on the board (i think diane suggested it) Got there early. The bartender was very mellow and relaxed, and allowed me to sample several wines. Turned out he used to work for the Chronicle, which if there are any old Pasadena residents, this will ring a bell with you. Anyway, super nice guy and the wines were good, nothing unusual, but perfectly tasty, if not cheap (but then again wine is by the glass is so riduculously priced - I might as well stop complaining about gas prices).
Once my friend got there, we settled in. She had a goat cheese salad and I had a green salad. I then had a beef tartare and she had a smoked salmon concoction of some kind. We also had a side of broccoli, and some lentils. Everything was tasty. I didn't like her salmon dish very much, but the tartare was great.
I honestly would never go out of my way to eat there, but as a halfway point between my best friend and I, it was perfect and much better than the chain restaurants that we would have otherwise been reduced to.
Just for reference, it is on Ventura, just slightly west off Coldwater Cyn.