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Pre Reunion Dinner Pasadena

rantsnravesnreviews Jul 23, 2008 04:35 PM

I will be meeting a few of my "girlfriends" from high school in Pasadena for dinner. We want to have meal somewhere fairly close to the Hilton where we won't be rushed so we can crash the reunion afterwards (30 years). I am in charge of making the recommendations since I live in the area still. I have been told that they don't want to spend more than $30 each without booze. Suggestions please?

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    attran99 RE: rantsnravesnreviews Jul 23, 2008 04:47 PM

    How nice do you want dinner to be?
    Safe bets in Old Town Pas are Louise's, Cheesecake Factory.
    I'm fond of Cafe Santorini, Mi Piace, and Sushi Afloat.
    Hot Wings Cafe is fun if you're looking for a casual place...the fried zuchinni pairs well with the wings.
    If you're meeting the last Tuesday of the month...the Melting Pot has a great ladies' night special...appetizer fondue, salad, entree fondue, and chocolate fondue for $32.

    1 Reply
    1. re: attran99
      Alta Bob RE: attran99 Jul 23, 2008 10:12 PM

      In Old Towne on Raymond, I highly recommend Yujean Kang's. Nearyby in One Colorado I like Il Fornio. On Lake, Celestino's is always consistant. They should all be in your price range.

    2. ipsedixit RE: rantsnravesnreviews Jul 23, 2008 10:26 PM

      Smitty's might work. www.smittysgrill.com

      Mojitos would also be a good choice. http://www.mojitosrestaurant.com/home...

      11 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        Fru RE: ipsedixit Jul 24, 2008 05:50 AM

        I 2nd Smitty's. Without knowing what type of food or atmosphere, I'm just going to give a couple of my favorites that are safe and reasonable for what you get. On Arroyo at Del Mar is Houston's. Depending on what you order, you could stay under $30. I love their prime rib French dip (under$20) and their ribs which are around $20 including a side. Cafe Bizou on Raymond (next door to Yujean Kang) will definitely meet your needs with a nice atmosphere as well.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          Local RE: ipsedixit Jul 24, 2008 09:31 AM

          Fourth for Smitty's...veto Marstons (imho, just not that impressed, and have never understood why throngs are so enthralled with their breakfast- not meant as a troll). I'd do Green Street before Marstons if you want something less expensive but Smitty's would be the right preamble to a good crash (btw - Blair High, Class of 7-')

          1. re: Local
            ipsedixit RE: Local Jul 24, 2008 09:44 AM

            Yeah, I would pass on Marston's for dinner as well. In fact, I would pass on Marston's for breakfast/brunch, but then that's just me.

            Green St. is a good option if you want something more budget-friendly. I would also look at Cafe Verde or even Malbec, which is right down the street.

            Cafe Verde


            1. re: ipsedixit
              wilafur RE: ipsedixit Jul 24, 2008 10:07 AM

              ooh, i've been wanting to try malbec for a while. what are the must have's?

              1. re: wilafur
                ipsedixit RE: wilafur Jul 24, 2008 10:41 AM

                We really liked the empanadas, gnocchi and some of the grilled seafood items.

                Oddly, we found the grilled meats a bit too bland, although the sauces that were served with our Brochette were quite good, and made what were rather unremarkable meats into something more than palatable. I would buy the aioli spearately if I could ...

                There was this dessert special thing that was basically a long donut wrapped around warm apples that was very good as well.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  wilafur RE: ipsedixit Aug 4, 2008 04:40 PM


              2. re: ipsedixit
                Local RE: ipsedixit Jul 24, 2008 11:07 AM

                we went to Il Capo Deli..Malbec's prior incarnation (i think?, different owners now? ) anywho, one of the attractions was a glass o' malbec for $4.50- not perhaps the best of all wines, but nonetheless, made for an easy and inexpensive evening...so, can you speak to Malbec's wine prices selection? thanks. L.

                1. re: Local
                  ipsedixit RE: Local Jul 24, 2008 01:45 PM

                  I remember Il Capo. Definitely under new ownership.

                  Malbec has a decent wine list, heavy on Argentinian wines (no surprise, right?). Most have a moderate to high markup IMO, bottles if I recall correctly ranged from 25-200.

                  They also had a small selection of wines by the glass, but nothing notable -- all around 7-10 a glass.

                  Could not really partake ... was dining with a Mormon. :-)

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    wilafur RE: ipsedixit Jul 24, 2008 02:06 PM

                    mormon = perfect designated driver! =)

                    1. re: wilafur
                      ipsedixit RE: wilafur Jul 24, 2008 04:33 PM

                      Concur, but when dining with one Mormon it means drinking alone ... and that kind of just makes me feel like a whino.


                    2. re: ipsedixit
                      Local RE: ipsedixit Jul 24, 2008 02:42 PM

                      thanks-will head over to the Wine board to research possible candidates.. sounds reasonable for w-bt-g, and maybe at least a notch above the Argentine Twobuckchuck we were glugging down...

            2. f
              foufou RE: rantsnravesnreviews Jul 24, 2008 06:57 AM

              3rd for Smitty's. Great food, wait staff, and can accomodate potentially diverse food tastes among your high school friends

              1. rantsnravesnreviews RE: rantsnravesnreviews Jul 24, 2008 08:01 AM

                Thanks these are great suggestions. I was wondering if anyone has been to Marstons for Dinner. The menu looked good, and was a little cheaper than Smittys.

                1. c
                  crystaw RE: rantsnravesnreviews Jul 24, 2008 09:16 AM

                  I think the Crepevine would be a fun place to go with girlfriends. Although I've never been, I've heard positive things about Red, White, and Bluezz and Vertical Wine Bistro

                  1. Local RE: rantsnravesnreviews Jul 24, 2008 12:15 PM

                    Central Park restaurant on s. fair oaks, below green street. haven't been so consult board for reviews (appears to be more hit than miss).


                    1. rantsnravesnreviews RE: rantsnravesnreviews Aug 4, 2008 04:10 PM

                      Thanks for all the Rec's!! The consensus was Smitty's so we have reservations. My experiences there have been fine with the food, once I had horrible service. I am hoping there will be no problems.

                      Also I am curious about Marstons? Why the thumbs down? I was interested in their dinner, now I am not sure.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: rantsnravesnreviews
                        The Oracle RE: rantsnravesnreviews Aug 4, 2008 04:21 PM

                        re: the Smitty's reservation - call and request either a booth or a table in the back room. You won't be able to hear each other, if there are more than 4 of you, in the front room.

                        1. re: rantsnravesnreviews
                          Clare K RE: rantsnravesnreviews Aug 4, 2008 07:17 PM

                          Marston's is fine for a so-so breakfast, but I wouldn't go there for dinner - especially for a special occasion such as this. I'd recommend Vertical Wine Bistro where you can share small plates (and they have a lot of reasonably priced bottles of wine plus full bar), or Celestino's, which has pretty authentic Italian food. I've heard nothing but bad things about Smitty's...

                          Clare K.

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