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Pre Reunion Dinner Pasadena

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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  1. 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

      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.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        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

          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

            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
            http://www.cafeverdepasadena.com/cafe...

            Malbec
            http://www.malbeccuisine.com/

            1. re: ipsedixit

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

              1. re: wilafur

                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.

              2. re: ipsedixit

                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

                  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

                    mormon = perfect designated driver! =)

                    1. re: wilafur

                      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

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

              1. 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. 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