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must eat in Old Town Pasadena tonight. Help

Unfortunately, because of transportation, we all need to eat in Old Town Pasadena early tonight. Parents and kids. Please don't make me eat at the Cheesecake Factory...

All I can think of is Yujean Kang and Akbar. Any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

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    1. Not right IN Old Town, but Central Park is three or four blocks south on Fair Oaks. West side of the street facing, um, Central Park. Not a Destination, but good food and friendly, brisk service. Sand dabs and flatiron steak are very good, not expensive.

      1. King Taco! Central Park is a good recommendation as well.

        1. besides what have been listed:

          gyu kaku : japanese bbq
          neomeze: tapas
          villa sorriso
          il fornaio
          cafe bizou
          cafe santorini
          beckham grill
          la luna negra

          1 Reply
          1. re: rickym13

            i like cafe bizou. i prefer the pasadena location to the one in the SFV

          2. Melting Pot is fun, if you can get in. Gyu Kaku on Green St. is another fun place, cook your own food. Cafe Verde looks good. How are the children?

            4 Replies
            1. re: bosanova99

              I have to disagree on the Melting Pot. It's terribly expensive and boiled meat just isn't good.

              Cafe Verde is however very good.

              1. re: Kevitivity

                Cafe Verde is not in Old Town...it's several blocks east, although it's just about my favorite restaurant in Pasadena. And given that the OP mentions parents and kids, it sounds like it's more than two people. they'd definitely need a reservation at Cafe Verde just because it's so small...but they are expanding into the space just to the West, so in the future it might not be quite so cramped.

                1. re: Kevitivity

                  i'm going to have to disagree with that blanket statement as far as shabu-shabu is concerned. but on the whole, yes, boiled meat is not very good.

                  1. re: jbeecher

                    No, you are correct, shabu-shabu is an exception to the rule.

              2. Neomeze or Red White & Bluezz, some of the best food in old town. Or Barney's Ltd.

                1 Reply
                1. The only restaurants in Old Town that i actually enjoy is Mi Piace. But it's been years since i've eaten there so now sure how it is now.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: TailbackU

                    Oh, there are so many good places in Old Town. Vertical Wine Bistro is wonderful.

                    1. re: TailbackU

                      Love Mi Piace - fun and right on the main drag. Great food and vibe.

                    2. i would definetly go to 21 choices frozen yogurt for dessert. the flavors are always creative and fresh and i love the toppings. the kids will love being able to chose their own toppings and everyone will be happy.

                      1. I've always had good luck at Yard House. Good selections for everyone.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: LisaN

                          Except that it's about half a mile east of Old Town...

                        2. I really enjoy Cafe Santorini - it's in Old Town, down the alley near the movie theater behind Crate & Barrel.

                          Very good Mediterranean influenced food, plenty of variety, mouthwatering butternut squash. We've taken our parents there several times and they've all loved it.

                          1. I'm a little late but can't believe La Grande Orange wasn't mentioned. Best of all kids eat free 5-7 plus it's some of the better cal casual food in the area.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: amusebruce

                              "Best of all kids eat free 5-7"... Thanks for the warning!

                              We really liked La Grande Orange, though my burger was devoid of any noticeable beef flavor and the bun went south halfway through. The menu is pretty limited, though I think, given the size of the kitchen, that this is much better than trying to present too many different things. The room is delightful, and the service was accommodating and snappy. If Central Park weren't just across the block I might spend more time at LGO.

                              1. re: Will Owen

                                LGO looks great but the food is, eh. they really try but i think everything sort of misses the mark. fried chicken served with a cinnamon bun. sounds novel and fun but my husband who got this meal felt the bun was a bit too much after a while. prime rib taco. sounds great but smothered in some sickly sweet sauce that's not mentioned on the menu. also swordfish and tuna taco. can they think of any other fish that isn't so high in mercury? it sure is a popular spot. when we got there around 8 it was packed so somebody must like their food.

                                1. re: trolley

                                  Gotta remember this is sorta the Official Refectory for that yuppie warren it's tucked into. As long as what they serve is edible and not insanely expensive they will thrive...okay, as long as they have a BAR they will thrive. Yeah, I'd forgotten about that cinnamon roll thing with the chicken - reason enough to avoid it. And thanks for the heads-up about the sauce on the PR taco.

                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                    Will, you're right. The bar was totally happening. I think that's enough to keep this place alive for now. The restaurant was pretty packed too although after the 8pm rush it did clear out and didn't seem to refill but this is Pasadena and not W. Hollywood. The cinnamon roll was gigantic like the size of a cinnabon roll and it overwhelmed the chicken dish. Whatever happened to vegetables on the side? My MIL had the tuna burger which was also crusted with some very sweet sauce.

                                    I really wanted to like the Grande Orange b/c they have a pretty decent pizza place and market in Phoenix.

                                2. re: Will Owen

                                  Read the posting..."parents and kids"...besides Central Park is basically Shakers/Wild Thyme with a modern interior. Same mediocre food just brick walls and framed photos to fool the palette.

                                  1. re: amusebruce

                                    I think you meant "palate"...

                                    If I can get a flatiron steak or sand dabs that good at Wild Thyme's prices, I am SO there! Or that same burger. Frankly, I've had only one bad meal at CP, and that was a ribeye steak that somehow came out dull and mushy, with what I'd swear were fake grill marks - I can only assume it'd been parked on a cold spot on the grill. Lucky me, I was being treated by in-laws that night. I also suggest avoiding the garlic-free "garlic" mashed pots - sub in the very delicious potato gratin and you will thank me. Or fries.

                              2. We had to find a last minute substitute at Old Town as our choice (Siena) was closed until end of month.

                                So we checked out Le Pain Quotien. Got the cheese plate, the turkey tartine and the chicken-gruyere hot tartine.

                                Everything was quite good, and I really love the bread and the freshness of the ingredients. Too bad the price was on the high side. It seems ridiculous to pay $40 for dinner just for sandwiches and cheese. The service was good there, but not many people go there for dinner, apparently.

                                1. ugh, being forced to eat in Old Town tonight. To top it off, we won't be able to eat until after 10pm. Is there something worth eating at that hour? My friend is on a budget so things like Vertical Wine Bar are out! :(
                                  We'll be going to Banana Republic and she'll probably want to eat really close to there. yikes! Am I stuck with Gaucho Grill? If so is there anything specific there that's dependably good?

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: CookieEater

                                    What's wrong with eating at that hour is the difficulty of finding someplace to do that! I've been here almost nine years now, and I still cannot understand why I can eat at any number of places in NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE up until well past midnight, but finding a place open past TEN in the so-called "cultural capitol of the world" can border on the impossible!

                                    1. re: CookieEater

                                      A few suggestions (not all great food but certainly not terrible)..

                                      -Barney's Beanery
                                      -Mi Piace
                                      -King Taco
                                      -Hot Wings Cafe
                                      -Bar Celona (I think it's opened up again)
                                      -McCormick and Schmick's

                                      Like I said, not all great places but there's a list as an alternative to Gaucho Grill and the nearby Bucca di Beppo.

                                      1. re: CookieEater

                                        The Crepevine is open until midnight.