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La Canada

jranen Feb 15, 2009 05:22 AM

I'm considering moving to La Canada because I just can't stand LA (with the exception of the restaurants) and want excellent public schools. How bad are the restaurants in this area? Are there at least five restaurants worth going to within a 10-minute driving radius? Thanks!

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  1. Das Ubergeek RE: jranen Feb 15, 2009 05:49 AM

    Sure. There's plenty in Montrose, several in Pasadena and all the Armenian you can eat in Glendale.

    1. Servorg RE: jranen Feb 15, 2009 05:57 AM

      And when you get in trouble and are sentenced to spend some time in the "Dog House" you are in luck, because it will a more delicious stay than is typical:


      1 Reply
      1. re: Servorg
        jranen RE: Servorg Feb 15, 2009 06:02 AM

        You just made my day (and my decision to move a lot easier). Thanks.

      2. justanotherpenguin RE: jranen Feb 15, 2009 06:33 AM

        i've lived in la canada since 1990. the schools are definitely outstanding. (since the kids are now grown, we will be moving very soon.)

        there are several nice restaurants in la canada and the proximity to pasadena, montrose & glendale is great.


        1. v
          valleychowhound RE: jranen Feb 15, 2009 10:33 AM

          LOL They're not bad at all. It's not in the backwoods or anything like that. If you take a drive down Foothill, you'll find more restaurants than you can ever want to eat in. Plus, Pasadena is nearby.

          1. d
            Dutchvanobvious RE: jranen Feb 15, 2009 10:47 AM

            La Canada, San Marino and South Pasadena were our three choices when we relocated here. I can say that now, South pas has a number of restaurants to choose from in the time since we have moved here.
            It seems La Canada would be an easy enough location to get to some "good eats" in nearly every direction.

            1. Baron RE: jranen Feb 15, 2009 10:53 AM

              On the main drag there is this family syle 60's diner type place that serves breadfast lunch and dinner. Cant remember the name but it looks like a real institution. I was there a few years back and wished we had a place just like it on the westside. Very cumfortable, large menu, good food, generous portions, reasonable price. A real gem.
              If anybody knows the name of the place I'm talking about, please jump in. I hope it's still there and just as good as I remember it.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Baron
                justanotherpenguin RE: Baron Feb 15, 2009 05:22 PM

                pretty sure you're referring to Hill Street Cafe, on foothill at angeles crest.

                1. re: justanotherpenguin
                  Will Owen RE: justanotherpenguin Feb 15, 2009 09:10 PM

                  Whose food ranges from OK to ghastly. DO NOT get the meat loaf! I cannot stress that too highly...

                  1. re: Will Owen
                    monku RE: Will Owen Feb 15, 2009 09:33 PM

                    If I didn't have the meatloaf at HSC, I'd be laughing at your post.
                    What is good there?

                    1. re: monku
                      Will Owen RE: monku Feb 16, 2009 09:46 AM

                      I've just been there three or four times, and TWICE I ordered meat loaf - talk about a slow learner! First time was the sandwich...I guess I just thought it'd be more edible on a plate, but I was terribly wrong. As for the rest, seems to me I had a burger or something, but the memory says only that it wasn't awful. And with Dish just down the street... Actually, CONRAD'S is even better!

              2. tenxtone76 RE: jranen Feb 15, 2009 03:37 PM

                Alright, here you go. There's a Soon Tofu house on the north side of Foothill a little bit west of Pennsylvania, I think. That spot is solid. Also, across from In N Out, on the north side of Foothill in La Crescenta, I think, there's a solid Korean owned shabu shabu spot. It's newer, so the wait is sometimes long, and the service has lacked before. The sandwiches at La Canada imports in La Canada are the bomb! Great value, great bread, no complaints from me! The Indian spot on the west side of Verdugo in Montrose is one of my favorite in LA County. It is not "Blow Your Socks Off" good. It's more about solid cooking, w/ a home cooked feel. How the dishes taste there have a consistency and style I find appealing, and different from other Indian joint I frequent. Much luck!

                2 Replies
                1. re: tenxtone76
                  SIMIHOUND RE: tenxtone76 Feb 15, 2009 06:24 PM

                  Wasn't here a Polish restaurant somewhere in this area that was talked about here on CH ?

                  1. re: SIMIHOUND
                    Das Ubergeek RE: SIMIHOUND Feb 15, 2009 08:42 PM

                    Polka Delicatessen. It's five miles or so down the 2 -- there are two Verdugo exits off the 2; one has Polka, and the other is for La Canada.

                2. Will Owen RE: jranen Feb 15, 2009 09:14 PM

                  Dish is a very nice restaurant of the New American type, though not quite as wonderful as it thinks it is. Very good for breakfast and lunch, though. Schreiner's in Montrose, down at the end of Ocean View, is a killer German deli with I think the best slab bacon on the Left Coast, and some damn good handmade sausages besides.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Will Owen
                    chez cherie RE: Will Owen Feb 16, 2009 01:31 PM

                    it must just be me. but ever since dish opened, we have had absolutely awful experiences. both food and service. the worst i've ever had. and on numerous occasions. i have sworn never to return more than once, but then some friend worth seeing lures me back ("oh, they're GREAT at breakfast, just not for lunch or dinner...") and again, either the service, food or both is atrocious. is it just me?

                    1. re: chez cherie
                      Will Owen RE: chez cherie Feb 16, 2009 01:48 PM

                      I've had three excellent lunches there, one rather disappointing one, and one okay breakfast (menu choices not fully to my taste). The disappointing lunch was one day when we waited about half an hour in full view of a not really full dining room, and then were rather brusquely shown to a midroom table in the bar, where we got waited on whenever someone got around to it. Every other time the service was attentive and the food excellent.

                      1. re: chez cherie
                        Local RE: chez cherie Feb 16, 2009 03:37 PM

                        no, it's not just you. at one time, we were breakfast regulars on weekends, but the service went from casual absent-mindedness to being careless (forgetting to put the order in, so that the wait for breakfast was more than a half-hour that time) and more often than not, hopelessly unresponsive for the easiest things, e.g., refills on coffee, settings, ketchup ...the ingredients got tired, and were ultimately nothing special ...omelets got rubbery and the eggs seemed to be the pour-from-a-carton variety, not fresh...i had a salad that used canned mushrooms, precut/packaged romaine lettuce and other "fresh" vegetables that were tasteless.

                        Jeremy's in Montrose was better for breakfast, and for what they may have lacked in ambiance, they made up for with better food (served hot, great hashbrowns!), with much more attentive and friendlier service, and just over-all, a nicer experience!

                        1. re: chez cherie
                          Fru RE: chez cherie Feb 16, 2009 04:15 PM

                          I hate to jump on this bandwagon but as I know you know food, I will. I have tried to like this as well and only go there when there is a school parent function that I can't steer them towards something else. The spot is adorable, the help is earnest but...I wish they would read this.

                      2. ipsedixit RE: jranen Feb 15, 2009 09:14 PM

                        Even if all else fails, take solace in the fact that you'll be *this* much closer to Donut Man in Glendora.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          MaryT RE: ipsedixit Feb 16, 2009 01:04 PM

                          And, in these times it's even nicer -- Dish sends out at least half a dozen or more 2 for 1s a year!

                          Polka is nice too.

                          Isn't there another "american diner" place along Foothill besides Conrads and HSC that I've thought was better, something cafe. Sorry. Will have to check.

                          Donut Man is ? 40 or 50 miles from La Canada? I am going to map it. Oops it looks like depending on where you are in La Canada it's around 30-35 miles. (I live near Eaton Canyon and I sure wish Donut Man was closer, but it's probably a good thing it's not!!!! :-) )

                          1. re: MaryT
                            sbritchky RE: MaryT Feb 16, 2009 03:05 PM

                            I think the only place I've eaten in the immediate neighborhood (other than the JPL cafeteria) is the north branch of Taylor's Steakhouse, which is great for atmospherics, not so great for consuming major muscles of major mammals. (The steak was tough both times I stopped by.)

                            MaryT, according to GoogleMan, it's actually only 23.8 miles from Taylor's to Donut Man -- less than 30 minutes when the 210 is quiet -- a drop in the bucket if you consider how long it took the universe to develop those donuts.

                            1. re: MaryT
                              Fru RE: MaryT Feb 16, 2009 04:17 PM

                              Is Black Cow in Montrose what you are thinking off? It has pretty good breakfasts although they don't do hash browns.

                              1. re: Fru
                                MaryT RE: Fru Feb 16, 2009 07:34 PM

                                Okay, but the 210 is just so quiet :-) 24 miles is not exactly close for a donut thankfully, since most donuts just DO NOT compare (shoutingly) to Donut Man. I am fortunate to drive the 210 often somehow missing the accidents or going the opposite direction of the heavy traffic !

                                1. re: MaryT
                                  Local RE: MaryT Feb 16, 2009 07:53 PM

                                  i'm with you, Mary...i can remember the 210 East being "quiet " certainly a decade ago, but these days, rarely. ..a recent trip to Donut Man took 17 minutes there (not bad), and 40 to get back into Pasadena - Allen offramp (thank you CalTrans and the Myth of Sisyphus construction project at Baldwin/Rosemead ;-6)

                                  1. re: Local
                                    btgordon RE: Local Feb 16, 2009 08:09 PM

                                    There is some great stuff around La Canada, not as much in town.

                                    Dish is a solid performer for breakfast, good for lunch, never been there for dinner.

                                    Really, LC shines due to its location. SGV, with it's bounty of asian cuisine is right under your wing, as is Pasadena. In the other direction, Montrose has some so-so places. The advantage of being at the convergence of the 210 and the 2 cannot be overstated- you have tremendous range to the east, south and west.

                          2. m
                            megs8 RE: jranen Feb 17, 2009 11:24 AM

                            Bashan's in Montrose is very good.
                            El Sol (also in Montrose) is tastey.
                            Star Cafe has REALLY good calzones.
                            Min's Kitchen (Thai) in LC is pretty good although the consensus on chowhound seems to be that their portions have dwindled and prices have doubled.

                            Those are some options without getting on the freeway.
                            School system is definately worth it. I went to high school at LCHS and it was very hard...but I was very prepared for college and had no academic adjusting to do. It was the level of school work I was already used to.

                            Good luck.

                            3459 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208

                            Star Cafe
                            2217 Honolulu Ave, Montrose, CA 91020

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: megs8
                              MaryT RE: megs8 Feb 17, 2009 01:56 PM

                              Min's Kitchen I find bland but I like very spicy food, and it is a little overpriced. But it's usually pretty busy and most people appear to be repeat customers.

                              I agree with megs8, I moved to Los Alamitos when kids were preschool for similar reason. I wouldn't be living in Altadena if I was not an empty nester :-) It was worth it for the kids in the long run.

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