pasadena - tonight, need help - one night in town.
ate with Voltaggio @ the LANGHAM this weekend. i believe it is the best meal in the inventive/innovative category has to offer. it was really superb...and my five fellow diners agree. it is fancy and the room will be updated next year. would be a shame to be in the same hotel and not try it.
for straighforward, american food, i hate to suggest a chain, but HOUSTON'S, if you don't have one where you live is really solid. we like the spinach dip, french dip, ribs, and fish.
looking at your posts, you might also be interested in going to SHINSENGUMI in monterey park, about 12 minutes south of the langham for izakaya, yakitori, and shabu shabu. the fried chicken and the fried chicken cartilige is great!
Ipse provided you with a few good options. I'm also a fan of both Vertical Wine Bistro and Red, White & Bluezz. Not sure if they're open on Monday, though.
N.B. - the new chef at the Langham's dining room, Michael Voltaggio, is a contestant on the current season of Top Chef, if that means anything to you (and early on, he seems like one of the top contenders).
Well the Dining Room at the Langham is certainly very good, esp. with the new chef in the kitchen. But then perhaps that's too fancy.
You should consider Malbec (Argentenian), Shiro (Franco-Japanese), or Mike and Anne's (new American).