HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


House of Basturma in Pasadena

Has anyone been to the new House of Basturma to check it out? No one's answering the phone at the moment.

House of Basturma
2487 E Washington Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91104-2047
(626) 345-9090

condiment's tip for Sahag's new venture

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. oh, yeah, just reminded me of that.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kevin

      J Gold said he hasn't found it open, so he hasn't checked it out yet. I was hoping the 'hounds might have more luck.

    2. I walk my dog by there 3 times a week and it has never been open.

      4 Replies
      1. re: haydn1796

        Not promising. Is the address correct? I ask because I'm finding neither the name of the establishment nor the address in the City of Pasadena food inspection database. It's not unusual for places to be listed under a different name or dba, but then you can find them by matching the street address. Maybe it doesn't have a permit yet?

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I will check, but there cannot be two of them. Corner of Valencia and Washington, one block west of Altadena Dr. It has never opened since the old auto mechanic's place was razed (sp?) and this stucco monstrosity was erected. I will look at it more closely in the morning.

          1. re: haydn1796

            I was incorrect. This place was open, for at least 2 or three weeks about a year ago. This morning I peeked through the window doors and it looks abandonded. Empty shelves, a ladder and the menu board. I wonder what happened?

            1. re: haydn1796

              Still a mystery, but thanks so much for taking a closer look. I hope the owner's OK. The phone number in my original post isn't disconnected. It rolls over to an answering machine that doesn't have a personalized outgoing message. I considered leaving a message and asking for a callback on ordering some basturma, but since I have a 415 area code, might not be as likely to get a return call. Maybe someone local can try to make a connection.

        1. re: Jackomako

          It is, but it's note that it's not Sahag's, it's a different owner. Someone purporting (credibly) to be the owner posted here a week ago saying that they were now open, but under different ownership. I suspect that post was flagged as spam.

          1. re: Jackomako

            Any first mouth reports? According to the FB page, it's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I finally got around to trying House of Basturma. I had their basturma sandwich. The basturma was very flavorful and the sandwich roll was excellent: crispy and fresh. It's the first time I've had basturma, so I can't really say how it compares with others. There was a choice of two basturmas, one more fatty than the other, but both (according to the owner) of similar quality. They have a range of Middle Eastern specialties, including falafel, kofte, and shawarma, which I hope to try on another visit.

                1. re: kevin

                  It's the address in the original post.

                  Menu attached, for the curious.

                2. re: Peripatetic

                  Checking in for an update . . . .still like the food at House of Basturma?

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I'm curious to know too.

                    Though I believe the old, original location of Sahag's is still on Sunset. But the new or relatively new owners are not Sahag himself.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      Melanie, I had a basturma sandwich from House of Basturma earlier this week and it was still good. However, I'm still not a basturma expert, so can't really provide an informed opinion. I still need to try the basturma from Garo's, which is supposed to be very good (they are a grocery, though, not a deli).

                      As a reference point, I love Langer's pastrami, Bay Cities Godmother, Porta Via's meatball sub and Italian sub, and banh mis from Banh Mi My Tho. While the basturma sandwich from House of Basturma is good, I don't think I'd pass up any of these other sandwiches for one. Unless you have a special craving, I don't see it as detour-worthy. One big attraction, though: Carmela Ice Cream opened in the same strip mall since my last post, and they're definitely worth a visit if you're in the Pasadena area.

                      BTW, House of Basturma has added burgers and onion rings to their menu, so it seems they're trying to adapt to a broader audience.

                        1. re: Servorg

                          That photo is from Sahag's in Little Armenia.

                          The sandwich at House of Basturma in Pasadena looks like this:


                          (Photo is from Cathy Danh's Gastronomy blog: http://gastronomyblog.com/2011/02/14/...)

                          1. re: Peripatetic

                            The cathy blog sandwich picture looks more like sausage than basturma, or am i mistaken?

                            1. re: kevin

                              I can't really distinguish the fillings in her photos, but the bread they've used whenever I've had the basturma sandwich is the the flatter grooved bread in the photo I highlighted. When you order, they ask if you want the bread toasted. I've always said yes, so maybe they use that particular bread for toasted, and the roll in the previous photo otherwise..

                              1. re: Peripatetic

                                Yeah, I remember from the old location on Sunset, the original Sahag's, that the bread was toasted like a panini.

                                1. re: kevin

                                  The title of this thread may be causing confusion. Sahag's Basturma on Sunset and House of Basturma in Pasadena are unrelated. At one point someone credibly purporting to be the owner of House of Basturma posted to this thread and said so, but the post was deleted.

                                  1. re: Peripatetic

                                    The original Sahag of Sahag's intended to open House of Basturma, but fell ill from what I understand and never quite did. HoB as it now stands is . . . ok, but not quite revelatory. The best basturma sandwich in the north Pasadena area is probably at Torino.

                                    1. re: condiment

                                      Thanks. I've been meaning to try Torino since, well, forever. J Gold, who lives nearby, says it's one of his regular favorites:


                                      1. re: condiment

                                        Now I'm gonna obsess about Torino . . .

                                        (I asked the mods to edit the title to remove Sahag's. Hope that cuts down on the confusion.)

                          2. re: Peripatetic

                            Thank you, I visited House of Basturma in April. From Dewar's in Bakersfield (a JGold fave), I continued on to Pasadena.

                            The "now open" signs continue to fly.

                            A younger man waited on me, the son of the owner, I think. I asked him about the chain of ownership here and he said that his family had always operated the shop. They own the strip mall. He said that there were many delays initially getting it open, but once it opened for real, it stayed open.

                            I asked if I could taste a sample of the basturma before buying and that was no problem. Here's what it looked like.

                            No fatty available that day. This rosy-hued lean cut comes from the round. I liked the fresh, moist style here, not a fan of the dried out, dark basturma sold by Armenian-Russians. Very garlicky in aroma and heavy on the fenugreek. Not that salty, more like fresh carpaccio with extra spicing. I got a quarter-pound sliced and it was nicely laid out on a styro tray lined with tissue paper and wrapped in plastic to keep it from drying out. Tasting it again later, I didn't like it as much, as the spicing has a bitter aftertaste. But that was easily remedied by removing the band of seasoning running along the top of the slices.

                            I ordered a maqniq sandwich and had a bite of it sitting at the table outside the door. The sausage is made with veal here, not lamb, and was just too lean and dry. Combined with the toasted, dryish bread, even the wetness of the pickles and tomatoes couldn't save it.

                            Also got a baklava to go, made by the mom. But can't recommend that either.

                            So, the basturma itself was the one thing I'd get again. Quite different from Ohanyan's in Fresno which has a tartness to its cure. And again, I liked the moistness of it.

                            But now I'm sorry that I didn't give in to my curiosity about Carmela Ice Cream! It was about 4pm when I got to House of Basturma and I needed to try to stay ahead of traffic to Palm Springs, my final destination.