HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Quick! Need good food in Pasadena! Hard, no??

Someone's in from out of town. Don't want to spend a bloody fortune, but not looking for fast food, either....


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Seriously, anyone? Silence on the board here.. Is Pasadena really that bad?

    8 Replies
      1. re: RoxyGrl

        Just add Slaw Dogs to the mix and you're up to date on Pasadena.

        The Slaw Dogs
        720 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104

        1. re: mc michael

          I was there the other day and found the toppings good but the regular dogs they use are so weak! if your gonna do a dog at least start with some good meat. They would have been better off with some Hebrew Nationals on the grill instead of what they were using.

          1. re: Burger Boy

            You may be right about their regular dog, but per the menu they offer a variety of links. See here: http://www.theslawdogs.com/menu.html

            1. re: mc michael

              I think you should put your best foot forward with your signature dog. Pink's uses the natural casing dog. Carney's uses a natural casing dog. Etc. I am just saying why use an inferior dog. What places that are serious about their dogs do not use the best for their best. I am just saying!

            2. re: Burger Boy

              I've never ordered the regular dog. Why bother, when there's a natural casing dog on the menu, not to mention several other tasty options?

              1. re: Jack Flash

                Why have an average dog on the menu? It would be like Father's Office making their burger with First Street )Smart & Final) beef and offering you prime whatever they use as an option, it would be silly. I am just saying!

                Father's Office Bar
                1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

                1. re: Burger Boy

                  Good point. I suppose, though, that there are some folks who might have some kind of objection to a natural casing, strange as that may sound. Just a guess.

      2. Thank you for the thread, but look how old the replies are! We have a car and time - where shall we go???!!!

        10 Replies
        1. re: isofood

          I have not been recently, but Bistro 45 used to be very good.
          Check it out and see if it works.

          Bistro 45
          45 S Mentor Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106

          1. re: Baron

            Just remembered another place: The Raymond. Again, have not been there in years, but was very good.


            1. re: Baron

              I don't think it's [Bistro 45] as good as when owner Robert Simon was there. He has now decamped to another restaurant he owns in Napa. Visits Pasadena once in a while.

              1. re: Baron

                Just went last night (Bistro 45). Great experience. I'd read very mixed reviews, and had never noticed this place, but glad we stopped in. Arrived late for a 6:30 table. No problem. Seated immediately. Under a vent. Request it be turned down. Request fulfilled.

                Drink orders taken and filled. GM stopped by the table, introduced himself. Warm, but not chatty; asked if this was our first time, etc. I thought he was a waiter so I asked about the ravioli special, which he offered to have brought out as an amuse. They're trying too hard, I thought. What's the catch?

                I dunno - no catch I guess.
                Warm bread arrived, then (pork) ravioli "amuse". Sort of fushion-y/won-ton like. Ordered diver scallop appetizer (man, is this dish everywhere?), here a little tower of garlic-crusted scallop (sounds bizarre, actually great), roasted tomato, eggplant, on a light red pepper sauce. Really, really tasty. I had the grilled pork chop (double cut), wife had the pan-roasted cod.

                Pork chop was indeed grilled, and not dried-out (a feat!), and served with a mission fig reduction with cubed sweet potatoes (not what online menu lists). Cod was on a bed of garlic potato puree, with haricots vert, very standard stuff but well prepared and attractive.

                We finished with (fresh-brewed) decaf, which they refilled, and some complimentary spice cookies were a nice touch. Bill came to c. $120 before tip (3 drinks, no dessert).

                They were crowded (several large parties, at least one shower/reh. dinner, plus lots of couples), and pulled it off. No, this isn't rocket-science food, but just a solid, "date night" meal, unexpectedly good. I couldn't find a really recent thread on this place, so give it another try if it's been a while. We'll be back.

              2. re: isofood

                Yes, I realize it's old but as mc michael pointed out, it's still very accurate. There are many other posts on Pasadena on the board as well - using the search field above should yield plenty of ideas. Or you can always look down a couple of inches and see links to other threads that should help.

                1. re: isofood

                  OK, you want up to the minute? Here ya go. On the North side of Green Street, West of Hill is a taco stand that's been installed in the shell of an old time filling station. It's just opened or re-opened. Several years ago, the then owners served cemitas (or something like that) that JGold was enamored of. I personally had some really good tacos there. Then it closed. I suggest you check and see what's on offer now and how good it is. Please report back.

                  1. re: mc michael

                    Sounds like the long-rumored El Chavo Tacos, who operate (or at least operated) a truck on Fair Oaks.

                    If so, I think the address is 1265 E Green St, Pasadena, CA, 91106.

                    1. re: Peripatetic

                      It looks like it's called Taco Station.

                      1. re: mc michael

                        I just went today... good stuff. I will post a new report about it.

                        1. re: mc michael

                          Indeed, and no relation at all to El Chavo. I don't remember where I read it, but there was a longstanding rumor that El Chavo was going to open here. Yelp even has an entry for it:


                          The husband-and-wife team who run the stand said something about El Chavo planning to open there but the son who was planning to run it had to return to Mexico. The explanation wasn't entirely clear, so take this with a grain of salt.

                          BTW I posted my review in the thread started by will47:


                  2. what's your price range and what kind of food?

                    1. Daisy Mint


                      Daisy Mint
                      1218 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA

                      1. Shiro
                        Elements Kitchen
                        Dish Bistro


                        1. Just came back from Euro Pane. I'd add them to this list for breakfast or lunch.

                          1. Derrick's
                            Tre Venezie

                            Shiro Restaurant
                            1505 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

                            Celestino Restaurant
                            141 S Lake Ave Ste 102, Pasadena, CA 91101

                            1. Cheesecake Factory (always lead w/ a joke)

                              Seriously though folks,

                              Green Street Tavern !!
                              Very Good Food, Very Nicely Designed Intimate Dining Room
                              Portions not large but prices aren't either.
                              I'm gonna stick w/ just 1 to emphasize that's definitely 1 to try.
                              Description from their website:
                              "California Comfort Food with a European influence. Locally farm grown beef, seafood and chicken combined with organic vegetables produce a variety of amazing appetizers and entrees. "
                              Check out their website, you'll get a good idea of how nice the interior is.

                              Green Street Tavern
                              69 West Green St., Pasadena
                              Corner of De Lacey & Green Street

                              Green Street Restaurant is a different resto, which I rate as decent, good by Pasadena standards.

                              Green Street Tavern

                              Green Street Tavern
                              69 W. Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91105

                              1. Does no one here like Julienne's in San Marino? The lamb sandwich there is one of my favorite sandwiches anywhere. Just down Los Robles, turn right on Mission. It does get crowded at noon, but if you get there at about 11:30 you are usually good.

                                2649 Mission St, San Marino, CA 91108

                                1. I've been the the Langham Dining Room twice since Michael Voltaggio has been there and have found it excellent. Yes the decor is still out of the 1950s and the hotel smells like old-lady perfume, but the food and service have been great. They have talked about a complete remodel, but as far as I know, they are still open.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: inlikeflt

                                    Per the OP: "Don't want to spend a bloody fortune, but not looking for fast food, either.... "

                                    While I dunno what the OP's idea of a "bloody fortune" is, I'd imagine that no matter what it is, if she goes to the Dining Room there will be at least *some* blood letting.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        Indeed, admittedly, I pretty much forgot about the "Don't want to spend a bloody fortune" part when I posted....my bad. and honestly I'd say that the DRL will be a lot of blood letting, if not organ donation (though we aren't talking Urasawa here)

                                        Urasawa Restaurant
                                        218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                        1. re: inlikeflt

                                          Ah, but the food is well worth that donated organ ... and really, who needs a kidney anyways ...

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            We're going to the Dining Room on Wednesday for our anniversary. Anything in particular you recommend? Personally, I'd want to go for the whole chef's menu but per the website, it's for the entire table only. My wife couldn't handle that many courses.

                                            1. re: Jack Flash

                                              We were there last fall when Voltaggio had just taken the helm of the kitchen.

                                              I think the seafood dishes were the definite highlights of our meal. Halibut cheeks, langoustine, and skate wing were all great.

                                    1. Brits on Colorado for killer English pub food. Some of the best Fish and chips in the San Gabriel area.


                                      Brits Restaurant
                                      1770 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Kevitivity

                                        Brits was my local pub when I lived in the area. Good steak & mushroom pie I recall.

                                      2. Went to El Portal over the weekend. Was rather tasty. And, it wasn't a fortune. E. Green / El Molino

                                        El Portal
                                        695 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91101