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

isofood Apr 16, 2010 10:45 PM

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


  1. Kitchen Queen Apr 19, 2010 10:14 PM

    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

    1. Kevitivity Apr 19, 2010 03:56 PM

      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
        SeaCook Apr 19, 2010 04:13 PM

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

      2. i
        inlikeflt Apr 19, 2010 03:37 PM

        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
          ipsedixit Apr 19, 2010 04:25 PM

          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
            mc michael Apr 19, 2010 04:29 PM

            Cue Concrete Blonde.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              inlikeflt Apr 19, 2010 04:57 PM

              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
                ipsedixit Apr 19, 2010 04:58 PM

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

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  Jack Flash Apr 19, 2010 07:03 PM

                  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
                    ipsedixit Apr 19, 2010 09:41 PM

                    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.

          2. ocshooter Apr 19, 2010 03:22 PM

            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
              ilikefood Apr 17, 2010 08:22 PM

              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. martyR Apr 17, 2010 05:54 PM

                Tre Venezie

                Shiro Restaurant
                1505 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

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

                1. b
                  bulavinaka Apr 17, 2010 02:06 PM

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

                  1. ipsedixit Apr 17, 2010 12:05 PM

                    Elements Kitchen
                    Dish Bistro


                    1. JackonCrack Apr 17, 2010 11:46 AM

                      Daisy Mint


                      Daisy Mint
                      1218 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA

                      1. trolley Apr 17, 2010 11:45 AM

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

                        1. i
                          isofood Apr 17, 2010 09:44 AM

                          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
                            Baron Apr 17, 2010 10:00 AM

                            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
                              Baron Apr 17, 2010 10:04 AM

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


                              1. re: Baron
                                mc michael Apr 17, 2010 01:56 PM

                                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
                                  cant talk...eating Nov 6, 2010 03:59 PM

                                  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
                                  RoxyGrl Apr 17, 2010 10:56 AM

                                  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
                                    mc michael Apr 17, 2010 01:46 PM

                                    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
                                      Peripatetic Apr 17, 2010 03:48 PM

                                      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
                                        mc michael Apr 17, 2010 04:36 PM

                                        It looks like it's called Taco Station.

                                        1. re: mc michael
                                          will47 Apr 19, 2010 01:53 PM

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

                                          1. re: mc michael
                                            Peripatetic Apr 19, 2010 04:54 PM

                                            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. i
                                      isofood Apr 17, 2010 04:35 AM

                                      Seriously, anyone? Silence on the board here.. Is Pasadena really that bad?

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: isofood
                                        RoxyGrl Apr 17, 2010 07:45 AM

                                        This thread seems right up your alley:


                                        1. re: RoxyGrl
                                          mc michael Apr 17, 2010 08:12 AM

                                          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
                                            Burger Boy Apr 17, 2010 08:28 AM

                                            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
                                              mc michael Apr 17, 2010 01:54 PM

                                              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
                                                Burger Boy Apr 18, 2010 12:32 AM

                                                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
                                                Jack Flash Apr 17, 2010 11:36 PM

                                                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
                                                  Burger Boy Apr 18, 2010 12:33 AM

                                                  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
                                                    Jack Flash Apr 18, 2010 01:02 PM

                                                    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.

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