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Apr 16, 2010 10:45 PM

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....


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  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:

            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