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ISO romantic restaurant in Pasadena area

Susan Lutz Apr 23, 2010 05:09 PM

My fifth anniversary is coming up soon and I need to find a romantic restaurant in the Pasadena area. You guys did me a great service with the BLD suggestion that came from several people recently. I hope someone can recommend a romantic restaurant, not too noisy, great food, price is not a limiting factor. Although if someone can recommend a hidden gem, we'd be open to a more casual place, especially if it offered a really unique and fun experience. (We're considering a tour of taco trucks if we can't come up with anything more exciting!) Thanks in advance.

BLD Restaurant
7450 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

  1. wilafur Apr 23, 2010 05:27 PM

    madeleine's or the raymond

    4 Replies
    1. re: wilafur
      Phurstluv Apr 23, 2010 05:32 PM

      If price is not a limiting factor, I would go to the Langham. Haven't been since it was the Ritz, but it's a gorgeous property.

      Hey Wil - since I'm no longer a Pasadenan, is Maison Akira still any good? How about Bistro 45? Those were all popular when we lived there back 8 years ago.

      1. re: Phurstluv
        ipsedixit Apr 23, 2010 09:32 PM

        Maison Akira has slipped precipitously in recent years.

        I've never found Bistro 45 all that great to begin with.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          Phurstluv Apr 24, 2010 09:47 PM

          We had a wonderful dinner at M.A. back 9 years ago or so, and my MiL always asks about it when she comes out, so I was getting a confirmation.

          Never went to Bistro 45, but for some reason, everyone on Zagat thought it was the bomb 10 years ago. I know it's still there, just wonderin'.

          Bistro 45
          45 S Mentor Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106

      2. re: wilafur
        mc michael May 5, 2010 04:12 PM

        I like Madeleine's. Nothing cutting edge about it, but has nice ambience, good food and drink.

      3. j
        Jack Flash Apr 23, 2010 05:55 PM

        We just had our anniversary dinner at the Dining Room at the Langham. If price is not a concern, go there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jack Flash
          Phurstluv Apr 23, 2010 05:58 PM

          Now I've been validated. Thanks, Jack!!

        2. ipsedixit Apr 23, 2010 09:31 PM

          The Raymond, or the Dining Room at the Langham if price is not a consideration.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit
            Phurstluv Apr 24, 2010 09:49 PM

            I did not consider the Raymond to be All That , back when we went, again, about 9-10 years back when we lived there.

            Food was fine but romantic? I don't know, felt more like I was in someone's old craftsman's home that had not been cleaned thoroughly in a while..........

            1. re: Phurstluv
              ipsedixit Apr 24, 2010 10:00 PM

              Sit out on the patio during a nice July evening and it is a very nice setting for a meal.

              Maybe not on par with dining on the River Seine but for Pasadena, it's about as good as it gets in that price range.

              1. re: ipsedixit
                Phurstluv May 5, 2010 02:25 PM

                Yes, the patio would probably have been the better call. Oh well, live and learn.

          2. n
            NAspy Apr 24, 2010 07:05 PM

            Shiro in South Pas has lovely food but probably not as romantic as the Raymond.

            Shiro Restaurant
            1505 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

            1 Reply
            1. re: NAspy
              ipsedixit Apr 24, 2010 07:07 PM

              That's putting it mildly. The surroundings at Shiro at spartan, at best. Great food nonetheless.

              Shiro Restaurant
              1505 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

            2. c
              crystaw Apr 24, 2010 09:11 PM

              I think Parkway Grill would be a nice choice


              Parkway Grill
              510 South Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, CA 91105

              1. i
                ilikefood Apr 25, 2010 09:49 PM

                Anniversary, not limited by price, your idea of romantic includes 1st class Michelin starred (1) luxury (of course it does), yea, go Langham, The Dining Room.

                Pasadena romantic hidden gems (not as popular as they should be) - Green Street Tavern, Madeleine's. Save these, along w/ taco trucks tour, for future date nights.

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

                1. burumun Apr 25, 2010 10:36 PM

                  My recs would be:

                  The Dining Room (ambiance very traditional/even stuffy, romantic, but Voltaggio is great)
                  The Raymond (small, quaint, quiet, romantic - plus the out-of-the-wayness of the craftsman house makes it more romantic)
                  Arroyo Chop House (been a while, but I once had an excellent steak).
                  Vertical Wine Bistro (the bar may be noisy but the dining room is quiet. When I'd been there food's been great too).

                  Vertical Wine Bistro
                  70 N. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103

                  Arroyo Chop House
                  536 S Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, CA 91105

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: burumun
                    AnnieC13 May 5, 2010 01:58 PM

                    Just a note on Vertical Wine Bistro - a year ago it would definitely have made my list for romantic dinners but we went there for exactly such a dinner in February and it was a very disheartening experience. The wine steward was condescending (we aren't wine newbies), the wait service inadequate and the food and wine were far inferior to our previous visits. I won't go again and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, which is really too bad because I used to rave about it. It has a lovely physical environment but... that only takes you so far.

                    Vertical Wine Bistro
                    70 N. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103

                  2. m
                    martan Apr 26, 2010 12:37 AM

                    Tre Venezie is very intimate and romantic. The food is unusual and quirky. Be prepared to linger.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: martan
                      Phurstluv May 5, 2010 02:27 PM

                      Tre Venezie was very hot, Hot, HOT when we went a few years back. Hopefully they have improved their service since then, and have given up on arguing with customers over a chintzy single serving that stood in for a double espresso, at $5-6. Suffice it to say, we never went back.

                      1. re: martan
                        SGV Gal May 7, 2010 12:13 PM

                        I would NOT go to Tre Venezie. They charged us for the olive oil for the bread!! Service wasn't that great either. My choices: Vertical, The Dining Room, Raymond.

                      2. a
                        AnnieC13 May 5, 2010 02:10 PM

                        Hope I'm not too late to be helpful. I can't disagree with the Langham reccommendation, it's just beautiful. I think the Raymond has a lovely atmosphere but I've never been very impressed by their food. We've really enjoyed going to Firefly Bistro in South Pas - their patio is great, especially on a warm night - but they're uneven food-wise. If you find dark rooms, red wine and a good steak romantic (I'll admit, I do) I like Houston's. I haven't been there myself but friends of mine have loved Cafe Beaujolais in Eagle Rock - it's a little french place and it might fit the bill for romantic and a little different from the typical Pasadena environment.

                        Cafe Beaujolais
                        1712 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                        1. t
                          thursday Apr 28, 2011 12:39 PM

                          Refreshing this post rather than starting another - any newer/further recs that fit this same bill except maybe take price a little more in hand? We were thinking La Luna Negra because of nice food reviews, but not sure how romantic the atmosphere is...

                          La Luna Negra
                          44 W Green St, Pasadena, CA 91105

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: thursday
                            AnnieC13 Apr 28, 2011 02:00 PM

                            I have heard great things about Noir Food+Wine from friends - we haven't made it there yet but the food and atmosphere both got raves.

                            I've had good recent experiences at Pop on Union - it's more like a champagne bar that serves food but I thought it had great potential for a romantic dinner.

                            I really like La Luna Negra but it's been more lively/entertaining than quiet/romantic when we've gone there - I've eaten at the bar watching World Cup soccer and at a table watching the Flamenco dancers.

                            If you like Mediterranean food, another place I like is Cafe Santorini - their food is good, service has always been great and I love the outdoor seating.

                            Cafe Santorini
                            70 W Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103

                            La Luna Negra
                            44 W Green St, Pasadena, CA 91105

                            1. re: thursday
                              avivale Apr 28, 2011 02:15 PM

                              Haven't been to Luna Negra in a couple of years, but it's a big open room and can get pretty noisy when crowded.

                              After hearing good things about the newish Noir Food and Wine, my husband and I finally made it over and have had two great experiences. The first time we went on a Sunday evening, when they (often) serve a prix-fixe dinner for $39, wine included. It wasn't crowded, and as the sun went down the small room became rather romantic and we spent nearly 3 hours over a wonderful dinner. (Our second visit was for a Saturday afternoon wine tasting, which we followed up with an improptu early dinner at the bar.) I liked the service, too, it was casual in a good way: like we belonged, even though we had never been there before.

                              I also have a soft spot for Red White and Bluezz. There's always live jazz, I do like the food, and feel comfortable in the dining room with big windows looking out on Raymond and Green Streets. If only dinner were less expensive, we'd go much more often.

                              Yeah, right now I can't really think of anywhere in Pasadena that's romantic AND inexpensive...

                              1. re: avivale
                                mc michael Apr 28, 2011 02:24 PM

                                Yes, I can't think of any inexpensive romantic BEFORE places. But for romantic AFTER, PresidenTwo and Tarantino's are cool.

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