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Lunch in Pasadena for about $10-$15/person

r
RNHarris81 Apr 27, 2010 11:04 AM

Hi Folks,

I am new to CHOW and my MIL recommended that I search here for a good restaurant idea. I am graduating with my masters (finally!) in Pasadena next month and I would like to take my cheering section out to lunch afterwards as thanks. I have searched the posts prior to this, but things seem a bit out of my price range; I want to treat, but I have a budget of about $10-$15 per person. Also, my mom is not going to be okay with anything "weird" and to her sushi is weird, just so you get the idea.

Thanks so much in advance and happy eating!

Rebecca

  1. ipsedixit Apr 27, 2010 11:12 AM

    How about Elements Kitchen? http://elementskitchen.com/kitchen_menus.html

    Or maybe Julienne? http://juliennetogo.com/restaurant-lu...

    Both are pretty safe, non-"weird" choices.

    Congrats btw.

    9 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      Will Owen Apr 29, 2010 11:19 AM

      You're gonna be hard-pressed to do lunch for under $15 pp at Julienne; that's less than the price of most single dishes, as I recall. I agree with JAB's suggestion of Green Street - good food in that price range, nothing remotely "weird", and they can easily accommodate a good crowd.

      -----
      Green Street Restaurant
      146 S Shopper's Lane, Pasadena, CA 91101

      1. re: Will Owen
        ipsedixit Apr 29, 2010 11:30 AM

        The prices at Green Street and Julienne for lunch are both comparable. Most sandwiches are in the 10-12 range and entrees generally top out at 18-19.

        Compare Green St. http://www.greenstreetrestaurant.com/pages/menu_lunch.html with Julienne's lunch menu http://juliennetogo.com/restaurant-lu...

        That said, if the OP really wanted to stick to a 10-15 budget per person, she'd be hard pressed to come within budget even at a place like In-N-Out.

        -----
        Green Street Restaurant
        146 S Shopper's Lane, Pasadena, CA 91101

        1. re: ipsedixit
          Will Owen Apr 29, 2010 01:46 PM

          I guess I was just remembering Julienne's burger, which was the most expensive and least good of all I tried on my last quest. A bit over $17, and burnt around the edges. The other thing I remember from there is the lamb sandwich, quite nice but not cheap either.

          If Green Street is too expensive, you could always drop in at The Counter next door...

          -----
          Green Street Restaurant
          146 S Shopper's Lane, Pasadena, CA 91101

          1. re: Will Owen
            ocshooter Apr 29, 2010 02:10 PM

            The lamb sandwich at Julienne's is my favorite sandwich in LA, bar none. I am not in the area often, but I have been known to pop into the attached market and get an extra (especially in the day-old/half price basket) for the next day. A lunch can be had for the OP's range, but only with water and no dessert.

            There is always Wolfe Burger, or is that gone as well (It's been almost 20 years since I graduated from college in Pasadena).

            -----
            Wolfe Burgers
            46 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

            1. re: ocshooter
              ipsedixit Apr 29, 2010 03:16 PM

              Wolfe Burger is still there but no more tamale pies, however ...

              -----
              Wolfe Burgers
              46 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

              1. re: ocshooter
                i
                ilikefood Apr 30, 2010 01:43 PM

                Julienne's lamb sandwich is indeed a very fine and tasty sandwich.
                I'll also recommend Julienne but it'd be tough to meet the budget. Def not if tax,tip are meant to be included.

            2. re: ipsedixit
              i
              ilikefood Apr 30, 2010 03:25 PM

              ipse; " 10-15 budget per person, she'd be hard pressed to come within budget even at a place like In-N-Out."
              ???? That needs an explanation. When combined w/ ipse's recent comment: "I don't believe 5 for iced tea is all that out of the ordinary." I'm beginning to think (tongue in cheek) ipse doesn't pay for ipse's* food and that's why ipse's able to eat at EVERY SINGLE resto in the LA area.

              *sorry, but I don't know if ipse is a man or woman's name.

              1. re: ilikefood
                ipsedixit May 6, 2010 07:04 PM

                Well let's see.

                A double-double is about $3+, a shake or a drink is about 1.50 or 2, an order of fries is about 2. That gets you to about 8 or 9 and I rarely have just one burger, nor do most of my In N Out compadres.

                So, yes you can do In N Out within budget but it certainly isn't a given.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  JAB May 6, 2010 09:10 PM

                  You can get 2 double doubles a fry and a large drink for under $10 at In - N - Out.

        2. orythedog Apr 27, 2010 11:12 AM

          561 which is the Le Cordon Blue cooking school restaurant.

          561 East Green Street Tel: 626.229.1377
          Pasadena, CA 91101 Fax: 626-683-7349

          Serving Lunch
          12:00pm - 3:00 pm
          Monday - Friday

          1. JAB Apr 27, 2010 12:37 PM

            How many in your party? Green Street comes to my mind.

            -----
            Green Street Restaurant
            146 S Shopper's Lane, Pasadena, CA 91101

            1. s
              Sam D. Apr 28, 2010 12:21 AM

              You didn't say how many there would be in your party.
              $10 -15?
              1. Mongol's BBQ . Mongolian Bbq. Call first and see if they can accommodate your group.
              2. Delhi Palace for their Indian buffet.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sam D.
                ipsedixit Apr 28, 2010 08:47 AM

                "Also, my mom is not going to be okay with anything "weird" and to her sushi is weird, just so you get the idea."
                ________________________________________________________

                I think both Mongolian BBQ and Indian food would probably fall into the OP's category of "weird" ....

              2. ocshooter Apr 28, 2010 11:20 AM

                I like Barney's Ltd. on Colorado, but it has been ages since I have been there. It is not associated with Barney's Beanery in Hollywood, but there seems to be an outlet for them in Pasadena as well. Julienne's in San Marino is one of my favorite spots, but it is probably just out of your price range unless you get everyone to order carefully ($20 pp is a more realistic budget). Cafe Bizou (http://cafebizou.com/menu_pas.php) is also a good option that may be just out of your price range, though on average it might fit.

                -----
                Julienne
                2649 Mission St, San Marino, CA 91108

                Cafe Bizou
                91 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103

                Barneys Ltd
                93 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105

                1. a
                  andytseng Apr 28, 2010 01:21 PM

                  $10-15 is pretty limited. I would go with Europane, or maybe Pie 'n Burger.

                  -----
                  Pie 'n Burger
                  913 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: andytseng
                    a
                    attran99 May 6, 2010 02:12 PM

                    I like the Europane idea...a simple lunch with great pastries for dessert.

                  2. j
                    Jack Flash Apr 28, 2010 02:04 PM

                    Unfortunately, that's a really tight budget. Really, really tight. Tonny's would probably work, or Slaw Dogs. Sandwiches at Europane. I think even Cafe Verde is beyond your price range, unless nobody orders a beverage. Cafe Verde is probably my favorite lunch in Pasadena. Bob's Big Boy would work.

                    -----
                    Tonny's Restaurant
                    843 E Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104

                    Cafe Verde
                    961 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91106

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

                    1. parker394 Apr 29, 2010 05:40 AM

                      Burger Continental and The Galley are fun and inexpensive options!

                      -----
                      Burger Continental
                      535 S Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: parker394
                        Kevitivity Apr 29, 2010 05:14 PM

                        I beg to differ about Burger Continental - it's in the price range, but the food is so sub par that I would recommend the OP stays away. For the life of me I can't figure out why people still go here.

                        A good option (and one that I've mentioned here many times over the years) is Brits on Colorado Blvd.

                        -----
                        Brits Restaurant
                        1770 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

                      2. c
                        cdub Apr 29, 2010 09:14 AM

                        cafe 140 south. it used to be the crocodile cafe. pretty much the same menu. decent salads and entrees. it should fit your price point. also, for lunch, they have a very good burger and pint deal for $12.

                        1. s
                          Stingrae Apr 29, 2010 12:40 PM

                          I had lunch at Malbec yesterday and it was superb! Nice varied menu, pasta, salads, sandwiches. About $10-15 per (we had a bottle of mineral water). Service was a bit off at first, but got better. Will certainly be returning! I had the Fusilli in Tomato Cream with Salmon and Asparagus, which was wonderful. I would recommend sharing it, and pairing with a green salad. A glass of white wine would have done well. I have to disagree with BC and Pie n Burger - I would never take anyone there I wanted to talk to again. I live in the Lake-California neighborhood - Malbec is worth the 5-block walk!

                          -----
                          Malbec New Argentinian Cuisine
                          1001 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91106

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Stingrae
                            Will Owen Apr 30, 2010 12:47 PM

                            "I have to disagree with BC and Pie n Burger - I would never take anyone there I wanted to talk to again." Both? I agree that BC has become simply disgusting, but the only cavil I have against Pie'n'Burger is the impossibility of seating more than four people together at a time. Our food has always been much more than satisfactory, except for one disappointing patty melt. In fact, I think I'm going to propose lunch there today...

                          2. i
                            ilikefood Apr 30, 2010 01:32 PM

                            "my mom is not going to be okay with anything "weird" and to her sushi is weird, just so you get the idea. "

                            I assume that restriction is why no one's suggested Daisy Mint ( a Chowhounds Pasadena favorite). But since I don't exactly get the idea, I will. Unless Asian food is weird to mom, check it out. It's pretty tame Asian food, good and w/i budget.

                            Menu, courtesy of ElsieDee, from 2008 is still pretty much the same:
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/556154

                            -----
                            Daisy Mint
                            1218 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ilikefood
                              c
                              crystaw May 3, 2010 12:34 AM

                              Yeah-I thought Daisy Mint might fall into the "weird" category too in this case. Price wise though it fits the bill as well as other Thai places. Souplantation fits the price range though it does not have much ambiance!

                              -----
                              Daisy Mint
                              1218 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA

                            2. b
                              broccoliluv Apr 30, 2010 02:50 PM

                              A new Pasadena favorite of mine is Novel Cafe. It's on Colorado a block or two east of PCC. They have a variety of sandwiches, pastas, and great breakfasts (breakfast served all hours they are open). The food is healthy, fresh, and interesting combinations / flavors. (Several vegetarian options that can also be made vegan if that's relevant to your group.) I also love their coffee. The decor is fun -- brick walls with lots of original art, frames, metal sculptures, and an outdoor seating area where you could easily fit a group (you may want to call ahead to see about reserving a section). I have introduced several friends to it in recent months and it has been a hit with everyone. Very reasonable prices and friendly staff. I always come in under the $15 mark with beverage, entree, and shared dessert.

                              1713 East Colorado Boulevard
                              Pasadena, CA 91106
                              (626) 683-3309

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: broccoliluv
                                j
                                Jack Flash Apr 30, 2010 03:32 PM

                                Good call. I don't know why I didn't think of this. I'm particularly fond of their turkey burger. Perhaps I was thinking it was over the stated price point. Here's a link to the menu.
                                http://www.novelcafe.com/novel-cafe-m...

                                A turkey burger is $10.95. Figure $2 for a soft drink (price isn't listed). That's $12.95. With tax, you're at $14.21. Add in $2 for tip and you're at $16.21.

                              2. Will Owen May 3, 2010 12:08 PM

                                Instead of going to Pie'n'Burger, Mrs. O and I walked over to Slaw Dog. We drank only water, but she had whatever combo was on special and I had a brat with mustard, mayo and kraut, plus a big serving of excellent potato salad, for about $14 total. Drinks would have added maybe another $7... and we were filled up enough to make the walk home rather less brisk than the walk down there.

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

                                1. d
                                  D_Ellis May 6, 2010 02:08 PM

                                  Try Cafe Bizou! Very nice atmosphere and lots of good choices for lunch in that price range.

                                  -----
                                  Cafe Bizou
                                  91 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: D_Ellis
                                    d
                                    deziree May 10, 2010 11:20 AM

                                    Okay, this is probably under the weird category, but Chinese food is as mainstream as Mexican: Fu-Shing does AMAZING things for their lunch specials. Excellent, excellent stuff, including the tea-smoked duck.

                                    Let us know where you ventured---

                                  2. r
                                    RNHarris81 May 18, 2010 10:05 PM

                                    Thanks everyone for your help. I'm going with The Green Street Restarant for this gathering. It sort of feels like playing favorites choosing between all of the great ideas that were thrown about, but I think this works best because the menu fits the bill... "boring" enough for my mom, but tasty too. If there is anything eventful to report I will post back here to let you all know how it was.

                                    Cheers to me for finally being done with school... more time (and money!) to EAT!

                                    Rebecca

                                    -----
                                    Green Street Restaurant
                                    146 S Shopper's Lane, Pasadena, CA 91101

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: RNHarris81
                                      liu May 18, 2010 10:16 PM

                                      Congratulations on your achievement, RNHarris81!
                                      Cheers!!!!

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