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Best Pasadena Lunch

I live in Silverlake but work in Pasadena, and just about every day I go out to lunch. It's not the most economical decision, but a nice meal and time out of the office is well worth it to me. That being said, I was wondering if I could get any new suggestions for some new lunch spots here in Pasadena.

Here are a list of my go-to's so far (in no particular order):

-Lee's Hoagies: Great Jersey-style hoagies, with even better service. I give this place an extra recommendation for the lack of East Coast style delis I come across in LA.

-President Thai: Authentic Thai fare. Very reasonable price. My favorites: BBQ Beef or BBQ Chicken.

-Daisy Mint: Bistro-style Thai fusion. Jonathan Gold recommends the Curry, but I say get the Steak Salad.

-Tonny's Restaurant (on Orange Grove): Very good hole-in-the-wall. The Wet (Pork) Chile Verde Burrito is so good I don't mind that my pants don't fit after I'm done. They've got freshly juiced vegetables too if you want to convince yourself you're eating healthy.

-Gourmet Cobbler Factory: Would love to eat here more than I do, but the lack of a dine-in option defeats the purpose of "going out to lunch" for me.

-Fu Shing Chinese Restaurant: Won Ton Soup for 4 = $8. Come on, that's pretty good.

-Fuji Japanese Restaurant: Lunch specials are competitively priced. Slightly above-average sushi, sashimi, and teriyakis.

-Lebanese Kitchen: Surprisingly good kabobs, tabbouleh, and hummus.

-10th Hole Bar & Grill at Eaton Canyon Golf Course: Small bucket of golf balls + sandwich/burger + soup or fries for $10. Although it's more about the activity than the food itself, I think it's an ideal lunch destination for a stressful work day or lazy Friday.

-El Metate: Everything here is pretty good. My favorite is the Ceviche tostada. I eat a lot, and trust me, you only need two.

-Pita Pita: Average Mediterranean plates, wraps, etc. I usually order whatever the daily special is. Great value, decent food. $6 for a filling wrap and soup.

-Saladang/Saladang Song: A Pasadena staple for Thai food. Great food, but not exactly ideal given the popularity (wait) and distance from my office.

-Lucky Boy: More of a breakfast spot I guess. I couldn't believe the size of the breakfast burrito I ate. Only been here once and I still think I'm full.

-King Taco: Also popular (and okay), although I prefer to eat at this chain after midnight. Lengua definitely tastes better at night.

-Zankou: You know what it is. They're everywhere.

There's more I could list, but nothing really memorable to me so far. Please feel free to add your thoughts, recommendations, and warnings.

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  1. Befriend someone who belongs to The Athenaeum Club at Caltech. The $9.95 buffet lunch is the best around.

    9 Replies
      1. re: wolanin

        I'm not a member, but some friends are.
        Lot's of Caltechies hang out at Europane...you might meet some there.

        You're list reminds me of the days when I worked in Pasadena.
        We'd go to Tops, Original Panda Restaurant on Foothill, The Boat and Northwoods Inn, Robins, Kabuki, Shogun....

        1. re: burumun

          sweet can i get the hook up for the anahteum ???

          1. re: kevin

            Someone told me the custom at Caltech is if you're a student and ask a professor out to lunch at the Anthenaeum the professor pays.

            If you never get there you can check it out in the movie Beverly Hils Cop....early scene where Eddie Murphy crashes the fancy dining place...that's the Anthenaeum.

            1. re: monku

              Haha I don't think we ever ask a professor out to lunch. That would be ... weird :p

              But Kevin - sure, shoot me an email.

              1. re: burumun

                thank you. what's your email?

                is there a cool secret password i got to proffer?

                and yeah, i remember the country club looking restaurant from Beverly HIlls Cop I, so that's the same place?

                1. re: kevin

                  Just checked imdb and yep it is indeed!

                  email: gourmetpigs at gmail . com

          2. re: burumun

            I went to a wonderful wedding reception at the Althanaeum. One of the best weddings I've ever attended. So gorgeous.

        2. You have most of my regulars on there. I go to PresidenTwo instead of President Thai. You may want to try The Reyn Pho on the west side of north Lake and the street before you get to Orange Grove (and Tonny's). They have very good Pho and other Vietnamese items. There is always Slaw Dogs further up Lake - they have a big following here. There is very good BBQ on north lake before Washington - Bonnie B's BBQ. Andy's a couple stores down from Daisy Mint for just regular old coffee shop fare. On Green and Chester there is a place that does pretty good tacos. Great Pupusas at La Caravana on north Lake before Washington (close to Bonnie B's).
          I love the fish tacos at El Metate. As I come up with more, I will add.

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

          President Thai Restaurant
          498 S Rosemead Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

          Reyn
          635 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

          Daisy Mint
          1218 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA

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

          8 Replies
          1. re: WildSwede

            Stay away from Pasadena Sandwich Co. Very poor quality meats use; way too much fat on them.

            -----
            Pasadena Sandwich Co
            259 Sierra Madre Villa Ave, Pasadena, CA 91107

            1. re: WildSwede

              Thanks for the list! Funny, on my drives up to Tonny's I've always told myself that I need to come back and check out that Vietnamese place but have yet to do so. I'll look into it (as well as your other recommendations) for sure!

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

              1. re: wolanin

                Try it! It is my second favorite place for Pho. Their spring rolls are also really good - and big! The BBQ pork is my fave with shrimp a close 2nd. They offer another one that I have not tried. I love that they put fried shallots in their peanut dipping sauce. First place for Pho is Pho 79 on Garfield and Main in Alhambra (the char grilled pork version - #36 or 37). Damn, now I am craving it!! ;-)

              2. re: WildSwede

                Tibet Nepal House on Holly - they have a lunch buffet. Wonder Burger on Foothill near the La Estrella already mentioned. Tiffany's on Colorado across from the Paseo for sandwiches. There is a Thai place on that block that a lot of people I work with like - but I am not a fan. The Hat.

                -----
                Tibet Nepal House
                36 E. Holly Street, Pasadena, CA 91103

                Wonder Burgers
                2584 E Foothill Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                La Estrella Restaurant
                330 E Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104

                1. re: WildSwede

                  I actually got a coupon on Restaurant.com for the Tibet Nepal House but have yet to use it. Looking forward to giving it a try! Any recommendations?

                  Here's the link if anyone wants to save some $ (enter promo code "plate" for 80% off): http://www.restaurant.com/microsite.a...

                  -----
                  Tibet Nepal House
                  36 E. Holly Street, Pasadena, CA 91103

                  1. re: wolanin

                    That is great! Thanks! I have only been for lunch and have only had the lunch buffet. It is pretty good. Hope you enjoy it!!

                    1. re: WildSwede

                      If you like Indian food, their food will be okay. This might be simplistic, but the food there reminded me of Indian and Chinese food--mostly Indian food. I guess that being on the crossroads of India and China would account for that. I didn't really like it, it wasn't bad but I just wasn't enthusiastic about it.

                2. re: WildSwede

                  Is Bonnie B's a takeout place? I've noticed it driving by. Hard to find good reasonably priced bbq. Hub is from Houston, best thing about going to Houston is the bbq! I guess I need to check this place out.

                3. If you like Lee's, you'd probably also like Luigi Ortega's. They do a very good, authentic Philly cheese steak. I also like their hoagies (served on Amoroso bread).

                  Other recommendations, not all that different than your regular spots, but still:

                  Sahara (kebabs & such)

                  Lupita's (Mexican)

                  Viva Tacos La Estrella (I go to the one on Altadena & Foothill)

                  -----
                  Luigi Ortega's
                  1655 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

                  Viva Tacos La Estrella
                  2525 E Foothill Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Jack Flash

                    And here I thought the only tempting thing from driving by Luigi Ortega's were the beer specials....

                    Yea, I like both those Mexican spots. But what's with the salsa Nazis in Pasadena (i.e. Viva Tacos La Estrella )? Why am I being charged more for wanting my food spicey at a Mexican restaurant? That would be like charging me to use napkins (or the bathroom) at Pink's hot dogs!

                    I know where Sahara is at, but have yet to go. That'll definitely be on my list.

                    -----
                    Luigi Ortega's
                    1655 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

                    Viva Tacos La Estrella
                    2525 E Foothill Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                    1. re: Jack Flash

                      I also like Luigi Ortega's but I wouldn't go there for lunch, during the school year. No parking, too much traffic, just a hassle.

                      -----
                      Luigi Ortega's
                      606 N Ventura Rd, Oxnard, CA 93030

                    2. Been a while..."Margaritas" on Rosemead used to have a good lunch buffet.
                      http://www.margaritasmexicanfood.com/...
                      155 S. Rosemead Boulevard(few blocks south of Colorado

                      )

                      Golden Palace Mongolian BBQ
                      3681 East Colorado Boulevard (corner of Rosemead Blvd.)

                      Connal's (50's kind of diner place?....lots of sandwiches and burgers are good
                      1505 East Washington Boulevard

                      The Hat on N. Lake
                      Roscoes on N. Lake
                      Avanti Cafe on N. Lake....wood fire pizza and decent pasta.

                      Some will say Wolfburgers and Pie & Burger (Pies yes, burgers....there are better)

                      Lee's Hoagies...."word of warning"...heading east on Colorado don't cross the double yellow line into the driveway at Lee's, use the side street entrance on Roosevelt. Our lunch entertainment was watching people getting tickets from the Pasadena PD waiting in the parking lot.

                      -----
                      Avanti Cafe
                      111 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: monku

                        At Pie 'n' Burger you get anything from a so-so burger to an excellent burger, depending on who's at the griddle and some other intangible factors. (Phase of the moon, maybe?)

                        1. re: Peripatetic

                          Perpatetic,

                          I'm curious, at Pie N Burger what did you find was the difference between a good versus bad burger?

                          I ask because essentially the burger is pretty basic, nothing fancy, just the patty, lettuce, onions, pickles and what's essentially their housemade thousand island dressing. It's sort of like the grandfather of an In-N-Out Burger. You either like or you don't.

                          I know that sometimes the breakfast items can be "off" depending on how busy they are. Worst offenders being the eggs, french toast and hash browns.

                          But the burgers have generally been pretty constant -- whether that's a good or bad thing will really depend on your perspective.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            ipse, note that I never said "bad", just so-so. And I'm probably being a bit harsh with "so-so" -- maybe "merely decent" would be more accurate.

                            In any case, I think the difference lies mostly with the beef patty itself. It's hard to describe exactly, but sometimes the patty exhibits a range of complex flavor characteristics, and sometimes it's more one-dimensional. I don't know what's responsible for the difference -- freshness of the beef? Some admixture of residual flavors of what's been on the grill before it? Minor differences in the amount of seasoning? I wish I knew.

                            1. re: Peripatetic

                              Gotcha. I think the variance may arise from the fact that the patties are hand-formed. Or maybe how they cleaned that part of the griddle where your burger was cooked? Who knows.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Well if they are hand formed then maybe you need to take into account whatever they were touching before they made your burger, too. :)

                                1. re: monkuboy

                                  Gross but yeah, supposedly the secret to NY Pizza, is the pizzamakers hands on subway car holds and poles, etceteras

                                  1. re: apple7blue

                                    As they like to say in the UK: it doesn't bear thinking about.

                      2. Best Pasadena lunch in typical SGV summer weather?

                        Bulgarini Gelato
                        http://www.bulgarinigelato.com/index.php

                        -----
                        Bulgarini Gelato
                        749 E Altadena Dr, Altadena, CA 91001

                        3 Replies
                          1. Oh, I can't remember the name but great pupusas on Lake on the east side of the street just below Washington. Carnitas at Mi Casa on Fair Oaks north of Orange Grove and really good Mexican where Lee's Hoagies is...Rosaritos?

                            -----
                            Mi Casa
                            5549 Woodruff Ave, Lakewood, CA 90713

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Fru

                              Hi Fru, is it La Caravana? I have always wondered about Mi Casa and that Mexican place next to Lee's - thanks! I order the pizza at Luigi Ortega's - it is pretty good. Lupita's is also very good. Good recs here so far!

                              1. re: WildSwede

                                I believe that is the name. Yum!!! I am very suspicious of Luigi Ortegas because I can't believe any place with such a diverse menu can do any/all of it well. I guess I'll have to try it. Oh yes, Puebla Tacos (2 locations) has good stuff. Good salsas, good tortas but they don't put refried beans on unless you ask. Handmade tortillas...

                                -----
                                Luigi Ortega's
                                1655 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

                                Puebla Tacos
                                700 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104

                            2. Wow, a great list of places for lunch:

                              I second The Slaw Dog. Great Asian take on the American hot dog.
                              Bulgarini, way north up Lake on Altadena Dr for the best gelato anywhere.
                              Also the Original Tops on Colorado past Rosemead. Love their Kobe burger and pastrami.
                              Can't beat the Hat for value.
                              The Counter has a lamb burger and great shakes.
                              Matsuri is maybe the best Japanese restaurant in Pasadena. Parking in back.

                              -----
                              The Original Tops
                              3838 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                              Bulgarini Gelato
                              749 E Altadena Dr, Altadena, CA 91001

                              The Hat
                              491 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

                              The Counter
                              140 Shoppers Ln, Pasadena, CA 91101

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

                              1. 9 & 9 Thai on Colorado across from Target
                                Cafe Linda's next to the Tibet buffet. The other thai places aren't so good.

                                O2 (Japanese) on Colorado across the Paseo, $4.99 chicken cutlet special is the best deal in town.
                                Mako Bowl on Colorado aint too bad.
                                Fortune Chinese off Union is decent for lunch specials.

                                -----
                                Mako Bowl
                                1543 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

                                Cafe Linda's
                                34 E Holly St, Pasadena, CA 91103

                                10 Replies
                                1. re: dlew308

                                  Good recs - I had 9&9 once to go and thought it was good. What do they serve at Cafe Linda's? Or, what do you get there? Fortune Chinese is a fave of many of my coworkers and they order it for delivery quite often. I have only had it once and it was pretty good.

                                  -----
                                  Cafe Linda's
                                  34 E Holly St, Pasadena, CA 91103

                                  1. re: WildSwede

                                    Cafe Linda's serves the usual Thai items. It's better then that sushi/thai place across the street. They served some tom yum soup that packed some serious heat, reminded me of Thailand.

                                    -----
                                    Cafe Linda's
                                    34 E Holly St, Pasadena, CA 91103

                                    1. re: dlew308

                                      Thanks! Tom Yum is my favorite... maybe I will run over there today. Thanks again!

                                      1. re: WildSwede

                                        Thanks for the rec! We ordered delivery from Cafe Linda's for lunch. I had the Tom Yum and the Drunken Noodles with tofu, both ordered hot. They were very good and nice and spicy. My friend got the Pad Thai, medium spicy and she said it was just okay. I think I will order again, but make sure this time that they repeat 10 times vs the 5 times I made her repeat what I wanted to make sure they get it right.

                                        -----
                                        Cafe Linda's
                                        34 E Holly St, Pasadena, CA 91103

                                      2. re: dlew308

                                        Cafe Linda is horrible. I don't understand the raves it gets. soggy rice?

                                        -----
                                        Cafe Linda's
                                        34 E Holly St, Pasadena, CA 91103

                                        1. re: dreamcast18

                                          I think it depends on your perspective.

                                          if you are looking for authentic Thai, then yes, Cafe Linda's is indeed horrible, and in fact it's probably worse than horrible.

                                          But if want you want is some sort of faux Americanized-Thai (not "real" Americanized-Thai, by the way), then I think Cafe Linda's will probably hit the spot.

                                          I mean, seriously, they have this thing on their menu that they call "Traditional Thai Salad" (or something along those lines) and it comes with eggs and tomatoes?? It must be a typo, because that's not traditional in any Thai sense ... it's more like a traditional Chinese chicken salad made California style.

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            i hear ya...its the panda express of thai food ;-)

                                            1. re: dreamcast18

                                              Please ... don't denigrate Panda Express. It actually makes authentic American-Chinese food.

                                  2. "[Tonny's has] freshly juiced vegetables too if you want to convince yourself you're eating healthy."

                                    They also have outstanding fruit aguas frescas and smoothies that will make you appreciate the impact of carbs on the human body -- but they're delicious!

                                    Also, don't miss Tonny's Costillas en Salsa Verde ("Pork Ribs Stir Fried with Green Salsa"), which I like even more than their storied carnitas, because of the flavor depth imparted by the rib bones.

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

                                    1. A few obvious elisions:

                                      Elements Cafe, on Fair Oaks a block or two south of Colorado, which may be a little ladies'-lunch, but has really fine sandwiches on Europane bread.

                                      Europane itself, especially the lunchier new cafe across from the Paseo. Good posole and pulled-pork sandwiches. All the bread and pastries at the newer place are whole-wheat, if that's either attractive or not.

                                      Cham, a Korean ``bistro'' on Lake, Americanized in the best sense of the word - their ssam platters are delicious.

                                      Roma Deli, on Lake at Mountain. The best subs in a ten-mile radius, but takeout only.

                                      Top Indonesian. Because sometimes you want a really basic, really spicy plate of nasi goreng.

                                      Heidar Baba. The best Persian place on this side of town, by far - order the off-menu stews rather than the kebabs. A little studenty, but very cheap.

                                      Mi Casa. Another basic location, but a few solid Michoacan-style dishes; good carnitas.

                                      -----
                                      Heidar Baba
                                      1511 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

                                      Mi Casa
                                      5549 Woodruff Ave, Lakewood, CA 90713

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: condiment

                                        The egg salad sandwich at Europane is to die for.

                                        1. re: condiment

                                          Agree with Roma, but note that the menu is exactly one item log: Italian cold cuts as selected by Rosario (the owner). He probably can be persuaded to make modifications, but I wouldn't want to try.

                                          1. re: Peripatetic

                                            Not to be confused with Pietro's next door. And yes, it is one sandwich, his way but it is also a nice Italian market as well.

                                            1. re: Peripatetic

                                              so im guessing you can't get a turkey sandwich or roast beef there.???

                                              1. re: kevin

                                                I won't say "no" definitively, but you would probably have to work for it, provided Rosario has the ingredients. Someone else might have more experience trying to order anything besides "The Sandwich".

                                            2. re: condiment

                                              Checked out Heidar Baba today. I didn't have a stew. Instead, I ordered an Americanized Classic - the Chicken Kabob. I gotta say, this thing was pretty good. Tender and juicy, with enormous portions and a side of either soup or salad.

                                              Now I know cheap is a relative term, but for me, $17 for lunch (including tip) is hardly cheap and/or studently.

                                              I couldn't help but notice the lack of business this place has. I'm assuming they make their money either during dinner or in the catering world, because as it stands, the place was pretty desloate. Maybe if they offered more affordable plates (i.e. having lunch specials) with smaller portions they could drum up more business, and parlay those customers back for dinner and/or seconds.

                                              -----
                                              Heidar Baba
                                              1511 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

                                            3. I'll just throw this out there, but to get the best Pasadena lunch you need to get Doc from Back to the Future and go back in time from before Old Town Pasadena was gobbled up by high real estate prices so you could get a sandwich at Goldstein's or a manicotti, pizza, garlic bread from Domenico's, just to name a couple . . .

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: apple7blue

                                                As long as we're in the way back machine. . . . Hutch's; Dino's; Ernie Jrs. Tacos. . . .

                                              2. Let me throw out two more.

                                                Gerlach's Grill ... good grilled fish and kebabs, not haute cuisine, but satisfying and filling; outdoor seating only.

                                                Tarantino ... best white pizza going for the price. It's not NY-style pizza, it's not Boston-style, it's probably "mutt-style" in that it's just a very basic pizza, simple crust, good toppings, but it works in the same way that you feel you like you just have to adopt that cute stray dog at the park even though you know it's nothing special but a regular mutt.

                                                15 Replies
                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  For more money the Tucci's Special is worth it at Tarantino's. Agree the white pie is satisfying.
                                                  Gerlach's to me is a sort of decent last resort pick, i.e., where to go for something good to eat or drink when the rest of the town is shut down for a holiday or something.

                                                  1. re: mc michael

                                                    so gerlache's is not that great, ? what's good to get their anyhow? or should i just go to fanta-sea grill further down fair oaks for grilled fish dishes?

                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                      haven't been to fanta-sea. in my view Gerlach's is a liquor store that's open long hours and has a good selection. it also happens to have some food. for example, one time on Christmas night I wanted some good tequila, limes, salt and shot glasses. everybody else was closed. Gerlachs's was not only open it had all I needed including a good tequila at a fair price.

                                                      1. re: mc michael

                                                        gerlach's was a gem while grach was still the owner. armenian-iranian but trained in japan. seafood was always perfectly prepared and he'd make off the menu specials/suggestions if you got on his good side. (i brought him a lot of repeat customers while acting as a food evangelist back in the late 90's). nowadays, the whitefish taco plate is still a winner and they're one of the few places that does fish and chips with salmon instead of cod.

                                                        1. re: barryc

                                                          wait gerlach doesn't own the joint anymore ????

                                                          I remember reading it back in the day in an old jay gold review.

                                                          it's been too long since i've been back, but usually when i'm in the area, i just hit the shit out of fanta sea grill.

                                                          But gerlache's was great for those halibut fish tacos and then he had the traditional Persian kabobs on the menu too.

                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                            grach sold out years ago to the guy who backed him up at the stove. it was ok for a bit but the quailty eventually faded. i miss the free soup/salad appetizers you got while you were waiting. and the free hummus or salad you got for any order of $20 or more. or the fact he'd knock a dollar off your taco plate if you ordered between 2 & 5 pm.

                                                            i really miss the days when harrison ford used to be the president.

                                                            1. re: barryc

                                                              so it's no longer good ?

                                                              or still worht a try ?

                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                3 bassa tacos with rice & salad for $7.49 fills me up and i'm a pretty big eater. or you could try the fish and chips - unusual because the fish is salmon instead of cod.

                                                                a lot of people who work nearby still get their burger special.

                                                    2. re: mc michael

                                                      I am a huge fan of Tarantino's pastas and their garlic bread with cheese. Also, their Pepe salad is great.

                                                    3. re: ipsedixit

                                                      I work over by the intersection of Colorado Blvd. and N. Sierra Madre Blvd., so Gerlach's is a bit of a hike from me. Do you (or anyone else) know of a decent place for grilled fish aside from Cameron's Seafood closer to my neck of the woods?

                                                      -----
                                                      Madre's
                                                      897 Granite Dr, Pasadena, CA

                                                      1. re: wolanin

                                                        None that comes to mind in the area (Colorado/Sierra Madre). I recall a few years back that there used to be a grilled seafood restaurant across the street from PCC, which would've been ideal for you location-wise, but that place shuttered a while ago.

                                                        -----
                                                        Madre's
                                                        897 Granite Dr, Pasadena, CA

                                                        1. re: wolanin

                                                          it's 4 years late but if you're in east pasadena you might consider corfu in sierra madre. not necessarily grilled fish but mediterranean (greek i believe).

                                                        2. re: ipsedixit

                                                          At risk of contributing to some sort pizza purity argument - (if you love Totino's from the freezer aisle and call it pizza, more power to you) - anyway, I believe that Tarantino's may fall into a little know pizza niche known as Pittsburgh-style pizza, characterized by thick bubbly crust, lots of sweet tomato sauce, heavy on the cheese and toppings. It's probably a creation of my own mind, but it's the pizza I remember eating from the local pizzeria's in Pittsburgh when I was growing up. If you ever sit down in that place you may notice that the owners are likely from Pittsburgh. Anyway, my foolish two cents.

                                                          1. re: inlikeflt

                                                            It's all good to me.

                                                            I'm not really a pizza snob, although I can certainly appreciate the different regional styles and specialties.

                                                            1. re: inlikeflt

                                                              Interesting. Angels' manager Mike Scioscia recently tabbed Tarantino's as his favorite LA-area pizza. He hails from somewhere in Pa., so perhaps it is some kind of Pennsylvania-style pizza.

                                                          2. It's just do-it-yourself fro-yo with toppings, but has anyone been to Cherry on Top - one block west of Hill on Green? That place is hopping in the afternoons and especially, in the evenings. Pleasant place to sit outside after dark.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                              1. re: Selter Head

                                                                Love it! First started going when doing laundry in Monrovia and there is a location a couple stores down. Glad that one came closer to work... we go there for "lunch" from time to time.

                                                                1. re: Selter Head

                                                                  I like Cherry on Top. Some of the flavors are misses, but others are very good, and you get to help yourself to taster portions before committing. (Some patrons consume much more in samples than their final order.) The self-serve system also alleviates the wait time imposed by inefficient "swirlers".

                                                                2. I forgot to add, that Taco Station, one block west of Cherry on Top, is a good little taco place - outdoors, too.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Taco Station
                                                                  4088 Mission Inn Ave, Riverside, CA 92501

                                                                  1. give Whole Foods a shot, in addition to the sandwiches, and by the lb., they have a pizza bar, taco station, sushi bar, a seafood bar, and a wine bar (should you desire.)

                                                                    1. Not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but Cafe Verde on Green is really good. http://www.cafeverdepasadena.com/

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Cafe Verde
                                                                      961 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91106

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. Brits needs to be on this list. The best English style fish and chips in the area.

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

                                                                        1. For Thai, my favorite is PresidenTwo on Colorado (in the same center as the original Europane, but upstairs). There is also Tiparos Thai further down Colorado (near Altadena).

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Tiparos Thai Restaurant
                                                                          2486 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                                                                          1. I tried out Cham Korean Bistro last week and I enjoyed the hot sizzling bibimbap (which I got bcs of J Gold's review of it)!

                                                                            Definitely a good addition to the Pasadena lunch scene, prices reasonable ($8), nice vibe.

                                                                            1. nobody gives lees the love it deserves, probably because they're closed by 7pm. the chicken hoagie is as good a grilled chicken sandwich as i've ever had.

                                                                              1. http://www.yelp.com/biz/pho-banh-mi-c...

                                                                                Just went there last week. Not as good as Siagon Bakery but - you can get a Banh Mi and a boba tea for under $6. Not bad!

                                                                                1. old post that people seem to keep updating...

                                                                                  it's an oxymoron, if you ask me: Best Pasadena Lunch...

                                                                                  there is better everything anywhere else IMHO...

                                                                                  challenge ya'll to name a "best in class" place that you can't get better somewhere else in LA...

                                                                                  and before you start hating on me, I realize my post is not helpful to someone looking for lunch in Pasadena...

                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: orythedog

                                                                                    Nobody said anything about Pasadena being the best at anything, the whole point of the thread was basically if you have to be in Pasadena for lunch, what are the best places for lunch in the area. What's oxymoronic about that? It's been a friendly, informative thread about lunch in Pasadena, why inject it with Pasadena hate?

                                                                                    That said, I'll take up your challenge. For San Sebastian style tapas: Racion. For gelato: Bulgarini. For Neapolitan pizza: Settebello. Croissants: Europane. I'd even go serious, old school, under $15 lobster rolls: Cousins. All of those are reasonable places open for lunch that in their category would have to be in the discussion for best in LA. But again, nobody is saying Pasadena is the best neighborhood for lunch in all of LA county, the question is simply where are the best lunch spots in Pasadena.

                                                                                    1. re: orythedog

                                                                                      I generally agree with you o'dog, but I will say that Tarantino's makes the best meatball sub for $6 or less.

                                                                                      I dare someone to find a better one at an equal, or lesser, price point.

                                                                                      1. re: orythedog

                                                                                        We'll take on the challenge!

                                                                                        -Lahmajoun at the Old Sasoon Bakery on Allen
                                                                                        -Best Value Pop-Up Tasting Menu at LQFoodings at Vertical
                                                                                        -Best Cassoulet Night and Cassoulet Tasting Menu also at LQFoodings at Vertical
                                                                                        -Best Smoked Pork Belly Sandwich ($4.99) at Whole Foods Arroyo
                                                                                        -Best Roman-style pizza at Pizza of Venice (Altadena)
                                                                                        -Best locally milled flour, polenta and bread at Grist & Toll
                                                                                        -Best Thursday Farmer's Market at South Pasadena
                                                                                        -Best coffee within a 1/2 mile radius at Copa Vida, Intelligentsia, Home Brewed, Zona Rosa, Jones
                                                                                        -Most solid wine bars within a one mile radius at Everson Royce, Monopole, and Madport
                                                                                        -One of the best grilled ham & cheese sandwiches at The Cheese Store of Pasadena

                                                                                        No hate here. Grateful you brought it up. Makes us think of all the great things Pasadena has to offer with a lovely historical back drop.

                                                                                        1. re: revets2

                                                                                          and fair oaks pharmacy and fanta sea grill and shiro.

                                                                                          oooooopppps.

                                                                                          those are all located in the sleepy, suburban town of South Pasadena.

                                                                                          but still good.

                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                            To be fair, isn't Fair Oaks Pharmacy more like a "only-in-class" vs. "best-in-class?" ;)

                                                                                            Was rather sad when Soda Jerks up the street closed....

                                                                                            1. re: ilysla

                                                                                              Yes, I think they even used Dreyer's ice cream. (insert shudder).

                                                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                                                Eh, there are worse things. By the time you mix it w/ the soda, who cares? ;)

                                                                                          2. re: revets2

                                                                                            Oops. I was reminded the Smoked Pork Belly Sandie is $4.99 on Saturdays only.

                                                                                            1. re: revets2

                                                                                              will definitely try some of these, thx

                                                                                              1. re: Novelli

                                                                                                Yes, but now Leo also has a shop in Culver City...but the kid who served me there last time is from...Pasadena.

                                                                                            2. I don't see Little Flower Candy Co posted. I practically have lunch there everyday. Hands down the best lunch spot in Pasadena....
                                                                                              I also like father nature in old town....
                                                                                              Le Pain Quotidien in Old Town is consistently good too

                                                                                              http://littleflowercandyco.com

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: italiana3

                                                                                                Can't wait for LFCC to open on Lincoln.

                                                                                              2. I have decided to look at Pasadena with fresh eyes.