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Saturday cheap casual suppers, near Pasadena?

For the next month or so we're spending weekends cleaning out an old house. Tiring work and frequently dirty as well. On Saturdays we work until around 8:00, and then wash off the worst of it and go to dinner. So far we've been to Amigo's, because it's bad Mexican but GOOD bad Mexican, close by, and cheap, but we wanted better. Last Saturday we went to Vietnam Restaurant and had a very good meal for about $13 each, with tip. I think we'll go to Twohey's this weekend … but we're running low on inspiration. Our first requirement is we can show up in jeans and T-shirts, then good food for around $10-$15 apiece excluding anything from the bar, and a decent bar would be good, too. Or even just beer and wine. It should be within easy range of the Caltech area, remembering that everyone including the driver is pretty tired. One of us is French and will eat Mexican but would rather not, at least not frequently. Everybody likes Chinese or Vietnamese, and I'll say Thai as well. We will probably give one of the Lucky Baldwins a whirl, though Saturday might not be the easiest time to do that …

All suggestions cheerfully examined; thank you!

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  1. Hi Will! How about PresidentTwo Thai on Colorado? I know you mentioned not too much Mexican, but I wanted to throw out La Cabanita in Montrose since it is GOOD Mexican. Pho 2000 in Montrose is pretty good as well (not as good as Pho 79 or Pho Lemon, but passable). There is a new Italian restaurant that took the place of the old Italian restaurant at the far end on the south side of Honolulu. Have not tried it yet, but it always seems to be busy. Okay, forgive me, but another Mexican restaurant - Paco's, also in Montrose.

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    La Cabanita
    3447 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208

    6 Replies
    1. re: WildSwede

      Actually, WS, Pho 79 is a good deal more convenient, since the site of our labors is a house with San Marino just over the back fence. Alhambra, San Gabriel and Arcadia are our easiest targets, a fact which I probably should have mentioned – along with the fact that Pho 79 is already on my list!

      I am going to put La Cabanita on there provisionally; if this project goes as long as I'm afraid it will, our semi-Mexophobe will probably be amenable to the experiment.

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      La Cabanita
      3447 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208

      1. re: Will Owen

        Hi Will. Sorry - I was at accupuncture with needles in my face when I realized that you wrote Caltech, not JPL.

        Okay, how about Sahara on Colorado, Carmine's, Fu-Shing (or whatever that place by Acapulco on east Colorado is called). Agree with the Daisy Mint rec. Bob's Big Boy! Alondra Hot Wings. Diner on Main Street. Clearman's Galley.

        PLEASE, Will, if you go to Pho 79 - try the Chargrilled Pork Pho (#36 or 37) I will pay for it. You will not regret it. I swear!

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        Daisy Mint
        1218 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA

      2. re: WildSwede

        Tarantino's for pizza

        Azeen's for Afghani

        Heidar Babar for middle eastern

        El Toreo for Mexican

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Hi Ipse - what do you get at El toreo?

          1. re: WildSwede

            The burritos -- either the El Toreo or the Chile Relleno.

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            El Toreo
            21 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

      3. El Metate 12 N. Mentor

        Daisy Mint (Thai) 1218 E. Colorado

        Mongolian BBQ 1445 E. Colorado

        Soup Plantation, Conrad's, The Burger Shack, Twohey's

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        Twohey's Restaurant
        1224 N Atlantic Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

        Daisy Mint
        1218 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA

        El Metate
        12 N Mentor Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106

        1. Tarantino's for pizza

          Azeen's for Afghani

          Heidar Babar for middle eastern

          El Toreo for Mexican

          1. Well if you are going Amigo's as it is--you might as well go to King Taco.

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            King Taco
            45 N Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA 91103

            1 Reply
            1. re: apple7blue

              We go to Amigo's for the margaritas, the jukebox, and the excellent chance that we'll run into friends from our neighborhood. The food is endurable; I actually love the chewy machaca.

            2. You can do Newport Seafood on las tunas, it's pretty casual and as long as you skip the lobster, you can get away with 10-15/person.

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              Newport Seafood Restaurant
              4411 W 1st St, Santa Ana, CA 92703

              2 Replies
              1. re: chezwhitey

                We've been there with these same people, and it was definitely in my thoughts, but it's also a real zoo on Saturday nights. Still, good call. And just a block or so away from Vietnam, as well as Golden Deli.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  If you want to drive an extra 10 minutes, you could go to mei long village. Definitely worth the drive for terrific food that will satisfy a tired and hungry legion of worker bees. Get the pork pump.

              2. There's Charlie's Trio on Huntington & Alhambra Rd (not the one on Main), Margarita (very good Mexican like homemade) on Rosemead and Del Mar, Northwoods Inn and the new Boat on Rosemead just south of Huntington, Cha & Cafe Lower Azusa Rd and Arden Dr (El Monte) a little out of your zone but all are reasonable and good.

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                Del Mar Cafe
                712 S Del Mar Ave, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                Charlie's Trio
                5769 Huntington Dr N, Los Angeles, CA 90032

                5 Replies
                1. re: Neta

                  Is there any difference in quality between Charlie's Trio on Huntington and the Main St.? I love the Main St.'s broasted chicken and the pizza is pretty good.

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                  Charlie's Trio
                  5769 Huntington Dr N, Los Angeles, CA 90032

                  Main St Cafe
                  450 Main St, El Segundo, CA 90245

                  1. re: Neta

                    I'd never heard of Charlie's Trio until I saw an ad in Sunday's Star-News. What's good there?

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                    Charlie's Trio
                    5769 Huntington Dr N, Los Angeles, CA 90032

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Charlie's Trio has been mentioned on CH before. They have great broasted chicken. I like their pizza but never had their pasta dishes.

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                      Charlie's Trio
                      5769 Huntington Dr N, Los Angeles, CA 90032

                      1. re: reality check

                        CT on Huntington is the original and is just better. Mama used to be in the kitchen overseeing things (think she still is.) Think red sauce Italian. The HD location also has good pizza, good appetizers and a great bartender named "Al." Al is an actor and has been seen in many movies and on TV, his latest "House." He's got that NY attitude and sense of humor. Never ordered broasted chicken here so can't comment. It does a tremendous business so a lot of people will agree it's got some worthwhile items.

                        1. re: Neta

                          I do love me some red sauce Italian, and the "good bartender" wraps it up. Only problem I can see is that the only menu I can find online is for take-out and catering, so pricewise I'm flying blind …

                  2. Maybe Gus's BBQ? (full bar)
                    Pie 'n Burger
                    Cham Korean Bistro (beer and wine, too!)
                    I hate to say, but this thread just makes me think "Pasadena is weak." I do like Vietnam restaurant and Daisy Mint, but reading these recs just makes me realize why I drive to Boyle Heights, Downtown, Eagle Rock and Silver Lake for dinner (as well as numerous other Chinese and Vietnamese places in SGV of course.)

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

                    Daisy Mint
                    1218 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Chowpatty

                      Gus's was considered and rejected early on; unless they've added acoustic surfaces the place is insanely loud unless it's almost empty, and when we complained we were told that their clientele likes places like that. And is P'n'B open for dinner? I thought they were daytime only.

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        PnB is open until 10 every day except Sunday, when they close at 9.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          I am delighted to know that! It's practically walking distance from the house, and I don't think our friends have ever been there. Thanks!

                    2. How about dogs......

                      The Slaw Dogs and

                      Dog Haus on Hill

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

                      Dog Haus
                      105 N Hill Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Kitchen Queen

                        Mrs. O (AKA the Tube Steak Queen) has had those on the list from the beginning. Okay, BEFORE the beginning. Just don't know if the others will share our enthusiasm, since neither venue is exactly comfy. None of us is under fifty, and at the end of a hard day of hauling we require at least the pampering of padding under vinyl, and someone bringing stuff to us.