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Cheval Blanc, Roy's, or Parkway Grill?

I'm trying to find a spot for my mom's upcoming b'day. The old standby is Parkway Grill - which mom enjoys, but I feel it's a bit overdone and I think she'd appreciate a change of scene.

Mom loves salmon and chicken, is open to other fish, but is not a red-meat eater.

I'm a little hesitant on Roy's - because when I went to the downtown location, I found everything to be over-sauced.

I'm leaning toward Cheval Blanc, but that's the unknown on my list.

Any thoughts? I'm open to other ideas, if there's a standout. Would want to stay in Pasadena (or east) and keep the price point in the $20-30 range for entrees.

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Parkway Grill
510 South Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, CA 91105

Cheval Blanc
41 S De Lacey Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

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  1. I've been to all three, and my vote would be ROY'S, especially if your mom isn't a red meat eater. I've never been to the Downtown or the Pasadena location, but I know someone who has been to both and says the Pasadena location is better than the Downtown location. I highly recommend Roy's Hawaiian Martini, Misoyaki Butterfish, and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. I've also enjoyed their Salmon and their Short Ribs. Honestly, I've always had a wonderful meal at Roy's in Woodland Hills.

    Cheval Blanc is also good, but the food nor the menu are as good as Roy's in my opinion. In fact, my last meal at Cheval Blanc was a bit of a let down. Also keep in mind, Roy's will have a wider selection of fish dishes.

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    Cheval Blanc
    41 S De Lacey Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

    1 Reply
    1. re: brandygirl

      If you go to Costco (at least the one in Los Feliz), you can get 2 $50 gift cards for Roy's for $80.

    2. If your mom enjoys fish, might I suggest Shiro in South Pasadena?

      http://restaurantshiro.com/

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      Shiro Restaurant
      1505 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

      7 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Better than all of the three suggestions, per poster's parameters.

        1. re: carter

          Shiro website for menu perusal, prices, etc.
          http://restaurantshiro.com/menu.html

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          Shiro Restaurant
          1505 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

          1. re: carter

            there's that $35 Wednesday night prix fixe.

        2. re: ipsedixit

          Thank you, ispedixit & carter.

          I've lived in Pasadena for decades, and have YET to try Shiro. A visit is long overdue and it's a great suggestion.

          What is the ambiance like in the restaurant? Is it comparable to the others on the list?

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          Shiro Restaurant
          1505 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

          1. re: The Oracle

            From my recollection (it's been about 2 years now), it's sort of plain...or understated, if you prefer. Reasonably quiet.

            1. re: The Oracle

              Decor is Spartan, or if you prefer, Modern Sparse?

              It's definitely a grown up type of place, din is low to medium, and the general feel is somewhat sedated, but not dead by any means.

              Service, for me, has always been professional and competent.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Sheryl always makes people feel at home.

          2. Personally I like Cheval Blanc better than Roy's. You also might consider AKA An American Bistro http://www.akabistro.com/ . We have had some very solid meals there. I went to Shiro once and thought it was good, but overpriced.

            THz

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            Shiro Restaurant
            1505 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

            Cheval Blanc
            41 S De Lacey Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

            1 Reply
            1. re: Terahertz

              I liked AKA quite a bit, although it might not be quite the right vibe for mom's b-day (I guess it sort of depends on the mom in question).

            2. I think Roy's is good the first time you go, but over time it does seem over-sauced, overly sweet. Of course, YMMV. They do have a decent happy hour, however (Pasadena location).
              Shiro is better but costs more--although they do have some specials that bear looking into.

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              Shiro Restaurant
              1505 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

              1. We've been to Cheval Blanc twice. Although the food ranged from quite good to adequate, they committed two errors: on the first visit the bus person grabbed my escargot dish out from under my descending chunk of bread, and ignored my protests. On the second, my much-anticipated lapin à la moutarde was cooked rabbit, probably sous vide, heated up with mustard-cream sauce on it, NOT rabbit long-braised with mustard. That was just being quick and cheap, tantamount to serving bagged salad, but running off with my escargot butter (the whole point of ordering them, for me) is unforgivable. The Smiths can keep their little empire, for all of me.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Will Owen

                  Removing the escargot butter is a death penalty offense, but man you have to be more assertive!

                  1. re: mc michael

                    Mrs. O would not have appreciated my yelling in there, which was my first impulse. Not even on my birthday, which it was. Simply refusing to go back is a whole lot easier, given how many other places have both good bread and good escargot, and better and cheaper food. The only reason we did go back was because my Mom-in-law wanted to go there for her birthday, and I picked the day because I wanted to try that terribly disappointing bunny dish. Bummer.