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Dec 23, 2011 11:14 PM

Middle-Brow, Non-Ethnic in Arcadia

I am fully aware of the amazing food within a stone's throw of Santa Anita racetrack. But I somehow have racetrack friends who don't eat "ethnic" food. (Best not to ask.... consider them "projects").

So: where can I go after a day at the races, to get decent food at reasonable prices with a full bar in Arcadia? The Derby: not an option because of $$ that most of us have lost and a level of decorum when we're all kinda sweaty and smelling of thoroughbred and defeat.

Peppers, across the street, may be the worst Mexican restaurant in California. Rod's is an authentic 50s diner in all the wrong ways.

Surely there's a decent bar 'n' grill nearby? Or a pizza/pasta place where you can get a martini? If so, I haven't found it.


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  1. Arcadia is pretty much chain city when it comes to "non-ethnic," once you exclude the Derby.

    You might be better off going just a bit west into Pasadena. Robin's BBQ is pretty good, non-threatening and has a full-bar. And it's the sort of place you could go to in the physical state you're anticipating. Or maybe Clearman's - either the Galley or North Woods Inn (the Galley is better if you have a losing day at the track).

    1. There is Matt Denny's further east on Huntington before you hit 2nd Ave. I've only been there once, the food was acceptable and I believe they should have a full bar.

      If you are ok with chains, Wood Ranch at the mall has good BBQ and a full bar.

      3 Replies
      1. re: lileor

        Jack, thanks for the Pasadena recs... it's the wrong direction for some of our party, so I was looking for someplace as close as posisble to the track.

        Lileor, thanks, Matt Denny's looks perfect!

        1. re: jesstifer

          I second the req for Matt Denny's. It was the first place I thought of after reading your post. They do have a full bar and a covered patio, too.

          1. re: WildSwede

            I third the req. for Matt Denny's, it was also the first place I thought of when reading the post. We eat there regularly and think the food is really good!

      2. How about the Peach Cafe in nearby Monrovia, which is really just on the outskirts of Arcadia and about a long stone's throw from the race track?

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Salve, ipse... alas, Peach Cafe seems to be beer & wine only. Looks yummy good though... I'll try it on my own time.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Mexican wannabe. :-). Perhaps I think of Mexican in SoCal as being as native as pizza.

            2. How about Carmine's? They make a "decent" pizza and have a full bar. I love their minestrone. Don't let the picture on their website fool you. It is casual. You could definitely come as you are from the race track

              4 Replies
              1. re: Fru

                Carmine's also looks swell, thanks!

                1. re: jesstifer

                  Carmine's is also fantastic. They make some of my favorite pizza in the San Gabriel valley. Their soups and pastas are fantastic, too.

                2. re: Fru

                  Isn't Italian food considered "ethnic"? Or is there some other definition of ethnic that is being used for the purposes of this discussion?

                  1. re: raytamsgv

                    Maybe jesstifer is a Mexican-Italian?