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Little Flower and The Kitchen on W Colo Blvd Pasadena

toodie jane Apr 1, 2012 12:13 PM

Visiting the Gamble House last Thursday, we asked at the gift shop for nearby adventurous lunch possibilities (not burgers) and were directed to LIttle Flower. Pulling into the rear parking lot, I spied a back loading dock next door piled with towers of huge coolers. After ordering some great sounding lunch sandwiches and salad, I ventured next door to find The Kitchen For Exploring Foods--a catering company with a most sumptuous-looking deli case. They must cater multiple or large jobs to account for the pile of coolers out back. Their menu is large and the food looked great. Looks like an ideal "it's what's for dinner quick stop spot" .

After our lunch at Little Flower (a delicous Brie/Mushroom/Lemon Zest sand, a goat cheese and greens salad, and a pulled pork and cole slaw combo), we headed to Kitchen for some dessert. The selection was very good, from cookies and bars to cheescake, brulee, pie, tarts, cakes. I chose an almond cakelet and cheescake bite, others chose the oatmeal cookie, lemon curd-filled cupcake, and other goodies. All were well balanced not too sweet, good fresh butter flavor, and would quickly reccommend this place for baked goods. Would go back to wither place for more "exploration" any time. Prices seemed very reasonable and service was great at both spots.

We also did some serious nursery hopping but can't review that here ;-)

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    bulavinaka RE: toodie jane Apr 1, 2012 12:40 PM

    Looks like you did well! That part of the SGV is wonderful for all that you did. Unfortunately in this case, I usually head out to the west/central portion of the SGV for great Chinese eating of all sorts. Don't know if you had a chance to see the Huntington Gardens/Museum/Library as well. The Gamble House is my dream home (I know - get to the back of the line). If you're into egg salad sandwiches, the queen of this category is the one at Euro Pane - also in Pasadena. I don't even care for egg salad in general (I'm boiled-egg-phobic - long story) but this is edlble art x decadence-cubed. Thanks for all your recs when I'm up toward Santa Cruz and those parts...

    2 Replies
    1. re: bulavinaka
      toodie jane RE: bulavinaka Apr 4, 2012 07:14 PM

      what cities/towns would I look for on a map for "the SGV" (San Gabriel valley?)

      1. re: toodie jane
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        bulavinaka RE: toodie jane Apr 4, 2012 07:34 PM

        Off the top of my head: Alhambra, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, Arcadia, Temple City, El Monte, Hacienda Heights, and Roland Heights for Asian cuisine. The vast majority of eateries are represented by various regional Chinese cuisines but there's a growing Vietnamese representation as well, particularly around the first four towns that I listed, as well as in El Monte. Some Korean and Japanese is to be found as well.

        I wouldn't know where to start as for recs but a few places that probably aren't represented in the Bay Area would be Omars Xinjiang Halal Restaurant in San Gabriel, Beijing Pie House in Monterey Park, Lucky Noodle King in San Gabriel, Big Tree Pastry in Monterey Park and Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village in San Gabriel.

        I know there's a fair amount of Vietnamese eateries in the Bay area but one place that is worth visiting regardless is Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant in San Gabriel. It can get pricy, and it's obviously seafood-oriented, but they do lobster and crab like nobody's business...

        I know great dim sum can be had in the Bay Area, but if you're hankerin' for the best around these parts, try Sea Harbour in Rosemead and Elite in Monterey Park. Hope this helps...

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      latindancer RE: toodie jane Apr 1, 2012 12:48 PM

      Any time I'm in that area I stop in to Little Flower for their candy and then onto The Kitchen to see what they have in their case. I've always loved everything I've brought home from there.
      However, very recently, I was on my stop(s) and found NOTHING in the case. Nobody was around except a woman who was in the midst of going over a catering tasting with customers.
      There was nobody to ask where the food was so I'm not sure what was going on.
      But, you're right, the food when available is wonderful.

      2 Replies
      1. re: latindancer
        toodie jane RE: latindancer Apr 4, 2012 07:12 PM

        we were there on a Thursday about 1 pm, and the Kitchen was bustling--there were two offices with what looked like client consultations going on, but the area at the cases had one, two, or more employees nearby and ready to help. The counter help were very gracious; I was impressed with the breadth of product knowledge and their brisk pace yet very friendly attitude. Could it be that they only fill the cases on strategic days when they have scheduled consults, so folks can see in person the results from their kitchen...? In any case, we were the winners--those baked goods were scrumptious!

        1. re: toodie jane
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          latindancer RE: toodie jane May 7, 2012 04:46 PM

          Went today to pick up candy from Little Flower Company. Ordered a curried chicken salad sandwich which sounded interesting. The Bread was a nice ciabatta packed with a very flavorful chicken curry. The sandwich was huge and I would have liked a lighter bread with chicken that wasn't quite so chunky....otherwise it was good.
          Went next door to The Kitchen hoping to find something fabulous to bring home for dinner. Once again, cases empty. A very nice woman informed me they're closed on Mondays....bummer. Next time I'll remember they're NOT open on Monday.

      2. Savour RE: toodie jane May 7, 2012 12:50 PM

        Little Flower is our go-to neighborhood spot. I can't get enough of either their goat cheese and tomato tarts with honey or their lavender scones. Haven't stopped in at the Kitchen, though. They catered our wedding (10 years ago) and the food was terrific.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Savour
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          latindancer RE: Savour May 7, 2012 04:48 PM

          Oh, I wish I'd known about The Kitchen this summer for an event I had catered. The Kitchen's food is absolutely phenomenal. Next time.

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