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Lunch spots near Staples Center

Langer's is a must! The hand-cut meat is pretty amazing.

Aug 23, 2008
TroyV in Los Angeles Area

La Grande Orange Cafe in Pasadena

I have eaten there a few times now and I am pretty disappointed with their offerings. To me, the name La Grande Orange Cafe suggests something a little more exciting and focused than the boring and mediocre Mexican and American comfort-food they serve up. The most impressive thing about this place is the well done restoration of the historic train depot. It looks great and there is something appealing about the ambiance, although I think it's more suited for a bar. It would be great bar food! Despite fresh ingredients and ambitious touches such as homemade tortillas and ground to order burgers, the taste of the food falls short and the plating is sloppy and unappetizing. Considering I live a cigarette's flick away, I will probably take advantage of my 10% discount and order out when I don't feel like cooking, but I wouldn't recommend anyone going out of their way to dine here.

Apr 11, 2008
TroyV in Los Angeles Area

Sushi in Pasadena?

I moved to Pasadena 6 months ago and have yet to find any places that really compare to restaurants like Nozawa, Katsuya, Asanebo or even the less tasty Iroha or Tama, on Sushi Row.

Yoshida in Sam Marino has live sea urchin and scallops which is a but the overall consistency in quality is lacking.

Roku is high in price but the quality, technique and cuts of fish don't really match up.
Tani and Sushi of Naples may be okay for cooked dishes or rolls but I wouldn't take the raw fish very seriously. These are just my opinions, I don't mean to offend anyone.

I am not sure what places you like so I don't really know what you are looking for but I would personally recommend sticking to something in the Valley.

Apr 02, 2008
TroyV in Los Angeles Area

Birthday dinner...private space for 8?

Table One, in the kitchen of Hotel Bel-Air is nice but it is more formal and a bit pricier than the restaurants you listed. They offer a 7 course tasting menu. The service is excellent.

If you want to venture Downtown, the chefs table at Patina is great and has views into the kitchen. Again, it is more expensive than the restaurants you mentioned but the chef's tasting menu shouldn't disappoint.

Apr 02, 2008
TroyV in Los Angeles Area

MATSUHISA or ASANEBO?

I think Matsuhisa's dishes are a little more bold in flavor. The technique and presentation at Asanebo is really good and the tastes, more delicate. Now if Urasawa is in the running...100% Urasawa. That place is just amazing!

Apr 01, 2008
TroyV in Los Angeles Area