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nice dinners in Pasadena

fritz, if you are still in town try jones coffee for a mom and pop coffee place. its on raymond, just north of california. i'm usually a peets drinker (berkeley loyalty), but i've had a pretty good espresso at jones. also, almost all of their beans come from a socially responsible farming co-op in guatemala.

Aug 19, 2007
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Coming to LA/Pasadena (mainly Pasadena), could use some recs

Most of the recs on this post (and most of the really good food experiences such as Arcadia or the San Gabriel Valley for Chinese food, or Studio City or West LA for sushi) would require some driving, however if you really would prefer walking, you could check out some of the places below that are walkable from the Pasadena Sheraton. First to answer your question: Green Street, Yahaira, Julienne, and Europane are all still open and all are pretty good. Julienne is not walkable, but the rest are within reasonable walking distance.

A breakfast place: In addition to Europane or Green Street, Marstons is about a ten minute walk away, at the corner of Walnut and Raymond. Very good traditional style breakfasts. Very crowded on the weekends though. Or for a quick breakfast you can check out the bakery section of the upscale Gelson’s supermarket in the nearby Paseo Colorado mall. Its near the corner of Green and Marengo and its only about a five minute walk away.

Casual lunch: In addition to Europane, Mediterranean Café is about a fifteen minute walk, located just behind Lake Avenue on Shoppers Lane just north of Cordova. Kebabs, falafel, hummous,etc… very good and very reasonably priced. Also, Yahaira is a pretty good lunch spot that it seems like you already have some info on. If you do Yahaira on the weekend, go across the street into the lobby of the Laemmle movie theater and try Bulgarini Gelato from the cart if they are there. They used to be there only on the weekends. (Are they still at the cart in the movie theater since they opened up shop in Altadena? Maybe some of the others posters can chime in). Also if you are over there, you can stop in at the Famima at Colorado and Madison to get and idea of what a 7-11 type convenience store in Japan looks like.

Ethnic dinners in Pasadena – Tibet-Nepal House for Himalayan food (you can try yak meat, but I liked their other dishes better), Azeens for Afghani food, and Gyu Kaku for Japanese charcoal grilling at the table. All three are located in the Old Town Pasadena area, offer unique experiences, and are probably about a fifteen to twenty minute walk away from your hotel. Also, Bistro 561 is less than a ten minute walk away and is the restaurant of the cordon bleu culinary school located in Pasadena. The meals are prepared by the students. There’s also a much more casual School Café located around the corner that has more simple meals prepared by the students that could serve as a casual lunch. I think its kind of fun to eat meals prepared by the students and it supports the school. They are only open on weekdays and are located at the corner of Green and El Molino. Also, if you like Al Pastor there is a taco truck that comes out at night on Fair Oaks, just north of California located in the Nikimura (or something like that) Auto parts parking area that has pretty good al pastor. Its probably about a 25 minute walk though, and it might not be worth going there if you have good al pastor at home. If you want to try LA’s newest snack fad you could try Pinkberry (on Fair Oaks near Colorado) which is Korean style tart frozen yogurt with fresh fruit. Some love it, some hate it, I’m somewhere in-between, but if you go stick to the original yogurt instead of the green tea.

Dinner for two near LAX – That’s kind of a tough one. Nothing really close to the airport except for Shula’s steakhouse, and you mentioned that you don’t want a steakhouse. Do a search on the Manhattan Beach and Marina Del Rey areas. Those might be your best bets.

Aug 14, 2007
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Best Carrot Cake?

I really like the carrot cake at Coral Tree Cafe in Brentwood and also in the Century City Mall food court. I've only had it by the slice, but I would think that they sell whole cakes.

Mar 26, 2007
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Gerlach's Grill-- a little bummed

If you decide to try Gerlach's again and are in a burrito mood, try the scallop burritto. Its not really on the menu (they have a scallop plate and scallop tacos on the menu) but they will make it for you. Don't expect a traditional mexican burrito, but I like it so much that I haven't ever ordered anything else at Gerlach's.

Mar 19, 2007
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Pinkberry - Pasadena

As of last night, it was still boarded up and not open yet.

Mar 08, 2007
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

sushi in pasadena

i been to Z sushi 3 times and i've never noticed abnormally large or thick nigiri. i've always sat at the sushi bar and just asked them to give me whatever was good and what they would eat. the nigiri has always seemed to be sized appropriately and i've found the fish to be very fresh and good quality. i think its worth a try.

i tend to avoid rolls and i haven't eaten any rolls at Z, so it could be that those are sized large. personally though, a japanese mutant burrito sounds like it would be pretty good to me :)

Oct 13, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

sushi in pasadena

hmm... toshi at z sushi told me that he gets his fish from the fish market downtown. although, i guess some of it could be shipped from japan (they list the aji and some other fish as being from japan). since there's no fish market on sundays you won't be getting the freshest stuff that day, but that should be true no matter where you go.

Oct 13, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Looking for hole in the wall, shacks, or just funky stange joints

prince in koreatown is pretty funky, and i like the korean bar food that they serve there. goes great with soju.

Oct 13, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

The Gyro at Connal's - Pasadena

i didn't even know they have gyro. i should have guessed though. the owners are greek.

i'll try to make it over there sometime and let you know what i think. usually, its a avocado sandwich and a chocolate-banana shake for me there.

Oct 12, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

restaurant recommendations around Venice Blvd/Lincoln?

uncle darrows (cajun) is on lincoln just north of washington, with a parking lot in the back (easier to access from washington blvd). i like their zeek po'boy sandwich, which is fried catfish, fried shrimp and potato salad all in a sandwhich. mighty good.

Oct 11, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Seattle Hound in LA for USC game, need recs

i'd try posting again in a couple of weeks and narrowing down the area for recs. people on this board are pretty good about responding when given specific areas. also, check out jonathon gold's articles on laweekly.com for some recs. he did an article on bistro k in s. pasadena early this year, but i haven't been. he has also reviewed orris, which i recommended earlier and AOC which is mentioned below. also, next time don't mention that you'll be rooting for the bears (sorry, i was curious)... might get more responses from trojan fans.

for small plates i listed a few japanese places that i like on the westside. you can also do searches for AOC (i liked) and Cobras and Matadors (haven't been), both in hollywood, on this board. i've also had tapas at Luna Negra in pasadena, but i wasn't really impressed. there's also a place called BarCelona in pasadena that has tapas, but i get the feeling that its more a bar than a restaurant.

it should be pretty fun to see the new galen center. i remember a couple of years ago the gaels beat the bears in haas pavillion, so i know your guys can play pretty tough. hopefully cal gives us something to cheer about in the coliseum too.

Oct 11, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Seattle Hound in LA for USC game, need recs

hope that you'll be rooting for the good guys (blue helmets).

orris on sawtelle blvd in west la does small plates/tapas pretty well. asian/fusion style.

also there's alot of izakaya (japanese pub food) small plate places that are good including: furaibo (on sawtelle blvd) and wakasan (on westwood blvd), both in west la, and terried sake house (on santa monica blvd) in santa monica.

Oct 10, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Off Vine - PK's Review

i haven't been for about a year, but i thought i remember that they had pretty good dessert souffles. anyone had one recently?

Oct 09, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

NEED stinky tofu. Not the squishy hotpot kind.

i'm sure there's places in rowland heights with fried stinky tofu, but the place that comes to mind for me is sin ba la in arcadia.
there used to be a taiwanese place called nice time deli in san gabriel (i think there was a branch in rowland also) but not sure if it is still around.

Oct 07, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Place for meal/snacks/drinks near Laemmle (Pasadena) - Help!!

i wouldn't exactly sell it that short. its much better than a 7-11 in terms of quality, selection (including some healthy choices), and style. but it is a convenience store.

Oct 06, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Place for meal/snacks/drinks near Laemmle (Pasadena) - Help!!

famima is a fun store, but don't expect too much food-wise. i've had soup, coffee, pastries, steamed buns, and packaged sushi as well as some bottled drinks and packaged snacks from the colorado/madison store and all were acceptable but not outstanding. i like the look of the store and the concept of high quality convenience, which is why i keep going back, but its not any kind of memorable culinary experience.

bulgarini gelato on the other hand IS great.

Oct 06, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

who has best chicken feet at dim sum?

sorry... wrong post.

Oct 05, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

The Dogout in Riverside

i've been twice. i'm almost positive that it is affiliated with top dog in berkeley. almost exactly the same menu (top dog frankfurter, kiel, german, hot link, lemon chicken, along with some other stuff), same sesame buns, warm krout, etc...

the sausages didn't taste as good to me as the original top dog, but it could be because there was no berkeley vibe to remind me of college days.

it is like top dog in terms of the food, but almost opposite in terms of the feel... don't expect a surly guy working the grill who wants to discuss political discourse with you. there are actually tables there and a tv tuned into espn. its a very clean, sterile, suburban environment. i go because my parents live in riverside so i'm in the neighborhood sometimes.

still the dogs were tastier than any others i've had in la, but i've got a top dog bias.

Oct 05, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Going to Old Town Pasadena

agree on bulgarini gelato at the laemmle movie theater. its worth the short drive from old town. the gelato is as good or better than any of the gelato i had on my honeymoon in italy last year.

you don't need a movie ticket to buy gelato, just let the movie ticket taker know you are just buying gelato. he sells from a cart that is just to the left of the entrance doors. the courtyard between vroman's and the movie theater is a pleasant place to sit and enjoy.

Oct 05, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Going to Old Town Pasadena

true. prices are probably a bit higher that you might expect, but they do use very good quality meats and also have alot of unique menu items. it'll probably be about $20 to $25 per person for food only.

also, they have happy hours something like before 6:30 and after 9:30 pm on weekdays where they have a specific menu items for half price and 99 cent kirin draft beers. not a bad deal.

Oct 04, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

The Best Hot Dog I've EVER had... you'll be surprised!

i've mentioned this before, but in riverside there is a place called "the dogout". they seem to be affiliated with top dog, but i can't find it official anywhere. if you go there, they have hanging on their wall the same drawing of the top dog serving customers (with the campanile tower in the background) that is at the top of the top dog website.
i posted about it here...
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

Oct 04, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

if someone's looking for a true hollywood break-up dinner, isn't there a place in venice called casablanca that is decorated like rick's bar, with movie memorabilia all around? i've never been but a co-worker has described it to me. you can emulate the best breakup in movie history. break it off with a "here's looking at you kid".

on a personal note: in 2004 the university of texas was selected (i won't go into mack brown's ethics here) over my alma mater's beloved golden bears for the rose bowl. serious heart break. i had to catch a flight that night, but i dreamt of eating sapporo ichiban instant noodles and oreos while watching the movie "top gun". i awoke later, only slightly comforted.

Oct 04, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Going to Old Town Pasadena

i like gyu-kaku on green near luna negra. its japanese bbq that you cook at the table. kind of like korean bbq, but smaller pieces and more subtle flavoring. i've not been to the one on green in old town pasadena, but i used to frequent one on pico in west la fairly often. might not fit your definition of cozy, and the west la branch has a little bit of a hip vibe, but the food is good and its a fun place.

Oct 03, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Pie & Burger - UH OH!

sorry you didn't like it, but personally, i love the atmosphere at pie n burger. i like the counter, the hand-mixed sodas, the waitress uniforms, and watching the guys cook and assemble the burgers. i guess it wasn't what you were looking for, but it is what it is, and i think thats a big part of why it is so popular. also, its about a 10 minute walk from where i live.

i also tend to think that they make a great cheeseburger and a great slice of fresh peach pie. i guess different people have different tastes. i don't go there specifically looking for the best burger in la, just a burger that tastes great to me.

i've never found the cooking to be lazy or the service to be haphazard as someone posted earlier. i'm not quite sure what exactly that means. apparently, i've never had a "real experience", but i've definitely enjoyed my meals there.

doesn't sound like you'll be back, but there's a cute little wine store in the back that has some interesting bottles. i take the bottles home though. i've never had wine with a meal there, doesn't seem right to me.

Oct 03, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Z sushi

i was at z-sushi saturday night. didn't notice the grade rating on the door, but i sat at the sushi bar and everything was very clean and well kept. the sushi chefs seem to be very particular and caring about the fish that is served. granted, i'm not a trained inspector or anything, but i didn't notice anything that would keep me from eating at the sushi bar. maybe some slight problems in the kitchen resulted in the rating?

wrote a little bit about the visit on saturday here:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

Oct 02, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Good, obscure eats in Pasadena - Paseo area

revets and clare,
fyi, i ate at Z Sushi last night. the sushi bar in front of Toshi was either reserved or occupied so we were seated in front of a younger japanese sushi chef who wore a dark colored bandana (didn't catch his name unfortunately). happy to say that there was no drop-off in quality, preparation, or presentation.
my wife and i split orders (one piece each) of: toro, kampachi, halibut fin, halibut cheek, pike fish, aji, albacore, salmon, hamachi, uni, and sea eel. also we had the fried shisito peppers stuffed with spicy tuna appetizer. i had a beer and my wife had a clam miso soup. plus they gave us small tastes of the black cod with miso and giant clam in butter. everything was great.
cost came out to $75 before tip. i didn't look too closely, but the bill always seems to be less than it should be. tippped generously and left very satisfied.
side note: if you are a sports fan there is a flat screen tv over the alchohol bar which can be seen by turning around fron the sushi bar. caught the very end of the sc-wsu game as we were eating. sc looked vulnerable...

Oct 01, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Dragonfruit in LA?

I saw them yesterday at Hawaii Supermarket at the corner or Valley and Del Mar in San Gabriel. They were bright red and looked pretty large. Sorry, I didn't notice the price, but prices at that market are usually pretty low.

Oct 01, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

enough is enough... WHATS THE BEST SUSHI IN LA??

if the OP truly wants to find the best sushi in LA, Sushi Nozawa in studio city would not be a bad place to start. That's the place that made me first truly appreciate great sushi by a great chef about 10 years ago. i moved on to places closer to home since then, but my first meal there is still very memorable. Nozawa won't make a "spicy crispy tuna roll" as referenced by the OP (just sit at the bar and let him decide what you eat), but after eating there you will probably never want to eat a spicy crispy roll ever again.

i think the place gets a bad rap on this board because: it can be very crowded, it has no ambiance, and the sushi chef is not talkative and has probably offended many a patron by appearing unfriendly. plus, i think its not open on the weekends and their shared mini-mall parking lot is awful. but if you try it, you won't soon forget the first time that you put great sushi into your mouth.

Sep 29, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

3 weeks in Santa Monica

just east of juquila (near santa monica and barrington) is a japanese place called "terried sake house". its easy to miss. i don't remember seeing a sign. they have great japanese street food: fried tofu steak with egg, baby squid steak, sweet potato tempura, yakitori, yakisoba, it's all good. a friend from japan said that its very similar to the bar/drinking food in tokyo.

Sep 28, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area

Recommendations for Dinner before the UCLA v. Stanford game

i think our cardinal/trojan friend is playfully leading you astray there with the BC recommendation...

discriminating Cal fans would most likely choose a "veggie delight" lavash wrap for an early dinner at father nature on delacey, north of colorado in old town: eggplant, hummus, and falafel, all wrapped up with greens and a small cup of tahini sauce. a true Berkeley feast. they also have wraps with chicken and fish (maybe meat too, never noticed). plus you get the added entertainment of ordering from possibly the surliest man in the world.

after the game celebrate a victory over the most hated ones, at the taco truck that shows up late night on the east side of fair oaks, north of California (Go Bears!) in front of nishimura? auto parts. pretty good carne asada tacos. i drowned my sorrows in tacos last year after watching maurice drew single-handedly defeat the Bears.

if you want to tailgate, there's a bristol farms in south pasadena that will have plenty of quality pre-formed meat patties or sausages that you can easily barbecue.

Sep 28, 2006
go_bears in Los Angeles Area