Right next to perhaps my favorite restaurant in Pasadena (The Luggage Room) and owned by the same people is a spot called La Grande Orange. The menu is very American, French and Mexican, being filled with sandwiches, tacos and, most importantly, a Prime Rib French dip (you know, the most French food of all).
I will be the first to admit that I had a West Side bias when I made the move to Pasadena. I figured I would spend a whole lot of time on that side of town for meals out, but over and over again Pasadena has impressed me. Perhaps most impressive of all is the pizza scene, with The Luggage Room and Pizza of Venice already tackled by yours truly, I finally set my sights on Pie Life Pizza.
It’s pretty rare for me to turn to Yelp in the city in which I live, yet, when my step-mom was coming off of an intense battle with the stomach flu and was in need of simple meal, I had little choice. Thus, we found ourselves at Central Park Cafe in Old Town Pasadena and immediately learned that dinner not only did not include the omelet she was looking for, it was actually kind of a fancy place.
The LA area isn’t exactly known for its pizza. Yet, while the nation has concentrated its pizza efforts on New York and Chicago, LA has quietly built up some great pizza places. I’ve done my best to review them as they’ve come, and the latest to hop on my radar is The Luggage Room in Pasadena. Based on the name, you might not expect pizza, but you’d be wrong because that’s pretty much all The Luggage Room does.
The USA is a wonderful place. Part of what makes it wonderful is its mix of different cultures. Fortunately, this has resulted in culinary intermarriage, such as Bachi Burger, which came out of Las Vegas and brought itself to Pasadena. It’s a fusion of Japanese and American and I couldn’t wait to give it a try.
Houston’s is a restaurant that has been on my radar for a while. It had always looked like some generic and boring American restaurant until a buddy of mine told me it had one of the best burgers he had ever eaten. Nonetheless, it took receiving a gift card to the place to finally get me out to the Houston’s in Pasadena.
Often when I eat Italian food out, I am left thinking I could have just made the same dish at home. That’s why I usually go for gnocchi, which seems harder to duplicate at home. Nonetheless, When the wife found a little hole in the wall spot called Luciano’s in Pasadena, I wasn’t expecting anything amazing simply because there was too much on the menu. Not only that, the menu made it seem like everything (pizza, pasta, sandwiches) would be wonderful and that is often a bad sign.
After a rigorous hike in the San Gabriel Mountains of Altadena, I needed some protein. Driving through Old Pasadena, I spotted the perfect place, Jake’s.
Jake’s is similar to places like The Counter, where you can customize a burger for yourself, only they’ve been doing it since the 40s. With a base price of 5.99, they’re also cheaper than The Counter, albeit with less options. Even so, there was enough to make an unvegan like me happy. Before ordering, the waitress enlightened us to the fact that all day on Sunday was happy hour, so we ordered some beers to wet our appetites.