Throughout the LA area are places called Tom’s, Tommy’s and any other variety of that name. They all specialize in chili-covered food and while Tommy’s is supposedly the original, Tom’s has done pretty well for itself. Tom’s just opened up a Pasadena outpost that is pretty much a diner, but also claims to have Greek roots. Thus, I was hoping this could be like the Coney Islands of Detroit in my youth.
Somehow it took me nearly a year of working in Pasadena to discover Braise and Crumble just down the street from my office. It’s truly shocking because after discovering the place one day, I was back just a couple days later to get in on it again. Because of that, you actually get to see how two meals unfolded at this place.
Sometimes life beats the crap out of you. Other times, it gives you exactly what you want. So when what I wanted was some good new food in Pasadena, Spudds suddenly appeared and fulfilled the latter. You see, Spudds specializes in poutine and I am a man who loves his fries with gravy and cheese curds. Plus, as far as I know, Spudds is the only original (unlike Smoke’s Poutinerie in Hollywood, which as you probably know from reading up here has a number of outposts in Canada) poutine spot in all of the LA area.
It’s no secret that Pasadena isn’t quite flush with Jews. That might be related to the fact that the Hebrews were banned from living in the place until more recent times, but who can really know. What is know, though, is that without Jews there is a certain lack of amenities like good bagels and Jewish delis. Fortunately, the Pasadena Sandwich Company is there to at list fill part of the niche of the Jewish deli.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when it comes to Italian food (namely pasta), you’ve gotta be pretty damn special to convince me I can’t do better on my own at home with the dry stuff and some Classico sauce. Union Restaurant in Old Town Pasadena is the latest attempt to convince me to leave home for Italian food.
In Los Angeles, there are supposedly really only two breakfast burritos. One is at the Corner Cottage in Burbank and the other is at either of the two Lucky Boy locations in Pasadena. I visited the newer location on Walnut Street and vowed to take down the “Famous” burrito (it’s literally the name of the burrito).
It’s not the most creative thing to name a restaurant after the street it resides on. It’s slightly more creative to name a restaurant after a distant street and the experience that the restaurant is trying to recreate. However, there are very few places that dare to be named for a street that’s right nearby, but not actually running by the place. Such is the case for Green Street in Pasadena, which happens to be on Shoppers Lane. Apparently Shoppers Lane just didn’t have the same ring.
Pork and booze are easily two of the greatest things that can be consumed on the planet, if not just two of the greatest things in general. Celestino in Pasadena is fully aware of this and has combined them in a pasta dish worth writing about. It is called the Pennette Con Prosciutto e Vodka, but it may as well be called Paradiso.
It’s always important to have a solid Thai place nearby for when a) you want something delivered that is lighter than pizza, b) you have friends with dietary restrictions and c) you need some flavor in your life. Fortunately, I have Chao Doi nearby in Pasadena, which, after eating in the delivery style a number of times, I finally decided to dine in.
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.