In many ways, Pasadena is like a suburb to Los Angeles, but that didn’t stop Urban Plates from opening up just a couple weeks ago, perhaps hoping to reacquaint the people of Pasadena with urban life. Of course, there turned out to be nothing urban about the place, which was more like a mix of Lemonade and Tender Greens than anything else, both of which have outposts a short walk from Urban Plates.
I had little idea of what I was getting into when I agreed to grab dinner at Raffi’s Place in Glendale. Glendale hosts, of course, the biggest population of Armenians outside of the Middle East, but I was meeting my Persian friends and knew that Raffi’s had to have at least some Persian touches. This turned out to be true, as Raffi’s Place served up Armenian food with a Persian twist because a bunch of ethnic Armenians come from the land formerly known as Persia. But enough about ethnicities and whatnot, let’s get on with the food.
A few years ago I paid a visit to Duluth Grill in Duluth, Minnesota. I am a man who loves dining in the Northwoods and so when Duluth Grill reached out to me and offered me a free copy of The Duluth Grill Cook Book II I could hardly contain my excitement. Sure, I had no idea that there was a first cookbook, but I was eager to try this one out.
In a strange little strip of shops in Pasadena, there is a space that seems to have no name. Call this what you want in terms of this being pretentious, but it goes by the name Altaeats, which somehow seems to make the lack of signage acceptable. In any case, Altaeats is a nice upscale place with modern American dishes that change seasonally. And don’t worry, I didn’t eat that salad, but I loved the idea that a deconstructed salad could have allowed me to devour that bird without any veggies.
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.
There are few places that invite unvegans in with open arms simply based on their names. Meat District Co. in Pasadena is clearly one of those places. With a menu consisting of meat products like bone marrow (which, shit, they were out of), burgers, ribs and steaks (plus something called the Meat Hook), I knew the hardest part of the meal would be deciding what delicious-looking thing to eat.
Where were you when you ate the greatest meal of your life? Until I went to Liverpool House in Montreal I wasn’t quite sure. You see, Liverpool House is the sister restaurant to Joe Beef, which is often considered one of the best restaurants in the world. Yet, after paying a visit to Liverpool House I can’t imagine how Joe Beef could be any better.
Rincon is kind of Puerto Rico’s surfing haven and no beach exemplifies this better than Maria’s Beach. Unfortunately, I have never surfed and was not about to try here, but I was interested in trying some food at Calypso Cafe, a place that seemed to embody the entire vibe of the beach.
Once every 60 years the world is greeted with the Year of the Golden Pig. The last one was in 2007, yet if you live in Pittsburgh, every day can be a Golden Pig day, assuming you are willing to drive out to Cecil. That’s where Golden Pig, a Korean restaurant that pretty much operates as a small Korean household, is situated. The only difference is that you don’t have to take your shoes off when you enter.
Remember a time when Benihana-esque teppanyaki places were just the coolest damn things ever? Yes, it seems like a long time ago, but that time was very real. Well, the excitement has certainly passed, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to get a group together to hit up a teppanyaki place every few years. Well, we did just that in Pittsburgh’s South Side at spot called Nakama (which weirdly translates to “fellow”).