The Hat is one of those local LA fast food spots that has been around forever and seems to be in no rush to change. It has “World Famous Pastrami,” but is not limited to just one meat, because the place also serves burgers, roast beef dip and crazy big portions of sides. I mean crazy. Just look at that order of chili cheese fries on the left and try to comprehend how small the individual fries look.
Just off the main drag of South Lake in Pasadena is a little Thai spot that goes by the name Nine and Nine. What the name means is lost to me, but what wasn’t lost to me was their lunch specials for $7.50, which captivated me as I browsed the menu. Like most Thai places, the lunch specials menu was a small fraction of the whole, but it had curry and that’s all a guy like me could ask for.
Pasadena may be known for being incredibly white, but that doesn’t mean ethnic restaurants don’t exist. Take, for example, El Portal, a restaurant that feels like entering Mexico except not in a phony or kidnappy kind of way. It has been called the best Mexican restaurant in LA, but due to the fact that it is south of the 210, I had my doubts.
What do you call a restaurant called Abricott? Do you pronounce it like apricot? Do you slow it down and enunciate everything? Or do you just refer to it as “that Asian place down on Lake”? I prefer the latter option, because at the end of the day that’s really what it is. Abricott is loaded with a variety of different Asian offerings, like Korean, Chinese, Thai, and all that jazz. On this day, though, it was the Thai that struck me.