Pasadena Updates


Unless they redo the inside there is not a lot of seating. But excited to hear about the new addition. I work 2 blocks from here.


I like that the guys from Frenchifornia are really keeping true to the Frenchy part of their name. Not sure how they are doing this considering how much rent is in Colorado but good for them.


After four decades in Chinatown, my mom is retiring to Pasadena–my soon-to-be homebase when I visit from the East Coast.

This may be a long shot–is there an Asian supermarket in Pasadena? I googled but not much shows up, recommendations end up further south or east in the SGV. She’ll be close to the Lake station so going to Chinatown should be simple. And I will show her a couple of bus routes to Ranch 99’s in Arcadia and Alhambra. But something a little closer would be great. I’ve tried to tell her she can buy lots of common variety produce and meats in the “white” supermarkets in Pasadena and pick up Asian stuff once a week or so when she can hitch a ride with my brother. But you know Chinese mothers…To be fair, she’s used to buying food in small batches so stocking up is a cultural shock.

Really excited about Chef Tony opening up a dim sum place in Old Town. I’ll be checking out Ding’s, Hainan chicken, Lunasia, et al, when I visit in September.

Edit: oh wow, checking Maps, I see there’s also 85 C Bakery, Boiling Point and Little Sheep in Old Town. That’s not too shabby–soften the move a bit for dear old mom.


Your mom’s best bet for Asian groceries near where she is living (Lake station) might be the Whole Foods on Fair Oaks. They stock a pretty good variety of Asian spices, condiments and packaged (ie canned) foods, as well as having some varieties of Asian vegetables like bol choy, daikon, etc. Pricey, yes, but closer than the Ranch 99 markets in Arcadia or north Alhambra.

There are also some Indian markets further north from her on Washington that might fill the need for various Asian groceries, depending on her needs and preferences. And also there’s Namtaste Spiceland on Allen, which is another Indian market that I like.


Sign her up for an uber/lyft account on your c-card. SGV is the way to go and relatively close by to Old Town.


FWIW, she can also take a bus west on colorado blvd into eagle rock to the seafood city (filipino) in the mall. however, the amount of crossover to chinese foodstuffs is limited.

there are no good routes via public transportation of which i am aware, but the super king supermarket to the north in altadena has seen an influx of ethnic asian customers. i was caught off guard hearing cantonese and mandarin spoken while shopping there. the point is that there are no significant enclaves of cantonese/mandarin speakers near that location - so they either live nearby and deem it worthy - or they’re driving significant distances to shop there. either way it seems noteworthy.

but chinatown might be the best bet for reasonably priced/authentic ingredients accessible by public transportation.


I think you mean Whole Foods on Arroyo Parkway.


Thanks all for your suggestions, much appreciated.

Chinatown is the most straightforward option as it’s a straight shot on the Gold Line. Sadly, Chinatown has been reduced to a one market neighborhood (Ai Hoa). She’s likely to be in that area on a weekly basis for many reasons.

My mother would more likely kill her firstborn (me) than pay Whole Food prices :wink: And yes, trying to explain to her the cost/time benefits compared to going to another market further away is unlikely to make much headway.

I have the Uber/Lyft idea on dial. For my next trip I’m going to forego the rented car (for most of the trip anyway) as I will be showing her the local transportation options–she’s a bus vet so she should get the hang of it. And we will do some ride-sharing so she has some exposure. I think she’s only ever been on 2 rides with me and her reaction was, “This doesn’t look like a taxi? Why doesn’t it say taxi anywhere? We know nothing about this guy! Is it safe? Where’s the meter? How do we pay?” So yeah, a little more exposure.

She’s a tech luddite and has limited English. A few months ago she transitioned from her scotch-taped flip phone to a smartphone. I’m very proud she has learned to use the camera. Still haven’t quite mastered checking voicemail. So yeah, for ride-sharing, I’m either going to request rides for her from my phone or remote-access her phone and request rides from her own account. Either way, first she has to become attuned to the ride-sharing culture so there are no mishaps.


And yes, it’s a disappointment there aren’t direct bus routes into the MP, Alhambra and San Gabriel (Valley and Garvey corridors) easily walkable from her place. The 260/762 buses that go down Atlantic are the closest and that’s about 15-18 minutes walk for her.

Still the Gold Line is a godsend. No way, moving to Pasadena would be attractive without it.


Lot of Chinatown folks get on the 76. It goes down Valley. Yeah that would be backtracking a bit but if she is in the neighborhood visiting


i’m pretty sure that the 260 actually transits fair oaks (which is even farther to the west of lake ave.) down to huntington drive in south pasadena and then cutting over to atlantic.

however, dial a ride might be an option to get to super king.

and there’s actually a bus line (268) across washington blvd (about 1 north of the 210) that takes you to baldwin & duarte, which is a few blocks away from the ranch 99 in arcadia. it’s not the most direct route, but it will get one there.


Educating elderly on ride sharing and paying for it has served me well. Takes away the cost consideration. Also don’t have to worry about them getting lost, having to walk too far between intended destination and bus stops. Public transportation in LA IMO is really not very practical. Good luck on whatever you decide.


Thanks for the dial a ride tip–it reminded me that her building offers a van for the residents. Just local within Pasadena but that would get her to some of markets too far to walk.

The 187 on Colorado is also a straight shot to Santa Anita Mall/99 Ranch Market/China Red area. That’s one of the lines I’m going to show her.


She knows the 76 very well as she used to work near Valley and Atlantic. I’m going to show her the bus that area since she goes to a couple of markets along Atlantic.

Okay, folks, I apologize if my questions sidetracked this thread a bit. Bringing it back to Pasadena restaurants and joints, I am excited about the options in Pasadena. Quite different from 25-30 years ago.


you had a question and directed it towards folks likely to know pasadena fairly well. i don’t think it’s a coincidence that you got responses from folks with aging asian moms…


Can I get an ‘Amen’?


That’s only if you can get them to trust that the driver ain’t gonna rob them. :wink:


I thought about starting a business where a bodycam is mounted on the senior to deter this sort of crime…


Then you’ll be asked how anyone can guarantee that the signal would go uninterrupted throughout the ride since gadgets malfunction all the time.

Side story: Back when ATMs started to count cash deposits where you can feed them a stack of cash, I saw an old lady holding up the line and fed the machine 1 bill at a time since the machine clearly can’t be trusted with the whole stack! You can never discount their distrust in technology. :sunglasses:


Regardless of signal integrity, the presence of the bodycam alone would primarily serve as a visual deterrent to would-be bad guys. Anyways, I’m giving this idea away for free to any FTCer to work on - I hope it bears fruit.