Pasadena Updates


Last time we had omakase at the Pasadena location, it was really good. However, I noticed that the Little Tokyo location had a significant drop in quality when Chef Enya was spending most of his time in Pasadena. Haven’t been in a little while, but maybe the quality in Pasadena is also dropping because he is spending much of his time in MDR. I guess I need to try Pasadena again soon to judge.


Dan, the xlb spot next to Sugarfish on Lake is now soft-opened. They’re still controlling how many tables get seated at lunch, but if you get there right when they open (got there at 12 today), it should be no problem.

I got the crab xlb, which was decent, if you like the super thin wrapper type xlb’s. Slightly more crabby flavor than din tai fung. And definitely more crab – got a couple of shell fragments too, woo!

The oxtail noodle soup was also surprisingly good. The broth was a clear, but beefy broth. Noodles were nothing to write home about, but the broth was the star.


I just completed a quick bang-bang on Lake. After an early afternoon appointment, the oldest chowpup and I rolled over to Roma Market for The Sandwich. We had already had a big breakfast at home and just needed a snack. The Sandwich was pretty solid, and great for $5.50. We snacked on that on the short drive north to Bulgarini Gelato. Leo and his son were manning the shop, and they were decorated for a festive Christmas meal tonight. In hindsight, I should have packed a cooler with dry ice so I could take gelato home, but there wasn’t enough time for that kind of planning today. Leo currently has 6 seasonal pear sorbettos on hand…Bartlett, roasted pear, pear/rose/saffron (I dislike most rose flavored items, but LOVED this enough to pair it with pistachio), pear/fennel, pear/Himalayan salt, and more that I couldn’t remember. They were all spectacular. The chowpup loved the pear so much that he had two different pear sorbettos. He told me that I had spoiled gelato and sorbetto for him…only Leo’s will do.
Pear/rose/saffron with Sicilian pistachio and peach with salted chocolate

Leo was so great. Since the shop was empty, he had time to chat with us. For folks who are interested, he’s doing dinner all week next week after Christmas. I’m thinking it’s time to go back. I have a copy of the current menu in the car. I’ll post when I remember to go get it.

P.S. Bulgarini December 2018 menu


This place is no bueno.


Menu for interested folks…


Pier Grill on Hill between Union and Walnut - between the Starbucks and one of those juice places. Think the banner said Grand Opening or Now Open, but it was dark and there were Now Hiring signs in the windows. Menu fails to excite me:


i always think glendora when fresh seafood comes to mind… either that or riverside.


This space is now a Popeye’s.


Perhaps someone else already commented on this, but did this place move next door to the S. Pas Bristol Farms? Was driving by today and saw a place w/ this name next to Bristol Farms.


Possibly; the first location was in South Pasadena, then the second location was opened on Rosemead.

I recall there was an issue between Mamma’s Brick Oven Pizza and another South Pasadena place called Nonna’s Pizza (something to do with naming and recipes, maybe) but the details now escape me.


Ah, that might explain why I was so confused today. I was like, “I remember there being a pizza place along this strip many yrs ago, but I don’t think it was here…” After reading your post, I think I was thinking of Nonna’s.


The original owners of Mammas Brick Oven had a falling out and split up with some continuing to operate Mammas (and open up the second location on Rosemead which has since closed) and some others opening Nonnas farther south on Fair Oaks. After the split Nonnas was better in my opinion but it’s been a long time since I’ve had either.


Yelp has Nonna’s listed as being closed:


Anyone try Maquina on Lake & Washington yet?


i want to try the pork belly mole. but i first i want to find it - apparently it’s tucked away inside the mini-mart.


Not tucked away. Don’t know what that was all about on Yelp. That is not the location. 1274 N Lake is the correct address and it is a direct storefront. A jewel. Phenom even if not close by. The tortillas taste like, well, corn :corn:. Will post pics later. Triparron was my fave.


Hard for me to remember all of what was what. Our order was:

  • Shrimp Ceviche - shrimp was a fresh but a little “firmer” than I like for ceviche, inflected with mint, the tortilla chip was excellent!
  • Duck (a little overdone for my taste)
  • Oxtail/Lengua - delicious
  • Lamb with Mint - nice, fresh and definitely lamb)
  • Cabeza - crispier than other versions I’ve had, excellent
  • Pork Belly Mole - a favorite, pretty unctuous
  • Triparron (tripe and chicharron) - top of our list for flavor and texture
  • Rib Eye & Lobster - generous with the lobster, very good and worth $

The tortillas are absolutely delicious. Almost a flannel texture with the fresh flavor of corn. Not sure where they’re getting them, but would like to just have warm tortillas and butter some time.

Salsa all delicious, especially the salsa verde, fire roasted and the Carolina Reaper did not disappoint.

Churros are the real deal. Dense with just the right amount of chocolate drizzle.

Worth a visit. Can’t wait to return for more.



I think that is an old location of Maquina. It is now a storefront on Lake just south of Washington on the east side of the street.


Street address is 1274 N. Lake Ave.


Thanks. Making that correction.