Pasadena Updates


it’s my take that as long as they haven’t begun to skimp on the quality of the meat and cheese, adding indifferent fillings would degrade the balance of the sandwich; this is not a sandwich you wolf down while working at your desk. you find a place of relative solitude and slowly masticate, savoring the thinly sliced mortadella, capicola, salami and provolone. and refresh the palate with sips of sparkling water. a discreet belch around 2:15 gently reminds you of the profound simplicity that’s possible when you have high quality ingredients. in this case, less is more.


Avanti Cafe, on Lake at Union, has closed - Avanti Bar and Grill on Sierra Madre Blvd at Foothill is still open.

On Washington Blvd, right around Carmela’s, I think I saw a new Baja Fish place, but won’t swear to it.

When I was still eating poultry I craved Lee’s chicken, whether in a hoagie or on their Greek Salad (which comes with a very addictive dressing, btw - but also black olives rather than Kalamatas).

Only not-successful-to-my-tastes chicken from Lee’s was their chicken burrito: it was the same marinade as used for the hoagies and, I think, clashed with the other burrito flavors.


expansion of the baja fish in alhambra mentioned in one of tonyc’s sinosoul posts. they are close to opening - they were supposed to be open last week.

expect long lines on taco tuesdays as the fish tacos are very good, but more so at $.99.


Thank you! I had a very vague feeling I’d heard about this somewhere.


Always liked Avanti. Used to go when I first moved to Pasadena in 2000. Solid neighborhood place. Sorry to hear it’s gone.


There’s a hotel complex going up, and the dry cleaners that is being torn down is taking over Avanti’s space.


Great posts s.a.m.!

Would add our favorites at Old Sassoon are the Khachipuri, a flat bread with white cheese, over easy egg, and herbs. It’s the stuff of dreams. Also, a good grab n’ go sandie is the Maniesh Sandwich made with the zahtar bread with fresh veggies and chiles.

Been eating at Yuca’s in Los Feliz since I was a kid. The Hollywood Blvd location used to have a chile relleno burrito which was bomb, but not sure if they’re serving in PAS. Otherwise, not overly Yucatan in style, but the Cochinita Pibil is quite good. The chili burger is pretty swell too.


Singpoli also owns the building at the northeast corner of Lake and Colorado.


On the fine dining front, have enjoyed our dinners at Alexander’s and the Social Hour until 6:30pm is delicious - Wagyu burger on a miso dutch crunch bun with camembert, $16; Imperial Wagyu Brisket with Japanese Potato Salad, $26; Furikake Potato Croquettes $8 - all delicious; King Crab Fried Rice, $21.

A little more on Annapurna, a branch of the Culver City south Indian restaurant, but this one servies meat. Really respectable dosa, and where else can you get decent dosa in LA? The family dosa is really entertaining and delicious. Spicy here is really spicy. Lots of Indian patrons.

Also more on Urban Plates on Lake and Del Mar. Grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and more. A sort of love child of Lemonade and Tender Greens, but less fussy than Lemonade and more flavorful than Tender Greens. Nice desserts. Beer & wine. Earnest staff. Excellent WiFi if working. Well priced. It’s sort of a “why cook dinner” default.


i moved into pasadena in early 1998 and i bought sandwiches from lee’s to feed the folks who helped me move in. i didn’t go back to lee’s for another 6 months - and shahan remembered my name. his son fills in for him now.

aside for the chicken hoagie, i looked forward to the sweet peppers that would occasionally grace the pickle selection (which is already pretty impressive). i probably consumed the same volume in pickles as the size of the chicken hoagie.

they also make pretty good breakfasts; if the number of pasadena police cars i used to see parked in the lot is any indication.

also the NW corner of washington & altadena keeps morphing along some sort of indian theme i saw something which might not be new but was new to me (now i can’t remember what it is). the main reason i went by there was to see if baja cali had opened for business yet and were possibly serving up those .99 fish tacos. alas, they're not, and i had to settle for the .99 fish tacos at taco ensenada. NOTE: order in batches of four - especially if they’re to go - i ordered six, which they squeezed into one box - and they were smaller - only 3 bites each. when i ordered eight, they put four each into a box, and they were all four bite sized…


That’s Mint Leaf: had some very good food from there and some fairly lackluster. Prices seem to be a bit high for quality/quantity, but veg dishes are solid and more affordable.


has anyone been to torino’s on washington? the garlic chicken sandwich is supposed to be good.


The grand opening of Baja Cali Fish & Tacos was on Saturday.


I’ve been a few times and would go more but their hours are not that convenient since they are basically only open for lunch. Everything is cooked to order so it takes a while.


i see they close at 5pm. i now have them bookmarked as a place to try though i’m more anxious for bali cali tacos over by altadena dr. to open for their $.99 fish tacos on tuesdays.


@Al_Bondigas reports that Cafe Bizou has closed:


FrenchiFornia opened recently, and makes something I’ve rarely seen around these parts. Savory eclairs. The avocado shrimp eclair is pretty interesting, albeit quite rich.


I assume the shrimp has been pureed into a mousse?


Yes, along with the avocado.


But how are their croissants and baguettes?