Author Archive


Babita Mexicuisine

Babita Mexicuisine

It looks like a dive from the outside, but inside Babita is inviting, with crisp white linens and romantic charm. But no one comes for the setting—they come for owner/chef Roberto Berrelleza’s regional Mexican cooking with a Oaxacan focus. He is a serious chef who makes seriously good Yucatecan cochinita pibil, filet mignon with a [...]

Wine Tasting… and Stationery?

Wine Tasting… and Stationery?

That’s right, tonight brings a free wine tasting and educational talk at Webster’s Fine Stationers in Altadena, an event planned in partnership with neighboring (but separate) business Webster’s Liquors. Since the 4th is coming and summer is here, the focus is on wine and summer barbecues. Anne Louise Bannon and Michael Holland of OddBallGrape.com will [...]

Talking ’bout the Budget

Talking ’bout the Budget

On Saturday, Pasadena will be one of 20 or so cities around the country to be centers for town hall discussions about the challenges of the American economy. These are being orchestrated by America Speaks, a 15-year-old, refreshingly nonpartisan organization committed to encouraging more grassroots, community participation in national governance. Not only is Pasadena the [...]

Shamshiri

Shamshiri

Though the kindly service can be erratic, the food is abundant, interesting and delicious. The prices are amazing – no dinner entree is over $15, and the lunch dishes ($6.50 to $8) are large enough for leftovers. Kebabs are tasty and tender, and the stews, especially fesenjon, a sort of Persian mole with pomegranate and [...]

Puebla Tacos

Puebla Tacos

Many people swear by Puebla, but we’ve had better. Our main beef: The tortillas used for the soft tacos are too large, throwing off the critical meat-tortilla ratio. And lately the cooking seems lifeless. But the original Lake location, in a grungy 7-Eleven strip mall with the worst parking lot in Pasadena, must be commended [...]

Penelope’s Café, Books & Gallery

Penelope’s Café, Books & Gallery

The incarnation of the word “cozy,” Penelope’s is warmed by wooden tables, a fireplace, a rear patio and book-lined shelves. This café-cum-shop features great food, unusual gifts, paintings, jewelry, pottery and an eclectic selection of new and used books, including children’s books. You line up, create a sandwich (vegetarian on olive bread, tuna on sun-dried [...]

The Hat World Famous Pastrami

The Hat World Famous Pastrami

Sparkling clean, featuring retro graphics and a constant background chant of “pastrami burger, pastrami burger,” the Hat is an SGV favorite for lovers of (you guessed it!) pastrami and burgers. Since 1951, this cute little checkerboard place with a grandiose name has preserved the stripped-down ethos of fast food and the SoCal car culture that [...]

Los Gringos Locos

Los Gringos Locos

What looks from the outside like a strip-mall fast-food joint is in fact a cheerful, cozy sit-down restaurant that’s packed with families every night, and for good reason. What meatloaf and mashed potatoes are to Midwesterners, enchiladas and guacamole are to Californians, and this place makes first-rate enchiladas and guacamole. (Try the enchiladas suizas, stuffed [...]

Gus’s BBQ

Gus’s BBQ

For years people came here just for the 1940s neon sign outside, and now that it’s under new management, Gus’s is actually worth visiting. It’s great looking, with dark-wood floors, an old-school diner kitchen, padded booths and a proper bar (rare in South Pas) in back. The brothers who overhauled the place are the sons [...]

Taylor’s Meat & Produce

Taylor’s Meat & Produce

High-quality marinated meats are the specialty here: tri-tips, carne asada, pollo asada, butterflied legs of lamb. It’s also great for ordering a prime rib, organic turkey or other special-occasion product. Beautiful produce, too. Howie’s Ranch Market, 14 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, 626.355.8267, Meat/Produce. Closed Sun. AE, MC, V.

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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Camelot and Vine

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