We’re fans of this friendly Modern American bistro, which opened among Mission Street’s antiques stores just after Hometown Pasadena went to press; most recently, it expanded into the space next door and opened a full bar. Everyone wants to sit out on the twinkle-lit patio, not just because it’s so pleasant, but because on busy nights, the rafter-ceilinged main dining room roils with noise. Still, it’s worth a little shouting to enjoy the zucchini fritter salad with red-pepper coulis; flat iron steak with fingerling potatoes, trumpet mushrooms, green apples and violet mustard bordelaise; and homemade caramel ice cream with warm madelines. Lunchtime brings terrific sandwiches, like the eggplant, pesto and roasted pepper. Briganti, Nicole’s, Bistro de la Gare, Heirloom Bakery, Firefly Bistro, the new Gus’s and the Mike & Anne’s . . . South Pas is becoming better known for serious eating than for fighting the 710 Freeway.
1040 Mission St., South Pasadena, 626.799.7199, mikeandannes.com, Modern American. B, L & D Tues.-Sun. Full bar. AE, MC, V. $-$$$