We go to this handsome bar and grill now and then a year and each time are pleasantly surprised at how good it is. It’s not as fancy as siblings Parkway Grill or Arroyo Chophouse, but it’s a better value, and here’s why: with each dinner entree you get a side order, instead of having to order them faux family style (“family style,” yeah, if your family’s the Windsors and you eat off of pewter platters). The menu changes seasonally, but certain dishes appear often, like the tangy beet salad, unremarkable meatloaf, excellent petite filet and melt-in-your-mouth sauteéd mushrooms. The creamed spinach with bacon transported us to Intensive Care for an angioplasty, but we didn’t even care. Maybe because the wine list was manageable. Or maybe because the chocolate pudding tasted like edible, warm velvet. The interior is sleek, except for the clutter of photos blocking the view of the Kenton Nelson wall mural.
110 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena, 626.792.9999, smittysgrill.com, American. L Mon.-Fri., D nightly. Full bar. $$$-$$$$