We’re happy to report that a restaurant and a chocolate shop that opened in Pasadena just in time for the recession/depression are actually thriving, and for good reason — both are excellent additions to the community. Here are the details.
1001 E. Green St., Pasadena
Argentinean. L & D daily. Beer & wine. $$-$$$
Everyone who’s anyone in Pasadena has been showing up at this fine new spot several doors east of Café Verde. New owners emptied out the space, which formerly held an Argentinean deli, installed good lighting and comfortable booths, stocked the shelves with tasty and affordable Argentinean wines, and created a menu of well-prepared classics at more-than-reasonable prices: empanadas, matambre (rolled meat stuffed with vegetables and herbs), garlic fries, handmade pastas and such hearty entrees as grilled short ribs, skirt steak chimichurri and grilled salmon. Everything but the (very good) rib eye is well under $20, portions are hearty, service is cheerful, and the cooking is solid.
6 E. Holly St., Old Pasadena
The Terpoghossian family started as bakers in the Ukraine in 1910. The arrival of communism led them to emigrate to Tehran and grow their bakery business there. In the ’60s, the next generation traveled to France, fell in love with French chocolate making, brought it back to Iran and found great success, which continues to this day. Family members in Glendale opened a shop and café in a few years ago, using the same recipes and techniques as in Iran, and now there’s a new boutique in Old Town that’s well worth seeking out. The meticulously crafted, classic French-style chocolates, made in their Van Nuys kitchen, are deeply delicious; we’re already addicted to the ones with the liquid caramel centers, and the dark chocolate with ginger and lime sea salt is remarkable. Remember this place for Valentine’s Day!