Taste of South Pasadena

Apr 10, 2016

11745819_910427039018242_7056009665324519072_nFor the 5th year, on April 19, Rotary Club of South Pasadena presents an evening of strolling the avenues while sampling various victuals and enjoying diverse wines during Taste of South Pasadena.

Canoe House on Fair Oaks Avenue is holding a Garagiste Wine Tasting event from 5 to 7 p.m., while food sampling is available along Fair Oaks Avenue and Mission Street from 6 to 9 p.m. Participants range from the casual, Shakers and Fair Oaks Pharmacy, to the higher end Rhadika, ARO, and Crossings—we’ve only had appetizers at Crossings, but they were so good it was hard to remember our manners and put our fork down between bites. Tickets may be purchased for either event or for both, and tickets are available for children (food only) ages seven and up.

Fourteen local wineries have been invited to showcase their products, via Garagiste Festival (our gratitude to Lisa Dinsmore of GF for clarification):

The non-profit Garagiste Festivals feature commercial artisan winemakers who craft under 1,500 cases a year and pay close, hands-on attention to every wine they make. They are held each year in Solvang, Los Angeles and Paso Robles. (

Local participating restaurants are many of our favorites…

ARO Latin: Sopes de plátanos with refried black beans, plantain, and sour cream were a simple yet luscious appetizer, the empanadas de pollo with marinated chicken, chipotle, and green peppers salsa tomatillo were tender and fresh, and the aqua chiles with bay shrimp, salsa, serrano, and cilantro was simple and light, a good appetizer to wet the palate before diving into a plate of chicken mole or paella.



Photo credit: Cookies & Cream


Cookies & Cream: A small ice cream parlor that’s become quite popular since opening in the summer of 2013. Come in for ice cream sandwiches such as lava rock ice cream on homemade taro cookies or goji berry and strawberry cheese cake ice cream between ginza cookies. How about shrimp pad thai ice cream? Pastrami caramel ice cream with sweet potato cookies? Of course, there are the classics like sea salt caramel ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies, as well as rocky road, cookie dough, and green tea. Our girl’s favorite combination is nutella ice cream between red velvet cookies. Each sandwich is made-to-order and sampling is encouraged.


Photo: Crossings

Photo credit: Crossings


Crossings: Braised short rib of beef with bacon on toasted polenta appetizer. “The meat fell apart upon pressure from the tines of our fork, then we swirled said meat to lap up some of the dark sauce that was reduced and rich—almost lush, followed by a bite of  polenta that crunched, while also spreading across the tongue like the ultimate comfort food. It was difficult not to crowd the plate.”

Gus’s BBQ: Hands down, one of our favorite burgers of all time—the meat is phenomenally flavorful, enhanced by grilling and cooking to juicy perfection. We’re also fans of the catfish, pulled pork, cast iron cornbread, and we never decline to order the artichoke and spinach dip (which comes with crispy, fresh, sometimes slightly spicy chips).

Heirloom Bakery & Cafe: The best imitation, but also a thousand percent improvement, on the classic chocolate Hostess cupcake, complete with white frosting looping swirl. Our teenage consultant declares it “gorgeously perfect.”


Pork belly lollipops; photo, Sow House

Pork belly lollipops; photo, Sow House


Sow House: After Monrovia, Sow House has expanded again—into South Pasadena. As much as possible, the restaurant uses locally grown ingredients, non-GMO, fair trade, cage free, wild caught, cruelty free, antibiotic free, and organic. Phew!


Participating eateries:
ARO Latin
Bristol Farms
Canoe House
Cake Sensations
Cookies & Cream
Fair Oaks Pharmacy
Grassroots Natural Market & Kitchen
Gus’s BBQ
Heirloom Bakery & Cafe
La Fiesta Grande
Oak Tree Inn
Sow House
Tomato Pie
Vegan Charm


Photo credit: Radhika

Photo credit: Radhika


VIP Wine Adult (21+) ticket only, $20
Food tasting adult ticket only, $35
Combo wine & food adult ticket, $55
Youth ticket (7+), $15
Children under 7 years of age are free

5th Annual Taste of South Pasadena
Tuesday, April 19th, 6-9 p.m.
South Fair Oaks Ave. @ Hope St. & west on Mission St.
To purchase tickets and for more info, visit Eventbrite



Photo credit: Cake Sensations



2 Responses for “Taste of South Pasadena”

  1. Just wanted to clarify, the Garagiste Festival ( is sponsoring the wine tasting for this event. Not Jon Rimmerman, who is NOT affiliated with this organization in any way. The non-profit GARAGISTE FESTIVALS feature commercial artisan winemakers who craft under 1,500 cases a year and pay close, hands-on attention to every wine they make. They are held each year in Solvang, Los Angeles and Paso Robles.

  2. Kat Ward says:

    Thank you, Lisa, for the clarification. We have edited the article with the information you’ve provided above. Apologies for the error! And, thank you for the correction!



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