Bakery

Violet’s Cakes
21 E. Holly St., Pasadena
(626) 395-9821

Family owned and operated, Violet’s specialized in cupcakes and wedding cakes. It must be one busy place, as the phone rang through to an answering machine each time we called. So just trust your fellow readers and head over when you’re craving everything from fresh breads to sweet treats.

Runner-up

Le Pain Quotidien
88 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 396-0814

This French bakery has taken Pasadena by storm with its exquisite selection of pastries at affordable prices. You’ll feel no pain eating here.

Barbecue

Robin’s Wood Fire BBQ & Grill
395 N. Rosemead Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 351-8885
www.robinsbbq.com

This eternally popular restaurant may look like a slick, giant chain restaurant, but it’s Pasadena through-and-through, and that’s why the locals love it. Many of the gut-busting menu items are named in honor of local luminaries, but the key to making everything spectacular are the four signature sauces.

Runner-up

Barn Burner Texas Barbecue
1000 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
(626) 403-7427

This Texas-styled newcomer has taken our city by storm, thanks to the down-home atmosphere of eating tasty BBQ classics on benches in a faux barn.

New Restaurant

The Melting Pot Restaurant
88 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 792-1941
www.meltingpot.com

The Big Night Out menu really makes this fondue restaurant in a swanky setting shine. Enjoy a four-course meal with plenty of cheese and chocolate dipping, as well the chance to cook a choice of tasty meats in a variety of styles. At $86 to $94 per couple, it’s pricey, but unforgettable.

Runner-up

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
369 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 583-8122

This classy chain has brought some new life to East Colorado Boulevard, offering the tastiest prime beef dinners around and raising the game on fine dining that fills you up.

Restaurant

Derek’s Bistro
181 E. Glenarm St., Pasadena
(626) 799-5252

Developed by high-class caterers Dickenson’s West, Derek’s has its own massive wine cellar and classic menu including Muscovy duck breast in port reduction and swordfish in lemon caper sauce. Add in the fact that each of the four stylish dining rooms is available for private rental, and you have the perfect combination of taste and ambience.

Runner-up

Kabuki
3539 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 351-8963
88 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 568-9310

It’s easy to see why Kabuki is popular: classy exotic interiors and a wide array of Asian foods including half-price sushi specials.

Breakfast

Le Pain Quotidien
88 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 396-0814

This French-themed bakery knows how to bring the breakfast, as it serves up tasty basics like yogurt, granola and fruit plates as well as luxurious omelets such as their roasted asparagus and goat cheese and their tasty salmon and scallions omelet. Sit outside and you’ll feel like you’re in Paris.

Runner-up

Julienne Fine Foods and
Celebrations
2649 Mission St., San Marino
(626) 441-2299
www.juliennetogo.com

Offering everything from the world’s greatest French toast to spinach-crusted quiche provençal with rosemary roasted potatoes, you simply cannot go wrong starting your day here.

Buffet

Tibet Nepal House
36 E. Holly St., Pasadena
(626) 585-9955
www.tibetnepalhouse.com

From its décor brimming with Tibetan cloth paintings and artifacts to a buffet that combines Tibetan and Nepalese food ranging from momo to goat to yak meat, this is one restaurant that will engage your spirit as well as your stomach.

Runner-up

Beadle’s Cafeteria
825 E. Green St., Pasadena
(626) 796-3618

This old-school cafeteria offers great American comfort foods in spades. If you can’t make it home to Mom, this is the next best thing, so eat up.

Deli

Vince’s Deli
111 W. California Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 792-7149

The line spills out into the street just as noticeably as the incredible sandwiches nearly spill over with goodness. Vince’s specializes in the classics of great food and good service, especially with its avocado turkey bacon sandwich or the Famous Deli, with avocado, roast beef, ham, turkey and Swiss cheese.

Runner-up

Hey, That’s Amore
27 E. Holly St., Pasadena
(626) 844-8716

Immerse yourself in all things Italian — from the genuine foods and coffees to language lessons and speaking clubs, plus rich entertainment.

Dessert

21 Choices
85 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 304-9521

Frozen yogurt is a phenomenon, and this place is clear evidence of that thanks to the lines that wind deep into the sidewalk. Seemingly endless arrays of exotic yogurt flavors and fruit, nut and candy combos draw regular folks and celebs alike. If it’s good enough for Deuce Bigalow himself (Rob Schneider), it’s plenty good for you.

Runner-up

The Melting Pot Restaurant
88 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 792-1941

With nine types of chocolate and a choice of cheesecakes, fruits and other sweets to dip into them, this redefines dessert in Pasadena.

Family Restaurant

Robin’s Wood Fire BBQ & Grill
395 N. Rosemead Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 351-8885
www.robinsbbq.com

With the friendliest service in town, tables covered in eye-catching collages and a menu packed with tasty basic goodies,
this is one restaurant that the whole
family can agree on. Add in plenty of tabletop peanuts for crunchy pre-meal munching and the leeway to toss the shells on the floor, and what’s not for a kid to love?

Runner-up

Gale’s Italian Restaurant and Bar
452 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
(626) 432-6705

With monk fish with saffron mussel risotto for parents and great pizzas and spaghetti with meatballs for kids, this is one happy family destination.

Independent Coffee House

Hey, That’s Amore
27 E. Holly St., Pasadena
(626) 844-8716

This Italian-themed bistro offers plenty of reasons to hang out while sipping the tastiest coffee blends on earth, thanks to offering Italian lessons and speaking clubs, a delicious assortment of panini and desserts, and a bevy of great music, movie and comedy nights. Hey That’s Amore guarantees you’ll have a great time.

Runner-up

The Sisters of Bubik
34 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
(626) 744-9220

This “theatrical boutique café” and coffee house offers entertainment and class with every cup of joe.

Independent Burger Stand

Rick’s
680 E. Walnut St., Pasadena
(626) 449-4842

Sure, they’re busy all day, but if you’re in central Pasadena late at night there’s no brighter sign along Walnut than Rick’s. The cheeseburger special is the time-honored favorite, but if it fills you up and tastes great, why search for delicacies? Just open wide and enjoy.

Runner-up

Jake’s Diner & Billiard Club
38 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 568-1602

The closest Old Pasadena gets to a Route 66-style roadhouse offers a massive nacho plate, miles of burgers and fries and one of the best jukeboxes in town.

Independent Ice Cream Shop

Cold Stone Creamery
330 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 440-0140
415 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena
(626)440-7760
101 W. Main St., Alhambra
(626) 570-9441
7 Kersting Court, Sierra Madre
(626) 355-7000
408 S. Myrtle Ave., Monrovia
(626) 930-9257
132 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale
(818) 547-2663
901 W. Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale
(818) 246-1115
www.coldstonecreamery.com

There’s a reason there are seven Cold Stones (again, so much for independent) in our immediate area and that they’re all jammed to the gills with ice cream addicts seeking dozens of flavor choices, and dozens more toppings to blend in from across the nut, fruit and candy spectrum. We guarantee you’ll loosen your belt by the time you leave.

Runner-up

21 Choices
85 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 304-9521

There are always way more than 21 people waiting to get their sugar fix on here, thanks to a prime Old Pas location and an even primer selection of flavors.

Juice Bar

Juice It Up
390 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 395-0145
165 N. Hill Ave., Pasadena
(626) 793-3344
116 W. Main St., Alhambra
(626) 943-7961
442 Foothill Blvd., La Canada
(818) 925-7063
www.juiceitup.com

Going the extra mile in tasty juice concoctions by offering customers everything from smoothies and power shakes to fruity nectars, fresh-squeezed juices and herbal coffee and tea shakes, Juice It Up has created a local empire. Tie in their drinks with organic coffee, pretzels and healthy snacks, and you’ve got a perennial local favorite.

Runner-up

Boba World Pasadena
24 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 585-5885
For most of us in the West, Boba’s an odd concept — tea with flavor balls floating inside — but judging by the constant stream of customers, it’s also a popular one.

Late-night Snack

Wokcano
33 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
(626)578-1818
www.wokcanocafe.com

Usually, late-night snackage consists of pulling through a drive-thru and being served greasy eats that have been heat-lamped for hours. Thank God for Wokcano. This hotspot offers some of the tastiest Asian food around — including honey walnut shrimp and fried California rolls — along with tasty tunes spun by live deejays on Friday and Saturday nights.

Runner-up

Tops
3838 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 449-4412
Tops Drive In
1792 E. Walnut St., Pasadena
(626) 584-0244
(626) 584-0244

Since 1952, these Pasadena landmarks have offered burgers, sandwiches, salads and a host of south-of-the-border specials that can solve any craving practically anytime.

Outdoor Dining

Twin Palms Restaurant
101 W. Green St., Pasadena
(626) 577-2567

Thanks to the experience of eating under an outdoor tent, this longtime favorite makes you feel like you’re always part of a classy party. It only helps that they have truly kickin’ cover bands as well as a broad array of healthy eats at prices that are surprisingly healthy for your bank account.

Runner-up

The Raymond Restaurant
1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
(626) 441-3136

Set amid lavish gardens on the grounds of the historic Raymond Hotel, the Raymond Restaurant offers diners three shaded patios in which to enjoy the flowers as well as the food.

Pizza

Avanti Café
111 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena
(626) 577-4688
www.avanticafe.com

This perpetually popular pizza parlor offers gourmet, wood-fired pizzas that bring together the best of both worlds: traditional Italian recipes and hip California cuisine. You can’t go wrong with the Avanti Special, offering bacon julienne or BBQ chicken breast tenders, fresh basil, Gorgonzola and red onions. There’s 15 other stylish pizzas like it. ‘Nuff said.

Runner-up

Casa Bianca Pizza Pie
1650 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock
(323) 256-9617

This Eagle Rock favorite is retro cool, with a flashing neon blue sign, linoleum floors, red vinyl booths all playing host to the most eclectic crowd around. Try the house wine.

Seafood

Cameron’s Seafood
1978 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 793-3474
www.camerons4fish.com

If it’s in the ocean and you wanna eat it, you’ll find it at Cameron’s, where dozens of fish and buckets of clams and mussels can be had. Then, when you’re done, you can take the experience home by shopping its fresh raw seafood market for treats you can prepare yourself.

Runner-up

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood
111 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena
(626) 405-0064
www.mccormickandschmicks.com

Featuring one of the nicest dining patios in the city, M&S also scores with an ever-changing daily menu offering 30 types of seafood in 80 varieties.

Soda Fountain

Fair Oaks Pharmacy &
Soda Fountain
1526 Mission St., South Pasadena
(626) 799-1414
www.fairoakspharmacy.net

Step inside and enter an old-time environment where you’ll lose all dietary sense by ordering up an array of ice cream delights, served by a staff schooled in old-fashioned friendliness. Don’t forget to swig a chocolate soda, leaving all your worries behind — that is, maybe, until you get home and step on the scale.

Runner-up

Buster’s Coffee and
Ice Cream Shop
1006 Mission St., South Pasadena
(626) 441-0744

This cozy joint offers a full day of food, since you can have gourmet sandwiches and coffees to go with your ice cream. Tasty!

Soul Food

Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles
830 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena
(626) 791-4890
www.roscoeschickenandwaffles.com

The uninitiated may wonder how this food combo ever was created, but make a visit and you’ll be converted to a true believer. Forget the chi chi brunches that yuppies usually frequent — THIS is a true combination of breakfast and lunch that may leave you staggering to your car, but with a giant smile on your face.

Runner-up

Big Mama’s Rib Shack
1453 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena
(626) 797-1792
www.bigmamasribshack.com

You don’t have to visit the South to eat right. With barbecued smoked ribs, candied yams and battered shrimp, Big Mama’s knows how to show some love.

Special occasion Dining

Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa
1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena
(626) 568-3900
www.ritzcarlton.com/hotels/huntington

You can’t possibly go wrong taking people out for momentous occasions here, as its exquisite food is surpassed only by its even more elegant surroundings. Just walking through its doors should make enough of an impression to seal any business or romantic deal, as you’re guaranteed a night that will delight all the senses.

Runner-up

The Raymond Restaurant
1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
(626) 441-3136

Focusing on classic dishes like boneless pork chops and grilled sea bass, the Raymond’s secret weapon is its luxurious garden seating.

Steakhouse

Ruth’s Chris Steak House
385 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 583-8122
www.ruthschris.com

Ruth’s Chris Steak House has brought dining class to the long-overlooked corridor across from Paseo Colorado. It’s become a hot spot, in no small part because it cooks its prime beef in its trademark 1,800-degree oven & serves it on a plate heated to 500 degrees. No heat lamps here, and definitely no diner complaints.

Runner-up

J.J.’s Steakhouse
88 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 844-8889

J.J.’s takes it to a whole other level, figuratively and literally, as it sits high atop the bustle of Old Pasadena while serving sumptuous martinis, steaks and salads.

Sunday Brunch

The Ritz-Carlton Huntington
Hotel & Spa
1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena
(626) 568-3900
www.ritzcarlton.com/hotels/huntington

With three exquisite restaurants to choose from — the Dining Room, the Terrace Room and the Lobby Lounge — amid its castle-like design, the Ritz-Carlton has become a veritable fortress of food for gourmet fans with expensive appetites. Add in a leisurely afternoon drive through our area’s most beautiful neighborhoods for the perfect day.

Vegetarian Food

Orean the Health Express
817 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena
(626) 794-0861
www.oreanshealthexpress.com

With such exotic items as African burritos, tostadas and quesadillas as well as its Orean Salad Burger with garden veggies, sunflower seeds, black beans, tomatoes, onions, pickles, organic clover sprouts and a special sauce in a whole wheat bun for just $4.29, Orean is the original vegetarian fast-food restaurant.

Runner-up

Fatty’s
1627 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock
(323) 254-8804

With an abnormally excellent wine list, handmade ravioli and sloppy Joes with vegetarian soy, this Eagle Rock favorite is one great place to get healthy.

~Around The World Eats~

Armenian Cuisine

Zankou Chicken
1296 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 405-1502
www.zankouchicken.com

Named after a river in Armenia, this tributary brings storied native cooking techniques and recipes, imaginatively crafted for fast-served cafeteria patrons. Delicious! And of course, you have to try the chicken, quite possibly the best around.

Cajun Cuisine

Wingstop
184 W. Foothill Blvd., Monrovia
(626) 357-8680
www.wingstop.com

Of all the burbling pots and hissing lids, of all the crawdads struggling in red roux, of all the things that make Cajun cooking famous, this restaurant wins with only one Cajun item on its menu — chicken wings. Earlier, its Cajun-style wings were hen-pegged “best flavor” of all entries at the Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, New York.

Runner-up

Big Mama’s Rib Shack
1453 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena
(626) 796-6223
www.bigmamasribshack.com

Heirloom recipes from family albums, rowdy sauces, inspired moments — Big Mama’s has Cajun soul for all souls, including lovers in fancy duds.

California Cuisine

Green Street Restaurant
146 Shoppers Lane, Pasadena
(626) 577-7170
www.greenstreetrestaurant.com

When a restaurant describes its style as some special cuisine and then prepares it with imported canned goods, there’s a tinny ring of pseudo-profundity. But here, “audibly crisp” is the best term to describe a dozen full-meal salads that turn over a new leaf with every bite. At Green Street, California cuisine means you eat with the seasons, and well.

Runner-up

Parkway Grill
510 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena
(626) 795-1001
www.theparkwaygrill.com

After two decades, Parkway Grill remains the most attractive dining house in Pasadena, and that should make it the best place to get a good lock at California cuisine.

Caribbean Cuisine

Madre’s Restaurant
897 Granite Drive, Pasadena
(626) 744-0900
www.madresrestaurant.com

Though occasionally you’ll get a glimpse of Jennifer Lopez checking the audience, the spotlight routinely highlights a galaxy of beaded chandeliers that oversee myriad mementos of J. Lo’s ancestry — and catches glints off handpicked vintage China set at every table (bus boys are bonded). The kitchen reflects the star’s Puerto Rican heritage and her chef’s Cuban roots.

Runner-up

Café Atlantic
69 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
(626) 796-7350
www.cafeatlantic.net

Of the floral necklace of 7,000 Caribbean islands, the crown jewel remains Cuba; ergo Café Atlantic favors authentic Cuban meals over popular cruise line abandon-ship stuff.

Chinese Cuisine

Panda Inn Restaurant
3488 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 793-7300
www.pandainn.com

No meal is really enjoyed to the fullest unless it is keenly anticipated by all at the table. With its multi-coursed banquet of flavors, your party can divvy up classic dishes like crab wontons, tea-smoked duck, orange-flavored chicken, spice-rolled New York sirloin and crispy, whole striped bass.

Runner-up

Fortune Chinese Cuisine
60 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
(626) 577-1888

Fortune offers a fortune of goodness with lunches like generous chunks of catfish filet complete with soup, egg roll and rice for only $5.95.

French Cuisine

Bistro 45
45 S. Mentor Ave., Pasadena
(626) 795-2478
www.bistro45.com

Restaurateur Robert Simon makes for evenings that are endlessly compelling. Running the tables nightly, he remembers your name and your preferences while mixing dashes of business talk with dollops of whimsy. He makes you feel like a celebrity surrounded by Champagne buckets. Bistro 45’s Cal-French menu should keep customers coming back, but sometimes it’s the singer and not the song that does it.

Runner-up

Café Bizou
91 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
(626) 792-9923
www.cafebizou.com

With $2 corkage and $1 soups and salads, Café Bizou makes it easy to agree that French cuisine is the standard against which all others are judged.

Indian Cuisine

Radhika’s Cuisine of India
140 Shoppers Lane, Pasadena
(626) 744-0994
www.radhikas.com

As fine art has been described as a delayed echo of life’s experiences, delicious aftertastes follow every dining experience here. While heat levels of classic northern Indian dishes are adjusted to taste, Chef Deepak often pulls no punches, hitting the rack with as many as 15 spices. Jingle or jangle, lips will smack all the way home.

Runner-up

Akbar Cuisine of India
44 N. Fair Oaks Ave.,
Pasadena
(626) 577-9916
www.akbarcuisineofindia.com

Akbar’s expert knowledge of wine and its compatibility with various dishes is a rarity among Indian restaurants. Try matching coconut lamb with Zinfandel.

Italian Cuisine

Mi Piace Italian Kitchen & Bakery
25 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 795-3131
www.mipiace.com

At Mi Piace, flavors of New York City ambience — a regular late-night lounge menu and live entertainment on weekends — are added to the tastes of award-winning Italian cuisine. In it’s 16th year, this restaurant conducts crowd-pleasing culinary harmony and continues to be the envy of its competition.

Runner-up

Gale’s Restaurant
452 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
(626) 432-6705
www.galesrestaurant.com

Featuring cherished family recipes and an exhibition kitchen exuding fragrant spices, Gale’s is a place where friendliness flows like wine.

Japanese Cuisine or Sushi

Kabuki
88 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 568-9310
3539 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 351-8963
www.kabukirestaurant.com

Corporate Chef Masa Kurihara must be working with his red-hot kitchen staff to push his sushi bar to the next level. Find a mixture of cherished staples like sake-steamed black mussels and startling innovations like rolls of pan-fried rib eye beef, speared with asparagus and dripped with garlic.

Runner-up

Sushi Roku Pasadena
33 Miller Alley (One Colorado), Pasadena
(626) 683-3000
www.sushiroku.com

Trying to upstage the ordinary sushi bar, new lounge acts and refined dining rooms bring heat out of the kitchen with exciting cooked appetizer plates and powerful iron skillets.

Mediterranean Cuisine

Café Santorini
64 W. Union St., Pasadena
(626) 564-4200
www.cafesantorini.com

Encompassing the many different countries and cultures of lands lapped by the Mediterranean Sea — destinations often defined by fine cuisine and enhanced by traditions of hospitality and generosity to visitors — a luxury dining experience at Café Santorini is much like sailing on a great white yacht, jubilant with flags of many ports of call.

Runner-up

Burger Continental
535 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena
(626) 792-6634
www.burgercontinental.com

Professors from nearby Caltech who postulate that there’s no Aristotelian logic to mixing 16 hamburgers with major entrees from six Mediterranean countries will be sent back to the drawing board.

Mexican Cuisine

El Portal Yucatan/Mexican Cuisine
695 E. Green St., Pasadena
(626) 795-8553
www.elportalrestaurant.com

From part chili relleno to the whole enchilada, Yucatan cooking is unique among the crowded circuit of fine Mexican cuisines. Pumping shots of premium tequilas and setting fire and frost into modern tequila margaritas, El Portal is a festive place where old timers are as reliant as newcomers are prone.

Runner-up

Mijares Mexican Restaurant
145 Palmetto Drive, Pasadena
(626) 795-4888
1808 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 792-2763
www.mijaresrestaurant.com

Opened in 1920, the oldest pretty face among Pasadena restaurants maintains a festive mood that everyone wants to be a part of time and time again.

Middle Eastern Cuisine

Burger Continental
535 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena
(626) 792-6634
www.burgercontinental.com

With a menu as imposing as the Parthenon, this Greek kitchen specializes in Moroccan fatoush, Armenian pizza, Lebanese kebabs, Turkish garabet, Italian seafood combos, French dips, London fish and chips and even has a Hollywood Omar Sharif combo spectacular. Come for the food, stay for the belly dancers.

Runner-up

Zankou Chicken
1296 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 405-1502
www.zankou.chicken.com

With fast-served but dinner-house quality items such as rotisserie chicken done to a turn, falafel, shawarma and tarna, Zankou’s menu is well-done.

Spanish or Latin Cuisine

Bar Celona
46 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 405-1000
www.barcelonapasadena.com

Customers are attracted by a tantalizing mosaic of small bites and a stylish ambiance that includes a long, dark bar as well as the scent of saffron, Wonderland mirrors, a mural of running bulls and a cabinet of Spanish wines that gallop with aplomb. Be sure to try the succulent lobster tails and crab legs.

Runner-up

La Luna Negra Restaurant
44 W. Green St., Pasadena
(626) 844-4331
www.lalunanegrarestaurant.com

More than satisfying any cravings for tapas, chef’s specials also include classic paella, beef tenderloin and leg of lamb.

Thai Cuisine

Saladang Restaurant
363 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
(626) 793-8123

Just as the bittersweet Thai tamarind hides its flavor inside a hard-shelled pod, the thick concrete walls of Saladang hold this town’s most succulent and authentic Thai dishes. With daily specials like skin-on steamed salmon in coconut milk with red chili and fresh mint, you can’t go wrong.

Runner-up

Thaitalian Cooking Duet
49 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 585-8808
www.thaitalian.com

Living up to its name, tables glitter with uniquely beautiful presentations of both authentic Thai dishes and Thai-flavored Italian pizzas and pastas. It’s a taste adventure.

Tea House Cuisine

Scarlet Tea Room
18 W. Green St., Pasadena
(626) 577-0051
www.scarlettearoom.com

With boutique wines, an international menu of the finest teas and upscale, full-meal sandwiches and salads, Scarlet Tea Room holds historic promise, says owner Karen Mikaelian. “What the Russian Tea Room meant to New York in the 1980s, mine will mean to Pasadena this millennium.”

Runner-up

Huntington Tea Room &
Rose Garden Café
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino
(626) 405-2100
www.huntington.org

A great spot for a spot o’tea — elegantly simple, tastefully refined — this tea room is an afternoon appointment with luxury.

Vietnamese Cuisine

Indochine
950 E. Colorado Blvd., Suite 204, Pasadena
(626) 584-7118
www.indochine-ca.com

Nestled in a little strip mall, this restaurant is small — but, like a perfectly cut diamond, exquisitely so. Each table sparkles with authentic Vietnamese creations, like shrimp and potatoes simmering in the shallows of a special curry sauce or a vegetarian golden crepe filled with tofu, mung beans and bean sprouts.

Runner-up

Saigon Noodle
28 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
(626) 796-9378

With many menu choices to tease the palate, payoff is equal to promise with moderately priced dishes like shrimp paste on sugar cane vermicelli.

Honorable Mention

Funky Fusion Experiment

Thaitalian
49 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 585-8808
www.thaitalian.com

From Japanese-French to California-Mediterranean, food fusion is nothing new in Southern California. But Thai paired with Italian? Yes, this one-of-a-kind coupling combines the finest trademark ingredients from both strong culinary cultures in a stylish bistro ambience. Thaitalian’s friendly staff will help you choose from unique, reasonably priced menu items, such as Pollo Satay Pizza, Linguini Padthai or Thai Scampi.

Creative Dining

Gyu-Kaku
70 W. Green St., Pasadena
(626) 405-4842
www.gyu-kaku.com

For an entertaining twist to the usual sit-down eatery, head over to Gyu-Kaku, where you literally have hands-on cooking control. Each table is equipped with its own imported Japanese barbecue brazier, allowing you to cook a la carte marinated meats, chicken, seafood and vegetables to your liking. And polish off your culinary creation with an ice-cold Sapporo or Dorayaki ice cream, the house’s specialty.

Extra Sensory Perceptions

redwhite+bluezz
70 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
(626) 792-4441
www.redwhitebluezz.com

The sleek combination of Contemporary American cuisine, fine international wines and live jazz is what makes redwhite+bluezz the newest hotspot in Pasadena. Celebrated chef Gabriel Contreras conjures up comfort food dishes, including its signature Watermelon and Maytag Blue Cheese Salad, and the Sommelier-directed wine program features an unbelievable bottle selection, as well as tasting flights.