Dress up, dine at these great Pasadena restaurants – Pasadena Star News


This year marks the 130th Rose Parade, making it one of America’s oldest parades – a great tradition, with a lot of old-fashioned traditionalism.

There is a Pink Queen and her Royal Court. And there’s a board of directors, who don’t show up at the parade in swim shorts and flip flops. They are a stronghold (men at least) of blazers, worn with tan pants and tasteful ties.

It’s a well-dressed parade, with deep roots in decorum, good manners and well-mannered etiquette.

And indeed, in many ways, it is Pasadena. Yes, that has changed over the years – men no longer show up to watch the parade in ties and jackets like they used to go to baseball games in business attire. But it’s still a city where more than a few restaurants are best enjoyed if diners dress for the occasion.

They don’t necessarily require it, as they once did, when there was a closet of ill-fitting jackets and ugly ties for those who showed up underdressed. But still, I wouldn’t dine at, say, The Royce in jeans any more than in a Speedo.

Where can those of us who still love to dress for dinner feel at home in Pasadena? In some of the best restaurants in town, of course. You’ll notice a notable number of steakhouses in particular… and several can be found on peacefully quiet Lake Avenue, a bastion of taste in a world of torn Levi’s.

Alexandre’s Steakhouse

111 N. Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena; 626-486-1111; alexanderssteakhouse.com

This expensive and serious steakhouse, east of old Pasadena, with an open kitchen grilling incredible slices of beef for the well-heeled, is a place to go when you’ve signed a development deal with Netflix or signed a deal for the well-to-do. import with someone. which manufactures Apple products. You want Wagyu, they’ve got the real thing, priced between $ 100 and $ 100. This is where you will impress.

Arroyo Chop House

536 S. Arroyo Pkwy., Pasadena; 626-577-7463; arroyochohouse.com

Located next to ParkwayGrill, this Smith Brothers meat-centric destination has, for many years, defined fine dining and fine dining in the City of Roses. Go there when you feel like opening a serious bottle of red, because they have a lot of them.

  • Bistro 45 in Pasadena (Photos by Eric Reed)

  • Chic dining on the terrace at Bistro 45

  • Warm organic vegetable salad at Bistro 45

Bistro 45

45 S. Mentor Avenue, Pasadena; 626-795-2478; bistro45.com

The venerable destination of Robert Simon, a Pasadena legend, is one of our few French restaurants, a longtime favorite for those seeking a meal in a kingdom of dim light and conversation, in a beautiful Art Deco building in a few steps from the madness of Old Pasadéna. It’s an Art-Deco-for-a-New-Century look – very angular, very cool, bordering on decadence. And the side patio is one of the city’s most enjoyable destinations.


141 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena; 626-795-4006; celestinopasadena.com

The most elegant of Pasadena’s many Italian restaurants, this is a great place for adults to indulge their taste for pasta and for the Drago family’s fine dining.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse

179 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; 626-639-0490; flemingssteakhouse.com

The local branch of the Fleming’s global chain, with a menu that starts with meat, and extends from there, with a particular passion for good wines, and also a lot of seafood, for those who want something which is not a sirloin.

Nick’s Pasadena

336 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena; 626-787-1444; icksrestaurants.com

With its tiered seating, open kitchen, and flamboyant pizza oven, this Californian eclectic from one of our most revered restaurant families offers a safe haven away from the shopping crowds until that you come across Lake Avenue.

Parkway Grill

510 S. Arroyo Pkwy., Pasadena; 626-795-1001; theparkwaygrill.com

Often referred to as the Pasadena Spago, it is warm, wonderfully open, and filled with plants and trees worthy of a small forest. As you enter the restaurant, you are standing on a platform that overlooks an open kitchen, in which a multitude of chefs prepare pizzas and compose salads. All in all, this is an almost perfect design piece.

The Raymond 1886

1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena; 626-441-3136; theraymond.com

The Raymond is, in its low-key way, one of the most romantic places in Southern California, a place that doesn’t scream romantic, but lets it subtly penetrate your skin. This is the kind of romantic restaurant that guys don’t mind – all that beautiful wood in this lovingly restored California bungalow (formerly the Raymond Hotel’s caretaker’s house) is pleasantly soothing. There is music, great service and dim lighting. And what more could you ask for?

  • Australian Steak Wagyu Tomahawk at Royce (Photos by Eric Reed)

  • King prawns from Madagascar grilled with Royce

  • Large majestic Royce dining room

The Royce Wood Fired Steakhouse at Langham

1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena; 626-585-6410; roycela.com

This grand room at this grand hotel is brighter and brighter than in the past, with lovely views of the Horseshoe Garden below – and a feeling of comfort totally consistent with the essence of the Langham and Ritz-Carlton before it. It has evolved over the years from Continental to New American, until its current incarnation as a premium destination for beef at its best. With beautiful vintages that emerge from wine cellars brimming with the best of California, France and Italy. This is a special occasion dinner – at its most special.

Smitty’s Grill

110 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena; 626-792-9999; smittysgrill.com

Smitty’s describes itself as a restaurant that serves “the best steaks, ribs and fresh seafood.” Which I think misses the point. For me, and for many of the many fans of the Smith Brothers concept, Smitty’s is a Smithsonian of Great American Dishes – a destination for culinary objects of desire. When you crave cornbread and chicken pie, chicken fried steak, and mac and cheese, this is where you go. Eaten in a properly calm and studious environment.

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