I took my car to Nishikawa based on the helpful reviews found here (thanks, everyone!) and I wasn't disappointed. Even though I ended up taking my car to the dealer (the car's computer had to be replaced), Joe explained everything (what he did to find the problem, what the problem is, and the solution) clearly. Especially as a woman, it means a lot to feel comfortable in a car repair shop and I felt quite at ease at Nishikawa. At other shops I've been condescended to, which didn't inspire great confidence in their abilities. I think I've found my car repair shop.
It's dismaying to hear of other people's unfortunate experience at this place because my husband and I have always had an enjoyable experience at the CrepeVine. Yes, the space is small, the lighting is a tad dark, and the hostess can be a little harried, especially at the height of the dinner hour. However, what we've sampled of the food (the crepes, both savory and dessert, and I'm a fan of moules frites, in general) and the wine has been great. We've also found the staff to be personable, knowledgeable and helpful, especially if the patron shows any inkling of curiosity at all at the interesting wine and beer selections. Lastly, it's a great addition to the Old Town Pasadena dining scene, which seems to be dominated by Cheesecake Factory and its behemoth portions.
PROS: Interesting wine/beer list, knowledgeable staff, crepes
CONS: Small space, too dark lighting
. . . this is the place. Even if I am at one of the more upscale grocery stores (Whole Foods, Bristol Farms), I will not buy fish and seafood there but rather drive to Fish King for them. Now that we moved away from Glendale, we still make the trek to Fish King. The staff is very knowledgeable and accommodating (bought a whole fish? They'll clean it for you!). The prepared food section (the "Galley") is wonderful: the various selections of fish plates, grilled to order, is a great lunch or dinner option. The small grocery and wine section is handy for those items that you just happened to leave out of our grocery list.
PROS: Best selection of fish and seafood, knowledgeable staff
This restaurant is a welcome addition to an area that desperately need a friendly, neighborhood bistro. The food is quite good, something to be expected from a chef who previously worked (as sous-chef) at Lucques. However, it was the rest of our dining experience that merited only an average rating.
First, the menu: don't make your patrons read the food offerings on a tall black wall written in chalk. In our case, my back was to the "menu wall" so my husband had to read it to me! Curiously, when I asked for the wine list, I found printed on the back side of the page was the menu! Second, wine should NEVER be served in a juice glass. And a small one at that, which resulted in a stingy pour. I mean, the wine glass need not be crystal or even fancy. It just needs to be a wine glass. Isn't that why man invented it? Third, coffee is not available at Canele. Given that this restaurant just recently opened, I'm hoping that it is something that will find its way to the beverage list. I've never seen my husband so disappointed as when he was told that there would be no coffee to go with his dessert. (Thankfully, there is a coffeehouse just down the street from the restaurant.) Lastly, the tables are too close together, which makes for a rather claustrophic dining experience and makes it difficult for the serving staff to maneuver around. In all, since we enjoyed the food (other diners have commented on the small portions), we look forward to going back, maybe in the winter or spring to see if the menu has changed to reflect the seasons. And to see if coffee is now on the menu.
PROS: Good food, welcome addition to the neighborhood
CONS: Small portions, tightly spaced tables, no coffee on the menu
My husband and I have been going to Suehiro since we were undergrads. Late hours, affordable, no-frills comfort food, friendly atmosphere--what's not to love? Sometimes there can be a wait late in the evenings but a table (or a spot at the counter) usually can be had with just a little patience. With all their yummy offerings, I particularly like the udon and my husband like the rice bowls topped with anything.
PROS: Late hours, good comfort food, friendly atmosphere
This small and friendly neighborhood bakery turns out wonderful baked goods. My husband loves the chocolate croissant, while I especially like the apricot tart and the lemon tart, which can be made in a larger size appropriate for a dinner party. For lunch, Union Bakery has great sandwiches, all made with their excellent sourdough. Now if they only served dinner. . .
PROS: Wonderful baked goods
This family-owned, old-fashioned ice cream shop is our favorite (with Mashti Malone's running a close second). Fosselman's has a wonderful selection of flavors, consisting of the old standbys (vanilla, strawberry) and the unique (taro, ube, lychee). For me especially, it wouldn't be summer without a once-a-week pilgrimage to get a scoop of the seasonal peach ice cream. Though it can get busy on Friday and Saturday evenings, the line moves fairly quickly and service is pretty efficient. Unfortunately, given the high butterfat content (which makes the ice cream sooo divine), Fosselman's ice cream would give the most committed calorie-counter pause. It really should be served with a side of a three-mile run or a rigorous yoga session.
PROS: Lots of flavors, late hours, efficient service
This is one of my husband's favorite places. Although we tend to order pretty much the same thing every time we come here, it's all been delicious. The menu selection is impressive and perusing through it is an education in Himalayan cuisine. The service can be a tad slow sometimes but the food is worth the wait.
PROS: Impressive menu, lots of vegetarian choices
CONS: Service can be a tad slow
Moving close to Pasadena was our chance to find--finally--a good dentist, after suffering through years of bad dentistry with our previous dentist (that's another review altogether), and thus not going regularly because of it. On the recommendation of my hair stylist, we went to see Dr. LaBriola, who was just great! He has a calm and patient demeanor--he's probably wonderful with kid patients. Most importantly, he didn't make you feel bad about the state of your dental health but rather the opposite--that going to the dentist is a good thing that you're doing for yourself. The office is similarly wonderful and efficient. And the periodontists they work with, Drs. Charles and Morishita, are also great.
PROS: Great dentist, great staff