Archive for the 'Pasadena' Category

Jake’s Burgers – Pasadena

Jake’s of Pasadena – Pasadena

When A Hamburger Today discovered burger “greatness” in my neighborhood a few months back (“Classic Burger Joint Greatness at Jake’s of Pasadena“), I immediately bookmarked the spot with a future lunch date in mind.

I’ve walked past this ruby red, burger-slangin’ hut in Old Pasadena dozens of times over the years, but it wasn’t until reading this piece of positive reportage that I was motivated to sit down for a meal. It was just the nudge I needed.

Jake's of Pasadena - Pasadena

I am not sure what Jake’s menu was like when it first opened its doors in 1947, but these days it’s a build-your-own-burger situation supplemented by a half dozen composed “Signature Burgers.”

When my lunch date and I entered the restaurant, we were greeted with order forms on clipboards and pencils to make our mark. A friendly waiter slash cashier picked up the forms from our table as soon as we finished filling them out.

Jake's of Pasadena - Pasadena

In addition to burgers for each of us, Nastassia and I shared a basket of truly fantastic onion rings ($3.49). The batter, crazy-crisp with nary a trace of grease, made these irresistible.

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Cousins Maine Lobster at Live Mixx Lounge – Pasadena

Cousins Maine Lobster at Live Mixx Lounge – Pasadena

After spending a pretty penny at Connie & Ted’s for a New England seafood lunch that neither lived up to its hype nor merited its cost, I was inspired to find a lobster roll fix that offered a solid value.

While I adore Lobsta Truck’s $12 roll, I have mostly retired from chasing food trucks these days. The $8 lobster roll from Son of a Gun is another good option, but I require two (or possibly three) of these petite bites to really be satisfied.

Cousins Maine Lobster at Live Mixx Lounge – Pasadena

My search for a reasonably priced and totally tasty lobster roll, that didn’t require stalking a moving vehicle, started and ended at Cousins Maine Lobster at Live Mixx Lounge in Old Pasadena.

This permanent pop-up is run by Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis, the cousins behind the Cousins Maine Lobster truck. The guys grew up together near Portland, Maine and launched their truck in 2012.

Cousins Maine Lobster at Live Mixx Lounge – Pasadena

Live Mixx Lounge serves as a club by night and a seafood shack by day, and as a result, the space looks and feels very strange.

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ConfeXion Cupcakes – Pasadena

ConfeXion Cupcakes - Pasadena - Brioughnut

I caved last weekend and gave in to the Cronut™ craze. I had always intended to wait for the real deal in New York City, but alas, I am as partial to hype and mass hysteria as the next food lover.

There are quite a few bakeries in L.A. ripping off trying their hand at recreating Dominique Ansel‘s croissant-doughnut hybrid. I procured my crauxnut (faux Cronut™) at ConfeXion, a neighborhood spot specializing in cupcakes.

ConfeXion Cupcakes - Pasadena - Brioughnut

ConfeXion is owned by aunt and nephew team Vandy Altounian and Anthony Valerio. Prior to introducing the Southland to their “Brioughnut,” the duo scored big on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.

The tiny shop, which is located on the fringes of Old Pasadena, makes three different types of Brioughnuts every Saturday and Sunday. With my friend Nastassia and her boyfriend in tow, we snagged one of each. They were priced at $5 a pop.

ConfeXion Cupcakes - Pasadena - Brioughnut

The most successful of the trio was the “Salted Caramel.” The Brioughnut’s sweet and salty flourishes—caramelized pastry cream, caramel syrup, and flecks of fleur de sel—paired extraordinarily with the layers of flaky, buttery dough.

I can’t say if this interpretation was anything like the original Cronut™, but it was really delicious.

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Sushi Kimagure – Pasadena

Sushi Kimagure - Pasadena | Omakase

I lost my notes after dining at Sushi Kimagure; it was a digital file on my phone and now it’s gone.

Considering the extensive backlog of material that I’m currently blogging my way through, I could’ve forgone a write-up, but after some thought, I decided to proceed since my meal here was less about the fishes that were present and more about the fishes that weren’t present.

Sushi Kimagure - Pasadena | Omakase

As an enthusiastic and frequent sushi eater, I’ve been thinking a lot about Bluefin Tuna. It’s delicious, yes, but also an endangered species. My dinner at Sushi Kimagure marked my very first omakase where I explicitly requested that no Bluefin be served. In all honesty, it was really hard to get the words out, especially with the language barrier, but I’m glad that I insisted because it would be a travesty if future generations of food lovers couldn’t indulge in toro. The temporary sacrifice was worth it.

Dining with me this evening was my mother, who didn’t have any special requests when it came to her omakase.  I’m not quite ready to impose my values on her yet, even though she’s been imposing hers on me for the past 31 years.

Sushi Kimagure - Pasadena | Omakase

While Sushi Kimagure serves swoon-worth chirashi at lunchtime, dinner is a strictly omakase affair. Mom and I both selected the “Matsu” ($85), the most extensive and expensive option that includes seven different courses: Seafood Salad, Broiled, Sashimi, Fried, Sushi, Soup, and Dessert. We opted to sit at a cozy table rather than at the bar tonight.

Dinner began with a beautifully arranged and impeccably fresh seafood salad with scallops, shrimp, salmon, and seaweed.

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