South Lake Avenue Appreciation Week wraps up today at VeggieGrill, a west coast chain serving meatless fare in a bright and airy fast-casual setting. My mom, who occasionally abstains from meat based on the Buddhist calendar, and I came in for a weekday lunch.
After placing our order at the front counter, we snagged a table and plopped down our number (and bums). I gathered a few condiments from near the drinks station just in case any additional seasoning was needed. Blandness is sadness.
The first dish to arrive at the table was the “Chill Out Wings” ($6.95), battered and deep-fried wheat gluten served with house-made ranch and roasted pepper sauce. Both Mom and I were big fans of the crisp-golden seitan rods. She dipped hers in ranch dressing, while the roasted red pepper sauce was more my speed.
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South Lake Avenue Appreciation Week rolls on with a stop at Du-par’s. Known for its pancakes and pies, this classic L.A. diner took over the Hamburger Hamlet space last year. Pi Day gave The Astronomer and me the nudge we needed to finally give it a go.
James Dunn and Edward Parsons, who combined their surnames to create the restaurant’s name, opened the first Du-par’s at the Original Farmers Market. There are currently three locations around town, as well as outlets in San Diego and Las Vegas. All Du-par’s are open 24 hours.
The Pasadena location is quite expansive, even boasting a fireplace, but we opted to join the pies in the atrium because it felt festive there given the occasion.
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I’m officially declaring it South Lake Avenue Appreciation Week on Gastronomy! While not nearly as hip a ‘hood as Old Pasadena, South Lake can hold its own, especially when it comes to casual dining.
Though the street is mostly lined with local and national chains like Lemonade, Panda Express, and Souplantation, there are a handful of one-off concepts like PokeMix, too—there’s a time and place for both kinds of establishments.
Pokē is currently having a moment in L.A., with half a dozen shops opening in the past few months. PokeMix, which offers a “Build Your Own Poke Bowl” experience, comes from the folks behind Flour + Tea.
Ordering here is a multi-step process. First, diners select a size: small (2 scoops of main toppings), medium (3 scoops of main toppings), or large (4 scoops of main toppings). Second, a “base” of either rice, greens, or half and half needs be chosen. Third comes the seafood— salmon, spicy tuna, albacore, shrimp, scallops, and krab. And finally, a plethora of garnishes and sauces to finish.
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Everyone loves to hate Yelp, but I have a confession to make: it’s the most used app on my phone. While individual restaurant reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt, I have found the “Hot & New” and “Nearby” functions surprisingly useful for discovering under-the-radar spots like Super Burger.
With 300 glowing reviews and a very respectable 4.5 star rating, Super Burger kept appearing whenever I searched for notable restaurants within a mile radius of my home. Once I perused the bevy of burger-licious images and skimmed through the write-ups, Super Burger’s charms could not be denied—I needed to eat here immediately.
Super Burger, which is located on the corner of Altadena and Villa in Pasadena, has been around for years. However, it wasn’t until Jean and Ben Khe took over the al fresco stand in 2009 that word began to spread about their incredible burgers.
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