Mar 2017

California Chutney Tandoori Kitchen – Pasadena

California Chutney Tandoori Kitchen - Pasadena

When the mood for Indian food strikes but time isn’t on our side, The Chaplins head to California Chutney for our South Asian fill. This fast-casual spot in Old Pasadena opened two years ago, and we’ve been fans since the start.

California Chutney Tandoori Kitchen - Pasadena

The menu isn’t expansive, with just six “proteins” to choose from (chickpeas, paneer (cheese), lamb, shrimp, and two kinds of chicken). Everything is boldly spiced, so when you see a dish denoted with three chili symbols on the menu, get ready for some serious heat. On a previous visit, the “Lamb Keema” made us sweat.

A notable aspect of the restaurant is the made-from-scratch chutney bar that includes traditional varieties like tamarind and cilantro, as well as more inventive concoctions like cinnamon-pineapple and mango-ginger.

California Chutney Tandoori Kitchen - Pasadena

June and I usually order two “Naan Tacos” ($8.80) to share. The “Paneer with Kale” is my filling of choice, while June tends to favor the “Tandoori Chicken.” While the fillings are both very good, it’s the house-made naan that keeps us coming back.

The yogurt-based flatbread is freshly prepared throughout the day in the restaurant’s tandoori ovens. It always tastes super-fresh, with a texture that’s tender and wonderfully chewy. We always order an extra piece or two on the side ($1.75 per piece).

(more…)

Mar 2017

Here’s Looking at You – Los Angeles (Koreatown)

Here's Looking at You - August 28, 2016

It’s no secret that I ❤ Here’s Looking at You. I was smitten during the restaurant’s pop-up preview in Chinatown and fell even harder during friends and family dinner. My latest visit was more of the same great stuff—delightful food from Chef Jonathan Whitener, solid service orchestrated by Lien Ta, and an inviting and energetic room.

Here's Looking at You - August 28, 2016

Drinks to start were a must. For The Astronomer, a can o’ Uinta Brewing Ready Set Gose ($7).

Here's Looking at You - August 28, 2016

The cocktail list looked superb, but I was in the mood for something simple and bubbly. A glass of cava ($16) fit the bill nicely.

(more…)

Mar 2017

True Food Kitchen – Pasadena

True Food Kitchen - Pasadena

There’s no shortage of good-for-you food options in Pasadena. Souplantation will always be my ride or die, but True Food Kitchen is a worthy newcomer, a self-described “health-driven, seasonal restaurant merging nutrient-rich ingredients with a flavor-forward menu.”

True Food Kitchen - Pasadena

True Food Kitchen is so L.A., in the most stereotypical sense. The seating is almost exclusively outdoors, while the menu is based on an anti-inflammatory-diet food pyramid. I mean… While the promises of healthful eating were attractive, The Astronomer, June, and I came here to satisfy a more basic need: hunger.

True Food Kitchen - Pasadena

The Astronomer and I each ordered a drink to start. For me, the “Farmers Market Sangria” ($11) made with spiced brandy, lime, organic red wine, apple, and pear. And for him, a “Ginger Margarita” ($12) with honey, lemon, elderflower liqueur, and añejo tequila. Both were solid.

(more…)