Paper Rice – Spring Rolls & Bowls

20 W Union St | Pasadena, CA 91103

The new Pasadena spot specializes in build-your-own gỏi cuốn, or Vietnamese spring rolls. Proteins like charbroiled nem, or pork sausage, braised pork belly, lemongrass chicken, and soy garlic tofu can be mixed-and-matched with veggies such as lettuce and pickled daikon, and toppings like chopped peanuts and toasted sesame. From there, you have your choice of either wrapping it all up in a roll or throwing it in a bowl – which honestly, sounds like a Tuesday night in college. Paper Rice opens on Friday, August 28th.

Mexicali Taco & Co. – San Gabriel Valley

1811 S. San Gabriel Boulevard | San Gabriel, CA 91776

One of our favorite Mexican spots, Mexicali Taco now has a second location in the San Gabriel Valley. Located in a cute, bright red cabin-looking building on San Gabriel Blvd., expect all of the same excellent Baja-style shrimp tacos, nachos, and of course, their legendary garlic sauce-filled vampiro taco, available either to-go, or for outdoor dining.


Picnic Society

189 The Grove Dr | Los Angeles, CA 90036

The Grove’s latest addition is Picnic Society, a new full-service restaurant and market from the founder of Gwenand Maude. Influenced by the meatier options at Gwen, Picnic Society’s market features an impressive selection of house-made charcuterie, cheeses, and spreads, and their outdoor dining menu includes heartier dishes like BBQ pork ribs, steak frites, and the beautiful, eponymous Gwen burger. You also have the option of picnicking on their second floor terrace – but why would you, when the roof of The Grove’s parking lot is literally right there?

Maestro Pasadena

Start with the tacos ahogados, delightful taquitos stuffed with shredded chicken and served in a slurp-able broth, and share the seared scallops served on a bed of huitlacoche (corn smut) rice. A well-made cocktail to sip is an absolute must.
110 E Union St.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Call 626-787-1512
Online Reservations @ Resy


This wonderful cozy little ‘neighborhood gem’ offers indoor our outdoor seating and features solid French bistro fare, to include delicious French and California wines.

Look for a knock-out Caesar salad (my favorite caesar dressing around), French onion soup served piping hot (as it should be), the entrecôte au poivre with fries or the poulet au thym (both our go to favorites) and more… While the menu almost always features special appetizers and mains, the rest of the entre nous menu is packed with typical French Bistro entries such as fish, pasta, rabbit, duck, bouillabaisse and more and it’s always served with fresh French bread and European butter.

Last but not least, they have fabulous wines by the bottle or the glass – our favorite is always a glass (or two) of ChâteauneufduPape, which is available by the glass or bottle!

VOILA! Bon Appetit

Reservations: or Call 626-844-4500 | Located at 119 W. Green Street | Pasadena CA

Restaurant Alert: Hippo

HIPPO (Highland Park Post Office) in Highland Park opens to rave reviews…

Just tried HIPPO, Matt Molina’s new digs on Figueroa in Highland Park. You may remember Matt Molina from Mozza. He now has several James Beard awards strapped tightly under his belt and with your first look at his menu you’ll know why. To begin – the space is cool, hip and ‘oh so’ Highland Park (this coming from a tried and true Pasadena Lady). We almost had everything on the menu (those of you who know my eating style say, “what’s new”), but tops on my list (other than noshing on the chewy pizza-like bread) were the pastas (another non-surprise), delicious home made corn pasta, lasagne verde, and more… Salads were also amazing, don’t miss the wax beans, ceviche was Pacific Ocean fresh and flavorful. You ask about wine, well, surprisingly enough Matt’s partner is none other than Silver Lake Wine’s Randy Clement. Salute! We chose to go with an Italian Red (or two) both chosen by head wine guru aka sommelier, David Rosoff, who knows his stuff! PS… great Bar (where you can also dine) features well known bartender Clare Ward, so cocktails are killer too! Don’t miss HIPPO – a super comfortable upscale environment with a huge palate. Reservations are necessary (unless you’re planing to eat at the Bar) and found on

HIPPO ADJACENT… Triple Beam Pizza and Highland Park Wine

…and while you’re visiting HIPPO, don’t miss OR should I say you can’t miss Triple Beam Pizza, a Nancy Silverton and drumroll… Matt Molina pay by the weight Roman-style Pizza. Silverlake Wine owner Randy Clement is involved here too, so again it’s easy to enjoy a delicious bottle of wine from sister shop HIGHLAND PARK WINE, while you enthusiastically gnaw away on your mouthwatering pizza. There are oodles of outside tables and the scene is SUPER casual and picnic-esque! Go back for more or better yet, take it to go, the menu frequently updates!

Dan Modern Chinese Pasadena

Simple, clean and comforting: three words to describe Dan Modern Chinese!

Located in the Commons shopping complex on South Lake Avenue in Pasadena, the restaurant is a sleek and minimalist space. The food is delicious, whether a simple dumpling (xiaolongbao) or the Dungeness crab fried rice (exotic flavors). This is the perfect “quick stop” for lunch or if you prefer it is also a great Postmates or Door Dash in-home dining experience. Dan Modern doesn’t feel much like of dinner venue – at least not for me.

Food-wise, you can’t go wrong, but nonetheless, don’t miss the Dungeness crab fried rice, which arrives beautifully peppered with bits of crab meat. It is an interesting mix between the sweet-and-savory Dungeness crab and an airy fried rice. The oxtail noodle soup is a showstopper. The broth is skimmed of fat to let the clean, savory and gently iron-inflected taste of oxtail broth really come through. The tender oxtail meat and handmade noodles are perfectly prepared. Last but not least, the dumplings are pure comfort food – melt in your mouth delicious.

Dan is a simple little spot tucked in the back corner of the Commons, just next door to Sugarfish and across the plaza from Mercado – two other noteworthy food contenders your palate may wish to entertain!

Dan. 146 S. Lake Ave. Pasadena, CA 91101 | Open Tuesday to Friday 5:30 to 9 p.m., weekends 12:00 to 9:00 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Sushi Enya / Old Town Pasadena

This is a truly authentic Sushi experience in Pasadena! From the moment you walk in, you are treated with Japanese formality and politeness. The fish is FRESH, the food is thoughtful and the Sake list is top shelf! Only problem is they don’t take reservations! I promise, its worth the wait!

What does the restaurant say?

Sushi Enya is a Japanese sushi restaurant that started in the heart of Little Toyko in Downtown, Los Angeles. We opened our second location in Old Town Pasadena in 2017. Third location in Marina Del Rey is open now!

Our very own Owner Chef Kimiyasu Enya has trained for over ten years in Japan. We pride ourselves in serving the freshest ingredients on the market! Our goal is to serve and exceed our customer’s expectations!!

Sushi Enya – Pasadena:
Monday – Thursday, 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Friday, Saturday, 5:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m
Sunday, 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m?

Dama Downtown LA

Dama has officially arrived in DTLA, specifically located in the Fashion District, City Market South to be precise! The site presently houses Rossoblu, another great newcomer from one of the former partners of Sotto in WLA. Dama’s chef and partner is Antonia Lofaso, who not only inspires with amazing flavors, but the menu is extensive and features something for everyone! Small plates is the concept, but truly these dishes are perfect for a group of four/five to easily share 6-8 plates with room to spare for dessert, which should not be missed – magical (read on)!

Step ONE: Before I begin to give this amazing Chef a ton of credit for one of the best dinners we’ve had in a long time, let me tell you about the cocktails, a huge part of this diverse scene! I ordered (true to form) the Sandia y Mexcal a mezcal and watermelon palate burster – outstanding! Bottom Line: All of the cocktails our group ordered met with rave reviews as did the extensive wine list!

Step TWO: Bread, which is one of the many small plates, is not your ordinary bread – this is buttered, dusted in garlic and then grilled to perfection – topped with a mouthwatering marble-sized medley of colorful tomatoes full of flavor! On to the the whipped beans, Lofaso’s take on humus is topped with small pieces of crispy shredded pork (the two textures are a nice complement to each other). Moving on to plate #4 the cilantro aeoli corn on the cob (served on a stick ala cotton candy style) not only left me wanting to lick the plate, but wanting for more! Some of the other standouts (they all were) are the clams and chorizo, prepared with a delicious savory cider broth and served with grilled bread, the empanadas – sounds like every other pan-latin American restaurant, but true to form, these tiny bite size ground beef empanadas are full of flavor (not dough). Drumroll… the real winner of the evening was the crispy pork shank served with both lettuce cups and tortillas (for wrapping), avocado slices and pickled vegetables – roll it up together with mouth watering slow-cooked pork and add several of the unique and flavorful sauces that accompany this unbelievably delicious creation! Needless to say, we can’t wait to return for another decadent and delicious evening sitting under the stars (and LAX flight path) for round !

Step THREE: Our dessert, which the restaurant most graciously served in honor of my son’s birthday (even sang to him) met with the same standard of perfectly balanced flavors! Strauss soft serve with bananas and topped with cream and hot cinnamon churros with caramel dipping sauce – OMG, need I say more! YES, make your reservation today! Easy to do with and parking is also pretty simple with the arrival of valet service or easy to find on-street metered parking.

TIP: After dinner grab the bocce balls from either of the two restaurants and have a bit of fun at the adjacent bocce run!