True Food Kitchen in Old Town Pasadena, a Truly Exceptional Experience!



True Food Kitchen in Old Town Pasadena is exactly, and I do mean exactly, what this city has been needing! Prior to TFK’s arrival, Old Town Pasadena was in desperate need of a few things: An awesome spot for weekend brunch, delicious hand-crafted cocktails, hip but comfortable spots to get together with friends and family, an ambiance with the wow factor of the West side, and some flavorful and fun eats … all of these voids have been filled and so much more with its arrival! Welcome True Food Kitchen, we are so excited to have you in town!

The entire menu looks amazing, and everything is perfect for sharing! Here’s what we tried on our last visit (there’s soooo much more to try, everything looks so finger-licking good).

Let’s start with the cocktail menu. Every single drink is hand-crafted to perfection with tiny bits and pieces of muddled fruits, veggies and herbs. We tried the Skinny Margarita and the Grapefruit Martini. Both were delicious, not overly sweet, and just mixed to perfection! Be sure to check out some of these refreshing cocktails while the weather’s still scorching, they’re definitely a cooling treat (I’m sure I’ll be enjoying them throughout the So Cal ‘winter’ as well)! They’re priced pretty fairly at $10-$12 per cocktail. The same thing on the West side will easily run you $15+.

tfkmargarita     img_7816

Citrus Skinny Margarita (left, $11) muddled citrus, torn mint, cucumber, ixá organic tequila

Thai Grapefruit Martini (right, $12) thai basil, grapefruit, organic vodka

Next up, let’s talk about the starters. We had the Charred Cauliflower and Squash Pizza. First things first, Vegan Almond Ricotta?? OMG quite possibly the best tasting ‘cheese’ I’ve ever had – but without any guilt! Next time I’m definitely asking for extra drops of it! The crust was perfectly crispy in all the right places, and thin enough if you’re not into all those doughy carbs. The Charred Cauliflower was just as delicious. The tahini makes it creamy (without the mayo which is which most places use) and the dates naturally sweeten it up. It’s seasoned just perfectly and feels like a guilty creamy treat, but without the guilt. TFK does a fantastic job of satisfying all of our guilty eating pleasures by making healthy versions of those bad dishes we crave.

truefoodpizza     truefoodcauliflower

Butternut Squash Pizza ($13.50) smoked onion, organic kale, vegan almond ricotta, dried cranberry (Vegan)

Charred Cauliflower ($8) harissa tahini, medjool date, dill, mint, pistachio (Vegan, Gluten Free)

On to the mains … I guess we were feeling a little Italian that night cause we ended up ordering the Lasagna Bolognese and the Spaghetti Casserole (made with spaghetti squash … get the reoccurring theme here folks? All the good tastes, without the guilt)! Both were good portions with a unique twist to somewhat traditional dishes. I added the house-made chicken sausage ($4) to the casserole for some extra protein, I think you should too!

truefoodlasanga     truefoodspahgetti

Lasagna Bolognese (left, $16) house-made chicken sausage, mushroom, spinach, lemon ricotta, herbs (Gluten Free)

Spaghetti Squash Casserole (right, $14) organic tomato, caramelized onion, zucchini, fresh mozzarella (Vegetarian, Gluten Free)

And for the grande finale (we couldn’t resist), we shared the Flourless Cake. I simply can’t think of a single improvement I’d make to it, but I did add some Coconut Whipped Cream that I saw listed on another dessert item because I love anything and everything coconut. With just the right amount of bittersweet chocolate, a light crunch and some vanilla ice cream you just can’t go wrong. I don’t generally like caramel, but this one was homemade and I had no issue scooping it straight to my mouth.


Flourless Chocolate Cake ($7) caramel, vanilla ice cream, cocoa nibs (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free)

TFK was definitely love at first sight. We’ve been back 4 times, and they’ve only been open a few weeks. I keep telling myself to slow down because I’ll get sick of it, but I really don’t think that is possible.

Check them out on Yelp, they already have hundreds of folks bragging about how amazing it is. Warning: the food pics are going to make your mouth water!

What’s even more wonderful is that they take reservations! They’ve been really busy every night of the week, so click here to reserve through Open Table.

168 W Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 639-6818

Del Frisco’s Grille Pasadena – A Wonderful Addition to Lake Ave.


Del Frisco’s Grille in Pasadena an exciting new Pasadena restaurant that offers quality fine dining worthy foods in a comfortable and friendly atmosphere! They serve up a vast menu of very tasty eats that take classic American comforts food and give them a modern foodie-worthy twist. The large bar is hip and swanky, offering a perfect environment for catching up with friends over a tasty cocktail and delicious appetizers. The restaurant itself is very warm and inviting, with comfortable and roomy seating and enough space between patrons so that you don’t feel crammed in. If you’re into wine, their selection is vast and impressive.

The Grille uses local ingredients to make delicious favorites such as their Ahi Tacos and Cheesesteak Egg Rolls (pictured below) which were perfect appetizers for sharing! 


Ahi Tacos ($17.50) 
Tuna Tartare, Avocado, Spicy Citrus Mayo


Cheesesteak Eggrolls ($13.00)
Sweet & Spicy Chili Sauce, Honey Mustard

The menu also includes a selection of prime steaks, hearty salads, formidable sandwiches and chef-inspired entrees. We selected the Sole Francese & The Filet Mignon trio (the Filet trio is not a regular menu item) as our main courses. The sole was one of the best I’ve had, rich with lump crab meat and a tangy lemon-butter sauce on top. To accompany our main course, we chose the Pan-Seared Wild Mushrooms, and of course who could resist the hearty Truffled Mac and Cheese (all pictured below)! The portions are generous, and everything we ordered was perfect for sharing, even with a few people.


Sole Francese ($28.50)
Lump Crab, Arugula-Cherry Tomato Salad, Chive-Lemon Butter



Filet Mignon Trio ($market price)


maccheese     mushrooms

Truffled Mac & Cheese ($8.00) & Pan-Braised Wild Mushrooms ($9.00) 

Finally, to add fire to the already roaring flame, we ordered the Coconut Cream Pie for dessert!! We had no room left whatsoever in our stomachs to eat dessert – or so we thought.  Rich with real whipped cream, shaved white chocolate and coconut flakes it was truly irresistible and a perfect ending to a perfect dining experience.


Coconut Cream Pie ($10.50)
White Chocolate Shavings

The service was amongst the friendliest, and the ambiance is a refreshing fun addition to the classic staple restaurants on Lake Avenue. Once you experience the fresh ingredients and generous portions, you’ll see the pricing is fair as well! We certainly can’t wait to return, and are looking forward to trying Del Frisco’s Grille’s Sunday Brunch – sooner than later! Do yourself a favor and get over to try this wonderful new restaurant in Pasadena!

Check them out on YELP.

55 S. Lake Ave., Suite 150

Pasadena, CA 91101

(626) 765-9913


Meat District Co. – Old Town Pasadena

If there’s a perfect place for the Paleo, Atkins, Carnivorous, my favorite animal is steak kind of person – I’m pretty sure the meat Gods would deem it to be located at  Meat District Co., in Old Town Pasadena. I visited the new diggs (on Raymond & Union) over the weekend, and I must say I was very impressed. I ordered the burger & 1/2 rack combo (pictured above). The Truffle Burger ($15) was exceptional!!! With the surge of burger establishments in the area, I’ve definitely had my fair share recently. This 1/2 lb. burger was surely by far the best in town! The pork ribs were also delicious and tender!

All their beef is ‘ALL NATURAL, NEVER EVER BEEF (hormone, steroid & antibiotic free).’ They work in partnership with America’s most sustainable producers, to make sure quality and taste are always on par.

As for the menu, Meat District offers something for everyone, from five spice chicken wings and baby back ribs to nearly a dozen burgers on deck.

photo 1

photo 2


Any 1/2 lb burger & 1/2 a rack of beef or 1/2 jumbo pork ribs


photo 3


1/2 lb patty with truffle parmasen, argulua, roasted peppers, tomato & truffle aioli

photo 4


25oz Half Rack                                    45oz Full Rack


photo 5



Definitely two thumbs up! Give them a try and see for yourself!

69 N Raymond Ave
PasadenaCA 91103


Check them out on Yelp.

Brunch: KTCHN Old Town Pasadena

I always find myself with minimal options for breakfast and weekend brunch in Old Town Pasadena. There’s a new option in town that I look forward to checking out at the new KTCHN. Formerly Via Soriso, then more recently 168, the property has been facing an identity crisis recently. I think they’ve finally figured out a good solution; a high end food court-like setting for multiple restaurants to offer a variety of foods to patrons. The courtyard also now includes Zona Rosa Coffee, Bulagrini Gelato and Picnik.


ZAGAT recently wrote about KTCHEN, here’s the article:

Joining Eduardo Ruiz’s new Picnik complex in Pasadena – where sausage and pork is king – Felix Barron is now serving his popular KTCHN brunch daily in Old Town. What started as an underground pop-up out of his Downtown LA loft, Barron has been serving things like carnitas hash and apple fritters in The Gorbals every Sunday since 2011. Taking a corner of the Picnik complex (that’s what we’re calling it for lack of a better word), he’s bringing his unique twists on breakfast staples to the ‘Dena. The current menu features creamy brie grits with berry compote and hazelnut crunch; eggs scrambled with pickled jalapenos, caramelized onion and goat cheese; scrambled organic eggs with pea harissa, aged cheddar and potato hash; duck confit hash; pork belly and eggs; and tres leches French toast. There’s a full bar in the complex and out of the KTCHN corner come things like the Heminguey (tequila, watermelon, lime and mint simple syrup) and a Spring Collins (vodka, fresh cucumber, elderflower and rosemary seltzer). There are also fresh juices that go beyond the orange and cranberry norm, like elixirs made with Asian pear, carrot, parsley, fennel and beet.

One beautiful thing is that there are a ton of tables outside with umbrellas to shade the sun, plus a cute little dining room. Unlike Picnick, where you order at the counter and the food is brought to you, KTCHN is full-service. There’s even free WiFi. Once the other businesses get rolling, there will be space for Zona Rosa Coffee and Bulagrini Gelato, too, both of which are serving from carts now, making this a one-stop shop for everything you could possibly want to eat in one day. KTCHN serves daily from 8 AM-2 PM.


Mondays thru Friday 8a.m to 2p.m

Saturday & Sundays 9a.m to 2p.m

Check them out on Yelp.

Let us know what you think!


Malbec New Argentinean Cuisine – Pasadena



Malbec Argentinean restaurant in Pasadena provides an intimate dining environment with a wide selection of “New Argentinean” cuisine menu items and relatively affordable pricing. The restaurant is perfect for a romantic dinner for two (make sure to ask for the main dining room which has candlelight and a better ambiance for 2), or a large group. We went with a group of 8 and ordered plenty of appetizers to share, as well as our own individual dinners. I was pleased with most of the food. It wasn’t the best skirt steak I’ve had but it was a healthy portion and priced well. The Chimichurri sauce is definitely worth while, make sure you ask for seconds! I’ll also add that the Dulce de Leche Crepes were amazing!! Make sure to save some room and splurge on those.


Spinach & Cheese Empanadas ($6.95 for 2)



Entrana al Chimichurri (Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurii sauce and grilled vegetables $23.95)




Panqueques de Dulce de Leche ($9.95)

Diners on Yelp and Urbanspoon sure do love this place! Check out their reviews and see for yourself. Reserve in advance on weekends, as it can be very busy. There is very little street parking, so save yourself the headache and park Valet out front for $5.

1001 E Green St
Pasadena, CA 91106
Neighborhood: Pasadena

(626) 683-0550

Tokyo Shabu Shabu – Lake Avenue Pasadena

shabuveggies  shaburibeye  shabusauces

The old Shaab on Raymond used to my staple go-to for Shabu Shabu. I haven’t tried it since it changed owners and it’s name over to Osawa Shabu Shabu. So, because I had to start from scratch I decided to check out a new place and came across Tokyo Shabu Shabu over on South Lake, and I’m so glad I did!

If you’ve ever been to Shanghai or Tokyo, you’ll instantly recognize the feel and vibe, with flat screen TVs, modern-sleek tables and chairs, a large late night crowd and trendy chic affordable eats.

We opted for the traditional Rib Eye Shabu. I was really impressed by the cleanliness of the restaurant and the freshness of the ingredients. Also impressive, was the open kitchen allowing for you to watch the large slab of meat freshly sliced and brought over to you. Everything was prepared in open sight which makes me feel like they are proud and confident of their clean and fresh operation.

The restaurant is unique because they have an extensive menu for different broth options. Where most Shabu places have plain or spicy broth options only, Tokyo Shabu Shabu had a variety of about 10 broths ranging from a Thai Tum Yong, spicy curry, french opinion, and spicy pork (shown bel0w). Definitely more options to perfectly customize your cravings!


We showed up to dine during late night Happy Hour , which runs after 9pm daily. Shabu is about $2-3 cheaper during happy hour, and there’s a few bargain priced appetizers as well.

I’d definitley give the place two thumbs up. With a solid 4 starts on Yelp, others agree too.

Check them out on Yelp.

345 S Lake Ave, Ste 101
Pasadena, CA 91101
Neighborhood: Pasadena

(626) 844-7355

Pita Jungle – Old Town Pasadena


Pita Jungle is on my personal list of ‘Best Values” in Pasadena. They serve you fresh, delicious Mediterranean eats at incredibly reasonable prices. Happy hour is offered every day, even weekends, from 3-6pm and 9pm to close. Draft beers and house wines are $3 and well cocktails and margaritas are $4. They have a happy hour food menu as well with small tapas, but my opinion is that the main courses from the regular menu are a better value and more filling. I do however, always start with a $2.00 order of Dolmades when I’m there during happy hour. The order is 2 pieces, cut in half, and it’s a great starter to get your tastes buds going.


[$2 Happy Hour Dolmades, 2 pieces cut in half]

My personal favorite for an entree is the Turkey Pesto Wrap (but I substitute chicken breast for turkey). The wrap is huge, enough for 2 people to share, has a very generous portion of fresh grilled chicken breast, Swiss cheese, pesto sauce, grilled tomatoes and onions, is wrapped in Lavosh bread and served with a side Greek salad. It’s perfectly delicious as is, but I like to add a little Sriracha sauce mixed with Greek dressing for an extra kick.


[Chicken Pesto Wrap $9.99]

Not quite sure why this place has a 3.5 star rating on Yelp, if I was rating I’d give 5 stars. The value is incredible, ingredients are fresh as can be, and service is friendly and swift. Maybe people just haven’t tried the right menu items. Try my order and see if you agree!

43 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105
Neighborhood: Pasadena

(626) 432-7482

Check them out on Yelp.




El Chavo Taco Stop – Pasadena’s BEST Taco Truck!


El Chavo Tacto Stop is your best bet for a late night eat in Pasadena! There are a few taco trucks to choose from — but El Chavo beats them all! If you’ve been a fan for a while, you’ll know that they were located in the parking lot on the corner of Fair Oaks and Holly for a while, but for about the last year they’ve relocated to the parking lot at the Chase Bank located on Arroyo and Colorado.

The truck is run by a lovely husband and wife who surely know how to make some good Mexican eats! If you’re a fan of Pastor (spicy pork), these are some of the best pastor tacos I’ve ever had. Their Carne Asada is also quite good, as is the Lengua (tongue), for those of you who are adventurous enough to try it. Just tell yourself it’s chicken and give it a try. The Pastor quesadilla is also really good; full of cheese and spicy pork!

El Chavo is a very affordable eat – tacos run $1.25 each, setting the average eater at just under five bucks for a nice late night treat.

elchavomenu        elchavotruck

Chase Bank Parking Lot
Arroyo Pkwy between Green St & Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91103
Hours:Thu-Sat 9 pm – 3 am, Sun 9 pm – 2 am

(626) 421-9587

Check them out on Yelp.

Slater’s 50/50 – Extreme Overindulgence at It’s Best

Another visit to Slater’s 50/50 Pasadena. Tried a few different things, was reassured that entrees are enormous and very reasonably priced, and left pleading for the assistance of a fork lift. If you love huge portions, lots of piled on tasty ingredients and are even eating on a budget (or not) this is definitely a place to indulge.

This time around my beau and I decided to share a few new things. We started with the Slater’s Fries (served with BACON ketchup — yes it’s amazing), and shared The Old Timey Burger and the Chicken & Pancakes. It was probably enough food for four people, but we tackled it as best as we could with just the two of us.


I’m not sure if this is the usual protocol, but the fries were brought out as an appetizer. They were fresh cut, and barely salted. Suprisingly, they weren’t greasy at all. The bacon ketchup was absolutley amazing, I had to ask for seconds. We also sprinkled some bacon salt on top of the fries, which made them extra tasty. If you haven’t picked it up yet, the theme of the whole 50/50 experience is bacon in every nook and cranny possible.


The classic American burger with Sterling Silver ground beef, American cheese, thick cut bacon, grilled onions, green leaf lettuce, tomato and 1000 island dressing on white brioche. The Old Timey burger doesn’t have the traditional 50/50 (half ground bacon, half ground beef) patty. We opted for the all ground beef patty in an attempt to save a few hundred calories. The patty was equally huge and juicy and the toppings were real good.


Fried chicken topped with house-made-bacon-infused-country-gravy, two strips of thick cut bacon and a sunny side up egg sandwiched between three buttermilk pancakes, smothered in real maple syrup. The Fried Chicken and Waffles was …. HUGE. That’s the first thing that came to mind. We barely made a dent on one of the pancakes, but finished the chicken. The chicken is really juicy, and the dish was real good overall, just huge.

Once again, Slater’s proves to be fantastic. Ever since it opened up last month, every single night has drawn in huge crowds. The bar is full of TV’s for sports enthusiasts, and the restaurant is warm, fun and family friendly. There’s a place for everyone here. With the addition of 2 Diet Cokes, this bill came to only $35. I’d say that’s a bargain in Pasadena.

Check them out on Yelp. With 4 stars on almost 200 reviews, I’m sure there are plenty of others that agree with me.

61 N Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103
Neighborhood: Pasadena

(626) 765-9700


Umami Burger Old Town Pasadena

Umami Burger creator Adam Fleischman is at least partially responsible for a new burger concept that’s taking over Southern California. Excellent quality meats, gourmet toppings (think truffled cheese) and delicious variations of fries (thin, sweet potato, smushed, tempura onion rings).

Umami is a Japanese word describing the pleasant and savory taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid, and ribonucleotides that occur naturally in foods.Umami as a taste is subtle but it blends with other tastes well to expand your experience while eating. The Pasadena location opened a few months ago, it’s right next to Intelligentsia and Pita Jungle. Two burgers, a couple drinks, and a side to share will run you over $50 at Umami Burger. Go here to indulge and devour tasty meats and cheeses and fried fantasies.

The art of creating a perfect Umami burger starts with the house-ground, hand- formed patty infused with the ‘Umami Master Sauce.’ Umami buns are definitely noteworthy; lightly toasted and slightly sweet, they smush down easy and melt in your mouth.  Even their  house-made sauces are delicious. Their ketchup doesn’t even taste ordinary – it has a special kick (which is a secret I couldn’t get them to tell).


(Umami Burger and Thin Fries Pictured Above)

Next time you’re in Old Pasadena, check out this hip, yet family friendly burger joint for some delicious and unique burgers.

Check them out on Yelp.