A Taste of the Hi-Life

Sign of The Hi-Life

Sign of The Hi-Life

The Sign, The Sign! Yes, one of their best things is this Sign.

Yesterday my wunderful blogging pal of countless months if not decades, South Pasadena Laurie, tempted me with fast food by posting a reminder of South Pasa’s Hi-Life Hamburger joint on her blog. I’m gonna share a couple of more photos here. (Pssst! Keep it secret. I don’t want Laurie to know I was checking out her territory)

Such was her temptation that I actually crossed the border into South Pasadena to get dinner at Hi-Life last nite! As much as I was trying to talk myself out of it (“What are you doing in So Pasa just for a taco…”), Laurie’s spell was so strong I was lead to their counter and placed my order. I’m a regular visitor of this place… about once every 2-3 years. In the past my favorite has been the beef or carne asada tacos.

I still remember a co-worker back in the last century, who still lives in So Pasa, calling me to ask if I wanted anything from Hi-Life to bring for lunch at work. I got the carne asada tacos. Very good!!

That was my 1st experience with The Hi-Life, Hamburgers that is.

Took out de Take Out Menu

Took out de Take Out Menu

Now, would I get high from my latest visitation to this joint tonite…

So, what to order??

Soft Taco Carne Asada

Soft Taco Carne Asada

As much as I wanted to avoid it, I ordered a fav, the Soft Taco Asada. BEFORE: Oh, woman, it looked as good as ever! It was big…and the price, small. AFTER: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”, is a slogan for some old food item. This taco, “Falls apart in your hands, not in your mouth,” unfortunately. The main problem lay with the corn tortillas. Either they were old, poor quality, insufficient for the amount of meat/tomato inside, or undercooked, despite being double-layered. The salsa given was ordinary house stuff. My Bottom Line: Average despite the disintegrating corn tortillas.

Since I was hungry & therefore in an eazier to please mood, I also got the 1/4 pounder Hamburger. The meat was a bit dry, overcooked on parts of its edge, and had a slight odor which is common with the burgers of some hamburger joints. Dressing was good. This Tastebud’s Opinion: In n Out & Rick’s are clearly better for the burger.

Washed it down with a Root Beer = Very Good & Fresh.

The premises were clean & organized with good lighting. Service was your average. Large, clear, clean windows encapsulate the restaurant which gives a nice refreshing feel & view. You would feel good about eating in here rather than taking out. Oh, and did I mention the highlight for me of the Hi-Life? It’s The Sign!

We also visited Pie N Burger, near Cal Tech, on Sunday. Packed with people. In contrast, what we had wasn’t packed with taste. Nothing especial.

I know these are just very casual food joints. Certainly not fine diners. Perhaps it’s too early in the year for them to be up to speed, or they’re having an off day, or we just ordered items they don’t do particularly well. This is just my personal opinion. I’m sure there are some others who could eat exactly the same things we had & then conjure up a glowing 5-Star review! Maybe I just expect more from well known iconic places which have been around quite a while.

Gotta run, gotta sleep, then it’s on to my next meal…


16 responses to “A Taste of the Hi-Life

  1. Monica. the recommed of the Spinach NUT Burger…gotta try it in the Sierra Madres soon! Thanks. See you at our next get together.

    Goddess Marg: A favorite? Of the whole family…hmmmm. What do you gals luv 2 order at this joint?

  2. Cafe Observer, Mademoiselle Gramaphone … your vegetarian and vegan notes are greatly appreciated! Thank you.

    One of the best burgers I’ve had is the Spinach Nut Burger at the Only Place in Town in Sierra Madre. Minus cheese or dressing, it’s flavorful and surprisingly vegan. Great service too at the restaurant.

  3. MG: I said Rick’s for their Hamburgers. Not Vegetarian, Organic, healthy, etc.! Mayo in your burritto? That’s as bad as cheeze in a burger! Make an apptmt with Doc Burchard!
    YP: you compliment me, then insult me in the same sentence! You’re quite a poet.
    KB, aaah…just the sound of cheeeeezze burger make me nauseous.

  4. Cafe Observer, you are one sophisticated pooch… are you sure you aren’t part cat?

    I, too, developed a keen burger jones after reading Laurie’s post. Couldn’t get to So Pasa, so I almost went to Burbank Denny’s for a grease n’ cheese fix. Somehow, though, the stars weren’t right for that venture. I will wait until I can dine with all the cool burger lovers in Laurie-land.


  5. I had a “veggie” burrito at Rick’s–

    vegan is a no go there (it’s just beans, cheese and MAYONAISE w/ lettuce)

    blegth— at Rick’s retro is the trend. Do not force the trendy

    stick to the hamburgers and fries!

    ober & out

  6. PA, you haven’t learned. You got it all in reverse. After you’ve identified yourself you then need to admit to the problem – not deny it!
    PIO Ann: You must be feeling better to venture back out into the light of de blogosphere! If you’re serious about spending more time outta the city, in SoPasa for example, you need to find where’s it’s good & healthy to eat beforehand.

  7. I need to spend more time in South Pas. I don’t know that joint at all. Locally, I rarely venture out of Pasadena! Obviously I need to cross the borders more often.

  8. I’ve been once. They used to have a Friday night AA meeting at the Junior High next door. I dropped into Hi Life (a rather ironic name) after the AA meeting for a cup of coffee. It was pure sludge. Did I mention I’m PA and I’m not an alcoholic. I just adore a good recovery story and to hear Eddie from Ventura testify, well, it was worth the bad coffee.

  9. BW, try hees & haws. Food like clothes…like beer, etc, is personal. You fall in love with these places. Great for you!
    Editor KB, I have no idea re Rick’s either. I’m just saying I like their Hamburgers. “Cheeseburger”? I think that’s kind of cheezy, Cheeze is best left on pizza’s.

  10. I had no idea Rick’s was good. I’m often in that area and have passed it many times, and come to think of it, there’s always something of a crowd. Ok, I’ll try it. I luvs me a good cheeseburger.

  11. Oh man, the two of you are going to force me to check this place out – one person raves, one person hums and haws!

    Pie N Burger is also on my upcoming list – sad to hear you weren’t impressed!