Next stop on our Pasadena Restaurant Week Road Trip found me in the Hastings Ranch area. On a strip of Foothill Blvd which holds a brunch of restaurants.
I’m very familiar with the area. Last time we were in the Argentine part of Pasadena and now here we are in the Italian section: Maria’s Italian Kitchen. Been very familiar with Maria but not in the eating way. Only an outsider looking in – until now!
When I arrived the restaurant was basically empty except for about 5 people. My welcome wasn’t anything special except it was better than the 1810 restaurant reception.
I was asked if I wanted bread? Of course! Is that no longer the norm? Maybe the economy has something to do with it. Or maybe not: a drink was included in the pre-set special menu! I liked this bread better, and the olive & garlic(?) dips, than 1810’s.
1st course. I chose the Caesar upon the suggestion of my server and besides, it’s my favorite salad. It tasted fresh from the shaved parmesan to the croutons and romaine. Nevertheless, I’ve had better Caesars. Souplantation has one of my favorites by the way.
The Pre-Happy Hour Bar
Second course. This was very good! The pasta was nicely cooked, the chicken tender & tasty. Upon recommendation of server.
The Dining Annex.
Dessert could be either a lemon bar, brownie, or raspberry crumble bar. This lemon bar certainly made the best entrance of any lemon bar I’ve had! With whipped cream, syrup, and powdered sugar. Balance of sweet & tart was too unbalanced to the tart, imho. Taste was good but no match to its looks. I know lemon bars and this is no Euro Pane lemon bar. Plus the powdered sugar is on the Euro Pane lemon bar, where it should be, rather than on the plate.
PS: A funny thing happened on my way through my meal. Despite a large availability of seats, within minutes two women came, and chose to sit right next to me. To my right a brunette & left a blonde. I suddenly felt like a hot dog squeezed between buns in this restaurant.
It’s become a strange, but common, occurrence around me over the years in these situations. Now, I’m not a bad looking guy but I don’t carry any Hollywood actor looks either, like, oh, Charlie Sheen just as an example. Well, hold on, I have been mistaken for an actor a few times – even in Hollywood – believe it or not!
To make a long story short, the attractive blonde and I conversed through our entire meal. The restaurant workers were familiar with her. She’s a professional dancer/instructor. In fact she’s worked with the Dancing with the Stars television show. She offered me a taste of her salad. How could I resist a taste of her…ahem, and before I forget, in return I just had to give her my lemon bar! Well, just a taste – she would have to pay me if she wanted the whole thing. She loved it. Anyways, a beautiful woman inside as well as out.
3537 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena CA 91107 (626)351-2080
Gotta Go Eat! Stay Thirsty My Friends