Akbar Cuisine of India (Pasadena)
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Good, solid chain of Indian Restaurants in Old Town Pasadena, and other locales.
Set near the old Pasadena City Hall (which itself is now a Container Store), this is a nice spot for lunch. It’s about two blocks away from the heart of Old Pasadena.
What I remember about this place more than anything is the Naan Bread. It’s warm and just the right kind of crispy around the edges. As good as the meal was, I could’ve dined on that stuff and left a very happy man. They also have a very handy guide at the front of their menu which delineates how spicy the various dishes are.
The small is cozy and intimate. By intimate, I mean dark…but that’s not a bad thing. Most of the light comes in from the large windows looking out on the street. It’s a place that while usually busy, isn’t so crowded that it’s impossible to get a table.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I got the Chicken Tikka Masala, which is supposed to be the house specialty, yet is buried as the third item on the Chicken menu, in clear violation of the First Thing Rule. That aside, it was just soooo good. And on top of that, I pulled a Scarpetta, which is an Italian thing of using your bread to scoop up the last bits of sauce on your plate.
Not sure its done in Indian dining, but hell…totally worth it.
PARKING: Akbar is in the same complex as Parking Concepts, which is (at least to me) the most expensive place to Park in Pasadena. If you want to save a little money, I’d suggest going to the Schoolhouse Lot across the way. It’s a bit of a walk, but worth it. You can look at a map of Pasadena Parking Locations here.
Akbar Cuisine of India
44 North Fair Oaks Avenue
3115 Washington Boulevard
Marina del Rey, CA
1101 Aviation Boulevard
Hermosa Beach, CA
2627 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA