Upscale (with the upscale price to match) cafeteria food in Pasadena, and other locations.
I guess the first question is what is Lemonade?
It’s strange because I hadn’t heard of them before. They are, for lack of a better word…an upscale cafeteria…basically, a more upscale version of Souplantation, but with more artisanal fare. They call it “Seasonal Southern California”, which I…guess it is.
Basically, you come inside. Order from a collection of fresh offerings, mostly salads, soups and the like, all made from seasonal ingredients. The trick here is you pay by the portion. The more things you get the more you pay. Simple.
Also, they’re apparently a chain, so there are locations throughout Southern California. Go figure.
Well, the marketing’s been successful. The only way I heard about the place was driving by it multiple times. I got curious enough to dive in.
Ultimately, I wasn’t satisfied. You come here, and you’ll get your fill. Nothing will be terrible or horrible, but…nothing’s extraordinary either. There’s no real “must have” dish at this place. Plus, with the amount you’re paying, I can’t call this a value place either. I enjoyed my meals more at the Souplantation across the street.
Also, there’s no going back for seconds in a Lemonade. You can, but it’ll cost ya.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: You know? Whatever. It apparently varies from location to location. I had a Chicken Sandwich, which in retrospect I barely remember. I had some BBQ Chicken Soup, which in retrospect I barely remember. Move on to the safety tip, below. That’s more important than this.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: After reading this safety tip, you’ll start to understand why I was underwhelmed.
So, first off…the safety tip, really, really, really pay attention to the ingredients as listed. Don’t ignore any of them.
Why you ask, gentle reader?
Well, I ordered a healthy portion of something called Soba Noodles with Kimchi. Now, I like Soba Noodles. I like Kimchi…you know I like me some Kimchi. But apparently, the closest thing to Soba noodles the cooks at Lemonade have ever seen are the Ramen packets you used to get at the local Five N’ Dime, because those things were yellowy and stringy.
Yeah, they were Ramen, or at least, they looked more like Ramen than Soba. I can’t verify how they tasted because of the second special ingredient in the Soba Noodles with Kimchi.
That’s right, the other bane of my existence, the most common food allergy on the planet…these idiots added Peanuts to the mix.
I’m telling you this so you’ll have a better time than I did at the place, but please, please, read the ingredient labels carefully.
PARKING: For the Pasadena location, there is a garage, believe it or not, just behind the restaurant. Coming toward Lemonade from the 134, you will see the restaurant on your left. At the first light hang a left on Cordova Street. A half a block later, take the first left again, which is Shopper’s Lane. That’s where the moderately sized Garage is located. There is validation available for the Garage, whether or not Lemonade participates, I don’t recall. Call your individual location for details.
There is another parking lot across Cordova, which is metered. You can try street parking, but…good luck with that.
146 South Lake Avenue. (between Colorado And Cordova)
Pasadena, CA 91101
Tel: (626) 304-7700
Daily: 11:00am – 9:05pm (Seriously??)