Fine dining in Old Town Pasadena.
Coming to Pasadena, usually means coming to Old Town Pasadena.
Coming to Old Town Pasadena usually means strolling up and down Colorado.
Unfortunately, the Colorado portion of Old Town Pasadena usually has the worst food in Pasadena.
For the most part, I have had a rotten time eating on Colorado. There are some notable exceptions, like Picnik and 1810 Argentinian. Those places excluded, the rule of the day seems to be: plain, bland and flavorless. And I don’t deal well with plain, bland or flavorless.
When I go to eat in Old Town (and let me emphasize I do like to eat in Old Town), I have to go off Colorado to do so, I go to Union, to Raymond, to Fair Oaks. I go to Green Street. I love going to Green Street, where Ración is, where Gyu Kaku is, where the Green Street Tavern is.
I have been driving past Green Street Tavern for years. Every time I would do so, I would see it and get more and more determined to go there.
Finally, the day came.
I was not disappointed.
The Green Street Tavern is a pretty little restaurant. By little, I mean cozy…as in 30 chairs totally cozy, though they do have a back room, and there are plans to expand. I can see it being elegant, brooding and romantic at night…so of course I came during the day. Still, it’s got the things I like in a restaurant. Seasonal, rotating menu. A real emphasis on cooking, taste and flavor. A really good wine list, and…of course, elegance.
If you have been reading this blog for any time you know that I don’t place much emphasis on elegance or the airs that go with fine dining. You can blame my father. He always told me that it’s not what a place looks like that matters, all that did matter was the food. No matter how dingy, or run down the place was, along as there was good stuff coming out of that kitchen.
The Green Street Tavern is not like that. It is the kind of elegant that I like. Elegant, but not stuff. Beautiful inside, but reserved.
And best of all, not that expensive. Granted when I came for lunch, I didn’t exactly pound away four glasses of wine, but for a fine dining place…man! It should jump to the front of your list for value alone.
Good place. Good dining. Good deal.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I went for the Al Pastor Sandwich, which has roasted Achiote Pork Loin, avocado, Red Onion, Queso Fresco, pineapple, and tomato…all on sensational bread. Sensational. It even had a nice spicy kick to it (thank you queso fresco). For a lunch sandwich, this was a damn good, handcrafted and beautiful.
This was a fantastic sandwich. The only problem is you need to turn Cottonmouth in order to get it in your pie hole. It’s stacked tall, so expect some structural integrity issues as you eat it up.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: When we say it’s small and cozy, we mean it’s small and cozy. Make sure you get a reservation before you go in. Don’t matter what day of the week it is, go ahead and do it, just in case.
PARKING: This is a job for the Old Town Pasadena Parking Map, but your first choice is really the Parking Structure on Delancey. That’ll put you right around the corner from the Restaurant. Failing that, try the Schoolhouse. It’s a bit of a further walk, but still easy to get to.
Mind you, more and more places are opening in Old Town, and Parking is getting scarce. The earlier you get into Pasadena, the better.
Green Street Tavern
69 West Green St.
Pasadena, CA 91105
Tel: (626) 229-9961
Daily: 11:30am – 4:30pm / 4:30pm – 10:00pm
Brunch Saturdays & Sundays: 11:00 am – 4:30pm