La Grande Orange Café, Pasadena-Highly Recommended!

If you have not been fortunate enough to visit La Grande Orange Café (LGO) in Pasadena, I highly recommend it for drinks and/or dinner (they also serve an excellent lunch and brunch). When you’re riding the Metro Rail Gold Line north through Old Town, and make the stop at Del Mar Station, it’s located just outside your left window in the charming and historic Santa Fe Train Depot building (Raymond Avenue at Del Mar Blvd.). LGO is owned and operated by LGO Hospitality which also operates, in Phoenix AZ, Chelsea’s Kitchen, La Grande Orange Grocery, La Grande Orange Pizzaria, and radioMILANO. LGO Pasadena has three distinct areas for dining: the charming patio; the warm, romantic dining room; and lively, friendly bar. LGO’s wine list offers 19 by-the-glass options and a smart “Favorites from Santa Barbara” section with 12 selections. I have enjoyed the Byron Pinot Noir from Santa Maria and the Firesteed Rosé from Oregon’s Willamette Valley; both are versatile choices to match the diverse food menu. The remainder of the list is from California, Oregon and Washington. Also check out the interesting White Sangria, and the draft beer offerings of Oregon’s Mirror Pond Ale, and Pasadena’s own Craftsman brews. The food menu is delicious and creative. If you think you have tasted enough versions of Tuna Tartar, you MUST taste one more. LGO’s is served with guacamole, shredded radish, and house-made tortilla chips. I was also blown away by the Shrimp Ceviche with avocado, tomatoes, jicama and lime juice, also served with the scrumptious house tortilla chips. Both the Tartar and Ceviche are generous portions, which is true of most dishes. All entries are priced under $30, and most are closer to $20. Enjoy Filet Mignon (10oz) for $26, or Roast Prime Rib of Beef (14oz) for $24 (both dishes are served with vegetables and mashed potato). Their six different “Taco Platters” are creative and tasty. Try the Hardwood-Grilled Swordfish version or Ahi Tuna with chipotle aïoli. Moms and dads will appreciate the “For Kids We Love” section that includes Mac N’ Cheese, PB&J Rolls, and Grilled Cheese. I have also witnessed a few happy adults ordering from this menu. The deserts are over-the-top delicious, particularly the Red Velvet Cake. Serious coffee is served from individual French presses. Add the warm ambience, and friendly, efficient service and you have am extremely reliable, high-quality restaurant that is also a great value. I have visited LGO at least 10 times and have always experienced consistent quality and service. Watch for another La Grande Orange opening soon in Santa Monica. (Reservations: (626) 356-4444)

~ by Thomas on March 15, 2009.

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