After much deliberation, we decided not to go the "family friendly dining" route with our 5 year old, got a sitter, and went to Bistro 45 in Pasadena.
I had read some mixed reviews about this restaurant, but French bistro food is my soft spot, and it was my birthday, so I picked.
I am a sucker for fois gras (I know - the worst thing for you), theirs was served on top of a sweet corn flan. I found the texture heavenly, the flan helped to round out the flavor of the fois gras. A glass of muscat was served with it because we had a wine quandary with the first course... Hubby had the Tuna Tartare and he found it spectacularly good.
The duck breast was very nice, though maybe the potatoes made the dish too starchy for me. There were more potatoes (which aren't mentioned in the menu) and less artichokes (which are mentioned). I didn't get the "thai green curry" flavor, but the sauce was very flavorful nonetheless. Hubby had the meat special, venison chops, which he loved. I found them a bit too gamey for my taste, they were pan roasted with mashed potatoes. I prefer venison in a ragout or braise to solve the gamey-ness. I know this isn't a wine board (I use Westcoastwine.net for that!) but we did have an excellent bottle of Pinot Noir from Tantara, Pisoni Vineyard, it was great - our 2nd bottle of this wine. Their wine list was a nice suprise... they had some very good prices and some high prices, but an excellent range of choices.
The desserts were fabulous, I had the "Chocolate Soup" and hubby had the gateau.
The only criticism I have of the restaurant was that it was kind of dark/hard to see the wine list & menu.
We are looking forward to our next visit here!