Just had an incredible lunch at Bistro 561 in Pasadena. It is adjacent to the California School of Culinary Arts, thus giving the students the opportunity to practice what they're learning. The 8 course "Tasting Menu" for $29 was absolutely a steal with such courses as house cured gravlax, pork rilletes, duck breast with pomegranate molasses, a delicious cheese course and a dessert course. They'll also do wine pairings for an additional $18. The "Tasting Menu" is not available every day, and is also offered on some evenings for $58. I'd be interested in hearing other Chowhound's opinions about this gem.
561 Green Street, Pasadena Phone: (626)405-1561