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ISO Suggestions to send someone chowing in Pasadena or Downtown (on me)

Maui | Jun 25, 2003 08:56 PM

I'm coordinator for a big church retreat and I would like to get our speaker a gift certificate for dinner and I don't want to "waste" this opportunity!

He and his wife used to live in the area when they were poor starving students and now he's a pastor in the Phoenix area. They have two kids, so I doubt they get out much or that they've had tons of memorable meals.

So with that said, I really want to give them a true hound experience. They don't have any food aversions or strong likes either. I'll probably sit their two kids while they go off, so something in the Pasadena, South Pasadena, San Mario area would be best (but actually downtown is just 10 mins away on a Sat eve). I don't think it need be romantic, just a warm atmosphere, consistent fantastic creative food.

I've read lots from y'all about Haily's (I've never been). The atmosphere sounds right, but is the food consistent? I thought there were some nay-sayers. Trattoria Tre Venezie (again, I've never been), sounds like the abience is good and the food is good, but is the menu creative enough to be memorable? I don't think Water Grill is in the budget (I'm thinking a certificate in the $100-150 neighborhood).

Thanks in advance, I really really appreciate it!


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