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Pasadena help, please!!

GK in SO | Feb 5, 201508:26 AM

My wife and I are staying in the area this Saturday night (South Pasadena, actually), and not being familiar with the area, did some research and narrowed our choices to either Arroyo Chop House, Houston's, Smitty's Grill, or Gus's BBQ.

We just want some good food in a nice atmosphere, one where hopefully, we don't need to scream at each other to hear the conversation. We will be doing dinner early, at around 6pm.

Arroyo - has great reviews on Yelp. Will be ordering seafood dishes, since we don't eat red meat and didn't find any other decent looking places in the area (except Houston's).

Houston's - looks good and good reviews, but too "chain-y"?

Smitty's - mixed reviews. One Yelper called it "Pasadena's version of the Daily Grill" (ugh). The most recent thread on Chowhound about this place dates back to 2008, so has any Hounds tried this place lately?

Gus's - good reviews, but not sure if BBQ is the cuisine we'll want. Does anyone have any recent experiences here that can persuade us to try it?

TIA for any help, Hounds.

Arroyo Chop House,
Smitty's Grill,
Smitty's Famous Fish & Chicken,
Gus's BBQ,
Gus's Drive-In,
Houston's
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