My suspicion is that although all of enjoy the free exchange of information on this board, we are often left curious if so-and-so liked the recommendation. I have a new SO who is very adventurous, and we have done a lot of exploring in San Gabriel Valley and Pasadena, with many pointers from this board. Many thanks for the restaurant recommendations, and briefly, some reports back:
La Vie: This place reminds me of The Raymond Restaurant - small bites, but nice tasting. We made the mistake of going hungry. I'm grateful for the chance to taste French food at a modest price, so I need to take it for what it is. However, the salad was *just* greens and dressing, no tomato, not a single crouton, carrot, or purple cabbage, nothing. That was rather unimpressive. However, the chicken cordon bleu and steak were very good, and I seem to remember something like glazed carrots on the side that were excellent. Ok overall, but probably will not go back.
Wahibs: Kebabs were good, and kitchen brought everything quickly. Rice had almonds in it, which the girlfriend liked, but I didn't. I wasn't crazy about hummus with cold pita bread. Wish they had been able to warm it up or something. Note to self - finish all tabbouleh (sp?) at dinner. It didn't keep well in the fridge the next day. A good point of comparison for Wahibs is Mediterrean Cafe on Lake in Pasadena. IMO, almost the same type of food for 1/2 price.
Gerlach's Grill: My reaction was similar to the person who finally tried Langers and realized, "I could have eaten this years ago...." I have lived in the area for years, passed by this place frequently, but finally tried it and wow, was it good. I got the burritos, and I hope the hard-core Mexican food fans will forgive me if the carne asada and chicken burritos aren't authentic at Gerlachs, but it doesn't really matter because they are so darn tasty. My food took a while but the tortilla and fillings were nice and hot, and the rice and salad on the side are a nice addition. The only thing is that the chicken burrito should be called the spicy chicken burrito, because it has quite a bit of heat, and actually tastes similar to tandori chicken you'd get at an Indian place. Doesn't matter tho - I'd go again in a heartbeat.
Gogi: near the Hilton Plaza on Valley. 1st floor, in the corner. Finally, a cook-it-yourself BBQ place worth repeating. Everything is very clean, and (this is key) they have the fans that suck out the smoke on the sides of the grill, instead of overhead. It actually works! Your clothes don't smell like BBQ when you leave. The food is good, and as long as you don't get the hot pot you'll be fine. The hot pot takes up valueable grill real estate, and it takes forever to cook a decent amount of food. The second time, we got wiser and skipped hot pot. I think there were 2 kinds of beef, 1 marinated chicken and 1 kind of pork so the variety isn't huge, but it's enough and there are plenty of nicely cut raw vegetables to go along with your food. I liked the self-service drinks and asian-style ice slush dessert. Lunch is only $13 per person.
Zono Sushi - on Lake, near the vacuum cleaner store. There is a weekend special that is something like choice of 2 entrees + rice, soup, california rolls for $12. As long as you don't get the fish, I think you'll be ok. I got the cooked food (chicken and tempura) and it was ok, but the girlfiend, who got sushi and sea bass (or salmon, I can't remember) left disappointed.
President Thai (on Rosemead) and Green Papaya (Valley Blvd in Alhambra. Former McDonalds.): If you must go, I encourage you to order carefully and go with low expectations. Both were huge disappointments. President Thai, because everthing was pretty spicy, despite asking for medium, and I think I can handle the hot stuff pretty well. Green Papaya was disappointing because everything tasted the same. The chicken seems like it's prepared way in advance, and thrown in to whatever requires chicken. For example, the chicken yellow curry, the pad thai, and tom yum soup all had the same-sized, similar looking... pieces of chicken.... It just seemed and tasted very uninspired.
Parkway Grill: I really wanted to like this place, and it was a celebration for completing the sale of my house. Food was good, and service was excellent, but for near $70 per head, I want some mind-blowing food, and this place didn't do it for me. Glad I got to experience it, but probably wouldn't go back. I enjoyed Campanile's Grilled Cheese nite more than this.
On my list:
Langers (neither of us has been)
Casa Bianca (she hasn't been)
Lucious Dumpling (she hasn't been)
Yatsuhashi (she hasn't been)
26 Beach (neither of us has been)
Thanks for posting about:
Paris sandwich - been curious since I saw it open, but review makes it seem passable.
Barnburner - per your pleads & requests, I have stayed away