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Review of Bistro 45 in Pasadena

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Review of Bistro 45 in Pasadena

jcwla | Mar 21, 2004 02:23 AM

We went tonight before "Dirty Blonde" at the Pasadena Playhouse -- worst show you'd ever want to see.
Bistro 45 was crowded with a typically Pasadena-esque assortment of unlikely couples and groups. It's a nice town to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there; it's way too sleepy and kinda gives me the creeps.

Anyway, they seated us out in the heated patio, which was fine. Atmosphere is better inside; art is all for sale. Waiter tried to push the bottled water and other beverages -- how can servers possibly feel while going through this spiel? When will it ever end?

I started with the house salad, which had some "Paris mushrooms" (feh) and pearl onions (yay!) and generic-looking "shaved Parmesan." Plenty of arugula, so I was fine with it.

Friend had the salad of composed organic greens, which turned out to be basically a bunch of lettuce to which they could easily have accommodated her request for more arugula, but didn't. Tomatoes were sliced way too thinly and robbed of flavor, while the goat cheese served on the salad was way too pungent -- almost soaplike -- and completely overpowered this otherwise underpowered salad. Not a good start.

Friend had the "crispy Canadian whitefish," which was served over a red-violet "rice" that initially looked like some kind of tapenade. This was delicious. I had the Oregon sole special in which was wrapped Maryland blue crab, all over mashed potatoes and other veggies. Okay. "Creamy lobster saffron sauce" on the side, smelled unappetizing, never tried it.

Dessert list had about seven or eight entries, none of which sounded remotely worth the calories.

Waiter was a bit too officious. Host was kind enough to draw us a map of the shopping area we wanted to browse between dinner and the show. Tab was $85 before tip. Neither of us would go back.

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