Mexican in Pasadena?

I’m attending a 4 day seminar in Pasadena in August. The organizers want to host a cheap group dinner on Sunday night, and would prefer to do Mexican food, as people are coming in from all over the world and, duh, that’s what people want to eat when visiting LA. In years past they’ve done El Cholo.

Is there a better Mexican (or Mexican cuisine-adjacent) restaurant that can accommodate about 35 people in downtown-ish Pasadena? Most people won’t have cars and are staying within walking distance, so I think even Highland Park or anything that would require an über is going to be too much of a stretch.

Or should I just suck it up and enjoy the margaritas? :thinking:


With that size group would you need a private room or just reservations? It might be a little small (and a tad silly) but you might want to check out Trejo’s Cantina.

Before anybody throws a chair because there’s better/more authentic/regional/etc. Mexican food in LA:

  1. It’s walking distance from Downtown Pasadena
  2. If your group isn’t too large I believe they take reservations
  3. It sounds like you have a lot of out of towners and it is kind of a fun LA specific place
  4. The menu tries to accommodate dietary restrictions with vegetarian/vegan options which makes it easier for everyone in a large group to find something they can eat
  5. Honestly, food ain’t bad.
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Does Mercado in Pasadena fit what you’re looking for?

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How’s the food?

That could potentially work if it’s big enough! We don’t need a private room but it does have to be able to accommodate a group of about 35 people.

not sure,i haven’t been yet. I go to Yxta a lot in DTLA and its the same owners for Mercado. but the menu looks very similar…

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Maestro is excellent - it’s a modern spot, walking distance from Old Pas, and much better than Mercado or Trejo’s. Cocktails are excellent, and there’s a lamb shank you’ll think about for a long time afterwards. It’s not massive, so you should call, but I imagine they’ll be able to fit 35.



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this is the winner if they can fit 35.
welcome to FTC

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Mijares Restaurant (Palmetto Drive location) was made for these types of larger parties…

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I’ve eaten at Mijares many times. It’s at the extreme western end of old town. Food is good; parking is zilch. Decor is typical California Mexican.

Indeed! It’s Mexican, it’s cheap, it accommodates 35, it’s in Pasadena…

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You guys are the best, thank you! :fist_right: :taco::burrito: :mexico:

I realized I never reported back. We did indeed go to Mijares - food was good but totally unremarkable, margaritas were large and made with fresh juice, and the atmosphere was exactly what was called for, so thank you.

And now I have another request! Same location (Pasadena Humane), different seminar. This time I’m hosting. We need to do a Saturday night sit down dinner - this time for ~8 people. The seminar presenter eats low carb, and has asked that we avoid Italian, Mexican, Chinese, etc. She suggested we find a place with “big salads or fancy burgers” that she can eat without the bun. Sigh. I had originally suggested Hippo, thinking Italian would be generic enough for anybody and she could eat veggies and meat, but that was shot down because there are “too many things I have to Google” on that menu.

Any recs for me? Am I doomed to eat at Congregation Ale House? It sounds like she wanted to keep dinner at a very moderate price point, so things like steakhouses are out.


I’m sure Thai will be shot down. It’s just like. Chinese and full of carbs. :cry:

I really need something that’s generic ‘American’ or perceived as such.

Your dining companion sounds delightful.


Perceived safe “American” options: Paul Martin’s, Granville, True Food Kitchen, La Grande Orange.

She’s a brilliant and charismatic academic/educator… she’s just not into food. I would guess more people than not think how much brain space we devote to food and restaurants is totally bizarre.

Are any of them better than mediocre?