Pasadena-ish (or eastern SFV): Non-Asian Seafood?

Have some relatives coming to town and they’ve requested non-Asian seafood. Our default with them used to be Clancy’s in Glendale, but they’ve closed. (In other words, nothing too exciting or fanciful.)

May default to Cameron’s in Pasadena, but we’ve had plenty of misses there between service and lack of freshness.

If it were up to me, I’d go further afield and shoot for Connie and Ted’s, but I don’t think I’ll be able to convince them to try that (location, traffic, etc.).

Many thanks!

San Marino Seafood. It’s a small place, but great seafood as it’s also a seafood market. BYOB as well.

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This will probably be perfect,

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nikka fish & grill in old town pasadena?

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i think i’ve read somewhere that lq may continue his pop up sangers and joe. if so, this raw bar platters should hit the sweet spot.

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Vertical Wine Bistro in Pasadena

Birch if Hollywood counts as eastern SFV[ish]

El Camaron Pelado is you consider ambiance as necessary as Paula Deen at a NAACP conference.

Nikka’s is disgusting.

It’s almost so bad that even Old Town doesn’t deserve dreck like that.


Thank you for this! Doesn’t work for our dinner, but we went the other night to check it out and were thrilled - excellent meal, great service, and (almost) within walking distance. We’ll be back, definitely!

It would be for us; unfortunately, the older people in our group are at a point where they prefer less…um…interactive meals. They’re originally from the Atlantic seaboard, and love seafood, but don’t like to have to work for it.

I’ve always wanted to try one of these places, though, so we’ll give it a shot. Thank you!

Another great idea - unfortunately, they’re not raw-seafood-eating people sigh. (Really, at this point they’re very staid when it comes to food.)

My SO went in to look at Nikka the other evening; he said it definitely wasn’t a good fit for the relatives but I didn’t follow up and find out why.

Darn you! This is on the top of my list, but (I’ve been told) the relatives don’t like “food words they don’t understand” - looking at the menu apparently caused some consternation. (I still don’t understand how they happily do road trips in Europe; I’ve never asked what / how they find and choose food, though. That might be an interesting conversation.)

This is a definite possibility (though it may be shot down as being “too exotic”) - will run it by the relatives and see if they’re willing to go a bit beyond their comfort zone.

Thank you all!

How about Mexican seafood,
or Peruvian,
Both these places have seafood platters that are pretty mainstream, Puro Sabor’s is fried and Mariscos Colima’s is grilled. Puro Sabor does not serve alcohol, and Mariscos Cloima gets loud when the mariachis show up, but both are really good.

Arroyo Chop House? They have some seafood appetizers, crab legs, lobster, and a couple fish specials usually.

And while not an amazing restaurant, Cafe Bizou also has a number of seafood appetizers and entrees on their menu. I have a business contact who is not very adventurous and we usually end up meeting there (Sherman Oaks location) for lunch since the food is “safe”. But they have a Pasadena location too.

Took my mom to Racion for dinner last night. We both concurred that it was a rather odd meal. From the outside, it is a very charming space. What struck us on the inside was the unexpected formality. The wait staff in white dress shirts and thin black ties. The hushed whispers amid the diners. I had an expectation that the environment might be a bit looser and perhaps a bit more boisterous, but that was very much not the case.

bruléed caña de cabra cheese, citrus, pistachio, lemon sugar

Despite the promise of the description, this was a pretty ordinary slice of room temperature cheese with a few supremes of citrus placed on top. The pistachio shmear on the plate was pretty bland and had the visual appeal of something that people say babies do from time to time. No brûlée to speak of. We didn’t finish it.

“charred leeks, pine nut romesco, bone marrow custard”

Aside from a couple of thin slices, no char in evidence here. Mostly a plate of under-seasoned, flaccid leeks garnished with some pine nuts, a romesco sauce that might have well been purchased from a jar at Trader Joe’s, and these firm half spheres of what I called “dinner jello” that didn’t taste like much of anything, let alone marrow. We didn’t finish this one either.

Gambas in horseradish broth (I don’t recall the actual menu description)

We were relieved to finally have something with some flavor at this point. Shrimp were cooked well, but as you can see, the plate is filled with “chips” and “snow” of unknown etiology. There was a bit of aioli in there, but it was distributed in a haphazard fashion so that it was a bit unwieldy to distribute it amongst the bites. The real kicker: the horseradish broth that didn’t taste at all like horseradish. And with a table side pour that really added to the awkward preciousness of the dining experience.

“house-made squid ink pasta, mussels, piquillo peppers, saffron”

If I knew then what I knew now, I would have just ordered a dish of this for myself and called it a night. This was quite good. Pasta cooked with a nice amount of chew and dressed appropriately. The flavors were on point, but at this point they are killing me with this foam!!! I swear that it feels like I am experiencing an episode of Top Chef from ten years ago where the judges are trying to be impressed with all of these culinary party tricks.

I mostly likely will not come back. The food wasn’t horrible, but it did not wow despite its excessive efforts to do so. A puzzlement to me is how food that has been plated so deliberately can be so completely un-photogenic. There was such a common thread of seasoning issues that I was wishing that Suzanne Goin would magically sweep in and wave a flavor wand over the food at some point. I could have done away with all of the molecular/modernist attempts to jeuje things up and been content with a plate of some simple gambas al ajillo that had been salted properly.


Sounds rather miserable - thanks for reporting on the experience.

Your post reminded me that we’ve had Casa Cordoba on our list for a while. Maybe we’ll make it there in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for reporting back, sorry to hear about your meal.

I wonder if your experience had to do with their chef leaving last month.

I don’t think Racion is very good either. It was either lacking in flavor or over salted then the seafood (fish) was definitely very frozen before it was cooked.