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Where To Eat Now 

Tuesday, Oct 3 2006

Page 7 of 8

Burbank/Glendale/Eagle Rock/Pasadena

Café Atlantic. This Cuban café from Xiomara Ardolina serves authentic, gently priced Cuban cuisine with a high-quality sheen that may provoke some Versailles die-hards to quibble with the term authentic. But Cuban cooking in general, and this menu in particular, are a rhapsody of garlic and onions, sofrito (sautéed aromatic vegetables), and mojo. Here, the flavors are as bold as the Cuban jazz on the tape deck. Don’t miss the fufu de platanos con chicharrones, the rich mash of semi-ripe plantains and crunchy pork rind. 53 E. Union St., Pasadena, (626) 796-7350. Breakfast, lunch and å seven days, Mon.–Fri. 6 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 7:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Wine and beer. Street parking. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Entrées $11–$14. Cuban. MH $$

Canadian Cafe. Until a few months ago, poutine was on a longish list of foods, from creole cream cheese to real Tuscan lardo, that were simply unavailable in Los Angeles. Even if there were a place in town that sold the cheese curds that are a necessary component of poutine, the implicit heaviness of a dish composed of French-fried potatoes smothered in gravy and molten curds seems more appropriate to the endless gloom of Quebec winters than to Surf City, USA. But the Canadian Cafe, in Monrovia, is a divey temple to all things Canadian, walls emblazoned with moose and Mounties, pennants and maps. Poutine may not be as useful a Montreal import as Eric Gagné, but it’s nice to know that it’s around. 125 E. Colorado Blvd., Monrovia, (626) 303-2303. Tue.–Sat. 11 a.m.–7 p.m. No alcohol. Takeout. Street parking. D, MC, V. JG $

Location Info

Europane. A good croissant is a joy forever, crisp, airy and saturated with butter, large enough to take the sting off a double cappuccino but not so large that you’d be tempted to use it for anything so vulgar as a “croissandwich.” On a good day, Europane’s magnificent croissants could be mistaken for France’s best in a police lineup — the crisp, buttery chocolate croissant could make you swoon. Toss in the homemade granola, the epochal bread pudding and the gooiest egg-salad sandwich in town, and it’s no wonder that Europane’s regulars treat the bakery more as a permanent residence than as a café. 950 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 577-1828. Mon.–Sat. 7 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Sun. till 3 p.m. No alcohol. Street parking. MC, V. California Bakery. JG ¢

101 Noodle Express. This restaurant is home to the Shandong-style beef roll, a splendid object of desire, a massive, bronzed construction of crisp Chinese pancakes, slivers of stewed beef and a sweet, house-made bean paste that bears the same relationship to ordinary hoisin sauce that a L’Orangerie’s demi-glacé might to a slug of canned brown gravy. It is a simple composition, and yet not; ordinary street food, but raised to the transcendent level of a great carne asada taco or a Modena housewife’s very best homemade tortellini. 1408 E. Valley Blvd., Alhambra, (626) 300-8654. Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. & 5–10 p.m. Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–11 p.m. No alcohol. Takeout. Lot parking. Cash only. Chinese. JG $

Pie ’n Burger. Like all good hamburgers, paper-jacketed Pie ’n Burgers are all about texture, the crunchy sheaf of lettuce, the carbonized surface of the meat, the outer rim of the bun crisped to almost the consistency of toast, plus pink dressing and soft, sweet grilled onions. The fries are good too. 913 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 795-1123. Mon.–Fri. 6 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat. 7 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun,. 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Beer and wine. Takeout. Lot parking. Cash or check. American. JG ¢

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