La Grande Orange
In Phoenix, the original La Grande Orange, a bistro-ish place with a knack for deviled eggs and spicy cheeseburgers, is often described as a California-style restaurant. But transplanted into the expensively retrofitted Santa Fe depot just south of Old Town Pasadena, California’s La Grande Orange also feels like somewhere else (Phoenix, maybe), with dark wood, Batchelder tiles, and a bar opening out onto the ocher walls and neodeco of the apartment complex built up around the Del Mar Gold Line station — the kind of swank, suburban patio living that appears more in Sunset than it does in local restaurants. (Somehow, the sleek, silent trains whooshing past the windows make it seem even less like Pasadena.) Although the cocktails are professional grade, the cooking is strictly by-the-pool stuff: Brussels-sprout salad with cranberries, lobster tacos, fried chicken with mashed potatoes, grilled-chicken nachos, and what tastes like a catering-kitchen version of the olive-oil cake at Pizzeria Mozza. But the restaurant is open early and late, has decent, drippy burgers, and mixes a splendid martini. In the first week it was open, a friend managed to eat there five days in a row. 260 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (626) 356-4444.
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