"For Mexican, I go to My Taco a lot. It's near my house in South Pasadena. The food there is really good and fresh and well prepared. Jonathan Gold wrote about it a couple of times for their carne asada fries, but I don't order that and I don't let my kids order that."
What does Cimarusti order?
"The plato de carne asada with rice, no beans and extra tortillas."
"For Chinese, my wife and I go a lot to Chang's Garden in Arcadia. We wound up going there the first time because when we moved from New York it was really hard to find a place doing scallion pancakes, which is a staple in Chinese restaurants in New York. But Chang's does a really great scallion pancake."
And for great beer and simple pub food, Cimarusti goes to 38 Degrees. "It's one of the only places around that consistently carries Pliny the Elder," he says, referencing the cult Russian River Brewing Company Imperial IPA, which consistently gets perfect scores from beer-rating sites. When asked what his regular order is, he says, "Pliny the Elder. That's reason enough for me to go. But no, I usually order one of the sandwiches. The food is consistently good."