Sometimes you will do anything for a slightly better bowl of pho: take a class in Vietnamese cooking, drive to Garden Grove, or book a trip to Hanoi. And sometimes you want it the easy way. Daisy Mint is a sweet new pan-Asian cafe near Pasadena City College, a storefront prettified with fresh flowers, empty picture frames and plastic bugs, with a vibe appealing both to the Art Center crowd and the doyennes who hang out at Julienne, to hardcore chowhounds and people who have never eaten anywhere more challenging than Panda Inn. The kitchen tries hard to be all things to all people. It's vegan-tolerant — the spicy pumpkin with tofu has become a staple craving in Pasadena — but also serves kimchi fried rice and Thai fried catfish, a vaguely Isaan-style grilled-beef salad and kung pao chicken, a stab at Shanghai-style soup dumplings and a rather good duck noodle soup. This is fusion without the pretension — and without the exotic cocktails. The restaurant is BYOB. But for dessert at Daisy Mint, as the great prophet George Clinton once said, fried ice cream is a reality. 1218 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 792-2999.

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