Smitty's Grill

110 S. Lake Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91101


  • Sun 5pm-9pm, Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, Mon-Thu 5:30pm-9:30pm, Fri 5:30pm-10:30pm, Sat 5pm-10:30pm
  • $$
  • Fireplace, Patio/Sidewalk Dining, Private Party, Takeout
  • Dinner, Lunch
  • Full bar
  • Free Parking, Valet Parking
  • Reservations Accepted, Reservations Not Necessary
Crab Louie, ideally made with freshly picked Dungeness crabmeat and a dressing mounted from old-fashioned chili sauce, mayonnaise and grated onion, is one of the great West Coast specialties, its origins variously ascribed to Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. In the '60s, it was probably served at half the serious restaurants in Los Angeles - a random look at a sheaf of elderly menus implies as much. It does appear to have been a specialty of the Princess Louise. The dish is rather harder to find these days, but it does exist. A really fine Crab Louie can be found at Smitty's Grill in Pasadena, a fistful of lump crabmeat barely glazed with pinkish dressing and arranged over a heap of finely slivered lettuce that had been tossed in its own powerfully tart vinaigrette. If I had stayed away from a plate of the flash-fried potato chips that I manage to order with just about everything at Smitty's, it would have been a perfect light lunch.

Related Stories (1)

  • Ask Mr. Gold
    Thursday, September 29, 2005 at 12 a.m. by Jonathan Gold

    Question: When I go up to San Francisco, I always try to stop by the Swan Oyster Depot on Polk Street for their delicious Crab Louie. I know Crab Louie is probably not as cool as the cold cracked crab, which is good too, but I can&r...


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