Pasadena

Fiore Market Cafe

I thought I had explored all over Pasadena but I lied to myself. There are actually some hidden gems out in South Pasadena! When I found Fiore Market Cafe, I pretty much fell in love with it immediately. This place currently has 300+ reviews with 4.5 stars on Yelp.

Sarah, Hannah, Catherine and I gathered here for lunch. It’s a quaint little restaurant. You order inside where it has this homey feel to it and they bring the food over to your table. Make sure to get there early to reserve seats as they are very much limited.

I ordered their popular Short Rib Sandwich for $9.25 and it was beautiful!

Beautiful in so many ways. Presentation was beautiful. Of course, the taste was beautiful. The mixed vegetables that gave a refreshing taste perfectly complimented the tender and moist short ribs.

The sandwich was a little messy because of the juice from the dressing but it was worth the mess. It was a beautiful mess.

I definitely would like to come back here for the Short Rib Sandwich again.The ambiance of the restaurant was so relaxing and peaceful especially with the perfect sunny SoCal weather. Thank you to my beautiful friends, Sarah, Hannah and Catherine, for the endless encouraging conversations we had over some good food!

Back to Pasadena

When I’m looking for a new place to eat, I usually look at the reviews and the scenery of the location through Googling and Yelping. Yes, the scenery does matter for those picture moment purposes. The setting of where I eat does make a difference because it just makes me enjoy my food more!

So I wanted to meet up with Sarah in Pasadena. I did some extensive research in the area to look for a place to eat and found Float from Yelp. It’s an old school soda-pop shop that sells root beer floats and sandwiches at a reasonable price. AND! It is in the cutest area EVER. I repeat, EVER.
Float

We all ordered a popular item on the menu which was the Chipotle Bacon Club. It had chipotle bacon, butter lettuce, tomato, turkey, avocado, and cilantro lime mayo. The sandwich was simple but so delicious! I think the bread and the spread just completed the deliciousness of the sandwich.
Chipotle Bacon Club

We also got a cola float. None of us are actually fans of root beer so we decided to get cola instead. The cola definitely did not taste like your everyday Coca-Cola brand. There’s an authentic taste of the sugar from the cola making the float taste naturally sweeter. The float was good, but the presentation made it even better! With the mason jar, red and white striped straw, and the old school glass bottle just came together really well.
Cola Float

After enjoying the food and the location very much, we walked around the area to shop. There’s not a lot of stores to check out but one store you might want to check out is Anthropologie! It’s right next door from Float. Across the street, there’s Beard Papas, Yogurtland, Macy’s and TJ Max.
Float

Of course, we had to check out Old Town Pasadena like last time. We went to Kabuki for Happy Hour and just ordered a bunch of sushi and appetizers! It was madness but well worth it since it was Happy Hour. We spent about $15 per person for 3 or 4 different kinds of sushi, salad, and spicy tuna for appetizer. They definitely have one of the better Happy Hour deals that I’ve seen compared to other restaurants.
Happy Hour at Kabuki

Right after Happy Hour, we headed over to Lette to get some macaroons to go with our coffee for the night. We ended the night at Copa Vida which is a hipster coffee shop.
Copa Vida

What I like about it is that they really care about making quality coffee and tea. There’s great customer service and I love how there’s so much space! A lot of coffee shops are more for on the go so the space is small. It’s nice to just sit down at a coffee shop to do work or just chit chat but that usually doesn’t happen due to lack of space. But Copa Vida has plenty of space, enough space to have live music on a Friday night!
Copa Vida

I got my latte fix and Elaine got a cappuccino.
Latte with pistachio macaroni

Sarah got a mint tea which by the way you should try if you don’t feel like drinking some kind of coffee. The mint is pretty strong but in a good way where you feel cleansed and refreshed by it! Once I had a sip of Sarah’s tea, I honestly didn’t want to drink my latte because the mint easily made me feel so purified!
Mint Tea

It was nice to end our night at Copa Vida where we were able to just sit and hear words of wisdom from Sarah. Thanks Sarah for coming down to Pasadena to meet up with me and Elaine!
Sarah & Elaine

Downtown Pasadena

The last time I saw Sarah was at her wedding last summer. So we were long overdue to meet up. We randomly video chatted one afternoon when we were both feeling sick, then and there we decided a time, date, and place toreunite with some old friends. She said to meet in Pasadena because it’s a fun place to eat and walk around. I told her I was down! I’ve never really explored there so I was definitely opened to explore a new place.

Surprisingly my drive to Pasadena with Hannah and Elaine was not bad at all. The light traffic took us an hour or less. Because we were ahead of schedule, we got there before Sarah. While we waited for her, we decided to check out the City Hall of Pasadena which looked almost like a Cathedral. We walked around and saw some beautiful scenery in such a small little area.
City Hall

Across from City Hall was an actual cathedral which is opened almost 24/7 for people to pray. I really felt like I was in Europe when I saw the architecture.

Once Sarah arrived in Pasadena, we headed back to the downtown area. Parking is kind of a bust in Pasadena because of the meter situation or just having to pay in general. We somehow found this random hidden parking lot with no attendant. It was really suspicious but we decided to give it a shot since it was cheaper than most of the other parking lots. So basically, we paid $5 rather than $6-8 compared to other places. The weird thing was you deposit your money in this “drop off mailbox” looking thing. The box has slots for each parking space available. We parked in spot #2 so we deposited the $5 in the #2 slot. It was interesting. I took a bunch of pictures to show proof that we paid and that if it was scam, I had evidence of this matter. We deposited our $5 in and walked a block over to Slater’s 50/50 to meet up with Sarah.
Shady money deposit.

Everyone’s been talking about Slater’s 50/50 for awhile and I’ve been meaning to check it out but somehow I haven’t been able to go there. Luckily, Sarah chose this place to eat! She compared this place to The Counter where you can create your own order. Slater’s 50/50 is probably known for their patties to be stuffed with bacon and they’re eccentric creation of burgers such as the Peanut Butter & Jealousy burger.
Slater's 50/50

For appetizer we ordered some regular fries, sweet potato fries, and stuffed macaroni popcorn balls. They were all good! Especially the macaroni popcorn balls. I’ve never had them before nor did I ever know about them! Apparently The Cheesecake Factory makes them too.
Macaroni Popcorn Balls

Hannah, Elaine, and I knew that we were going to eat a lot that day so we had to portion control our meal. So we decided to split our burger into thirds. Yes, it’s possible to split a burger into thirds. Our burger had grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, and patty with bacon pieces. I’m so glad that we we shared because our appetizer filled us and the patty was thick!

Sarah got a healthy veggie burger where she replaced the buns with lettuce! Too healthy for me.
Sarah and her too healthy burger.

I wouldn’t mind going back to Slater’s and trying one of their extreme burgers. I’m really curious about the PB & J burger.

We walked around afterwards and went window shopping. All the stores are walking distance. The high end and outdoors shopping experience reminded me of Fashion Island in Newport Beach and Gas Lamp in San Diego. I always like to compare my experience to somewhere else so that you can have a better understanding of what it was like to be there.

We stopped by Lette for some macarons.
Lette

Then headed to a hipster coffee place called Intellegentsia. This place is like Portola Coffee Lab with the hipster vibe but ultimately because of how they make coffee using siphons and those other fancy flasks you see in chemistry labs but for coffee.

I wanted a vanilla latte but they only make lattes which was too hardcore for me. So they said they could make me an iced sweetened latte and that ended up working out perfectly. My friends got some fancy coffee with latte art work done.
Coffee and fancy latte art.

We were at Intellegentsia for quite some time. Probably too long. But it was just so much fun sharing life stories and catching up.
Sarah, Hannah, Elaine at Intellegentsia

Afterwards, we walked around downtown. I’d like to check out 21 Choices next time I’m in Pasadena. That ice cream shop seemed like a popular one.
21 Choices

Sarah showed us how historical old town Pasadena was by taking us to the front door of J Crew. There was tiled work on the ground that said The Owl Drug Co. So back in the day, way before J Crew, that store was actually a drug store. Cool, huh?
The Owl Drug Co.

We went to this one hat store and found a band playing inside! That was definitely a fun experience trying on some old school hats while listening to some live music.

Live Band at the hat store.

Old Town Pasadena has some hidden spots for some good pictures.
Happy picture spot.

When we were done walking around, we took one last picture together and called it a night. The night scenery in Pasadena is as pretty as the day time. Too bad this picture doesn’t capture the beauty of Pasadena because of the random person we asked.

Last group picture.

That whole day and night hanging out with Sarah, Hannah, and Elaine was so much fun! Time flew by so quickly that day. Probably because were just having so much fun. Thanks Sarah for showing us around in Pasadena!