After our afternoon of indulgence at the Dry Bar, friend and fellow blogger Melissa (The Valentine RD) and I decided we needed a little something in our stomach to combat with the high-end champagne we guzzled during our spectacular blow-outs. Lucky for us, Lemonade Pasadena is just two doors down from Dry Bar. Lemonade is one of those places that has been on the ever-growing “to eat at” list, but falls off the radar for one reason or another. I’d first encountered Lemonade at MOCA (The Museum of Contemporary Art), but it was either closed, or just too rich for my blood at the time. To be honest, I can count on one hand how many times I have been to MOCA on one hand and still have fingers leftover. Until Lemonade Pasadena opened up, I wasn’t aware that Lemonade was a chain.
Created by Chef Alan Jackson of The Farm (Beverly Hills) fame, the concept behind Lemonade is “Seasonal Southern California Comfort Food in a fast-casual cafeteria setting.” The fare at Lemonade echos an international influence, and has enough of a variety to please even the most discerning palates (i.e. me). I knew I was going to make dinner, so I opted for the salads – something nearly unheard of for me, and we can probably thank alcohol for lowering my standards. Urp. I mean…Anyway! I went for the “3 portions for $7.50″ under (again, champagne influenced) the thought process $5.25 for 2 portions was too expensive. Then I saw the size of the portions being scooped on my plate and whoops. Two portions would have been just dandy. Verdict: Good bang for my buck!
Arnold Palmer ($3.00)
lemonade, iced tea
I normally don’t purchase soft drinks when I’m dining out, but considering the name of the eatery and the fact that I am obsessed with Arnold Palmer’s. It’s pretty much the only way I can drink iced tea at restaurant, since restaurants serve iced tea with caffeine and I’m sensitive to liquid caffeine. This Arnold Palmer was not only very refreshing, but perfectly proportionate with the lemonade to iced tea ratio.
cherry tomatoes, broccolini, feta
This dish was not memorable. I picked at it, mostly going for the cherry tomatoes and orecchiette. I’m particular about feta, and if memory serves, the feta in this salad was crumbled so finely I did not have much of an opportunity to examine its texture. It’s not that I wouldn’t recommend this salad, it’s just that it left no lasting impression with me either way.
kimchi marinated vegetables, toasted peanuts
My favorite selection of my trio. Doesn’t really look like soba, though, does it? Maybe Okinawa soba? Whatever the case, it was delicious. The vegetables were well seasoned, the peanuts just the crunch I needed for texture contrast, and an overall kick of heat that did not take away from the harmony of the rest of the flavors.
wild mushrooms, Parmesan, lemon truffle
My least favorite of the trio, though that isn’t to say it wasn’t good, just not to my liking as I initially thought. While I’m a big fan of mushrooms, I think this dish reminded me that it’s only hot dishes where I enjoy mushrooms. Their texture and the overall seasoning, especially the truffle oil, did not do it for me. Upon reflection, I’m not precisely sure why I even gravitated towards it in the first place. Luckily, I traded Melissa this couscous for the remainder of her cake.
Chocolate Snack Cake ($5.00)
chocolate, whipped cream filling
Melissa purchased this slice of heaven for its memory inducing goodness. Moist, fluffy, chocolatey, and sweet without being that kind of sugary that leaves a gritty residue on ones teeth, this cake was the high class escort to the now out-of-business snack cake company’s two-dollar trick.
Overall, I dig Lemonade Pasadena and wouldn’t mind returning to try out their Beef stroganoff, mac n’ cheese, soups and sandwiches. It’s nice to have the option of moderately priced, casual dine-in/take out healthier options (you know, when one actually goes for the healthy options).
146 S. Lake Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101
open daily from 11:00a-9:05p