ineLA, Friday, July 14, through July 28, is a terrific opportunity to treat yourself to a meal at one of the San Gabriel Valley’s many fine restaurants for affordable prices. Following are some standout deals for lunch and dinner. 

Best Lunches

The Derby 

233 E. Huntington Drive, Arcadia

(626) 447-2430


$25; Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

I’m a sucker for classic old school restaurants and this 1922 Arcadia stalwart is one of them. The DineLA lunch menu includes your choice of spicy blue lump crab cake, Cajun rub halibut mini-taco or bacon-wrapped dates to start. Prime rib dip au jus, potato-crusted salmon over sautéed spinach or filet mignon Cobb salad come second. Dessert is not always included with these lunches, but at the Derby you have a choice of bread pudding with whiskey sauce, tuxedo mousse cake or Derby cheesecake with berries.

The Terrace at the Langham

1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena

(626) 585-6218


$20; Mon.-Sat., 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

You could drop $130 at The Royce for dinner, but a mere $20 gets you an afternoon at the same beautiful hotel just down the hall at The Terrace. Rock shrimp tempura, ahi tuna tostada or shiitake tempura salad starts the feast, braised pork belly bowl, albacore ponzu salad or chicken katsu with green tea rice finishes it off.

Green Street Tavern

69 W. Green St., Pasadena

(626) 229-9961


$15; Mon.-Sun., 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Unique flavor combinations permeate the menu at this charming little tavern in Old Pasadena. Starter salads feature watercress, goat cheese and walnuts, kale, bacon and anchovies or watermelon, burrata and farro. Mains see a choice of salmon with eggplant mole and cilantro-hominy chimichurri, honey-whiskey smoked pork with pickled peppers, Angus-roquefort-bacon burger on brioche or a vegetarian spring pea falafel with green goddess.

Cafe Bizou

91 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

(626) 792-9923


$20; Tues.-Sat., 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A veritable feast for $20 is available at this lovely French cafe. Lobster bisque or baked mushrooms to start. Then choose between berry-fig salad with blackened chicken or shrimp, linguine with black mussels in a white wine-shallot sauce, black tagalinni pasta topped with lobster, shrimp, scallops and mushrooms or a filet mignon burger. Chocolate cake, crème Brule or tiramisu for dessert.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse

179 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 639-0490


$25; Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

This airy new upscale mega-dining spot at Colorado and Marengo took the place of a public fountain and the hordes of diners seem delighted. Enjoy potato leek soup or Fleming’s salad (with candied walnuts and cranberries) to start, then porcini-crusted filet mignon or Scottish salmon. Finish off with New York cheesecake or flourless chocolate cake. 


227 W. Valley Blvd., No. 358, San Gabriel

(626) 872-0906


$20; Daily, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

This hip, modern restaurant features classic Chinese. For appetizers try deep-fried tofu or chicken with hot chili sauce and peanuts. The soup course offers chicken or tomato and egg soup. Main courses include tenderloin cubes, pork ribs or sweet and sour pineapple shrimp. The simple food names belie complex flavors.

Parkway Grill

510 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena

(626) 795-1001


$25; Lunch, Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. or $49

The Parkway Grill is so gorgeous and delicious with its onsite organic garden I have to recommend both lunch and dinner. The regional American slant to the menu includes black bean soup with tomatillos and crème fraiche, hamachi crudo with avocado, citrus and fresno pepper as well as heirloom tomatoes, watermelon and burrata with Kalamata olive dust. For the main dinner I’d go for the lobster club with garlic fries or hanger steak tagliata with arugula and roasted garlic. At dinner, the second course is ramped up with pan roasted scallops in blood orange beurre blanc, filet mignon with wild mushrooms and shallots or roasted half-chicken with figs. Plus, they add chocolate, Brule and lemon curd desserts.

Best Dinners

EMC Seafood & Raw Bar,

400 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia

(626) 348-8937


$39; Daily, 11 a.m. to 10 or 11 p.m.

Here’s a chance to check out the vibrant food culture in the Santa Anita Mall. This Koreatown transplant is a fish lover’s dream. Offering five courses for $39, diners start with an oyster sampler (three kinds), move on to both scallop and salmon carpaccio, then grilled salmon or sea bass, sea urchin pasta or their famous charred whole lobster. Finally, it’s chef’s choice on dessert.

Maison Akira 

713 E. Green St., Pasadena

(626) 796-9501


$49; Tues.-Sat., 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

For something a bit different, check out Maison Akira’s French-Japanese cuisine. First course features zuke sashimi and kumquat salad or oyster mushroom, avocado, prosciutto toast with yuzu or soft shell crab tempura with beets. Foie gras is available for an extra charge. Entrees include Angus steak and shrimp with curried frittes, New Zealand snapper in a red wine sauce or roasted duck breast with eggplant gratin among other options. Cherry compote and rum raisin ice cream or hazelnut chocolate granache finishes the evening.

Bourbon Steak

237 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale

(626) 839-4130

$99; Daily, 5:30 to 9 or 10 p.m.

If you’ve never been, splurge and go to the gorgeous Bourbon Steak in Glendale. There are six courses in all:

Trio of duck fat fries; oyster shooters with ponzu, crème fraiche and salmon roe; pan-seared scallop with zucchini and Moroccan preserved lemon; gnocchi with Brentwood super sweet corn and summer truffle; choice of 12-ounce filet mignon or 16-ounce Delmonico ribeye with charred onion and asparagus; lemon custard with shiso, strawberry and oats.

Il Fornaio 

24 W. Union St., Pasadena

(626) 683-9797


$39; Daily, 3 to 10 or 11 p.m.

It’s always nice to raise a glass at beautiful Il Fornaio. What makes this deal special is the complimentary glass of Il Fornaio Pinot Grigio, chardonnay or chianti with the three course typical Italian meal: minestrone, caprese or carpaccio for antipasti; linguine with meatballs, chicken peperoncino, squash ravioli or salmon in lemon parsley sauce for secondi. For dessert? Tiramisu or panna cotta, naturally.

Most meals come with a wine flight option for an extra fee. Be sure to make your reservations soon at discoverlosangeles.com.

Bon Appétit! 


Friday, July 14, through July 28