I am specifically writing this post for my cousin Julie, who recently moved to my neighborhood (hurrah!) I thought it would be fun to write a post for her with all the great wisdom I have gleaned during my Pasadena tenure.
Mexican food: So there is an El Cholo at Paseo Colorado, but the service can sometimes be ... questionable. But the fajitas sizzle and the margaritas will make you forget your sorrows. But if you want some excellent, cheap Mexican food that's closer to home, you must try Chiquita Bonita. Especially for breakfast. You should probably go there tomorrow. Then there's Chipotle over on Lake, in the same complex as Best Buy - they have really, really long lines. We always preorder and take home.
Best Buy: If you ever feel the need to go to Best Buy, go to the one in Monrovia. The one in East Pasadena is a Shit Show. The one in Monrovia is usually empty, even on weekends.
Nordstrom Rack: You probably already figured this out, but we live insanely close to an excellent Rack. I have scored big time in their jeans department.
Breakfast: So in addition to Chiquita Bonita, I recommend ... oh wait, I have a baby, we don't go to breakfast anymore. But we used to trek to Dish in La Canada - outstanding pancakes - and we'll be making a pilgrimage soon for the pumpkin pancakes. Everyone raves about Marston's, and I do like their French toast, but this place is overhyped and the waits are too effing long for some fucking pancakes. But if you want a special/expensive treat, get brunch at the Langham (where we got ready for my wedding.) It's a fun outing. If you want to hit a diner, then you must try Rod's in Arcadia - mint green booths, lots of great people watching, good cheap food.
Burgers; There is a burger stand called Super Burger and holy eff, it's SUPER. The line for In N Out is always insane, even at 10 a.m. The food at The Habit is also delicious - and dangerous.
Cheap But Awesome Massage: I have found it - yes, I found it - the best massage, and it's only $20! This place is the opposite of Burke Williams, but the $20 foot massage is divine. A Beautiful Day Spa - treat yo self.
Best Cheap Pedicure: Still searching, no luck yet. Sorry. But if you want to pamper yourself, Bellacures in Old Town is amazing.
Books: Vroman's - there are two. The one near us is good but the flagship on Colorado is all sorts of awesome.