I love restaurants that are hopelessly lost in time and space, and Pasadena Steak House is one such Interzone eatery still stuck in the Mad Men era. Although the steak house has only been in business since the 1990s, the building itself seems not to have changed in half a century, and the manner in which it is run still harkens back to ancient times. I'm trying to find out what the restaurant was before this one moved in.
The decor screams 1960s/1970s, and the very old tables are scuffmarked with the dings and scrapes of 100,000 knifes and forks of the past. That's not to say it's run down; the place is surprisingly upscale in an old-fashioned way. The waiters in white shirts and red bow ties greet you at the door and treat you with that odd uneven mix of friendly and haughty.
We were there for the Early Bird Special, and Happy Hour drinks were two for one. Of course, you get what you pay for - the vodka was Barton's, and the bourbon was Kentucky Gentleman. I almost forewent the double-drink special and insisted on something a little higher up in the food chain of booze, but decided to just relax and say when in Pasadena, do as the blue-hairs do. I had a pair of Old-Fashioneds (what more appropriate drink could there be for this place?) and my date for the evening had a pair of Gimlets. Not bad, not bad at all; would imbibe again.
I had the New York Strip with French onion soup as an appetizer, both were delicious albeit rather salty. The menu is clearly designed with the palates of the elderly in mind. My date's salad was a disaster, though, and was little more than a plate of loose lettuce with almost no dressing, cheese, or anything else. And though the menu promises butter with the baked potatoes, what arrived was some sort of mystery butter-like substance.
My advice for this place is to skip the sides and just go for meat and martinis. Come to think of it, that's my advice for anyplace anyway.