Monday, December 28, 2009

Mike and Anne's Restaurant and Bar

Earlier this month my sister Judy visited for a long weekend. We treated ourselves to a girls' night out at Mike and Anne's and I couldn't resist snapping a quick shot of the cozy setting.

I've mentioned this restaurant before, but it deserves a lengthy rave. You know how a lot of hyped places are heavy on trend but light on real flavor? Not Mike and Anne's. Sure, every artfully presented menu item resembles something envisioned by a highly competitive castmember of Top Chef, but this kitchen follows through. Each bite reveals complex flavors that delight, comfort and inspire. (Want a taste of heaven? Go for the pork chop with braised red cabbage, sweet potatoes, stonefruits and lingonberry sauce. Go. GO!)

During evening hours the dining room dims into a relaxing interior twilight -- lots of warm wood tones lit by flickering candles. Breakfast/lunch is bright and casual, and you can choose to sit outside in a charming patio setting. They even have a kid-friendly grill-cheese sandwich on the lunch menu.

Don't even try to stick to a diet if you go for dinner. Judy and I each had our own appetizer and entree -- and we still didn't split dessert. She got the crème brûlée, I got the chocolate pot de creme. In a word? Yummmmm.

14 comments:

Judy Williams said...

And it was divine!! It has that cozy intimate feel to it. Not only the atmosphere and the wait staff are good, but it just has such such terrific ideas for tastes that I would not have thought of. I managed to get home though, not having gained a pound.

This week? I can't say the same!

wf: ninsucl--- I'm not even going there.

dbdubya said...

Mike and Ann's has a wonderful ambience, and the building it's in has an interesting history. The building is "L" shaped on a corner. It sort of looks like a classy mini-mall on a corner where a gas station used to be, but instead of the typical parking lot, it has a lovely patio used by the restaurant. But, this was never a gas station and it's a historic building instead of a new building designed to look old.

For many decades this was a Firestone tire store housed in a 1920's mediterranean style building. It was vacant for several years before a developer turned it into very attractive retail space. Mike and Ann's originally had only the corner space and patio. But, as other tenants moved out, they've expanded twice, the most recently into the space that now has the very cozy bar captured in Laurie's photo.

This is a good example of how a "historical preservation" mentality can result in a project that is successful and profitable while still maintaining the historical integrity of the location.

Yakpate said...

dbdubya: Your obvious love for preserving the integrity of South Pasadena's past is one of the traits that, from a distance, makes SouthPas look like a slice of "It's a Wonderful Life."

I love it that the people who live in SouthPas establish such deep roots in the community, and then nourish the neighborhood as a whole.

Throwaway society? Not where YOU live.

Virginia said...

Well they need to hire you L! Wow, what a terrific review. I can almost taste the crème brûlée ! Love to little ladies in the back. They saw you! :)
V

Hilda said...

Looks like a very cozy restaurant.

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas, Laurie. Wishing you a joyful, peaceful and love-filled new year.

Trish said...

I LOVE that the old Firestone shop has been repurposed! I *do* hope they power washed everything! The guys who used to work at FS weren't that neat! The pix on their site remind me of how it used to look...except the classy upgrades, I might look for the rows of wrenches!

Am also glad SoPas has some good eats. For so many years, it was slim pickins...yippie for the historical preservation!

Petrea said...

I once took myself to lunch there to give myself a personal treat. It's a great place. I understand they also allow dogs on the patio. Has anyone ever seen proof of that?

Mister Earl said...

Haven't been there, but maybe I'll try it in the next few days.

alex said...

You should, Mr. Earl! Although I personally have only been there for breakfast, and I highly recommend it:) I have to say that while the food is delicious, the ambiance is definitely M&A's greatest asset. It's the kind of venue that has a very unique atmosphere without being overly trendy. Hard to describe...I guess it's what academics would call "sense of place."

Ican't believe this is the same Firestone building where my dad used to service his old Merc:)

dbdubya said...

If you look carefully, Alex, you can see where each one of the storefronts used to be garage bays.

pasadenapio said...

It has been so long since I've been "across the border"! I need to get down there and experience this and other eateries. I cocoon way to much here in Pasadena.

pasadenapio said...

Gad -- I meant way too much!

altadenahiker said...

this photo sells me. Warm and chic.

Laurie said...

Thanks, everyone! Yes, you all should definitely check out this wonderful eaterie. I like Alex's line about a sense of place. Exactly!

Til tomorrow...