Pasadena >Food & Dining > La Maschera
82 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA | Directions 9110334.147090 -118.150525
Neighborhoods: West Central
Resturant no longer in operation – Exactly as the title says, I found the restaurant and it was vacant and there was a huge sign with some court proceedings regarding it going on. Perhaps it ran into some legal issues.
Like what you'd find in Italy - authentic and creative cuisine, unhurried service - European style – We've been here several times over a few years and the food is always wonderful - pasta dishes are creative and flavorful without too much sauce - perfect portions. Osso buco is wonderful to find and prepared really well. The steak was amazing. The service is great, very Italian style which some consider slow but is actually authentic because they need the time to prepare the food and don't pressure you to leave as soon as you're done - very friendly too. One day our server was from Toscana and the next his colleague from Sicily. They make good recommendations and care about the ingredients. The cuisine is something you'd find in Italy, (where I lived for several years), authentic in ingredients with a North African flavor. It's my favorite Italian, if not overall, restaurant in Pasadena.
GREAT FOOD AND WINE. EXCELLENT AMBIANCE. – I had read all the reviews and I would like to mention for those who didn't appreciate the food or the wine, obviously do NOT know what la cucina italiana is all about. My dining experience at La Maschera has been lovely! My server suggested the branzino and I'm glad I listened to him. It was like dining in the Mediterranean. If you are a wine aficionado, La Maschera is the place. Better wine list than most places in the West side (this is true). Wonderful decor (ideal for dinner for two or big parties). The list goes on an on. This is the one and only jewel in Old Towne Pasadena. Molto buono e magnifico! BRAVO! (They are very close to authentic) I will definitely return...
Worst experience ever - stay away!! – We went to La Maschera again tonight and what a mistake! We arrived at 6:15 and were only 1 of 4 tables in the restaurant. We were seated and received water and then waited almost 20 minutes for who appeared to be the manager to wait on us. I asked for his suggestion as to a red wine choice and he said he couldn't help me - he didn't know what I would like. I tried to explain to him what my preferences were and he still said he couldn't help me! I said I didn't recognize the four Italian red wine selections (all they had by the glass) and he still said he couldn't possibly advise me and then made a face and grabbed my menu away. I asked him what the problem was and he said he just couldn't help me.
This isn't our first time here and we've had very slow service in the past but this was too much. There were very few people in the restauarant and the manager person was standing around, not doing much, and certainly not waiting on people. At a bare minimum, if you're busy, you can tell the table that you will be right with them but to be ignored for almost 20 minutes and then refuse to help with the wine list and then make a face and sigh is completely unacceptable. The food isn't even that good here - they have a cheese plate that is nice but nothing is worth this treatment. We walked down to Colorado Blvd. and ate at Malagueta and could not have had better service in a wonderful atmosphere.
empty but nice – came here on a cold wednesday night. it took a maddeningly long time for anyone to ask if we wanted a drink, but after that service improved. began with antipasti followed by duck- both were fairly good. i would recommend this place as somewhere to try, but don't go here hoping to impress. had a wonderful night, but that was more to do with the company i was keeping.
Do Not Eat at La Maschera Ristornate – Whatever you do... DO NOT eat at La Maschera Ristornate in Old Town Pasadena. I took our top clients there last night, for what I hoped would be a top notch dinning experience. It was EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING. We waited for over 2 hours for our food. I asked the manager, after waiting nearly 2 hours, for our food and he replied, 'what's the big deal, your talking and having a good time." When the food finally arrived, my lasagna was cold. My boss commented that nothing on the table was fresh. Our clients were polite, but I did hear one comment that he'd eaten there before and the food was terrible. I paid the $851 dollar billed and left. Yes, it was $851 and they acted like they could have cared less about our business. The resturant was not busy, only 2 other tables. I phoned the resturant today to let the owner know about our dissapointing dinner. Apparently, the man who was not helpful the previous night, was actually the owner. He was extremely rude to me on the phone. I explained my dissapointment and he replied, "what do you want me to do about it." I said I just want the owner to be aware that we were not satisified. "He said that he was the owner and that if I didn' like it then I shouldn't come back and he actually hung up the phone on me. I could not beleive a resturant owner would behave so badly. Apparently, he is not concerned w/ satisfying his customers. I would avoid this resturant and pass this along to spare others from the same misfortune that we had.
Fabulous! – I took my partner here for her birthday, with 8 other couples. The restaurant is fantastic, Staff was very knowledgeable about their wine offerings (suggestions were right on for 3 of the 4 types of wines we ordered). Staff was also very attentive. Food was perfect. Fabulous salads. Great choices for cheeses, everyone loved their entries. The brucheta and bean dips brought to the table at the start were also great. Decor was interesting, set a nice mood. Manager "Sean" is teriffic and accomodating. A+ Would come here again any day of the week.
Hip, elegant Italian space is charmingly romantic, with a young, stylish Pasadena crowd. – In Short
Wood, leather, and mirrors lend Old-World Italian charm to this Pasadena spot. The luxe-gothic lounge features velvet chairs, settees and silk pillows, with Florentine iron lanterns casting dancing patterns on the violet-mocha-toned walls. A burnished wooden bar hosts a lively evening scene, with ambient music, an extensive listing of vintage wine. The more rustic dining room features a Tuscan-inspired menu including fresh fennel and steak salad, rolled eggplant with goat cheese, and wild mushroom gnocchi with tiger shrimp.
LOVE THIS PLACE – First I want to agree with what everyone has said about this place IT IS AMAZING. I go at least once a week and the food never disappoints. Everything is great, highly recommend any of the daily specials you can not go wrong. If you love wine and great food you really need to stop by any day of the week. This restaurant is a true gem in Pasadena. If you want to have great food not stand in those ridiculous long lines and have the same boring food at those restaurants on Colorado st, stop by and try it out.
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