Less than a week after my experience at Savor Los Angeles with Intelligentsia, I got notice of one opening up near where I live. Instead of driving out to Silver Lake or Venice, I got to check out Intelligentsia: Pasadena during its soft opening. Little did I know it was a restaurant with a liquor license coming soon! From its modest entryway, I entered into a wood and brick-laden coffee “loft” with a smiling barista ready to take my order.
The service was wonderful and the staff were not flustered or stressed as you would expect them to be during a grand opening. Both the cashier and I were unaware that a lot of the food menu had began to run out by the time we ordered around 1:30PM. The manager made it his duty to come find me after we seated to inform me that they ran out of a sandwich I ordered and apologized. He ensured me that they were not expecting such a high demand and therefore asked to make me something else instead. I gladly obliged and were given a few different options from which I chose the fava bean salad.
The salad was prepared meticulously and had just the right proportions of dressing, cheese and vegetables. The acidity of the dressing with the cherry tomatoes and fava beans graced my taste buds and I was pleased. The roasted vegetable flatbread came pre-sliced, hot and ready to eat. Everything here comes market-fresh and once I took a bite of the flatbread, I could taste the difference. This is definitely a dish you can share. In fact, I would recommend splitting dishes if you come with a group so that everyone can get a taste of the menu.
The modest entrace with gaping windows and a loft feel.
The entrance and the view of the machines. Mix of materials give a nice curb appeal.
My Guatemalan iced “Itzamna” with half&half and sugar. Delicious. ($3)
Latte & Espresso ($3.75 & $2.50)
McGrath Farm Cherry Tomato Salad w/ Fresh Fava Beans & Housemade Feta ($9)
Roasted Vegetable Flatbread ($9.50)
There’s wi-fi for your laptops but I believe there are no outlets like at the Silver Lake location, so be careful if you decide to come here to study or do work. From high tables to low tables to the bar, there is plenty of seating for whatever kind of visit you are planning on having. As of now, there is no outdoor seating but the front seating area with its large windows give you the light and air needed to feel like you are dining al fresco.
Also, the ninety(90) minute complimentary parking in Old Town allows any Intelligentsia customer ample time to enjoy their purchases and drive off without a charge, which I thought is perfect for locals like myself who want to come back often. For one week it will only be open from 10-4, but afterwards they are set to have coffee and to-go meals ready to order by 6 in the morning.
Overall, the ambiance, service and most importantly, the food and drinks held strong to the reputation behind the Intelligentsia name. This restaurant is a much needed addition to the Old Town Pasadena restaurant mix and I’m sure the word will spread fast making it one of the hottest spots in the area.
The rest of my pictures from the grand opening(link also on the sidebar): Intelligentsia: Pasadena.
– gmangoman a.k.a. Hemang