Pasadena >Food & Dining > Cafe Santorini
64-70 W Union St, Pasadena, CA | Directions 9110334.146752 -118.151709
Neighborhoods: West Central
Great food and ambience, although with some incidents... – I went on a friend's recommendation and I was very happy with the results as far as the service of our waiter and the entrees we received. Our waiter was knowledgeable and helped me make a choice between two entrees I couldn't decide on. I went with his suggestion and it was an excellent choice. I got the pesto farfalle with grilled chicken and my companion got a brochette dish. We went at night during a weekday so it was quite empty and we immediately got seated outdoors and it was a wonderful spot. However, the hostess tried to seat us by the wall even though there were three empty tables by the railing where you can oversee the plaza. I requested for us to be seated by the railing but she refused saying they were saving those for bigger parties. I was a party of two, yet I saw at least one of those tables were set up for two people so her reason made no sense. Since we arrived nearly a half hour before our reservation, I told her we'll come back at our reserved time and maybe then seats will be "available". I guess to make us stay and not risk losing customers, she agreed to seat us by the railing. About halfway into our meal, she seated a party of 3 right next to us, despite 6 other (yes I counted) tables that were empty. My dinner companion was a Black man and he made a joking comment to me that perhaps it was because he's Black that these things happened to us. Although it was a joke, it was disheartening in face of what happened to us.
Hidden Gem – Cafe Santorini is located upstairs of the alley way in Old Town Pasadena. The ambience is really nice (especially if you're sitting outside on a summer evening). I've been to Cafe Santorini multiple times and though the service could be a little better, the food is delish! If you like Mediterranian food, this is a place that you should try.
The worst restaurant in Pasadena, bar none – I used to get dragged to this totally mediocre restaurant whenever
friends insisted on sitting out on their 'fabulous patio', which in
reality is an exposed, crowded, ambience-free holding pen for saps who
wouldn't know good Mediterranean food if it were handed to them on a plate.
Never mind the bad meals, the rude waiters, the food you were
served that you never ordered, or the food you ordered but were never
served. That was, until the day the maitre d' (if such a low-class
joint can indeed be said to have such a position) refused to seat
three of us until the fourth member of our party arrived. Call me
crazy, but adding insult to the injury of their food and service was
the last straw for me, and I vowed never to go back.
Fast forward 10 years, when I stupidly agreed to try it again, just a
few weeks ago, thinking that it must have changed hands, or at least
learned something about restauranteur-ism in the intervening decade,
if only by osmosis from the many superior restaurants within spitting
distance. Well, as the adage goes, you can't teach an old dog new
tricks, and apparently it was business as usual -- that is to say, bad
-- in this doghouse. After seating us on the 'fabulous patio', we were
told that if we were only going to order dessert, we'd have to sit
somewhere else! In disbelief, we took it up with the management, who
told us helpfully that if we didn't like it, we could always leave!
Which we were only too pleased to do. A short walk down the stairs and
across the plaza brought us to Il Fornaio, where we were seated not
only promptly and courteously, but on their lovely landscaped outdoor
patio, a veritable oasis compared to Santorini's swill-pen. And when
the desserts arrived -- without mistakes or delays -- they were
transcendent. Something Santorini's owners wouldn't know the meaning
Great setting, pretty good food, ok service. – The outdoor patio is great and you can eat right in the heart of all the shopping. The food is pretty good and for very good prices. The sizes are fair and the platting is very nice. The service was not so good as they over charged me by 10 bucks, and when I brought it to there attention they did not want to change it. However, beside that mix up the experience was very good.
Pasadena destination for romantic rooftop dining and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. – In Short
Close to the energy of Old Town--but not close enough to hear its buzz--patrons dine both indoors and al fresco on the light-strung terrace. Mediterranean specialties include the mezze appetizer with tabbouleh, feta, olives and hummus. Popular entrées include the lamb souvlaki and beef kabobs. Pizzas topped with barbecue chicken or four cheeses have a light, thick crust, and salads range from traditional Greek to Gorgonzola and walnut. Seafood highlights include pasta, risotto and a red-curry paella.
Great Place for a Party – I attended a private party at the Rococo Room at Cafe Santorini - and the space was very quaint and cozy (dark wood bar, crystal chandeliers, lush velvety draperies) and the service was very attentive and friendly. While it's always difficult to prepare food for a large group, the restaurant did relatively well (except some hors d'eouvres were already cold when served - curried shrimp was still pretty good though). The highlights were the steak with peppercorn sauce,the chocolate mousse cake (just sweet and rich enough; a great end to the meal) and the coffee. I'm not sure I would trek all the way out to pasadena just to dine there, but I'll keep it in mind for group events, etc.
Good, but not great – Santorini has an excellent patio and a nice, festive atmosphere (loud). Had a reservation, they lost it, waited a half hour. After spending over $300 I left feeling like I should have just went somewhere else. Service ok, food fine - but "ok" and "fine" is not worth $300.
Great service, yummy food – We had great service, a nice table on the edge of the balcony, and everyone in my party enjoyed their meal (large portions). My friend's meal came a little later than everyone else's and the waiter gave him a bunch of stuff for free -- a big house salad, a soda, and a hummus and pita appetizer. I would go back again.
be aware caned hummus...... – if you have ever eaten in a real Middleeastern/Mediterranean restaurant you will never come back to cafe Santorini again. the food is a very pale imitation of the middle eastern cooking.
Unforgetable Place – I had my wedding reception here last year and I will never forget it. Intimate and romantic, Cafe Santorini is the best restaurant in Pasadena. Book a table on the balcony and you'll feel like you're in Europe. I stick with the mediterranean dishes, like the chicken kabob and rice. It seems like that is what they do best. I'm going tonight for my one year anniversary.
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