Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cafe Bizou - Pasadena (Old Town)

When lil' sis told our brother that she was coming up to take me to "Phantom of the Opera" for my birthday, he wanted to take us out for dinner beforehand. He suggested choosing from the Pasadena restaurants that were participating in DineLA. I quickly scanned the lowest-priced tier and chose Cafe Bizou because it seemed to give us the best food options.

Three courses with steak and lobster for $26!

Cafe Bizou - Pasadena (Old Town) 1

Complimentary bread basket. There was also walnut bread nestled underneath the French bread.

Cafe Bizou - Pasadena (Old Town) 2

Lil' sis chose stuffed mushrooms in a balsamic glaze. A lot of meat! At least two inches worth, so that's why the mushrooms were sideways. Ground chicken and spinach mousse in a balsamic vinegar glaze. Normally, $5.95.

Cafe Bizou - Pasadena (Old Town) 3

My brother and I got the lobster bisque, normally $6.95.

Cafe Bizou - Pasadena (Old Town) 4

The flavor was very good, not too fishy or salty, which sometimes happens with bisques. But the best part was a pretty generous serving of lobster chunks.

Cafe Bizou - Pasadena (Old Town) 5

The third option that none of us chose was the Asian pear salad.

Lil' sis got the lobster pasta as her entree. A very large serving of angel hair pasta with chunks of lobster, tomatoes, and mushrooms in a lobster vodka sauce.

Cafe Bizou - Pasadena (Old Town) 6

It was mostly claw meat, but again, huge and very generous chunks of lobster. This isn't listed as a separate entree on their regular menu, but you can get a three-course dinner that includes a lobster pasta for $28.95. So basically, we got better appetizers and saved $2.95 with DineLA.

Cafe Bizou - Pasadena (Old Town) 7

My brother and I chose the steak, sea scallops, and jumbo shrimp entree. The 4 oz filet mignon in brandy cream sauce was very tender, the two scallops were larger than expected, and the shrimp was big too. The regular $28.95 three-course dinner features an 8 oz filet mignon in burgundy wine sauce and two side dishes. Good, solid preparation of some classics.

Cafe Bizou - Pasadena (Old Town) 8

None of us chose the third DineLA entree option of steak au poivre, sliced peppered filet mignon in a brandy cream sauce. We like our seafood.

Service up to this point was fine, but as the dining room filled up, the service markedly slowed down. The waitress said she'd take our dessert order later, instead of at the beginning when we already looked at our options on the DineLA menu. So we waited for a while after our entrees were cleared before she came to take our dessert orders. In the end, that turned out to be a good thing because two of the people at the table next to us ordered the flourless chocolate cake, then asked for sauce because it was too dry.

So we decided to order the trio of lemon, raspberry, and mango sorbets.

Cafe Bizou - Pasadena (Old Town) 9

And two homemade tiramisus. Mmm. So good. And definitely not dry. Not French either, but I think of Cafe Bizou as French cuisine with some other homey favorites thrown in.

Cafe Bizou - Pasadena (Old Town) 10

All those desserts are available as part of the three-course dinner on the regular menu as well.

All in all, I'd say Cafe Bizou was one of the better DineLA options in terms of getting your money's worth. The dishes were all solid and generously portioned. So much so that lil' sis took leftover lobster pasta home and oldest nephew liked it and says he now wants to come up to try out the restaurant. And really, isn't that the point of DineLA? I would certainly go back and pay the normal price for the three-course dinner. There are other dishes on the menu that looked appealing too, but it's hard to beat three courses, including lobster, for less than $30. :)

Other Pasadena Old Town restaurants:
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Dining - Pasadena (Old Town)
Mi Piace - Pasadena (Old Town)
Pinkberry - Pasadena (Old Town)

Cafe Bizou
91 N. Raymond Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103-3919
Monday and Tuesday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday, and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. 10 p.m.

1 year ago today, Ask Wandering Chopsticks 2.
2 years ago today, Baked Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin) with Brown Sugar and Butter.
3 years ago today, Dau Phong Luoc (Vietnamese Boiled Peanuts).
4 years ago today, Sour Cream Apple Pie.


  1. Lobster! If you ever manage to get over to Virginia Beach, there's a restaurant out on the pier called the Fisherman's Wharf, if I recall. It's seasonal - they close after August or July, I think, to let the autumn and winter months pass. But they have the best, best, BEST ever seafood. I remember having a stuffed lobster with crab, shrimp and scallops for about $14. And the -best- seafood chowder any of us had ever eaten for about...$4? Or $5? Mind you, that was a good 8 years ago now. But it'd be still worth a visit!

  2. Take me with you next time please. The food looks mouth wateringly delicious! :)

  3. Glad to hear you liked this place. I've been avoiding it because my co-worker gave it the thumbs down, but I think I believe you more than I believe her. :P

  4. Sounds lovely -- I'd pay the nonDineLA price, too, for that nice combination.

  5. Just a note for your readers, Cafe Bizou only charges $2 for corkage!

  6. Oh, their lobster pasta is GRAND!

    So glad you enjoyed it.

  7. I'm hungry now. :( This looks like good food for that price!

  8. Shuku,
    Haha. I don't think I even know where Virginia Beach is! But I'll have to keep your recommendation in mind if I'm ever there.

    Wait until they have another restaurant week deal. Such a great bargain.

    Well, it wasn't anything extraordinary, but it was good basic French bistro food.

    Only a few dollars more for that combo when it's not DineLA.

    That's a great tip!

    It was! Sooo much lobster meat.

    It was a great deal.


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