The Raymond | Bar 1886
If you're going to head to a restaurant in Pasadena, it might as well be a destination restaurant, since Pasadena feels like a destination getaway in Los Angeles with traffic and the sheer distance. It's the last stop out of LA in my opinion but it's worth it every time when you start to feel that life is lived a bit slower out there. If Pasadena is our destination cit, then the Raymond is our destination restaurant.
Originally the caretaker's cottage of the Raymond Hotel built in 1886, the hotel was opened and named after Walter Raymond. The hotel's glory days of entertaining socialites and celebrities like Charlie Chaplin couldn't see it through the Great Depression and was leveled for a residential area, only to save the caretaker's cottage, which Walter Raymond and his wife lived in until 1934.
It took on different functions through the 1900s but officially became a restaurant in the 70's and has been revered as one of Pasadena's historical landmarks, alongside offering some amazing food and cocktails.
The cottage is split into two sections, the bar named Bar 1886, and the restaurant named The Raymond. The restaurant offers a more refined approach to a dining experience and should be fully taken advantage of when you've got 2 hours and an appetite for a 3 course meal. (The scallops and the short rib are my two favorites, but everything is worth trying) Bar 1886 is great for happy hour and bar food/cocktails any time after 5pm. (The Jidori Chicken Wings and the Steamed Mussels are two of my favorite dishes!) The cocktails are created in house by mixologists and change seasonly but never disappoint.
Lots of gorgeous outdoor seating makes it a perfect spot for brunching and lunching as well. Sundays get a bit crazy so try and make it an early reservation to beat the crowds. Lots of street parking and valet is available. It's very tucked away on the corner of S Fair Oaks and Columbia so be ready for a potential U-turn!