Lebec, California, November 21, 2010—NO PARTICULAR REASON for it; it was quite unplanned. We decided on lunch in Pasadena at a tapas place we like, and dinner was dictated by location. When I pointed out we'd be eating Spanish at lunch, Mexican at dinner, Lindsey said, with her sweet reason, Just imagine we're traveling in Spain. Or Mexico.
Well, of course, we are: we're in California, southern California at that. Hispanic country. So for lunch, after an arugula-hazelnut salad (hardly Hispanic, that, I think), I had salt cod and potatoes, with a bowl of padrones on the side. How fine it is that these are now available almost everywhere! And a crème Catalan for dessert.
Bar Celona, 48 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; tel. 626.405.1000
DINNER AT THE ONLY place near tonight's hotel, a big, empty, friendly franchise-Mexican place at the foot of the Grapevine, the southern entrance to California's Central Valley. After a decent Martini I had the combination plate with chile verde, nice and piquant, with the customary rice and beans, wheat tortilla, none of that shredded lettuce and wooden tomato that too often disfigures this Cal-Mex staple.
House Cabernet sauvignon
Don Penicos Mexican Grill, 9021 Grapevine Road, Lebec; tel. 661.248.6903