I think it’s difficult to review a place that doesn’t WOW you or make you filled with rage. It’s the eateries that hit the mark of just above mediocre, that B average student that tends to fall by the wayside for me. Such a place is Plate 38 – a clean, casual Pasadena joint that serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Between its wannabe hip menu and annoyingly “cool” (thus slow as it is bogged down with unnecessary effects) website, Plate 38 desperately wants to achieve what The Counter Burger has in success and other Pasadena eateries like Kings Row and Dog Haus already have in style and skill.
That’s not to say Plate 38 doesn’t have good food – it does – it just doesn’t leave a lasting impression (hence I forgot to even write about it, several months later).
With 1/3 patty, wild mushroom demi-glace, caramelized onion, arugula, provolone, blue cheese aioli on brioche. Would have swapped out the blue cheese aioli for standard garlic aioli as it drowned out the flavors of mushroom. The most negative comment I have is that the meat was well (overcooked) and I recall asking for medium rare.
With scrambled eggs, bacon, cheddar, avocado, and lettuce on brioche. Burger was a little overdone (not J’s complaint, mine) but lovely to have that much fresh lettuce on a burger.
Served with ketchup and ranch, I believe. J didn’t like them because they were so thin all that was discernible was the crispy exterior and none of the garlic or herbs.
They have a nice beverage selection, including Hank’s root beer which I can drink because it does not contain caffeine. It should be noted, however, that J felt their lemonade was incredibly off, being too sour.
Would I recommend Plate 38? I would recommend it for the area. If you’re going across the street to Game Empire for some D&D and take a break for dinner, this is a place I’d name as a plausible choice. If you actually want to impress somebody with some serious Pasadena eats? No.
Would I return to Plate 38? Hm. I wouldn’t go out of my way to avoid it, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to patronize their establishment again, either. If someone suggests it with enthusiasm, I have no issue going along.
2361 East Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91107
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