Edwin Mills: Creating its Own Bustle

Alley hideaway in historic neighborhood offers great meals and great deals

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 | 3:00 am

Just off the crowded sidewalks and urgent tempo of Old Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard, there’s this little alley. You might know the one. Head south on Mills Place, off Colorado, where that burger place was for many years, and duck into Edwin Mills, like we did the other Friday night.

We were famished and ready to up the tempo, and this former livery turned coffee house turned funky gourmet eatery fit the bill for us perfectly. Crowded, pretty loud, and smelling like food. That sounds like an excellent Friday.

While a jazz trio entertained, we entertained quite the extensive menu. It’s hard to categorize the overall choices and cuisine at Edwin Mills, as it seems to draw from a wide palette of influences. The appetizers range from sautéed broccoli to popcorn chicken, braised pork belly to a “crabby puff,” which beckoned us right away, like, well, use your imagination, won’t you?

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It’s a baked crab set atop Swai (kinda like whitefish), floating in a sauce that the restaurant describes as “creamy and yummy.” Add “yellow,” and that pretty much nails it. Bring a couple more of those, please.

A simple and smart house salad with Italian dressing set a lovely stage for the main course—a salmon steak, (more like a good-sized plank), and a bowl of Basil Mignon Morsels. (Don’t be fooled by that whole “morsels” thing. We’ll get to that.)

The salmon sat in a creamy bed of mashed sweet yams and baby carrots. Though I didn’t instruct them as such, the salmon was brought out just a little past seared, with plenty of pink. Lots to like here.

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Oh yes, those Basil Mignon Morsels. Chop up chunks of filet Mignon, drown it in a honey pepper sauce and serve with a foothill of rice. While my dining partner couldn’t finish the serving, I was more than happy to complete the task, feeling a little guilty as I did.

Oh man, honey and pepper. Makes perfect sense, but who knew? Certainly not me.

The perfectly-timed birthday evening brought out chocolate mousse cake from the kitchen and a song from the band, and I was a hero.

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One additional fact about Edwin Mills that you’ll like, is that I could spot only one entree over $20. The portions are welcoming, the atmosphere is busy and fun, and it’s still off the main pedestrian drag.

They’ve also got a terrific lunch special, we’ve heard. We’ll be back around Cheeseburger Week (January 26th – January 31) to find out.

Take her here. Take him here. Be your own hero.

Edwin Mills is at 22 Mills Place, Pasadena. (626) 564-8656. www.edwinmills.com

 

 

 

 

 

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