Help the ailing economy by exploring Pasadena’s bustling shopping districts.
Regardless of political party affiliation, everyone can agree to some shopping every now and then. But if you were a candidate for office, where would you go?
Pasadena surely has something for everyone, whether you consider yourself an instrument of change we can believe in, a hardworking political veteran, someone who does his or her own thing, or a lipstick-wearing hockey – in our climate, more likely soccer – mom.
Carroll & Co., this year’s Best of Pasadena readers’ poll winner for Best Men’s Clothing, carries high quality, high-end suits, shoes and ties to help any man achieve a look of power and sophistication.
Flutter, winner of Best Women’s Clothing, is not as conservative as suit-and-tie, but certainly has something elegant and unique for the woman who finds herself at a red carpet affair. Accessorize with something new, classic or handmade from Lany’s Antiques, winner of Best Jewelry.
Young children need to look good, too, if only for their parents’ pride. Jumping Jellyfish, winner of Best Local Kids’ Clothing, stays on the cutting edge of fashion so your child will look cool and put together – and so will you.
Oops! Spill something on one of your fine frocks during a pancake house stop to meet your fellow Americans? Let Round the Clock Cleaners, winner of Best Dry Cleaner and Laundry, handle it organically and efficiently, seven days a week.
When you aren’t taking the limo, arrive anywhere in class with a Benz, Jag or Rolls from this year’s Best Auto Dealer, Rusnak Auto Group. Get in a fender bender when hounded by the paparazzi? Marco’s Auto Body, Best Auto Body Repair winner, will be fast without compromising painstaking detail and customer satisfaction. Or, if the car just needs an extra sparkle, head a little out of town to Fasching’s Car Wash in Arcadia, winner of Best Car Wash, where service and quality are top priorities.
Those who are independent at heart need look no further than free spirits Penny Lane Records, a hip shop with plenty of vinyl that won Best Independent Music Store, or Penny Lane Video, our Best Independent Video Store, which won’t flip-flop on great selection and deals. Vroman’s Bookstore, winner of Best Independent Bookstore, is like the Independent that is taken seriously and remains creative – a Ralph Nader in his heyday. They carry many titles and welcome others’ ideas, as seen in the written recommendations throughout the store. Vroman’s also won Best Newsstand, so you can check up on what local and international papers and magazines are saying about you, other candidates and further important issues – or lose yourself in a health, car or home-related magazine.
Be a candidate of the people as you peruse tons of collectibles, meet the community and contribute to the good cause of PCC student services at the Pasadena City College Flea Market, winner of Best Flea Market.
Need a casual place to talk foreign policy in style? Cigars by Chivas hits the spot with its leather chairs, TV and other satisfying distractions, and Captain Tobacco carries hard-to-find smokes for the true aficionado. Both tied for Best Smoke/Tobacco Shop.
Jacob Maarse, winner of Best Flower Shop, has creative and elegant arrangements perfect for that large fundraiser and bouquets that say “Thank you” to supporters or “I love you” to the first lady (or dude, maybe) in your life. But don’t forget invitations and thank-you notes! Best Stationery winner Vroman’s Fine Writing, Gifts and Stationery offers myriad designs for every occasion, as well as printing for that added professional touch.
For those times when you want to enjoy the Great Outdoors, head over to Best Bicycle Shop winner Pasadena Cyclery, and the knowledgeable staff will help you choose wheels perfect for that mountain trail or leisurely ride and photo-op with the family. Big 5, winner of Best Sporting Goods, also provides sports equipment and clothing for other active adventures.
After a long day of interviews, making speeches and meeting the public, get some R and R in a place that makes you feel presidential, yet comfortable. The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa more than fills the bill with its luxurious rooms, lushly-landscaped grounds, pool, spa and fine dining. You will never want to leave, unless you get to live in The White House.
1009 E. Green St., Pasadena
A frequent winner on this list, Lany’s has provided affordable rare items and impeccable service for over three decades. Think outside the box and add character and conversation to any room in the house with one of their fabulous finds or get a truly one-of-a-kind gift.
Antiques on Fair Oaks
330 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena | (626) 449-9590
The welcoming staff is more than willing to answer your questions about their many pieces, including English, French and Italian items.
BEST AUTO DEALER
Rusnak Auto Group
267-337 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (888) 253-0490 www.rusnakautogroup.com
Home to state-of-the-art vehicles like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar, Audi, Porsche, Rolls-Royce and Volvo, Rusnak is an institution that has received many awards, including the first J.D. Powers “Customer Approved Retailer” and the Sports Illustrated Dealer of Distinction. High customer satisfaction has brought in many repeat clients.
Honda of Pasadena
1965 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 683-5888 | www.hondaofpasadena.com
Winner of the 2007 President’s Award, this dealership goes the extra mile, like a service lounge with a playroom for kids, Web access and business services.
BEST BICYCLE SHOP
1670 E. Walnut St., Pasadena
(626) 584-6391 | www.pasadenacyclery.com
Pasadena Cyclery has served the area for more than 30 years and carries high-end bikes for all terrain, such as LeMond, BMC, Trek and others. Not only is the staff trained and certified to repair any make and model of bicycle, but they can help you choose which one is right for you.
1292 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
In Cycle offers a long list of repairs, parts and bikes for various uses to satisfy the needs of the novice or pro cyclist.
100 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena | (626) 304-9996 | www.lulamae.com
This whimsical, retro shop is the perfect place for gift-shopping. Find a funny or charming card, book, or accessory for a friend – or yourself! – or shop their selection of children’s products and baby clothes like a onesie emblazoned with “non-partisan.” Before you leave, pick up some jelly beans from the jars behind the counter to complete your experience.
2628 Mission St., San Marino | (626) 441-7250
Unique gifts and wardrobe accessories from around the world abound in this hip and charming wonderland with a very friendly staff, now enjoying its fourth straight year of Best Of accolades.
BEST FLEA MARKET
Pasadena City College Flea Market
1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 585-7906 | www.pasadena.edu/fleamarket
From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first Sunday of every month the 450 vendors (including 70 record vendors) sell everything from thrift items to antiques and collectibles. Admission is free and proceeds fund student life programs and scholarships, so you can feel extra warm and fuzzy about your finds.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena (323) 560-7469
Over 2,500 vendors comprise this market held the second Sunday of each month, which just added a new indoor section featuring an Artisan Arts Show.
Apramian Carpet & flooring
2532 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Whether you need a floor rug for the living room, tile for the kitchen or another type of flooring for a larger project, you will be satisfied with Apramian’s reasonable prices and high quality throughout their many flooring options. In business since 1940, Apramian also carries laminates, hardwood, vinyl, stone and other choices for residential or commercial flooring.
BEST FLOWER SHOP
655 E. Green St., Pasadena | (626) 449-0246
As the preferred florist of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Jacob Maarse has elevated its arrangements to an art form and is considered the Rolls-Royce of florists. With something extraordinary for every occasion, it is easy to see why this 42-year-old business has received praise from multiple national publications.
Rose City Flowers
26 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena | (626) 683-3138
Doing business here is a pleasure, from the beautiful bouquets that will make any event special to the helpful and friendly service.
2350 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 796-7103
32 N. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 844-1160 | www.fedde.com
Feel at home furnishing your home at this store that has been family-owned and operated for over three generations. Superior value, selection and service are always in stock in the two 20,000-square-foot showrooms with various styles, top brands and custom upholstery.
3635 E.Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 744-0211 | www.plummers.com
This chain carries classy furniture with clean lines for every room of the house, as well as accessories for added pizzazz.
BEST INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE
695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 449-5320 www.vromansbookstore.com
From the creative book displays and written recommendations that pepper the shelves to the wall of employee picks with brief summaries, Vroman’s is the place to go for new books with a more personal touch. Relax at their café or stroll through the myriad new books and other items that make great gifts for someone else or yourself.
630 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Get lost in the smell of aisles of old books and discover a quiet treasure trove right off the bustling street.
BEST INDEPENDENT MUSIC STORE
Penny Lane Records
1661 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 535-0949 | www.pennylane.com
Mostly vinyl, interspersed with used CDs, Penny Lane is a local favorite that keeps customers coming back with its selection, accommodating staff, low prices and specialties like used iPods and their policy to let you preview any CD, new or used.
805 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
New and used tapes, vinyl and CDs of various genres – including a large jazz section – abound in this store where you can trade your used CDs and tapes for store credit.
BEST INDEPENDENT VIDEO STORE
Penny Lane Video
569 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena | (626) 568-9999 www.pennylane.com
Penny Lane charms clients with special movie shelves dedicated to classics and Best Picture Oscar winners and its unique rental policies. If you purchase then return any title within seven days you’ll receive 80 percent of the purchase price less tax in store credit. Also, get a free rental with an early return.
1005 Mission St., Ste. B, South Pasadena
(626) 403-6621 | www.vidtheque.com
Looking for that rare cult, independent, classic, foreign, or documentary film? This is the place. Bring along a used DVD for cash or store credit.
1009 E. Green St., Pasadena | (626) 578-7141
Newer, antique and custom-made jewelry are among the selection at this local favorite with knowledgeable, unpretentious staff. Lany’s will also repair jewelry you bring in the shop or even buy it if you want to trade for one of their precious pieces.
Tiffany & Co.
68 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 793-7424 | www.tiffany.com
Have your own Audrey Hepburn moment or treat yourself or someone special to fine jewelry, crystal or other timeless pieces.
2 E. Holly St., Pasadena | (626) 577-0818 | www.silverme.com
The majority of this small shop’s jewelry – silver, beaded and various stones – is handmade and some is even made onsite by designers.
BEST LOCAL EYEWEAR
477 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 796-1191 | www.eyefinity.com/lindenoptometryapc
Not only does Linden boast an experienced vision care staff, but they offer eye exams, eye glasses, contact lenses, LASIK consultation, Orthokeratology, and treatment of minor eye injuries, to name a few. With a staggering 10,000 frames to choose from, come with some time to spare.
45 W. Green St., Pasadena | (626) 793-7073 | www.oldfocals.com
Old Focals is where locals and movie biz folks alike go to find vintage glasses to buy or even rent for reasonable prices.
BEST LOCAL KIDS CLOTHING (TIE)
107 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Ste. 107, Pasadena | (626) 578-1838 | www.jumpyjelly.com
If your kid were a celebrity, he or she would be on the best-dressed list with these trendy, affordable threads. With brands like Punkster, imps&elfs and Pixel Organics, your child will almost be too cool for school, and everyone will know how hip his/her parents are.
2529 Mission St., San Marino | (626) 441-8888
Find traditional and contemporary upscale clothes for boys and girls. Brands like Polo and Burberry can’t help but make a good impression and maybe even make your rugrats look somewhat presentable, despite their best efforts. Accent your child’s fashion statement with the perfect shoes and accessories.
BEST LOCAL NURSERY (TIE)
Armstrong Garden Center
352 E. Glenarm St., Pasadena | (626) 799-7139
635 W. Huntington Drive, Monrovia | (626) 358-4516
This chain has enough flowers for you to create your own secret – or public – garden and enough fruit trees for your own orchard. Sod, lawn food and accents like fountains will complete your landscaping project. Attend monthly classes and events to increase your gardening knowledge.
Burkard Nurseries, Inc.
690 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 796-4355 | www.burkardnurseries.com
Over 71 years this local family-owned store has grown into a destination for rare and exotic plants, as well as citrus trees and the usual suspects. Passionate and educated employees can answer any of your questions. Burkard’s is also involved in local organizations like the Tournament of Roses, the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Descanso Gardens.
3115 E. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena
This four-acre, family-run nursery is also a grower, meaning they grow everything they sell, which includes hard-to-find plants and a little of everything.
BEST LOCAL TOY STORE
1510 Mission St., South Pasadena | (626) 441-2767
Step into this prehistoric playland that calls itself “not your ordinary store” and you will soon forget all about iPods and other high-tech gizmos. You will probably learn something too from helpful store owner Dave Plenn. While they carry an unbelievable assortment of dinosaur-related items like costumes, toys, books, games and clothes, non-dinosaur favorites are also in stock.
San Marino Toy and Book Shoppe
2424 Huntington Drive, San Marino | (626) 309-0222 | www.toysandbooks.com
Since 1975 this shop has offered a wide variety of educational toys and games as well as books for boys and girls, whether their interest is pirates or princesses.
BEST MEN’S CLOTHING
Carroll & Co.
146 S. Lake Ave, Pasadena | (626) 396-7060 | www.carrollandco.com
“The difference is in the details” at this high-end maker of shoes, socks, sweaters, sport coats, sport shirts, slacks and even sleepwear. Any man will look like a dapper gentleman in Carroll & Co. attire, whether he is at the office or out for a day or night on the town.
695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 449-5320 | www.vromansbookstore.com
Pick up a paper and peruse the news happening locally and abroad or go to magazine heaven with a variety of titles for every hobby and interest. You’ll feel especially metropolitan reading along busy Colorado Boulevard while sipping a beverage from Vroman’s coffee bar.
BEST SMOKE/TOBACCO SHOP (TIE)
2371 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 795-4714
This small shop stocks an amazing assortment of cigarettes and cigars for every taste and budget, so whether you need a nice gift for the boss or want an affordable night with the boys, Captain Tobacco will steer you in the right direction.
Cigars by Chivas
58 S. DeLacey Ave., Pasadena
(626) 395-7475 | www.cigarsbychivas.com
Puff on a cigar – over 12 brands and 90 styles – while you sit in a leather massage chair, play chess, drink a chilled beverage and watch TV. Sound too good to be true? Enter this small Old Town shop and go to cigar paradise. You may even hear Twin Palms’ live tunes while you get your smoke on.
Fair Oaks Cigar
806 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena (626) 441-1457 | www. cigarsultan.com
With their 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on their fine cigars and accessories, you can’t lose. Also, have a cup of coffee or a drink with your smoke.
BEST SPORTING GOODS
3719 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 795-3111 | www.big5sportinggoods.com
Whether you are an amateur trying a hobby or a seasoned athlete, Big 5 stocks equipment and apparel for various sports at reasonable prices. Rifles, sleeping bags, tennis shoes, fishing rods and golf clubs are just some of what you can find at this trusted national chain.
Westfield Santa Anita
400 S. Baldwin Ave., Ste. 910-L, Arcadia
This massive chalet practically has its own zip code and is filled with gear and clothing for numerous sports, while offering rentals and repairs.
Vroman’s Fine Writing, Gifts and Stationery
667 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 744-1834 | www.vromansbookstore.com
Whether you need stationery that is professional, elegant or frivolous, Vroman’s surpasses the competition with its variety and quality of choices. The hardest part of your trip will be buying just one box of invites or thank-you notes. They also offer printing for an extra fee.
One Colorado | 20 Hugus Alley, Pasadena | (626) 796-1406
Santa Anita Mall | 400 S. Baldwin Avenue, Ste. L-3, Arcadia | (626) 446-2819
Choose cards, invitations and other paper goods of distinction, add custom printing and even purchase unique and elegant wrapping paper and gifts.
BEST THRIFT SHOP
Out of the Closet
1726 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 440-1719
1136 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena | (626) 403-2333
A true thrift store, with men and women’s clothing that usually runs about $5 to $10 and a small selection of bargain furniture, dishes and books. Not only are you being green by buying used items, you are helping fund medical services provided by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which owns and operates the store and provides medical help regardless of ability to pay.
Aaardvark’s Odd Ark
1253 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Though they have a costume section for Halloween, the whole store has dress-up gems like Hawaiian shirts, various uniforms and clothes from every decade, plus hats, wigs, sunglasses and other accessories.
183 Altadena Drive, Pasadena | (626) 564-0335
17 Las Tunas Drive, Arcadia | (626) 574-7625
Goodwill provides inexpensive clothes and other items to the public, as well as education, training and career services for the homeless, disabled and disadvantaged.
BEST WOMEN’S CLOTHING
54 W. Green St., Pasadena | (626) 449-3224 | www.flutteronline.com
Owned by a mother and daughter, Flutter’s spacious, beautifully-presented shop taunts window-shoppers with elegant high-end frocks from labels such as Badgley Mishka Platinum and Vivienne Tam, as well as designer denim, sportswear and sumptuous accessories. Special services include wardrobe makeovers, personal shopping, a VIP Rewards program, special ordering, gift wrap and home delivery.
12 Douglas Alley, Pasadena
(626) 792-4726 | www.elisab.com
Save a trip to the Westside: Find designer labels like Anna Sui and Citizens of Humanity at this chic boutique.
James V. Coane
30 N. Raymond Ave., Ste. 611, Pasadena | (626) 584-6922 | www.jvca.com
Coane, an AIA award winner and Cal Poly graduate, has been practicing for 14 years and mostly designs residential buildings, but is not pigeon-holed in any particular style. Some clients have Coane design multiple homes for them, and recent work has included Spanish Mediterranean mansions, mountain cabins, beach houses and an addition to a beautiful historic home.
BEST AUTO BODY REPAIR
Marco’s Auto Body
565 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
(626) 795-7500 | www.marcosautobody.com
Marco’s slogan is “Get your car fixed once right the first time” and they accomplish this with thorough but speedy work. Repairs start with a free visual inspection and advice, and end with a unique detailed inspection. Their quality work and guarantee bring high customer loyalty as well as recommendations from local car dealerships and four major insurance companies.
Holmes Body Shop
1095 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena (626) 795-6447 | www.holmesbodyshop.com
Holmes exceeds expectations in their service and Community Give Back Program. They will donate five percent of your repair total to the local non-profit organization of your choice.
BEST BANK/CREDIT UNION
860 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 795-5177
1845 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 798-0894
2670 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 795-4253
1305 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena | (626) 441-5151
2333 N. Lake Ave., Altadena | (626) 398-2900
Although gone as a separate entity since JP Morgan Chase recently bought out its banking operations, WaMu has always been known for its friendly and helpful service and its clients can only hope that will continue. JPMorgan Chase brings more than $2 trillion in assets and is the largest depository bank in America.
Bank of America
145 W. California Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 304-3386
399 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (818) 507-6700
880 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 304-3120
1687 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 578-5181
929 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena | (626) 578-5125
This large institution continues to serve individuals, businesses and large corporations with “banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services.” Best of all, their ATMs are everywhere.
BEST CAR WASH
Fasching’s Car Wash
425 N. Santa Anita Ave., Arcadia
This soft-cloth car wash has multiple options and add-ons, from a triple soft-cloth wash for $11.95 to a “super 1” wash that includes a clear coat, polish, wax, wheel brite, air freshener, poly seal and tire dressing for $18.95. They also exceed expectations by offering detailing and gas.
Walnut-Hill Car Wash
1465 E. Walnut St., Pasadena | (626) 449-6217
The general consensus among customers is that Walnut-Hill means value. Ask about their early-bird specials on certain weekdays.
BEST DRY CLEANER/LAUNDRY
Round the Clock Cleaners
827 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena | (626) 793-3919 | roundtheclockcleaners.com
Round the Clock is aptly named for staying open seven days a week, but prides itself on keeping high principles and “golden” relationships with customers. The business recently went organic, eliminating potentially harmful chemicals from the environment, and gives a 20 percent discount to groups such as PCC students and JPL employees. If that isn’t enough, Round the Clock offers free pick-up and delivery.
89 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena
(626) 796-1975 | www.magiccleanersinc.com
From everyday dry cleaning at reasonable prices to preserving special items such as bridal gowns with surpassing dedication, Magic Cleaners lives up to its vision as a “complete garment care company.”
BEST HOME REMODELING
1450 Rutherford Drive, Pasadena
(626) 533-4402 | www.kitchentuneup.com
Changing or refurbishing cabinets is a quick way to dramatically change the look of your home, and Kitchen Tune-Up has options like re-dooring, re-facing, installing custom cabinets and wood reconditioning. Floor restoration and bathroom remodeling services are also available, with a free consultation and estimate.
Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa
401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena | (626) 568-3900 | www.pasadena.langhamhotels.com
Formerly the Ritz-Carlton, this hotel remains an upscale Old World getaway that attracts more than locals – “Desperate Housewives'” Marcia Cross wedded here. The Langham goes above and beyond in appearance, service and amenities, with regal rooms and suites, a spa and its Michelin star-winning restaurant, The Dining Room.
168 S. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena
Not far from Old Town, this hotel is perfect for business or pleasure with in-room conveniences like cable TV, wireless high-speed Internet, Nintendo games and more.
BEST INTERIOR DESIGNER
Christine Meissenburg of CM Design
30 E. Santa Clara St., Ste. A, Arcadia | (626) 821-0937
Though mostly residential, Meissenburg’s work can be seen in the heart of Old Town at the charming French bistro and wine bar The CrepeVine and the delightful Aux Delices Bakery (which both show up in our Best of Dining section). “My style is very transitional – taking in several styles within one interior, but most importantly making the interior uniquely the client’s,” says Meissenburg, who has been doing great work for 20 years.
BEST REAL ESTATE COMPANY
300 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena | (626) 568-7396
388 S. Lake Avenue, Pasadena | (310) 689-8287
2065 Huntington Dr, San Marino | (626) 449-5222
15 E Foothill Blvd, Arcadia | (626) 445-5500
Founded in 1906 on the values of commitment and professionalism, Coldwell Banker is clearly still pleasing clients, even in questionable economic times. First-time buyers may find themselves repeat buyers later, thanks to the knowledgeable sales associates. An online real estate glossary also helps demystify the home-buying process.
132 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 584-0101 | www.dilbeck.com
Most of the highly trained associates grew up in or live in their local market area, adding the edge of intimate knowledge of each community.
2065 Huntington Drive, San Marino
Although this is Matthew’s first year as a realtor — he works for Coldwell Banker — his roots in the community go way back. With the exception of his schooling at Cornell, where he got a formal interior design education, Matthew has lived in San Marino or Pasadena his whole life and specializes in the neighborhood surrounding Caltech. If Pasadena is the neighborhood for you, that’s invaluable expertise.