Food Tasting Walking Tour of Old Pasadena

Opera-CakeLarry and I LOVE touristy things, even in our own backyard. We’re both native Angelinos; been to Pasadena plenty of times. But never on foot for a tasting, history and architecture tour. When friend Chef Diane Scalia and her sister, Lisa, launched Melting Pot Food Tours, Larry and I were totally on board.

Huh? Pasadena, you ask? Yup, birthplace of Julia Child. Launching pad of Trader Joe’s. New Year’s Day annual Rose Parade. And one of LA’s poshest Old Money ‘hoods, both for residences and commerce. Pasadena had been through some tough times and then, in the 70s, the turnaround began and the place is HOT. Most especially for foodies.

Gelato-Display For only $49 a person, we engaged in “three hours of entertainment and a full meal in grazing fashion,” described Lisa. Starting at 10:30 AM, the group was so full, they split us into two. Our guide, Mike Albanese elegantly guided us through fascinating alleys, hidden courtyards and historic eating establishments all the while filling us in on how each spot came to be. Twenty-two (that’s 22!) sites and nine tastings later, we had full bellies and a greater appreciation for restored, renovated and revived Old Pasadena.

Cafe-Bizou I won’t give away the actual itinerary, experience that for yourself. But between incredible tortas, airy falafels, the history of Opera cake (above), an educational tea demo and tasting, California olive oil and balsamic vinegar tastings, gelato, chocolate and much more, we gave this activity a big thumbs-up.

The Los Angeles Times Food Section featured Diane and Lisa’s Melting Pot Tours just a few days after this post: HERE IS THAT ARTICLE.

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