Plate 38

4.4
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330 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
This neighborhood gem is a perfect place for a dry aged burger and a beer or a Friday splurge with signature craft cocktails and a four course meal. Plate 38 caters to those in seek of comfort food made from scratch with a lighter California flare.

With its industrial Napa decor, Plate 38 is a warm bistro that stays open late and features a reverse happy hour starting at 9:00 seven days a week. Let loose on Saturdays and Sundays with bottomless mimosas and the best brunch Pasadena has to offer.
What 330 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

Order was wrong, even repeated it numerous times. Made my kids wait for 45 minutes (in an empty restaurant) to be served even though the adults were served. Super pricey for the level of service and the quality of food. Disappointed.

A
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

The food wasn’t good as used to be. The waiter was very nice and friendly. I will
go again because for the convenience.

a
Los Angeles
71 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Convenient to A Noise Within theater. Service was very friendly although a little slow. We had the skirt steak, half chicken, and apple tart. All were delicious.

GG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service and food

H
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 1

Good food and nice servers. The problem is the dogs. We wanted to sit outside. There was a dog that was the size of a small pony taking up a substantial portion of the outdoor space. No problem with dogs but, perhaps a size limit would be appropriate. Several local restaurants have decided to bar dogs from their patios because customers let their dogs eat or drink from the dishes or hold the dogs in their laps and allow the dogs literally onto the tables.

MC
Richmond
20 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great find really close to my hotel, and was able to intro a friend who lives in Pasadena to this joynt. Foid, service, and surroundings were prime. Would happily dine here again

GR
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

"Don't judge a book by it's cover," might not look like much in the parking lot of a strip mall, but what a surprise inside. Food and service excellent.

RZ
Los Angeles
86 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

This is the third time we've been to their wine-selling event, and I always enjoy it. They have a sommelier come in with some low-cost bottles, and you can taste them and buy them at a discount while enjoying some market-inspired menu items alongside their regular happy hour, which is, by the way, outstanding. My favorite item this visit was the farro w/ grilled peaches and bruleed cabra de capra--yum!

S
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Their daily menu was excellent and the cocktails super good. Great service and great food!

LM
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

The food and ambiance was great. Service not so good. Our waitress Kaitlin wasn’t really around. Seemed like we had to flag her down most of the time.
I did appreciate it being kid friendly. I had forgotten my baby wipes and the bathroom was stocked with baby products so thank you for that!

D
Adelaide / SA
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great bartender. Best gin martinis and old fashions. Food is amazing. Go for small plates to experience a variety of flavors

r
Los Angeles
60 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

You would never expect such great food in such a little neighborhood joint, it’s seriously great.

RS
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Enjoyed brunch. The food was very good. Had the mushroom omelet and mimosa. I would go there again. Also the parking was great, parking lot at the restaurant and didn't have to pay to park, which is a nice treat in Pasadena.

C
Toronto
15 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Lovely chef owned and operated restaurant in Pasadena. Food was creative and delicious. Service was very good. I will be back!

TH
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food is always good at Plate 38. Service is friendly. Only complaint sometimes the kitchen has a hard getting all entrees out at same time. Monday happy hour is the best!

SC
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We eat here often, usually at the bar, but this particular night we made a dining reservation via OpenTable and the host would not check us in. It was early and not crowded, and he just told us to sit anywhere. Then came by and tossed the menus and silverware at us. So rude. I asked again if he could please check us in for our reservation and he again did not. Finally, our server, who was very sweet and gracious did get us checked in. It seems like a small thing, but it set me on edge. Our server redeemed the evening though, she was energetic and attentive, and the filet mignon (on special that night) was perfect. We both tried wines we were not familiar with and both were quite good, so that added some points too. Overall, Plate 38 is a solid choice, but sometimes the service isn’t quite up to par.

GT
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice atmosphere, although we sat on the patio and the street noise got loud during our meal. Food tasted great. Fun presentation of the french fries.

OT
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Food was okay and service wasn’t bad. It goes get pretty loud once they turn the music on.

J
Los Angeles
15 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Plate 38 is my favorite place to eat. The wine is good, the food remarkable, and the service friendly and helpful. The noise is a bit much for me now and then, but Robert's remarkable cooking brings me back often.

DH
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 2

I was expecting a more elegant place, but my first choice for a place in central location between friends. Food was good, but just needed a place to meet. I probably won’t return; live in Woodland Hills. It was fun though, thanks! Food was messy but good; kind, attentive service. My friend from Burbank may come again. She drives by every day.

EM
Las Vegas
10 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The food is always good. Especially the brunch. Beware of the scrambles - sometimes they can be a bit greasy. But the flavor is excellent!

Note - on occasion, they'll forget an item. For example - if you add avocado to your salad, they might forget to bring it out. If you request fruit instead of potatoes, they might forget to do that.

Overall - I recommend Plate 38!

RG
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Probably not. I’m more into upscale dining. But, maybe for lunch or a sports bar. I was on a first date and my date often eats there. She lives in the neighborhood. Overall it’s a good store, well run and staffed.

TK
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of the best dining experiences I’ve had in California. The restaurant is small, and a lot of the seating is on the patio. Still it was very comfortable. Our server Alana (?) was knowledgeable, fun, friendly, and just plain awesome. The meal wasn’t cheap, nor were the portions huge, but the food was expertly prepared with flavors that make you smile and let out groans that can only make neighboring tables uncomfortable. We started with bone marrow and polenta. The bone marrow was the best we’ve ever had. It was surprising how much marrow was in each bone. Usually, this dish would seem like a bad value, but not here. The polenta was a flavor explosion, and I can’t wait to get back to try it again. We had the flank stake and the chef’s newly perfected pork served like a flank steak (can’t remember the name). They were both mind blowing! Plate 38... I’m in love!

CA
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I cannot fairly review the food as we never got in. We made 9:30 AM reservations for 6 people on Memorial Day for brunch. These were made on Open Table, were accepted and then later confirmed. when we arrived at 9:30 (after a 25 mile drive) to meet other family members for a celebration we found they were closed. Someone inside came to the door (wouldn't open it) and said they didn't open until 11:00 AM. I said we had confirmed 9:30 reservations and he just shrugged his shoulders and mouthed "too bad" and walked away. We ended up The Pan in Pasadena, a bit of a wait but the food was great as was the service.

g
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was exceptional, as always! Bonus to have live country music!!

DW
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is unbelievable, it is however, extremely noisy

SA
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Was her with friends for easy supper and took advantage of the happy hour specials. They were tasty and well prepared. Appreciated that our waiter came to us at 6:10 PM (happy hour was 3-6 PM) and said "Last call for happy hour" seeing if we wanted any more food or drinks.

OT
Indiana
14 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Plate 38 continues to be our favorite go to place for dinner. For ourselves and for hosting out of town guests. It never disappoints

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The food was great. Atmosphere was lovely. Service was good. Mixup between kitchen and server, caused significant delay in one entree, and entrees did not all arrive together. At least a 5 minute delay in between.

s
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

It was on Mother's day for dinner, service was good as always, but we had a VERY LONG wait for the food. All in all we enjoy Plate 38

PB
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Food selection is very limited, not unique, non signature. Food taste - bland, predictable and surprisingly bland. Food price - higher or equal to brand commercial restaurants. Service is quick but not quality. Don’t expect too much - nothing is to be.

MD
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed a nice Mother's Day with my wife and kids at Plate 38. The food and service were both excellent. They kept my bottomless mimosa from drying out and were very attentive to all our needs. A good time was had by all. Looking forward to my next visit.

NS
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been eating at Plate 38 since it opened years ago
The food is always fresh,organic veggies, high quality food . Always consistent in presentation and portions. I have never had bad service there!

CS
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Went for Mother's Day Breakfast, was sooo delicious! Had the belgian waffle with cream an berries...OMG!

AG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

The reason this review was so poor is that we made reservations, then arrived at the restaurant and were told they don't take Open Table reservations anymore. If that is the case they should remove themselves from Open Table. The only option was sitting a the bar, which makes for difficult conversations. But after driving all the way there on a busy Saturday night there were not a lot of other choices. Plate 38 get off Open Table if you are not using them for reservations!

p
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A local favorite away from all the hustle and bustle of old town Pasadena. Great food & stellar drinks.The garlic fries are a must!!

LM
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I had the truffle burger my friends had pasta and we shared artichokes. All was really good. My burger was the best I've had in a long time. I'm glad I didn't get fries. The only reason I didn't give five stars is that it's very loud.

I'd especially like to add how great the staff was.

r
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

I have reviewed this restaurant prior. It was wonderful, satisfying food, only drawback it can be very loud
as it as always full of energic people.

AM
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I usually love the food here, but this time we somehow ended up with three small plates of fried food. Not what I expected. Will have to rethink my choices next time. Great place nonetheless.

WM
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

My girlfriend and I have been dining at Plate 38 for many years, since her recent move to the nearby neighborhood, it has become our go-to restaurant, kinda of our neighborhood joint. Always a friendly welcoming atmosphere. The food, which was always good, has become truly excellent and a great value for the price point. The chef is inventive and does a great job with new twists on classics. His Tuna Tacos are to die for, packed with fresh tuna and avocado, just watch out for that Sirracha sauce unless that is your thing. We recently had a Branzino that was as good or better than that served at considerably more expensive other Pasadena restaurants. Steaks and burgers are always good, though the burger is a bit messy, which some may love. Crab cakes are enormous and really packed with crab. A special, Duck Confit salad that was superior to most of the French restaurants in which we had previously had it.
Beet Salad is great as well. The food always has a very artistic presentation. As for alcohol, great reasonable selection of craft local and imported beers, with rotating draft beers. Well priced wines as well, and a very clever mixologist behind the bar. Service is always down to earth and very welcoming. My only complaint, it is a small dining room, with a mixture of indoor and outdoor dining, which though great during summer is a bit cold for me on cooler evenings. The bar is a great place to dine, always warm conversations to be found with your neighbors.

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