Which Pasadena neighborhoods are up-and-coming?

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Hometown Pasadena asked blogger and Realtor Brigham Yen to name an up-and-coming neighborhood in the area “that not everyone knows about yet.”
He continues the discussion today on his blog, putting forth Colorado Boulevard between Lake Avenue and Pasadena City College as a segment of the city that should continue moving toward “neighborhoodification.”
I’ve always driven past this part of Pasadena lamenting the lack of pedestrian connection between PCC (a strong anchor) and the rest of Downtown Pasadena (to the west of PCC) as parking lots in front of strip malls and motels prevented this section from becoming conducive for an enjoyable walking experience. …
However, even with its drawbacks, the area contains a number of beautiful historic buildings and some new creative life …
Yen names A Room to Create, Taco Station, Zankou Chicken and Daisy Mint, pictured above, among the businesses, new and old, that are infusing energy there.
… this stretch of Colorado is really acquiring a cool and funky vibe that could become Pasadena’s answer to Silver Lake or Los Feliz.
Weigh in: What would you like to see happen along this strip of Colorado Boulevard in East Pasadena? What are some other up-and-coming neighborhoods in the city?
(File photo)

Nightlife: Let’s go Home for that drink

>>PLAY

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THE PLACE: It may feel nothing like the place you grew up in, nor where you currently hang your hat, but somehow the welcome mat at Home is one-size-fits-all. The Silver Lake location proclaims in neon letters its breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails — why ever leave? — on a giant birdhouse perched overhead. So even if you’re just migrating through, you’ll always have a place to nestle down.

THE PRICE: Everything at Home, from the drinks to the dining room fare, is affordable. Drinks run about $7 to $10, with beers coming in at $5 or less. I chose two polar opposites — a cucumber-mint muddled vodka cocktail and a mudslide. Both were delicious, but the first won by a landslide — or, technically, a mudslide. It’s a perfect summer cocktail.

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THE SOUNDS: It was uber-quiet on my most recent Monday night visit. I wondered if all the residents of Home had already stumbled up some invisible stairs and and were tucked into bed. But I’ve also seen the place pop on a Friday night, including a fabulous chop-and-swap party I attended in a private area of the restaurant. Friends rented out the space to celebrate the successful giving (and receiving) of a kidney. Thanks to one friend’s life-saving organ donation, both the giver and receiver were able to attend the festivities. The staff handled the well-attended party with panache.

THE FOOD: Home has a massive menu stocked with comfort foods, and all items are available no matter where you sit, inside, outside, at the bar. The menu covers all the basics, from burgers and pizza to wraps and all-day breakfast. Just like your real home, mom always has a specialty dish. Here, it’s Mom’s Famous Chicken Almond Salad, with chicken breast, mayo, tarragon, sweet relish, toasted almonds, tomato, bell peppers, cucumber and carrots ($9.95). The Mexican Taco Salad is also a standout; At $8.95, it comes with corn, black beans, red onion, tomatoes, bell peppers and Monterey Jack, tossed in ranch dressing and garnished with tortilla chips and spicy taco seasoning.

THE VIBE: It’s so laid-back you might find yourself looking for pop’s beat-up La-Z-Boy to take a nap. My favorite spot to relax at Home is the outdoor seating area, a literal oasis — with running water fountains — amid the surrounding urban sprawl.

AGE GROUP: The restaurant attracts all ages, but in general, the masses trend toward Eastside hipster youth and working-class professionals.

BEWARE: There’s so many old-school, haven’t-drank-this-since-college cocktails on the menu. (Woo Woo? Check. Peach Fuzz? Check. Sex on the Beach? Check.) Don’t sample too many, or you might get Home-sick.

GO: Home is located at 2500 Riverside Drive in Silver Lake, (323) 665-0211. Plenty of free street parking is available along Riverside. A second location is at 1760 Hillhurst Ave. in Los Feliz, (323) 665-4663. Open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to close. Closing hours are seasonal; call ahead in colder months.

MY RATING: 3 Ever notice how nothing seems to change when you go home? It’s like that here — and that’s a good thing.

evelyn.barge@sgvn.com

RATINGS: 5: Really, really hot; 4: Hot; 3: Fun, loose, low pressure; 2: Cool; 1: Just OK.