8 out of 10 Peppers = Spicy
Old Town Pasadena is a sweet place to experience South Asian food. In just a few blocks, there are at least five Indian and/or Nepalese restaurants, including the new Himalayan Cafe and our perennial favorite Tibet Nepal House. Each has its own niche. For Mezbaan, its the alcohol. It has its own Maikhana Beer & Wine Lounge, which has some great beer and wine specials. On Mondays and Thursdays, there are $2 drink specials. I was impressed that the restaurant carries seven different Indian beers.We went on a weekend, so unfortunately, we didn't get any special drink prices (I think those are only in the lounge anyway), but Nick did try one of the crazy drink offerings.
The main restaurant is pretty standard when it comes to decor -- nothing special. There are some framed Indian-styled fabric pieces on the walls. There's also a lengha (the Indian outfit that's the fitted blouse with the long embellished shirt) on the wall, which I thought was cool but Nick thought looked like a cheap attempt at decor. The restaurant uses metal glasses for water, which felt authentic since everyone in India seems to drink out of metal glasses, and custom-labeled plates that say "Mezbaan".
The wine bar is a semi-private area that holds about 60 people. There's also a patio, which the night we were there was holding a wedding reception.
I'd definitely go to Mezbaan again. It's a solid Indian food experience. If Nick still lived in Pasadena, I'd say we should go try out their happy hour specials. If YOU live in Pasadena, feel free to try them out and leave me a comment :) I'll live vicariously through your "Whatever."
Mezbaan, 80 N Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena 90013. (626) 405-0580.
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