Novel Café is located on Colorado Blvd., diagonal to Pasadena City College. Its front is narrow, but the restaurant goes deep, and it stands next to various colorful other businesses that could make it rather easy to miss. This venue fulfills the true definition of a café – it offers indoor and outdoor dining that opens to the street, with plants and flower arrangements that give the impression of dining outside, even when you’re indoors.
Novel Café’s menu can satisfy just about any craving. From all-day breakfast, to burgers, pizza, pasta, and serious steak and seafood entrees, it can all be accompanied by coffee, beer, or wine. I’ve tried their “Two Fer” breakfast – their name for two eggs, two bacon/sausage/ham, potatoes, and toast or pancakes. It was delicious and well sized, enough that I brought leftovers home. But you don’t have to make it a big meal. I’ve also sat at the bar/counter and enjoyed a beer and their Ahi Tuna Poke appetizer – a nice cup of Ahi Tuna accompanied by avocado and crispy wontons.
Pricing is average. I paid $12 for my appetizer and the same for my breakfast. But money can be saved during Happy Hour (everyday between 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close) as well as during “Pint Night” (Tuesday and Thursday 3:30 p.m. to close) when selected beer is served at 50% off.
As far as seating, you’ll have your pick. If you come with your family, large tables are set up on one side of the venue. If you come on a date, there are lovely two-person, red-velvet-seat tables in the mid area. And if you come alone, the counter is perfect.
Service is great, with servers that are courteous and sharp, and open to attend to your whims. Example: I asked if they could grill a couple of jalapenos for me and I got them in just minutes.
The restaurant is clean and so are the dishes, with the food artfully arranged on them.
If you want to make it a more bohemian visit, go on a Friday or Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., when Novel Café offers live music – anything from jazzy sounds, to piano classics or acoustic guitar.
Novel Café 1713 East Colorado Boulevard Pasadena CA 91106 (626) 683-3309