There are no mystery ingredients in the smoothies and juices at The Smoothie Stop. Instead, customers can watch as the staff pops only the fruits, vegetables, and yogurts they desire into blenders to create a range of healthy drinks. For those looking for a nutrient-rich treat, the staff can squeeze the juices from complementary fruits and veggies, such as apples, celery, and carrots. But for those who desire a bit more indulgence in their drinks without having to use three straws, the staff can whir together creamier options. These include drinks such as piña-colada smoothies and honey-milk tea or green tea served with a layer of chewy tapioca pearls. The staff also creates bowls of snow fluff ice, which can be customized with a range of fresh fruit and candy morsels at the toppings bar.
The Coffee Gallery Backstage is the intimate, 49-seat performance space attached to The Coffee Gallery, a locally owned caffeinery. Genre-spanning acts grace the Gallery stage almost nightly, and other than an admission charge (usually between $15 and $20) there is no food or drink minimum. Performances include everything from vaudeville to country, and the open-minded staff welcomes talented, undiscovered niche acts that combine disparate styles, such as jazz-rock, salsa-pop, rock-rock, and pop-pop. Upcoming events include Druha Trava—an acclaimed Czech bluegrass band that will bring its tradition-melding sounds to the Gallery on September 29—and Border Radio, an acoustic band featuring the intricate fiddle work of Mark Indicator and scheduled to perform on October 2. Spectator spots fill up fast, so reservations are strongly encouraged.
At The Novel Cafe Pasadena, chefs specialize in quintessential American comfort food with a gourmet twist. The menu includes tuna nicoise salads, eggplant parmesan sandwiches, and other lighter dishes. You’ll also find heartier fare, including barbecue back ribs and clams with linguine, as well as dishes rife with locally grown produce. The on-site coffee shop stocks more than 15 varieties of organic teas, in addition to organic coffee beans and espresso. The baristas also serve freshly squeezed juices and extra-squeeze hugs. The café also hosts regular performances from local singer-songwriters and jazz musicians, which you can enjoy while sipping on a glass of wine.
This cafe not only serves 10 rotating flavors of frozen yogurt, but also pours cups of Illy coffee and Mighty Leaf tea. This makes the shop a destination for both chilly autumn days or hot summer nights when clients take to the the patio. Flavors change daily, but come in varieties such as low-fat, non-fat, non-dairy and no-sugar added. These can be blended into more complex treats with the shop's over 60 toppings options, including fresh fruit, candy, nuts, and chunks of brownies.
Without love, pop songs would be about the burger you ate for lunch and the excellent PowerPoint you presented at your last business meeting. Give your sweetie incentive to continue sharing your utility bills with an elegant box of fine confections. Leonidas' chocolates don't skimp on the sweetness—think decadent bites bursting with fresh creams, whole nuts, rich butters, and flavorful fruits. Bring home ganaches, pralines, and creamy concoctions. Fruit fans will appreciate the assortment of fruit jellies, with sweet pear, strawberry, pineapple, tangerine, and apple. View a complete guide here. Leonidas offers pre-packaged boxes, or you can handpick individual pieces to bring home for $38/lb.
The name Bird Pick Tea & Herb comes from a legend told by the grandfather of one of the shop’s founders: long ago, tea cultivators would follow birds known to choose the best leaves for themselves. Although the staff doesn’t actually employ birds to select each leaf, the spirit of the legend lives on in Bird Pick’s careful selection of teas, which come from misty estates in the mountains of China. Seasonal varieties of black, white, and green teas release earthy aromas from bins of loose leaves and tea bags, and oolong teas display the smoky colors left by a harvesting process that involves crushing and fermenting the buds. An inventory of elegant accessories includes receptacles for storing tea, glass infusers for brewing, bowls for whisking matcha tea, and air horns for letting guests know a tea party is over. Bird Pick even sells straw-hued honeys from New Zealand to accent complex brews served in pots decorated with sprays of blue flowers and Chinese characters.