Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 3, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 8



 Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 3, 2012 


Welcome to the Foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and the palace where Champions are crowned. 
The prince and pauper share the equal chance of treasures on 
this day if only luck will reign. Outside the activity of the 
Equine Olympics in those quiet moments of ticket shuffling 
you may hear the engraved words of a distant legends who 
answer by the names of Seabiscuit, Sulky Sullivan and John 
Henry, as the ghosts of four-legged giants never die. 

I will confess that I have a proclivity of sponsoring horse that 
detest the spotlight of the camera. But I’ve ridden enough 
benches, chairs and stools from an apprentice to a journeyman 
to offer tips of a different kind. So come celebrate or drown a 
sorrow or two at some of my favorite restaurants.

Panda Inn is the place where you may find John Sheriffs or 
Laffit Pincay digesting the enterprise of the day. Panda Inn is 
fixed with a loaded bar and enough space to stretch your Racing Form. The broad menu offers a 
classis Orange Flavored Chicken, the spirit warming Won Ton Soup and the vogue Chicken Wraps. 
Beware of Gus’s daily double, the two handed Mai Tai pour. 

3488 E. Foothill Blvd. Pasadena (626) 793-7300

Robin’s Wood Fire BBQ is tucked away on a vista 
of upper Rosemead Blvd and like a live long shot 
it produces yelps of sheer rapture. Known for 
ribs that tussle in a Southern Pride the Beef Ribs 
perfume in the animated scents of hickory and 
rubs. The tri-tip sandwich melts as ice cream in your mouth. A Full Bar as colorful as a jockey’s silks.

Open for lunch service or dinner 

395 N. Rosemead Pasadena (626) 351-8885. 

If you have to have a knife in your hand the steaks at the The Derby Restaurant are a front running 
winner. A delicious cut of Choice or Prime is offered at this Racing and Restaurant Institution. After 
the excitement of the meal take a few minutes of exploration and marvel at the historic old pictures, 
trophies, jockey boots and historic ribbons. The owners tell me that George Woolf himself made the 
Derby his home away from home in the early 1930’s and became a partner in the restaurant in 1938. 

233 E. Huntington Dr. Arcadia (626) 447-2430

If you have something different in mind, Din Tai Fung is the place for you. The San Gabriel Valley has 
a large Asian population and this restaurant has many of those transplants huddling in line for their 
famed Dumplings. I recommend a sampling of the Dumplings and I especially like the Xiao Long Bao 
(a dumpling packed with minced 
pork). Fresh Crab Meat is a perfect 
topping for this irresistible blanket 
wrapped treasure.

1088 S. Baldwin Ave. Arcadia (626) 

The diminutive Restaurant that 
keeps getting a large buzz is 
Noir Restaurant on N. Mentor 
in Pasadena. Located adjacent 
to the Ice House Comedy Shop. 
Noir was recently named as the 
top newcomer to Los Angeles by 
Zagat Magazine. Shake the night 
up with a sea of Gumbo or a New 
York Strip Steak coupled with 
the Duck Horn Wine. Music is 
performed nightly. 40 N. Mentor 
Ave. Pasadena (626) 795-7199

The place where winning photos 
dress the walls and first place 
entrees fill the tables is Nikki C’s. 
Only a few minutes from the Race 
Track it has been a retreat for all 
those that love the company of 
friends for years. The Ciaopino is 
riddled with seafood, including: 
always-fresh mussels, scallops and 
crab legs. Nikki C’s is a single on 
all of my tickets.470 S. Rosemead 
Blvd. Pasadena (626) 792-7437

Peter Dills Hosts a one Hour radio 
Show on KABC AM 790 and TV 
Show on Charter cable Channel 
101 on Sunday Evenings at 101, he 
can be reached through his website



6 white corn tortillas (6-inch), halved, cut into 1/2-inch strips

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Chile Pepper, Ancho

1 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Cumin, Ground

1 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Garlic Powder

2 McCormick® Gourmet Collection Bay Leaves, Turkish

4 cups chicken broth

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 pound boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or 1 1/2 cups finely chopped cooked 

 Assorted toppings, such as chopped avocado, shredded Monterey Jack cheese and chopped 
fresh cilantro (optional)


 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread tortilla strips on baking sheet coated with no stick cooking 
spray. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp and golden, stirring after 5 minutes. Set aside. 

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes. 
Add ancho chile pepper, garlic, cumin and bay leaves; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes. Add 
broth and tomatoes. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves. 
Thicken soup, if desired. 

3. To serve, place a few tortilla strips and a small amount of chicken in each serving bowl; add 
soup. Top with assorted toppings, if desired. 

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills