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“Ruined my 15th Wedding Anniversary” 1 of 5 stars
Review of The Raymond Restaurant

The Raymond Restaurant
1250 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105-3417
626-441-3136
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Ranked #80 of 591 Restaurants in Pasadena
Price range: $31 - $80
Cuisines: American, Continental
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Outdoor seating, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: S. Fair Oaks Ave. & Columbia St.
Pasadena, California
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Ruined my 15th Wedding Anniversary”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2012

You only get one 15th wedding anniversary, and leave it to this awful restaurant to ruin it. I booked an early reservation at 6:30 and made sure they knew it was a VERY special occasion. I arrived to have the hostess say: "Take them to table 36 on the paito and do NOT give them table 35. I thought that was very odd. We went out to the patio to find our table was set for 5 people, not the intimate and romantic table we expected. Right next to it was a table for 2, with no reserved sign on it. We requested it. Well, that was table 35 and the hostess told us: "This is reserved for some very important people who are coming in later tonight and we can't give it to you."

Fantastic, right? Aren't all diners important? At The Raymond, apparently not, even when you let them know in advance that it's your 15th Wedding Anniversary.

We were then told we have specifically requested the patio. We hadn't. They contined to argue that we had...

Then we were offered a table that perhaps one person could fit into, provided you didn't raise your arms to eat, since the other tables were jammed up next to it. Not what we had in mind for our special night.

We went elsewhere with a look from the staff of "Good riddance" as we left. Thanks for spoiling what should have been a special night -- instead it became memorable for the wrong reason entirely.

If you read my other reviews, you'll find that I am generally pretty easy to please, but this was a new low for me.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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82 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    38
    30
    5
    5
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, CA
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“They do special menus”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

My husband surprised me with a birthday celebration here. The food is good, but what really made it special is that they offer you an option to customize your menu. The food isn't different, but they print a special message at the top just for you. I love little details like this!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“The Raymond Restaurant Pasadena, CA”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

I hate to write a negative review as I do so only very rarely, but unless you already ate and you are only looking for a good, very small bite to eat at an inflated price, I do not recommend this restaurant.

Before you think "ah, a novice who does not understand the finer nuances of gourmet cuisine", let me preface this by saying that I was born and raised in Europe, lived in France for 5 months, and I already visited well over 1500 nice restaurants in a variety of countries on four continents. I may not be an expert, but I have some limited experience in the culinary avenues of pleasure as good food is my big weakness ;)

The setup is nice and comfortable. I like the place itself and service was all right, even if we had to ask for menus after waiting over 5 minutes at our table and even if it was somewhat difficult to catch the waiter's attention for drinks and stuff after the initial drinks were served.

The menu was not easy to understand fully, and the selection was less than brilliant. The presentation of the food was nice, but I have to admit that the food itself was nothing special - as an example I had the New York steak and I have had many better steaks in countless places around US for half the price and twice the steak - not to even mention South American steak places. The Endive salad and the sashimi were ok, but nothing to write home about, and the portion sizes were minuscule.

I never could understand why some restaurants believe that the word "Gourmet" is synonymous to "make your clients starve" - for these prices I expect either a healthy-size portions of very good food, or maybe a slightly lesser amount if it is truly spectacular - neither case applies here, sad to report.

So, if you are even slightly hungry, I do not recommend this restaurant, and based on my single experience I must say that the Raymond was very overprized. I do not wish to return, sorry.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pasadena,ca
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“great romantic place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2012

Some reviewers don't understand the nature of a fine restaurant: great food in a nice atmosphere. If you are in a hurry or want your meal fast, don't come here. The portions are not Denny's size, either, but we certainly weren't hungry leaving without dessert. Our food was truly fabulous and the server was perfect, even getting us free champagne for our anniversary.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, CA
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Dare I say it? Flawless!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2012

Any restaurant can have off days, but this night was not one of them. In fact, the past few times we've eaten here it's been almost as good. From the attentive and unobtrusive service, through the elegant space, to the food, timing and soft-lit cozy ambience, our meal last night at the Raymond was superb. We've eaten at great michelin-star places, and at humble little local gems, all over the US and elsewhere, so we're not snobs but we know how good it can get. This meal could have been found under a michelin star, but that restaurant would have to be fussier and more expensive.

The Raymond was flawless. I won't belabor the food details, but try as I might I can not find a fault with any of the many elements of the meal, from the appetizers to the desserts. Each element was prepared gently, nothing was over- or under-wrought, the food was creatively devised and elegantly - but not pretentiously - presented, and each item had aspects that were inventive and unpredicted. And all was delicious, ample enough to share but not too much to eat, and did I say, flawless?

The Raymond will see us again, I recommend that you go, too.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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