Pasadena is rated one of the snobbiest mid-sized cities in America, according to Movoto.com. I happen to have lived in Pasadena for almost 4 years and even grew up taking college courses at the Pasadena Community College. So basically I know the city like the back of my hand, or eye to be more exact. I know almost every retailer and restaurant in Pasadena, I am also personally friends with people who work at the best bars and clothing stores in Old Town (and if I’m not, then I’ll make sure I become friends with any and everybody!)
AND I LOVE PASADENA!!!!! It’s a cross between hipster, new money and old money.
When I heard about Mint Leaf, I was flabbergasted that I (THE PASADENA QUEEN) did not know about an exquisite Indian restaurant.
First off, it was probably because I rarely visit the Altadena and Washington cross section. There is a Mcdonald’s, Pasadena’s best ice cream (Carmela Ice Cream), and various local cafes.
The Interior is like being in an Indian Palace and the waiters are like your humble servants (well, this is what Santos told me, he is so kind and attentive to all his guests). The exterior is unpresumptuous, you wouldn’t know the interior is like a palace for queens and kings like you. But don’t be deceived, you must enter to be knighted. Only insiders know just how lovely Mint Leaf is.
Mint Leaf is intended as an experience for all diners – from ardent Indian food-lovers to first-time explorers. The lunch and dinner menus offer an array of rich traditional favorites like Lamb Saag and Chicken Korma and a wide variety of vegan and vegetarian options including Dal Makhni and Tofu Vindaloo alongside fresh and lighter takes on classic Indian recipes such as the Classic Paneer Tikka Wrap.
“Indian cuisine is built around magnificent spices, which lend themselves beautifully to dishes that are simple and light yet still flavorful,” said Executive Chef Jayanta K. Paul. “We want Mint Leaf to be a place where guests can enjoy a quick, healthy and vibrant lunch or dig in for a more classic, indulgent dinner of full-bodied sauces, meats, vegetables and more.”
The feast consisting of everything from Tiki Masalas to Curries, Paneer and Jumbo shrimps. The Mango lassi is refreshing, rich and creamy (but without any milk products in it). Make sure you save your stomach for the rest, sip slowly.
Any of their shrimp dishes are thumbs up because I have never eaten SHRIMPS that juicy and fresh! Biting into one of their shrimps makes you feel like a hero on a yacht, looking into the bright blue ocean and knowing that THAT shrimp was fresh out of the ocean. Remember none of their ingredients are frozen, everything is fresh from the farm or sea. The shrimp tikka masala is Tandoor roasted shrimp in their classic and creamy tomato curry sauce.
Let me tell you- any of their Tandoor dishes will melt your heart.
For a vegetarian favorite, try Paneer Tikka Masala- Tandoor-roasted paneer pieces in their classic and creamy tomato curry sauce. You can never go wrong, but their peas seem to be extra delicious and fresh. Every ingredient they use is fresh and organic, NOTHING FROZEN!
Tandoor-roasted chicken breast pieces in their classic and creamy tomato curry sauce. It has a savory sweet and salty taste that transports you to modern day India, if you close your eyes long enough. The rice is to die for too!
Raised flour bread with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves….I don’t know about you, but I AM A FAN OF CHEESE!!! CHEESE STICKS anyone? Well, now you get to MIX AND MINGLE your favorite NAAN with CHEESE. AND HOLY COW, biting into this cheese filled naan is like heaven. The cheese naan is thicker than your average naan, but has the perfect consistency plus fresh organic basil to fill your senses (smell and taste it).
What I loved most about the restaurant was that I was able to meet the owner. He said that “this area is so underserved, everyone needs to go to Old Town for date night, why not around the corner?” As a local Pasadenian, he has fought to open this restaurant for many years (Pasadena has many regulations and rules for new businesses) and alas, it has become a local favorite. If you are looking for a classy and peaceful restaurant to chit chat with your girlfriends, or you are looking for a romantic locale to bring your loved one to, Mint Leaf is your GO TO!
Check out Mint Leaf:
||2535 East Washington Dr.
Altadena/Pasadena, California 91107
||Monday – Sunday
11am – 2pm | 5pm – 10pm
More Photos From The Gallery!