Two weeks ago, while in Pasadena, my boyfriend I happened to walk by Madre’s, the restaurant owned by Miss Jennifer Lopez. Madre’s, which opened up in 2002, serves up Latin food inspired by JLo’s grandmother’s recipes – food she ate when she was still just Jenny from the Block. When you step inside Madre’s, there is no denying that it is a JLo creation – it is very frilly, very girly, and very ornate. It definitely has its charm. Madre’s is also a frequent filming location, and was used in a recent episode of Desperate Housewives. It was the restaurant where Gaby had her first lunch with Mayor Victor Lang, whom she later marries.
My boyfriend and I ended up not eating at Madre’s, but ventured on down the street to Magnolia Lounge – an adorable little bar and restaurant that occupies a space that was a former speakeasy. The restaurant, which is pretty much hidden behind an antique store, was, according to Pasadena legend, the location of the San Gabriel Valley’s first speakeasy back in the Prohibition days. We spoke with the owner who said that when she was excavating the property before the restaurant opened, she found extremely old wine bottles in the cellar, which are now on display in the main dining area. Magnolia is a very cool little place, with a great center courtyard, and it was really fun sitting there sipping champagne, imagining how it looked back in the 20s.
Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂
Stalk It: Madre’s is located at 897 Granite Drive, just off of Lake Avenue, in the historic South Lake Avenue Business District in Pasadena. Magnolia Lounge is located just a block south at 492 S. Lake Avenue.