After what seems like months of searching, I have FINALLY found the Chinese Food restaurant from my fave romantic comedy A Lot Like Love. For the past few weeks, I have dragged my poor father to literally every single Chinese and Japanese restaurant in the greater Pasadena area, because according to the director’s commentary on the A Lot Like Love DVD, the restaurant used was his “mother’s favorite Chinese food place in Pasadena.” But the director didn’t specify the name of the restaurant, which means that this stalker had her work cut out for her! The hostess at one of the restaurants I stalked said I was actually the third person in the past few months who had stopped into her restaurant to ask the exact same question! 🙂 LOL
Then last week, while walking around Old Town Pasadena with my boyfriend, when I had just about given up hope, we happened to walk by Vive Lounge on the corner of Raymond Avenue and Union Street. I peeked in the windows and immediately realized I had found my location! We went inside and asked the restaurant manager, Randy, if the Lounge had in fact been used in A Lot Like Love. He wasn’t sure, so he called up the owner for me who confirmed it! Yahooooooooo! At the time of filming the restaurant was actually a Chinese-Malaysian fusion place called Nonya. Nonya closed down two years ago and Vive Lounge opened in its place. While the decor is a bit different, it is definitely recognizable as the restaurant where Amanda Peet and Ashton Kutcher spit water at each other while enjoying a New Year’s Eve dinner. 🙂
Last night we were finally able to return to Vive to grab a drink and a bite to eat and I am happy to report that we had a fabulous time! The food was amazing (especially the shrimp spring rolls!!!), the atmosphere was very New York-y complete with an exposed brick wall, and the service was spectacular! Jim, the bartender (a cutie for all you single girls) and Randy, the manager, spent most of the evening chatting with us, discussing Pasadena history, wine and champagne (Randy is somewhat of a wine connoisseur), and of course, filming locations. I was amazed to discover that neither man had ever seen A Lot Like Love!!! I tried to explain to Randy that he needs to tout Vive as the restaurant featured in A Lot Like Love and that stalkers everywhere would flock there, but I am not quite sure he believed me. 🙂
Vive is a great place to spend an evening, and I highly recommend stalking it! On weekdays, the place has a laid-back, relaxed feel (which I actually prefer), but on weekends the vibe changes and becomes more of a dance club/lounge. And every Sunday night, the restaurant turns into a salsa lounge complete with free salsa dancing lessons. Rob Schneider even showed up for some salsa dancing a few weeks ago. 🙂
Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂
Stalk It: Vive Lounge is located at 61 N. Raymond Avenue in Old Town Pasadena. You can visit their website here. A meal there will cost you about $30 per person. The bar also features a great nightly happy hour with super reasonable, really tasty hors d’oeuvres.