Tea and more: What's trending on Pasadena's food scene?

Photo: Motto Tea Cafe/Yelp

Want the inside word on Pasadena's most talked-about local spots?

We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to analyze which restaurants have been seeing especially high review volumes this month.

To find out who made the list, we looked at Pasadena businesses on Yelp by category and counted how many reviews each received. Rather than compare them based on number of reviews alone, we calculated a percentage increase in reviews over the past month, and tracked businesses that consistently increase their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.

Read on to see which spots are on a hot streak this winter.

The Pier Grill

Photo: ANNI Y./Yelp

This seafood spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp.

Citywide, seafood spots saw review counts increase by a median of 2.2 percent over the past month, but The Pier Grill saw a 47.1 percent increase, with a slight downward trend from a five-star rating a month ago to 4.5 stars today.

It's not the only trending outlier in the seafood category: Beer & Claw has seen a 12.8 percent increase in reviews.

Located at 163 N. Hill Ave. in Pasadena, The Pier Grill offers fresh quality seafood prepared in a variety of ways. Choose charbroiled or fried fish, salads topped with grilled fish, tacos, pastas, burritos and more.

Motto Tea Cafe


Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Pasadena's Motto Tea Cafe, the tea room, which offers coffee, tea, desserts and more, is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Coffee & Tea" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 1.5 percent over the past month, Motto Tea Cafe bagged a 10 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a solid 4.5-star rating.

There's more that's trending on Pasadena's coffee and tea scene: Again Cafe x Chibiscus Ramen has seen a 4.9 percent increase in reviews.

Open at 100 W. Green St., Unit 101, Motto Tea Cafe offers hot and iced loose-leaf tea, milk tea, cheese mousse tea, fruit tea and uji matcha. Add in boba, red bean, pearls or aloe vera, or top cheese mousse tea with toasted pine nuts, toasted pumpkin seeds, Japanese granola or Oreo cookies.

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is also making waves. Open at 179 E. Colorado Blvd., the well-established wine bar and steakhouse, which offers seafood and more, has seen a 4.9 percent bump in reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.3 percent for all businesses tagged "Steakhouses" on Yelp. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 250 percent.

There's more than one hotspot trending in Pasadena's steakhouse category: Soh Grill House has seen a 4.9 percent increase in reviews.

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar offers duck tostadas, stuffed quail, lobster bisque, sweet chili calamari and signature cuts of steaks. Over the past month, it's maintained a superior four-star rating among Yelpers.


Photo: Loretta C./Yelp

Finally, there's foothill, which is the city's buzziest New American spot by the numbers.

The well-established cocktail bar and New American spot, which opened at 2835 E. Foothill Blvd. last June, increased its review count by 17.6 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 1.6 percent for the Yelp category "American (New)."

foothill offers deviled eggs, portobello fries, fresh fish tacos, steak salad, a bone-in 16 oz. pork chop, coffee-braised short ribs and shrimp pesto pasta, among other menu options.
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