We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to uncover which restaurants have been getting a noteworthy increase in attention 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 closing the year out strong.
The Mixx Pasadena
Photo: THE MIXX PASADENA/Yelp
This New American restaurant and cocktail bar is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "American (New)" on Yelp.
Citywide, New American spots saw review counts increase by a median of 1.8 percent over the past month, but The Mixx Pasadena saw a 15.1 percent increase, maintaining a superior four-star rating throughout. Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by more than 1,400 percent.
It's not the only trending outlier in the New American category: Urbane Cafe has seen a 11.4 percent increase in reviews, and Real Food Daily - Pasadena has seen a 3.1 percent bump.
Located at 443 E. Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, The Mixx Pasadena offers modern American fare alongside live events, including jazz and blues performances and dance parties. On the menu, expect dishes like shrimp tapenade bruschetta, fried risotto balls with arrabbiata sauce, chicken and shrimp linguini and a ribeye steak. Or, stop by for happy hour tacos from 4-7 p.m. daily.
Photo: Cafe Chimichurri/Yelp
Pasadena's Cafe Chimichurri is also making waves. Located at 181 E. Glenarm St., Suite 110, the Brazilian steakhouse has seen a 13 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 150 percent.
There's more than one hotspot trending in Pasadena's steakhouse category: Soh Grill House has seen a 10.7 percent increase in reviews.
Cafe Chimichurri specializes in traditional Brazilian steaks and cafe fare for brunch, lunch and dinner -- such as picanha (top sirloin cap steak), pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread), feijoada (black bean stew) and Brazilian rice. Over the past month, it's maintained a convincing four-star rating among Yelpers.
Photo: Daz l./Yelp
Pasadena's Great Maple is the city's buzziest breakfast and brunch spot by the numbers.
This outpost of the popular local chain increased its review count by 6.7 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 1.6 percent for the Yelp category "Breakfast & Brunch."
With Southern California flair, Great Maple serves up fresh takes on traditional American comfort food as well as typical brunch favorites. That translates to inventive dishes -- like French toast logs, and buttermilk fried chicken with maple bacon doughnuts -- being served alongside more traditional brunch favorites -- like chilaquiles and biscuits and gravy.
Stop by 300 E. Colorado Blvd., Suite 114, to see what the buzz is about.