Monday, April 23, 2012

Zona Rosa Caffe @ S. El Molino Ave, Pasadena

It's awesome that this independent Cafe is alive and thriving amidst the proliferation of global chain-seeking-world-domination evil empires, (I'm talking to you, Big Green Mermaid)!  Zona Rosa Caffe is a great little shop that serves coffees from around the Latin America region; with it's proximity to the Pasadena Playhouse District, and promotes Latin culture with music and art by hosting live bands and exhibiting colorful art inside the two story structure.

Our first encounter with Zona Rosa was actually by accident; we had just finished watching a movie at the Laemmle Playhouse on Colorado Ave and when we exited the theater, the LudoTruck was hanging outside the Caffe with a throng of people and live music playing in the alley.  Fortuitously, we hadn't eaten and can I say, Ludotruck has the BEST CHICKEN WINGS on this PLANET!! (Honey glazed garlic wings....)  Since then, we have wanted to stop by and have coffee here.

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It's a really quaint, small place, which we found to be a great alternative to the tragically hip and yuppie zombification of coffee shops; this is place where time stands still.  It is such an eclectic locale with it's Latin American theme, it attracts diversity and unpretentiousness that was once the norm for java holes (when did coffee become like fast food)? You won't see any albums of the week on the counter, nor any adverts here; the barista took his time with our drinks, and serves us pastries in the normal time it takes to heat up and serve good food.

So we got the Zona Rosa Cappuccino- a house favorite drink that has Mexican chocolate and is absolutely phenomenal. Just the right mount of jolt and a sweet/bitter chocolate to mellow out the robust, caffeinated flavor..

We also decided to order a pastry; the Spinach and Feta Cheese Danish, which I normally don't like Feta but this went above my expectations.  The danish was buttery and flakey and with the Spinach and Feta, it proved to be very satisfying and enjoyable!

Zona Rosa Cappuccino

Spinach & Feta Cheese Danish

Afterwards, we were walking to our car, and saw this daybed in the storefront of a random store:

We have been looking for a daybed for our Moroccan room for a little over a year now, (been to so many furniture stores without any luck) so when we saw this, we had to go inside and take a closer look! It had the right color and not too many embellishments so it was fate that we just stumbled upon it and brought it home with us that day!!

It's an absolutely gorgeous store: a giant flower shop with furniture and trinkets, Jacob Maarse is a huge retail venue that one could get lost with ideas for the home!!

In any case, it pays to stroll along the side streets of Pasadena, you never know what you will find!  And when we go back to Pasadena, we're definitely gonna make our way to Zona Rosa again for their coffee and ambience!!!

Rating (Out of Five Stars)

Food:            4
Ambience:    4.5
Service:        4

Zona Rosa Caffe on Urbanspoon