Michael Watkins / Courier
Portabella Fries, topped with garlic, parsley, and reggiano, and served with a garlic aioli, one of Foothills happy hour appetizer selections, taken on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Foothill is located in Pasadena and was established in 2018.
Foothill Restaurant lies off the beaten path near the PCC Rosemead campus. And even that may be too nice of a location for it. With absurd prices yielding a terrible experience, Foothill Restaurant did not deserve the $46 I paid them.
While the eclectic style of restaurant design is fairly popular, Foothill completely missed the mark. From the moment you walk in the door, it looks almost like they purchased whatever was left at a discount furniture after a sale. Several high tables line the walls. About half are made entirely of wood, resembling giant craft tables. Several different versions are used throughout the restaurant, but none of them seem to match. The other half appear to be taken out of an upscale hipster bar, with wood tops and metal legs. There are wooden stools on one side and an odd booth-like bench on the other that extends from the bar to the wall. Finally, there are several short wooden tables with large, rounded chairs that are upholstered with worn down fabric placed with furniture nails.
We elected to sit at the hipster tables. Immediately upon sitting down, I couldn’t help but notice how uncomfortable the stool I was sitting on was. I expected to have significant back pain by the end of my visit.
The table came pre-set with two sets of silverware inside folded napkins, two small plates and two water glasses. The water glasses were clean … ish. Aside from smudges, they seemed safe to drink from.
A glass container of room temperature water was delivered, and I poured a glass for myself and my guest. The water tasted strange, as if it had been contaminated with some sort of chemical. The glasses and water were swapped out, but it made no difference; the water was disgusting.
We placed our order and waited for the drinks to arrive. It was at this point that I discovered a mysterious yellow spot on my plate. I was going to switch it out with a plate from another table, but I soon discovered that every plate had similar residue of different colors on them.
The appetizers we ordered arrived before the drinks, even though the bar was mere feet away and there were very few people in the restaurant. Several minutes later, our drinks arrived. The drinks weren’t cold, which wasn’t surprising considering the bartender could not be heard mixing a drink the entire visit.
The gin-based “Rose Bowl” featuring Singani 63 — presumably their signature drink although it wasn’t stated as such on their menu — leaned more towards a “Fear Factor” segment than a drink. Garnished with a rose petal atop egg white foam, the drink looked appetizing enough considering its ingredients which included rosé syrup, strawberry and peach bitters. But looks can indeed be deceiving.
Had I caught a whiff of it before I took a sip, I would have sent it back with concern. The drink smelled kind of like the bush my dog pees on in the backyard. It’s no wonder they garnish it with a rose petal; without one, the drink smells like a urinal. Although the menu touts the drink as light and refreshing, it’s actually heavy, thick and sickly sweet. The “Rose Bowl” comes in at a whopping $14, despite the minimal amounts of alcohol in the actual drink.
The vodka-based “Royal Hawaiian” tasted like a sour piña colada. Also garnished with a rose petal (who knows why), the drink smells of delicious pineapple and almond. However, the lemon and bitters seemed to be absent. The taste was significantly less appetizing. Despite the extraordinarily different recipe from that of the “Rose Bowl,” it tasted nearly identical, save a bit of pineapple flavor. This drink will set you back $12 during regular operation and $8 during happy hour.
The two drinks remained nearly full until we left. It was not worth the inevitable stomach pain that would have followed were the drinks to be consumed.
Foothill attempted to revamp an American favorite with the deviled eggs but missed the mark entirely. Topped with bacon, bleu cheese and a mysterious mix of spices that included smoked paprika, the eggs were nearly too salty to eat. Each half requires at least a full glass of terrible tasting water. By the time we finished the measely four halves of egg we were served, we had also finished the pitcher of water. It should be noted that our waiter did not offer more water until we asked for our check. The deviled eggs come in at $6, which is $3 per prepared egg. If you visit them during their happy hour, you can get them for $4.
The “Portabella Fries” were yet another disappointment. While topped with garlic and reggiano, the breaded mushroom strips were entirely flavorless. The fries were said to be served with a garlic aioli dip, but they must have ran out because they were instead served with a small container of what seemed to be pure mayonnaise. The flavor-free fries cost $8, about $7 more than I would pay for them.
Foothill Restaurant offers drinks that are disgusting — both in price and in quality — and food that is completely devoid of taste. If suffering is your thing, I highly recommend Foothill. For everyone else, you’ll have better luck at Burger King.
I give the Foothill a D+. While the food was arguably edible, I would prefer to have dinner with my in-laws.