Gregg Hunter’s Newspace

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Reader recommendations usually go something like, “If you ever happen to be in such and such and area, try such and such restaurant. We especially like the such and such dish.” Well, this time I happened to be in South Pasadena so I took the lead and lunched at A1 Japanese Restaurant. The daily special included 6 pieces of sushi and 6 pieces of California roll from the fresh sushi bar for $6.95 and there are daily specials from $7.10 as well as combinations served with miso soup, sticky rice and salad, from $6.95. I opted for crispy tempura and tender sashimi, a tasty bargain at $795. Table service was prompt and accurate. My Japanese lunch companion had a sushi combination for $11.35, and rated it as “quite satisfactory.”

Dinner prices range from $9.70 to $17 with the star feature A1Love Boat combination platters, $17 to $19.50 served with sticky rice. A tempting array of appetizers drew me back for more so I‘m passing on reader Troy‘s tip. Try A1 when you just happen to be in South Pasadena.

Got kids to feed? What better way to eat out casually with the family than at Pasta Pomodoro in the Burbank Town Center at 201 E. Magnolia Blvd., where kids under 12 eat free on Tuesdays with every purchase from the adult menu young ’uns choose from chicken parmigiana, pizza, cheese pasta, meatballs and more. A beverage and chocolate sundae complete the meal deal.

Visit or work downtown? Here’s happy hour news for you. The Happy Hour Finder, put out by the Downtown Center Business Improvement District at www.DowntownLA.com, helps over the familiar hill drivers locate a favorite watering hole and detects any street closures.

Where there’s smoke there’s great BBQ. In a national survey seeking the best BBQ joints, the Kogi BBQ Truck scored tops in L.A. Log onto kogibbq.com for the route and schedule, or follow on Twitter: @KogiBBQ.

Got a yen for old-fashioned, hand crafted, wood-fired New York Italian Pizza? Try Nicky D’s at 2764 Rowena Ave. in Silver Lake just off Glendale Blvd. The popular pizza and chicken place serves lunch and dinner.

The annual Zagat Los Angeles Southern California Restaurants 2010, $15.95, boasts over 10,000 local diner opinions of more than 2000 restaurants. Serious diner-outers should pick up a copy el pronto.

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The Curious Palate

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