Among Novels and Noshes

Pasadena's Abricott

Abricott stands out as an indie effort along Pasadena's fast-food-chain-heavy Lake Avenue.

Owners John and Jo Wee carved the nearly four-month-old bistro out of a former Koo Koo Roo. That restaurant's corporate design was ditched in favor of contemporary home touches like floor-to-ceiling bookshelves packed with literary classics, and a wood-paneled patio.

The food reflects a similar taste for coziness, and you can curl up with a menu and a book from morning to evening. The breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings bear numerous French, Asian and American influences, but for this husband-and-wife team, who also own Daisy Mint, the food speaks more to their own home cooking; John prefers not to define their cuisine using any other frame.

The eponymous burger (pictured; $11) is a house-ground chuck patty flavored with the same spicy Korean-barbecue marinade that made the Daisy Mint's grilled rib eye so popular. The croque monsieur ($10) has Gallic roots beyond the recipe shared by a French friend's mother. Two slices of sourdough bread gird layers of French-imported ham, Dijon mustard and Gruyère. A new addition is the curry-spiced Coco Clam Soup ($12)–named for its coconut-milk broth–which is ladled over angel hair pasta and topped with basil.

Abricott, 238 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena; 626-796-1613 or abricott.com