Bar Celona is any indication, Pasadena's bars are a tad more upscale than the "Coldest Beer in Town!" joints I used to frequent in my days of...frequenting.
My very cool, multi-talented, recently-acquired (long story) cousin Richard Burchard was in town this week. We had one evening. We wanted food and drink. I had passed by Bar Celona a million times and never gone in. We figured, why not?
The ambiance is sophisticated without being snobby. The music is not too loud (high on my list). The restaurant looks intimate but when you start to explore you'll find more rooms, including two bars and a TV the size of a movie screen. If you don't like crowds, I recommend 7:30pm on a Wednesday.
The tapas were probably fattening--tasty and substantial. Three of us were satisfied sharing seven of them. And the beer was indeed very cold.