Restaurateurs Nourish Ties to Nonprofits, Flavor City’s Culture

Pasadena’s restaurateurs
Photo by Staci Moraza / OUTLOOK
Pasadena’s restaurateurs, many of whom have been operating local eateries for decades, include (front row, from left) Armando Ramirez, Abel Ramirez, Gale Kohl, R-lene Mijares de Lang and Pete Gallanis. Back: Michael Hawkins, Bob Harrison, John Bicos, Michael Osborn, Rick Liss, Robin Salzer and Gregg Smith.

It may have once been known as an idyllic suburban hub surrounded by orange groves and craftsman cottages, but Pasadena’s urban center has morphed in recent decades into a nexus of leisure, entertainment and gastronomy comparable to that of any metropolitan city, with offerings as diverse as the people who inhabit the City of Roses. Continue reading “Restaurateurs Nourish Ties to Nonprofits, Flavor City’s Culture”

PAL Golden Badge Benefit Honors Locals March 22

Abel Ramirez
Abel Ramirez

The Pasadena Police Activities League will hold its 16th annual Golden Badge Awards Dinner on Thursday, March 22, at Noor in Pasadena’s Paseo Colorado. This year’s Golden Badge Awards — “the Magic of Motown” creates a special opportunity to revisit the “Sounds of Young America” as an inspirational mainstay in the evolution of music, while simultaneously celebrating the continued successes of the Pasadena Police Activities League.
Abel Ramirez and Sindee Riboli will be honored with the Golden Badge Award for their commitment to supporting the youth of Pasadena. Officer Roxanne Haines will also be honored with PAL Service Awards in recognition of her service as a PAL kid to the PAL director.

Sindee Riboli
Sindee Riboli

Ramirez became the owner of El Portal restaurant 24 years ago. He and his wife, Rosalia, have supported multiple local organizations through the decades, including Pasadena Senior Center and Pasadena Playhouse. Their son, Armando, manages Yahaira’s Café and Vanessa’s Coffee House, adjacent to El Portal.
Riboli, the president of Sharp Seating Co., has volunteered on the Tournament of Roses Executive Committee, Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, Rosemary Children’s Services, Pasadena Ronald McDonald House, Pasadena City College Foundation, USS Pasadena Foundation, American Cancer Society, MPYD (Mentoring and Partnering for Youth Development), and she was a co-founder of the Sierra Madre Wine and Jazz Walk for City of Hope.

Roxanne Haines
Roxanne Haines

Haines played softball at PAL in 1997, and became Marshall High School’s Associated Student Body president, captain on several sports teams, a member of Pasadena Police Explorer Post 19 and then graduated from UC San Diego. Officer Haines became the director of Pasadena PAL in 2016 and has focused on educating youth how to learn through their experiences to achieve, discover and strive toward their goals.
This year is the 21st anniversary of PAL, a national organization that came to Pasadena in 1997. It partners the youth of our community with men and women of the Pasadena Police Department in a fun, safe, and nurturing environment while providing academic and cultural enrichment. PAL offers homework assistance, various sports and a wide variety of special activities such as robotics and arts classes that give students an opportunity to build character and form a positive relationship with our community’s law enforcement. Currently, the PAL program serves an average of 110 children in grades 4-12 every day with more than 200 on the waiting list.
This is the organization’s primary fundraising event, and proceeds from the evening are dedicated to reducing the waitlist and increasing vital PAL programs.
The Golden Badge Awards will include dinner and silent and live auctions, featuring an array of fabulous items and experiences. The evening will include an exclusive raffle drawing for a $2,000 private jewelry shopping spree, courtesy of local jeweler Mimi et Cie. Cocktails will begin at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m.
To support Pasadena PAL, sponsorship opportunities are available. Tickets are $175 each and can be purchased on the Pasadena PAL website pasadenapal.com/events. For more information, call Jill Hawkins at (626) 791-1225, ext. 701.

El Portal Clients, Staff Are All in the Family

Photo by Camila Castellanos / OUTLOOK Abel Ramirez (right) and his son Armando, who have 22 years of experience providing specialty Yucatan dishes as El Portal restaurant’s co-owners, will celebrate Abel’s 75th birthday on Friday with appetizers, tequila and rum tasting.
Photo by Camila Castellanos / OUTLOOK
Abel Ramirez (right) and his son Armando, who have 22 years of experience providing specialty Yucatan dishes as El Portal restaurant’s co-owners, will celebrate Abel’s 75th birthday on Friday with appetizers, tequila and rum tasting.

Retirement agrees with El Portal owner and Pasadena mainstay Abel Ramirez. Well, kind of.

The restauranteur has been “practicing retirement” for two years now, but most days, you’ll still find him at the Mexican and Yucatan specialty restaurant.

“I’m still having fun with the businesses,” said Abel who turns 75 this week. “There are still a lot of risks and stresses, but what keeps me sane is that I have fun with it. Everybody should do what they love.” Continue reading “El Portal Clients, Staff Are All in the Family”