The Blog of Joy Bolger

The Blog of Joy Bolger

What’s Good In Altadena?


I’ve been thinking a lot about “being in the mix” lately and what does that really mean to people.

A dear friend recently moved out of Los Feliz, a place which since I moved to LA in the 90’s was the ultimate mix. One of her biggest concerns with moving was feeling disconnected and not central enough even though she is reaching for something else for her family, a slower pace, less action…easier. 

As some friends and clients have started having children, schools and safety have become more of a priority. They have started reaching out to locations that don’t feel so in the thick of it all. Opting to forgo walking to coffee and a fabulous dinner in lieu of lower crime rates and higher school ratings. 

About 7 years ago another friend of mine moved to Altadena. She bought a beautiful remodeled home on a gigantic property (room for a pool and an urban farm kinda sq footage) She wasn’t happy. It just felt too “far”. At that time I remember driving to her baby shower and climbing Marengo for a solid 10 minutes, looking at the pine trees and watching the temp drop and thinking ya she’s right. And maybe she was at the time. But not now. Not anymore. Because the MIX is coming NORTH. 


What is in Altadena? What is coming to Altadena? What is happening in Altadena? LET ME TELL YOU!

Best Spots IMO. I just have so much to say I’ll try to edit.


An obvious no brainer is Side Pie. Started in the heart of the Pandemic in The Side Yard this pizza joint offers thin wood fired sourdough pizza you can eat in their parking lot with picnic tables and let your kids run wild or grab it to go with a bottle of wine from their market place and enjoy the park across the street and let your kids run wild. There has never been a pizza there we didn’t scarf down but our favorite thing to order is the MEATBALLS. For sure get those next time you go! And order a pizza well done if you like it crispy, we do.


Recommended by a dear client and now friend. This tiny Italian restaurant has been in Altadena since 2010. Their origin story is really lovely you can read it on their website. They hand make all their own pasta and the owner/chef serves you and likes to talk politics which I actually enjoyed. The pasta was delicious and the focaccia bread was the best I have ever had.


So many wine discoveries have happened for me at this wonderful wonderland. Also the owner is cool and takes the time to teach me how to prepare cocktails that I’m making for parties. For example when you are pre-batching large amounts of a specific cocktail did you know to add WATER?? It makes a difference. In a good way. Great natural wine, snacks and gift-y items. They do cool collabs and pop-ups. Park in the Armen Grocery story parking lot across the street grab a mortadella sub and some dried fruit so they don’t tow you.

Other honorable mentions

MIYA-Miya, a cozy Thai restaurant, follows the success of Sticky Rice, founded by David Tewasart. With a focus on authentic flavors and a welcoming ambiance, Miya offers a range of homestyle dishes. My favorite is the Tom Kha Mushroom soup.

AMARA KITCHEN – They emphasize sourcing ingredients locally and organically whenever possible.  A lunch staple for me and where I meet other school moms for PA committee  meetings. Favorites are the Chicken Salad, Bone Broth, Matcha Latte and Rose Iced Tea

FERRAZZANI’S PASTA & MARKET – The market offers several varieties of fresh pasta, a daily selection of sandwiches made with Bub and Grandma’s bread (YUM), house-made sauces including pesto Genovese, and a curated selection of grocery items.

For kids…

The Library 

The Altadena Library! It’s a beautiful 1960’s building with clean lines, large windows, and a spacious layout that promotes natural light and an open atmosphere. The kids’ space is great. They host story time, arts and crafts workshops, educational programs and events. 

Parks Parks Parks

Farnsworth Park, Loma Alta Park, Charles S. Farnsworth Park, Eaton Canyon Natural Area, Rubio Canyon, part of the Angeles National Forest, offering hiking trails and natural scenery, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Park, which includes sports fields and recreational facilities. Lots of nature, lots of hikes, lots of dirt. They love it.

Let’s talk about what is coming!

Kismet Rotisserie, a popular mini-chain known for its signature chicken, may soon open a location in Altadena. The restaurant is helmed by chefs Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson.

The team behind Everson Royce Bar, a well-known cocktail destination in the Arts District, plans to open a new space in Altadena. They will also incorporate on-site retail, relocating their existing wine shop from Pasadena to Lincoln Avenue.

Woon, a Chinese restaurant based in Historic Filipinotown, is working on opening a second location in Altadena.

The team behind All Time, an all-day staple restaurant in Los Feliz, is reportedly preparing to launch a new restaurant on Mariposa in Altadena.

Ok Market Time

In the last year there have been 294 properties sold in Altadena. There have been some really incredible properties here are some highlights.

The highest priced listing was 1700 E Altadena Drive. On the market for 113 days. Listed originally @ $5,750,000 and exited the market @ $5,123,000. 

2653 N Holliston Ave I toured with clients and it blew our socks off. Listed @ $2,399,000 and exited at $3,153,000 on the market for 10 days. In the Country Club neighborhood a 1918 Prairie Revival, designed by architect A. Burnside Sturges.

2104 Craig Ave really pretty Spanish on a big lot by Eaton Canyon. Needs work but the original tile and architecture was lovely. Listed @ 1.838 exited @ 2.303

53 E Altadena Dr charming 1922 English Tudor with a converted garage. Listed @ $1.499 and exited the market @ 1.789.

Few standouts currently on the market 

1561 Gaywood Drive a Mid Century Stunner

1230 Rubio Vista Road a 1990’s Architectural 

1561 Gaywood Drive pretty Spanish East of Lake

Let me know if you or any of your friends would like to chat more about real estate in Altadena. You get a balance with the mountains, cleaner air and larger lot sizes with new restaurants and excitement on what’s to come. To me it feels like a perfect mix:)