Every time I attend a local fundraising event, I always bid on a DISH restaurant certificate. I love the place. The food is good, the prices are right and Martin the busboy, always gives me a hug and kiss on the cheek upon arrival.
Everyone in La Cañada has dined at least once at DISH. It’s a delightful dining institution on Foothill Blvd, open seven days a week, serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner.
During the autumn months, they serve the best pumpkin pancakes in Southern California. Last week, I met with the owners Kevin and Cindy Finch to learn more about DISH.
Raised in La Cañada Flintridge, Finch went to nearby Occidental College and majored in Communication. He worked in various nearby restaurants, such as Emily’s Steakhouse in Pasadena throughout his college career.
Upon graduation, he started his first job in the advertising profession at Dailey & Associates.
“Many residents know Peter Dailey from Pasadena. He is legendary in the Advertising world,” enthused Finch. “I worked with the great Phil Joanou and Dailey and learned so much from them about how the business world works.”
After five years, he entered the restaurant world and worked in the hospitality industry for 25 years. He enjoyed his stint in Sonoma for a few years and later was the opening general manager at Twin Palms in Pasadena (now closed). He also became a partner in the Border Grill restaurants with Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. Eventually, he sold his partnership and opened DISH.
When asked, why he thinks DISH is so successful in our community, Finch replied, “We aren’t a traditional three-meal-a-day restaurant.” He believes people are tired of the known chain restaurants. DISH offers something fresh, new and innovative on their menu.
Many of his patrons are from Pasadena and Glendale. “We couldn’t survive with just La Canada Flintridge residents. It’s too small of a town,” shared Finch. Many weekday mornings, La Canada residents are out of the area at work or in school. “Some days I come in and ¾ of the guests are from the surrounding communities,” admitted Finch.
When I told Finch, that one of my favorite items on the menu is his veggie burger, he said, “Most veggie burgers taste like cardboard.” His chefs make a house-made burger filled with lentils, almonds, barley, carrots, celery, olive oil and mushrooms. “It’s complicated to make, yet out patrons like it,” expressed Finch.
Before leaving, I also thanked him for his generosity to the community “It’s hard to say no,” shared Finch. Sometimes he gets as many as 40 to 50 requests a month. “There are a lot of churches and schools in town that need funds for their music, athletic and extracurricular programs.”
When I asked if he plans to open another DISH, Finch smiled and said, “It’s in the works.” From the start, nine years ago, when they opened on Foothill Blvd., the Finch family always had the vision to open other DISH restaurants.
When they do open their second restaurant, I will let the LCF PATCH readers know about its location.
Courtesy of the La Canada Patch on Nov. 27, 2011