Mary Rahmani’s Pasadena Guide

Pasadena resident Mary Rahmani isn’t one to shy away from hard work.
Neon Retro Arcade Photo Credit: David Lopez

Pasadena resident Mary Rahmani isn’t one to shy away from hard work. A leading expert in short-form video and strategic creative partnerships across emerging platforms, Rahmani has been part of the music and entertainment industries for more than 20 years, working at notable companies like TikTok, Triller, and Capitol Records. In 2021, Rahmani launched Moon Projects, a multidisciplinary, short-form-focused creative agency and record label. Here, the musically minded tastemaker shares the Pasadena locales that make her heart sing.


I’ve been living in Pasadena for seven years. I’m from L.A., my parents moved here in the late ’70s, and we experienced neighborhoods throughout Southern California. Over time, I felt my interests and community were mainly on the eastside of L.A. and have been here since. I’m in the South Lake neighborhood close to Caltech. There is so much diverse history within Pasadena—the architecture of Craftsman homes, the legacy of people such as Einstein and Van Halen—it’s a hub of everything. / I love going to Old Pasadena or Green Street and trying out a new restaurant or boba shop. It’s currently all about Agnes and Twinkle Tea. / I drive down tree-lined streets to take my son to Guitar Center to play with instruments. We love going to Neon Retro Arcade, then have pizza at The Luggage Room to watch the trains go by. / There are so many fantastic coffee shops in Pasadena. Copa Vida is my go-to for meetings. I love their iced chai, and there’s generally seating to hang out or work. / When I’m craving a sandwich, it’s Porta Via all day—the Italian sub. I ask for less meat and more cheese and avocado. It’s the perfect Saturday lunch. / I will frequently listen to demos/mixes in my car and just drive. Going from the Colorado Street Bridge down to Orange Grove, it’s just so gorgeous. You get the mountains, views of downtown L.A., and historic lights on the streets. / If you love film, music, and nostalgia, you need to visit Vidéothèque in South Pasadena. / Vinyl records are treasures that we need to support consistently and Poo-Bah Records is literally from another time. / I’ve always enjoyed seeing artists perform at the Levitt Pavilion. It’s beautiful that my son is growing up in a city that offers diversity, culture, history, and an array of experiences.