Maybe try Pickwick in Burbank? It's not as nice, but it's somewhat centrally located with Pasadena/Valley people. I believe it's also cheaper than Pasadena per hour...but I'm not sure what the schedule is.
The pick up games are for every level and I've played in them a few times. It's fun and for the most part, the people who show up are nice. The level of play varies per week...one time I went and it was at the level of one of our games. Another time I went, I showed up and former minor hockey players were there and I got lit up. So...depends on the day. Other sessions are packed early, others are sparse.