hi howard. i grew up in los angeles. lived right in the city, probably 10 minutes from beverly hills. while i only visit there once a month these days, when i lived there a few years ago the commute to beverly hills was always a pain (except in off hours). it's not easily accessed by any freeway so during rush hour it's troublesome. i imagine heading in from the pasadena direction could only make it worse since there tends to be more inbound traffic in the AM hours to los angeles area then outbound traffic. however, i always traveled using the 405. not sure how the 101 would be.
the best way to head into the city from the valley during rush hours is by "going over the hill" - ie, by taking the streets. there are some pretty quick short cuts through the mountains.... more