Archive for the 'Restaurant Review' Category

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Ramen Tatsunoya – Pasadena

Ramen Tatsunoya - Pasadena

There’s been a line snaking down Fair Oaks Avenue ever since Ramen Tatsunoya opened late last year in Old Pasadena. Good ramen, the stuff that warms bellies and soothes souls, has been largely absent in the neighborhood, and everyone is clearly glad that this is no longer the case.

Ramen Tatsunoya - Pasadena

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Ramen Tatsunoya is the first American restaurant from a well-established Japanese chain of ramen shops, which founder Ryuta Kajiwara opened in his hometown of Kurume, in Japan’s Fukuoka Prefecture, in 1999.”

The Astronomer and I tucked in for dinner on a recent #datenight. Even on a Thursday evening on the early side of dinnertime, a line was winding out the door. Without too long a wait, we snagged two seats at the bar overlooking the open kitchen. 

Ramen Tatsunoya - Pasadena

To start, an order of the Crispy Spicy Chashu Wrap ($4.10). This oddly interesting appetizer consisted of iceberg lettuce, pulled pork, crisped rice cereal, and shredded cheese layered atop a sheet of seaweed. The combination left something to be desired for me, but The Astronomer was game to eat all three.

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Ración – Pasadena

Racion - Pasadena

Every other Thursday evening, The Astronomer and I leave our respective offices at a reasonable hour, request overtime from June’s nanny, and escape for #datenight. Quiet dinners together are a really, really lovely treat.

Racion - Pasadena

On a recent outing, we finally made our way to critically-aclaimed Ración. Opened by Teresa Montaño and Loretta Peng, Ración has been wowing diners with its inspired and inventive Basque-style small plates since opening in 2012.

Dinner felt a little like a stroll down memory lane since The Astronomer and I honeymooned in San Sebastian. Ahhmemories

Racion - Pasadena

Without our little lady in tow, we went wild and ordered a drink each. I sipped some sangria made with red wine, sherry, and apple cider, while The Astronomer had some Spanish cider on draft.

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Kali Restaurant – Los Angeles

Kali Restaurant - Los Angeles

Late dinners with girlfriends are a rare treat these days, so I was downright stoked for a night out with Diana at Larchmont Village’s white-hot Kali Restaurant. It’s hard to beat an evening spent catching up with an old friend over superb cocktails and food.

Kali Restaurant - Los Angeles

After years spent cooking underground at roving dinner pop-up Kali Dining, Chef Kevin Meehan and Wine Director Drew Langley finally have a place to call home. As you may have inferred from the restaurant’s name, Kali celebrates California ingredients, spirits, and wines in fine fashion. Considering these gentlemen’s collective resumes, I would not have expected anything less.

Kali Restaurant - Los Angeles

To start, the sweet yet potent “Arizona & 2nd” made with Hangar One Buddha’s Hand Vodka, lemon, cucumber, and basil. I am such a lightweight these days.

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Here’s Looking at You at Unit 120 – Los Angeles (Chinatown)

Here's Looking at You at Unit 120 - Los Angeles (Chinatown)

Did you hear? Lien Ta and Chef Jonathan Whitener, the former Animal chef de cuisine, are opening a restaurant. Woo! Here’s Looking at You is slated to debut later this spring in the former Whiz space in Koreatown. Los Angeles is in for a real treat.

Here's Looking at You at Unit 120 - Los Angeles (Chinatown)

In anticipation of their grand opening, Lien and Jonathan popped up at Chinatown’s Unit 120 back in January to give a sneak peek of their Japanese-Mexi-Cali concept. Priced at $75 per person, the family-style supper included three starters, two mains, and two desserts.

Dinner started with a cocktail—a cupful of the chef’s signature Mai Tai from the community punch bowl.

Here's Looking at You at Unit 120 - Los Angeles (Chinatown)

The trio of starters was quick to arrive. Pristine cuts of hamachi were given the Vietnamese treatment with tamarind, rau ram (Vietnamese coriander), palm sugar, and hibiscus onion. Continue reading ‘Here’s Looking at You at Unit 120 – Los Angeles (Chinatown)’

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