My heart sank when I heard that Teresa Montaño was closing Racion, her six-year-old Basque restaurant in Pasadena. The Astronomer and I adored her cooking and were sad to see the place go. Fortunately, the chef has found a new home in Highland Park with Otoño, which opened last August.
The narrow restaurant was filled to capacity when my girlfriend Liz and I came in for a weeknight dinner. With every stool taken at the bar and every seat occupied in the dining room, it’s plain to see that the neighborhood is stoked for the chef’s Spanish-inspired fare.
To start, a glass of sangria for each of us ($12 each). Liz honed in on the “Los Angeles” with rosé, cucumber, passion fruit, and amaro, while I picked the “Madrid” with red wine, brandy, orange, coffee, and cacao. My sangria, wonderfully savory and balanced, was so seriously good that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.