Modern Italian

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Celebrity Chef Bruce Kalman (the winner of “Chopped” and “Knife Fight” and was featured on Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant") serves up soulful, farm-to-table Northern Italian cooking at his intimate neighborhood eatery in Old Town Pasadena. The storefront space has a comfortable neighborhood feel with rustic touches like exposed brick walls, a cement bar and unfinished wood. The setting is intimate (50 seats), lively and mostly unadorned, save for a large (often photographed) chalkboard featuring impressive drawings by Chalk and Paint, as well as farmers market hours and culinary wisdom from Alice Waters.

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What the Food Critics are Saying

“You may not be expecting the suppleness of the lightly cured California-salmon crudo, the deep flavor of the guanciale broth in which the mussels were steamed, the elegant crispness of a salad of radish, shaved asparagus and walnuts, or the hardcore Italian grandmother vibe of the meatballs, which are enhanced with caper berries and lardo but taste like something that could have come out of a four-hour Sunday gravy. The great vegetables, you can take for granted. The touch of Italian soul, you cannot.” – LA Times

“Most of what's on offer here is produce-oriented, and the best bites of food often are simply tried-and-true combinations done right: Sweet summer squash jumbled with dusky sage, or an asparagus salad with walnuts and pecorino, tossed with artichoke leaves and topped with a fried duck egg. The chef's pickle prowess is on display on the charcuterie plate, which features a number of delicious vinegary morsels, along with a selection of house-made salamis and pate.” – LA Weekly

“I’m smitten with the pastas, all house-made (naturally) and terrific. A nutty spelt cavatelli tossed with asparagus, arugula pesto, pecorino, and walnuts was one of the best pasta dishes I had this year, right in the running with another Union offering, spaghetti alla chitarra napped with a suave and buttery San Marzano tomato sauce.” – AAA Westways Magazine

  • “For a neighborhood trattoria, Union is seriously overachieving.” – Los Angeles Magazine

From the Chef

“The greatest reward [of opening Union] is being on the floor every night and seeing the look on people’s faces when they eat our food.” – Chef Bruce Kalman


  • Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants 2016 — Los Angeles Times
  • LA's Best Restaurants, 2014 — Time Out
  • Hot 10 LA Restaurants 2015 — Gayot
  • Chef Kalman: Nominee, James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef 1996
  • Zagat rating of 25 out of 30

Menu for Union

37 East Union Street
Pasadena, CA 91103

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  • Price Range: $$
    Atmosphere: Charming, Modern, Neighborhood Feel, Trendy/Scene
  • Dress Code: Casual
    Good For: Hot Spot, Singles, Special Occasion
  • Noise Level: Average
  • Wine Spirits: Wine/Beer Only
    Phone: (626) 795-5841
  • Private Dining Room: No