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.
“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
“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
37 East Union Street
Pasadena, CA 91103