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.

Union Union Union Union Union

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

Dinner Menu


  • Bread & Giardiniere house made cultured butter, Hepp's sea salt
  • Pork Meatballs San Marzano tomato, caper berries, lardo, chile
  • Housemade Stracciatella roasted garlic, crostini
  • Crostone house made goat ricotta, honey dates, pine nuts, chive blossoms, dukkah
  • Merguez Sausage quail eggs, tomato, mint, pistachio crema
  • Hope Ranch Mussels guanciale, burnt semolina grandine, pan con tomate


  • Bitter Lettuces roasted stone fruit, torn bread, dukkah, crème fraiche-poppyseed dressing
  • Charred Market Onions smoked almond romesco, pickled fresno chiles, spring garlic, goat cheese
  • Broccoli Di Ciccio garlic, chile, Meyer lemon
  • Wild Mushrooms G&T polenta, Pedro Ximenez sherry vinegar, sage, rosemary
  • Cauliflower Salad fava beans, pickled raisins, Pecorino-Toscano, Meyer lemon


  • Spaghetti Alla Chitarra San Marzano tomato, garlic, Fresno chile
  • Tagliatelle pork ragu, Parmigiano-Reggiano, gremolata
  • Squid Ink Bombolotti Maine lobster, fennel, Meyer lemon, truffle butter
  • Porcini Lasagnette pioppini mushrooms, rosemary, Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Bucatini Cacio E Pepe Pecorino-Romano, black pepper, 63° egg*
  • Gnocchi Alla Romana morels, ramps, fiddlehead ferns, brown butter, Pecorino-Romano
  • Smokey Pepper Rigatoni lamb ragu, Marsala, ricotta salata


  • Porchetta Weiser Farms potatoes, salsa verde. Limited availability
  • Risotto Di Aragosta saffron, Maine lobster, braised fennel, San Marzano tomato
  • King Salmon (Fort Bragg, CA) cannellini beans, puntarelle, roasted tomato, ramp salsa verde
  • Stracotto Niman Ranch beef short rib, salt pork, sunchoke puree, gremolata
  • Smoked Pork Chop farro, zucchini, walnuts, dill, mint, Pecorino-Romano

Chef Bruce's New Spice Collection

  • BK Spice Rubs porchetta, poultry, beef & fish

Dessert Menu


  • Biscotti & Vin Santo
  • Gianduja Chocolate Budino Cocoa nib, truffle salt, ligurian olive oil
  • Lemon Verbena Pannacotta Balsamic pickled strawberries, amaretti cookie
  • Olive Oil Cake Blood orange, almonds, honeycomb gelato

Wine List


  • Althe'a, Prosecco di Valdobiadene, Veneto NV
    Glass $11.00
    Bottle $42.00
  • La Collina "Il Quarismo", Lambrusco Dell Emilia, Emilia Romagna NV
    Glass $14.00
    Bottle $52.00
  • Contadi Castaldi, Rose Brut, Franciacorta NV
    Bottle $60.00


  • Habit, Rose of Grenache "Camp 4 Vnyd" Santa Ynez Valley 2013
    Glass $13.00
    Bottle $48.00


  • De Angelis, Pecorino, Le Marche 2012
    Glass $9.00
    Bottle $36.00
  • Piero Mancini, Vermentino di Gallura, Sardegna 2012
    Glass $10.00
    Bottle $38.00
  • Sta Magdelena, Weissburgunder (Pinot Bianco), Alto Adige 2012
    Glass $11.00
    Bottle $42.00
  • Meyer Family, Chardonnay "Donnelly Creek Vnyd" Anderson Valley 2012
    Glass $12.00
    Bottle $45.00
  • Folk Machine, Tocai Friulano "Madonna Vineyard" Mendocino 2013
    Bottle $32.00
  • Fontanabianca, Roero Arneis, Piemonte 2012
    Bottle $36.00
  • Az. Ag. Bianchi, "Bianco Luminae" (Erbaluce), Piemonte 2010
    Bottle $38.00
  • Erste + Neue, Muller Thurgau, Alto Adige 2012
    Bottle $40.00
  • Elena Walch, Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige 2012
    Bottle $42.00
  • Ciro Picariello, Fiano "Irpinia", Campania 2012
    Bottle $44.00
  • Storm, Sauvignon Blanc "Presqu'ile Vnyd," Santa Maria Valley 2012
    Bottle $60.00
  • Liquid Farm, Chardonnay "White Hills", Sta. Rita Hills 2012
    Bottle $68.00


  • Marchione, Montepulciano D'Abruzzo, Abruzzi 2010
    Glass $9.00
    Bottle $36.00
  • Vina Robles, Rhone 4 (Rhone Blend), Paso Robles 2011
    Glass $10.00
    Bottle $38.00
  • Germano, Dolcetto D'Alba "Lorenzino", Piemonte 2012
    Glass $12.00
    Bottle $45.00
  • Inception, Pinot Noir, Central Coast 2011
    Glass $12.00
    Bottle $45.00
  • Francesco Borgogno, Nebbiolo Langhe, Piemonte 2012
    Glass $13.00
    Bottle $48.00
  • Cultivar, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2010
    Glass $14.00
    Bottle $52.00
  • Rocche Costamagna, Barbera D'Alba "Annunziata", Piemonte 2011
    Bottle $36.00
  • San Martino, Aglianico del Vulture, Basilicata 2009
    Bottle $38.00
  • Motta, Morellino di Scansano, Toscana 2011
    Bottle $40.00
  • Fritz, Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma) 2011
    Bottle $42.00
  • Broadside, Merlot "Margarita Vineyard", Paso Robles, 2011
    Bottle $45.00
  • Il Borghetto Montigiano, Sangiovese, Firenze 2010
    Bottle $55.00
  • Castello di Verduno, Pelaverga, Piemonte 2012
    Bottle $55.00
  • Mastrojanni, Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscana 2011
    Bottle $60.00
  • Harrington, Lagrein "Berado Vineyard", Paso Robles 2012
    Bottle $62.00
  • Monchiero, Barolo, Piemonte 2008
    Bottle $78.00
  • Cantina del Pino, Barbaresco, Piemonte 2009
    Bottle $82.00
  • Baroncini, Brunello di Montaicino "Il Bosso", Toscana 2007
    Bottle $85.00
  • E. Bocchino, Nebbiolo D'Alba "La Percucca", Piemonte 2001
    Bottle $95.00
  • GoGi "Jillybean", Pinot Noir "Ampelos Vnyd", Sta Rita Hills 2010
    Bottle $125.00


  • Storm, Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, "Faith Vnyd", Santa Ynez 2010
    Glass $10.00

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