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AltaEats

1860 N. Allen Ave. (New York Dr.) Send to Phone
626-794-1162
On the edge of Pasadena, some sophisticated contemporary cuisine livens up the dining scene.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Cuisine
Open
Dinner Wed.-Mon., Brunch Sun.
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AltaEats Restaurant Review

: Chef/co-owner Paul Ragan, after refining his technique from Manhattan to Madrid, opened this small, ambitious bistro on the northern edge of Pasadena adjoining Altadena, a gentrifying community that is sorely lacking in serious restaurants. Although sparely decorated, the taupe-hued, clean-lined space hints of the kitchen’s sophistication. The menu of small plates is intriguing and fun, including options like caramelized cauliflower with pine nuts and cumin, roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta and piquillo peppers, and a refreshing salad of lightly dressed quinoa with bell peppers, cabbage and watermelon. Duck confit hash, sweetened by apricots and topped with a fried egg, is one of our favorite dishes, as is sweetbreads plated with a house-made chipotle ketchup. Larger plates include a trio of scallops (seared, panko-crusted and curried, each plated with a different sauce), steak frites and paella. The market determines the menu, so when something special like Copper River salmon is available, it makes an appearance. The kitchen also quietly turns out a notable burger, topped with onions, a measured amount of quality Roquefort and a light, garlicky aïoli on a brioche bun. For dessert, consider a butterscotch-bourbon pudding with the consistency of a fine pot de crème. Reasonably priced Sunday brunch items include lemon-ricotta pancakes and crab Benedict.

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