Bruce Kalman and Marie Petulla bring those who live in the 626- UNION. Located on Union Street of course in the heart of Old Town Pasadena, Union Restaurant is quaint and seats 50 guests. With minimal signage outside, making it- hard to miss, Union is next to Pop Champagne and the Blind Donkey. Bruce Kalman was the previous chef of Churchill in Los Angeles. Here at Union he presents Italian dishes with a market fresh produce feel.
As I entered Union, I was at first confused as to where I was, because there was limited signage, however I was drawn to the clean, simple, interiors of the restaurant. It presents a simple approach when you enter, not appearing formal or stuffy. Union does have the décor and design that is not unfamiliar. A large chalkboard that sits behind the bar; announcing the local farmers markets in the surrounding areas offering fresh produce; charcoal metal light fixtures, and of course simple dark wood tables & chairs. It is a design done before, unlike the menu.
Chef Kalman and his team are known to make their pastas fresh- the mornings before Union opens their doors for the day. I tried the pork meatballs, Brussels sprouts, and winter truffle & potato tortellini with a fabulous glass of house Pinot Noir.
My favorite parts of the meatballs were the caper berries. They brought a sour to the sweet tomato sauce. The Brussels spouts were nothing fancy, but I did enjoy the presentation. Once I tried the pasta, I understood why Chef Kalman and team knew what they were doing at Union. All that went into this winter truffle tortellini has potato, leaks, and a combination of parmesan cheeses was mouthwatering and perfect.
Best Bite: (So I have heard) is the braised oxtail with egg noodles & seafood cioppino which are main dishes that apparently were not on the menu when I attended. I plan to return.Union 37 E Union St
Pasadena, CA 91103