Sunday, November 23, 2014


East Colorado Avenue, Pasadena, November 23, 2014—
DINNER TONIGHT WITH A COUPLE of friends we always enjoy: funny, smart, connected, people you can converse with about food, food politics, books, computers, travel… and it doesn't hurt that Sarah knows her food and the local restaurant scene. She chose the place, and apart from some snags in the service (white wine and Champagne insufficiently chilled, for example) the place turned out to be just what we needed: relaxed, accessible, with a simple bistro menu that wasn't hard to order from.

We began with an order of brandade, nicely whipped salt cod with potato, served on a bed of tomato confit — a curious idea, I thought, not mantecato in the Venetian style by any means, perhaps more a Genovese take on the classic dish — I don't know: there is so much more to learn. In any case, quite nice; I'd have it again willingly every couple of weeks.

From there, on to the classic "bistro steak" you see here, a hanger steak, nicely grilled, with bordelaise sauce, pommes Anna on the side, and creamed spinach. This is a combination I couldn't possibly resist. I thought the potatoes lacked the last word in authenticity — not outstanding potatoes, and perhaps not as buttery as they might be, and needing both salt and pepper. But these are cavils, and I'm sorry to be so critical. It was a perfectly good dinner, and I'd go back if I wanted a bistro.

Oh: and on the way out, we were offered a miniature canalé. A nice touch, I think.

Catarratto, Tola (Sicily), 2011: unusual, nice flavor and body, unfortunately not cold enough;
Garnacha, Santo Cristo (Spain), 2010: good body, flavor, and balance
Canelé, 3219 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles; (323) 666-7133

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