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October is National Pasta Month!

October 3, 2017

October is National Pasta Month (hooray!) and Chef Bruce Kalman and his crew are celebrating all month long at Union by raising money for American Red Cross – Disaster Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico, Texas & Florida aka #pastaforthepeople

Here’s How #PastaForThePeople Works:

Each week Chef Kalman will highlight one of his signature pasta dishes off his menu.

Order featured pasta and a portion of the proceeds from each dish will go to support disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico, Texas & Florida.

Here are the featured pastas by week:

  • Oct 1-7 – Bucatini Cacio e Pepe – Pecorino- Romano, black pepper, 63°C egg*
  • Oct 8-14 – Spaghetti alla Chitarra – San Marzano tomato, garlic, Fresno chile, Grana Padano
  • Oct 15-21 – Squid Ink Lumache – Maine Lobster, fennel, Meyer lemon, truffle butter
  • Oct 22-31 – Tagliatelle – Pork ragu, Grana Padano, gremolata

Categories: Uncategorized

Hosting A Holiday Event?

September 18, 2017
Planning a Holiday Party? Let Us Cater Your Next Event!

Holiday Season is around the corner and with it comes celebration! Let us do the cooking so you can enjoy your guests. Tell us about your event and we’ll customize a menu specific to your needs.

For more information simply email us at:
info@unionpasadena.com 

Categories: Events

PEPPER SEASON IS HERE!

August 14, 2017

Peppers are in! Be sure to order these stuffed Jimmy Nardello Peppers filled with pork and fennel sausage and topped with salsa verde and cracklings on your next visit – the season goes fast…book your reservations today!

Categories: Uncategorized

Chef Kalman’s Roasted Tahitian Squash with Farro Porridge

May 2, 2017

Roasted Tahitian Squash, farro porridge

TO ROAST THE SQUASH

INGREDIENTS:

1 each Tahitian squash, split in ½ lengthwise

¼ lb unsalted butter, cut in pats

2 tsp ground cinnamon

to season salt and pepper

PROCEDURE

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. In a large baking dish, place the squash with the cut sides up (cut the squash to fit the dish
  3. Place butter pats evenly over the top of the squash, then sprinkle the cinnamon, salt and pepper
  4. Pour water into the baking dish, around the squash, to fill 1/3 of the way
  5. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in the oven
  6. Cook until very soft, about 1 ½ hours
  7. When finished cooking, remove the pan from the oven and uncover to cool
  8. Once completely cool, cut slices about 1 ½” thick

FOR THE FARRO PORRIDGE

INGREDIENTS:

1oz olive oil

½ medium yellow onion

2 C farro

1 C dry white wine

as needed hot water or vegetable broth

2 Tbls unsalted butter

¼ C grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

2 Tbls Italian parsley, rough chopped

to taste salt and pepper

PROCEDURE

  1. in a high walled medium size sauce pot, heat the olive oil with onions and a pinch of salt, over medium heat
  2. using a wooden spoon, stir and allow to cook until the onions are translucent, without any browning, about 3-4 minutes
  3. add the farro and stir well to coat all of the farro with oil
  4. add the white wine and then water or broth, about 1 C at a time (enough to just cover the surface of the farro
  5. stir often and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated, then continue to add water and repeat the process until the farro is cooked through
  6. add the butter and parmigiano and stir vigorously to break up some of the farro berries and incorporate all the ingredients; it should have a creamy texture
  7. taste and adjust seasoning, then stir in the parsley when ready to serve

FOR THE SQUASH

INGREDIENTS:

4 Tbls unsalted butter

3 slices roasted Tahitian squash

to season salt and pepper

to season smoked paprika

6 each sage leaves

½ lemon, juice

PROCEDURE

  1. in a large non stick skillet, heat the butter over medium high heat
  2. on a plate season the squash slices on both sides with salt, pepper and paprika
  3. place the slices in the hot butter and cook until nicely brown, then flip and repeat on the other side, about 4-5 minutes per side
  4. add the sage leaves and lemon juice, and using a large spoon, baste the squash by spooning hot butter over the squash slices repeatedly until the butter is foamy and the squash has a nice crust; carefully remove the squash from the pan and serve over the farro; spoon some of the butter, sage and lemon over the squash and serve

Categories: Uncategorized

CHEF KALMAN & MARIE PETULLA CELEBRATE 3 YEARS WITH INCREDIBLE LINEUP FOR GUEST CHEF DINNER ON APRIL 10TH

April 3, 2017
Duff Goldman, Michael Voltaggio, Brooke Williamson & Nick Shipp celebrate 3 Years with Chef Kalman and Team Union

Join Us…
3 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

reUNION Guest Chef Dinner

Featuring…
Duff Goldman, Michael Voltaggio, Brooke Williamnson and Nick Shipp

On Monday, April 10, prominent Chef/Co-Owner Bruce Kalman and Partner Marie Petulla of UNION, a Pasadena restaurant staple and beloved dining destination, will play host to a chef reUNION celebrating three years of success and adoration from its loyal guests. The evening will feature a thoughtfully prepared three-course dinner created by Chef Kalman who will be joined by his closest chef friends, including season six “Top Chef” winner and ink. restaurant Owner Michael Voltaggio; Pastry Chef, Owner of Charm City Cakes, and Host of Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes” Duff Goldman; this season’s “Top Chef” Winner and Chef/Owner of Tripel, The Hudson House, and Playa Provisions Brooke Williamson; and Upper West Executive Chef Nick Shipp.

Since its opening in 2014, UNION has plated some of the most beloved dishes in the city utilizing locally sourced ingredients and root-to-leaf cooking techniques. Paying tribute to UNION, Chef Bruce will unite his signature Northern-Italian style of cooking with Voltaggio’s modernist cooking techniques, Williamson’s signature California-inspired cuisine, Goldman’s imaginative approach to baking, and Shipp’s expertise with contemporary American fare for this magical night.

Featuring one seating at 6 p.m. for $125 (excludes tax and gratuity). To complement the meal, UNION’s seasoned sommelier and winemaker George Pitsironis will be on hand to pair each course with a dynamic glass of wine for $45 encouraging guests to expand their wine palate.

WHEN:         Monday, April 10 at 6 p.m.
*One seating only

PRICING:      $125 per person excluding tax, gratuity / $45 wine pairings

TICKETS:      Please email info@unionpasadena.com or CALL 626.795.5841 to reserve

WHERE:      UNION
37 E. Union Street
Pasadena, CA 91103
626.795.5841

Categories: Chef's Blog, Events

SAVE THE DATE – April 29, 2017 – Pasadena Community Gardens Conservancy

December 14, 2016

madison-home-img

WE ARE EXCITED TO BE WORKING WITH
PASADENA COMMUNITY GARDENS CONSERVANCY
FOR THEIR 2017 SEEDS OF TRANSFORMATION
BENEFIT FOR SCHOOL & COMMUNITY GARDENS IN NW PASADENA ON
SATURDAY, APRIL 29TH
FROM 5:30p-7:30p
AT THE HISTORIC HENRY ROBINSON HOUSE

FOR MORE INFO VISIT: PASADENACONSERVANCY.ORG 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS!

Categories: Uncategorized

Please Help Support the Herrera Family Fund

December 7, 2016
Help Support Guillermo Herrera - https://www.gofundme.com/Guillermo-Hererra
Help Support Guillermo Herrera – https://www.gofundme.com/Guillermo-Hererra

One of our cooks, Guillermo Herrera, at our sister location – Knead & Co at Grand Central Market, recently lost his 6 year old daughter in an accident right before Thanksgiving and less than 3 months before that he lost his father and sister in a car accident. It has been a rough time for Guillermo and we are raising funds to help with the funeral costs, medical costs and living expenses. To donate, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/Guillermo-Hererra
Guillermo is a good and hard working man. He has only been with our company for a short period of time, but in that time he has proven to be great asset to the team.

No one should have to go through such a lost in such a short amount of time, especially during the holidays. Any help is greatly appreciated. Let’s help Guillermo and his family through this difficult time.

We thank you again for your genorsity and support.

Lastly, Knead & Co Pasta Bar is offering a free meal to anyone that donates $25 or more to the campagin – all you will have to do is show us your donation receipt and we will gladly feed you for helping our friend in need.

Categories: Uncategorized

FEAST OF SEVEN FISHES – BOOK YOUR TABLE TODAY!

November 15, 2016
BRAISED OCTOPUS, chick pea conserva, preserved lemon yogurt, dukkah
BRAISED OCTOPUS, chick pea conserva, preserved lemon yogurt, dukkah

CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY AT UNION

JOIN US FOR 
FEAST OF SEVEN FISHES
DECEMBER 24, 2016 / CHRISTMAS EVE
Available seatings at 4:00pm / 6:30pm / 9:00p

$125 per person / +$45 for wine pairing
 
MENU
subject to change based on availability

CHIVE FARINATA
uni, pickled green garlic, Urfa chile oil

BRAISED OCTOPUS
chick pea conserva, preserved lemon yogurt, dukkah

SALT COD & POTATO TORTELLI
melted leeks, Burgundy black truffles

HALIBUT CROQUETAS
smoked almond romesco, cured duck egg

CUTTLEFISH INK LASAGNETTE
bottarga, gremolata bread crumbs

ROASTED BLOWFISH TAILS
guanciale, Calabrian chile, garlic, lemon

RED VERMILLION ROCKFISH
“Livronese”, cippolini onion, pine nuts, golden raisins

Call restaurant to purchase tickets / (626) 795-5841

**Advanced ticket sales only**

Categories: Uncategorized

Chef Kalman Shares Insight on the Art of Dehydrating Ingredients with The Los Angeles Times

September 7, 2016

Why chefs love dehydrators, plus some recipes you might actually try

By: Gillian Ferguson

Kitchen gadget fads come and go, but every now and then an appliance outlives a trend. The Robot Coupe, an industrial food processor with a tireless engine, and the Vitamix, the Ferrari of blenders, are as commonplace as pots and pans in restaurant kitchens today. And now, at least in Los Angeles, an unlikely addition vies for their counter space — the decidedly unsexy dehydrator.

At restaurants all over town, black plastic boxes the size of countertop toaster ovens quietly purr from the dark corners of dry storage. At their most basic, these machines employ a lamp and a fan to circulate dry air at temperatures that range from 95 to 155 degrees. The slow, steady airflow preserves fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood by evaporating moisture and thereby removing the potential for spoilage.

By design, the dehydrator pulls long hours — apricot slabs need 24 hours at 135 degrees to shrink into fruit leather, and tomatoes require a full eight-hour work day to shed their moisture, but compared with solar drying, which can take days even in sunny climates with low humidity, the modern-day dehydrator is to sun-drying what the blender is to a mortar and pestle – easy and efficient.

Recipe: Bar nuts with dehydrated kimchi »

It was over 40 years ago when Air Force engineer Roger Orton constructed the first Excalibur in his Sacramento garage. The invention came on the heels of his grain-grinder kit, a DIY appliance that sold 10,000 units and introduced him to a clientele of rugged individualists. At the suggestion of a friend, he began tinkering with existing dehydrators and created the first controlled-temperature environment for drying food.

The early models were a hit with Depression-era home cooks who saw it as a way to save money and store food, as well as baby boomers who wanted to make fruit leather for backpacking trips. Over time organic gardeners caught on, as did hunters and preppers who used it to make their own jerky. Orton won over Ann Wigman, an early pioneer in the raw-food movement, who went on to champion his device, and even sold it to dental offices, which use it to dry those plaster of Paris molds of your teeth. But in the hands of chefs, Orton’s dehydrator morphs into a creative tool that can add flavor, manipulate texture and best of all, eliminate food waste.

At Alma, chef Ari Taymor’s restaurant inside the Standard hotel in West Hollywood, the Excalibur is always buzzing. On a recent visit, the dehydrator was busy sucking the moisture from Taymor’s house-made kimchi, which would later be ground to a powder and used to season the restaurant’s bar nuts. Sprinkled over popcorn or used to season scrambled eggs, one can imagine the same kimchi powder becoming a habit-forming pantry staple.

Elsewhere in the kitchen, dehydrated fruits and vegetables become mise-en-place for dinner service. Dried apricots will soon be reconstituted in chicken broth to form sweet and savory gummies, and dehydrated corn silk will be deep fried and fashioned into an edible birds nest — a quaint presentation that delivers a salty satisfying crunch.

Beyond the culinary usefulness of building a pantry, the dehydrator has wooed chefs across the city as a tool for reducing waste. On a recent afternoon at Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica, chef Jeremy Fox showed off a mesh tray lined with gnarly clumps of dried beet pulp, the fibrous leftovers from juicing. “I feel wrong if I throw anything away,” he said while examining the pulp, which is part of the base for the edible soil in his signature beets and berries salad.

Recipe: Caprese salad with heirloom tomato skin chips »

For Fox, the dehydrator is a solution to a problem, a way to stop time on product that might otherwise go bad. “Having it be delicious isn’t necessarily the point,” he says of the desiccated vegetable matter. It’s utilizing the product that matters.

For instance, he continues, “If I make this carrot powder out of scraps or peels and put it into something, has it necessarily elevated the dish? I’m not so worried about elevating it. I don’t want to make it worse, but I’m using it when I could have just thrown it away and called it a day.”

So the solids from straining Rustic Canyon’s posole sauce — a mix of raw poblano and jalapeño peppers, garlic, cilantro, olive oil, vinegar and salt — are dehydrated, ground to a powder and used to season the steak. The resulting green powder tastes “like salsa verde Doritos,” Fox says, and is craveable in its own right.

Similarly, chef Bruce Kalman of Union in Pasadena utilizes the dehydrator to rescue roasted tomato skins that would otherwise end up in the compost bin. Long a proponent of root-to-leaf cooking, even cherry tomato stems at Union are salvaged and dehydrated for an earthy tomato salt.

For Kalman, making roasted tomato chips doesn’t just curb waste, it improves what would otherwise be a simple caprese salad. “If I want to do a dish with tomatoes,” he says, “then I want it to taste like in-your-face tomatoes.” And the dehydrator, which concentrates flavor, will achieve that.

Unlike luxury appliances like Anti-Griddles and Rotovaps, the humble dehydrator feels like less of a toy than a necessity. Forty percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted, so if a plastic box with a lightbulb and a fan can spark creativity and enhance flavor while preventing some of that product from ending up in the waste bin, then every kitchen should have one.

http://www.latimes.com/food/la-fo-dehydrator-chefs-20160810-snap-story.html

Meet Francis, Union’s General Manager

March 26, 2016

We sat down to talk with Francis Castagnetti Jr. , the General Manager who keeps things running over at Union. We discussed what makes a great dining experience, his background in the restaurant business and his love for Chef Kalman’s spaghetti.

 

6

 

How did you come to work at Union?

I moved to California from the East Coast back in 2003 and got a job working over at Match in North Hollywood before it turned into Tiki No. From there, I met Marie Petulla (Union’s c0-owner) who brought me over to Firefly in Studio City. Then when the person who had my job before me at Union was moving on, Marie just said, “you’re coming to work for me at Union.”

Have you always worked in the restaurant business?

My very first job, when I was 15 years old, was in an ice cream shop in Framingham, Massachusetts. Then when I was 19, I started working in an Italian Bakery in Newton, Mass. I was the guy who made the bread. And I loved making the bread. It’s a science. But bread people are always talking about temperature controlled rooms. Go to Rome. No one cares about the temperature of the room. They just make the bread.

When I was 19, making bread was just a job. Who cares? But when you get older it becomes pretty cool to have these skills. Here at Union we get all of our bread from Etxea Bakery in Hawthorn. They make it specific for us. We give them the flour we buy from Grist & Toll and then they mix it with their own special sour.

Details like this are why I love working for Union. This restaurant is a philosophy. We don’t deal with any middlemen whatsoever. We’re dealing directly with bakers, farmers and ranchers. Working at Union brings me back to my Italian childhood. Grandma was cooking food from scratch every day. And if you wanted fish, you went out and caught it.

How would you describe the Union experience to anyone who’s never eaten here before?

Everyone who works here comes from a fine dining background, but we’re all super laid back. Dan, Flower and I all work in tandem to create the best dining experience possible. This is a dream team. We all have a massive amount of respect for what Marie and Bruce have built and for each other.

Restaurants are how I’m able to be social. Working at a restaurant allows me to bring people joy through the experience. It’s like I’m throwing a party for every single person eating with us. It’s our job to make people feel like this is the very best place they can spend their money.

If a restaurant’s look or music doesn’t match the crowd, you’re gonna have problems. We keep an upbeat vibe going in here. I’m playing DJ now that Bruce is downtown with Knead. But Bruce and I are from the same era, so our sensibilities are very similar. You’re gonna hear Led Zepplin. You’re gonna hear Michael Jackson.

But at the end of the day, it’s about the food. You have to ask yourself, would I drive 45 minutes across town for this food? If the answer is no, then we’re not putting it on the menu.

What are you excited about in the near future?

I’m also looking forward to us bringing in some more lamb, veal and beef to the menu.

What’s your favorite dish at Union?

The spaghetti. The first time I had it I was hooked. It reminds me of grandma. Chef Kalman’s spaghetti brought back tastes and flavors I hadn’t thought of in 2o years. I would not want to live without that spaghetti.

 

5

Francis also plays drums in the band Foie Grock with Chef Bruce Kalman. You can follow them on Twitter @FoieGrock, Facebook and Instagram @FoieGrock

 

Union is One of LA Weekly’s 99 Essentials!

February 19, 2016

Thank you LA Weekly for putting us right at the top of your list! You can see their write up on Union below or read the entire feature at their link here.

L.A. WEEKLY’S 99 ESSENTIAL RESTAURANTS

This year’s list has greater turnover than we’ve seen in recent years — and some surprises

This past December, in the midst of the four-month flurry of eating and parsing and thinking and writing that precedes our annual 99 Essentials issue, I stopped in for a quick bite at Girasol in Studio City. The restaurant has never been on the list, seeming not quite up to the distinction when I reviewed it back in 2013, but I kept hearing great things about the food from other eaters I respect, so I stopped by, sat at the bar and ordered a plate of hamachi crudo. And, man, that crudo blew my socks off. A wild sorrel broth that pooled around it was touched with white fir and finger lime and tasted like nothing I’d eaten all year. With a schedule that includes three meals out on regular weeks and up to nine per week during 99 Essentials research, that’s saying something. Chef C.J. Jacobsen’s dish was so bright, so new, so refined — and in that moment his restaurant earned its move from the “maybe” to the “definitely” column.

It’s moments like this that make the planning and research for 99 Essentials, which this year I shared with L.A. Weekly food editor Garrett Snyder, such a pleasure. Each year we get to rediscover L.A., return to the places that make this city a joy for food lovers, discover new flavors and chefs and taqueros, and catch up with chefs and restaurants that have new and exciting things to offer. The scenario above happened in some form or another at so many places around town: A quick bite revealed more than I’d been hoping for. Of course, these discoveries present their own set of issues. In any given year, there are never enough closures among the previous year’s 99 to make room for all the new entries we’d like to include. This year — more than any in the four years since I’ve been overseeing the list — we’ve added new discoveries and places that, like Girasol, have earned their spot years after opening. Of this year’s 99 restaurants, 38 are new. This means we had to say goodbye to some long-standing honorees we love and admire and still consider essential. But the headline says 99, so 99 it is.

There are other firsts on this year’s list. It’s a the first time we’ve included a supper club, which I’m sure will be just as controversial as the first time a food truck appeared. No, it’s not a traditional restaurant. Is the food incredible? Is it essential to L.A.’s dining scene? We think so. These days, great food arrives in all kinds of formats. For 2016, we’ve broken out purveyors from Grand Central Market rather than having an entry for the market as a whole; we adore the market and all it stands for, but we think certain folks deserve individual recognition.

We’ve left Mozza, however, as a conglomerate, encompassing all three of Nancy Silverton’s restaurants on the corner of Melrose and Highland. Yeah, yeah, we know it’s a copout. Maybe next year we’ll break them out, too. There were a lot of places and things on this year’s list we couldn’t bear to let go of, especially after experiencing them again. Who could imagine L.A. without a Langer’s pastrami sandwich? How would we live without Ricky’s Fish Tacos? Is Animal any less delicious than it was last year? (It is not.) Some things are just tried and true, and the 99 Essentials celebrates those places as well.

We hope you find the 99 Essentials as inspiring as we did while putting them together. Here’s to all those moments — at tables and at bars and at food stands and in supper clubs across the city — when that plate of food arrives and practically knocks you off your chair. We hope we can help bring more of those moments into your life. —Besha Rodell

 

union-pasadena-spaghetti-alla-chitarra

(Spaghetti Alla Chitarra photo by: Anne Fishbein)

Union

There are few restaurants as tiny, bustling and convivial as Union, Bruce Kalman’s 2-year-old Cali-Italian restaurant in Pasadena. Large family groups commune at long tables, the babies among them happily gobbling meatballs as their parents drink interesting Italian red wines. It’s the type of place where people stop in for a quick plate of pasta and a glass of wine at the bar, a perfect first-date spot, a perfect 100th-date spot. Starters, such as a beautifully spiced cotechino sausage served with braised collard greens and a soft poached egg, are inventive but comforting above all else. The handmade pastas are the star of the show, however, from the simplest tomato sauce-dressed spaghetti chitarra to heavier ragus. This is the type of restaurant we all wish we had within walking distance of our homes: laid-back, friendly, relatively affordable and with food you could eat happily over and over again. —Besha Rodell
Read our full review.

37 E. Union St., Pasadena, 91103

MAP
626-795-5841

NY Times says, “Join the Union”

February 18, 2016

Thank you New York Times for recommending us!

3. JOIN THE UNION, 6 P.M.

Surrounded by some of the most exciting restaurants in the country, Pasadena suffers by comparison. Nothing underscores this more than how little disagreement there is about the city’s most beloved restaurants. One could be forgiven, for example, for assuming an ordinance requires locals to recommend Pie n Burger, a half-century-old diner. At the other end of the spectrum, Union is nearly universally described as the best restaurant in town. A rare combination of decadence (think of the overpowering scent of truffle mingling with lobster) and informal without seeming slouchy,Union is part of a national wave of high-end Italian restaurants doing spectacular takes on handmade pasta, velvety risottos and puffy gnocchi. Reservations are a must on weekend nights. Dinner is around $150, with wine, for two.

You can read the full article at this link or see their full feature below.

21hours4-jumbo-v3

36 Hours in Pasadena, California

21HOURS2-jumbo-v2

(Union, a favorite Italian restaurant. Credit: Laure Joliet for The New York Times)

The second oldest city in notoriously youthful Los Angeles County — after Los Angeles itself — Pasadena has aged admirably. With its deciduous tree-draped streets, it has often been a Hollywood stand-in for the American Everytown. Known for neighborhoods of historic grandeur and institutions of repute, its cultural and scientific heavyweights — the Norton Simon Museum, the Gamble House and the nearby Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens among them — are why most people visit. But Pasadena and the surrounding towns like South Pasadena andAltadena also have a delicious Mediterranean climate, enchanting architecture and plenty of charming Americana, including A-frame motels and the original concrete mile markers along what was once Route 66.

Friday

1. GRAND ENTRANCE, 3 P.M.

The Linda Vista Avenue exit off 134 East will guide you to the Colorado Street Bridge, an iconic 1913 structure that arches gracefully over the Arroyo Seco riverbed and, according to local lore, is haunted by the souls of those who have taken their lives here. Just off Colorado Boulevard, stop atLe Muse Coffee and Wine Bar, which recently opened in a charming brick courtyard building designed by the local architect Harold Bissner in 1936. Now a Parisian-style cafe, Le Muse serves a modest but well-executed menu of cafe fare, coffee drinks made from the local roaster Espresso Republic and a wine list that encourages a glass in the afternoon Southern California sun.

2. FOR THE SMART SET, 4:30 P.M.

While in the Playhouse District, walk to the neighborhood’s namesake, thePasadena Playhouse, the official State Theater of California, founded in 1917. The Spanish Colonial Revival theater has a glamorous history as a “Star Factory,” from which actors like Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman have emerged. A block east on Colorado, Vroman’s bills itself as the oldest and largest independent bookstore in Southern California. An ample and cleverly designed shop, it intersperses each department with related items. In Food, for example, there’s classic Bauer Pottery alongside cookbooks; Travel features the usual guides and memoirs, but also luggage tags and international power adapters.

3. JOIN THE UNION, 6 P.M.

Surrounded by some of the most exciting restaurants in the country, Pasadena suffers by comparison. Nothing underscores this more than how little disagreement there is about the city’s most beloved restaurants. One could be forgiven, for example, for assuming an ordinance requires locals to recommend Pie n Burger, a half-century-old diner. At the other end of the spectrum, Union is nearly universally described as the best restaurant in town. A rare combination of decadence (think of the overpowering scent of truffle mingling with lobster) and informal without seeming slouchy,Union is part of a national wave of high-end Italian restaurants doing spectacular takes on handmade pasta, velvety risottos and puffy gnocchi. Reservations are a must on weekend nights. Dinner is around $150, with wine, for two.

4. BACK TO SCHOOL, 8 P.M.

Despite a walkable downtown, seemingly ideal for barhopping, Pasadena has a surprisingly tepid night life. So make the most of the city’s revered institutions, which frequently host lectures, music and arts events. Recent listings on the California Institute of Technology’s Caltech calendar, for example, included chamber music ensembles and a musical parody of Star Trekcalled “Boldly Go!” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, meanwhile, hosts monthly talks on space exploration and science.

Saturday

5. ON THE GO, 8 A.M.

Worth the drive to East Pasadena, Copenhagen Pastry is a simple storefront (no seating) selling Danish classics (from $1.95) like Kringle topped with shaved almonds or Nougat Crown dotted with almond paste, custard and hazelnut cream, each with so many air-filled layers of pastry they seem as if they could float. Then, head for the Lower Arroyo Park, where the Pasadena Roving Archers have been “dedicated to the art of the bow and arrow” since 1935. Their free class for first-timers (8:30 to 10 a.m.) is for all ages.

6. JONATHAN GOLD TIP, 11:30 A.M.

Take a tip from the celebrated chronicler of Los Angeles’s food culture, Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize winner and Pasadena resident. Try Gold-recommended Seed Bakery, which got its start at the South Pasadena Farmers’ Market but has recently opened a cafe, where you can buy organic, Old World breads made from whole grains like farro, durum andkamut. There’s also a small menu of offerings like short rib melt with manchego, Gorgonzola, caramelized onion and Dijon ($12). Around the corner, La Caravana serves Salvadoran “comida tipica” (typical dishes), including immaculately fried pupusas, corn masa disks stuffed with everything from chicharrón (pork) to cheese with loroco flower ($2.75 each).

7. TAKE A HIKE, 1 P.M.

Pasadena’s position at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains is one of its greatest assets. Head to Altadena, an unincorporated area just north of Pasadena that has long fought annexation by its southern neighbor, for a hike at either Eaton Canyon or Echo Mountain via the Sam Merrill Trail. Both have intriguing histories, including a famed resort, now in ruins, once accessible by the scenic Mount Lowe Railway. Air quality allowing, bothoptions offer views of the Los Angeles basin and trails through cactuses and live oaks. Reward yourself with gelato in flavors like pistachio or pear atBulgarini Gelato Artigianale, which also features foreign films or live jazzin the summer.

8. MIDDAY INDULGENCE, 3 P.M.

Or, if you must, head straight for the divey pleasures of Rancho Bar, where cheap beers, shots and Bloody Marys come with a side of Echo Mountain history. The original owner was a collector of Mount Lowe memorabilia. Stop into Everson Royce in Old Town, which has a daytime drinking schedule from 2 to 6 p.m., pouring four wines that revolve around one cohesive theme ($15). Hidden away at the Del Mar Metro Station, theStone Brewery Company Store serves not just Stone’s year-round releases, but limited-edition beers like an 11 percent barley wine dry-hopped with Pekko, from the Yakima Valley in Washington.

9. RETRO SHOPPING, 4 P.M.

Along with its popular flea markets, Pasadena is home to excellent shops appealing to the retro-inclined. Near Caltech, High Low Vintage has a sexy, stylishly laid out collection of women’s clothing (sequins, paisley and gold lamé, oh my!) and funky, modish housewares befitting a midcentury Angeleno aesthetic. Next to one of the city’s well-worn, well-loved dives (the Colorado, where the jukebox plays nonstop nostalgia, from Otis Redding to the Jackson Five), Poo-Bah Records is legendary among hip-hop heads, D.J.s and anyone intimate with underground and avant-garde music scenes in Los Angeles.

10. SAN GABRIEL VALLEY NORTH, 8 P.M.

Many of Pasadena’s most appealing restaurants, from the addictive Armenian fast food at Zankou Chicken to the second location of San Gabriel’s organic Pan-Asian restaurant Green Zone, are actually outposts of local and regional chains. Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot, meanwhile, isinternational, with restaurants in Asian and Asian-American communities far and wide. The menu focuses on steaming bowls of simmering broth (either spicy or an oddly appealing milky white aromatic base, starting at $3.75 per person), in which anything from lotus root to wood ear mushrooms, Kobe beef to goose intestine can be added. For an outstanding omakase in a strip mall setting, Sushi Ichi is an alternative to the better known (and pricier) Sushi Kimagure, near Central Park.

Sunday

11. OLD TOWN STROLL, 9 A.M.

Stop by the Pie Hole in the Indiana Colony, a collective of trendy vendors housed in one of the city’s oldest buildings, for rich savory hand pies, including a vegetarian or chorizo breakfast variety for $5 to $7.25 each and a cup of nitro iced coffee, the newest thing in fancy brews. Then walk a loop past Pasadena’s most beautiful structures, plazas and secret gardens. Head north on Raymond, cutting through Pasadena Memorial Park, with its snail-shaped Levitt Pavilion, home of a free concert series during summer months, past the Pasadena Central Library and through the main entrance of the Beaux-Arts City Hall, which leads to a courtyard of palms and comes out at the marvelous Moorish-influenced Plaza Los Fuentes, decorated with hand-painted tiles by the ceramic artist Joyce Kozloff. End your walk at thePasadena Museum of California Art (admission, $7), which explores the breadth of the state’s art and design.

12. L.A. FREEWAY, NOON

Lincoln is a souped-up pastry shop with a side patio beneath palm trees. The little sister to the supremely popular Little Flower Candy Co. has wholesome and creative comfort food (from 6:30 a.m.), like pumpkinmolasses pancakes with whipped sage brown butter, pepitas and candied yams ($10.50) or huevos rancheros with white beans, cilantro rice and tomato confit ($10.50). A fitting final stop before hopping on the freeway and heading out of town, the Offramp Gallery is an art space in theCraftsman home of a local legend, the Pasadena dance instructor Evelyn LeMone.

What You’ll Be Eating at Knead & Co. Pasta

February 12, 2016

Enjoy this great feature by Zagat which goes into depth about what they’re serving downtown at our sister restaurant Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market. Lesley Balla includes lots of close up pics showing off the freshness of everything #TeamKnead is cooking up. If this piece doesn’t get you drooling, we don’t know what will. Read their full feature below or see the article on Zagat’s website at this link.
 

What You’ll Be Eating at Knead & Co. Pasta Bar Downtown

Article and all photos By Lesley Balla | February 2, 2016
 
v1
 
In an effort to curb merging lines and crowded aisles, the Grand Central Market has finally put up signs designating where customers should wait in line for food at any of the stalls. That’s because the almost 100-year-old market is busier than ever, with hungry hounds descend on the place for cheap carnitas tacos, slutty egg sandwiches, curry sausages, wood-fired pizza, coffee, smoky brisket, oysters, empanadas, vegan ramen, cakes and cookies and Thai street food. You can now add handmade pastas, homey meatballs, extremely good cannoli and other rustic Italian dishes to the list, thanks to Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market from chef Bruce Kalman and Marie Petulla.
 
This is the sophomore effort for Kalman and Petulla, who also co-own and operate Union in Pasadena. It’s a long space in the ever-expanding market, a newcomer to a corner of newcomers (Ramen Hood, Courage & Craft) near the Broadway entrance. Check out the chalkboard, order in the center and grab a red metal stool along two counters — one situated right in front of the glass-enclosed pasta-making operation, and the other in front of the kitchen. Dishes veer from East Coast–style Italian-American fare to more California-centric seasonal dishes, but they’re all centered around what the chef does best: make everything in-house, including all of the pastas, many of the cheeses, the desserts and anything he can do himself (soon there will be Knead salt-cured anchovies and a house-branded olive oil). It’s soulful food for a place with a lot of soul. Take a look at some of the offerings below. Knead opens Sunday through Wednesday, 11 AM to 6 PM, and Thursday through Saturday, 11 AM to 9 PM. (Once breakfast starts, hours will change to 8 AM.)
 
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Kalman makes orzo with charcoal wheat, which adds a toothsome heartiness to this fresh salad with roasted cipollini onions, cauliflower, golden raisins, goat cheese and pistachios.
 
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The panini aren’t what you expect. The porchetta dip is a riff on the classic French dip made with thick slices of Kalman’s famous roast pork, pickled mustard seed and roasted rapini on a crunchy baguette from Etchea bakery. You’ll want the side of pork jus for dipping. There’s also a veg version made with roasted cauliflower steak, pickled fennel, arugula and lemon aïoli.
 
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Showing off some of the myriad pasta shapes to come out of Knead, many of which can be purchased from the little marketplace, is this curly porcini lasagnette. It holds the wild mushrooms, garlic and herbs quite well.
 
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To keep on trend, this grain bowl is made with Grist & Toll grains, fresh mozzarella, heirloom carrots, Koda Farms chickpeas, carrot-top pesto and walnuts.
 
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The classic bucatini all’amatriciana, long strands of al dente pasta tossed in a rich tomato sauce made with guanciale and chiles, gets a generous shaving of pecorino cheese.
 
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It doesn’t get much more old-school than baked ziti with a blanket of melted mozzarella cheese.
 
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These panzerotti are a cross between a fried hand pie and a pizza, with a soft, slightly sweet dough that gets a crisp, golden glow from the fryer. Inside…
 
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..tomato, mozzarella and basil, or fennel sausage and peppers. This is a great snack to eat while walking around the market.
 
v1-8
 
All who make meatballs will be judged harshly, and these are some of the best in town. They’re topped with Sunday gravy, a rich and meaty tomato stew. You can get meatballs on their own or with spaghetti.
 
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Desserts include made-to-order zeppole, the Italian donut tossed in powdered sugar.
 
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Not only does Kalman use Grist & Toll flour in the housemade cannoli shells, but he also makes the ricotta used in the filling. You’ll be hard-pressed to find better in town.
 
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Gorgeous fresh pastas, along with bagged varieties, plus sauces, Kalman’s spice rubs, Hepp salts, olive oils and other goods are available in the marketplace.

KNEAD & CO. IS “NEXT BIG HIT”

February 11, 2016

Thank you to LA Weekly for their really nice write up on our sister restaurant Knead & Co. Market + Pasta. They’ve got a love for the porchetta dip, calling it “king of the heap” at Grand Central Market. See their full feature below or read the entire article at this link.
 

FIRST LOOK: KNEAD & CO. IS GRAND CENTRAL MARKET’S NEXT BIG HIT

 
BY GARRETT SNYDER THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2016
 
porchettaknead
(Porchetta panini at Knead & Co.)
 
You can now find fresh-shucked oysters, hand-sliced pastrami, Northern Thai khao soi and killer falafel wraps at downtown’s Grand Central Market, so it should be no surprise that there’s now fresh pasta, too. It comes courtesy of Bruce Kalman and Marie Petulla, the business partners behind Pasadena’s Union. Their newest endeavor is Knead & Co. Pasta Bar, where Kalman is serving pastas such as baked ziti and “Sunday gravy” spaghetti with meatballs, as well as sandwiches, salads and crispy, sauce-filled hand pies called panzerotti.
 
The first thing you’ll most likely notice about Knead & Co. is that its kitchen is absolutely enormous, about the size of a tractor trailer end-to-end. It’s bigger than the kitchen at Union, in fact. On one side is the hot line, where dishes like squid ink tagliolini and locally grown spelt cavatelli are plated as elegantly as they can be inside compostable cardboard bowls. On the other side is a pasta lab, an airy glass atrium where chefs use locally milled flour from Grist & Toll to produce a kaleidoscope of pasta shapes. You can also buy some of this fresh pasta to-go, along with tomatoes, sauce, tiramisu and other goodies.
 
If you’ve tried the stellar pastas at Union, you’ll recognize many of them on Knead & Co.’s menu — which is far from a bad thing. Twirling your fork around tender bucatini noodles sauced with tomato, basil and house-cured pork jowl is as pleasurable in a quaint Pasadena dining room as it is in the rowdy confines of Grand Central Market.
 
But if there’s one reason to make a beeline to Knead & Co., it’s the porchetta dip panini. It’s a bulging, downright carnal sandwich — part Philly roast pork, part French dip — with soft, dripping pork shavings crammed inside a crusty length of house-baked bread. A layer of roasted rapini cuts through the fattiness of the pork, and pickled mustard seeds add a sweet, vinegary zip. There’s a small cup of spicy-crunchy giardiniere and garlic-zapped jus on the side, but since the sandwich is succulent enough on its own, you might consider sipping the jus as if it were a cup of fancy bone broth instead. Even among the growing roster of competitors currently filling out Grand Central Market, this sandwich could be king of the heap.
 
Knead & Co. Pasta Bar, 317 S. Broadway, downtown; (213) 624-2378, kneadpasta.com.
 

kneadpastabar
Knead & Co. in Grand Central Market

Restaurant Hospitality Interviews Chef Kalman

February 10, 2016

Bruce Kalman rolls out Knead & Co. pasta bar

The eatery/market is a nod to the chef’s New Jersey youth.

 

Knead is open and the reviews are in!

February 9, 2016

Union co-owners, Marie Petulla and Bruce Kalman have opened their second venture together downtown, Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market, and the good reviews have come pouring in. We’re so happy for our sister restaurant which features handmade pastas, fresh salads, a porchetta dip, and cannolis! Enjoy the nice things being said about Knead and make sure to stop in at Grand Central Market for lunch. The Knead crew makes the pasta in front of you.

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.13.54 PM

Zagat

Just when you think the Grand Central Market couldn’t get more delicious, chef Bruce Kalman adds his meatballs and Sunday gravy, fresh-made pastas, salads and more to the mix. Knead & Co Pasta Bar is now open along the south side of the market, closer to the Broadway entrance. The space is bigger than most with a 16-seat counter that offers views into the kitchen and pasta making, plus a small marketplace for myriad dried goods, including Knead’s pastas, Kalman’s spice rubs, Hepp’s salt, funny pasta “spirit noodle” T-shirts and more. Of course the centerpiece is the menu full of rustic Italian specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

You’ll find elevated Italian-American dishes that nod to Kalman’s East Coast roots — spaghetti with meatballs and a rich meat sauce (the “gravy”), baked ziti, lasagna Bolognese, cannoli and the like — alongside duck agnolotti with butternut squash, sage and raisins; charcoal wheat orzo salad; and a Tuscan grain bowl. All of the pastas are made in-house most using freshly milled flours from Pasadena’s Grist & Toll; you’ll also see some of these on Kalman’s menu at Union in Pasadena, the restaurant he and Marie Petulla opened in 2014. The morning menu is especially compelling with its breakfast raviolo with kale, ricotta and pepperonata; polenta porridge with seasonal fruit and Santa Monica honey; and ham-and-egg crostone with crispy fontina and tomato jam (watch out, Eggslut). Knead opens Sunday through Wednesday, 8 AM to 6 PM, and Thursday through ­Saturday, 8 AM to 9 PM.

Tasting Table

Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + MarketBruce Kalman’s pasta project has joined the destination worthy lineup at The Grand Central Market. Kalman’s kiosk has seating for 16 and an open kitchen where his team is rolling and extruding pastas, turning them into dishes like spelt cavatelli with spicy fennel sausage, chickpeas and rapini. In the mornings there’s a breakfast raviolo with eggs, kale, ricotta, and tomatoes as well as polenta porridge with berries, pistachios and honey. Find Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market here, or in our DINE app.

LA Magazine

1. Knead and Co. Pasta Bar
Finally, you don’t have to go all the way to Pasadena to get Bruce Kalman’s pasta in your mouth. The Union chef opened up his long-awaited Grand Central Market stall serving Italian staples like cavatelli with fennel sausage, bucatini all’amatriciana, and, of course, meatballs with Sunday gravy. The best part is—other than being able to chase your cannoli with a scoop of nearby McConnell’s ice cream—the bowls of pasta start at just $8. And if there’s one thing that Kalman does as well as pasta, it’s porchetta, which Knead and Co. is serving up French dip-style.

LA Times

Your spirit noodle

If you love Bruce Kalman’s Pasadena restaurant Union, you probably spend a lot of time eating that exceedingly pretty plate of wound spaghetti. And you’ve also probably been waiting impatiently for Kalman to open Knead & Co., his highly anticipated pasta place in downtown’s Grand Central Market. It has finally opened, serving many pasta dishes — you can buy pasta here too — and something the chefs calls a porchetta dip sandwich. If you needed another reason to go eat a plate of spaghetti and meatballs and pick up some squid ink garganelli for dinner later.

WhereLA.com

Los Angeles Restaurants to Eat at this Week

Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market
The newest addition to Grand Central Market comes from Chef Bruce Kalman. You may know him from his perfect pastas and porchetta at Union in Pasadena. At Knead, Kalman focuses on handmade pasta—you can watch his team make it in the open kitchen’s “pasta lab.” Dine on specialties like Sunday gravy spaghetti and meatballs, and spelt cavatelli with spicy fennel sausage and Koda Farms chickpeas. The all-day bar offers pastries and breakfast dishes like polenta porridge with seasonal fruit, pistachios and Santa Monica honey (Prosciutto di Parma and/or a cage free egg for an additional charge). You can also pick up made-to-order paninis, fresh pasta salads and classic desserts like cannoli, tiramisu and zeppole. 317 S. Broadway, downtown. kneadpasta.com

Thrillist

Remember that one moment this month where you thought “El Nino’s here, time to stop going out for a while,” and then the rain actually stopped and you were more like, “Oh, I actually should try to remember where all those new restaurants I was trying to hit were because I can actually leave the house”? Well, here they are: the best new openings of January, including an ultra-lauded chef’s new pasta stall, burgers from Roy Choi, and omakase… tempura?? Get to these spots now, before El Nino rain makes you a hermit again.

 Downtown

Bruce Kalman and Marie Petulla — aka the ultra-lauded chef from Union in Pasadena and his partner — have opened up this new stall at Grand Central Market, with a “pasta lab” churning out fresh noodle dishes (the simple Sunday spaghetti is fantastic), as well as made-to-order panini and Italian omelettes.

Eater LA

Bruce Kalman’s spot has housemade pasta for days, plus some other goodies.

Knead & Co. had a line of dozens of eager diners when it opened at noon today, about an hour off of their planned opening time of 11 a.m. Either way, Bruce Kalman’s fresh pasta bar was firing on all cylinders, cranking out everything from bucatini amatriciana to duck agnolotti filled with butternut squash, golden raisins, sage, and pecorino romano. Eater was on site Snapchatting the affair (follow the account at EaterLosAngeles) to get a look at the action.

As for the menu, it’s a variety of starters, panini, and hand pies capped off with 11 different kinds of fresh pasta, ranging simple spaghetti and tomato sauce for $8 to a lasagne bolognese for $16, though that comes with housemade ricotta. To start, have an arugula or shopped salad, and dive into the porchetta panini, which comes with spicy giardiniere and roasted rapini. Nota bene on that porchetta though, it’s a little on the smaller side, so you’ll want to line up a pasta dish if you plan to head back to your cubicle with a full stomach.

By noon the line had about a half hour wait, which means that 11 a.m. start time tomorrow (and for the time being) will be the ideal time to show up without a wait.

 

Chef Kalman Cooking at Tehachapi Grain Event

February 8, 2016

Superba F+B Celebrity Chef Dinner Benefitting Tehachapi Grain Project

You can buy tickets at this link.

LOS ANGELES, CA

Come join us on February 23rd for an unparalleled culinary feast! You will enjoy a seven course meal prepared by LA’s finest chefs. Every ticket sold will benefit the efforts of the Tehachapi Grain Project. The Tehachapi Heritage Grain Project‘s aim is to preserve and grow heritage organic grains which are naturally drought tolerant and low in gluten. It’s good for you and the environment. Be a part of the revolution, help make California golden again!

WHEN
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PST)
WHERE
Superba Food + Bread – 1900 S Lincoln Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90291

About the Tehachapi Heritage Grain Project

The Tehachapi Heritage Grain Project’s aim is to preserve and grow
heritage organic grains which are naturally drought tolerant and low in gluten.

intro tehachapi grain project

Springtime sun and winter rain
Grows our California grain
Wheat and barley, oats and rye,
Turns gold beneath the summer sky.

Welcome! Thank you for your interest in our ongoing efforts to grow heirloom grains in Southern California.

Wheat and the other small cereal grains have been planted in the Golden State since the establishment of missions in the 1760s. Our Mediterranean climate is ideal to the growing of the annual grasses collectively known as grains. California once led the nation in barley production and was second in wheat production, but in the early 20th century grain farming began to be replaced by higher value orchards, vineyards, and row crops.

However, grains (especially heirloom varieties) tend to have very low water requirements, and remain well-suited for California. We are trying to bring back many different types of heirloom grains, and we need your help to purchase equipment necessary for harvesting, cleaning and storing the ripened grain.

Be part of the movement to restore some of California’s rich grain-growing heritage, and help us cultivate beautiful, healthy, non-GMO grains for home cooks, chefs, bakers, and brewers.

Thank you for your help and support!

 

Chef Kalman Shows Us Around Knead

February 5, 2016

Food & Wine stopped by Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market to shoot video of Chef Kalman and co-owner Marie Petulla giving a tour of their new digs. Check out Food & Wine’s full feature, including video, at this link or read their feature below.
 

VIDEO: Look at L.A.’s Cool New Pasta Bar

 
By F&W Editors
Posted January 29, 2016
 
L.A.’s coolest new bar isn’t known for its cocktails. It’s all about the pasta.
 
knead-and-co-FT-BLOG0116
 
Knead & Co., chef Bruce Kalman’s just-opened pasta bar in L.A.’s Grand Central Market, features bar-front views of an incredible pasta “lab” complete with a bespoke noodle extruder. The menu offers dishes both old-school, red sauce Italian like classic baked ziti, and innovative dishes like duck-stuffed agnolotti with butternut squash and golden raisins. There’s even a breakfast pasta: a raviolo with egg, kale, ricotta and tomatoes.
 
This past Wednesday, chef Kalman and his partner, restaurateur Marie Petulla, gave F&W’s fans a behind-the-scenes tour of the new restaurant and market (Knead is selling fresh-made pastas, sauces, cheeses and more) on Periscope. Watch the video at their link here.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Union!

February 4, 2016

Looking for something really nice to do on Valentine’s Day? We’ve got a special menu planned that’s sure to make your valentine fall in love. And let our servers pair the perfect wine for you. Our Wine Director, George Pitsironis has curated some of the best, sustainably grown, organic wines in the country. It’s sure to be a night you won’t forget, so reserve your table now as seats for the evening are limited.
 

Valentine’s Day Menu

START
 
BREAD & GIARDINIERE, house made cultured butter, Hepp’s sea salt (7.)
PORK MEATBALLS, San Marzano tomato, caper berries, lardo, chile (15.)
HOUSEMADE STRACCIATELLA, roasted garlic, crostini (14.)
HOPE RANCH MUSSELS, guanciale, burnt semolina grandine, pan con tomate (24.)
COTECHINO SAUSAGE, beluga lentils, soft poached egg*, Black winter truffle (22.)
WILD MUSHROOMS, G&T polenta, Pedro Ximenez sherry vinegar, sage, rosemary (15.)
 
FIELD
 
SHAVED FENNEL SALAD, arugula,grapefruit,house made ricotta, fennel top sorbet (16.)
BROCCOLI DI CICCIO, garlic, chile, Meyer lemon (13.)
BRAISED WEISER FARMS COLLARDS, peruano beans, San Marzano tomato, guanciale (12.)
CAULIFLOWER “agro dolce”, golden raisins,candied garlic, capers (14.)
 
PASTA
 
SPAGHETTI ALLA CHITARRA, San Marzano tomato, garlic, fresno chile (17.)
TAGLIATELLE, pork ragu, Parmigiano-Reggiano, gremolata (18.)
SQUID INK GARGANELLI, Maine lobster, fennel, meyer lemon, truffle butter (24.)
PORCINI LASAGNETTE, golden chanterelles, rosemary, Parmigiano-Reggiano (23.)
POTATO LEEK MEZZA LUNA, Parmigiano-Reggiano, walnut pesto (18.)
FUSILLI, pork fennel sausage, spigarello, Pecorino-Romano (18.)
BUCATINI CACIO E PEPE, Pecorino-Romano, black pepper, 63° egg* (17.)
 
MAIN
 
PORCHETTA, Weiser Farms potatoes, salsa verde *limited availability (29.)
HALIBUT (North Channel Islands, CA)orzo, sunchokes, maitake mushrooms (36.)
STRACOTTO, Niman Ranch beef short rib, salt pork, barley risotto, gremolata (38.)
 
SPECIALS
 
OIL POACHED SANTA BARBARA SPOT PRAWNS, passmore ranch caviar, fennel pannacotta (19.)
SANTA BARBARA SQUID, peruano beans, preserved meyer lemon (18.)
BROILED SPINY LOBSTER, uni butter, gremolata, braised greens and beans (100.)
MARIN SUN FARMS (POSSIBLY NIMAN RANCH) BEEF PORTERHOUSE for 2, mustard-tarragon butter, polenta, marrow toast (80.)

Dan Rebelo: Union’s new Chef de Cuisine

February 3, 2016

As Chef Kalman launches his newest venue with Marie Petulla, Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market at Grand Central Market, someone has to take the helm in Pasadena to keep the porchetta coming.
 
Dan Rebelo is the man Chef Kalman trusts to take over the kitchen at Union while he’s working downtown. We sat down and chatted with Dan to learn something about the man who’s been chosen to fill these very large shoes.
 
6
 
When did you start working for Union?
 
I started working at Union in February of 2015 as a line cook. I saw a post on Instagram saying Chef Kalman was looking for people and I just applied.
 
Before I came to California and started cooking here, (Union) I lived on the East coast where I worked in a couple of restaurants that focused on Spanish cuisine. My parents are both Portuguese and so Portuguese and Spanish cuisines are my real specialties. And before that I graduated from culinary school in 2004.
 
How does it feel to be in charge at Union?
 
Union is a train that just keeps going. All I have to do is keep it on the rails.
 
Will you have a hand in the menu?
 
Just a little at first. Everything goes through Chef Kalman. I recently added a crostone to the menu, with cannellini bean puree, Ventura sardines, pickled shallot and wood sorrel. And I’m looking forward to testing out some lamb, but that’s a little ways off still.
 
What are you excited about in the near future?
 
I’m really looking forward to spring at the market. It’s a great time for produce. And I’m collaborating with Chef Kalman on a special Valentine’s Dinner menu which we will be releasing details on soon.
 
How is it cooking with fresh produce from the Pasadena garden boxes?
 

Great. Right now we’re using fresh harvested cauliflower, broccoli, their leaves and lots of fava bean leaves. We’re also meeting with Geri of The Cooks Garden by HGEL to plan out what to plant for the new upcoming season.
 
4

Instyle Has Chef Kalman’s Recipe for Sunday Gravy

February 2, 2016

InStyle got the scoop on Chef Kalman’s recipe for homemade Sunday Gravy so that you can make this amazing sauce at home. Get the recipe below and follow this link to Instyle for more recipes, features and fashion.
 

This Sunday Gravy Is Just the Thing to Cure Your Sunday Blues

 
JANUARY 20, 2016
BY: SYDNEY MONDRY
 
012016-sunday-gravy-lead
 
It’s the end of the weekend, the weather is atrocious, and you’re feeling the onset of the dreaded Sunday Blues. Instead of meekly crawling under your covers (been there!), try whipping up a batch of delicious and hearty Sunday Gravy from Knead & Company Pasta Bar + Market, a much-hyped Italian eatery coming soon to Downtown L.A.’s Grand Central Market.
 
Knead & Co. is helmed by renowned chef Bruce Kalman, who—in addition to creating this epic sauce—makes his own butter and pasta from scratch, and even launched a spice rub company. (In addition, Kalman’s Pasadena, Calif.-based restaurant Union was named 2014’s No. 2 Best Restaurant in L.A. by Los Angeles Magazine.)
 
Kalman’s meat-based sauce is just the thing to warm up your body and soul on a frigid Sunday evening—generously spoon it onto a big bowl of pasta, and freeze the rest for the week ahead. Recipe below.
 
Sunday Gravy
Yields 4 qt
 
Ingredients
 
1/4 cup olive oil
3 sprigs of fresh oregano, tied in bundles
6 sprigs of fresh basil, tied in bundles
1 lb pork shoulder with bone
1 lb beef chuck, with bone
1 lb veal shank slices, with bone
3/4 tsp red chili flake
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 yellow onion, large dice
1 ½ cup red wine
4 qts San Marzano tomatoes, milled large holes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 
Directions
 
1. Season all of the meat liberally with salt and pepper.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil with the herbs and cook over medium heat until crisp; remove and reserve.
3. Increase to high heat and add the meat; cook to brown all of the meat and bone really well. Remove all of the meat, add the chili flakes, garlic, and onions, and season with salt and pepper; cook until translucent, then add the wine and deglaze the pan; reduce by 1/2.
4. Add the tomato, return the herbs, and reduce the heat. Bring to a simmer and transfer to a Dutch oven; cover and cook in the oven at 300°F for 2 hours, until all of the meat is tender.
5. Uncover and cool completely.
6. Remove the herb bundles, meat, and bones, and chop all of the meat finely and mix it back in. Serve over pasta, or whatever you’d like!

Knead Pasta Bar Now Open!

February 1, 2016

Marie Petulla and Bruce Kalman’s newest venture, Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market, is now open for limited hours, 11am to 6pm, with full service starting soon. Located in Grand Central Market, our sister restaurant features Chef Kalman’s fresh, handmade pastas and sauces. LA Times had the scoop on their official opening. Read the full feature at this link or see below.
 
bruce-kalman-768x578
 

An Inside Look at Bruce Kalman’s New Downtown Spaghetti Factory


 
Watch all the pastas get made at Grand Central Market’s Knead & Co. Pasta Bar
January 22, 2016 Lesley Balla
 
When it comes to making pasta, chef Bruce Kalman is the antithesis of the #fuckyourpastamachine hashtag. The chef and co-owner of Union Restaurant in Pasadena, and the forthcoming Knead & Co. Pasta Bar and Market, believes that using a machine, as opposed to cutting every intricate strand and shape by hand, is the way to go.
 
“I don’t think anyone can really tell the difference,” he says. “As a chef, I appreciate the art, and we do make some of our pastas by hand. But as a business man, it just doesn’t make sense.”
 
It will actually make a huge difference when Kalman starts serving and selling thousands of little pasta shapes in the Grand Central Market this month. Knead, the sophomore effort from Kalman and business partner Marie Petulla (the two opened Union in Pasadena in 2014), takes over a long space along the southern side of the building, closer to the Broadway entrance. There’s a full kitchen, well-stocked marketplace, and a 16-seat counter with views right into the pasta factory.
 
The cornerstone of the kitchen is the Emiliomiti extruder from Emilio Mitidieri, who’s known far and wide for his pasta-making machines (Eataly is just one regular customer). Why this machine is special: It applies about 6,000 pounds of pressure to help make the smoothest shapes around. “It’s all about pressure and heat,” Kalman says. “The dough is crumbly and dry when it goes into the chamber, and it gets really hot from the friction and pressure, which creates an optimal environment for extruding pasta.”
 
Plus, it’s just super cool.
 
With its myriad settings, Kalman can make more than 20 different pasta shapes, from orzo and Israeli cous cous, to bucatini, rigatoni, ziti, caserecci, spaghetti, pipette, penne, and creste di gallo, a sort of curved ziti with ruffles on the edge (cresta di gallo translates to “cockscomb,” as in a rooster). He uses different flours for different shapes, like charcoal wheat for the orzo and spelt for cavatelli, all coming from Pasadena’s Grist & Toll flour and grain mill.
 
“We make our pasta by hand at Union, and it’s time consuming. With this new place, there needs to be a balance,” Kalman says. “I don’t think all pasta has to be handmade. And I don’t shun anyone who says it should, but it doesn’t work for me.”
 
That extruder is really the beating heart of Kalman’s business as a whole. Not only are they making pastas for Knead & Co.’s menu—there’s spaghetti and meatballs with Sunday gravy, baked ziti, and cocoa agnolotti stuffed with duck confit, among other dishes—but also for Union. And anyone can pick up bags of dried pasta in the marketplace, along with Kalman’s spice rubs, handmade cheeses, their own salt-cured local anchovies, Hepp salts and more.
 
While pasta is the hallmark for Knead, there’s a lot more to the menu, including made-to-order panini, fresh salads and sides, and desserts like cannoli. All will be available to dine in or to take to go. It’s just one more feather in the cap for the always bustling, ever-expanding Grand Central Market.
 
“I love the vibe and energy that’s down there,” Kalman says of the historic open-air space. “Seeing the audience is great, it’s a really diverse crowd. And there’s really something for everyone.”
 
And that finally includes Sunday gravy and baked ziti. Once open, Knead will open daily from 8am-6pm, Sunday through Wednesday, and until 9pm, Thursday through Saturday.

Chef Kalman Cooking for Taste of the Nation

January 26, 2016

Chef Kalman will be cooking up tastes again this year for Taste of the Nation to benefit the wonderful organization working to end childhood hunger, No Kid Hungry. Full details and a link to tickets below.
 
Form header

You can purchase tickets for Taste of the Nation at this link.

 
From the No Kid Hungry website:
Our Priority: End Child Hunger in America
No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.
 
What we do:
The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending child hunger a national priority.
 
How we do it:
We’re working to end child hunger in America by connecting kids to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals. This work is accomplished through the No Kid Hungry network, made up of private citizens, government officials, business leaders, and others providing innovative hunger solutions in their communities. These partners work together, implementing solutions that break down the barriers that keep kids from healthy food.
 
Los Angeles’ Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry
DATE: June 5, 2016
 
TIME:
VIP: 12:30pm-4:00pm
General Admission: 1:00pm-4:00pm
 
LOCATION:
Media Park in Culver City
9070 Venice Blvd.
Culver City, California 90232
 
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Union Cooking at “The Essentials”

January 25, 2016

Union will be participating in this year’s “The Essentials” hosted by LA Weekly. Chef Kalman will be cooking up tastes along side a host of other wonderful chefs. All details are below.
 

You can order tickets to The Essentials at this link.

 
From LA Weekly’s website:
LA Weekly presents The Essentials at the California Market Center in DTLA. Join us Saturday, February 20th, from 6pm-10pm for LA Weekly’s signature food and wine extravaganza. Curated by our award-winning food critic Besha Rodell, the event showcases signature bites from restaurants featured in our 99 Essentials restaurant issue that hits stands the same week. Along with the great food, guests will enjoy wine from top shelf wineries and cocktail samples from our liquor partners.
 
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The Essentials
Saturday February 20th, 2016
6pm – 10pm
VIP Hour 5pm – 6pm
California Market Center
110 E 9th St., Los Angeles, CA 90079

21+ event — Must have valid ID to enter.

General Admission ticket includes:
Entry into the event
Unlimited food samples from over 40 Essentials restaurants
Beer, wine or cocktail samples
Access to our artisanal vendor village with 20+ vendors
Presale Pricing: $60 (November 17th @10am – November 22nd @10pm)

Super Advance Pricing: $60 (November 23rd @10am – January 17th @11:59pm)

Advance Pricing: $65 (January 18th @12am – February 7th @ 11:59pm)

General Admission Pricing: $70 (February 8th @12am – February 19th at 5pm)

Door Pricing: $75*

VIP Admission ticket includes:
1 hour early entry into the event
Unlimited food samples from over 40 Essentials restaurants
Beer, wine or cocktail samples
Access to our artisanal vendor village with 20+ vendors
Special VIP Gift Bag
Presale Pricing: $95 (November 17th @10am – November 22nd @10pm)

Super Advance Pricing: $95 (November 23rd @10am – January 17th @11:59pm)

Advance Pricing: $100 (January 18th @12am – February 7th @ 11:59pm)

VIP Pricing: $105 (February 8th @12am – February 19th at 5pm)

Door Pricing: $110*

* Tickets will be sold at the door IF tickets are still available. This event has sold out in the past. Tickets are NOT guaranteed to be sold at the door. IF tickets are available at the door, sales will begin at 6pm at the entrance.

KNEAD & CO pasta bar + market “Most Anticipated Opening”

January 22, 2016

Thank you to the Eater LA for calling our sister restaurant, Knead & Co. Pasta bar + Market, one of the most anticipated openings of 2016! We agree and are so excited to share our new venture with you. Brought to you by Marie Petulla and Bruce Kalman, the same two owners here at Union, this spot will bring you all the pasta, all the time!
 
See their feature on Knead below or read the full article at this link.
 

The Most Anticipated Los Angeles Restaurant Openings, Winter 2016

by Eater Staff Jan 13, 2016
 
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[Photo: Wonho Frank Lee]
 

KNEAD & CO. PASTA BAR + MARKET

 
Location: Grand Central Market, Downtown
 
Key Players: Bruce Kalman
 
The Situation: Housemade pasta maestro Bruce Kalman is taking his prodigious noodle talent to Grand Central Market, with plans to open Knead & Co. as a tour du force on the lunch and evening scene. Quick service plates of rotating pastas will showcase Kalman’s love for the stuff, while the rest of the large space will work as a market where customers can take home olive oils, sauces, cannoli, and anything else they fancy.
 
Projected Opening: Early February

Union Named 1 of 10 Best!

January 21, 2016

Thank you to La Weekly for their continued support. It’s an honor to be recognized. You can read the feature on Union below or find the full article at this link. Have you made a reservation? 626-795-5841
 

THE 10 BEST RESTAURANTS IN PASADENA

BY BEN MESIROW / THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2016
 
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Squid ink garganelli at Union (Photo by: Anne Fishbein)
 
Union
Old Town has rarely been the destination for the best cooking in Pasadena, and it isn’t hard to see why — rent is crazy high, and most of the traffic in the area is from casual shoppers looking for an easy stopover that won’t challenge the palate or the wallet. But over the last couple of years the scene has greatly improved, thanks in no small part to Union, Bruce Kalman’s home of pasta and pickles. The space is small and decorated with folksy, vegetable-focused sayings from Alice Waters and friends, the menu is interesting and hyper-seasonal, and it’s still one of the toughest reservations in the neighborhood. Pasadena needed a place like this, with staggeringly good cacio e pepe and a thunderous porchetta, where the bread comes with delicious giardiniera and the star dessert is olive oil cake. 37 E. Union St.; (626) 795-5841, unionpasadena.com.

Chef Kalman Judges for LINE competition

January 20, 2016

Happening this Saturday, Chef Kalman will be judging for The Line Agency’s “LA Rising Star” Chef competition.

Tickets are available to the public at this link.

 
All other information is below.
 
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Courses

 
Elizabeth McCoy
Appetizer:
Sashimi-grade ahi tuna poke marinated in red miso-ginger, wasabi “hummus”, served atop a Togarashi-spiced fresh baked lavosh cracker.
 
Main:
Farfalle Seppia Di Neri, pickled eggplant caponata, Sicilian white wine sausage flecks, fennel fronds, toasted pine nuts.
 
Marcos Guillen
Appetizer:
Charred beets with pea shoots, hazelnuts, sherry, avocado and pancetta cream.
 
Main:
Braised duck thighs with bruleed blood orange, pickled kumquats, chipotle, and arugula.
 
Johnny Palomino
Appetizer
Scallop ceviche, serrano, avocado, jicama and radish
 
Main:
Lamb belly braise, aioli, peas and apple

Chef Kalman revisits Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family

January 19, 2016

Chef Kalman returned to Hallmark’s Home and Family yesterday showing everyone how to make homemade baked ziti. Did you miss the episode? No problem, see the full segment, pics from his visit, and get the full recipe below.
 

 
(Chef Bruce Kalman shows you how to cook up this Italian favorite.)
 
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CLASSIC BAKED ZITI

A recipe from Chef Bruce Kalman of Pasadena’s Union restaurant.
 

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Directions for Sauce

 
1. In a medium size sauté pan, heat the oil, garlic and chili together over medium heat; cook until the garlic is translucent, about 3 minutes
 
2. In a plastic container, combine the cooked garlic and chili with the remaining ingredients; using a whisk, mix together well
 
3. Reserve the sauce
 

Directions for Baked Ziti

 
1. Preheat the oven to 400F
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, 3 C of the sauce, half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmigiano; mix together well
3. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and top with the remaining sauce and cheeses, spread the cheese completely from edge to edge
4. Place the pan on the center rack of the oven and bake until hot through and the cheese is nicely caramelized (lots of brown spots throughout)
5. Remove from the oven and grate some more Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top (for good measure!)
 
SERVE WITH GARLIC TOAST TO SOP UP THE SAUCE!
 
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Union Participating in LA Mag’s “Best New Restaurants 2016 Celebration”

January 12, 2016

We’re excited to participate in this year’s celebration!  You can find all details and the link to tickets here or below.

 

BNR_LA0116-copy-1

 

Best New Restaurants 2016 Celebration

Join Los Angeles magazine for the annual Best New Restaurants event. Celebrate the Best New Restaurants of 2015 featured in the January issue as well as past honorees. The evening of culinary excellence will include gourmet tastings from the honored chefs at The Bellwether, Birch, Broken Spanish, Cassia, Faith & Flower, Jon & Vinny’s, Le Comptoir, Love & Salt, Redbird, Terrine, and Union, handcrafted Bombay Sapphire cocktails, beer, wine and live music.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
7-9 p.m.

440 Seaton
440 Seaton Street, Los Angeles
(Arts District DTLA)

 *Must be 21 years or older. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Purchase Your Ticket Today

Union Called “Out of This World”

January 11, 2016

Thank you to Suzanne Stavert for including us in her top 10 dishes of 2015. You can read her full blog post at this link or see her write-up on Union below.

The Top Ten Dishes of 2015 – So hard to choose!

Eater Says Union A “Top Standby” of 2015

January 7, 2016

Thank you to the Eater LA staff and friends who mentioned us a few times in this list of “Top Standbys.” You can see the full feature at this link on their website or read below.

The Top Los Angeles Restaurant Standbys of 2015

by Matthew Kang Dec 28, 2015

 

Friends of Eater, and Eater staff, discuss their regular spots around town.

Pat Saperstein, EatingLA and Senior Editor, Variety

All’Acqua, Wexler’s, Flores & Sons, Luv2Eat Thai, Pine & Crane, Night + Market

Kat Odell, Eater Drinks Editor

Milo & Olive, Gjusta, Zo, Petit Trois, Bestia, Jon & Vinny’s, Eveleigh, Dean Sin World.

Jeff Miller, Editor, Thrillist LA

Per usual, my standbys are local: the people at both Robata Jinya and the Sugarfish on La Brea should know me by name at this point.

Tony Chen, Eater LA Contributor

Kinjiro — the only place to get “cheap” bottles of $950 Dassai “Beyond”, served by your local A5-12 Wagyu purveyor.

Euno Lee, Eater LA Contributor

CUT, Park’s BBQ, Angelini Osteria, chi SPACCA, Union, Animal, Sticky Rice inside GCM (if we’re counting stands), and for always having a soft spot in my heart: Honda Ya.

Eddie Lin, Deep End Dining

Even with all the well-deserved accolades, the staff at Terrine never rested on their laurels, everyone from chef Kris Morningstar to bar man Ryan Wainwright along with Stephane Bombet and Francois Renaud kept raising the bar on themselves by keeping things exciting all through 2015. The brunch menu is ridiculously good with French standards like croque-madame that blows even a Parisian version out of the water. The escargot at dinner is superb, and the fish & chips are always a good bet.

For my frequent dim sum fix, China Red in Arcadia is still the place for made-to-order diminutive dumpling delights. The steamer tins are always filled with perfect har gow and siu mai, and the price is competitive with the SGV.

It’s also easy to forget an L.A. fixture like Chaya. Although Chaya Brasserie closed at the end of 2014, the Venice and DTLA locations still manage to stay inventive with plates like live uni and dashi jelly during Chaya’s Uni Fare menu. DTLA’s Chaya also freshened things up this year with the Kaisen Bar by serving whole fish in raw and cooked forms.

Esther Tseng, EstarLA

Pine and Crane, Alimento, Terrine, Night Market Song, Sugarfish/KazuNori, Trois Familia, HomeState

Lesley Balla, LA Magazine, Angeleno, Zagat

Other than my local Thai delivery spot, I found myself at only a few restaurants more than once. chi Spacca, even for drop-in focaccia del recco and some salumi; The Grand Central market, which usually meant Wexler’s, Tomas y Tumbras carnitas tacos, McConnell’s ice cream and Horse Thief barbecue, although I did mix in some oysters and coffee and cookies, when possible; and if I could go more than I do, I’d probably be at Republique every week.

Lucas Peterson, Eater LA Contributor

Jitlada, Pho Cafe, Father’s Office, Gjusta​

Zach Brooks, Midtown Lunch, Food is the New Rock

Coni Seafood! Grand Central Market! Sea Harbour! Son of a Gun! (But if I’m being real… Kula Sushi on Sawtelle. I’ve got three kids and they all love it.)

Caroline Pardilla, LA Magazine, Eater Drinks

Terrine, Sotto, Corner Door, Cassell’s.

Bill Esparza, LA Magazine, Streetgourmet LA

A busy travel schedule, and many work related meals, limits my chances of frequenting any restaurant. But whether I was entertaining out of town guests, having an evening free to eat whatever I wanted with friends and family or referring someone to a great restaurant, I counted on Coni’Seafood, Bestia, Cassia, the Hungry Cat (my neighborhood spot), the Mercado Olympic,Guerrilla Tacos and Tacos Quetzacoatl in 2015.

Sotto Interior

[Sotto, South Beverly Hills]

Hadley Tomicki, Urban Daddy LA

Coni’Seafood, Cadet, MexiCali, Boiling Crab, Elite Restaurant, Guerilla Tacos, Mariscos Jalisco, Rosemary Grill, Maru, Traktir, Kaiten Sushi Daichan, Pot, and the kebabs at West LA’s Glaat Kosher Market

Nicole Iizuka, Senior Producer, Popsugar

Night + Market always… Kobawoo, Escala, Cadet, Petty Cash, Tatsu, Stir Market, Jitlada, Chaya, Bay Cities, Gracias Madre, hanging out at Grand Central Market & anytime I’m craving uni – I thank god that Maruhide exists.

Farley Elliott, Senior Editor, Eater LA

Alimento, Sotto, Night + Market, Union, and forever and always the El Chato truck

Stan Lee, Eater LA

Ledlow: great brunch and one of the best croissants in L.A.

The Offalo

Sweetfin Poke, Howlin’ Ray’s Hot Chicken, Guerrilla Tacos (food trucks count!)

Stacey Sun, DineLA

Sun Nong Dan in Koreatown, Sotto (still the best pizza in L.A.), and Sugarfish, my weekly sushi spot.

Crystal Coser, Associate Editor, Eater LA

Luv2eat, Terrine, Myung Dong Kyoja, Rodded, Sugarfish, Pho Consomme

Lesley Bargar Suter, Food Editor, LA Magazine

-Pine & Crane. I’m not sure how I survived without them. All’Acqua. I’m there once a week at least as it’s in my hood and they treat my toddler like royalty. Sweetgreen – on the days after a big meal, when I can only stomach lettuce, these salads really are leagues better than everyone else’s.

Joshua Lurie, FoodGPS

I actually just wrote a story about 10 of My Regular Los Angeles Restaurants. Standbys
include Cassia, Gjusta, and Taste of Tehran.

Meghan McCarron, Associate Features Editor, Eater

I just moved to LA in August and have traveled a bunch since, so my standby list is still shaking out. That said: Guerrilla Tacos at Cognoscenti Coffee every Wednesday is a gift, and Father’s Office in the Helms complex is the perfect combination of eating, drinking, and atmosphere in our neck of the woods. I have also been to BS Taqueria four times since moving here, and I can’t wait to go back.

Matthew Kang, Editor, Eater LA

wrote about this here, but Phorage, Jun Won, Chengdu Taste, Night + Market, The Corner Door, B.S. Taqueria, Apple Pan, Tacos Tamix, and Tsujita.

WeLikeLA Says Union 1 of 16 Best!

January 6, 2016

Thank you to WeLikeLA.com for listing us as 1 of San Gabriel Valley’s best. Please enjoy their full feature at this link or read their write-up on Union below.
 

The 16 Best Places to Eat in the San Gabriel Valley Every L.A. Foodie Needs to Try Once

NOVEMBER 21, 2015 BY CHRISTINA MINH
 
You’ve probably heard a number of superlatives thrown around when talking about the food in the San Gabriel Valley.
 
“Authentic.”
 
“Amazing.”
 
“Best Chinese food in Los Angeles.”
 
Guess what? It’s all true.
 
But take it from someone born and raised in the SGV, the options are so endless it can trigger a sort of brain-freeze when deciding where to dine. After all, when we talk about the San Gabriel Valley it’s more than just Alhambra and Monterey Park, and it’s MUCH more than just fine asian cuisine.
 
Even if we exclude gateway cities like Montebello and Whittier, we’ve still got to factor in Pasadena, El Monte, Arcadia, West Covina, Rowland Heights, Rosemead and a host of other municipal areas. That’s a lot to talk about (and a lot to eat!).
 
Fear not Angelenos. I’m here to tell you about the best spots that locals, food critics and adept foodies are eating at in the San Gabriel Valley, and by virtue, offer up a guide to where you should consider starting your culinary exploration of the region. And, of course, I’ve got tons of specific recommendations on what to order when you make the trip.
 
Enjoy!
 

1. Union

 
This 50-seat restaurant features a menu that places a California spin on Northern Italian cuisine. Opened in 2014, this farm to table restaurant in Old Pasadena has already gained recognition from L.A. Times food critic Jonathan Gold as seen in the 2015 101 Best Restaurants list. Chef Bruce Kalman (a James Beard nominee and Chopped winner) lets his ingredients shine, home made pasta in a tomato sauce with fresno chile is a popular choice, the Instagram worthy squid ink garganelli with lobster and truffle butter is out of this world. Kalman also has a passion for house-made charcuterie and pickling so make sure to order some items when available.
 
1100-2015-BruceKalman1
(Pic by Marie Buck Photography)

KCRW Gets Our Italian Soda Recipe

January 5, 2016

Recipe: Union’s Pomegranate-Orange Italian Soda

Posted January 1, 2016 by Camellia Tse
 
Union-Bruce-Kalman
Bruce Kalman picks up his pomegranates from JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch
 

 
This week at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, we met up with Chef Bruce Kalman of Union in Pasadena and Knead & Co., his brand new pasta bar and market that’s slated to open in Downtown LA’s Grand Central Market on January 11.
 
Among other things, we found him shopping this week for pomegranates from JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch. Combining the best of this season’s fruit, his sous chef, Cassy Pugh, and general manager, Francis Castagnetti, Jr., have come up with a freshly squeezed Pomegranate-Orange Italian Soda that is a must-try at Union.
 
While everyone might have his or her own technique for deseeding pomegranates, Bruce begins by slicing them in half. Then, holding one cut-half so that it’s facing down into a bowl, he taps the back of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon until the seeds fall directly into the bowl. Some suggest using a bowl of water to avoid staining your hands while gathering the seeds, but Bruce prefers not to. Instead he picks out the white pith so as not to lose any of the essential pomegranate oils. He then blends the arils in a Vitamix and strains the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, which he reduces to create a pomegranate syrup for the soda’s base.
 
Union-Pomegranate-Orange-Italian-Soda
Union’s Pomegranate-Orange Italian Soda
 
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Take a Gardening Class with Geri Miller of The Cooks Garden

January 4, 2016

Geri Miller of The Cooks Garden has been tending some beds for us in the Pasadena Community Gardens for a few months now, allowing us to harvest directly from our garden to your plate. And now Geri is offering a class to the public on an intro to organic gardening. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from a local expert!
 
Click here to sign up!
 

Intro to Organic Gardening Basics

Join us to celebrate the beginning of the 2016 winter gardening season! We are opening the season with a gardening class on organic gardening basics taught by Master Gardener, Horticulturist and Union restaurant grower, Geri Miller.
 
This class will include:
~ HGEL Lecture on basic gardening techniques and edibles for the cool season including: Brief overview of soil management, planting strategies, fertilizing, pest/disease control
 
~ The Right Plant for the Right Place – What to plant in the cool season and where to plant it.
 
~ Attendees will also receive A FREE fall edible plant to add to your own garden And receive a 20% discount on Geri’s Book, A Guide to Vegetable Gardening in Southern California. A guided tour of the Union Restaurant beds will follow the class.
 
When:
Saturday January 16, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM PST
 
Where
The Pasadena Community Garden
721 So. Pasadena Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91105
 
Free street parking is available on So. Pasadena Ave. but get there early for the best spots! Limited parking is also available inside the garden.
 
Fee:
FREE for PCG members. Non-PCG members are asked to make a suggested donation of $15 at the door payable to The Pasadena Community Garden. You must be registered to attend as seating is limited. Registration includes a LINK to the handout for attendees to view on IPad or printout & bring to class. The link will be emailed to you a couple of days prior to the class.
 
NO PAPER COPY OF THE HANDOUT WILL BE AVAILABLE AT CLASS SO DON’T FORGET YOURS! YOU’LL BE LOST WITHOUT IT!
 
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Click here to order Geri’s book on Amazon.

Photos From Feast of the Seven Fishes

December 31, 2015

Thanks to everyone who came out to our special event dinner, “The Feast of the Seven Fishes.” What a lovely way to spend the holiday. Please enjoy these delicious pictures of each one of Chef Kalman’s special courses.
 
Thank you to the Los Angeles Chefs Column’s Facebook Page for all photos.
 
Smoked uni- scrambled duck egg – pickled shallots – alba white truffles
 
2
 
Santa Barbara squid – braised peruano beans – preserved meyer lemon
 
1
 
Crudo of black cod – fennel panna cotta -Passmore Ranch caviar -radish salad
 
6
 
Halibut croqueta – carrot romesco – charred baby leeks – bottarga
 
5
 
Chilled olive oil poached ridgeback prawns -compressed persimmon – arugula – fennel top granita
 
3
 
Squid ink bucatini – octopus bolognese – gremolata
 
4
 
Steelhead trout all aqua pazza – Hope Ranch mussels – black barle – calabrian chile oil
 
7

LA Eater Loves Our Porchetta

December 31, 2015

Thank you LA Eater for your kind words about our porchetta. But don’t take their word for it. Make your reservation today! 626-795-5841

 
Enjoy the full article at their website here
, or read their feature on Union below.
 

LA’s Best Meat Dishes of 2015

It’s been a great year for carnivores.
by Crystal Coser, December 30, 2015
 
Sure, vegetables had their moment back in 2014, but this year, it was all about hefty plates of delicious carnage. Here now, Eater LA editors and contributors share their favorites of the year.
 
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[Photo: Crystal Coser]
 
I initially scoured the city for good porchetta thinking to do a feature and found that chef Bruce Kalman‘s rendition, that of the herbaceous, fennel-flecked, traditional Italian persuasion ended up being one of the better meat dishes in the city this year, period. Getting your hands on one might be as hard as getting a table these days, but Union GM Francis Castagnetti says the elusive dish is “a labor of love” for Kalman and “once we’re out, we’re out.” It’s not an empty threat. Book early, because this particular river of love actually does go dry just about every night. —Euno Lee

Categories: Press

Zagat Says Eat Our Tagliatelle Before End of 2015

December 30, 2015

Zagat says our Spaghetti Alla Chitarra is a must “Eat before the end of 2015.”  We say, “Any day will do! ”  Enjoy their full feature at their website here or read their write-up on Union below.

10 Decadent Dishes to Eat Before the End of 2015

By Alia Akkam | December 22, 2015

Soon, well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions vowing to down green juice instead of whiskey and replace cheeseburgers with grilled salmon will be forged. Before that challenge arises, cave into temptation (at least) one more time with a restaurant rendezvous. These dishes from around the country, all hits in 2015, are decadent send-offs into a leaner 2016.

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(Photo by Marie Buck)

Los Angeles: Spaghetti Alla Chitarra at Union

Soon Bruce Kalman will open Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market in LA’s Grand Central Market. In the meantime, his homemade pastas spun from locally milled flour tempt carb lovers at Union in Pasadena. One example: a seemingly simple coil of spaghetti alla chitarra amped by a union of Fresno chiles and San Marzano tomatoes grown by a Central Coast farmer.

37 E. Union St.; 626-795-5841

Update on Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market

December 28, 2015

Chef Kalman to compete in 2016 Cochon555

December 22, 2015

Chef Bruce Kalman will be participating in the 2016 Cochon555 LA stop on March 15! We’re very proud of him for securing a spot in this prestigious event and are excited to root him on!
 

 
From Youtube:
The Cochon US Tour, executes a variety of unique, local food events that are focused on raising enthusiasm for supporting family farms with the world’s first environmentally conscious nose-to-tail pig competition. The flagship Cochon 555 event is celebrated as the world’s first environmentally conscious nose-to-tail pig competition. Created in response to the lack of consumer education around heritage breed pigs, this epic pork feast visits 20 major cities in North America annually. The tour also features a multitude of live-event expressions including Heritage BBQ (global cultures), Heritage Fire (live-fire event), EPIC Cochon (hyper-premium), and Cochon Island (agri-tourism). The events feature top chefs preparing whole heritage breed pigs and other locally raised proteins. Together with winemakers, brewers, distillers and craft food makers they create authentic culinary events celebrating champions in the good food movement. Since its launch, the tour has supported responsible family farming by allowing 50,000 people to taste heritage pork for the first time and by donating more than $450,000 to charities and culinary schools, and more than $750,000 directly to farmers. For more details about the events, visit www.cochon555.com or follow @cochon555 on Twitter.

Ring in the New Year with Union!

December 20, 2015

NewYear-2016-V2

Union gets a shout out in GQ Magazine!

December 16, 2015

Pic up the January issue of GQ Magazine to see the nice write up they gave us.
But you don’t need GQ’s word to make a reservation. Contact us today!
626-795-5841
 
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Chef Kalman Featured in Winter Issue of “Life & Thyme”

December 14, 2015

Be sure to pick up the winter issue of Life & Thyme to see the ‘Winter Potluck’ feature with Chef Bruce Kalman.
 
 

 
 
From the Life and Thyme website:
For Issue Four of Life & Thyme Magazine, The Winter Issue, we asked ourselves a question: What if this holiday, we could cook for some of the chefs that feed us all year long?
 
Answering that hypothetical evolved into a full-blown holiday potluck, complete with offerings from some of Los Angeles’ most accomplished culinarians, hosted at the home of Union Restaurant’s Chef Bruce Kalman. The menu was made up of items from each guests’ holiday memories—from Chris Oh’s sukiyaki to a beef stracotto from Kalman’s kitchen, sides and snacks from David LeFevre and Nick Shipp, cookies from Duff Goldman and a hulking take on apple pie from Hedy Goldsmith. L&T’s founder, Antonio Diaz made his mother’s posole, and I contributed some Italian cookies from my grandmother’s canon.
 
Turns out, cooking for and with chefs isn’t a whole lot different than doing it with our own families. We overcrowded the kitchen despite the fact that there was plenty of space elsewhere, we cracked jokes and we debated the usual hot-button issues (Shake Shack or In n Out?), we passed around plates and shared dish-washing duties. And like any good holiday meal, we all ate way too much, but still somehow found room for dessert.
 
Because what we learned in posing this challenge to ourselves is that regardless of experience level or setting, there’s one great and universal truth––that at the end of the day, we all just want to eat pie straight outta the pan.
 
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Feast of the Seven Fishes happening 12/24!

December 3, 2015

Once again, Chef Kalman will be cooking up “The Feast of the Seven Fishes.”

This tradition, celebrated by Italian-Americans throughout the country,  commemorates the midnight birth of Jesus, or the Vigila di Natale. Spots are very limited and they will sell out, so be sure to email info@unionpasadena.com to reserve your space today!

Courses will include:

Smoked Uni, lardo, soft scrambled duck egg, Alba white truffles

Santa Barbara squid, braised Peruano beans, preserved Meyer lemon

Crudo of black cod, fennel pannacotta, Passmore Ranch caviar, warm radish salad

Grouper croquetas, carrot romesco, bottarga

Chilled Olive Oil Poached Spot prawns, arugula, compressed persimmon, fennel top granita

Squid ink bucatini, octopus Bolognese, gremolata

Vermillion Snapper all Aqua Pazza, black barley, Calabrian chile oil

 

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Foie Grock on Food is the New Rock

December 1, 2015

Chef Kalman’s band, Foie Grock, is on today’s new episode of ‘Food is the New Rock,’ the podcast that talks food with musicians and music with chefs.

You can listen to the podcast at this link on iTunes.

If you’d like to hear more from Chef Kalman’s band, you’re in luck! They’re playing this Thursday night, 12/3 @ The Hotel Cafe in Hollywood: 1623 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90028.

Tickets to see Foie Grock are available at this link.

You can read more about Foie Grock in this article from LA Magazine:

Meet Foie Grock: L.A.’s Self-Proclaimed #1 Chef-Led Alternative Rock Cover Band

Duff Goldman, Bruce Kalman, and a few other culinarians start their journey towards rock stardom

For years we’ve said that chefs are the new rock stars. Now, two high-profile local chefs—Duff Goldman, from Charm City Cakes West and Food Network’s Ace of Cakes, and Bruce Kalman, from Union and soon-to-open Knead and Co Pasta Bar—are putting that theory to the test. They’re trying to be actual rock stars—like, with guitars and bright lights and everything. The two started “LA’s #1 chef-led alternative rock cover band,” and it’s called Foie Grock. Because of course it is.

“We tossed around a lot of names,” Kalman says. “Bread Zeppelin. Meatshop Boys. A Flock of Meatballs. Oreo Speedwagon. Limp Brisket.” The food-music puns are endless.

It makes sense, really. A kitchen crew is like a band on so many levels; words like rhythm, harmony, lead, and backup can be used for both. People need to gel in the kitchen, flavors meld on the plate, and it all has to come out pleasing the general public. “I think the bass is like the salt in any dish. The bass brings all the other sounds together. The bass is bridge between rhythm and harmony. It’s the midway point between the drums and the guitar,” says Goldman, who plays bass in the group. He goes on to equate the drums with the protein, the piece everything else is built upon, and the guitar is the sauce. “The bass and the drums make the meat of the dish taste meaty, the guitar gives it the FLAVOR.”

Foie Grock came together rather, um, organically. Kalman and Goldman were standing next to each other at an event, and someone told them they looked like they were in a band. “Well I do sing and play guitar,” Kalman said. “And I play bass,” Goldman replied. And there you have it—magic.

Along with Kalman on lead guitar and vocals and Goldman on bass, the rest of the band includes a few others in the local food world, even if tangentially. Drummer Francis Castagnetti is general manager at Union in Pasadena, and guitarist Ben Offenberg works for Resy, the reservation app. Only Jeff Liffman, who plays keyboards and sings back up vocals, is the professional musician. But he’s a “serious eater” the others say.

Before, or most likely while, the two chefs were coming up in the ranks, both have played instruments for years, even publicly. “I played in a Jersey rock band for awhile,” Kalman says. “We opened for Meatloaf!” Goldman has a more storied past on stage with several Baltimore bands: Big Mama Cotton Crotch; the “post-rock” soihadto; Danger Ice, a psychobilly Elvis cover band; and Two Day Romance, an Emo band that “almost got signed by Sony,” he says. “Thank God we didn’t or I wouldn’t be cooking today.” Two of Goldman’s bands included other chefs he worked with at the time.

“Kitchens and bands are just groups of talented sociopathic individuals all trying to coexist and work towards a common goal. If one guy isn’t doing their job, then the whole group is affected,” Goldman says. “Also, they’re both jobs that you don’t make a lot of money doing, they both have long hours and require years and years of training, and they are both incredibly difficult to get right. They are both jobs that you have to love with deepest part of your soul in order to succeed.”

The group performs hits from bands like Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Animals, Foo Fighters, and Black Crows. “Covers, so everyone can sing along, and mostly stuff we listened to in high school and college,” Goldman adds. “The band really wants to play “Lighting Crashes” by Live, but I kinda hate that song.”

You can catch Foie Grock’s first public appearance this week, on Thursday, October 1, at Room 5 in West Hollywood. Tickets are $10 (get them here), which is cheaper than anything you’ll eat at either chef’s spots. Proceeds from this performance will help a friend and fellow Union manager recently diagnosed with cancer cover medical costs for her treatment (find more info on their Gofundme page). As for when they’ll play next, Kalman says as much as they can. “It just all depends on our busy schedules.” Rock and roll, people. Rock. And. Roll.

– See more at: http://www.lamag.com/digestblog/meet-foie-grock-l-a-s-self-proclaimed-1-chef-led-alternative-rock-cover-band/#sthash.hvhJsYgv.dpuf

 

Team Union visits new garden boxes with Geri Miller

November 27, 2015

This week Team Union visited our new garden boxes in Pasadena so that the staff could learn what we have planted there, Geri Miller’s planting process and how to harvest for Union’s menu. Below are a few pictures from our first lesson and some highlights from the garden.

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It was a gorgeous day.

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Everyone from Team Union showed up. Even the newbies.

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The team got up close and personal with the plants.

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Geri walked us through everything we have growing including fava beans, several different kinds of cauliflower, broccoli, basil and other herbs.

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There are billions of living organisms living just in the top 4 inches of the soil.

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Geri says the keep rate on what we’re harvesting from our own boxes is three times as long as food you would buy from the store.

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Geri explains that by harvesting at just the right time, we can get the exact flavor profile from anything we pick.

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To keep the plant healthy, you should never harvest more than 30% of the plant at one time. Geri says, “The leaves are the solar panel of the plant.”

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Some plants are particularly good at transferring the taste of the earth through their leaves. This is called “terroir.”

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Geri explains: Nitrogen feeds the leaves. Phosphorous helps a plant’s blossoms, fruits and root system. And potassium helps the plant’s immune system and cold tolerance.

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Geri has planted us a bio-diverse box that they will harvest aggressively to keep the plants small and active.

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Geri keeps us up to date with weekly emails.

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Here’s a recent update from Geri on what’s been going on in the boxes: “Greetings from garden! Things look really good! Basil is not dealing with cold nights but we knew it was a crapshoot. Wind dried out a few seedlings in cauliflower bed but gave them a little misting and they perked up. We lost a couple of favas which we’ll replace. I’m planting Romanesco and black salsify today. ”

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Food is already starting to grow!

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We’ve got three full boxes planted for us…

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And you can tell which one’s are ours because they’re booming!

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Chef Kalman and Geri make a great team!

Interview with Geri Miller from HGEL

November 23, 2015

515Yui60KtL._SX415_BO1,204,203,200_We’re very excited about our new partnership with Home Grown Edible Landscapes. They have planted a few garden boxes for us, the bounty of which we will be using for our menu. We spoke with Geri Miller, the owner of HGEL, to learn more about how the partnership formed, HGEL’s philosophy and exactly what they’re growing for Union.

You can preorder a copy of Geri’s upcoming book, “Vegetable Gardening in Southern California” at this link.

 

 

How did Union and Home Grown Edible Landscapes find each other?

Geri – Social media tends to bring people together in unlikely ways. Michael Fiorelli, of Love and Salt, is a friend Chef Kalman and I have in common on social media. Michael was posting about Dan Barber’s restaurant and WASTED, a group that brings together artisans to put together dinners of food that would otherwise be discarded. Michael was posting about how cool that issue was.

From www.WastedNY.com

“wastED is a community of chefs, farmers, fishermen, distributors, processors, producers, designers and retailers, working together to reconceive “waste” that occurs at every link in the food chain.” 

Geri – Bruce posted in the comments of Michael’s post and it really called out to me. Our company has a small urban farm on Abbot Kinney that serves restaurants near by. I mention that, a conversation sparked and everything came from there.

Home Grown Edible Landscapes does both private and culinary production gardens, both onsite at restaurants and at our prototype in Abbot Kinney which we hope spreads to all centers of high minded chefs in the area. We’re very excited to partner with chefs.

The center of what we do is the relationship between the chef and myself, the horticulturist. What I grow is exclusively driven by chefs. We use an artisanal approach. Bruce has been very communicative which makes my job easier and more satisfying. I was drawn to Bruce by his philosophies and the things I was reading on his social media. He’s got a social activist side that I love to see. He’s not all about running a business.

How many boxes have you planted for Union?

Geri – I would love to have more space, but we’ve planted three, 4′ x 10′ beds.

What’s the decision process like for what to plant?

Geri – I sat down with Chef Kalman and we chatted back and forth about his philosophy and what he wants to see over the next six months to a year. Then I gave him a reality check. From a lengthy list we paired down to fit our small gardening space. Then we whittled the wish list down to three main crops: broccoli, cauliflower and fava beans. But there’s a few different varieties of each plant. They grow differently and have different flavor profiles.

We’ve included white, yellow, purple, and green Romanesco cauliflower. The leaves are totally edible. Because of what I knew about Bruce’s thoughts on waste, I picked varieties that are all edible.

For the fava beans, while we’re waiting for them to develop, we can use the tender tips which have a beautiful earthy taste.  We can nourish ourselves with the same plant in different ways using different parts of the plant.

It’s important to me that when I bring in a product that I have to propagate from seed that there’s a cultural connection. It’s not just broccoli, it’s an heirloom variety that’s been around for a hundred years. So the chefs can have a connection to the plants.

Union staff will be trained on harvesting herbs so they can stop by and pick a few things when they need anything.

 

Union raises over $18K for Green Wish at “Friendsgiving”!

November 17, 2015

Thank you to everyone who came out on Sunday for our “Friendsgiving” where we raised over $18K through ticket sales and our live auction for the organization Green Wish!!

Green Wish is a grassroots, non-profit organization that funds local, green organizations through customers’ small donations at local retailers. Put simply: We’re a charity that helps fund the green projects in your neighborhood! Sunday’s event will help the following organizations: Honey Love, Food Forward, Hollywood Orchard, Muir Ranch

Please enjoy these photos from the event.

(All pics by Maggie Wilson)

 

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Chef Kalman writes for Munchies

November 11, 2015

Enjoy the following article from our head chef, Bruce Kalman, on why the flour is the thing. You can also see the full article at the Munchies website here.

Stop Eating Store-Bought Flour

Working with different flours is like making music. Like the nuances that a specific instrument can bring to a song, each flour has the ability to completely change the tone of your pasta.

I hand-make pasta every day, and used to be all about Caputo 00 pizzeria flour from Italy until I found out that it’s one of the most unsustainable products out there. They grow it in the States, ship it back to Italy for processing, and then send it back here to sell it. And at that point, it’s not even fresh anymore.

This is why I decided to only use seasonal, local varieties of wheat flours for my restaurant,Union. I’m fortunate because I work with Grist & Toll, an urban flour mill in LA, but there’s ways that you can obtain fresh flour as a home cook. It’s well worth the effort, because when you mill your own flours, the results actually smell like flour. The stale stuff from the supermarket has no character at all.

Alternative grains have the power to transform the comfort foods of childhood into something much better.

The same weather conditions that allow the West Coast to grow amazing produce also allow it to grow a variety of wheats. And because of these weather patterns, I source my flours from California, Arizona, Washington, and Oregon. But it’s not all easy. At first, developing my recipes was a bit rough because the dough reacts differently than the traditional stuff, but I like to think of using different flours as if I’m playing a game.

Alternative grains have the power to transform the comfort foods of childhood into something much better. For me, it was baked ziti. Nowadays, I use locally milled flour to create fresh pasta that was ground just a few hours before. And when I work with ingredients like traditional semolina flour, I have another technique that involves charring the grain before making the pasta.

For me, working with seasonal food doesn’t just mean working with produce, but changing different components of my recipes to suit the season.

I have a friend who has a strong aversion to gluten and doesn’t eat products made with traditional flour because it makes her stomach hurt, yet she can eat my spelt pasta and my bread. This is probably because spelt flour has a lot less gluten than traditional pasta and it is more easily digestible, but I’m no scientist. So it goes to show you that just when you think you know everything about the power of alternative grains, some crazy ancient grain will pop up every now and again to make everything better.

As told to Javier Cabral

“Friendsgiving” on 11/15 to raise money for Green Wish

November 10, 2015

Union is holding a Friendsgiving! We are working in conjunction with Green Wish to help raise funds for local food organizations including Honeylove, Food Forward and Friends of the LA River. Chef Kalman is already working hard on the menu and this is one dinner you won’t want to miss. All details are below. Seats are limited, so reserve your spot today!

Email Jules@kphospitalitygroup.com to reserve your spot.

 

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Chef Kalman teaching pasta class in Tacoma, WA

November 6, 2015

 

 

Chef Kalman will be adventuring to Tacoma to teach a pasta class and cook dinner next week at the Marrow Kitchen and Bar. Interested in signing up? Details are below. You can also find out more details at Marrow’s website here.

 

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Chef Kalman makes Spaghetti for Resy

November 5, 2015

Thank you to Ben Leventhal for the beautiful piece he did on Chef Kalman for Resy. Read the full piece below to see how Chef hand makes the pasta for his spaghetti alla chitarra or read the article at this link.

Behind the Line: Union Pasadena

November 3, 2015 at 5:21 pm
post by Ben Leventhal

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Welcome to Behind the Line, wherein you go backstage in search of what makes LA’s top kitchens tick.

At the very top of the pasta heap today is Chef Bruce Kalman of Union Pasadena. The accolades have streamed in from every corner of the critic-sphere for his noodles, which range from potato leek mezzo luna to classic of all classics, spaghetti alla chitarra. But, how does the Jersey fresh chef keep it al dente? It’s starts with the flour, then technique, experience and instincts take over. Have a look:

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The spaghetti alla chitarra starts with a well of Grist & Toll’s durum wheat mixed with semolina and in the center vibrant orange yolks from marigold-fed chickens. Yes, even the yolks are taken up a notch, “It’s this idea of building flavor from the bottom up. I was taught in culinary school shit in shit out.”

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He works the dough with the heel of his hand, a key step in building the structure of the pasta. Another clutch technique that is often skipped, letting the dough rest, “You need to let your pasta dough rest for a couple of reasons. One, it gets tense so it needs to relax. More importantly, flour takes time to hydrate properly.”

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Out comes the chitarra, the OG way of cutting spaghetti, often imitated by machines but never coming close to the real deal. “This is my own theory, the pressure of pushing it through the strings creates the bite, it gets taut. That’s the idea of the pasta chitarra. It should be a little thicker and it should have a great bite to it.”

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Back to the flour for a second, any chef will tell you that ingredients are key, but chef Kalman takes it to the next level. “Have you ever opened a bag of flour and had it smell like something? It should have a smell, it should smell like wheat.”

So he turned to Nan Kohler of Grist & Toll. She’s changing the game with her small-batch, single varietal grains milled by an Austrian-manufactured stone mill. The proof is in the flour. “It’s not nearly as refined. The more we leave in, the more you have the power of using that expression,” says Nan.

Union on Jonathan Gold’s 101 list!

November 5, 2015

Pics from Outstanding in the Field Dinner 11/3

November 4, 2015

Team Union had a lot of fun cooking dinner at Wattles Farm last night for the special event, “Outstanding in the Field” Dinner. Please enjoy these great photos from the sold out evening and check out that TABLE!

(all pics by Jules Exum)

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Categories: Events

“Friendsgiving” Farmers Market Trip

October 28, 2015

Our “Friendsgiving” to benefit Green Wish is coming up on November 15 and we are already gearing up. Chef Kalman recently took a trip to the South Pasadena Farmers Market to talk ingredients with his event cohorts and plan out the menu. Joining him on this field trip were Ed Begley, Jr., Raphael Sbarge, Sharon Lawrence and Scott Harris. Please enjoy lot of great pics from their trip below.

“Friendsgiving” is happening at Union on 11/15 and seats are limited. Reserve your tickets today by contacting Jules@kphospitalitygroup.com.

 

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Union named #2 Best Italian Restaurant in LA!!

October 23, 2015

Chef Kalman cooking for James Beard Dinner

October 15, 2015

Chef Kalman Cooking for No Kid Hungry Dinner

October 14, 2015

Bruce Beat Bobby Flay!

October 12, 2015

Congratulations to our esteemed Chef who got a rematch with Bobby Flay… and beat him!

We’re so proud of Chef Kalman. Still haven’t eaten with us yet? Make your reservation today. Every meal is a celebration. Click here to reserve.

 

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“IM BRUCE KALMAN AND I BEAT BOBBY FLAY!!!! photo by @duff_goldman @foodnetwork — at The Doughroom.” — (From Bruce’s Instagram @chefbkalman)

Chef Kalman cooking for Cultivate LA

October 1, 2015

Chef Kalman will be cooking for United Friend’s “Cultivate LA” this Saturday, 10/3, to help raise money for foster youth. Won’t you join us for good food and a good cause?

Tickets are available at this link.

CULTIVATE LA

Join us for an elegant evening at the Italian-style villa of Carla and Fred Sands for Cultivate LA, a beloved event that brings together the best of LA’s restaurants and artisanal food vendors, as well as a variety of California’s finest wine and spirits. Meet local celebrity chefs and sample tastes from restaurants, bakeries, craft distilleries, breweries and wineries in a spacious estate surrounded by an extraordinary sculpture collection. Participate in our large format wine auction and bid on incredible trips and experiences. Your support helps us raise funds for 1,400 current and former Los Angeles foster youth.

United Friends of the Children empowers current and former foster youth on their journey to self-sufficiency through service-enriched education and housing programs, advocacy, and consistent relationships with a community of people who care.

UFC’s vision is to change the face of foster care in Los Angeles.

Chef/Restaurant Lineup:

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Guiding Principles:

The way to have a deep and lasting impact in the lives of foster youth is to be with them over the long haul.

By building relationships with youth over an extended period, UFC’s programs focus on commitment and consistency. By forging trusting relationships with the youth in our programs, we are addressing the single most critical emotional need for foster youth.

With the proper support and guidance, a job and a place to live, former foster youth can make a successful transition to adulthood.

It doesn’t happen magically when they turn 18. However, we have a unique opportunity and, in fact, a responsibility to provide foster youth ages 18-24 with the support that will allow them to prepare for independence. In Pathways we do this by surrounding them with positive role models, creating enduring relationships, challenging them to better themselves and providing them with the safety net of a service-enriched housing program.

The current dismal outcomes for foster kids relative to education can be changed.

Poor educational outcomes are a major factor in the lack of success foster youth experience in their transition out of care. By preparing more foster youth to graduate from high school (College Readiness) and attend and graduate from four-year colleges (College Sponsorship), UFC is dramatically increasing their chances for success.

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Union team visits Weiser Farms

September 30, 2015

Last weekend our team made a visit to Weiser Family Farms where they helped harvest and used a few of those fresh veggies for a big, on-site meal. We’ve got lots of great pics below.
 
You can find Alex Weiser and his father at the Santa Monica Farmers Market every Wednesday morning. They’ve got some of the best, most unique and flavorful produce in town. We highly recommend stopping by.
 
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Union joins forces with The Cook’s Garden

September 25, 2015

We are very happy to announce that Union is partnering with The Cook’s Garden to grow our own produce! Chef Kalman will be working closely with the team over at The Cook’s Garden to bring you some of the most sustainably grown, specialty produce possible grown specifically for our menu.
 
From The Cook’s Garden website:
 
Home Grown Edible Landscapes grew out of an effort by Master Gardener, Geri Miller, to reach out to like-minded people who were searching for sound, organic, research-based resources for challenges they were facing in their own back (and front) yards. Through the overwhelming response to her fan page on Facebook, it was clear that there was a growing national “grass roots” interest in learning to use landscapes in a more environmentally sound and productive way. As a UC Davis certified Master Gardener and horticulturist, Ms. Miller works to strengthen communities. Much of her work over the years has been pro bono to educators and non-profits focusing on children.
 
“Whoever creates a garden, creates happiness,” has defined Geri Miller’s life, beginning when she discovered her love and talent for gardening as a child to her trailblazing efforts in introducing eco-friendly, research-based edible gardens and landscapes to public schools, hospitality companies including resorts, restaurants, galleries and spas as well as private residences in the greater Los Angeles area since 2001.
 
Her philosophy is that there is more value in teaching individuals and families how to design and care for their own organic gardens than in the “stop and drop” style of traditional landscaping. The additional yet no less important benefit possible from this approach is a richer experience for the individual client or family by:

    • heightening environmental awareness
    • reducing the carbon footprint of the traditional landscape,
    • a healthier lifestyle through better nutritional habits and
    • increased physical activity through gardening.

Stay tuned for more details on what we’ll be growing through these guys and how Chef Kalman will be using it on the menu!
 
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LA MAG Highlights “Preserving Summer”

September 23, 2015

LA Magazine interviewed Chef Kalman in anticipation of his cooking class “Preserving Summer” which is happening tomorrow (9/24). Seats are still available. Click here to reserve today!

Preserve the Best of Summer with Bruce Kalman and Hedy Goldsmith

The chefs will demonstrate techniques for preparing and jarring their signature dishes to benefit Common Threads
September 22, 2015  — Valentina Silva 

 

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“I wish that I grew up in a household where I was taught nutrition and basic cooking technique,” says Bruce Kalman.

The chef, who opened Union in Pasadena last year and is set to debut Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market in Grand Central Market later this year, is making up for lost time by schooling a new generation on food-savvy practices through Common Threads. The organization, which currently operates in Chicago, Washington D.C., Miami, and here in Los Angeles, provides hands-on cooking classes from professional chefs to low-income children and their families with the aim of helping to foster healthier lifestyles in underserved communities.

“I believe that teaching the next generation back-to-basics food preparation—pickling, canning, etc.—and equipping them with fundamental skills makes cooking fun and not so intimidating,” says Kalman. “Ultimately, organizations like Common Threads are so important because they provide a platform for chefs like myself to educate kids on sustainability and how to make the best use of what is available to them and waste nothing.”

This Thursday, the rest of us can get in on the learning, too. Kalman, along with James Beard Awards-nominated pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith (formerly of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami) and Common Threads instructor/ambassador Chef Lovely, will be hosting a class called Preserving Summer. Putting the focus on reducing food waste and increasing nutrition, the one-night course will cover simple pasta sauce preparation and jarring. Plus—and if you’ve ever had it then you know this is big—a demo on how to make Kalman’s delicious pickled giardiniere. Goldsmith will show guests how to pickle stone fruit as well as make a strawberry basil consommé and meyer lemon confit.

Even better is that attendees will get to enjoy the sauce served with Kalman’s housemade spelt cavatelli, giardiniere with fresh bread and butter, and all of Goldsmith’s desserts.

Tickets are $90. All proceeds go to Common Threads.

Preserving Summer will take place this Thursday, September 24 at New School of Cooking, 8690 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, 310-842-9702. Class begins at 6:30 pm. Register online at www.newschoolofcooking.com.

 

“Dedicated. Thoughtful. Passionate. Trustworthy.”

September 18, 2015

PlateOnline.com interviews Chef Kalman after he landed a place on their 1 of 30 chefs to watch. Enjoy their full feature at this link or read the article in its entirety below.  Make a reservation to dine with us tonight by clicking here.

Chef To Watch: Bruce Kalman, Union

(Bruce Kalman, photo Marie Buck)

Bruce Kalman is having the time of his life, and you can feel it in the food he creates at Union, his restaurant in downtown Pasadena that is attracting people back to this once-forgotten community. He’s cooking his heart out, with each plate of albacore crudo with housemade spicy pickled lemon cucumbers; each pork meatball bright with capers and chilies; each bowl of housemade squid ink garganelli tossed with lobster, truffle butter and Meyer lemon; each tray of donut peaches gilded with lardo and honey. He’s offering up his soul and presenting it to guests on every plate. And like the omnivores they are, diners at this packed restaurant are devouring not just the food but the whole package.

“I’m 44 years old, and for the first time in my life, I’m cooking my food,” Kalman says about the transformation in his cooking since opening Union with business partner Marie Petulla. My chef friends are like, “This is unadulterated you.”

Maybe that’s what it is, that Kalman is doing his own thing instead of following someone else’s vision. His enthusiasm was certainly there when he cooked at Chicago’s Okno, and at The Churchill in West Hollywood. His creativity exploded when he founded his own “vine to jar” pickle company. But something is different now.

“Being a chef/owner, and having that opportunity and freedom to cook what I want, has made all the difference to me,” Kalman says. “I’m a very straight-up, honest person; I believe you should stand up for what you believe in, and stick with it. If you’re passionate about it, other people will be, too. Without the distractions, your creative ability changes, and you become this much more inspiring leader, and much less frustrated. I care what people think—my partners, my managers, my staff, the guests. I’m much better at taking constructive criticism than I was in the past. Because of those factors, I’m cooking better than I ever have.” 

And so, he’s inspiring his cooks (all 20 of whom are name-checked at the bottom of each menu) to cook thoughtfully, and reduce waste as much as possible. Under his guidance, the team at Union is figuring out how to use seeds, stems, roots, leaves and cores in their cooking, from dehydrated toasted seeds to fennel-top sorbet. 

“Respecting the ingredients plays a really big part in what I’m doing,” Kalman says. “A head of fennel deserves the same respect as a pig. Someone put in the time to plant the seed, take care of it, to harvest it. We’re constantly challenging ourselves with what we can do, looking at everything we get in and how can we use every part of it. It’s cool and fun to play with it. The whole thing is edible; it’s just how you treat it.”

That success has followed all this positive juju is not surprising. Kalman and Petulla are opening a fresh pasta stand in the Grand Central Market in downtown L.A. and have an eye out for other projects. 

“I’m cooking things that I never cooked before and having fun,” Kalman says. “If you’re happier, you cook better food. I’m my own chef. It’s all-around great. It’s just fucking great.” 

Chandra Ram Q&A


Albacore crudo with housemade spicy pickled lemon cucumbers

What was the first dish you ever made?

I think it was chopped liver with my grandmother; I remember grinding hard-boiled eggs, liver and onions. I still have that meat grinder.

What is your pet peeve in the kitchen?

I have a few. When people don’t care—when they go through the motions, and it’s a job, instead of them being passionate and excited about things and getting involved. I tell my cooks to do everything with a purpose. And I don’t like fussy food, or people who communicate poorly. And I can’t stand dirty cooks—they make me crazy.

What career would you have if you weren’t a chef?

I would be a rock star. Or trying to be a rock star – I play guitar.

Who is your dream dinner guest, and what would you cook?

Probably the Foo Fighters. I would serve them three pasta courses, and then the braised pork neck. [Ed note: I am so going to this dinner.]

What restaurant is your dream stage location and why?

I’d go to Vetri, because I respect Marc Vetri so much for his food and what he’s about. His food is insanely delicious. I want to go there and get inside his head.

What is the next cooking challenge or technique you want to try?

All I can think about right now is the new pasta machine, for Knead & Co., the pasta stand we are opening in Grand Central Market. We’re honing on past on a regional level and diving into how dishes came to be, historically. How all the old classics came about – mostly out of necessity because they didn’t have refrigeration. Now, we put ingredients together because they work, but going back and understanding how it happened is important. Being back to basics what I’ve always done, but I think it is the next molecular gastronomy. I continue to simplify and hone what I do.

What meal changed how you feel about food?

It was eating at Lincoln, Jenn Louis’ place in Portland, Ore. Her corned lamb neck dish is ridiculous. She cooks like I do. The first time I ate there, it solidified for me how powerful that is, to really view a similar situation and chef from a guest perspective, without the nit-picking I do when I’m in my own restaurant. I feel her passion for the food. It inspires me.

Also, Girl and the Goat. Stephanie Izard deserves every award and honor she’s gotten. The food blew me away, and for it to be that crowded five years after she opened says a lot about what she’s doing.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?

Denzel Washington.

What three words describe you best?

Dedicated. Thoughtful. Passionate. Trustworthy.

Take a cooking class with Chef Kalman & Hedy Goldsmith

September 17, 2015

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From www.commonthreads.org:
Common Threads presents Preserving Summer with Bruce Kalman and Hedy Goldsmith, a recreational cooking class hosted at New School of Cooking, 8690 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, on Thursday, September 24th starting at 6:45pm.
 
Bruce Kalman will share how to preserve the best of summer and minimize food waste by making and jarring a simple pasta sauce with ripe tomatoes. Additionally he’ll do a quick pickling demo. Guests will enjoy his handmade spelt cavatelli with the pasta sauce, and his giardinere pickles with bread and cultured butter. Hedy Goldsmith will demo a panna cotta dessert with preserved fruit and candied lemon again demonstrating how to minimize food waste.
 
Tickets Cost $90/person, CLICK HERE to purchase. Class size is limited to 30 people.
 
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Chef Kalman talks food scraps with Rodale’s

September 17, 2015

Enjoy this article from Rodalesorganiclife.com that features ideas on how to use food scraps in the kitchen. Chef Kalman has a fennel tip at #4. You can read the full article at this link or below.

8 Homesteader Recipes That Make The Most Of Food Scraps

Incredible edibles you’ve been throwing out or adding to the compost pile might just belong on the dinner table.

AUGUST 17, 2015

PHOTOGRAPH BY PAULO SIMAO/EYEEM/GETTYWe strive for a diet packed with fresh organic fruits and vegetables, but there’s just one problem—what to do with all the leaves, stems, and leftover bits to avoid unnecessary waste and an overflowing compost bin? We’re taking a cue from efficient homesteaders and nose-to-tail cooking about how to reuse the castoffs.

Onion Skins

PHOTOGRAPH BY STEFANIE GREWEL/GETTY

They’re great for veggie stock, but they’re a surprise ingredient for a pungent tea and are rich in antioxidants such as quercetin. Simply steep the skins of an onion in boiling water or a tea baller for a few minutes, bearing in mind that the longer they sit, the more assertive the tea will become.

Cantaloupe Seeds

PHOTOGRAPH BY OTMAR WINTERLEITNER/GETTYSave your cantaloupe seeds and that goopy stuff around them called “the mesh,” and throw them in a smoothie for an extra dose of fiber and protein.

Pickle Juice

PHOTOGRAPH BY CAMPVIOLA/GETTY

There’s no need to throw away a jar of pickle juice once you’ve eaten all the cukes. Just do as Molly Siegler, culinary content editor for Whole Foods Markets does, and store blanched veggies or hard-boiled eggs in the pickling liquid.

  • Fennel Fronds

    PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN YARVIN/GETTY

    Fennel is so flowery and showy, but we typically only use the bulb part. Add the fronds to a flower arrangement, or steep them in hot water for a mild anise-flavored tea. Chef Bruce Kalman of Union in Pasadena turns fennel fronds into sorbet. Start by juicing the fronds—you’ll want 2 cups of liquid. Then mix the juice with 2 cups of simple syrup and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine, or turn it into a granita by freezing in a shallow container (stirring with a fork every hour, fluffing once it starts to freeze). Kalman finishes it off with a pinch of flaky sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.

  • Herb Stems

    PHOTOGRAPH BY TWO RED BOWLS/GETTY

    Cookbook author Dina Cheney likes to grind up the stems of dehydrated herbs (such as cilantro, basil, or mint) in a coffee grinder. She then adds them to salt or sugar in a ratio of 1-to-4 (herbs to salt or sugar) to create a finishing seasoning, which can be sprinkled on both sweet and savory dishes.

    Watermelon Rinds

    PHOTOGRAPH BY DEBBI SMIRNOFF/GETTY

    Pickle them. Slice off all the pink fruit and pickle the green rinds using your favorite recipe or try this one for starters.

    Cherry Pits

    PHOTOGRAPH BY KRISTEN HESS/GETTY

    Cherry pits can add a new, nutty dimension to ice cream. Pastry chef Diana Valenzuela of Elan in New York City smashes the pits with a meat mallet, picks through the pits for the kernels, and then toasts them in the oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes. She then pulverizes 2 tablespoons of cherry pits with 1 cup of organic cane sugar to a fine dust and sprinkles over ice cream.

    Fruit Scraps

    PHOTOGRAPH BY WESTEND61/GETTY

    If you can or jam, you likely produce a great deal of discarded skins. Instead, you can ferment peach, plum, apple, or apricot skins (fermenting is a long process; try this recipe) and use the resulting vinegar as a tonic with seltzer (like an old-fashioned shrub), as a marinade, or in a salad dressing.

 

Chef Kalman has new line of pasta t-shirts!

September 16, 2015

Chef Kalman makes Plateonline.com’s list of 30 chefs to watch

September 15, 2015

Congratulations to Chef Kalman for making PlateOnline’s list of 30 Chefs to Watch. We’re very proud of him. Did you know that we’re opening a pasta bar in Grand Central Market this fall? Follow all the news at our Facebook page.

Reservations to eat with us can be made at this link or by visiting Table8.com.

Please enjoy the full article with complete chef bios at this link.

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Tasting Table and Chef Kalman bring you “A garden party in your mouth”

September 14, 2015

Chef Kalman shot this gorgeous video with Tasting Table featuring his handmade trofie pasta. Chef Kalman gives a few tips for cooking an amazing plate of pasta and the recipe for this specific dish can be found at the Tasting Table link here.
 
Click the pic below for the full video.

 

Trofie Winner

 
Master hand-rolled pasta with chef Bruce Kalman’s trofie with carrot-top pesto
9/13/15
 
By Karen Palmer – Executive Editor
 
Video & Photo: Dave Katz/Tasting Table
 
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“I’ve been cooking for a long time, and it always comes back to pasta,” Bruce Kalman tells us as he kneads, rolls and shapes trofie pasta (see the recipe).
 
The chef is a Jersey boy (his first job was at a Paramus pizzeria, no less), but life has taken him to Southern California, where he runs the Italian-flecked Union in Pasadena. This fall, he plans to open Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market in Downtown L.A.’s ever-growing Grand Central Market.
 
“I’m specifically into Northern Italian cuisine, because it’s soulful and delicious and handcrafted,” Kalman says. “I like working with my hands—I feel there’s a much deeper connection from you to the food and to the guest. It makes the experience very intimate.”
Trofie pasta is, not surprisingly, from Northern Italy, and more specifically from the Ligurian city of Genoa, where it’s traditionally served with pesto. In his updated version of the dish, Kalman makes the pasta with nutty spelt flour, then ingeniously pairs it with sweet roasted carrots and a garlicky carrot-top pesto.
 
“Spelt flour is lower in gluten and protein. It gives the pasta a softer, sexier bite,” Kalman explains. “As a chef, one of my big beliefs is to use everything. We slow-roast the carrots, then blanch and chop the tops to make the pesto. You want it to be all about the carrots and the pasta. Everything else should be supporting ingredients.”
 
Making the trofie is easier than you think—the only equipment you’ll need is a rolling pin. After the dough is mixed, kneaded and rolled thin, it’s simply sliced into small strips that you roll between your hands, as if you’re trying to warm them up (watch the video to see the technique). The resulting little squiggles hang on to the carrot-top pesto to give garlicky flavor in every bite.
 
At Knead & Co., Kalman will be serving old-school favorites like baked ziti and manicotti, as well as house-made cheeses, from-scratch butter and his famous giardiniere pickles. But he’ll also be creating newfangled dishes, like the trofie, starring pastas made with fresh-milled flour.
 
“When you’re composing a pasta dish, it’s important that the pasta be the star,” he says. “Even if you just eat the noodle itself, it should be fantastic.”
 
Of the trofie, he says, “It’s like a garden party in your mouth.”
 
And it’s one party we’d be happy to attend.

Thurs, Oct. 8: Chef Kalman gets a rematch with Bobby Flay

September 11, 2015

Tune in on Thursday, October 8th @ 10/9C to the Food Network to watch our very own Chef Kalman take on Bobby Flay for a rematch!

 

Settling the Score
Silent assassin Bruce Kalman has unfinished business to attend to, while young hot-shot Jordan Andino is out to prove he’s come a long way since his last match with Bobby Flay. The chef who faces Bobby hopes that having Food Network stars Sunny Anderson and Jeff Mauro in his corner will be enough to earn the redemption he seeks. (Episode: BY0602H)

Chef Kalman answers question, “Who can be called chef?”

September 10, 2015

Thrillist says eat with us before you die.

September 9, 2015

Thank you to The Thrillist for listing our Squid Ink Garganelli at #6 on their “To eat before you die list”. We totally agree! You can make a reservation to dine with us by clicking here. Please enjoy their entire feature at this link or read below.

50 LA THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT BEFORE YOU DIE

1. Chorizo breakfast burrito
Cofax Coffee Shop
Mid-Wilshire
It may only be less than a year old, but this small coffee shop’s chips-and-smoked-potato-laden breakfast burrito has become a defining member of the city’s hand-held tortilla-wrapped community.

2. #19
Langer’s Delicatessen
MacArthur Park
The most iconic pastrami sandwich in the city is also its most delicious. Yep, we said it.

3. Tonkotsu ramen
Daikokuya
Multiple locations
By far the most well-known Japanese noodle-and-broth combo in the city, and even with the city’s ramen explosion, it’s still one of the most delicious.

4. Crispy rice salad
Sqirl
Silver Lake
Yeah, it’s got the word “salad” in the name, but you can get this unctuous dish with an egg and sausage. Which you will. And you will be very happy you did.

5. Seared Salmon Right Away
Sushi Ike
Hollywood
Available only at the bar at this raw-fish institution, the Seared Salmon Right Away melts on your tongue and makes you truly wonder why you’ve ever eaten second-rate sushi before.

6. Squid ink garganelli
Union
Pasadena
This hole-in-the-wall Pasadena farm-to-table restaurant has rapidly become one of the city’s go-to tables, and this dish — with lobster, fennel, and truffle butter — is its shining-est star.

7. Chianina steak
Chianina Steakhouse
Long Beach
It’s worth exploring Long Beach to end up at this classy steakhouse, which grows and butchers its own meat, serving up limited servings of each cut that’ll clean out your wallet in the most delicious way possible.

8. BBQ pork belly sandwich
Animal
Mid-Wilshire
These slider-sized morsels have become the signature dish at Jon & Vinny’s signature restaurant — the rest of the menu changes around them, but a meal there without these fatty blasts would be sacrilege.

9. Chopped fruit w/ chili powder and lime juice
Any street vendor with them
New York people may brag about their street-vendor hot dogs and pretzels, but who needs those when you’ve got juicy watermelon, mango, jicama, and more, acid-ed up with lime and spiced up with chili? Not you. Not. You.

10. Omelette
Petit Trois
Hollywood
It’s simply called an “Omelette,” but this perfectly buttered, Boursin cheese-stuffed fluffy egg dish is much more than that: it’s Ludo Lefebvre’s way of saying “I’m not just a TV-star gimmick.” And after one bite, you’ll agree.

11. Short rib
Odys & Penelope
Mid-Wilshire
This dinosaur-sized bone-in hunka-hunka-delicious meat isn’t just one of the best BBQ dishes in the city, it’s one of the best dishes in the city, period.

12. Hickory burger
Apple Pan
West LA
Thankfully, nothing at this WLA burger institution has changed since 1947: the space-wasting counter-only set-up, the old-school servers, and this burger — legendary for its smoky, classic flavor.

13. Pork xiao long bao (aka soup dumplings)
Din Tai Fung
Multiple locations
That first bite, when your teeth puncture the surface of these perfect, thinly doughed pockets of soup and meatball, and the broth hits your upper lip, burning it ever-so-slightly in the process? Nirvana.

14. Chicharron quesadilla
Oaxacan Quesadilla Cart
Echo Park
You may have a hard time finding this woman, but you NEED TO FIND THIS WOMAN, who hand-makes blue-corn tortillas stuffed with chicharrones, cheese, and some sort of magic insanity that makes you go “where the hell have you been my whole life???”

15. Strawberry donuts
Donut Man
Glendora
“But, it’s like a pie filling made from fresh strawberries stuffed inside a donut,” say haters. To which you’ll say, “DUDE IT’S LIKE A PIE FILLING MADE FROM FRESH STRAWBERRIES STUFFED INSIDE A DONUT!!!!”

16. Baseball Steak
Pacific Dining Car
Downtown and Santa Monica
Is this the best steak in the city? It is not. Is this the best steak in the city at 3am inside a relic from the 1950s where you’re treated like Frank Sinatra in his prime? Yes. It is most certainly that.

17. Whole snook
Coni’Seafood & Mariscos Chente
Inglewood/Marina Del Rey
These brother-sister restaurants both serve the same delectable signature dish: a whole flayed fish, fresh from Mexico, served with stewed onions and homemade tortillas. Put them together: perfection.

18. Chicken kafta plate w/ eggplant salad, hummus, and baba ganoush
Pita Kitchen
Van Nuys
Anyone who’s lived in The Valley is either a Pita Kitchen disciple or has wondered what the hell the out-the-door lines on Van Nuys Blvd are all about. Well, here’s the thing: they’re about these spiced chicken patties, this mushy, flavorful eggplant, and this perfectly oily hummus. Two pro tips, though: pay the extra $1 for a third side (baba ghanouj!) instead of stomach-filling rice, and avoid, at all costs, the same-named ripoff restaurant on Wilshire.

19. Uni Dynamite
POT
Koreatown
The dirty secret of Roy Choi’s excellent Korean menu is that the best stuff is actually NOT in the pots — rather it’s side dishes like this gooey, savory, creamy uni-and-rice dish.

20. Shrimp taco
Mariscos Jalisco
Downtown
One bite of the shrimp taco and you’ll understand why this truck is one of the most lauded cheap bites in the city.

21. Half-chicken
Zankou Chicken
Multiple locations
There are a lot of things you don’t know about this beloved Middle Eastern chain, but here’s one thing you do: its chicken (and ohGodthat garlic sauce) are absurd.

22. Half-chicken
Dino’s Chicken and Burgers
Multiple locations
Another half-chicken? Yep. But Dino’s — a series of roadside cafes that look about as nondescript as possible — couldn’t be more different than Zankou; its deep-red Mexi-ish bird is covered in a vinegar sauce that makes it truly moist all the way through. Pro tip: order extra sauce and let it seep into the fries or rice below for an insane carb-bomb side.

23. Tsukemen ramen
Tsujita Annex
West LA
Why not get the frothy, thick tonkotsu ramen? Because the dippable tsukemen gives you the ability to have as much — or as little — broth on your noodles as you want, plus the inevitable leftovers travel better.

24. Chinese chicken salad
Chin Chin
Multiple locations
The Chinese chicken salad is one of LA’s defining dishes, and the version at the gentrified Chinese chain Chin Chin is one of its defining variations, thanks to a gingery dressing, an abundance of nuts, and — oh yeah — not one, but TWO types of crispy fried noodles.

25. Hoecake
Barrel and Ashes
Studio City
Its BBQ meats may be divisive, but no one who’s been to this new-ish meat-centric spot can deny the buttery, gooey hoecake, which is essentially a cornbread if cornbread were made of dreams instead of corn.

26. Smoked salmon pizza
Spago
Beverly Hills
Its glory-est days may be behind it, but Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant is still an emblem of Hollywood decadence, and this now off-menu signature dish was once the height of LA’s food scene — and one bite in, you’ll understand why.

27. Bacon breakfast burrito
Lucky Boy
Pasadena
As notable for the fact that you’ll get yelled at as you try to order it as it is for the monster amounts of crazy-good bacon that the guy yelling at you will eventually stuff into it. Mmmm.

28. Godmother
Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
Santa Monica
This is pretty universally considered one-of-if-not-the best sandwich in all of the LA area. If you haven’t had this meat monster yet, what have you been waiting for? Really, WHAT?

29. Smoked fish platter
Wexler’s Deli
Downtown LA
There are so many things we could recommend at the Grand Central Market, but this platter of freshly smoked fish hits the soul in the same way as Eggslut — without the line.

30. Dodger Dog
Dodger Stadium
Chavez Ravine
You’re really not allowed to call yourself an Angeleno unless you’ve had a Dodger Dog. Extra points for finishing it, saying, “that’s not as good as I expected,” and then immediately ordering another one.

31. French dip
Cole’s
Downtown
Is Cole’s or Phillipe’s the best French dip in the city? That’s a debate we don’t want to take a side in.

32. French dip
Philippe the Original
Downtown
Told you.

33. Office Burger
Father’s Office
Culver City/Santa Monica
Love it or hate it, Sang Yoon’s defining dish set the stage for LA’s reputation as a burger mecca, and still stands as one of the best ground meatwiches in the city.

34. All the salads
Hummus Bar
Tarzana
It’s worth the drive to this strip mall for two things: the skewers of meat at Kushiyu, and this Mediterranean restaurant’s salads, which come with any entree order and fill the table with everything from eggplant to chopped liver, all dippable with their piping-hot homemade bread, which is sort of a mix between lavash and pita. It’s outstanding.

35. Al pastor taco
Leo’s Taco Truck
Multiple locations
This taco truck mini-chain’s rotating, pineapple-aided rotisseries of meat make for tortilla-stuffed perfection; there are hundreds of trucks in the city making al pastor tacos, but Tacos Leo stands out completely from the rest.

36. Albacore belly
Sugarfish
Multiple locations
What, you’ve only ordered the set sushi meals? Then you’ve missed out on the real treat: this absurdly flavorful bite, which has to be ordered separately. It’s worth it. Completely.

37. Chicken and waffles
Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles
Multiple locations
There are a ton of variations of this dish all over the city, but Roscoe’s is definitive, and still stands out for crispiness, balance, and being open late on Friday and Sat. Which never hurts. (And usually helps.)

38. Ice cream sandwich
Diddy Riese
Westwood
It’s a rite of passage to stand in line for an hour at this nearby-to-UCLA spot, asking the entire time you’re in line if it’s really worth all that standing around for a $2 ice cream sandwich. And then you take a bite, and, yep, it totally is.

39. Short rib taco
Kogi BBQ
Multiple locations
This dish essentially started the food truck trend. It’s an amazing mesh of flavors, and all that time ago — like, five years — it was groundbreaking. Now, it’s just super tasty.

40. Fish dip
Son of a Gun
Mid-Wilshire
When they opened Son of a Gun, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo wanted to recreate the flavors they remembered from fish shacks in Florida, and they knocked it out of the park with this fish dip, going so far as to import the crackers they use to give it a hit of salty authenticity. Pro tip: even if you don’t love Tabasco, it adds a killer vinegar extra to the already-great flavors.

41. Charcuterie platter
Bestia
Downtown
So many spots in the city offer platters of cured meats, but Bestia’s is all made in-house, which means the process is carefully curated, and the meats are that much better for it.

42. BBQ chicken pizza
Mulberry St Pizzeria
Multiple locations
Some people may complain that the pizza here is too floppy, and yeah, it kinda is. But the ingredients in its BBQ chicken variation are top-notch, and the serving size is massive, and once it’s in your mouth, who cares about that flop anyways?

43. Chili cheeseburger
Original Tommy’s Hamburgers
East Hollywood
You could go to any of the Tommy’s locations and leave happy, but if you hit the original-original-really-guys-we-mean-the-original spot, you’ll be super-duper-double happy. (Until about five hours later.)

44. Mole negro
Gueleguetza
Koreatown
This sort of formerly under-the-radar Oaxacan spot just won a James Beard Award for having killer mole. Seriously, if that doesn’t get you in the door, what does?

45. Kimchi fried rice
Republique
Mid-Wilshire
Walter Manske’s gorgeous restaurant has gotten praise for its dinners, but the real move is to go for brunch: the pastries are insane, and you can order this monstrous bowl of egg-topped, short rib-laden spicy rice and then… nap. You’re definitely gonna nap.

46. Garlic knots
C&O Trattoria
Venice
Going to C&O for a big-group dinner is unavoidable, and surely someone will complain in the comments below that the massive pasta plates are not up to snuff with other Italian joints in the city. Who cares? The free garlic knots — which come both with every dinner and for whomever is waiting outside for a table as well — are, like, insanely, insanely great.

47. Lasagna
Dan Tana’s
West Hollywood
That said, if you do want Italian, and you don’t mind dropping some dough, classic Italian steakhouse Dan Tana’s still satisfies, especially when you’re ordering something as classic as meat-stuffed lasagna.

48. Fried chicken
Honey’s Kettle
Culver City
It’s the #1 fried chicken in the city according to the most expert of experts. Do you really need another reason?

49. Green mussels curry
Jitlada Thai Restaurant
Thaitown
You put one of these in your mouth and it explodes with spice and flavor. Then you repeat. Then you repeat again. Then you sip some Singha. Then you repeat again.

50. Danger dog
Any random street cart
Because if you’re gonna have your last meal, it may as well be bacon-wrapped and topped with onions, jalapeños, and mayo. Right?

Chef Kalman on “Field to Fork” panel at The Taste

September 1, 2015

Join Chef Kalman and a list of other amazing farm to table chefs this weekend at The Taste. Details can be found below or at this link.
 

Buy Tickets to the “Field and Fork” event here.

 
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FIELD TO FORK
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5
11 A.M. – 2 P.M.
 
The city’s best eats are in season
 
Indulge in the bounty of California with an afternoon inspired by locally sourced ingredients and the pleasures of seasonal cooking. Leading L.A. chefs specializing in fresh-focused dishes will share their techniques and offer tastes.

Union Named “Top 25” by Gayot.com

August 28, 2015

Thank you to Gayot.com for this nice listing. It’s an honor to be recognized with so many other great spots. Check out the full feature at this link or read up on Union’s write-up below.
 

Top 25 Restaurants in Los Angeles to Eat at Right Now

 
Where to Eat in L.A.
 
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From swanky steakhouses and cool ethnic eateries to waterfront finds and inventive vegan hot spots, GAYOT has uncovered the best restaurants in (and around) Los Angeles for you to enjoy right now.
 
You’re hungry, you don’t want to stay in, but you have no idea where to go. Sound familiar? No worries, let GAYOT be your guide. Whether you want a spicy date night on the town or a laidback lunch with the fam, we have you covered with the best restaurants in Los Angeles (and beyond). Check back often, as we’ll be updating this list every week. So, what are you waiting for? On your mark, get set, eat!
 
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UNION – Pasadena
 
Perfectly situated in the walkable area of Old Town Pasadena, Union is an easygoing neighborhood restaurant where locals enjoy fresh farm-to-table fare. Chef Bruce Kalman, who happens to be an avid pickler and pasta maker, is right at home serving his concise menu of Cali-Italian fare. Depending on the week, it can include house-made stracciatella, pork meatballs and forest mushroom risotto.
 
Union Restaurant Review: Just off Pasadena’s main drag, Union reveals its passion for farmers markets with a giant blackboard listing where you can buy fresh produce every day of the week. There’s plenty on the menu, too, as the salads are veritable confetti explosions of color, texture and flavor. One features a combination of red and golden roasted beets punctuated with thin, pretty shavings of raw Chioggia beets. Animal products feel the love as well. Generous servings of beef bone marrow include two troughs of pure, silken goodness bedecked with roasted grapes, Moroccan olives, parsley and croutons. Toothsome house-made tagliatelle nestled in rich pork ragù reminds diners never to underestimate the pleasures of a bowl of pasta and red sauce. Chiffon-light olive oil cake, flanked by honey gelato and topped with almonds and orange slices, is an ideal finish. Accompanied by a wine list embracing Italian and California vintages, chef Bruce Kalman’s cooking brings a smart but playful sensibility to meals.

KNEAD & CO is “most anticipated opening of 2015”

August 26, 2015

We’re getting very close to opening the pasta bar in Grand Central Market and it seems some people are as excited as we are. Thank you to Eater LA for their write-up on us. We look forward to serving you! Read Eater’s entire article at this link or see Union’s write-up below.
 

The Most Anticipated Los Angeles New Restaurant Openings, Fall 2015

“I had to eat all the pastas”

August 25, 2015

Thank you to MySweetGreek.com for their very kind write-up.
 

All I could think about was PASTA!

 
If all you can think about is pasta too, then get very excited because Chef Kalman and Marie Petulla will be opening their own pasta bar this fall in Grand Central Market! Enjoy MySweetGreek’s full feature below or read the article in it’s entirety at this link.
 

Union Restaurant Pasadena

 
Union

Our team had a party in Saveur’s test kitchen

August 25, 2015

Our team had the pleasure of cooking for Saveur Magazine’s Saveur Suppers and the magazine had a lot of great things to say about the visit. They’ve got a full write-up on our time there with a ton of great pics. You can enjoy the full feature at this link or read the article in it’s entirety below.

SCENES FROM BRUCE KALMAN’S SAVEUR SUPPER

 
The Union Pasadena chef threw a party in our test kitchen
 

POSTED AUGUST 20, 2015

All photos by Matt Taylor-Gross
 
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“Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week”

August 20, 2015

As fall grows near,  so does the opening of our new Pasta Bar, KNEAD & Company. We’re very excited to share our love of pasta with all of you in Grand Central Market and Zagat is excited too! Read the full article at this link or below.

<3 You can make reservations at this link. <3

LA’s Most Anticipated Fall 2015 Restaurant Openings

By Lesley Balla | August 17, 2015

Photo by: Otium

The days are getting shorter, but the temps are not cooling down, and neither is the LA restaurant scene. There are a lot of high-profile projects coming to town this fall, some from nationally known chefs, some from local hometown stars. Here’s what we’re looking forward to.

Gardner Junction: Moving into what was once a Red Car Trolley stop, this new Hollywood restaurant and lounge features lots of brass and dark, locomotive-inspired elements, plus an all-outdoor bar for cocktailing. Chef Steve Brown (Monsieur Marcel, Inn of the Seventh Ray) will be doing an ever-changing, seasonal small plates menu with things like seared foie gras and squid ink waffles; vegan bisque shooters; braised short ribs; and sous-vide carrots. Opening date: September 14 (1451 N. Gardner St.; 323-450-9021).

Otium: The new restaurant from Timothy Hollingsworth and Bill Chait’s Sprout machine will open alongside the new Broad Museum in Downtown LA. The menu is described as “contemporary American,” with dishes from Hollingsworth’s repertoire like heirloom tomato tart with burrata and petit basil; Hama Hama oysters with grapes and green apple mignonette; spot prawns with basmati rice, piquillo peppers, chorizo and Spanish caper emulsion; and whole grilled striped bass with shaved vegetables, pea shoots and burnt lemon. On the name: “Otium means leisure, peaceful quiet reflection,” says Chait. “The whole vibe of Downtown is social interaction; that’s what makes this area so unique.” Because the restaurant lives in the new park filled with 100-year-old olive trees adjacent to the museum, the outdoors will play a role. “It will be like a sophisticated treehouse,” Chait adds. Opening date: September 20 (222 S. Hope St.).

Clifton’s Cafeteria: After almost five years, millions of dollars and a lot of press exposure over whether new owner Andrew Meieran is doing the right thing or not, the famous Clifton’s Cafeteria will be reborn as a multi-faceted space in a 109-year-old building on Broadway. This is Clifton’s for a new millennium: Gone are the free meals, pot roast, mashed potatoes and Jell-O, and in their place will be two restaurants, an old-school cafeteria, and five bars, one a basement speakeasy and another sporting tiki decor from the shuttered Bahooka Restaurant. Jason Fullilove, formerly of Malibu Pier Restaurant & Bar, is the executive chef for the project. Opening date: September 17 (648 S. Broadway).

Little Pine: Famous musician and Eastside local Moby is teaming up with chef Anne Thornton to open this new vegan restaurant in Silver Lake. Thornton will direct the culinary program at the Silver Lake neighborhood spot, serving comforting vegan cuisine with unconventional recipes that utilize the finest available ingredients. A retail space, located at the front of the eatery, will offer eco-sustainable housewares and gifts from Moby and Thornton’s favorite artisans, artists and authors. Opening date: September (2870 Rowena Ave.).

Sausal: This “Nuevo Rancho”–style concept from chef Anne Conness (Tin Roof Bistro, Simmzy’s) and veteran industry duo Sorin Costache and Joseph Suceveanu (Il Forno) will land in El Segundo. Named after the vast farmstead that once encompassed the area, Rancho Sausal Redondo, the restaurant will showcase elevated everyday comfort food that also highlights Conness’ passion for the bold, earthy flavors of Mexican cuisine as imagined through a Southern California sensibility. Opening date: September (219 Main St.).

American Tea Room: David Barenholtz will open a new outpost of his tea shop and lounge in the Arts District, right across the street from Bestia and where the new Soho House will land next year. It will have a living green wall in front, a massive bar made of reclaimed wood, and graffiti art by Retina and Saber. Plus, there will be technology that helps guests choose their tea depending on their mood or what flavors they like. Opening date: Early September, possibly Labor Day weekend (909 S. Santa Fe Ave.).

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Sidecar Doughnuts: The very popular Costa Mesa outfit known for making donuts from scratch throughout the day is coming north to open a second location in Santa Monica. Everything is made in-house, from the glazes to the jams and other toppings, and there’s always at least one daily gluten-free option and vegan flavor. The opening date has been pushed all year, with a fall debut in the works.Opening date: Hoping for September (631 Wilshire Blvd.).

Little Sister DTLA: Chef Tin Vuong and business partner Jed Sanford of Blackhouse Hospitality (Little Sister, Abigaile, Wildcraft and Dia de Campo) are on a tear for 2015. Already the two debuted Steak & Whisky, a new steakhouse in Hermosa Beach, with a new, still-unnamed Redondo Beach concept coming sometime this year, further establishing their presence in the South Bay. And now they’re heading inland to open a new Little Sister outpost in Downtown LA. Vuong hit a home run with his Southeast Asian fare at the first LS in Manhattan Beach, so expect more of the same. Opening date: Late fall (523 W. Seventh St.)

Officine BRERA: A second Italian restaurant from Matteo Ferdinandi and chef Angelo Auriana will debut next to their Factory Kitchen in the Arts District. This will also be quite large with an expansive dining room, patio and private dining rooms, and a menu featuring regional, rustic Italian cuisine. Chef de cuisine is Mirko Paderno (Olivero). Opening date: Late September/early October (1330 E. Sixth St.)

Le Petit Paris: From Cannes-based restaurateurs David and Fanny Rolland, this mega-brasserie fills one of the oldest buildings in Downtown’s Historic Core and will feature multiple skylights, several grand entrances, a mezzanine level, lounge, outdoor patio and sprawling kitchen that will serve up to 400 people — even bigger than Bottega Louie. Along with it is a marketplace with products and art from France. Click on the website for a snazzy video. Opening date: September/October (420 S. Spring St.).

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Spring: Yassmin Sarmadi and Michelin-starred Tony Esnault, owner and executive chef of Church & State, respectively, will finally debut their French-focused restaurant in the Douglas Building on Spring and Third streets Downtown this summer. The foliage-filled dining room, which has been a couple of years in the making, will have a gorgeous glass and steel skylight, the perfect setting for Esnault’sFrench-Mediterranean fare. Opening date: October (257 S. Spring St.).

Arts District Brewing Company: This new brewpub concept from Cedd Moses’ 213 Hospitality group lands in the Arts District, and it will be massive: 258 seats, an outdoor seating area plus a rooftop, and Skee-Ball lanes. More than half the place will be dedicated to a brewery and the kitchen, but details are still scarce on what we’ll be drinking and eating. Opening date: Sometime this fall (830 Traction Ave.).

The Rose: A huge undertaking by Bill Chait’s Sprout restaurant group and chef Jason Neroni (Catch & Release), this multifaceted concept will replace the long-standing Rose Cafe in Venice. It will have everything: a full-fledged bakery; hot and cold deli cases; a huge dining room and patio; a 40-foot bar and Julian Cox cocktails; and there’s talk of a biergarten with kebabs and sausages in the parking lot.Opening date: End of September (220 Rose Ave.).

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Salt’s Cure: Chris Phelps and Zak Walters, chefs and co-owners of Salt’s Cure in West Hollywood, are moving into the former Ammo space on Highland Avenue. They’ve been cooking up fantastic breakfasts, lots of bacon and wine-friendly dinners for the last five years on Santa Monica Boulevard, and the move will give them a larger dining room, add a patio and allow for cocktail service. The original restaurant will remain open until the new one is ready. Opening date: Late September/early October (1155 N. Highland Blvd.).

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Pok Pok LA: After all the hubbub surrounding Pok Pok Phat Thai opening at the Far East Plaza — we’re not really sure the crowds have ever died down — the second of chef Andy Ricker’s two Pok Pokconcepts is slated to open in the former Fu Ling space in Chinatown’s Mandarin Plaza. The two-story space will have a lounge and courtyard seating, with a menu similar to Ricker’s Portland restaurants,Pok Pok PDX and Whiskey Soda Lounge. Opening date: October-ish (970 Broadway).

Knead & Company Pasta Bar and Market: There is a lot happening at the Grand Central Market this fall. First up, Union chef Bruce Kalman brings his handmade pastas Downtown with Knead & Co​. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, it will feature a 16-seat bar overlooking an open kitchen and a “pasta lab” where passersby and diners can watch freshly rolled and extruded pasta being made throughout the day. The menu will offer a mix of elevated Italian-American dishes that nod to Kalman’s East Coast roots (think baked ziti and spaghetti Bolognese) and more creative dishes akin to what you’d find at Union, like pappardelle with rabbit sugo, all made with freshly milled flours from purveyors like Pasadena’s Grist & Toll. There will also be made-to-order panini, fresh pasta salads and sides, and housemade meatballs and sausages. Beer and wine will be available, and Kalman will be making classic Italian desserts like cannoli designed to grab and go. In addition to seated dining, there will be a small marketplace for fresh pastas; sauces, cheeses and butter all made in-house; Kalman’s legendary gardiniere; and, an array of local and imported specialty goods. Opening date: September/October (317 S. Broadway).

Vegan Ramen Shop: Chef Ilan Hall of The Gorbals will open LA’s first all-vegan ramen and pho at Grand Central Market. The menu will read like a love letter to vegetables, with entrees such as Khop Ramen, made with doenjang broth, curry-roasted celeriac, kimchi; and pho-ginger-onion broth with rice noodles, lime, basil, cilantro and smoked tofu. Every ramen dish will also have a gluten-free option. Opening date: Early fall (317 S. Broadway).

Courage & the Craft: Also coming to the Grand Central Market is this boutique spirits, wine and beer shop, which is to focus on all aspects of the art of crafting cocktails. From Bestia bar program director Nicholas Krok and bar manager Ryan Duffy, the small space next to Eggslut will feature handmade spirits, syrups, bitters, bar utensils, recipes and more. Opening date: Late fall (317 S. Broadway).

Golden Road at Grand Central Market: If you though some of the Grand Central Market vendors selling beer and wine was great, wait until Golden Road Brewing debuts its tasting bar in the market. In addition to 20 beers on tap, pierogi will be a staple on the menu. Opening date: Late fall (317 S. Broadway).

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Moruno and Bar Vermut: Two Osteria Mozza alums, general manager David Rosoff and chef de cuisine Chris Feldmeier, already opened a take-out window for their Spanish kebabs and sandwiches, which is a placeholder until the full restaurant and bar in the multilevel Short Order space at the Original Farmers Market opens. Based on Spanish snacks called morunos, or little skewers of pork or lamb cooked over a fire, Moruno will be on the first floor, with Bar Vermut, which specializes in vermouth and conservas, upstairs. The duo also plan a similar Spanish bar concept at the Grand Central Market for the fall.Opening date: Sometime this fall (6333 W. Third St.).

Blue Star Donuts: In even more donut news, Portland’s famous gourmet outfit will bring famous donut flavors like blueberry bourbon basil, hard apple cider fritters and Cointreau crème brûlée to Venice. They’ll also have Stumptown coffee and Steve Smith teas to sober you up. Opening date: Sometime this fall (1142 Abbot Kinney Blvd.).

Eater LA says our olive oil cake is “Mind-Blowing”

August 19, 2015

Thank you to LA.Eater.com for featuring our desert as one of their “Mind-Blowing 19”! This is also the desert that won us round one of “Best New Restaurant“. Come in tonight and let us blow your mind. You can read the article in its entirety at this link, or see Union’s feature below.

19 Mind-Blowing Signature Desserts in Los Angeles

Matthew Kang on Aug 18, 2015

19 Olive Oil Cake at Union Restaurant
The dense olive oil cake at this small Pasadena restaurant is the thing to order at the end of the meal. Presented warm and with a side of salted honeycomb gelato, it’s a pretty massive serving, so save room.

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[Photo: Yelp]

Chef Kalman cooking at 2015 LA Love Alex’s Lemonade

August 17, 2015

Join Chef Kalman and over a hundred other chefs, vintners and mixologists on
Saturday, September 12 12pm–4pm (Program will start at 1:30pm) in Royce Quad @ the University of California Los Angeles, CA 90095 for the annual fundraising event L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade which raises money to fight childhood cancer.
 

All info and ticket information can be found at their website by clicking here.

 
From www.alexslemonade.org
 
Decadent and delicious, L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade brings superstar chefs and mixologists from across the country to Los Angeles to lend their support to ALSF and the fight against childhood cancer. Join us!
 
Each chef and mixologist prepares a signature dish for guests to sample. Guests have the opportunity to taste incredible fare and meet and even chat with the chefs who prepared it.
 
L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade is hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, AOC, Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat). The event has raised over $2.2 million to fund childhood cancer research, raising more than $700,000 at the 2014 event alone.
 
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MEET THE CHEFS, MIXOLOGISTS AND VINTNERS
 
2015 CHEFS
 
John Besh (New Orleans, LA) – Besh Restaurant Group
Chris Bianco (Phoenix, AZ) – Pizzeria Bianco, Pane Bianco, Bar Bianco
Micah Camden and Katie Poppe (Los Angeles, CA) – Blue Star Donuts
Roy Choi (Los Angeles, CA) – Kogi BBQ
Michael Cimarusti & Tristan Aitchinson (Los Angeles, CA) – Connie & Ted’s, Providence
Scott Conant & Freddy Vargas (Los Angeles, CA) – Scarpetta
Dominique Crenn (San Francisco, CA) – Atelier Crenn
Giada De Laurentiis (Las Vegas, NV) – Giada Vegas
Eva Ein (Los Angeles, CA) – McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams
Ray England & Shannon Swindle (Los Angeles, CA) – craft
Tony Esnault (Los Angeles, CA)- Church & State Bistro
Susan Feniger (Los Angeles, CA) – Mud Hen Tavern
Michael Fiorelli & Rebecca Merhej – (Los Angeles, CA) – Love & Salt
Benjamin Ford (Los Angeles, CA) – Ford’s Filling Station
Jeremy Fox (Los Angeles, CA) – Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen
Neal Fraser (Los Angeles, CA) – redbird, BLD, ICDC, Fritzi dog
Ray Garcia (Los Angeles, CA) – Broken Spanish
Suzanne Goin & Amy Deaderick (Los Angeles, CA) – Lucques, Tavern
Hedy Goldsmith (Los Angeles, CA) – Sweet Hedy, Inc.
Valerie Gordon (Los Angeles, CA) – Valerie Confections
Cosmo Goss (Chicago, IL)- The Publican
Jonathan Grahm (Los Angeles, CA) – Compartés Chocolatier
Lauren Herman (Los Angeles, CA) – a.o.c.
Maria Hines (Seattle, WA) – Tilth, Golden Beetle, Agrodolce
Bruce Kalman (Los Angeles, CA) – Union, Amano Pasta Bar & Market
Anthony Keene (Los Angeles, CA)- The London West Hollywood
Brandon Kida (Los Angeles, CA) – Hinoki and the Bird
Adam Perry Lang (New York, NY + Los Angeles, CA) – Serious BBQ
Ludo Lefebvre (Los Angeles, CA) – Trois Mec
David LeFevre (Manhattan Beach, CA) – Manhattan Beach Post, Fishing with Dynamite, The Arthur J
David Lentz (Los Angeles, CA) – The Hungry Cat
Donald Link (New Orleans, LA) – peche, Herbsaint, Cochan, Cochan, Butcher
Jenn Louis (Portland, OR) – Lincoln Restaurant, Sunshine Tavern
Tyler Malek (Los Angeles, CA) – Salt & Straw
Mary Sue Milliken (Los Angeles, CA) – Border Grill
Zoe Nathan (Los Angeles, CA) – Huckleberry Café and Bakery
Nancy Oakes & Dana Younkin (San Francisco, CA) – Boulevard Restaurant
Lanchlan Mackinnon-Patterson (Boulder, CO) – Frasca Food & Wine
Chris Phelps & Zak Walters (Los Angeles, CA)- Salt’s Cure
Steve Samson (Los Angeles, CA) – Sotto
Michael Schwartz (Miami, FL) – Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, The Cyprus, Harry’s Pizzeria
Mindy Segal (Chicago, IL) – Hot Chocolate
Nancy Silverton (Los Angeles, CA) – Mozza Restaurant Group
Jonathan Sundstrom (Seattle, WA) – Lark, Bitter/Raw, Slab Sandwiches & Pie
Suzanne Tracht (Los Angeles, CA) – Jar
Marc Vetri & Jeff Michaud (Philadelphia, PA) – Vetri
Michael Voltaggio (Los Angeles, CA) – ink
Rocco Whalen (Cleveland, OH) – Fahrenheit Charlotte
Jason Winters (Los Angeles, CA) – Urban Pie
Kris Yenbamroong (Los Angeles, CA)- Night + Market
Johnny Yoo (Los Angeles, CA) – A-Frame
Shiho Yoshikawa (Santa Monica, CA) – Sweet Rose Creamery
 
2015 MIXOLOGISTS
 
Eric Alperin (Los Angeles, CA) – The Varnish
Neal Bodenheimer (New Orleans, LA)- Cure
Dona Bridges (Los Angeles, CA) – The Hungry Cat
Martin Daraz (Los Angeles, CA) – Highland Park
Beau du Bois (Los Angeles, CA) – The Corner Door
Jeremy Lake (Buellton, CA) – Ascendant Spirits
Christiaan Rollich & Ignatio Murillo (Los Angeles, CA)- Lucques , a.o.c., Tavern
Marcos Tello & Aidan Demarest (Santa Monica, CA) – El Silencio
 
2015 VINTNERS
 
Matt Ahern – Next Generation Wine Co.
Anthony Anselmi – The Rare Wine Co.
Michael Bassler – North Berkley Wine
John Bigelow – Indie Wineries
Jeff Boyer – Paul Hobbs Wines
Brittany Carlisi – Indigenous Selections
Amy Christine – Holus Bolus
Randy Clement – Silverlake Wine, Everson Royce, Silverlake Wine Arts District
Gregory Condes – Gregory Condes Wines
Tom Donegan- Hudson Wine
Patrick Dorsey – Langdon-Shiverick
Jamie Edlin – Hollywood and Wine
Jeff Fischer – Habit
Keith Fox – Grapevine Wine Co.
Dan Fredman – Trombetta Family Wines
Sandy Garber – Garber & Co., A Wine Company
Steve Greer – Springboard Wine Company
Christina Hammond – Red Car Wine Co.
Gray Hartley & Frank Ostini – Hitching Post Wines
Jared Heber – Quality Wine
Tom Hunter- Revel Wine
Kimberly Jones- Kimberly Jones Selections
Christopher Keller – Emanuel Tres Wines
Joshua Klapper – La Fenetre Wines
Raphael Knapp- Return to Terrior- natural wines
Jim Knight – The Winehouse
Claude Koeberle – Soliste Winery
Seth Kunin – Kunin Wines
Rick Margaritov – George Wine Co.
Andrew Marini – SCRIBE Winery, Sonoma, CA
Chad Melville – Melville Winery, Samsara
Roger Morrison – Jardesca
Rajat Parr- Domaine de la Cote, Seven Springs, Sandhi
Eric Railsback – Lieu Dit Winery
Patti Rogers – Martian Ranch & Vineyard, Los Alamos, CA
Josh Rosenstein – Hoxie Spritzer
Hope Shiverick – The Henry Wine Group
Tracey and John Skupny – Lang & Reed Wine Company
Ernst Storm- Storm Wines
Katherine Strange – Strange Wines
Bobby Stuckey – Scarpetta Wine
Alexander Stuempfig – European Cellars
Rebecca Taggart – Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Cindy Wenzlau – Wenzlau Vineyard
Drake Whitcraft – Whitcraft Winery
David Wiater – Cellar Door Wine Selections
Justin Willett – Tyler Winery

Chef Kalman cooking for LA Food & Wine Event

August 12, 2015

Join Chef Kalman for a special event lunch as a part of the 5th annual Food & Wine Event. Space is limited, so reserve your tickets today!
 

Click here for tickets

 
From www.lafw.com
 
Cuisine and culture collide this August 22-25 as the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival brings some of the most celebrated culinary talent in the country together for a four day, city-wide, epicurean extravaganza. The weekend’s festivities offer guests the chance to sample the cuisines and products from some of the most prominent epicurean influencers, while enjoying the sights and sounds of the entertainment industry’s brightest talents during live culinary demonstrations, world-class wine and spirit tastings, strolling marquee events, one-of-a-kind lunches, two Lexus Grand Tastings, book signings, after parties and much more.
 

Now in its fifth year, the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival is a four-day epicurean event showcasing the finest in food and drink culture throughout Los Angeles, and culinary personalities from throughout the country. – Average Socialite

 

The Union Lunch with Bruce Kalman and John Tesar

 
Friday 8/28 12:00pm – 2:30pm
Chef Bruce Kalman’s Union Restaurant in Pasadena describes itself as a “an intimate neighborhood restaurant that brings the farmer and guest together to celebrate the simplicity of ingredients.” Dallas , Texas Chef John Tesar, of Knife, is known for being “Committed to using the finest quality ingredients with true Texas roots and making all of their pasta in-house” , just as Chef Kalman does at Union. A more synergistic duo in the kitchen you’ll not find and both of them are nothing but fun, fun, fun as well.
 
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Our new Pasta Bar “Knead & Co” official open announced

August 10, 2015

Big fall openings set for Grand Central Market in downtown L.A.


 
By RUSS PARSONS – Aug 7, 2015 / Los Angeles Times
 
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Bruce Kalman’s pasta dishes are coming to the Grand Central Market. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)
 
Life does not stand still at the Grand Central Market.
 
Four new projects and one major remodel are scheduled for fall. And that comes after a summer that saw the opening of falafel stand Madcapra, Mark Peel’s Bombo and the popular La Tostaderia. That’s in addition to the spiffy makeover of old guard candy store La Huerta, purveyors of candied camote and membrillo as well as dried fruits, nuts and brightly colored sweets.
 
First up is going to be Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market, by Bruce Kalman and Marie Petulla, the team behind Pasadena’s Union restaurant. They’re going local and sustainable with this venture, making their own pasta, much of it with flour ground by Pasadena’s Grist & Toll from locally grown wheat.
 
“We’re going to have a real mix of things,” Kalman says. “Some of it will be very accessible — spaghetti and meatballs, just tossed in sauce, baked ziti, dishes that are simple, classic.
 
“Then there will be a good mix of the kinds of things we do at Union, like the pappardelle with rabbit sugo. We may have just spaghetti with butter and Parmigiano, but it will be made with handmade spaghetti from local wheat.”
 
Knead will be along the market’s south wall, next to where the old liquor store was. Kalman says it should be open by mid-October at the latest, possibly as early as late September.
 
Next door to Knead will the as-yet-unnamed vegan ramen and pho shop from “Top Chef” competitor and former Gorbal’s chef Ilan Hall. It’s also scheduled to open sometime this fall.
 
Other openings before the end of the year should include Golden Road Brewing’s brewpub, boutique cocktail store Courage and Craft from Bestia’s Nicholas Krok and Ryan Duffy, and Spanish snack stand Bar Moruno from Mozza alums David Rosoff and Chris Feldmeier. Popular G&B Coffee is also in the middle of a major remodel.
 
“Things just keep moving,” says market spokesperson Jim Yeager. “Pretty soon the evening hours are going to get more robust. That will help make this a bona fide dinner destination.
 
“We’re constantly making refurbishments to the place. People ask when it’s going to end; it’s never going to end. The speed and number will slow down, but not in the foreseeable future.”

Union loves Santa Monica Farmers Market

August 6, 2015

Did you know that it’s national farmers market week? We love our local markets and you can find us every week picking up the flavors that will inspire Chef Kalman to bring you some of your favorite dishes.
 
The Santa Monica Farmers Market has been nominated by USA Today as one of the top farmers markets in the US.  Please vote by following the link below – and note that you are allowed to vote daily!  Voting goes until August 17th. With your help, they have a good chance of winning, so thank you in advance.  And please be sure to share!

Vote at this link!

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You guys know we love Weiser Family Farms. Please meet Sir Sid Weiser, the man who started it all. He’s got an amazing variety of eggplants this week.
 
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We picked up some Shoshito peppers…
 
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Melons..
 
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and lots of fingerling potatoes for Chef’s Gnocchi.
 
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Over at Wild and Local Seafood, Captain Ben had something special set aside for us… this giant, 42 lbs sea bass. Karl, our line cook, could have waltzed with him. This fish was caught only two days ago off the coast of the Channel Islands. Who’s coming in for fish tonight?!
 
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From our friends over at Tenerelli Farms...
 
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We’re picking up our peaches and nectarines, which they have for days. And boy are they sweet.
 
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These beautiful, plump blackberries are from 2 Peas In a Pod Farms where they’ve got berries for days. And they taste just as good as they look.
 
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Our friends at Schaner Farms provide us with a lot of our herbs including basil, and lemon Verbena which our man, Dan is modeling for us here. You can smell the fragrance on these herbs before you see them.
 
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These Schaner Cipollini onions will get used in the gnocchi and the risotto.
 
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Munak Farms is providing us with these green zebra tomatoes that will become the caprese salad. Aren’t they beautiful?
 
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At Coleman Farms we picked up a giant sack of these beautiful radicchio which will be used with our nectarine dish.
 
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Dan gets to pick the table flowers. Today he’s getting sunflowers from McGrath Family Farms and these Craspedia blooms, chosen because of their sunny disposition and because they last forever.
 
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“Fresh, local, sustainable, flavorful, and handcrafted”

July 30, 2015

A big thank you to The Examiner for highlighting more of Chef Kalman’s artful cuisine. But why just take their word for it? Make a reservation for yourself and get in here!

LA Chef Bruce Kalman’s Cresta Di Gallo w Santa Barbara squid at Union Restaurant

July 23, 2015
Stephen Zwick

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(Cresta Di Gallo, Santa Barbara squid, lipstick peppers, pesto Di rucola, smoked almonds @unionpasadena @wildlocalseafoodco. Image courtesy of SHGfoto)

Earlier in July of this year at Union Restaurant in Pasadena, Chef Bruce Kalman put the “Cresta Di Gallo, Santa Barbara squid, lipstick peppers, pesto Di rucola, smoked almonds” on the restaurant’s menu. Explaining his inspiration for this dish Kalman noted, “I love the shape of the pasta. It’s interesting with varying textures that make it fun to eat. It kind of resembles tentacles, so I felt it would pair well with squid, and sweet lipstick peppers as well as a spicy, nutty pesto to balance the dish nicely.”

All of the ingredients in this dish are seasonal and locally sourced through a few different farms for the produce, Captain Ben at Wild Local Seafood Co for the squid, and Grist & Toll for the freshly milled flour for the pasta. All of these fresh ingredients are at peak flavor, especially the fresh squid. There is a huge difference in flavor and texture between fresh and frozen squid.

Regarding this squid, Captain Ben stated, “The problem with local squid is that a majority of it is shipped out of our country because the processing facilities in Southeast Asia and other countries are so cheap. So you can put it on a truck, put it onto a big cargo ship, ship it across the Pacific, clean it and send it back here, still call it US squid and then that squid is still cheaper than if you processed it here. That’s the frozen squid that you see sold here.”

Kalman’s chose to plate the dish simply, and rustic. Kalman concluded, “This dish really embodies our ethos at Union: fresh, local, sustainable, flavorful, and handcrafted. To try this dish or any other currently on the menu at Pasadena please make a reservation via Rezy on Union’s website. Union is located at 37 E. Union Street in Pasadena. They are open weekdays 5 PM to 11 PM and on weekends 4 PM to 11 PM. To keep up with the latest Union information, please also follow Union on Instagram and twitter.

Chef Kalman cooks for Special Olympics

July 26, 2015

Want to support the Special Olympics? Find out more at this link.

California Farmers and Chefs Welcome the World to Los Angeles for the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015

 
July 16, 2015 7:16 am by: Staff Report
 
California farmers and chefs will celebrate the 2015 Special Olympics World Games (LA2015) by feeding more than 5,000 family members of competing World Games athletes and their special guests at a giant “Picnic in the Park” reception, presented by the County of Los Angeles in downtown Los Angeles at Grand Park on Tuesday, July 28 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm PST. This invitation-only event will feature entertainment and presentations by the County and City of Los Angeles and local dignitaries.
 
Eleven celebrated California chefs are pairing with California farmers who are donating their time and talent to support this historic event paying tribute to the family members of the competing athletes. A distinguishing characteristic of the Special Olympics World Games is the Families Program, which honors the family members of the competing athletes to recognize their support, encouragement, dedication and sacrifice in helping their athletes reach the pinnacle of competition in the 2015 World Games.
 
California chefs Suzanne Goin (Lucques, AOC, Tavern), Neal Fraser (Redbird, BLD, ICDC, Fritzi Dog), Susan Feniger(Border Grill), Brian Dunsmoor (The Hatchet Hall), Bruce Kalman (Union), Sal Marino (Il Grano), Nick Shipp(Upper West),Tim Kilcoyne (Scratch), Corina Weibel (Canele), Valerie Gordon (Valerie Confections) and Jason Prendergast (Tender Greens), will be paired with California farmers including Weiser Family Farm, McGrath Family Farms, Tamai Farms, Tutti Frutti Farm, Coleman Family Farm, Windrose Farm, J.J.’s Lone Daughter Ranch, Drake Family Farm, Roan Mills, Peter Schaner Farm and Valdivia Farm to offer tastes of California’s best seasonal produce. The Santa Monica Farmers Market, a well-known location where chefs and farmers meet each week, is helping to organize the farmer/chef tasting portion of the families’ reception.
 
“We are so grateful to the County of Los Angeles and these renowned chefs and farms for their support of this endeavor as we celebrate the family members of the 6,500 athletes that will compete in these World Games,” said Jeff Carr, Chief Operating Officer of LA2015, the World Games Organizing Committee. “We look forward to showcasing the outstanding restaurants and businesses that make Los Angeles, and this state, such a world-class destination. We also appreciate the motion being put forward by Supervisor Don Knabe and its overwhelming support by all Los Angeles County Supervisors to make this event possible.”
 
Also, in a first-time collaboration, LA Kitchen and its Empower LA Initiative, which provides job training, mentoring and a career path to youth and adults will inaugurate their new Highland Park kitchen by having food worker trainees and volunteers prepare a summer fruit salad for over 5,000 people, using donated produce collected by Food Forward, the local non-profit produce recovery organization that gleans produce from farmers markets, backyards, and the wholesale produce market. The reception will also feature a picnic style boxed meal to add to the “Picnic in the Park” feel. To sweeten the experience, Sprinkles Cupcakes will contribute more than 2,000 cupcakes to the event and local favoriteMabel’s will provide samples of their famous chicken and waffles.
 
The picnic follows a spectacular Opening Ceremony at the Los Angeles Coliseum on July 25th, which will be broadcast to the world on ESPN and officially open the Games. Eight days of competition will follow as Special Olympics athletes with intellectual disabilities demonstrate their extraordinary talents in 25 sports competitions at venues throughout the Los Angeles area.
 
To learn more about the LA2015 World Games and to purchase tickets to Opening Ceremony on July 25, visit www.LA2015.org.
 

The chef of Union uses produce many would simply throw away

July 24, 2015

Thank you to SmallBizTrends.com for highlighting Chef Kalman’s dedication to eliminating food waste. You can meet Chef Kalman at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market this Sunday (7/26 from 9:30am – noon) and learn how to turn your food waste into pickles!!!
 
Please enjoy the full feature below or read it in its entirety at this link.
 

Chef Creates a Sustainable Menu Using Food Waste

 
Jul 23, 2015 by Annie Pilon
 
union
(Pic by Marie Buck Photography)
 
Where most people would see cauliflower leaves and the tops of carrots as garbage, Bruce Kalman sees ingredients to actual meals.
 
The chef of Union in Pasadena uses these ingredients, along with other produce items that many would simply throw away, in juices, sauces and garnishes.
 
So instead of creating compost, Kalman creates summer sorbet using fennel stalks and adds a textural element to salads using cauliflower stalks. He told Mashable:

“We have a responsibility as chefs to make food that people want to eat, but also that’s sustainable. Cooking this way has really opened my mind up creatively, and is making me look at these wasted foods in a different way.”

 
So not only is Kalman saving money and helping the environment by not wasting ingredients, he is also forcing himself to create unique and interesting dishes.
 
There are plenty of restaurants where people can go to get food made with fresh ingredients. But there aren’t as many places that use all parts of their produce in dishes.
 
That type of creativity and the unique nature of the dishes could just be enough to draw in some curious or adventurous diners. And of course, those who are interested in environmental issues could also like the idea of dining at a restaurant that doesn’t create much food waste in its process.
 
But while those aspects are certainly helpful, they won’t necessarily lead to long term success. Restaurants don’t usually survive on gimmicks that just get people through the door. If Kalman wants Union to thrive long term, he’ll have to ensure that the meals are satisfactory in terms of both taste and quality.
 
But for a chef who enjoys the challenge of creating unique dishes out of items that most would throw away, creating enjoyable meals should be relatively easy.

crEATe pop-up series

July 23, 2015

Please join us for the crEATe: Food/Art/Community series by Sustainable Kitchen and My Hungry Monster on Sunday, July 26 at 9:30am – 12:00pm
 
at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market
1600 Ivar Ave, Los Angeles, California 90028
 
Chef Kalman, a sustainability advocate, and artist Pou have collaborated on a “Garbagiere” Pickle and collectable recipe card with the goal of inspiring you to turn your awareness about food waste into action. They will be handing out ‘tastes’ and the cards at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market and will be joined by Food Forward, who will share more ways you can help and great volunteering opportunities.
 
Come meet the chef, artist and Food Forward. Learn what you can do to help end Food Waste.
 
This event is free and open to the public.
 
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Please enjoy the card that they will be giving out below.
 

Food Waste “Garbagiere”

 
YIELD: 2 qt
 
SHELF-LIFE: 6 months

 
INGREDIENTS:
For the pickled serranos:
½ lb Serrano chiles, stems removed
2 qt distilled white vinegar
3 ¾ oz granulated sugar
1 ¾ oz Hepps ocean salt
 
PROCEDURE:
In a nonreactive pot, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt and heat to dissolve the sugar and salt completely, bring to a boil
add the serranos and cook until all the chiles are pale green; remove from the heat and transfer to a plastic cambro
Allow to cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate; allow to brine until soft; strain the brine from the chiles
 
INGREDIENTS:
all pickled serranos, cut in ¾” lengths, and all of the brine
10 oz red bell peppers, stems and seeds removed, 1” dice
½ lb cauliflower leaves, cut in small pieces
1 lb cauliflower core, thin slices
½ lb swiss chard stems, sliced ¼” thick
¾ lb celery tops and leaves, sliced thin
½ lb fennel tops, slice thin, across the grain
3 Tbls garlic, chopped fine
1 Tbls yellow mustard seed
1 Tbls dried oregano
1 ½ C olive oil blend 90/10
 
PROCEDURE:
Fill containers with product and heat the brine to a temperature between 190F and 200F
Fill with hot brine, secure the lids and cool at room temperature overnight
 

Where Hollywood VIPs (Really) Take Their Out-of-Town Guests

July 22, 2015

It’s an honor to be on this list. Thank you to Mark Pedowitz and The Hollywood Reporter! You can see the full feature at this link or read below.
 

Beyond Disneyland: Where Hollywood VIPs (Really) Take Their Out-of-Town Guests

by Sharon Swart 6/29/2015
 
LAHangouts
(Illustration by: Zoe More O’Ferrall)
 
Studio heads, showrunners and producers on favorite spots, whether it’s drinking at Hotel Bel-Air, smoking at Grand Havana Room or gorging on meat at Chosun Galbe.
(This story first appeared in the July 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.)
 
A. “Inevitably, I’ll take my guests to one of the two Greek restaurants: Petros in Manhattan Beach, my best-kept secret, and Taverna Tony in Malibu. I usually order off the menu. Tony always finds me a fresh piece of fish.” — Jim Gianopulos, Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman and CEO
 
B. “If my guests have kids: paddleboarding in Malibu.” — Steve Levitan, Modern Family co-creator
 
C. “Out-of-towners always want to go to the beach. For the more adventurous, Neptune’s Net in Malibu is a great collision of biker and surfer culture. You pick out your lobster, sit down and eat it with a plastic fork with a bunch of bikers.” — Gianopulos
 
D. “Rent bikes in Venice and ride up to Patrick’s Roadhouse in Santa Monica for banana cream pie, with a stop near Santa Monica Pier at the kids’ park in the sand with gym bars at kid height.” — Liesl Copland, WME agent
 
E. For a drink, Hotel Bel-Air: “I live down the block. It’s the watering hole!” — Jon Feltheimer, Lionsgate co-chairman and CEO
 
F. “I take visitors to Chateau Marmont. It’s a throwback to the glamour days of Hollywood. It has character, an edge and it must be haunted.” — Chris McGurk, Cinedigm chairman and CEO
 
G. “The Georgian Hotel in downtown Santa Monica has a great mix of friendliness and old-school charm.” — Ron Yerxa, The Leftovers and Nebraska producer
 
H. “Montage Hotel is great for kids, but nothing beats the Hotel Bel-Air for couples.” — Wyck Godfrey, producer
 
I. “Soho House for the view and the celebrity spotting that out-of-town visitors love. Also: LACMA and Getty Museum.” — Levitan
 
J. “When people come from a smoking culture and are looking for a late-night smoke: Grand Havana Room in Beverly Hills. Or take them on a boat and go 3 miles offshore.” — Gianopulos
 
K. “I like to send people to Musso & Frank for the Hollywood Boulevard scene.” — Yerxa
 
L. “We drive out-of-town guests down Mulholland for spectacular views of Hollywood and downtown and then wind up under the Hollywood sign. Then we drive along the Universal backlot where you have a view of Norman Bates’ house and the War of the Worlds plane crash. And Universal Studios, of course.” — Bela Bejaria, Universal Television president
 
M. “Griffith Observatory is an obvious L.A. gem that combines hiking, culture and a museum.” — Brian Medavoy, talent manager at More/Medavoy
 
N. “I take older kids to Indian Alley [on Werdin Place], a mural-bedecked mecca for street artists, including Shepard Fairey. It used to be where Native Americans could find refuge and detox help. L.A. had a big Native American population, so we can talk about that and the art. It’s the L.A. nobody ever sees.” — Daniela Amavia, director of A Beautiful Now, premiering at the L.A. Film Fest
 
O. “Either Bistro 45 or Union.” — Mark Pedowitz, The CW president
 
P. “Huntington Gardens [south of Pasadena] has a water area, which my kids really liked when they were younger, and it serves a wonderful tea there.” — Alix Madigan, Anonymous Content producer
 
R. “For guests, Petit Ermitage Hotel or San Vicente Bungalows. I take kids to the Sunset Tower Hotel terrace for awesome sundaes; it’s not kid obvious.” — Peter Goldwyn, Samuel Goldwyn Films head (his brother-in-law is Jeff Klein, who owns the Bungalows and Sunset Tower)
 
S. “Chosun Galbee in Koreatown for Korean BBQ.” — April Lim, Global Artists agent
 
T. “An oldie but goodie: Taylor’s Steak House in Koreatown for a funky L.A. old-school place. Get the Kansas City Sirloin medium rare with creamed spinach and a baked potato.” — Godfrey
 
U. “Redbird” in the restored old St. Vibiana rectory and the revitalized “Grand Central Market” with its dozens of eateries (including Tacos Tumbras a Tomas and food truck Eggslut). — Marsha Oglesby, Indigenous Media executive vp development
 
V. “The Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica is free but with a private-club feel.” — Amy Berg, director of the upcoming documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue
 
W. “Hotel Casa Del Mar is a great spot for putting people up; there is just energy there. There’s the most amazing lobby and a piano bar and restaurant nestled at the back. And the rooms on the fifth floor adjoin the pool area, so it feels right in your backyard.” — Medavoy
 
X. “A post-Gjelina-brunch stroll down Abbot Kinney.” — Adam Stotsky, Esquire Network president and E! Entertainment GM
 
Y. “The Lobster, a seafood restaurant at Santa Monica Pier, because the food is great and one look out the window puts you firmly in Southern California.” — Nancy Utley, Fox Searchlight president
 
Z. “For an offbeat side trip, Medieval Times in Buena Park. It has great performances and horses — the crowds are really into it. I love taking people there. My husband is mortified that I recommend it, as it’s super-kitschy, but my kids and I always have fun there.” — Madigan

A really flavorful, slightly oily fish with earthy grains

July 21, 2015

Thank you to the Examiner for highlighting this beautiful seasonal dish by Chef Kalman. Please enjoy the full article at this link or read it below.
 

LA Chef Bruce Kalman’s Wild pacific sea bass at Union Restaurant

 
July 18, 2015
 
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(Wild Pacific Sea Bass, heirloom grains, smoked almond romesco, charred baby leeks. Image courtesy of SHGfoto)
 
Earlier in July of this year at Union Restaurant in Pasadena, Chef Bruce Kalman put the “Wild Pacific Sea Bass, heirloom grains, smoked almond romesco, charred baby leeks” dish on the restaurant’s menu. The inspiration behind this dish is what Kalman thought would pair really well together: A really flavorful, slightly oily fish with earthy grains and some Spanish influence of the charred onions and romesco.
 
The wild sea bass is sourced from Captain Ben at Wild Local Seafood Co while the almonds are from Fat Uncle Farms, the grains are from Grist & Toll, and the baby leeks and bell peppers are from Thao Farms. Like all of the other fish provided by Captain Ben at Wild Local Seafood, the sea bass is caught with a hook and line sustainably and locally off the coast of California.
 
(Interesting side note, bass is a generic term used for a number of different fish species some of which are bass, and some of which are not. Pacific bass, also known as white sea bass, is actually a croaker. This fish was severely overfished, but starting in the 1980’s was restored by an extensive hatchery breeding program by Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UC San Diego) and HUBBS- Seaworld Research Institute. Hatchlings born in captivity have been released at ten inches of length into the ocean to breed and rebuild populations so successfully that the fish is again plentiful and listed as a “best choice” by Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch).
 
In making this dish Chef Kalman noted, “I was taught the best way to cook fish is skin on all the way through skin side down on one side, completely rendering the moisture out of the skin so the skin is crispy. We then baste the meat side of the fish with butter, herbs and lemon peels to finish cooking it through. The end result is a delicate fillet of fish with really crispy skin.”
 
Kalman’s chose to plate the dish simply in a rustic yet still modern presentation. As with all the food served at Union, almost all ingredients are locally sourced, responsibly raised/handled and sustainable. To try this dish or any other item currently on the menu at Pasadena please make a reservation via Resy on Union’s website. Union is located at 37 E. Union Street in Pasadena. The restaurant is open weekdays 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM and on weekends 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM. To keep up with the latest Union information, please also follow Union’s accounts on Instagram and twitter.

Oprah Winfrey Show says Bianco has best pizza in America and we’ve got Bianco!

July 17, 2015

Enjoy this Oprah segment wherein Gayle King touts Chris Bianco’s Pizzeria Bianco as the best pizza in America.
 

Click here to see the full video at Oprah.com.

 
Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 11.18.54 AM
 

Phoenix a bit too far for you to get pizza? You’re in luck! We’ve got Chef Bianco cooking in house, **THIS MONDAY (7/20)**, for our SECOND GRAIN DINNER. It’s a special event that is not to be missed! See the full details below.

 
 
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WHAT:
On Monday, July 20th, Chef Bruce Kalman will be teaming up with Chris Bianco from the seminal Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix for a family-style, charitable dinner at Union Restaurant that pays tribute to the humble grain.
 
Guests of the dinner, which will commence at 6:30 pm for the evening’s single seating, will enjoy a shared meal of dishes that celebrate the bounty of California ingredients, including different grains that are locally-sourced and milled from Grist & Toll. The menu, which will be dictated by ingredients and produce procured that day, will be supplemented with wine pairings from Union’s Wine Director George Pitsironis.
 
Following the family-style feast, attendees will watch a partial screening of “The Grain Divide,” a documentary that explores and responds to growing concerns about modern wheat and grains amidst a landscape where the American staple has been villainized. A free link to the full documentary will be provided for diners to watch after the meal.
 
Proceeds from the $200 per person dinner will go toward Pasadena Community Gardens to help build the non-profit’s next garden.
 
WHEN:
Monday, July 20th
6:30 pm – Family-style dinner (One seating only)
8:30 pm – Screening of “The Grain Divide”
10:30 pm -Dinner to conclude
 
PRICE:
$200 per person (includes dinner, wine pairings and screening of “The Grain Divide” / tax + gratuity not included)
 
MENU:
Family-style presentations of antipasti, housemate charcuterie, grain salad, handmade pasta, a main course, and dessert utilizing ingredients sourced from Pasadena-based miller Grist & Toll and the local LA farmers’ market.
 
RESERVATIONS:
For reservations call (626) 795-5841.
 
WHERE:
Union Restaurant
37 E Union St., Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 795-5841
unionpasadena.com

Watch Chef Kalman’s Home & Family Segment

July 16, 2015

In the following segment from Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, Chef Kalman shows us all how to make his amazing Cavatelli Carbonara. If you’ve ever had this dish at Union, you know how amazing it is. Please feel free to watch as many times as your hunger allows.
 

“Parsley…. now it’s healthy” — Bruce Kalman

 

 
Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 9.35.40 AM

Categories: Press, Recipes

Chef Kalman on tomorrow’s Home & Family

July 14, 2015

Check out Hallmark’s Home & Family tomorrow at 10am Pacific Time to watch Chef Kalman make one of his signature dishes.
 
Check out Hallmark.com for their current list of shows and times.

HOME & FAMILY Weekdays 10a/9c

Coming Soon
Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
 
All New!
Actor, writer and producer Greg Poehler and costar Josephine Bornebusch (“Welcome to Sweden”) talk about the season premiere of their show; actress Beth Riesgraf (“Complications”) gives us a look at the upcoming season of her show; chef Bruce Kalman (“Chopped”) makes one of his signature dishes; Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans shares pool safety tips; great ideas to repurpose old children’s books; designer and author Lorna Jane Clarkson shares great ideas to keep you healthy and motived from her new book; DIY balloon art.
 
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PR_Portal_Slide_HomeAndFamily_600x600

“An evening fueled with delicious food”

July 13, 2015

Thank you to Pasadena Living for featuring our GRAIN DINNER! There are a few spots still available for this limited seating event. Make your reservation today. 626-795-5841
 

Taken With a Grain of Salt

Dispersing the myths about wheat and grain
From STAFF REPORTS
Friday, July 10, 2015
 
Union-Restaurant-Pasadena-7-10-2015
 
Low carb and no carb diets, gluten free foods… the diet and health trends come and go, but a popular thread seems to be telling us to take wheat and grain out of our diet. Why is that? What is it about grain that’s so controversial in the health world? Do we know enough about it, or are we allowing ourselves to be taken along this ride without ever knowing why? Popular eatery Union restaurant in Pasadena is holding their second annual Grain dinner to educate diners about the ancient but controversial ingredient. The dinner will be held Monday July 20th at 6.30 p.m. and will feature locally sourced grain along with other fresh, local ingredients. The meals will be created by ‘Rising Star Chef’ Chef Bruce Kalman and chef Chris Bianco from Phoenix’s Pizzeria Bianco. Chef Bruce Kalman has appeared on numerous local and national TV programmes including the Food Network, Bravo and Esquire network. Currently executive of the Union restaurant. Bruce is known for his simple approach to good food using fresh ingredients sourced from local farms. His restaurant, jointly owned by Marie Petulla, seats up to fifty people yet still allows diners the feeling of intimacy of a small restaurant. Both Bruce and Marie wanted a restaurant that served the community, showcasing local ingredients and serving it to local people. As well as an evening fuelled with delicious food, guests will be shown a short screening of the documentary ‘The Grain Divide.’ The film educates viewers about wheat and grain and deals with the growing trend of grain avoidance in food. Tickets for the dinner costs $200 and includes meal, wine and ‘The Grain Divide’ screening. To reserve your place, please call (626) 795-5841. All proceeds from the dinner will be going to The Pasadena Community Gardens. Union is located at 37 E. Union St., Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 795-5841 or visit www.unionpasadena.com.
 

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Stay calm and pickle on!

July 9, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 12.22.33 PM
 

Sunday, July 26 at 9:30am – 12:00pm

 
Hollywood Farmers’ Market
1600 Ivar Ave, Los Angeles, California 90028
 
Join chef Bruce Kalman (Union, Pasadena), graphic artist Pou Dimitrijevich, Food Forward and A Sustainable Kitchen at the Hollywood Farmers Market, Sunday July 26 as we take on the challenging theme FOOD WASTE/Starve the Landfills.
 
-Globally, from field to table, nearly a third of all food is wasted. In the U.S. its as much as 40%.
-Most of the wasted food ends up in landfills, rotting and creating methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
-Take note Dry California, nearly 25% of all fresh water consumed annually in the U.S. is associated with food waste.
-Most of the wasted food could feed people.
 
Although Food Waste is a massive global problem it is solvable. From pickling and preserving, composting, volunteering, to embracing ‘ugly fruit and veg’ and leftovers, there are so many simple things we can all do to help.
 
Chef Kalman, a sustainability advocate, and artist Pou have collaborated on a “Garbagiere” Pickle and collectable recipe card with the goal of inspiring you to turn your awareness into action. They will be handing out ‘tastes’ and the cards at the Hollywood Farmer’ Market and will be joined by Food Forward, who will share more ways you can help and great volunteering opportunities.
 
Come meet the chef, artist and Food Forward. Learn what you can do to help end Food Waste.
 
This event is free and open to the public.
 
STAY CALM AND PICKLE ON
is part of the series
crEATe:Food/Art/Community
presented by
A Sustainable Kitchen
 
See the full crEATe summer event schedule here.

Chef Kalman featured as leader in “Glam Garbage”

July 8, 2015

It’s no secret that Chef Kalman strives for the most sustainable ingredients possible when cooking at Union and now he’s being featured in this article on Mashable for his efforts to bring attention to large scale food waste. We’re so excited to be highlighted as a part of this ongoing global issue. Chef Kalman continues to inspire us every day!
 
You can read Mashable’s article in its entirety at this link or see the feature below.
 

Junk. Food.

by Kirsta Simmons
 
brucekalman-pesto-kristasimmons
 
LOS ANGELES, California — Today’s chefs are digging through Hefty bags for your next appetizer.
 
The idea of stretching ingredients is hardly new, but many chefs are testing even more extreme limits in an effort to avoid food waste. It’s gourmet junk food — and could already be at the tip of your fork.
 
In an attempt to reduce astronomical waste in the industry, leaders are applying innovative techniques to turn vegetable scraps and what’s known as “seconds” — produce that isn’t deemed visually fit for the market — into stunning meals.
 
And we’re not talking a tiny amount of trash. Author of American Wasteland Jonathan Bloom says there’s about a half-pound of food waste created per meal served in restaurants. Nonprofit End Food Waste Now estimates the average restaurant produces 150,000 pounds of garbage per year. France recently recognized the issue, requiring all edible food from supermarkets to be donated to charities rather than sent to the landfill.
 
There’s plenty of room for a new wave of impactful junk food. And this time it’s not just to save money; it’s political.
 
lovesaltpasta-ksimmons
(Tortelloni pasta made with parmesan rinds, prosciutto nubs and “ugly” pea tendrils, by Love & Salt Chef Michael Fiorelli. – KRISTA SIMMONS)
 
Dan Barber recently created a pop-up called Wasted in New York City, revolving around the concept. He invited 20 of the world’s top toques to collaborate on dishes with ingredients like skate cartilage, beef tallow, vegetable pulp and kale ribs — all typically throwaways.
 
Grant Achatz of the famed restaurant Alinea in Chicago plans to tackle similar issues with his new restaurant concept, Roister. He’ll use biofuels made from fruit and vegetable waste to create fire to cook new dishes.
 
The movement couldn’t come at a more experimental time for dining. Foodies are more open to eating off-cuts of meat once deemed peasant food, and root-to-stem fruits and vegetables.
 
brucekalman-kristasimmons
(Chef Bruce Kalman of Union restaurant, Pasadena, California. – KRISTA SIMMONS)
 
On the West Coast, Bruce Kalman of Union in Pasadena is playing with pickling, juicing, compound butter- and stock-making with what many would see as garbage. He juices items like the hulls of shelled peas and transforms them into bright sauces to accompany roasted porcini mushrooms. Cauliflower stems and leaves (which many culinary school schools still instruct to remove) are shaved thin on a mandolin and used as a textural balance in a cauliflower salad. And woodsy fennel stalks are juiced and frozen into a refreshing summer sorbet.
 
“We have a responsibility as chefs to make food that people want to eat, but also that’s sustainable,” says Kalman. “Cooking this way has really opened my mind up creatively, and is making me look at these wasted foods in a different way.”
 
Kalman suggests that guests can be inspired by these ideas at home, asking farmers at their local market for discounted “uglies” or “seconds” to make jams or pestos, and to look at the tops of beets and carrots as ingredients rather than compost, like he does with his delicious roasted carrot dish, slathered with carrot-top pesto.
 
michaelfiorelli2-ksimmons
(Chef Michael Fiorelli of Love & Salt restaurant, Manhattan Beach, California – KRISTA SIMMONS)
 
In fact, pesto is an easy and scrumptious approach for chefs and at-home cooks alike. Michael Fiorelli of Love & Salt, a California-style Italian restaurant in Manhattan Beach, takes wilted, bruised arugula that would normally never make it to the market and turns it into a pesto for his fresh handmade pastas.
 
“Throwing things like beet greens and cauliflower leaves away is crazy to me. I grew up in an Italian family, so the idea of wasting food is really foreign,” says Fiorelli. “Not only is it economical and sustainable, but it tastes good, too.”
 
Fiorelli applies these techniques in his pea tendril-topped tortelloni, using parmesan rinds and nubs from the end of prosciutto to make a broth, then combines it with “ugly” pea tendrils in a food processor to make a vibrant green sauce that sings of spring. He blanches the pea tendrils so they don’t oxidize and turn brown, a technique Kalman also uses with his carrot-tops.
 
When plated, it’s a perfectly refined springtime dish, and a great representation of the new garbage glam.
 
brucecarrotroast-ksimmons
(Chef Bruce Kalman of Union restaurant in Pasadena, California creates carrot top pesto with roasted vegetables out of “seconds,” or food deemed unusable by the majority of restaurants. – KRISTA SIMMONS)
 
“UGLY” CARROT TOP PESTO
Ingredients:
1 C ice and water in a large mixing bowl

2 C carrot tops, blanched and shocked in ice water

2 C basil leaves

1 C walnuts, toasted

½ C parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated

½ C roasted garlic puree

2 tbsp champagne vinegar

1 C extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
 
Method:
In a large saucepan, boil salted water. Once the water has boiled, drop in the carrot tops and blanch for about 10 seconds. Remove, set in the ice water. Remove from the ice bath and set aside on a paper towel to dry. (This blanching process keeps the carrot tops bright green.)
 
Place all the ingredients in a food processor, save for the olive oil. Blend on high to coarsely chop all ingredients, slowly streaming in the olive oil. Be sure to blend quickly or the blender will create heat and discolor the pesto. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference.
 
Enjoy immediately with roasted vegetables, pasta or chicken, or store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week.

Eater LA says Union is “essential”!

July 7, 2015

Thank you to the Eater LA who named Union one of only 38 essential restaurants in all of LA. (And we’re in Pasadena!) We’re so honored to be on this list. You can read the full article at this link or see their write up on Union below.
 
Make reservations to dine with us today at this link or by calling 626-795-5841
 

The 38 Essential Los Angeles Restaurants, July 2015

Matthew Kang
 
Spanning Westside to Eastside, with eateries clustered around the best dining neighborhoods, this collection of elite restaurants aims to answer the question, “Can you recommend a place?” Eater will continue to update restaurants every few months, adding in eligible places that have been open for at least six months. There’s no particular order, except that the first 33 restaurants are listed alphabetically.
 
In this summer 2015 edition, Bucato comes off after the Evan Funke’s departure, getting replaced by Zach Pollack’s dynamic and ultra-popular Alimento; Chi Spacca also gets removed because of Chad Colby’s depature, making room for Bruce Kalman’s Union; longtime gastropub vanguard Father’s Office makes way for the newer Butchers & Barbers; Gjelina gets replaced by newer sister spot Gjusta; Bell’s La Casita Mexicana comes off for the Valley’s most ambitious vegan restaurant The Gadarene Swine; late night hang Jones Hollywood takes over all-day specialist The Sycamore Kitchen; and Sugarfish gets replaced by Palms kaiseki specialist N/Naka.
 
union.0.0
 
Union Restaurant
Bruce Kalman has opened the restaurant that Pasadena has always wanted, and needed. A seasonally inflected California-Italian restaurant, Kalman does everything from housemade pasta to innovative appetizers to hefty mains like the epic porchetta. The wine program is also top notch.
 
37 E Union St
Pasadena, CA 91103

Forbes highlights The Fare Trade and Chef Kalman’s June basket

July 2, 2015

Forbes.com has done a wonderful piece on the company The Fare Trade, which offers a different, monthly basket full of hand-picked goodies from selected chefs, food experts and ingredient specialists. June featured Chef Kalman’s artisan selections and his basket was the focus of Forbes recent article. Please enjoy their full article at this link or read the entire feature below.
 
You can order your Fare Trade basket at this link.
 

Get Chef-Curated Ingredients Delivered Monthly

 
Around 3 a.m. one Los Angeles summer morning in 2012, savoring sips of scotch and exchanges of badinage–as food-driven sensualists are prone to do–friends Max Block and Jake Ahles were brainstorming. Although already working in the food industry–Block, a publicist, and Ahles, a line-cook under Kris Morningstar MORN -1.34% at District–they wanted to share with people their fanboy passions for emerging chefs and small-batch ingredients.
 
TheFareTrade_June2015_BruceKalman1
 
Thus began their membership service The Fare Trade. For $65 per month, members receive a basket of handcrafted ingredients selected by an up-and-coming chef, along with recipes and access to online video tutorials on how to use them.
 
In addition to delivering high-quality products, Fare Trade, which currently serves 2,000 members, promotes a symbiotic relationship between everyone involved.
 
“What better way to promote these small-batch ingredients than by an amazing chef who can take that product and then apply it to their own kitchen skills and create a recipe around it,” Block says.
 

Recipe Bite | Pork Loin | Fingerling Potatoes | Meyer Lemon | Porchetta Rub from The FareTrade on Vimeo.

 
“You can read a cookbook and learn how to cook, but there wasn’t a platform for people to see these chefs and watch them create these recipes from scratch,” Ahles says of integrating the basket with the Fare Trade website, which cultivates a foodie community. The site offers extensive information about each chef and basket ingredient.
 
Block and Ahles avoid food celebrities (“We would obviously never turn down someone down like a Bobby Flay,” Block says, “but Bobby Flay has made it”) but do rely on chefs who have been spotlighted by food magazines and awarded by The James Beard Foundation.
 
Dakota-Pop-Curried-Pig-Popcorn
Dakota’s Pop Parlor Curried Pig Popcorn featured in Fare Trade’s June 2015 basket from Chef Bruce Kalman
 
Baskets often feature expectedly “chef-y” ingredients like coarse-ground grits and fruity vinegars, as well as more unusual ones, like Dakota’s Pop Parlor Curried Pig Popcorn, which came with last month’s package. Block says his favorite ingredient since Fare Trade began in March 2014 was the Cuttlefish Spaccatelli from Sfoglini. Ahles liked the Gracious Gourmet Smoked Cherry Onion Spread.
 
“When you have Domino’s Pizza saying ‘artisan’ it detracts from the authenticity from what something artisan can actually be,” Block says of Fare Trade’s dedication to locally-produced or small-batch ingredients.
 
SQIRL-Strawberry-Rose-Geranium-Jam
SQIRL-Strawberry-Rose-Geranium-Jam
SQIRL Seascape Strawberry & Rose Geranium Jam featured in Fare Trade’s June 2015 basket from Chef Bruce Kalman
 
June highlighted Los Angeles Chef Bruce Kalman of Union in Pasadena, Calif. For his basket, he selected Grist & Toll Heirloom Polenta, Bianco DiNapoli San Marzano Tomatoes, SQIRL Seascape Strawberry & Rose Geranium Jam, BK Spice Rubs Porchetta Spice (made by Bruce himself), that Dakota’s Popcorn and Dewar’s Peppermint & Pistachio Taffies. He utilizes the Porchetta Spice as a rub in a video tutorial for cooking a pork loin with fingerling potatoes and meyer lemon.
 
July shows off Chef Greg Daniels of Haven Gastropub in Orange, Calif. and features McClure’s Spicy Pickles, Sparrow Lane California Peach Vinegar, Adobe Milling Co. Anasazi Beans, LA Farm Girl Vanilla Bourbon Berry Compote, Hatchup Katchup and Little Flower Candy Co. Cinnamon Sugar Marshmallows. His recipes include Salmon Tartare with Pickled Stone Fruit; Chorizo and Anasazi Bean Dip with Pepper Relish; and Whipped Riccotta and Berry Toast.
 
Block and Ahles hope to expand Fare Trade by partnering with hotels and lodging companies to stock fridges and snack bars with tasteful, regional products. “You’re going upstairs and every room is Pop Chips and Haribo Gummy Bears,” Block says. “What is it that speaks naturally to Brooklyn or Los Angeles or Miami?”
 
“The basket itself is amazing,” Ahles says, “but we want to take what the basket is and apply that to being much more of a lifestyle brand. Today, more so than at any other time, food has transcended and gone into every sphere of daily life. Now it’s part of fashion. It’s part of music. Food really is in itself an experience.”

9 Summer Pasta Dishes You Can’t Miss

July 1, 2015

We don’t want to brag. But, it’s hard not be VERY excited about our pasta dish being named #1 pasta dish of the summer by LA Confidential Magazine.
 
Okay, we’ll brag a little. We’re #1! We’re #1!
 
Chef Kalman is constantly coming up with new dishes. And now’s the best time to dine with us as summer’s flavors are in full swing. Won’t you let us serve you one of the best meals you’ve ever had? Click here for reservations.
 
Thank you to LA Confidential. See their coverage on Union below or read the full article at this link.
 

9 Summer Pasta Dishes You Can’t Miss

By Jessica Estrada | June 29, 2015
 
Union
 
This summer, treat yourself to chef Bruce Kalman’s new and enticing rye rigatoni pasta made with anchovy, garlic, rosemary, chili, and Meyer lemon, all covered in bread crumbs. 37 E. Union St., Pasadena, 626-795-5841

29 amazing things happening in LA this July

June 30, 2015

Timeout Los Angeles has put together a tidy little agenda of fun things to do this July and Union has made the list. For our second annual grain dinner we’ll have famous pizza making chef Chris Bianco in house cooking with Chef Kalman and with the purchase of dinner you’ll get to see a screening of the film “The Grain Divide”. You can find more details (including price and reservation info) on the event dinner here.
 
See Timeout’s full July list at this link or keep reading below.
 

29 amazing things happening in LA this July

By Michael Juliano
Posted: Monday June 29 2015, 10:09AM
 
THINGS TO DO
 
July 4
Fourth of July Block Party; Grand Park
Watch Downtown LA light up for free at this patriotic street party.
 
July 4
Fourth of July Americafest; The Rose Bowl
See an explosive celebration of all things red, white and blue at this fireworks, music and stunt show.
 
July 5-7
Dalai Lama’s 80th Birthday; Honda Center & UC Irvine
Honor His Holiness’s 80th birthday during this three-day summit about global compassion.
 
July 10-Aug 21
Summer Nights in the Garden; Natural History Museum
Spend an evening outside with live music, garden-inspired cocktails, hands-on science projects, botanical tours and food trucks.
 
July 10-Aug 21
Around the World in 80 Sips; Galco’s Soda Pop Stop
Sample an international selection of carbonated bubbly beverages from Highland Park’s celebrated soda shop.
 
July 25-Aug 2
US Open of Surfing; Huntington Beach
Hit the beach to cheer on the country’s biggest pro surfers at this competition and free music fest.
 
July 25-Aug 2
Special Olympics World Games; Various locations
Cheer on over 7,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities, starting with the opening ceremonies at the Coliseum.
 
FOOD & DRINK
 
July 1-30
Tanabata Celebration; Hinoki & the Bird
Celebrate the Japanese holiday with a five-course menu at the Century City hot spot (bonus: hang a wish on a wall of bamboo at the end of your meal).
 
July 3-5
626 Night Market; Santa Anita Park
Snack your way around Santa Anita with selections from over 150 Asian street food and booze peddlers.
 
July 11
CA Hot Sauce Expo; Rainbow Lagoon Park
Scorch your tastebuds at this inaugural hot sauce festival featuring 45 fiery samples and enough eating contests to require a bottle of Tums.
 
July 13-26
DineLA Restaurant Week; Various locations
Choose from hundreds of LA restaurants for two weeks of discounted meals, ranging from $15 lunches to $50 dinners.
 
July 17
East LA Meets Napa; Union Station
Nosh on authentic tacos and sip vino from Napa at this mashup event, bringing two of the best things in life—Mexican food and wine—together.
 
July 20
Grain Dinner at Union; Union
Load up on carbs at Union’s second annual Grain Dinner, with proceeds going toward the Pasadena Community Gardens.

 
bruceheadshot
 
ARTS & CULTURE
 
July 8-Aug 31
Pageant of the Masters; Festival of Arts
See classic paintings come to life during this Laguna Beach musical and theatrical tradition.
 
July 10-12
BalletNow; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Witness a duo of dancers lead an international ensemble in the premiere of this Europe-meets-Latin America program.
 
July 11
Podcasting 101 with Hrishikesh Hirway; Poketo at the Line Hotel
Brush up on the basics of podcasting as Song Exploder host Hrishikesh Hirway leads this three-hour workshop.
 
July 13-21
Moves After Dark; The Music Center
Catch four LA dance ensembles perform in and around the Music Center campus during this site-specific series.
 
July 21, 23
Carmina Burana with Dudamel; Hollywood Bowl
Hear the LA Phil perform the epic piece under the stars with two choirs (and $8 seats are still available).
 
July 25
Christian Marclay: The Clock: 24-Hour Screening; LACMA
Watch time tick by as this cinematically constructed montage plays for a full 24 hours in the middle of its summer-long run.
 
FILM
 
July 4
Jaws; Santa Monica High School
Spend the 4th of July with Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss and one giant, pissed off great white shark.
 
July 10
Jurassic Park; CSUN
Decide where the original ranks compared to Jurassic World—though we all know a dinosaur movie is nothing without Jeff Goldblum.
 
July 11
A Hard Day’s Night; Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Feel alright at an under-the-stars screening of the fab four’s first feature-length film.
 
July 19
Why Change Your Wife?; Paramount Ranch
Arrive early for a picnic dinner or tour of the ranch, then settle in for Cecil B. DeMille’s 1920 silent movie classic, accompanied by a live score.
 
MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE
 
July 2-3
Television; Teragram Ballroom
See the most interesting band of the mid-’70s New York punk scene play crowd-pleasers from their landmark album Marquee Moon.
 
July 7
Calexico; The Regent Theater
Watch the Tex-Mex bandits as they play their distinctive, evocative blend of alt country, mariachi and desert blues.
 
July 12
Death Cab for Cutie + Tune-Yards; Hollywood Bowl
Listen to Ben Gibbard and co. tackle their latest album, Kintsugi, with an opening set from the eclectic and rhythmic Tune-Yards.
 
July 13
Steely Dan and Elvis Costello; Hollywood Bowl
Catch the duo at the Hollywood Bowl with Elvis Costello and the Imposters, especially if you missed them at Coachella.
 
July 17
Woogie Weekend; Oak Canyon Park
Spend a weekend in the Irvine-adjacent wilderness with live painting, healthy food, morning yoga and house music.
 
July 30
Moses Sumney; The Echo
Catch LA’s own Moses Sumney, who’s blown up in the last two years, return to play one date at the Echo.

Union’s Second Annual Grain Dinner with Chef Bruce Kalman and Chris Bianco

June 29, 2015

What:
On Monday, July 20th, Chef Bruce Kalman will be teaming up with Chris Bianco from the seminal Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix for a family-style, charitable dinner at Union Restaurant that pays tribute to the humble grain.
 
Guests of the dinner, which will commence at 6:30 pm for the evening’s single seating, will enjoy a shared meal of dishes that celebrate the bounty of California ingredients, including different grains that are locally-sourced and milled from Grist & Toll. The menu, which will be dictated by ingredients and produce procured that day, will be supplemented with wine pairings from Union’s Wine Director George Pitsironis.
 
Following the family-style feast, attendees will watch a partial screening of “The Grain Divide,” a documentary that explores and responds to growing concerns about modern wheat and grains amidst a landscape where the American staple has been villainized. A free link to the full documentary will be provided for diners to watch after the meal.
 
Proceeds from the $200 per person dinner will go toward Pasadena Community Gardens to help build the non-profit’s next garden.
 
When
Monday, July 20th
6:30 pm – Family-style dinner (One seating only)
8:30 pm – Screening of “The Grain Divide
10:30 pm -Dinner to conclude
 
Price
$200 per person (includes dinner, wine pairings and screening of “The Grain Divide” / tax + gratuity not included)
 
Menu
Family-style presentations of antipasti, housemate charcuterie, grain salad, handmade pasta, a main course, and dessert utilizing ingredients sourced from Pasadena-based miller Grist & Toll and the local LA farmers’ market.
 
Reservations
For reservations call (626) 795-5841.
 
Where
Union Restaurant
37 E Union St., Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 795-5841
unionpasadena.com
 
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Thrivewire on The Fare Trade and June’s basket featuring Bruce Kalman

June 19, 2015

There’s still a little over a week left to get June’s Fare Trade basket which is full of Chef Kalman’s hand picked, favorite artisanal goods. Thrivewire is talking to the guys who started Fare Trade to give you an inside look at how the idea came about. You can order your June basket online at www.thefaretrade.com. Please enjoy the full feature below or at Thrivewire at this link.
 

The FareTrade Brings Artisan Culinary Products And Celebrity Chefs Into Your Kitchen

By Lacy Cooke
 
June 17, 2015
 
Most of us suffer through college cafeteria food. For Max Block and Jake Ahles, founders of The FareTrade, it provided an impetus to get off campus and start cooking in their own kitchen.
 
“We moved off campus sophomore year and immersed ourselves in the food community. We went to farmers’ markets, family-owned grocers, and hosted dinner parties,” says Max.
 
After graduation, Max worked for a PR firm and Jake worked for a restaurant, until they had the idea to start their own food subscription service.
 
“Max and I were traveling around the country, and were able to discover awesome products. We originally just wanted to create a way to get those products to people around the country who wouldn’t hear about them otherwise,” says Jake.
 
They realized that partnering with local chefs would add a distinctive dimension to their service, and began The FareTrade. Each month they work with a different chef, who chooses unique artisan foods and creates recipes. Baskets contain about five products, and members receive access to step-by-step tutorial videos from the chef.
 

 
“Both of us grew up in families that sat around a table to eat, and grew up understanding the importance of what people need from food,” says Max. “With The FareTrade, we have the ability to bring chefs into our members’ homes and showcase amazing culinary products so people can get around the table, make that connection, and share an amazing meal with friends and loved ones.”
 
The founders believe that today’s generation and culture places a unique value on artisan products.
 
“After World War II, there was more canned food and mass production,” says Jake. “Today, there’s a movement back to hand grown, locally produced, quality ingredients.”
 
“There has never been a generation that wants to understand where their food comes from so much,” says Max. “It’s a beautiful opportunity to be part of that community and conversation.”
 
Along with their members, Jake and Max have learned from the chefs and local producers.
 
“Each of these artisans have taken it upon themselves to further the food conversation in America,” says Max. “It’s enlightening and so inspiring for us to work with them and showcase what they do.”
 
Through the journey, they have discovered many favorite products that have earned a spot in their kitchen.
 
“There’s a place in Brooklyn called Sfoglini that makes cuttlefish pasta,” says Max. “They have an amazing eye for what artisanal products can be and push the boundaries of what people expect.”
 
“A company called Grist & Toll hand mills grain from local farmers using specific grains you can’t find anywhere else,” says Jake.
 
June’s basket is curated by Bruce Kalman, head chef of Union Restaurant in Pasadena, CA and winner of the Food Network’s TV show Chopped.
 
“He’s someone who really wants to focus on producers in his backyard,” says Max. “We’re featuring a product of his own (BK Spice Porcetta Rub) and are excited to bring his elevated comfort fare to our members.”
 
The basket also includes Grist & Toll Polenta, Seascape Strawberry + Rose Geranium Jam from Sqirl, Sam Marzano Tomatoes from Bianco DiNapoli, and Curried Pig Popcorn from Dakota’s Pop Parlor. The FareTrade is also currently offering a deal for Father’s Day: $10 off the monthly price.

50 LA THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT BEFORE YOU DIE

June 18, 2015

We certainly don’t want you to die, but do agree that if you must retire from this mortal coil, eating a bowl of our squid ink garganelli is a must before you go. Thank you Thrillist for including us. Coming in at #6 is our pleasure. Make a reservation today! And please enjoy the full Thrillist article at this link or read it below.
 
IMG_0227
 

50 LA THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT BEFORE YOU DIE

 
PUBLISHED ON 6/17/2015 BY JEFF MILLER
 
You know all the things you’ve gotta do in LA before you die, but what about all the things you’ve gotta eat before heading to the big traffic jam in the sky? Here’s our list of 50, from Apple Pan’s hickory burger to an ice cream sandwich at Diddy Riese.
 
1. Chorizo breakfast burrito
Cofax Coffee Shop
Mid-Wilshire
It may only be less than a year old, but this small coffee shop’s chips-and-smoked-potato-laden breakfast burrito has become a defining member of the city’s hand-held tortilla-wrapped community.
 
2. #19
Langer’s Delicatessen
MacArthur Park
The most iconic pastrami sandwich in the city is also its most delicious. Yep, we said it.
 
3. Tonkotsu ramen
Daikokuya
Multiple locations
By far the most well-known Japanese noodle-and-broth combo in the city, and even with the city’s ramen explosion, it’s still one of the most delicious.
 
4. Crispy rice salad
Sqirl
Silver Lake
Yeah, it’s got the word “salad” in the name, but you can get this unctuous dish with an egg and sausage. Which you will. And you will be very happy you did.
 
5. Seared Salmon Right Away
Sushi Ike
Hollywood
Available only at the bar at this raw-fish institution, the Seared Salmon Right Away melts on your tongue and makes you truly wonder why you’ve ever eaten second-rate sushi before.
 
6. Squid ink garganelli
Union
Pasadena
This hole-in-the-wall Pasadena farm-to-table restaurant has rapidly become one of the city’s go-to tables, and this dish — with lobster, fennel, and truffle butter — is its shining-est star.
 

7. Chianina steak
Chianina Steakhouse
Long Beach
It’s worth exploring Long Beach to end up at this classy steakhouse, which grows and butchers its own meat, serving up limited servings of each cut that’ll clean out your wallet in the most delicious way possible.
 
8. BBQ pork belly sandwich
Animal
Mid-Wilshire
These slider-sized morsels have become the signature dish at Jon & Vinny’s signature restaurant — the rest of the menu changes around them, but a meal there without these fatty blasts would be sacrilege.
 
9. Chopped fruit w/ chili powder and lime juice
Any street vendor with them
New York people may brag about their street-vendor hot dogs and pretzels, but who needs those when you’ve got juicy watermelon, mango, jicama, and more, acid-ed up with lime and spiced up with chili? Not you. Not. You.
 
10. Omelette
Petit Trois
Hollywood
It’s simply called an “Omelette,” but this perfectly buttered, Boursin cheese-stuffed fluffy egg dish is much more than that: it’s Ludo Lefebvre’s way of saying “I’m not just a TV-star gimmick.” And after one bite, you’ll agree.
 
11. Short rib
Odys & Penelope
Mid-Wilshire
This dinosaur-sized bone-in hunka-hunka-delicious meat isn’t just one of the best BBQ dishes in the city, it’s one of the best dishes in the city, period.
 
12. Hickory burger
Apple Pan
West LA
Thankfully, nothing at this WLA burger institution has changed since 1947: the space-wasting counter-only set-up, the old-school servers, and this burger — legendary for its smoky, classic flavor.
 
13. Pork xiao long bao (aka soup dumplings)
Din Tai Fung
Multiple locations
That first bite, when your teeth puncture the surface of these perfect, thinly doughed pockets of soup and meatball, and the broth hits your upper lip, burning it ever-so-slightly in the process? Nirvana.
 
14. Chicharron quesadilla
Oaxacan Quesadilla Cart
Echo Park
You may have a hard time finding this woman, but you NEED TO FIND THIS WOMAN, who hand-makes blue-corn tortillas stuffed with chicharrones, cheese, and some sort of magic insanity that makes you go “where the hell have you been my whole life???”
 
15. Strawberry donuts
Donut Man
Glendora
“But, it’s like a pie filling made from fresh strawberries stuffed inside a donut,” say haters. To which you’ll say, “DUDE IT’S LIKE A PIE FILLING MADE FROM FRESH STRAWBERRIES STUFFED INSIDE A DONUT!!!!”
 
16. Baseball Steak
Pacific Dining Car
Downtown and Santa Monica
Is this the best steak in the city? It is not. Is this the best steak in the city at 3am inside a relic from the 1950s where you’re treated like Frank Sinatra in his prime? Yes. It is most certainly that.
 
17. Whole snook
Coni’Seafood/Mariscos Chente
Inglewood/Marina Del Rey
These brother-sister restaurants both serve the same delectable signature dish: a whole flayed fish, fresh from Mexico, served with stewed onions and homemade tortillas. Put them together: perfection.
 
18. Chicken kafta plate w/ eggplant salad, hummus, and baba ganoush
Pita Kitchen
Van Nuys
Anyone who’s lived in The Valley is either a Pita Kitchen disciple or has wondered what the hell the out-the-door lines on Van Nuys Blvd are all about. Well, here’s the thing: they’re about these spiced chicken patties, this mushy, flavorful eggplant, and this perfectly oily hummus. Two pro tips, though: pay the extra $1 for a third side (baba ghanouj!) instead of stomach-filling rice, and avoid, at all costs, the same-named ripoff restaurant on Wilshire.
 
19. Uni Dynamite
POT
Koreatown
The dirty secret of Roy Choi’s excellent Korean menu is that the best stuff is actually NOT in the pots — rather it’s side dishes like this gooey, savory, creamy uni-and-rice dish.
 
20. Shrimp taco
Mariscos Jalisco
Downtown
One bite of the shrimp taco and you’ll understand why this truck is one of the most lauded cheap bites in the city.
 
21. Half-chicken
Zankou Chicken
Multiple locations
There are a lot of things you don’t know about this beloved Middle Eastern chain, but here’s one thing you do: its chicken (and ohGodthat garlic sauce) are absurd.
 
22. Half-chicken
Dino’s Chicken and Burgers
Multiple locations
Another half-chicken? Yep. But Dino’s — a series of roadside cafes that look about as nondescript as possible — couldn’t be more different than Zankou; its deep-red Mexi-ish bird is covered in a vinegar sauce that makes it truly moist all the way through. Pro tip: order extra sauce and let it seep into the fries or rice below for an insane carb-bomb side.
 
23. Tsukemen ramen
Tsujita Annex
West LA
Why not get the frothy, thick tonkotsu ramen? Because the dippable tsukemen gives you the ability to have as much — or as little — broth on your noodles as you want, plus the inevitable leftovers travel better.
 
24. Chinese chicken salad
Chin Chin
Multiple locations
The Chinese chicken salad is one of LA’s defining dishes, and the version at the gentrified Chinese chain Chin Chin is one of its defining variations, thanks to a gingery dressing, an abundance of nuts, and — oh yeah — not one, but TWO types of crispy fried noodles.
 
25. Hoecake
Barrel and Ashes
Studio City
Its BBQ meats may be divisive, but no one who’s been to this new-ish meat-centric spot can deny the buttery, gooey hoecake, which is essentially a cornbread if cornbread were made of dreams instead of corn.
 
26. Smoked salmon pizza
Spago
Beverly Hills
Its glory-est days may be behind it, but Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant is still an emblem of Hollywood decadence, and this now off-menu signature dish was once the height of LA’s food scene — and one bite in, you’ll understand why.
 
27. Bacon breakfast burrito
Lucky Boy
Pasadena
As notable for the fact that you’ll get yelled at as you try to order it as it is for the monster amounts of crazy-good bacon that the guy yelling at you will eventually stuff into it. Mmmm.
 
28. Godmother
Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
Santa Monica
This is pretty universally considered one-of-if-not-the best sandwich in all of the LA area. If you haven’t had this meat monster yet, what have you been waiting for? Really, WHAT?
 
29. Smoked fish platter
Wexler’s Deli
Downtown LA
There are so many things we could recommend at the Grand Central Market, but this platter of freshly smoked fish hits the soul in the same way as Eggslut — without the line.
 
30. Dodger Dog
Dodger Stadium
Chavez Ravine
You’re really not allowed to call yourself an Angeleno unless you’ve had a Dodger Dog. Extra points for finishing it, saying, “that’s not as good as I expected,” and then immediately ordering another one.
 
31. French dip
Cole’s
Downtown
Is Cole’s or Phillipe’s the best French dip in the city? That’s a debate we don’t want to take a side in.
 
32. French dip
Philippe the Original
Downtown
Told you.
 
33. Office Burger
Father’s Office
Culver City/Santa Monica
Love it or hate it, Sang Yoon’s defining dish set the stage for LA’s reputation as a burger mecca, and still stands as one of the best ground meatwiches in the city.
 
34. All the salads
Hummus Bar
Tarzana
It’s worth the drive to this strip mall for two things: the skewers of meat at Kushiyu, and this Mediterranean restaurant’s salads, which come with any entree order and fill the table with everything from eggplant to chopped liver, all dippable with their piping-hot homemade bread, which is sort of a mix between lavash and pita. It’s outstanding.
 
35. Al pastor taco
Leo’s Taco Truck
Multiple locations
This taco truck mini-chain’s rotating, pineapple-aided rotisseries of meat make for tortilla-stuffed perfection; there are hundreds of trucks in the city making al pastor tacos, but Tacos Leo stands out completely from the rest.
 
36. Albacore belly
Sugarfish
Multiple locations
What, you’ve only ordered the set sushi meals? Then you’ve missed out on the real treat: this absurdly flavorful bite, which has to be ordered separately. It’s worth it. Completely.
 
37. Chicken and waffles
Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles
Multiple locations
There are a ton of variations of this dish all over the city, but Roscoe’s is definitive, and still stands out for crispiness, balance, and being open late on Friday and Sat. Which never hurts. (And usually helps.)
 
38. Ice cream sandwich
Diddy Riese
Westwood
It’s a rite of passage to stand in line for an hour at this nearby-to-UCLA spot, asking the entire time you’re in line if it’s really worth all that standing around for a $2 ice cream sandwich. And then you take a bite, and, yep, it totally is.
 
39. Short rib taco
Kogi BBQ
Multiple locations
This dish essentially started the food truck trend. It’s an amazing mesh of flavors, and all that time ago — like, five years — it was groundbreaking. Now, it’s just super tasty.
 
40. Fish dip
Son of a Gun
Mid-Wilshire
When they opened Son of a Gun, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo wanted to recreate the flavors they remembered from fish shacks in Florida, and they knocked it out of the park with this fish dip, going so far as to import the crackers they use to give it a hit of salty authenticity. Pro tip: even if you don’t love Tabasco, it adds a killer vinegar extra to the already-great flavors.
 
41. Charcuterie platter
Bestia
Downtown
So many spots in the city offer platters of cured meats, but Bestia’s is all made in-house, which means the process is carefully curated, and the meats are that much better for it.
 
42. BBQ chicken pizza
Mulberry St Pizzeria
Multiple locations
Some people may complain that the pizza here is too floppy, and yeah, it kinda is. But the ingredients in its BBQ chicken variation are top-notch, and the serving size is massive, and once it’s in your mouth, who cares about that flop anyways?
 
43. Chili cheeseburger
Original Tommy’s Hamburgers
East Hollywood
You could go to any of the Tommy’s locations and leave happy, but if you hit the original-original-really-guys-we-mean-the-original spot, you’ll be super-duper-double happy. (Until about five hours later.)
 
44. Mole negro
Gueleguetza
Koreatown
This sort of formerly under-the-radar Oaxacan spot just won a James Beard Award for having killer mole. Seriously, if that doesn’t get you in the door, what does?
 
45. Kimchi fried rice
Republique
Mid-Wilshire
Walter Manske’s gorgeous restaurant has gotten praise for its dinners, but the real move is to go for brunch: the pastries are insane, and you can order this monstrous bowl of egg-topped, short rib-laden spicy rice and then… nap. You’re definitely gonna nap.
 
46. Garlic knots
C&O Trattoria
Venice
Going to C&O for a big-group dinner is unavoidable, and surely someone will complain in the comments below that the massive pasta plates are not up to snuff with other Italian joints in the city. Who cares? The free garlic knots — which come both with every dinner and for whomever is waiting outside for a table as well — are, like, insanely, insanely great.
 
47. Lasagna
Dan Tana’s
West Hollywood
That said, if you do want Italian, and you don’t mind dropping some dough, classic Italian steakhouse Dan Tana’s still satisfies, especially when you’re ordering something as classic as meat-stuffed lasagna.
 
48. Fried chicken
Honey’s Kettle
Culver City
It’s the #1 fried chicken in the city according to the most expert of experts. Do you really need another reason?
 
49. Green mussels curry
Jitlada Thai Restaurant
Thaitown
You put one of these in your mouth and it explodes with spice and flavor. Then you repeat. Then you repeat again. Then you sip some Singha. Then you repeat again.
 
50. Danger dog
Any random street cart
Because if you’re gonna have your last meal, it may as well be bacon-wrapped and topped with onions, jalapeños, and mayo. Right?
 
Sign up here for our daily LA email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun Los Angeles has to offer.
 
Jeff Miller’s glad he’s not dead yet, because he’s ready for 50 more. Watch him hit ’em at @jeffmillerla on Instagram and @ThrillistLA on Twitter.
 
1. Cofax Coffee Shop
440 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles
2. Langer’s Delicatessen
704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles
3. Daikokuya
327 E 1st St, Los Angeles
4. Sqirl
720 N Virgil Ave, #4, Los Angeles
5. Sushi Ike
6051 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles
6. Union
37 E Union St, Pasadena
7. Chianina Steakhouse
5716 E 2nd St, Long Beach
8. Animal
435 N Fairfax, Los Angeles
9. Petit Trois
716 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles
10. Odys & Penelope
127 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles
11. The Apple Pan
10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles
12. Oaxacan Quesadilla Cart
1246 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles
13. The Donut Man
915 E Route 66, Glendora
14. Pacific Dining Car
1310 W 6th St, Los Angeles
15. Mariscos Chente
4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles
16. Pita Kitchen
14500 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles
17. POT
3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
18. Mariscos Jalisco
3040 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles
19. Tsujita Annex
2014 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles
20. Barrel and Ashes
11801 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
21. Spago
176 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills
22. Lucky Boy
531 E Walnut St, Pasadena
23. Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica
24. Wexler’s Deli
317 S Broadway, Los Angeles
25. Cole’s
118 E 6th St, Los Angeles
26. Philippe the Original
1001 N Alameda St, Los Angeles
27. Father’s Office
3229 Helms Ave, Los Angeles
28. Hummus Bar & Grill
18743 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana
29. SUGARFISH
11288 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
30. Diddy Riese
926 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles
31. Son Of A Gun
8730 3rd St, Los Angeles
32. Bestia
2121 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles
33. Original Tommy’s Hamburgers
2575 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles
34. Gueleguetza
3014 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles
35. Republique
624 S LA Brea Ave, Los Angeles
36. C&O Trattoria
31 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey
37. Dan Tana’s
9071 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood
38. Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken
9537 Culver Blvd, Culver City
39. Jitlada Thai Restaurant
5233 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles

Daily News says Union has “best restaurant dish”

June 17, 2015

Summer is here and you haven’t seen an excited chef until you’ve seen them at market in summer. Everything is in season, the fruit varieties are abundant and the food is big in flavor. The Daily News is highlighting great summer eats and Union is on their list. Come out to Pasadena and let us serve you a memorable summer meal. www.opentable.com / www.table8.com. Please enjoy the full feature at this link or read what they had to say about Union below.
 

Summer 2015: Best restaurant dishes to eat this season


 
By Merrill Shindler, Daily News POSTED: 06/16/15, 1:29 PM PDT
 
While summer means fitting into that itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini, it’s also a great time to gather with friends to enjoy meals that incorporate the refreshing fruits and vegetables that grow under the warm sun.
 
For restaurateur Richard Drapkin, who’s opening a restaurant in the South Bay called Manhattan House, “it’s particularly a good time to enjoy “the taste of food cooked over wood.”
 
“Summer means open air grilling, it means outdoor dining, outdoor cuisine,” adds Drapkin.
 
It’s also high season for fresh wild king salmon, with the majority of wild salmon is harvested in June and July, and just about any grilled meat with a side of crisp salad.
 
Local farmer’s market — which grow faster in number than the crops they carry — offer the very best summer produce. I always know it’s summer because the plum and apricot hybrids begin to appear, in ever increasing numbers and peculiarities.
 
Tastebuds can be immersed in the wonderful world of pluots and apriums, some zebra-striped, some looking small watermelons, in every color and every flavor.
 
For Chef Bruce Kalman of Union Restaurant in Old Pasadena, it’s peak season for one of his favorite crops.
 
“Summer means heirloom tomatoes — absolutely the best tomatoes ever,” said Chef Bruce Kalman of Union Restaurant in Old Pasadena.
 
Here in Southern California, where summer is all about the freshness of the ingredients, we don’t emerge from a wintry cocoon like the rest of the country.
 
We change from our winter T-shirts, to our summer T-shirts. The days are longer, life is even more leisurely, and the urge to enjoy the warm summer air is hard to resist. We move from red wine to white wine.
 
Our cocktails are fruitier, lighter. And so is our food, though lightness does not diminish flavor. Indeed, it makes it stand out — in a summer sort of way.
 
GREAT SUMMER DISHES
 
SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
 
Goat Cheese and Broccoli Quiche: In the midst of one of the most meat-intensive restaurants in America, this dish is casual, light and bright, perfect for brunch in the hills.
 
Served with asparagus salad, aged balsamic and Castelvetrano olives.
 
Saddle Peak Lodge, 419 Cold Canyon Road, Calabasas, 818-222-3888. www.saddlepeaklodge.com
 
Curried Chicken Salad: Summer is salad time, and the curried chicken salad at Bistro Garden, made with mango and avocado, is a flavor explosion — and a chance to eat in a garden, just right this time of year.
 
Bistro Garden at Coldwater, 12950 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. 818-501-0202. www.bistrogarden.com
 
Chilean Sea Bass: It’s a sublime summer fish, perfectly cooked in a steakhouse setting, sautéed and braised in a light, southwest style broth, with wilted greens, crisp potatoes and chile-cilantro oil.
 
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 6373 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, 818-346-1005. www.flemingssteakhouse.com
 
SAN GABRIEL VALLEY
 
Spaghetti alla Chitarra: Made with freshly picked San Marzano tomatoes and Fresno chiles, this is a reminder that pasta doesn’t have to be heavy.
 
Union, 37 E. Union St., Old Pasadena, 626-795-584. www.unionpasadena.com

 
Composed Heirloom Beet Salad: Tomatoes aren’t the only heirloom vegetable on the market. This salad, also made with crumbled Farmstead goat cheese and crispy baby artichokes, can be happily consumed on one of Bistro 45’s several outdoor patios.
 
Bistro 45, 45 S. Mentor Ave., Pasadena, 626-795-2478. www.bistro45.com
 
Seta Roll: A perfect summer combination of spicy tuna, jalapeno, yellowtail, avocado, lemon rind, chili and ponzu. The trick is not to eat too many, which is not easy.
 
Seta, 13033 Philadelphia St., Whittier, 562-698-3355. www.dineseta.com
 
Merrill Shindler is a Los Angeles-based freelance dining critic. Reach him at mreats@aol.com.
 
UnionPasadena-3405
(photo by ChileJam)

Bruce Kalman’s Op-Ed: “Why Chefs Should Also Be Owners”

June 16, 2015

Our esteemed chef and owner, Bruce Kalman has written an op-ed for Eater LA. On the eve of opening his second restaurant, this time in Grand Central Market, Chef Kalman lets us in on his success which includes having a great business partner, training his staff to expect the worst and cooking from the heart. Please enjoy the full feature below or at this link.

Union’s Bruce Kalman: Why Chefs Should Also Be Owners

by

An opinion piece by chef Bruce Kalman of Pasadena’s Union.

Bruce Kalman is the chef of Union, which opened over a year ago to critical acclaim and a steady stream of diners in Old Town Pasadena. Partner Marie Petulla offered to give Kalman some of the ownership, which has set the restaurant up for long term success. Here now, Kalman bring his perspective as a co-owner and chef of the bustling operation.

My career started in the mid 80’s in Jersey, making pizza, chicken parm sandwiches and antipasti salads. Mind you, I was just 13, but after one day I was hooked! The ingredients, the energy, the sarcasm; I fell into the food and beverage industry head-first. Since then, I have experienced working in numerous restaurants and hotels, from fine-dining to fast-casual, all very unique, yet all had one thing in common: An owner.

This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, because I had the opportunity to work with a lot of owners directly and learn a ton about operations, business, drinking, smoking weed, and then some. I also learned about the frustrations chefs have working with owners who keep them on a tight leash (reference Jon Favreau in “Chef”). It’s the recipe for an extremely uncomfortable workplace, with tension so thick you can cut it with a knife. Everything and everyone suffers: The food, the staff, and, ultimately, the guests, usually resulting in a loss of business and sales. Can you guess who is blamed?

Now that I am both a chef and an owner, I get it, and I see both sides. You have a responsibility to the guest, and a responsibility to the staff. These days I spend most of my time developing chefs and cooks, teaching them how to stand on their own two feet and the importance of everything, not just the food.

Their responsibilities are endless – cook great food all day every day, move their asses, keep the place clean, keep things organized, make sure items on the shelves face the front like a grocery store, work like a team, have a great attitude, respect ingredients and each other, etc. The list keeps going, but this is what it takes to become a great chef and, ultimately, a great restaurateur. When my chefs ask me how I’m able to see everything, I tell them I was taught to come in expecting everything to be wrong every day. It trains you to constantly scan the room like Kit from “Knight Rider.”

Opening Union has been such a wonderfully challenging experience. During friends & family, myself and my two sous chefs decided we would set up the line and figure out where mise en place should go, as we were cooking for guests. Maybe not the best decision I have ever made, but I was free to make that decision. I was free to write the menu without “approval” from a boss; no burger required! We wanted the menu to be defined not by what was currently trending, but by the ingredients we were procuring from our purveyors, like Ben Hyman from Wild Local Seafood, and Nan Kohler from Grist & Toll, who actually opened her mill in Pasadena around the same time we opened Union.

I have a lot of chef friends, many of whom have visited me at Union, and the response is typically the same: “This food is unadulterated you!” I don’t claim to be the best chef in the world, or even in LA for that matter, but freedom has led me to cook and create some of the best food of my life. People can taste that passion.

The opportunity to partner with Marie Petulla was a definitive moment for me. She is one of the best people I know and having a partner that shares your philosophy is not only vital to the success of a restaurant, but vital for creating a cohesive team from the front to the back-of-house. There is no dividing wall between the two, like in a lot of restaurants. We always joke about how much we used to fight during the opening of Union, and say, “Hey, at least we were communicating!”

2015-04-07-union-chitarra-006.0

When people talk about how much they love the Union experience, we talk about what a big role our symbiotic relationship plays in our success. We taught our team hospitality first, service second which makes for an incredible feeling as soon as you walk through the door. I’m not saying that everything is hearts and rainbows all the time, as that would be a pipe dream! But when we have to be tough, they understand that it all comes from a great place, and that our vision and philosophy is rich and meaningful. They drink our “Kool-Aid,” which of course is local, natural, sustainable, and humanely raised!

If restaurant owners would just realize that they would benefit from allowing their chefs to do the job they were hired to do, their top lines would most likely increase, resulting in a bigger bottom line and a happier environment. Now more than ever I understand the stress and pressure that comes with owning a restaurant.

However, I also know that I can’t do it alone, so everyone’s voice needs to be heard. I do my best to teach the standard and expectations, and then try to step back and allow the team to do their best. It’s tough sometimes, but it’s the only way to build a solid foundation to grow a company. Marie and my shared commitment to operating this way has been an instrumental part of Union’s success, and something we are both excited to expand upon when we open the pasta bar at Grand Central Market this summer.

I’m not saying I haven’t learned a lot from the owners that I couldn’t deal with, in fact, without them I wouldn’t be the leader I am today. In the end, I just realized that I don’t like being told what to do!

MB Boissonnault Talks Art

June 15, 2015

If you’ve been to Union, you know that there are a few special art pieces on the walls that help to set the tone for your dining experience. Today we visited MB Boissonnault in her studio to talk about her art and the commissioned piece that welcomes you into Union.

1

Tell us about your studio.

I’ve been in this space for eight years. The building is owned by Frank Moss. He likes that there are artists still living in the neighborhood. Frank is my hero and a lot of people don’t understand the service he does to the art community here by letting us stay at a reasonable rate without wanting to get too involved. He’s doing us a huge service, but he doesn’t make a fuss out of it.  This building has a long history with the community at large. There used to be a bottling company in it. First they bottled alcohol and then eventually Coca-Cola. I’ve met neighbors who say that as kids they used to come by and steal Cokes when the bottlers weren’t looking. There are all kinds of artists living in this building: painters, welders, sculptors. All kinds.

3

4

How long have you been an artist?

I’ve been a professional artist for over 20 years. I went to school at Dusseldorf’s Art Academy in Europe which is one of the premiere art schools in the world and I lived in Europe on and off for over a decade.

The German painters trained me. They are the reason why I’m a dedicated artist. They’re precision and detail. But I’ve also got this California painter living in me which is all about light and air and freedom. I love California artists, like Larry Bell who literally made a box of light. I want to be the next wave of California artists holding space for that kind of work. As an artist I’m walking a line between that German stylized accuracy and this airy, 1960’s -1970’s California thing. The German’s are saying, “life is shit” and they’re deconstructing it and tearing it apart. The Californian’s are saying, “Life is great” and they’re creating art that is light.

What inspires you in your art?

In general, I’ve always been painting the status of America in the world. The power of land is very important to the work that I do. We are on very powerful land here in California. But, I’m from Vermont, so everything turns into a mountain. (laughs) Right now, I’m very inspired by water and more specifically, waves. For a long time I was painting specific waves, but I was finding that the image was dying during this process. Once I let go of the specific wave and gave in to painting the idea of waves, my work began to breath and the images became more environmental.

2

The art business has its highs and lows. It can be a tough row to hoe. And the art world in LA is very competitive. But if you’re that kind of person, an artist, then you’re obsessed. If you’re a painter, it’s not an existence that you choose. You just have to do it. You have to have your own voice. You have to create an alphabet for your work that everything lives inside, but you also have to constantly create something new.

How did you and Bruce meet?

I met Bruce because I work as a vegan private chef and I was hired to consult on a vegan menu for a restaurant he was working for in Santa Monica. I was a bit nervous about coming into a restaurant trying to tell a chef what to do, but after three minutes, Bruce and I were fast friends. He was just so sweet to me. I taught the staff how to deal with eaters like me; people who are vegan, gluten free, or just have a lot of issues. Bruce is a full-experience chef. He wants his diners to be taken care of.

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Union asked me to create a piece for them for the shop. Bruce and Marie came into my studio and picked out six pieces they liked, so I had an idea of what kinds of themes they were drawn to. They really liked pieces that invite you in and then open up. They liked paintings with an open heart and big sky. So, then I went into Union and just sat in their space and considered what it was like to be there. Creating an original work for Union was easy because the space is so bright and airy and inviting. I’m very happy with how the piece turned out.

Where can we see your work on display?

Right now I’ve got a show up in Ojai at a place called the Porch Gallery. It’s a gallery on the main drag which is showcasing some really great, contemporary work.

I also have a show at the end of June in the Gypsy Trails Gallery. It’s an old trailer turned art gallery that drives around to different museums. This month it will be in front of MOCA featuring some of my art.

You can find out more about MB at her website: www.mbboissonnault.com

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At market with Chef Kalman

June 12, 2015

This week we’re at the market with Chef Kalman again, picking up fresh ingredients for Union’s menu. It’s the best time of year to buy local as everything is in season and the flavors are out of control. Do yourself a favor and make a date to dine with us. Chef Kalman is inspired and as a result, everyone wins!  www.opentable.com / www.table8.com.

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A beautiful pallet of duck eggs from Jaime Farms which will get used on our Asparagus dish. The yolk in duck eggs is richer and the protein is firmer.

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Garlic, Basil, Opal Basil and Cipollini Onions all from Schaner Farms.

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This is Casi from Life’s a Choke Farms where Chef Kalman buys his asparagus. Isn’t she nice? Let her sell you some artichokes. They’re in season and beautiful.

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It’s no secret that we love Captain Ben and Wild Local Sea Food. They are one of the most sustainable fishing companies working today and can tell you exactly when and where each fish was caught. Captain Ben and Angel show off their giant Rock Cod and Vermillion Salman which Chef Kalman served for dinner the same night we bought it.

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Chef Kalman uses his pickling techniques on raisins from Peacock Farms.

 

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Remember that piece Food and Wine did on Chef Kalman’s fennel sorbet? We source the fennel from J. F. Organic Farms. The edible fennel is used for the salad and then the stalks, which would usually be thrown away, are juiced for the sorbet. We also buy our arugula from these guys for the salad.

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It’s an awesome time to buy stone fruit and everything at Fitzgerald’s is a winner. Chef Kalman took home a pallet of Fiesta Gems. They taste as delightful as they sound. You can read more about Fitzgerald at our feature here. 

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The berries are everywhere and these blueberries and Ollalieberries from Two Peas in a Pod Farms are just out of this world.

 

 

The Los Angeles Beat recaps No Kid Hungry’s Taste of the Nation

June 11, 2015

The Los Angeles Beat was at Taste of the Nation this weekend and they’ve got an excellent recap of the event with lots of great pictures. Read up on all the great plates that were served by some of LA’s best chefs and find out who won the waiter races by reading their full feature below or at this link.

Taste of the Nation No Kid Hungry Hosts Another Fantastic Event in Culver City


 
Posted on June 10, 2015 by Elise Thompson
 
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Taste of the Nation last Sunday was the perfect way to escape the heat wave by strolling the grounds of Media Park in Culver City enjoying the mature shade trees and the breezes of the Westside. It was a good time for a good cause, raising $200,000 for the No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America.
 
Our good friends from Silver Lake, Knuckle and Claw, were serving their delicious Lobster Rolls with Truffle Butter. They had a little competition from Slapfish, who were serving gorgeous “Clobster” Rolls. The Whaler went traditional with a crispy crab cake. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Michael Hung of Faith & Flower impressed with his upscale Lobster Parfait with Persian Cucumber, Lemon Cream and Trout Roe that was so beautifully composed it nearly broke the food porn meter on Instagram.
 
One seafood dish that was absolutely peerless was the Fried Skate Wing Sandwich wih fermented coleslaw, citrus onions, and green Tabasco aioli from Ray’s & Stark Bar. Skate usually reminds me of a cross between calamari and whitefish, but this big hunk of skate was flaky an tender like cod, perfect for the fish & chips-style deep fry. Cliff’s Edge presented a flavorful Octopus with Jalapeno and Snap peas.
 
Mainland Poke Shop joined the festival circuit with a stunning Salmon Poke over Watermelon Radish with Avocado Cream and Shallots. B.S. Taqueria pleased us with our new favorite dish, Campechana Verde, comprised of octopus, squid, scallops, snapper, cucumber and tomatillo. The seafood is cooked before being tossed in a lime vinaigrette, differentiating it from ceviche, although the effect is similar. Eagle Rock Brew Public House composed a plate with a perfect slice of apple, salmon, and a teensy weensy lavender flower with itty bitty herbs.
 
Kris Morningstar of Terrine brought the meat with a juicy lamb belly, and Barrel and Ashes paired smoked brisket with juicy watermelon. Pono Burger and Plan Check flipped delicious-looking burgers that seemed too filling for me at that point. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Whenever I think of Bazaar by Jose Andres I always think of their addictive take on the Philly Cheesesteak. I was beyond happy to see that was exactly what was on their menu. Dog Haus put their spin on the traditional corndog with a Masa Battered Smoked Queso Sausage, in house-made pepper jack sauce sprinkled with crushed corn chips.
 
Chef Bruce Kalman’s name is often heard in conjunction with a variety of awards. I think the award he should really be up for is best pasta. Union’s Spelt Cavatelli with Langley Farm Goat Sugo and Peruano Beans almost made us forget the duck agnolotti he served at Alex’s Lemonade last year. We look forward to hitting his upcoming pasta lab in the Grand Central Market. Although I do have to confess that Culina Modern Italia’s Ravioli alla Carbonara with pancetta, onion, thyme, marscapone and pancetta-wrapped yolk gave Union a run for their money. Joe’s/Bar Pinxto had a huge pan of Spanish paella with eggs broken on top. Border Grill and Mudhen Tavern went a little healthier with Walnut Chorizo Flatbread and a kale salad.
 
Most of the cocktails were served within a copse of trees. There was a completely different vibe in the shade than the rest of the event. It was kind of like the party arbor. Punches are definitely in right now. It’s a good way to serve a crowd a complicated cocktail that might take 5 minutes to mix. Outside of the party arbor, Tom Bergin’s was pouring Iced Irish Coffee while Ray’s and Stark Bar was shaking Mezcalifornications with El Silencio, Chateau Aloe, blood orange syrup, lime juice and cilantro. I guess the aloe helps heal the burn from the mezcal.
 
I am a bubbly girl, so I headed straight for Henriot, but they were only serving wine. So I was extremely happy to see Moet & Chandon there. Then, as I watched, the server filled a glass with ice. Whaaa? The he poured the champagne over the ice. I audibly gasped. Actually it wasn’t as ladylike as a gasp; the sound the came out was kind of like, “Eeaaaghaaah!” Both reps quickly held their hands out in a calming, palms-down gesture and insisted, “No! It’s supposed to be on ice.” Why? Why would they do that? I suspiciously accepted a glass of Ice Imperial. Very fruity. Kind of like a carbonated chardonnay. When I got home, I immediately checked the website. Yes, it is meant to be served over ice. It is a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. I guess it might be nice on a picnic, or on a boat, or at a book club. If you ran out of wine cooler.
 
Most of the desserts were frozen, as was befitting the heat. We loved Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Pop (aka popsicles) in flavors like blueberry and tangerine. We went with the blood orange. Salt & Straw’s Cacique Lemon Cheesecake with Guava Swirl Ice Cream was unbelievably good as was McConnell’s similar Eureka Lemon and Marionberries Ice Cream. Across the park, Rita’s offered a choice of Lemon or blue Cotton Candy. Hinoki & the Bird served a lovely panna cotta with honeydew, but I’m still not over Kuniko Yagi. There were two standout bread puddings, one from Valerie Confections and the other from La Brea Bakery. People often ask me about the best dish I tried at an event. This time it was definitely La Brea’s Almond Cookie. It was not crispy as expected, but soft and comforting like a warm chocolate-chip cookie.
 
The waiter races are always a popular feature of Taste of the Nation LA. Teams ran relay races starting with a bottle of wine and empty glasses, each of which must be filled from the bottle on every leg of the race. Lots of cheering and laughing covered up the gasps as glass after glass fell and shattered. In the end, Cafe Gratitude was the victor. I guess all that good karma really does accumulate.

Food and Wine on Chef Kalman’s fennel ice cream

June 10, 2015

Food and Wine is highlighting Chef Kalman’s new sorbet. They’re interested in the unique flavor, but we’re excited about the inspiration. Chef Kalman invented the flavor while trying to figure out how to use the fennel tops that would normally be thrown away. Read the full article below or at the Food and Wine website at this link.
 
5 NOT-SO-SWEET ICE CREAMS TO CHANGE UP YOUR SUMMER ROUTINE
BY FWX EDITORS | JUN 08 2015
 
fwx-savory-ice-cream-union-restaurant (Pic from Union Restaurant)
 
Grab your cones, grab your cups—it’s ice cream season, everyone. Almost every survey you look at still has vanilla and chocolate topping the list of most popular flavors, but you can only put so many variations of chocolate into frozen cream before you need to try something new. Here, five ways chefs are rethinking everyone’s favorite summer dessert in out-there and interesting ways.
 
1. Fennel Sorbet – Pasadena, CA
 
Chef Bruce Kalman of Union Restaurant spent some time trying to figure out what to do with all his leftover fennel stalks and finally came up with his fennel sorbet, which he serves along a shaved fennel salad with wild arugula, grapefruit and ricotta.
 
2. Burrata Soft Serve – New York City
 
Dominique Ansel just recently opened an ice cream window at his New York bakery and brought the world cheese ice cream. The man behind the Cronut serves up his soft serve with balsamic caramel and confited strawberry.
 
3. Celery Sorbet – New York City
 
Franklin Becker’s vegetarian-friendly Little Beet Table in New York’s Flatiron District has an ultra-refreshing celery sorbet with fresh berries for those health-conscious folks looking for a guilt-free dessert.
 
4. English Pea Ice Cream – Chicago
 
Fennel, celery and now pea ice cream from Chicago’s Longman & Eagle: Green vegetables are having a frozen moment. L&E’s Jeremy Brutzkus serves it alongside a brown butter profiterole with ricotta and Earl Grey custards, Earl Grey caramel and Earl Grey gelée.
 
5. Avocado Ice Cream – Los Angeles
 
Curtis Stone moved ice cream to the beginning of the meal at Maude. He is also aware that, presently, everyone’s favorite food is avocado. He serves his avocado ice cream with zucchini, coconut and sorrel as the first savory course on the menu.

Los Angeles Magazine highlights Chef Kalman’s “no-waste mentality”

June 9, 2015

The Los Angeles Magazine spoke with Chef Kalman about his root to leaf agenda which has helped to eliminate food waste in Union’s kitchen. Chef Kalman has made this food issue a priority and whatever food cannot be used is then sent back to the farm as compost. Please enjoy the full LA Magazine article below or read it on their website at this link.
 

Forget Juicing for Health. These L.A. Chefs Are Juicing for Flavor

 
Juicers, the long-favored implement of raw food enthusiasts and the diet set, find a home in restaurant kitchens
 
June 4, 2015 Gillian Ferguson
 
Juicing: it’s a verb you probably don’t associate with chef culture, but a handful of serious L.A. chefs employ the help of a Breville Juice Fountain in ways that may shock the average Moon Juice customer.
 
“I hate wasting things,” says Jeremy Fox, the Rustic Canyon chef who uses both juicers and dehydrators to coax flavor out of husks, skins, cores, and roots.
 
One of the restaurant’s signature dishes, Beets and Berries, incorporates beet juice as well as the dehydrated beet pulp that is left behind after juicing the root vegetables—Fox mortar and pestles the dehydrated beet pulp with olive oil, pistachio, salt, and sugar to form what looks like soil.
 
“It’s not just novelty,” he says. “It really adds something to the dish.”
 
Beet juice also finds its way into the bar program at Rustic Canyon, where it’s reduced with sugar and Windrose Farm’s dried geranium, taking the place of crème de cassis in a market-inspired riff on the classic Kir Royale (listed on the menu as the Beet Royale).
 
“It looks just like a royale,” Fox explains. “It tastes just a little different, but you would never think, ‘oh this is beets.’”
 
At Union in Pasadena, chef Bruce Kalman brings a similar no-waste mentality to his kitchen, where beet stems are pickled, and cauliflower cores are made palatable by slicing them razor thin.
 
Kalman, who has become a juicing convert in his personal life, has found ways to incorporate his Breville into the menu-prep at Union as well—fresh carrot juice is added to a carrot broth for a hit of freshness. Even the pods of English peas and fava beans are juiced.
 
“It’s insane. It’s so, so, so flavorful,” he says of the fresh pea-pod juice, which he served with roasted porcini mushrooms on last week’s menu.
 
Kalman is quick to cite the shocking statistic that 40 percent of our nation’s produce is wasted from farm to table and, like Fox, he has pledged to use vegetables from leaf to root just as butchers tout the sustainability of nose to tail.
 
He chimes in with a laugh, “If I could pickle egg shells and make them palatable, I would.”
 
Rustic Canyon, 1119 Wilshire Blvd., 310-393-7050
 
Union, 37 Union St., Pasadena, 626-795-5841

Join Chef Kalman at Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry

June 4, 2015

Chef Kalman will be cooking at Taste of the Nation to help raise money for No Kid Hungry. The event is happening this Sunday, June 7, at Media Park in Culver City and tickets are still available online at this link. From No Kid Hungry’s website:
 
Our Priority: End Child Hunger in America
 
No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.
 
What we do
 
The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending child hunger a national priority.
 
How we do it
 
We’re working to end child hunger in America by connecting kids to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals. This work is accomplished through the No Kid Hungry network, made up of private citizens, government officials, business leaders, and others providing innovative hunger solutions in their communities. These partners work together, implementing solutions that break down the barriers that keep kids from healthy food.
 
Through its Cooking Matters program, the No Kid Hungry campaign educates and empowers low-income families to stretch their food budgets so their kids get healthy meals at home. Cooking Matters participants learn to shop strategically, use nutrition information to make healthier food choices, and cook delicious, affordable meals.
 
The No Kid Hungry campaign works to shine a national spotlight on the crisis of child hunger in America, creating a powerful movement of individuals committed to bold action. We build partnerships that enlist influential individuals in the cause and advocate policy changes needed to achieve our goals.
 
Form header
 
(Pic from thebuzzmagazines.com)
 

Los Angeles’ Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry

June 7, 2015
Media Park in Culver City
9070 Venice Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
 
Buy your ticket to the hottest food and wine event of 2015 and help fight childhood hunger.
 
Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry is the nation’s premier culinary benefit, featuring top chefs and mixologists — all of whom are coming together to donate their time, talent and passion to end childhood hunger in America.
 
You’re not a true foodie unless you make it to this event! Come and check out the latest and greatest from the hot culinary scene in Los Angeles. Taste over 40 different yummy bites from the best Chefs in town — and meet them! Eat, drink, have fun and help end childhood hunger.

Chef Kalman is Fair Trade’s June Basket

June 3, 2015

The Fare Trade is featuring our very own Chef Kalman for their June basket! He’s put together an awesome batch of goods for you and they’ve got a bunch of tutorial videos up so that you can use everything like a professional chef.
 
Follow this link to purchase your very own basket.
 
Follow this link to Chef Kalman’s tutorials.
 
Follow this link to Chef Kalman’s recipes.
 

June’s Featured Products

(all content from Thefaretrade.com)
 
Crostini-_-Bianco-Napoli-San-Marzano-Tomatos-_-Burrata
 
Bianco DiNapoli | San Marzano Tomatoes
Crafted By: Chris Bianco + Rob DiNapoli
 
Los Gatos, CA
 
Developed by James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef, Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, Arizona as an answer to his growing need for the perfect tomato – Bianco DiNapoli illustrates his philosophy of supporting Farmers and Artisans to showcase how the best ingredients are the ones prepared simply with care. Partnering with Rob DiNapoli has allowed Bianco to accomplish just that.
 
The tomatoes are perfectly suited for all traditional uses such as Marinara sauce, Bolognese or a top a pizza inspired by Chef Bianco and used to create inventive dishes such as Shakshuka with braised seasonal greens, Bison Chili, or homemade Pesto Gnocchi.
 
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BK Spice Rubs | Porchetta Rub
Crafted By: Bruce Kalman
 
Pasadena, CA
 
Made with 100% all-natural ingredients including HEPP’s Portuguese Sea Salt, Fennel Seed, Garlic, Rosemary, Calabrian Chile Flake, Black Pepper, Fennel Pollen, and Lemon Zest, the flavor profile was inspired by a trip our Chef Collaborator took to Italy years ago.
 
After having the pleasure of tasting a simply made Porchetta with local ingredients, Bruce has been hard at work developing a rub reminiscent of that trip enhanced by his philosophy as a chef. While the blend will complement any cut of meat its Tuscan properties also allow it to meld well in a variety of dishes and preparations. We love using it to add depth to stews and soups, paired with yogurt for crudités of seasonal vegetables, or rubbed on a perfectly crisp roast chicken.
 
Grist-and-Toll-Polenta
 
Grist & Toll Polenta
Crafted By: Nan Kohler + Marti Noxon
 
Pasadena, CA
 
Made with non-GMO corn, the Stone Milled Polenta from Grist + Toll produces a product that chefs far and wide have quickly adopted for it’s texture, flavor, and ability to meld well with other ingredients both sweet and savory.
 
Utilizing the technique shared by Chef Bruce Kalman we find the starch a great complement to mushrooms, rabbit ragu, or even a fried egg. Chill the polenta and re-fry with sage and other aromatics and top with fresh ricotta; grill and top with bruschetta; or make a cake with seasonal berries and fresh fruit.
 
Fontina+Grilled+Cheese+-+Strawberry+Jam
 
Seascape Strawberry + Rose Geranium Jam
Crafted By: Jessica Koslow
 
Los Angeles, CA
 
McGrath Family Farms, which has been growing the land in Oxnard since 1868, produces the beautiful organic Seascape Strawberries found in this sweet, acidic jam. Firm in texture and compact in size these berries are the ideal variety for preserving. Paired with Rose Geranium produces an elegance to the jam and floral notes that are ideal for early summer. While the jam is ideal for a crunchy piece of Brioche it also is a great addition to pastries, with porridge, or folded into crepes.
 
Dakota-Pop-Curried-Pig-Popcorn
 
Dakota’s Pop Parlor | Curried Pig Popcorn
Crafted By: Dakota Weiss
 
Los Angeles, CA
 
Dakota’s Pop Parlor started out a hobby fueled by a passion to see what flavors could successfully pair with popcorn. Luckily for us – the answer was many! Even better, popcorn is considered an antioxidant and low in calories.
 
This organically grown popcorn is infused with Madras Curry Toffee, Smoked Pistachios, and Hobb’s Bacon resulting in a bracingly savory and earthy mixture that lends itself well to pie crusts, atop desserts, mixed in salads, and of course, for snacking.

We’re Hiring Pastry Cooks

June 3, 2015

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Union in Pasadena is currently looking for experienced, passionate individuals to join Chef Bruce Kalman in executing his seasonal, California-inspired Northern Italian, farm-to-table menu.
 
Currently seeking candidates for:
 
• Pastry Cooks
 
Candidates should be experienced cooks that are eager to learn and excited to grow with the company. The position requires making daily trips to local farmer’s markets and building great relationships with vendors to source the finest seasonal ingredients. Hardworking team players that thrive on being dedicated and reliable are a MUST.
 
Requirements:
Must have 3 years of cooking experience in a similar discipline as well as have a flexible schedule to include availability on nights and weekends. Candidates should also have a food handler’s card. Please do not apply if you do not meet these requirements.
 
Compensation:
Salary will be based on experience and include benefits with potential bonus.
 
Please send your cover letter and resume to bruce@localsustainabletable.com when replying to this ad for consideration. No phone calls please.
www.unionpasadena.com

“Root to Leaf” — Chef Kalman on KCRW Market Report

June 1, 2015

Laura Avery speaks with Chef Kalman at the Santa Monica Farmers Market about how he’s making an effort to eliminate food waste in his restaurants. His efforts include using “ugly food”, juicing pea pods and composting among.
 

“When we juiced the pea pods, the flavor was so incredibly sweet. It had this essence of garden, of Earth, and it was so wonderful.” — Bruce Kalman

 

 

“Our waste stream is very minimal. If I could pickle egg shells and make them edible, I would.” — Bruce Kalman

GolfWineAndDine.com says Union is “one of our favorite places for date night”

May 29, 2015

Thank you to Golf Wine and Dine for dining with us and saying such nice things in print. Read what they had to say below and check out the article on their website to see lots of big pics. If you’d like to have date night with us, just call head to make a reservation 626-795-5841 or reserve online @ www.opentable.com or www.table8.com.
 

Union

 
May 27, 2015 California | Restaurants
 
Union is a small, farmer’s market to table style restaurant in Old Town Pasadena, California. Chef Bruce Kalman was the winner of Chopped (season 13) on the Food Network. He is an expert with charcuterie, pickled/ fermented foods, and fresh pasta. His cuisine is diverse but generally Northern Italian and Mediterranean.
 
Overall, this is one of our favorite places for date night. Make a reservation because it is very popular. If you just have 2 people, ask for the Chef’s table which is basically a seat at the bar right next to the kitchen. It is a great experience as the chef will often bring you your food and describe it to you. If you have more than 2 people ask for a table by the window because most of the other tables are too close together and feel crowded.
 
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Bread with homemade cultured butter and giardiniera
 
Address- 37 E. Union Street, Pasadena, California 91103
 
Phone- 626-795-5841

At Market with Chef Kalman

May 28, 2015

We’re at the market every week picking up fresh produce to bring you the best of what local farmers have to offer. We love all of our suppliers and encourage our eaters to shop local, eat fresh and make friends with the people who are growing your food. When we asked what Chef Kalman was most excited about this time at the market, he said “everything!”. Please enjoy some pics of what’s in season and being served at Union. — All pics from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.

A basket full of goodies from our time at market.

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These purple potatoes will go into the Little Gem Salad.

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Red shallot onions from JF Organic Farms. 

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Squash blossoms from JF Organic Farms which will be sauteed.

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Mike and Dan pick up the goods.

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Flowers for the tables from Peads and Barnetts.

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Asparagus from Life’s a Choke Farms.

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Bruce picks a handful of beautiful nasturtium from Coleman Family Farms.

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When you’re at the market, say hi to Laura! She knows everything about the market and is very nice.

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Peruano Beans from Two Peas in a Pod and Mama’s Preserves.

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English peas for the Spring Panzanella Salad. Chef Kalman also juices the peapods as a way to eliminate food waste.

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Gi-normous mulberries so good Chef Kalman calls them “F*cking awesome”.

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Meyer lemons from J.J.’s Lone Daughter Farms for that amazing Meyer Lemon Panacotta.

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We’re hiring!

May 26, 2015

Union in Pasadena is currently looking for experienced, passionate individuals to join Chef Bruce Kalman in executing his seasonal, Cal-inspired Northern Italian, farm-to-table menu.

Currently seeking candidates for:

• Pasta Makers
• Cooks

Candidates should be experienced cooks that are eager to learn and excited to grow with the company. The position requires making daily trips to local farmer’s markets and building great relationships with vendors to source the finest seasonal ingredients. Hardworking team players that thrive on being dedicated and reliable are a MUST.

Requirements:
Must have 3 years of cooking experience in a similar discipline as well as have a flexible schedule to include availability on nights and weekends. Candidates should also have a food handler’s card. Please do not apply if you do not meet these requirements.

Compensation:
Salary will be based on experience and include benefits with potential bonus.

Please send cover letter and resume to bruce@localsustainabletable.com for consideration. No phone calls please.

LA Magazine talks wine with George Pitsironis

May 18, 2015

Our esteemed Wine Director, George Pitsironis, was featured by LA Magazine in their piece on modern wine. Make your reservation today and let George recommend a pairing for you. www.table8.com / www.opentable.com. You can read the full article below or at this link.
 

Wine Lists of the Future

 
Here’s what you’ll be drinking, according to L.A.’s new wave of sommeliers
May 18, 2015 Jonathan Cristaldi
 
Want to see the future? Dive in to The Brand New L.A. Week at LAmag.com! Inspired by “L.A. on the Verge”—a far-reaching guide to the big boom transforming the Los Angeles that appears in our June issue—we’ve prepared five days’ worth of stories about the city’s exciting next chapter. How will L.A. look, work, and even taste in 2020 and beyond? Read on to find out.
 
The paradigm is shifting in the wine world. The old guard who’ve long influenced our drinking habits (and resisted change in the industry) is giving way to a modern movement—a new wave of outspoken personalities, i.e. the social sommeliers, who champion iconoclastic winemakers, emerging regions, and novel approaches.
 
These days, when the competition for space on wine lists is so fierce, new styles of traditional varietal wines are becoming the norm. Grapes like Grüner Veltliner, Riesling and Albariño are stealing the spotlight, and radical new techniques—from anfora-aged, skin-fermented whites to wines aged in concrete eggs—make for compelling (and sellable) narratives.
 
Additionally, the rise of the social sommelier has helped to catapult an esoteric range of natural, organic, and biodynamic wines from boutique producers in the U.S. and smaller countries, including Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and even Lebanon, while also ushering in a young, rebellious set of winemakers from countries like Italy and France, who have thrown off the gloves of tradition to create some of the most exciting wines in recent memory.
 
Here’s what some of L.A.’s new guard has to say about what you’ll be seeing on wine lists (and drinking more of) in 2016 and beyond.
 
WinesoftheFuture2
 
WineListoftheFuture
 
Hirutza 2012 Hondarrabi Zuri, Getariako Txakolina, Spain, $17
Jason Eisner, beverage director, Gracias Madre: “Low alcohol, pithy, and slightly effervescent wines will start popping up everywhere—a good example of this is the savory, gentle, palate pleasing Txakolina grape from Spain’s Basque region that is going to take Los Angeles by storm. At Gracias Madre, I carry this wine, which is a mouth full to pronounce, but totally worth every sip.”
 
Buoni Anni 2012 “Bianco” Santa Barbara County, USA, $32
Guy Gabriele, owner and wine director at Love & Salt: “I believe the most exiting changes are taking place in our own backyard—California Central Coast—where great Rhone varietal wines are being produced along with stunning Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs from Santa Barbara. This is a white blend of Tocai Friulano, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Grigio from top vineyards in Santa Barbara County.”
 
Bellwether Cellars 2013 Riesling “A&D Vineyard” Finger Lakes, New York, $22
Matthew Kaner, wine director and co-owner of Bar Covell and Augustine Wine Bar: “Wines from the Finger Lakes of New York are growing in popularity—Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Pinot Noir. I visited the region this past September and was blown away by the dry wines being made by specialized producers. There’s also been a big shift in seasonal drinking, and consumers are finally learning the wine vernacular, which is paramount to their ability to communicate drinking desires.”
 
Rovellotti 2005 Costa del Salmino Riserva, Ghemme DOCG, Italy, $50
Taylor Parsons, general manager and beverage director at République: “Sky-high prices and the increasing scarcity of the grand wines of the Old World means that lists will be taking even bigger positions on stuff from outlying and/or forgotten areas. The reds of Alto Piemonte fill the vacuum perfectly—just serious enough, but purely and unequivocally delicious.”
 
Kellerei Bozen-Cantina Bolzano 2014 Weissburgunder, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy, $13
George Pitsironis, wine director, Union Restaurant: “Italy has so much to offer in terms of whites that are indigenous varieties and food-friendly. I have seen a wonderful adventurous spirit from guests open to trying fun Italian whites that are not Pinot Grigio—varieties like Verdicchio, Vernaccia, Pecorino, Fiano. This wine which comes from the Alto Adige region where most of the Pinot Grigio is produced, yet a wine like this Weissburgunder (Pinot Bianco) is what the locals drink on tap for themselves.”

 
Occhipinti TK “Il Frappato” Sicilia IGT, Sicily, $37
Piero Selvaggio, owner of Valentino: “I’m seeing more and more biodynamic and natural wines—also fresh white wines with no oak, crispy, like a Grenache Blanc or supple like a Grillo from Sicily or a white Malvasia. Look for young producers like Arianna Occhipinti and her Frappato from Sicily—a dazzling wine that will stir dreams of Sicilian countryside while you sleep.”
 
Habit 2014 Rosé Vogelzang Vineyard, Happy Canyon, Santa Barbara, USA $23
Elisa Terrazas, assistant wine director and manager at a.o.c. Wine Bar.: “Rosés are very popular right now, because they’re fun for the summer–refreshing, bright, acidic, clean and loaded with bright red berry character. Jeff Fischer, who makes Habit, knows how to rock out a rosé that is clean crisp and should be at every pool party or oyster party.”
 
Camossi NV Brut Satèn, Franciacorta DOCG, Italy, $20
Christine Veys, wine manager at Sotto: “Italian sparkling wines on well curated wine lists are the next hot thing. Think Franciacorta instead of the obvious choice of expensive Champagne to celebrate a special occasion. This was the first Northern Italian wine that Jeremy Parzen put on our list because this is what people are drinking all over Italy. ‘Satèn’ refers to the appellation’s silk producing roots as well as the wine’s creamy finish.”

Get free BK Spice Rubs!

May 14, 2015

Brunch @ Union with Jenn Louis

May 11, 2015

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PROUDLY PRESENTS:
 
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Pasta By Hand Brunch at Union Restaurant

 
With:
Chef Jenn Louis
and
Chef Bruce Kalman
 
DETAILS:
Date: Sunday, May 24th
What: Pasta By Hand Brunch at Union Restaurant
Time: 11 AM
Price: $100 per person not including tax and automatic gratuity (20%) – includes signed copy of Pasta By Hand — Family style brunch: Antipasti course, 3 pastas from Jenn’s book, dessert, and a selection of paired wines.
 
Reservations are limited, and may only be purchased and booked in advance through Union Restaurant.
 
Please call 626-795-5841 or email: info@unionpasadena.com for payment and booking information
 

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Jenn Louis

Jenn Louis

Chef/Co-Owner – Lincoln Restaurant, Portland, OR
 
Consistent, simple and purposeful. This is the philosophy and approach that has propelled Chef Jenn Louis to a culinary career spanning nearly two decades. Louis’ journey began as a teenager struggling to find her path as an artist. After graduating from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, Louis traveled throughout Europe and North and South America, even settling in Israel for several months. Upon her return to California, she learned of a job opening from a close friend cooking for an Outward Bound base camp deep in the North Carolina woods. Louis landed the job and after a few short weeks at the camp, she had an epiphany that cooking was her passion and could lead to a successful and fulfilling life-long career. Louis followed this dream all the way to the Western Culinary Institute of Portland, and shortly after began working as a line cook at the prominent Portland restaurant, Wildwood.
 
In 2000, Louis’ entrepreneurial spirit led her to open Culinary Artistry, a full-service catering company, providing everything from valet service to floral arrangements to an array of menu styles. Today, it is considered one of the top event planning companies in Portland, one that is not only wildly successful but committed to sustainable business practices.
 
Eight years later, rooted by the myriad inspirations of their home, Louis and husband David Welch opened their first brick-and-mortar concept, Lincoln Restaurant. Lincoln is a balance between old and new, modern and classic, rustic and refined. Louis’ menu takes its cue from the seasons, harvesting locally-grown Pacific Northwest ingredients and transforming them into sophisticated yet honest fare. Her mix of fortitude and finesse immediately made Lincoln a standout on the Portland restaurant scene. Just a few short months after opening, the restaurant was recognized as one of Condé Nast Traveler’s “Hot List” of 50 top new restaurants in North America, while Louis was recognized as a semifinalist for the 2010 and 2011 James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Northwest.” The success of Lincoln was overwhelming, but it sparked an idea for her next venture.
 
In the spring of 2011, Louis and Welch launched their second restaurant, Sunshine Tavern, in the Southeast Division district of Portland. Louis and Welch sought to create a haven for both young families and singles, serving up soul-satisfying food and playful cocktails. For this quintessential tavern, Louis created dishes that are comforting and unfussy, while using the highest quality ingredients available – a philosophy she has felt passionate about throughout her culinary career. In 2012, the popularity of Lincoln Restaurant and Sunshine Tavern catapulted Louis’ presence on a national scale and she was named one of Food & Wine’s prestigious Best New Chefs.
 
When not in the kitchen or planning events, Louis can be found traveling the globe with her husband, teaching cooking classes, playing the drums or spending time with her three cats, White Cat, Orange Cat and Wasco.
 
– See more at: http://lincolnpdx.com/bios/#sthash.jsQWqqNU.dpuf
 
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Bruce Kalman

Chef/Co-Owner – Union Restaurant, Pasadena, CA
 
Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Bruce has spent almost his entire life working in kitchens. His culinary career began at a local pizzeria owned by a family friend, where he fell in love with fresh ingredients and the beat of the kitchen. He attended a small hands-on culinary program at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, NJ, where he began to hone his skills and perfect his simple approach to great food. Bruce has since traveled the United States, working in New York City with David Burke at Park Ave Cafe, and in Chicago with Paul Bartalotta at Spiaggia. His executive chef stints span the nation from Chicago (Okno, Green Dolphin Street and Coco Pazzo) to Santa Fe, NM (Il Piatto) and Phoenix, AZ (Chelsea’s Kitchen).
 
Bruce made the final move to Los Angeles, CA to open The Misfit in Santa Monica, serving farmers’ market driven fare, with a strong emphasis on Northern Italian and Mediterranean flavors and preparations. He continued this tradition as Executive Chef of The Churchill in West Hollywood, CA, where he continued to perfect the art of hand crafted cuisine, homemade charcuterie and pickles, and fresh pasta and desserts. Accolades include a James Beard nomination for “Rising Star Chef”, dozens of gushing reviews from food critics like Jonathan Gold and he has made several appearances on many local and national TV programs, including the Food Network, Esquire Network, and Bravo. Bruce currently stars in his latest role as Executive Chef of Union in Old Town Pasadena, California, serving up Northern Italian-inspired cuisine with local, farm-fresh ingredients and his simplistic approach to good food. Follow Bruce to learn more and click on Bookings & Press to get in touch with Bruce and have him help your next event be a success.
 
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Pasta is the ultimate comfort food, and making it by hand is a favorite project for weekend cooks. From rising culinary star and 2012 Food & Wine Best New Chef Jenn Louis, this book includes more than 65 recipes for hand-shaped traditional pastas and dumplings, along with deeply satisfying sauces to mix and match. Louis shares her recipes and expertise in hand-forming beloved shapes such as gnocchi, orecchiette, gnudi, and spatzli as well as dozens of other regional pasta specialties appearing for the first time in an English-language cookbook. With photos of finished dishes and step-by-step shaping sequences, this beautiful book is perfect for DIY cooks and lovers of Italian food.

Categories: Events

Learn pasta making from Chef Kalman!

May 7, 2015

Chef Kalman is teaching a pasta making class at Grist & Toll! See the details below and follow this link to secure your spot.
 
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Sunday, May 31, 2015 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM (PDT)
Pasadena, CA
 
Grist & Toll Presents Chef Bruce Kalman of Union, Pasadena For a Hands On WorkshopHandmade Pasta from Local Grains
 
We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Pasadena chef and champion of local and sustainability, Bruce Kalman, to Grist & Toll. His restaurant, Union, is racking up accolades and awards for its market driven menus. Gushing food critic reviews, appearances on Tom Colicchio’s Best New Restaurant and at the James Beard House, all confirm that the buzz is warranted and Chef Kalman is in demand. We are stealing him away for an afternoon of fun with local flour and sharing with you his best recipes and techniques for making pasta by hand.
 
Class Outline:
Students will learn a basic sheeted pasta dough recipe, made from California grown Durum wheat, and how to create pastas of many shapes and sizes from that master recipe.
We’ll then take our pasta skills to the next level, learning insider tips and techniques for shaped pasta, including Agnolotti with English Peas/Ricotta/Lemon/Mint, and Nan’s personal favorite, Bruce’s Spelt Cavatelli.
To go with our pasta, chef Kalman will teach us to make some of Union’s tried and true sauces and accompaniments: Parmigiano Broth, Cacio e Pepe, and Spicy Tomato.
 
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About Chef Kalman:
 
Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Bruce has spent almost his entire life working in kitchens, and was trained by some of the nation’s top chefs. His culinary career began at a local pizzeria owned by a family friend, where he fell in love with fresh ingredients and the beat of the kitchen. He attended a small hands-on culinary program at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, NJ, where he began to hone his skills. Bruce has since traveled the United States, working in New York City with David Burke at Park Ave Cafe, and in Chicago with Paul Bartalotta at Spiaggia. His executive chef stints span the nation from Chicago (Okno, Green Dolphin Street and Coco Pazzo) to Santa Fe, NM (Il Piatto) and Phoenix, AZ (Chelsea’s Kitchen).
 
Bruce made the final move to Los Angeles, CA to open The Misfit in Santa Monica, serving farmer’s market driven fare, with a strong emphasis on Northern Italian and Mediterranean flavors and preparations. He continued this tradition as executive chef of The Churchill in West Hollywood, CA, where he continued to perfect the art of hand crafted cuisine. House made charcuterie and pickles, along with fresh pasta and desserts are some of the highlights of the menu at this market driven restaurant.Accolades include a James Beard nomination for “Rising Star Chef”, and appearances on many local and national TV programs, including the Food Network, mostly recently the winner of Chopped, season 15, episode 1 “head’s up”, aired 3/31/13.
 
Bruce left the Churchill to start his specialty company, Bruce’s Prime Pickle Co, a line of “vine to jar”, hand packed pickled vegetables inspired by fresh, seasonal produce of the west coast.
 
Class Size is limited. No refunds or cancellations after May 23, 2015
All class materials and supplies will be provided, but please bring your own apron.

Chef Kalman teaching a cooking class on Mother’s Day!

May 5, 2015

**From the LaVarenne website**

May 9th — Mother’s Day Class with Bruce Kalman!


(Posted Friday, May 1 2015)
 
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There is still space available for our May 9th class with Bruce Kalman of Union Restaurant in Pasadena. Learn his secrets to homemade pickling, pasta by hand and that world famous porchetta with salsa verde. Bruce has developed a fresh and seasonal menu that is sure to inspire and delight us all. We are so happy to have this LA up and comer here at La Varenne.
 
Since opening in March of 2014, Union has been coined one of Zagat’s Hottest New Restaurants around LA and one of Los Angeles Magazine’s “Buzziest Restaurants.” He has already received rave reviews from LA Weekly’s Besha Rodell and Jonathan Gold of the Los Angeles Times and he recently appeared on Tom Colicchio’s Best New Restaurant. We are thrilled to have this Los Angeles up-and-comer on the roster at La Varenne. Join Bruce and Anne for this intimate class of 15 just in time for Mother’s Day!
 
To sign up call 310.396.7464 or email nicole@lavarenne.com

LA Times highlights how Union avoids food waste

May 4, 2015

The LA Times is talking about food waste; What the consequences are, how local restaurants take action against it how we all can work to prevent it. We are so thankful to the LA Times for including us in this conversation. You can read this article in its entirety below, or at this link.
 

Tackling global issues by targeting food waste

 
What’s the point of worrying about organic food, genetically modified organisms, locally sourced items and fair trade if more than a third of it will simply go to waste? Discarded food is a serious issue, and it’s garnering attention from a variety of places. Statistics are stunning: Approximately 40% of food in America goes uneaten — the equivalent of $165 billion a year. Globally, it’s estimated that at least one-third of the world’s food is wasted across the supply chain. Not only could curbing the waste have a profound effect on the very real issue of hunger but it could also help with less-obvious concerns — water supplies, energy and land use, even climate change.
 
In March, New York chef Dan Barber transformed his Greenwich restaurant Blue Hill into wastED, a three-week pop-up devoted to the theme of food waste and reuse. WastED collaborated with suppliers across the food chain, along with more than 20 guest chefs, to conceive dishes from food that would normally be discarded. In April, the documentary “Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story” premiered to American audiences. In it, filmmakers Grant Baldwin and Jen Rustemeyer pledge to live off of discarded food for six months, and through their journey they explore issues of waste across the food chain — from the farm, through retail and into a consumer’s refrigerator.
 
“Every day, America wastes enough food to fill the Rose Bowl,” writes Jonathan Bloom in the opening to his book “American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We can Do About It).”
 
“For the most part, we don’t recognize we’re throwing away good food,” Bloom said recently, citing the disconnect when it comes to the amount of food wasted in individual households. Where most people may have a sense that there is a lot of waste society-wide, they don’t implicate themselves as part of the problem. “They don’t tend to look in the mirror because it’s so easily disposed of. It’s down the drain, it’s out with the trash or it’s sent back half-eaten at a restaurant.”
 
Before produce even has a chance to reach the average consumer, much of it is discarded merely because of imperfections in appearance.
 
“Around 6 billion pounds of produce is wasted each year because of looks,” says Ben Simon, a co-founder of Imperfect. The venture, scheduled to launch this summer, will take so-called ugly produce from California’s Central Valley and distribute it to subscribers in Oakland and Berkeley at a discounted price.
 
“The genesis [of wastED] was expanding the whole idea of what waste was,” says Barber, arguing that the American expectation of a plate of food is inherently wasteful. “We cherry-pick what we want to eat instead of eating the whole thing.”
 
As Barber worked with other chefs in the wastED pop-up, he noticed that many were pulling ideas from items already on their menus. “But they weren’t calling it waste. We’re talking fine dining.” Barber feels that restaurants and chefs should be credited for the creative work they do to make use of everything that comes into the kitchen. “We get blamed for preciousness and elitism. We need to wear what we do on our sleeve. Chefs are doing this already.”
 
“I grew up doing this. We used everything; that was just a way of life,” says Michael Fiorelli, chef at Love & Salt in Manhattan Beach. “Now it’s funny to me that [it’s trendy].” Fiorelli has a dish on his menu made from sautéed cauliflower leaves, served over a soft mascarpone polenta. The leaves are usually discarded after the vegetable is cleaned. “Why would I throw the leaves in the trash? There are so many different ways to use them — just love them up a little.”
 
At Union Restaurant in Pasadena, chef Bruce Kalman infuses butter with the woody ends cut from asparagus. He uses it with his fingerling potato gnocchi. “I thought about all the flavors of spring and creative ways to add flavor. It’s asparagus flavor without the asparagus. It eliminates food waste and enhances the flavor of the dish.”
 
Barber feels the conversation about food waste has only begun. “This is a larger theme beyond just American waste. Where is the conversation going? Because the current conversation doesn’t go far enough. What’s needed is a cultural shift.”
 
::
 
Tips for reducing food waste in the home:
 
Shop smarter. “Primarily it’s shopping smarter. Not bringing too much into your own home so you doom yourself to waste food. We squander 25% of the food we bring home.” — Jonathan Bloom, author of “American Wasteland”
 
Try to use every part of a food item you buy. “We cherry-pick certain ingredients we want to eat instead of the whole thing. Waste should become gastronomic invention.” — Dan Barber, chef, author and creator of wastED
 
Don’t just look for perfect produce in the stores. “When you’re grocery shopping, you can buy imperfect or buy the stuff no one else is going to buy. You can start that right now.” — Grant Baldwin, “Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story” filmmaker
 
Love your leftovers. “Save and actually eat the leftovers. You’d be amazed how many people are so careful with packing everything up to get it into their refrigerator, only to let it rot once it’s there.” — Bloom
 
Avoid wasting meat, especially. “The single biggest thing you can do is avoid wasting any meat at all, because the amount of water and land you’re wasting through this is disproportionately massive. Eat the whole thing.” — Tristram Stuart, author of “Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal” and founder of the environmental charity Feedback.
 
Manage your refrigerator. “We don’t need to fill our refrigerators front to back.” — Baldwin
 
Befriend your freezer. “Use it as a way to avoid waste. Pretty much every food item can be frozen.” — Bloom
 
Treat expiration dates as a guide. “Trust your senses, not the expiration date. It’s not the ultimate arbiter of when a food should or shouldn’t be eaten.” — Bloom
 
Push for your store to donate leftover unsold food. “Grocery stores are realizing they need to do something about it. I think at some point, people will pressure them with what they expect, just as they expect to see local and fair trade food. They’ll expect to see they’re donating food.” — Baldwin
 
Order only what you’ll eat at restaurants. “When you’re out, maybe just say, ‘I don’t need full portions.’ If you don’t need fries because you’re on an Atkins Diet, then don’t have them placed on the plate.” — Baldwin
 
Compost. “Composting has a role. It’s great keeping that stuff out of the landfill, and it has a real role in raising awareness in how much food we’re throwing away as a household and as a society.” — Bloom
 
Consider your place in the global food system. “Once you connect your daily food choices — what you buy, where you buy it, whether you eat it all or throw it away — to the global phenomenon and you accept it, it’s not so much what you do. It’s really who you are.” — Stuart
 
noelle.carter@latimes.com
 
Twitter: @noellecarter

LA Mag Highlights Union’s Spring Menu

April 30, 2015

Dining at Union is a new experience every night as our dishes change with what’s for sale at the farmers market each day. Chef Kalman speaks with LA Magazine about his favorite season, spring, and they highlight what’s new on our menu. www.opentable.com / www.table8.com.
 
Read their feature on us below or read the article in its entirety at this link.
 

Tastes Like Spring at These Restaurants


 
L.A. chefs embrace the season with showstopping dishes
April 29, 2015 Joy Hui Lin
 
It’s time for L.A. chefs to have their spring flings.
 
Out in Pasadena, nestled in the popular Old Town, chef Bruce Kalman gives spring vegetables the spotlight in his elegant risotto primavera at Union. The restrained dish allows the sweetness of the English peas, fava beans, asparagus, and wild nettles to shine.
 
Kalman’s menu also makes excellent use of freshly laid eggs of all kinds available here in Southern California. “Everything is better with an egg,” says Kalman, who puts a fresh farmhouse egg atop his skillful remake of carbonara with ricotta and wild nettle cavatelli, which he makes by dehydrating wild nettles and adding it to the pasta dough. His pastas have a toothsome quality that brings your fork springing back again and again for the next bite.
 
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Union Pictures from Visit to James Beard Foundation

April 23, 2015

The Union crew had the pleasure of cooking at the James Beard Foundation. We brought our chef and our Wine Director who gave the eaters a series of dream pairings. Check out lots of great photos and tons of gorgeous food porn from the event below.
 
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Union is Tasty Chronicles’ “Obsession”

April 22, 2015

The Tasty Chronicles stopped by and had some hyphenated swear words to describe how good the food is. We love that they think we’re for serious eaters only. We thank Tasty Chronicles for their sentiment and also want to offer a warm welcome to every kind of eater. We love all kinds of eaters, including the least picky among you. Check out Tasty Chronicles’ full feature below or read it at this link. Continue reading…

LA EATER loves the Spaghetti Chitarra

April 14, 2015

LA Eater gives a shout out to Chef Kalman’s Spaghetti Chitarra. It’s one of the items that rarely leaves the menu and after you’ve eaten a plate full you’ll understand why. This spaghetti will definitely give grandma a run for her money. See the Eater’s full feature below or at this link. Continue reading…

Chef Kalman visits Richstone Family Center

April 8, 2015

Chef Kalman spent a day at the Richstone Family Center working with the kids there to teach them a few things about eating well. Please enjoy what he has to say about the experience and some pictures from his trip below. Continue reading…

Tasting Table Gets Chef Kalman’s Giardiniere Recipe

April 7, 2015

Tasting Table’s put together an awesome feature on Bruce Kalman and his unforgettable giardiniere. They even reveal his recipe which we’ve copied and pasted below. If you’re the kind of person who loves to cook, here’s a great recipe that will you look like a pro. Enjoy! Read the full article here or see below. Continue reading…

Bon Appetit Talks Pop-Ups

April 6, 2015

Bombo Blog Features Union at Grand Central Market

April 2, 2015

We’re still in the paperwork phase of opening up our new spot downtown and we couldn’t be more excited that this space is opening this summer. Bombo just opened their new spot in the market and they’ve got a write-up on the blog featuring their new concept in conjunction with Union’s new opening. Read Bombo Food’s feature on our new space to get an idea of what we’ll be offering and to give yourself a reason to be excited for summer!
 
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Pic from BomboFoods.com
 
MARK PEEL AND BRUCE KALMAN JOIN THE GRAND CENTRAL MARKET MAKEOVER
Posted On March 26, 2015
 
Downtown’s historic food hub braces for the opening of Bombo and a new pasta bar.
 
The overhaul of Grand Central Market continues. Last year alone, the almost 100-year-old Downtown food hub brought in Berlin Currywurst, McConnell’s Ice Cream, Christophe Happillon’s Oyster Gourmet, Olio Pizza and Wexler’s Deli, and it looks like we can expect even more of a makeover in 2015 with former Brooklyn chefs Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson working to open their Madcapra falafel shop.
 
Two of L.A.’s more prominent chefs are moving in as well. Adding to the growing list of high-profile operators at the market, Mark Peel, who ran former L.A. institution Campanile, has announced that his new seafood-focused restaurant Bombo will debut in March. Union’s Bruce Kalman has signed on to open a pasta bar in late summer.
 
Bombo is a nickname given to the steel-jacketed steam kettles that Peel will be using to create a menu of broth-based dishes. The chef first saw the specialty cookware in action at the Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York City, and though he was immediately intrigued, he never had the opportunity to use them until now.
 
“I was fascinated because it was so different from what I was used to cooking with, and I loved the way they worked–very fast, very clean, very visual,” Peel says. “I wanted someday to do something with them, but I never really had a place in any restaurant I ever worked in because it’s a big investment, and they take up a fair amount of room. So when we were talking to the people at Grand Central Market, we thought, ‘This is the perfect place for it.’”
 
Peel says his menu will be “very focused” and built around four broths–curried shrimp cream and spicy lobster bouillabaisse, plus two non-seafood options: a vegan reduction with dried mushrooms and Japanese seaweed, and a double-enriched chicken. He plans to prepare the broths in advance, which will allow a variety of dishes to be made in minutes. Along with the restaurant, the chef will be curating an adjoining fish market.
 
Less concrete are the plans for Kalman’s upcoming pasta bar, which he is opening with business partner Marie Petulla. However, we do know that lunch and dinner will be served. And, just like at Union, which took the No. 2 spot on Los Angeles magazine’s Top 10 Best New Restaurants of 2014, the menu will rely on what’s available at the farmers’ market each day.
 
The new space will include an attached marketplace, where the chef will be selling his growing collection of artisanal goods. The chef will presumably offer pickles from his Bruce’s Prime Pickle Company as well as the new line of spice rubs he created with Venice’s Hepp’s Salt Co.–some of his delicious giardiniera would be nice, too. Kalman also promises a pasta “lab” that will produce fresh noodles daily.
“I’m looking forward to sharing a nice menu of fresh pastas with the Downtown community,” Kalman says. “With this new space, we’ll be able to do some R&D, serve great pasta dishes, and sell fresh pasta to take home from our market.”
 
redarrow Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, 213-624-2378

Chef Kalman Cooking at Pebble Beach Food & Wine

March 31, 2015

Foodies! Looking for a top shelf culinary experience where you will get to hobnob with some of the world’s best chefs, eat their amazing food and hang out at one of the most beautiful place in California? April 9-12, The Pebble Beach Food & Wine Event is happening and Chef Kalman is cooking on Sunday the 12.
 
From the Food & Wine website:
The Lexus Grand Tasting Tent at Pebble Beach Food & Wine is the weekend’s most spectacular opportunity for maximum culinary indulgence. With over 300 wines from top-notch producers from around the world to a “who’s who” list of 30 top celebrity chefs, this is your chance to mingle, mix and sip with the very best in the field. As always, there will be opportunities for book signings and photo moments with many of the weekend’s biggest and brightest names, so buy your tickets early as this extravaganza sells out each year. Package Guests get VIP access 30 minutes early.
 
You can see more about the event and buy tickets at the following link!

LA Eater touts the Cavatelli!

March 26, 2015

Thank you to The Eater for highlighting Chef Kalman’s Ricotta Cavatelli! You can make a reservation to try it today by going to www.opentable.com or www.table8.com. We look forward to serving you! You can read what LA Eater had to say below or read the full article at this link.
 
17 Rabbit Dishes to Try Just in Time for Easter
Crystal Coser on Mar 25, 2015
 
This year, the cute, cuddly rabbit that so characterizes Easter is hopping right on to your dinner plate.
 
There is no doubt that rabbit meat is trending, with chefs across town capitalizing on its delicate flavor. A cursory taste of rabbit is, like many relatively exotic meats, reminiscent of chicken, but a deeper examination reveals a whisper of gaminess that’s bringing complexity to a whole slew of creative dishes in Los Angeles. From juicy bacon-wrapped rabbitchettas to spicy Sichuan diced rabbit, here is your list of 17 rabbit dishes to try just in time for Easter:
 
6 Ricotta Cavatelli at Union Restaurant
Chef Bruce Kalman’s Pasadena gem is known for thoughtfully-sourced local produce and handmade pasta, both of which set the tone for Union’s ricotta cavatelli with rabbit sausage, broccoli, cranberry beans, and Sicilian pistachios. The rich, nutty notes of the dish serve as a canvas upon which the herbaceous rabbit sausage shine.
 
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(Pic from LA.Eater.com)

Interview with Jeff Fischer of Habit Wine

March 24, 2015

Habit Wine is one of the small batch wine labels our esteemed Wine Director, George Pitsironis, loves to have on hand at Union. New on our wine list is their 2014 Rose, which you won’t be able to find in too many other places due to its very small production. And recently, Chef Kalman and George Pitsironis served Habit Wine when they were given the honor of cooking dinner at the James Beard Foundation.
 
Habit Wine was started by Jeff Fischer, a man who prides himself on knowing his vineyards and providing his customers with sustainable wines that taste great.
 
From the Habit Website:

Habit is fortunate enough to be able to work closely with the best vineyard sites throughout Santa Barbara County.

All of our vineyards are managed by Coastal Vineyard Care Association which has a strong commitment to farming using sustainable, organic and bio-dynamic practices.

You can read more about Jeff and Habit wines at their wesbite. Please enjoy our interview with Jeff below. Continue reading…

Watch Chef Kalman live cook at the James Beard Foundation

March 19, 2015

Happening right now!! (6pm @ 3/19/15) You can watch Chef Kalman live cook at the James Beard Foundation. He’s going into detail about sourcing and ingredients. Our esteemed Wine Director, George Pitsironis is also in the kitchen giving full descriptions of his wine choices. Foodies indulge! Follow the link after the jump to see the live cam. Continue reading…

Tonight on Bravo’s ‘Best New Restaurant’

March 18, 2015

Have you guys been watching ‘Best New Restaurant’? Quick recap if you’ve missed it. Last week we battled against The Pines, another great farm to table restaurant from Brooklyn, NY. In tonight’s episode Tom Colicchio will decide which 4 of the winning 8 restaurants will move on to the semi finals. Continue reading…

Pics from Table 8 One Year Anniversary Dinner

March 17, 2015

Thank you to Table 8 for throwing us a party for our one year anniversary. And it just so happened that our ‘Best New Restaurant’ episode aired on the same night. (If you didn’t hear the big news, we won our challenge!) Please enjoy lots of great pics from our special night after the break. Continue reading…

Categories: Events

Watch Union’s ‘Best New Restaurant’ Preview

March 9, 2015

It’s happening this Wednesday! Our ‘Best New Restaurant’ episode is airing and Bravo’s got a preview of our challenge up on their website. Check it out after the jump!

Join us for dinner on our 1 year anniversary!

March 6, 2015

We’re celebrating our 1 year anniversary with a special dinner on Tuesday, March 10. Please join us as we celebrate in style. Call 626-795-5841 for reservations. See the full details in Los Angeles Magazine below. Continue reading…

Categories: Events, Press

Decoding the Wine List: California Central Coast Reds

March 4, 2015

LA Magazine featured our Wine Director, George Pitsironis, in their piece on California Central Coast reds for being able to find “Boutique gems”. You can read Union’s snippet below or find the entire article at this link. Here at Union we’ve got a skillfully hand picked list of wines by one of the best Wine Directors in the business. Won’t you drink with us? www.opentable.com Continue reading…

Darin Dines… at Union

March 2, 2015

Chef’s Night Out Visits Union

February 26, 2015

KevinEats Visits Union

February 25, 2015

Thank you to food blogger KevinEats who recently came into Union. If you guys want the FULL low-down on Chef Kalman’s back story, Kevin goes into the most detail on our chef’s history we’ve ever read. He also lays out an extremely detailed menu review, dish by dish with awesome pics of every selection. You can read a partial article below, but you should follow this link to read the piece on his blog which will showcase all his amazing photos. Continue reading…

Zagat says get the Spaghetti alla Chitarra!

February 24, 2015

Not long ago Zagat called Union 1 of 14 “Must try” American suburban restaurants and now they’re back with a list of 12 pastas you need to try in LA and we are honored to be one of those yummy dozen. At Union we take pride in our hand made pastas and this summer Chef Kalman and Marie Petulla will be opening a pasta bar in Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles where you’ll be able to get Kalman’s fresh made pasta all day and night! Please enjoy Zagat’s full list at this link or read the entire article below. Continue reading…

Bruce Kalman on KCRW’s ‘Good food’

February 23, 2015

LA Mag Highlights Captain Ben’s Sustainability

February 20, 2015

At Union we take pride in the relationship we have with our suppliers. It’s very important to us that sustainability is a part of the conversation. And Captain Ben is one those heroes on the front lines bringing us food with a conscience. Please enjoy the feature below highlighting Captain Ben’s practices, his relationship with Bruce Kalman and his new processing facility in conjunction with the City of Ventura. Continue reading…

LA Magazine Reports on Our Grand Central Pasta Bar

February 19, 2015

We are so excited about our new pasta bar coming to Grand Central. As you know, we make all of our pastas fresh and in house at Union and now we have a place where the pasta will the main event; all the time, every day. Thank you to LA Magazine for being so supportive. We look forward to serving you soon in our new spot. Until then, keep posted here for all the up to date announcements! You can read LA Magazine’s full article at this link here or enjoy it after the break. Continue reading…

14 Must-Try Suburban Restaurants

February 17, 2015

Thank you to Zagat who named Union a “must-try” suburban restaurant. We appreciate the spotlight and agree that you don’t have to be downtown to find great eats. We are proud to be a part of the Pasadena community. Take a night and come explore Old town with us! You can read their entire feature at this link or below. Continue reading…

The Examiner is Back to Feature Kalman’s Rabbit

February 16, 2015

A big “thank you” to The Examiner who recently featured Union’s Wild Mushrooms and Polenta. They’re back and this time they’re focusing on The Rabbit & Strozzapretti. We are happy to support local farms and are proud to list the names of our suppliers right on the menu. This dish is thanks to Jimenez Family Farms. Because our menu is farm to table, it does change frequently. So, get on in here while the rabbit is still happening! www.opentable.com You can read the entire Examiner article at this link or see below. Continue reading…

Union on My FOX LA

February 13, 2015

Thank you, eaters! Your votes turned My Fox LA’s attention to Union this week for their segment, Dinner Out with Susan Hirasuna. We are always delighted to share our experience with a larger audience and are proud to represent Pasadena in the LA food scene. Please enjoy their full piece on us at this link or read the feature in its entirety below. Continue reading…

Bruce Kalman and Marie Petulla to open Grand Central Market Spot

February 12, 2015

Live or work near Pershing Square? You’re in luck! We are very excited to announce that our team is opening a new restaurant in Grand Central Market. It’s gonna be all pasta all the time. The Los Angeles Times has the full scoop. You can read the full article at this link or see below. Continue reading…

Los Angeles Magazine says Chef Kalman’s spice rubs are “sultry”

February 11, 2015

Our wonderful chef, Bruce Kalman, has his own line of spice rubs and the Los Angeles Magazine thinks they’re the way to your lover’s heart. We agree, nothing’s sexier than flavor. You can read the full article below or at this link. Happy Valentine’s day!!! Continue reading…

The Examiner Features Chef Bruce Kalman’s Wild Mushrooms and Polenta

February 10, 2015

We all know how amazing Chef Kalman‘s polenta is. If you’ve eaten it, you’ve dreamt of it for many nights after. Well, The Examiner liked it so much they featured the dish. You can check out the article at this link or read the full feature below. Continue reading…

Bruce Kalman Shares His Recipes

February 4, 2015

Categories: Chef's Blog

Chef David Bartnes Loves on Union

February 3, 2015

Recap from LA Magazine Best New Restaurant Bash

January 30, 2015

Did you miss the Los Angeles Magazine food event starring 10 of 2014’s best new restaurants including our very own Bruce Kalman? Well, you can see loads of pictures at the write up below. Continue reading…

Make Your Reservation for Valentine’s Day Today!

January 29, 2015

Pasadena Now suggests bringing your Valentine to Union. We would love to serve you and your beloved on this romantic holiday. Be sure to make reservations asap as space is limited. You can read the entire write up below. Continue reading…

LA Confidential Magazine loves Pasadena and Union

January 27, 2015

LA Confidential Magazine is touting Pasadena as the trendy place to find great eats if you live in the LA area. What can we say? We don’t disagree. (You can read their entire article here.) But not only is Pasadena a great place to find a meal you won’t forget, it’s also a wonderful place to explore for its distinctive charm.
 
Looking to get out of LA and try something new? Old Town Pasadena is charming, low key, and just a short drive away. Make this delightful city your next date night destination. Take a drive along the Colorado Bridge, spend the day at the Huntington Gardens, stroll through Old Town and stop in at Union (with a reservation @ www.opentable.com) to have one of the best meals of your life.
 
Find more awesome things to do in Pasadena here.
 

Here’s Why LA’s Trendy Restaurant Scene is Actually in Pasadena

 
January 23, 2015 | by allyson rees
 
James Beard “Rising Star” nominee chef Bruce Kalman keeps it local at this Italian-inspired gem. Working with California farms and LA County’s best markets (the weekly market schedule is displayed on an oversized chalkboard), Kalman’s signature dishes include asparagus and fennel topped with duck egg and a gianduja chocolate budino.
Good to know: The squid ink garganelli with lobster and truffle butter—need we say more? 37 E. Union St., 
Pasadena, 626-795-5841
 
content_Union
 

Read more at this link.

www.brucekalman.com

January 23, 2015

Our chef has an awesome new website. Go check it out for videos, spice rubs, recipes (RECIPES!!!) and booking contact info.

www.brucekalman.com

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LA Magazine Best New Restaurant Event Tonight!

January 22, 2015

More Best New Restaurant scoop from MovieNews

January 20, 2015

Chef Kalman on SaltedTV

January 19, 2015

Best New Restaurant highlights Union

January 16, 2015

Watch Best New Restaurants’ feature on Union below. And stay tuned for the premiere of Best New Restaurant, Wednesday, January 21 on BRAVO! We’re so excited!
 

Meet 3 Chefs Who Help Define Pasadena’s Restaurant Scene

December 24, 2014

The Pasadena Star-News highlights Chef Bruce Kalman as a tastemaker in Pasadena. Read about Kalman’s journey from musician to world renowned chef in the full article after the jump. We love our rock ‘n roll chef! Continue reading…

Our Wine Director Suggests The Perfect Wine For Your Holiday Party

December 22, 2014

Our esteemed Wine Director, George Pitsironis, wants you to bring the perfect bottle of wine to your next holiday party or dinner. We suggest getting your wine from Everson Royce (right around the corner from Union) where they have an amazing selection of wine, spirits and beer.
 

George
 

Says George of Everson Royce:

 
“Randy and April are the owners of Silverlake Wine and they just opened Everson Royce with Joe Capella. This shop has the same concept. They look for great producers from all around the world. It’s small boutique stuff. They pay respect and attention to vineyards that do things the right way.
 
Everson Royce is a great place to get your holiday wine for entertaining or for your home. They have great prices and are vey hands on. They have an amazing staff that is also super knowledgeable. Tell them what you like and they will put something in your hands that you really love.”
 

Here is the list of George’s hand-picked wines that are sure to make you look good this holiday season.

 
FONTANABIANCA
From George:
Their Langhe Arneis is a great everyday wine. It’s an excellent starter wine and goes well with mild cheeses. If you’re not into bubbles, this is a great wine to start with before you get into the massive feast.
 
wine5
 
DEANGELIS
From George:
We carry the Rosso Piceno, But Everson Royce carries the more simple Montepulciano D’Abruzzo It’s a great every day drinker and a fantastic table wine. It also goes great with turkey.
 
wine4
 
HABIT
From George:
This wine is a single vineyard wine and all organically farmed. The vines were originally planted by Richard Sanford who is one of the godfathers of the valley and his grapes produce a world class Pinot in the Sta. Rita Hills. Jeff fisher, is the owner and wine maker at Habit. He truly symbolizes hands-on winemaking. His wines can be found in top restaurants around the country. Union only carries his Sauvignon Blanc, but you can get their other wines at Everson Royce.
 
wine2
 
WENZLAU
From George:
Bill and Cindy Wenzlau are locals in Pasadena. Very sweet people. They have talented wine people making their wine. Their Chardonnay pairs very well with fancy white truffle dishes. This one is more of a splurge for the holidays.
 
wine3
 
FRANCESCO BORGOGNO
From George:
This is a great Nebbiolo. It’s all Brunate fruit from younger vines and very small production. It drinks like a baby Barolo. It’s a gem and the perfect red wine for truffles.
 
wine1
 
Everson Royce is located at: 155 N. Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103.
 
ER

LA Magazine Names Union #2

December 17, 2014

Bruce Kalman’s Must Have Gifts

December 16, 2014

Still looking for Christmas gifts? Got a chef or food lover in the family that is hard to shop for? Or maybe you’re just interested in what a world renowned chef would recommend for gifts this year? We’ve got answers! Chef Bruce Kalman gave us a list of must haves for this Christmas season. Continue reading…

Eye On L.A.: Best Places To Eat This Holiday Season

December 15, 2014

LA Times Recommends Union for Christmas Eve Dinner

December 10, 2014

“You Want All the Pasta”

December 8, 2014

Zagat Names Union “Best Small Plate”

December 4, 2014

Zagat gave us a really nice shout out as one of their favorite small plate restaurants in LA. We’re thankful for the recognition and you can see their full list at this link. Want to make up your own mind? Set up a reservation today by going to www.opentable.com or by calling us at 626-795-5841.

Meet the Restaurants – “Best New Restaurant”

December 3, 2014

BRAVO’s “Best New Restaurant”

December 2, 2014

Union is one of the 16 featured restaurants on BRAVO’s newest show, “Best New Restaurant“. As part of this unique opportunity, we sent our entire team to New York to participate in a restaurant wide effort to prove that we are, in fact, the best new restaurant. The network has started airing promos for the show which will premiere Wednesday, January 21 at 10p ET/PT. Until then, please enjoy the teaser.
 

 

From BRAVOTV.com

 
Bravo Media is warming up winter with the new culinary competition series Best New Restaurant, premiering Wednesday, January 21 at 10p ET/PT.
 
In our newest food competition series, acclaimed chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio dines across the U.S. as host, judge, and executive producer, taking a look at the food world from a fresh direction: the restaurant. The series is also executive produced by restaurateur and TV personality Gordon Ramsay.
 
The majority of the series takes place on location in the restaurants themselves to highlight each establishment’s unique point of view. In the end, only one will be crowned Best New Restaurant and win an editorial feature in Bon Appétit, a featured spot at America’s number one global food festival, Vegas U