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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.


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



(Spaghetti Alla Chitarra photo by: Anne Fishbein)


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


NY Times says, “Join the Union”

February 18, 2016

Thank you New York Times for recommending us!


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.


36 Hours in Pasadena, California


(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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It doesn’t get much more old-school than baked ziti with a blanket of melted mozzarella cheese.
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…
..tomato, mozzarella and basil, or fennel sausage and peppers. This is a great snack to eat while walking around the market.
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.
Desserts include made-to-order zeppole, the Italian donut tossed in powdered sugar.
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.
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.


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.


(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.

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


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.


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


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.


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.


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!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PST)
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 & 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.

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.
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.

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
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
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
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!