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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.


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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.


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

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.
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.”

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.

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…

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…

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…

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…