119 W. Green St.
Pasadena, CA 91105
Raci&oacuten +

Anne Fishbein Milk-poached asparagus


  • Dinner: Mon.-Thu., 6-10 p.m.; Fri., 6-10:30 p.m.; Sat., 5:30-10:30 p.m.; Sun., 5:30-10 p.m.; lunch: Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Vegetarian Friendly
  • Lunch, Dinner
  • Beer/Wine
In the last year, Ración has changed chefs, changed formats and, in many ways, changed objectives — where it used to be a celebration of Basque and Spanish cooking beyond tapas, it now adheres more closely to the tapas format, and the modernist twists that had been the foundation of the enterprise are hidden a little deeper. Original chef Teresa Montaño stepped down in mid-2016, and Shane Alvord, who has worked at the restaurant since its opening, stepped into the role. But founder Loretta Peng is still very much involved, and the hidden-gem soul of the place remains intact. The elegant but friendly room that faces leafy Green Street in Pasadena should be used as a model for upscale neighborhood eateries everywhere. The wine list has all kinds of Spanish gems you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. And, yes, there are now tapas on the menu, such as creamy chicken croquettes with membrillo honey, and salt cod fritters with lemon cream. But there’s still a selection of larger raciones, such as saffron-imbued pasta sitting in a pool of rich braised lamb with dollops of fresh cheese, or beer-braised octopus with dandelion salsa verde. In other words, despite the changes, Ración is still pretty great. —Besha Rodell
Read our full review.

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