37 E. Union St.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Union +

Photo: Anne Fishbein Asparagus and artichoke salad with duck egg at Union.


  • Mon-Fri 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. for takeout only; Dinner: Tues-Thur 5 - 10 p.m., Fri-Sat 5-11 p.m., Sun 3-9 p.m.
  • Dinner
  • Beer/Wine
  • Takeout
  • Parking Lot Available, Street Parking
The food chef Bruce Kalman is cooking at Union in Old Town Pasadena is an ode to Italy through a Californian lens. Most of what's on offer here is produce-oriented, and the best bites of food often are simply tried-and-true combinations done right: Sweet summer squash jumbled with dusky sage, or an asparagus salad with walnuts and pecorino, tossed with artichoke leaves and topped with a fried duck egg. The chef's pickle prowess is on display on the charcuterie plate, which features a number of delicious vinegary morsels, along with a selection of house-made salamis and pate. Kalman also is making all the pastas on-site, and he's doing a fine job of it. The noodles in a braised lamb lasagne were both delicate and hearty enough to stand up to the heavy meat filling, and the spaghetti alla chitarra, bathed in a sprightly puree of San Marzano tomatoes, had the exact right amount of chew and heft to support the zing of its sauce. -- Besha Rodell

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