Chef Bruce Kalman has been having a great time discovering his new stomping grounds. Since opening Union in Pasadena, the New Jersey native (best known in L.A. for his pickle company, Bruce's Prime Pickle Co.) has spent a lot of time eating his way around the neighborhood, finding the best bets for a hungry chef either pre- or post-shift. Check out his picks, both in and out of Pasadena, below. And check out our review of Union here.
6. Pollo a la Brasa
"This place is a classic. Just the smell alone when you walk through the door is worth the trip. I go for the amazing rotisserie chicken with aji sauce and yucca fritz."
5. Tsujita L.A.
"The pork kakuni here is so luscious and sweet. It's perfectly braised with a bright, flavorful pork broth."
"You can feel the love Ricardo Zarate has for his restaurant and his staff when you walk in the front door. The food is unbelievable and spot on. Love the chicharron de pescado, uni shrimp toast and the ceviche criollo."
3. Mother Dough
"Some of the best Neapolitan pizza I have ever had. Bez [Compani, chef/owner] has so much passion for his craft. I'm a fan of the zucchini pizza with buffalo mozzarella and manchego. It has no sauce — it doesn't need it!"
2. Gus's Barbecue
"The pulled pork tostada is my happy place! Not good for my girlish figure, though. It's all so smokey and well balanced."
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1. Dog Haus Biergarten
"The Pastrami Dog is insane. I love the guys, love the vibe — and they always have great tunes."