Santos Uy and Tim Carey's new Pasadena restaurant is cozy and appealing, with its black subway tile and blue walls, its white-painted and wood tables, its fresh flowers and round mirrors that evoke portholes. Lost at Sea has a human scale that is one of the trademarks of Pasadena’s best restaurants.
What Carey and Uy seem to want to achieve here is fairly straightforward: a neighborhood seafood restaurant with cooking that reaches significantly higher than that of the average fish house, and a wine list that follows suit.
There are lots of crudos on the menus of L.A. these days, but few of them showcase the flavor and texture of the fish so beautifully as Carey’s fat slices of cobia, which come in a pool of tomatillo aguachile. The aguachile delivers just enough tang for contrast, without overwhelming the buttery sweetness of the fish.
There’s a small porcelain box that holds crudite made from carrots and radishes and peppers sticking up vertically, their tips sitting in a smoked albacore tonnato, creamy and oceanic and tasting lightly singed. Here, as at the chefs' other restaurants, Carey is a master of soups, whether it be the entree-sized seafood soup imbued with the perfume of saffron, or one of his gorgeous veloutés, which manage to be fluffy and creamy and deeply flavored all at once. Read the L.A. Weekly review here.