119 W Green St
Italian in Old Town Pasadena
The staff here know my sister and brother-in-law as regulars, despite the fact that they just moved to LA maybe one month ago! This tiny Michelin-rated restaurant brings a different spin on my understanding of Italian cuisine.
- wagyu carpaccio: ok... although the meat itself was nicely marbled, the parmigiano reggiano was just too strong for an accompaniment, and completely overpowered the delicate flavor of the meat
- bollito... freddo? I forget what it's called, but it's basically a plate of cold meats. Not quite a charcuterie, but almost like Chinese banquet cold cuts! It was good, filling, and flavorful
- cjalzone (sp?)... at first I thought it was going to be a calzone (I know, I'm an idiot) but it was like ravioli, ie filled pasta. The interesting draw was that it was filled with a bunch of random stuff like corn, chocolate... ?? Strange sweet-savory combo, but it brought a new and different holistic flavor. It was so strange/interesting I can't even describe it!
- Bollito Misto: a bunch of tender(boiled? braised?) meats like beef tongue, pork, etc served with potent flavorings like a pesto, horseradish, fruit gelee, etc. My sister's favorite by far
- Chicken liver and onion pasta: tastes like it sounds. Salty, rich, and the epitome of sautee. Unhealthy but tasty!
- Braised tripe: ok... not filling at all though
Dessert: I don't always get dessert at restaurants, but their saffron flan and cardamom-rose gelato both piqued my interest. The latter worked very well together, creating an entirely new flavor, whereas the flan was a bit lacking in both texture and saffron-ness.