New Culinary Delights to Choose From in Pasadena and Beyond

You’ll have no shortage of new culinary delights to choose from in Pasadena and beyond as California slowly reopens.

Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery has landed in a historic 1922 building on Green Street in Old Pasadena from owners Vanessa Tilaka and Thomas Kalb of Flour+Water in San Francisco. The open kitchen serves regional American comfort food with a nostalgic twist, such as Crispy California Cheese Curds, Cornbread Eclair with chicken liver mousse, Loaded Baked Potato Ravioli, and s’mores for dessert.

Another couple collaboration in the underserved Glassell Park/Mount Washington/Verdugo neighborhood, Wife and the Somm is a welcome addition to the area. Chris Lucchese (the somm, recently at Bourbon Steak in Glendale) and Chrissy Lindgren have set up a sleek indoor-outdoor space with small plates—think charcuterie and Italian meatballs—and plenty of rosé for sipping. Wine pairings take place on Wednesdays and anything you enjoy can be purchased in the retail space.

New from taco favorite Guisados is Playita, a mariscos stand in Silver Lake. The Mexican seafood menu has battered shrimp tacos and plenty of ceviche cups to go for a shopping stroll down Sunset. Also in the area, look for Shappy Pretzel Co., a Philly-style soft pretzel popup at Broome St. General Store by actor Adam Shapiro, who has created an insatiable need for salty carbs on the go.

While we painstakingly wait for Curtis Stone to open his rooftop restaurant downtown in 2022, more chefs are on the move in the area. Owner-chef Neal Fraser of Redbird has launched a collaboration in the Arts District with Stephen Kenn design studio where guests can be hosted overnight in the showroom space and indulge in a seasonal five-course dinner curated by Fraser.

If you do decide to leave the loft, Manuela in the Arts District has a new garden bar patio in the Hauser & Wirth complex for weekend brunch plus Tropical Cocktail nights with eight new tiki-inspired cocktails. Chef Kris Tominaga’s shrimp and grits or chili de arbol chicken are star dishes, along with perfectly crispy churros for dessert.

Chef Rudy Lopez, last seen at the NoMad downtown and h.wood Group, has collaborated with Nick Schultz (formerly of Bottega Louie) on a project in WeHo. Soulmate is an indoor-outdoor Spanish haven on Robertson Blvd., with seafood paella, chicken croquettes, and the most delicious fried eggplant. Cocktails are by “startender” Naomi Schimek (The Spare Room at The Hollywood Roosevelt); try the rainbow-layered Weekend in Palm Springs with vodka and passion fruit.

A little piece of world-renowned The Huntington Museum has spread to andSons in Beverly Hills with a chocolate box that celebrates the 16-acre oasis. The collectible 24-piece box, featuring artwork by Miranda Sofroniou, includes an Orange and Pecan Praline made with hand-picked Valencia oranges from The Huntington, and a Black Tea Caramel made with citrus and jasmine black tea also from the grounds of the verdant institution.

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