A bit delayed in this review, but I felt my visit to Red White and Bluezz in Pasadena merited some kind of write up.
It was Monday, Sept. 1, which was Labor Day. I have all kinds of restaurant phobias, and one of them is eating on the third day of a three-day weekend! That being said, I had a few things to celebrate on that particular Monday and I was looking for just the right setting. I wanted casual, but with good/interesting food.
Lou would probably have been my first choice (it usually is!) but it was closed this particular Monday. After perusing Opentable.com, I checked out the menu at Red White and Bluezz and decided to take the plunge.
Last minute reservations were not a problem and parking was easy in the garage across the street (not validated, but it was cheap, so that's fine.)
I like the room; it's long with some high tables near the bar and plenty of tables along the windows down Green Street. We were seated just around a partition from the music, so we were treated to wonderful bossa nova sounds, but the sound was baffled just enough.
We started with the heirloom tomato Caprese. I wanted the Iceberg Cobb Wedge from the online menu, but they were instead offering some other kind of Wedge salad that didn't appeal. The tomatoes were lovely, a mix of green, red, and yellow. The mozzarella was just fine; I always think it's the tomatoes that make this dish anyway. At $15, it's not cheap, but I felt the quality ingredients made it worthwhile.
For mains, my dining partner had the Kobe burger with fries. It was a monster of a burger, cooked to his liking. I couldn't resist the mound of garlic fries and they were unbelievably good. Shoestring cut, with herbs and garlic infusing every bite. Not greasy, but with a warm, almost Smokey taste (I'm assuming this was from roasted garlic.) I loved these fries and could see myself sitting at the bar with a nice pour of beer and just a basket of taters!
I ordered the Kurobuta Pork Ribeye Chop. I was taken aback when the server asked how I wanted that cooked. Um, pork? I want it cooked through please! Call me a heathen, but medium rare pork will NEVER be edible to me. She clarified that they use such high quality pork; customers can be free to order it less well done. I emphasized that I wanted it cooked through as much as possible, but I also defer to the chef's tastes. Hopefully there's a middle ground in there.
The chop arrived, and it was MASSIVE. At least 2 inches thick with beautifully caramelized fatty edges. Very tender, the knife sliced through it like butter. It was served on something called "blueberry bread pudding" and since I like a little sweet with my pork, this was intriguing. I didn't detect any blueberries, actually, but there were pillowy cubes of lightly egg-soaked bread, with just the lightest, sweetest hint of vanilla. It was sort of like stuffing, but with a vanilla edge. I found it a little odd, but compelling, and it was a great vehicle to sop up the Port wine demi-glace with. As predicted, the chop was a bit too raw towards the middle, although it was certainly a nice temperature all the way through. Since it was far too large for me to eat anyway, I just ate around the edges and was more than satisfied. My taste of a lesser-cooked portion confirmed that it's just not to my liking, but there was absolutely no "gamey" quality to it and I'm sure it was fine to eat.
We each ordered a wine flight, and as a poster noted a while back, the small glasses they use do make it difficult to get your nose in there, but that was fine, I don't follow all the rules in tasting wine anyway. I didn't find the place mat detailing the wines to be patronizing, I don't have a mind for these kinds of things so it helped me keep track. I'm sure they would gladly skip the place mat if you were offended.
All in all, I enjoyed the meal very much. All the plates I saw in passing were piled high with food, so size of portion was not an issue.
The total for two, with two caprese salads, two wine flights, two entrees, and a share dessert came to about $135. It wasn't cheap, but it was a lot of food and we were both satisfied with the experience.
Red White and Bluezz is at 70 S. Raymond in Old Town Pasadena
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