The flavors from the pear-and-Brie sandwich at Elements Kitchen “really knocked me off of my seat,” says E Eto. The sandwich involves Brie, slices of pear, candied walnuts, and a coating of arugula pesto, all on Euro Pane bread. The whole affair is toasted on a sandwich press, just enough to melt the cheese slightly. “This combination of unique flavors works in complete harmony that you wouldn’t expect, but packs a punch. I went to Elements Kitchen twice during the week, mostly because of that sandwich.”

Other items are also immensely enjoyable. Gruyère tart, a special, is outstanding. The pulled-pork sandwich “tasted a lot more like good carnitas than a Carolina style BBQ pork butt, but still delicious,” says E Eto. Chicken escabèche sandwich is quite good, and subtle—rather like a Vietnamese banh mi. Mac ’n’ cheese is an extravagant winner: One version comes with wild mushrooms and truffle oil. Cucumber-ginger soup has a velvety texture and a nice ginger kick; Thai carrot-coconut soup pairs the sweetness of carrots and coconuts well against a spicy hit. “They also make a damn fine cornbread … maybe some of the best I’ve ever had,” says ipsedixit.

“Desserts were also bold and interesting,” says E Eto. Pineapple upside-down cupcake is nice and delicate. Cucumber-and-Key-lime sorbet is light and refreshing. Pear napoleon includes nicely ripe slices of pear held between wafers and bound with maple-pecan custard.

Elements is mostly a catering operation, but it offers lunch in a tiny dining area, or at an outdoor table. It doesn’t offer dinner regularly, but there’s an occasional tasting menu dinner, available to subscribers of its newsletter.

Elements Kitchen [San Gabriel Valley]
107 S. Fair Oaks Avenue Suite 110, Pasadena
626-440-0100

Board Link: The Pear & Brie sandwich from Elements Kitchen (Pasadena) and other lunch items

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