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Restaurants & Bars 6

Racion - pleasant spot for a longer lunch in Pasadena

Sgee | Mar 7, 2015 09:25 AM

A slow day at work allowed me to venture further afield from my usual dining destinations in Old town. Decided to check out Racion located on a quiet leafy street away from the hustle and bustle of Colorado.

The setting of the dining area was a refreshing change - a touch of formality with wine glasses and proper place setting. A tasteful uncluttered white space which serves to complement the location. For a moment feels like being transported to a quiet neighborhood restaurant in a European city.

Waiter was very good. I liked that he was bold enough to steer me from my Chardonnay-like wine selection to a lighter Albariño which he thought would pair better with my seafood centric selections. He even offered me a tasting of the two wines to help me decide - nice touch! Ended up selecting 3 courses from his list of recommendations.

I started with the "white anchovies, watercress and celery, manchego", very nice lightly pickled, the celery was a nice savory foil for the anchovies.

This was followed by the "crispy prawns, garlic cream, roasted tomato", prawns were cooked in shell to a proper consistency. I would have liked the garlic to be more pronounced in the sauce, more of an aioli perhaps.

Wrapped up my savory courses with the "house-made squid ink pasta, mussels, piquillo peppers, saffron". Very nice pasta and perfectly cooked plump mussels topped with langoustine foam. Only comment, the dish was a touch salty but very nice otherwise.

I love custards of all form and couldn't resist ordering the "crema catalana
- spanish custard, pistachio, citrus" when presented with the dessert menu. Delicious! Finished this off with a well made espresso.

I checked out previous board postings after my meal and appears the restaurant reviews were quite lukewarm or negative. I'm glad I did not read them ahead of my lunch. It was a very pleasant alternative from my usual Mexican, tender greens, pizza and burgers for lunch. There was pedigree in the cooking which was very evident. I also enjoyed the touch of formality in the service, dare I say a 'white table cloth' lunch experience for a change.

Overall a pleasant unexpected escape from the more touristy Colorado Blvd. a block away.
http://racionrestaurant.com

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