Fresh ingredients are the constant focus at this phenomenal Northern Italian, farmers’ market-driven place: a roasted beets salad features thinly sliced radishes mixed in with meaty beets and chunks of cara cara oranges, while sweet olives and walnuts are scattered about as garnish. The mussels and guanciale is stellar, too, with huge mussels swimming in the most delicious broth, which you can take advantage of with the toasted bread to scoop up bits of salty guanciale and garlic. Don’t even think about skipping the polenta here—it’s one of Union’s best dishes, and something that will have you talking about the restaurant days later.
There are a million reasons to visit Pasadena—bargain shopping at the Rose Bowl flea market, perusing fine art at the Norton Simon Museum, getting lost in Craftsman architecture at the Gamble House—but the city is quickly becoming a veritable dining destination, too. Among the quaint coffee shops and tourist-driven chains that populate Old Town and beyond lie fantastic eateries worth discovering. From a former train station turned restaurant to a cafe serving some of the best falafel in L.A., these Pasadena restaurants are your best bets for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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