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AKA Bistro - Pasadena
AKA Bistro - Pasadena

AKA Bistro - Pasadena Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.akabistro.com/
  • Phone: (626) 564-8111
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Daily: 11:30am - 3:30pm

    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 3:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 3:30pm - 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Steak, Seafood
  • Executive Chef: James Lambrinos
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Delivery, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Please contact Robert Simon for more information.
  • Private Party Facilities: AKA Bistro - Pasadena is great for hosting birthday parties, wedding rehearsals, business luncheons and many other events.
  • Private Party Contact: Igancio Juarez (626) 564-8111

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Fair Oaks
  • Public Transit: The metro stops at Holly St. or Del Mar Station are both walking distance to the restaurant.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: We validate for valet parking and there are multiple parking garages in the area that offer 90 minutes free parking.
A word from AKA Bistro - Pasadena
Conveniently located in Old Pasadena's stylish One Colorado Plaza, a/k/a is the latest concept by renowned restaurateurs Deborah and Robert Simon, who have also operated Bistro 45 for the last 20 + years in Pasadena, and previously launched the a/k/a concept in St. Helena two and a half years ago to critical acclaim. Drawing flavors and menu focus from California wine country sensibility and from specific, sustainable, and, where ever possible, organic sources is what a/k/a is all about. a/k/a's sophisticated yet comfortable ambiance is highlighted by gracious and abundant hospitality, and a diverse menu featuring choices for every taste. Chef Jonathan Wiener's vivid flavors pair naturally with an exceptional and well-priced wine selection and hand-crafted brews from California.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • "We decided to go somewhere else once we arrived. We will try it again another time."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Each dish is presented beautifully and just the right amount of food without being overwhelming. Tastes are paired well with each other."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "A|K|A Bistro is fantastic! My husband and I have chosen this restaurant for 3 date nights over the last year or so. We have yet to be disappointed. The setting is lovely. The decor is trendy but comfortable and doesn't seem like the decorator was trying too hard. It overlooks my favorite little square in downtown Pasadena. We love to sit there on a nice summer evening and people watch while we eat the yummy food. The food is outstanding. With a farm-to-table seasonal menu, there is always something new to try. We've had burgers, steak, fish, meatballs, salads, and cheese plates. Everything has been amazing! A bonus is that this delicious food is served by a friendly, knowledgable, and unobtrusive staff."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "My family of 4 totally enjoyed our Father's Day dinner at AKA Bistro. A delicious selection of appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts. Their wine list is very large and comprehensive. Service was wonderful."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Love the portobello fries! Great service , great cocktails"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "My sister and I took my family to a.k.a. American bistro for Father's Day and everyone really enjoyed it. The food was delicious, the restaurant had nice to core and was open to the patio area. We went kind of early because we had show tickets later so the restaurant was kind of empty but it seems like it would get pretty busy during the evening and be a cool place to hang out at the bar."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Food was less than ordinary. Calamari appetizer drenched in dressing which mixed together looked muddy. Gazpacho tasted like tomato juice with only Tabasco added, some veggie bits thrown in. Wine list great, but won't eat there again."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "We sat outside on the patio on a lovely Sunday afternoon and enjoyed a tasty brunch at AKA. We ordered a variety of foods, including salads, risotto, and duck. All the dishes were well prepared and service was friendly."
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "Great location and ambience. Went on a Wed night though, and the place was so sparsely populated, our service suffered. It just took forever to get anything, including the check. Food and wine are good. Nothing outstanding, but very good, especially salads."
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "We wanted a comfortable atmosphere with good food and no hassles. AKA delivered! Service was very friendly and accommodating and the food was very good. We shared the goat cheese salad and enjoyed well prepared pan seared salmon and a perfectly done medium rare hanger steak. All ended well with the new to the menu bourbon bread pudding."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "We had a party of 5, and service was friendly. Food was tasty and good portions."
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "This was a really nice dining experience. The servers were really friendly and helpful. There were teens and adults in our party and everyone enjoyed their lunch. Love the patio seating! Best onion rings! We were there on Sunday and I am still thinking about them . . . too yummy!"
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "My wife and I have been here on a number of occasions. Everything is fresh, organic and delicious! The daily specials are always creative and fabulous. And to top if off, very reasonably price in my opinion."
    Dined on 5/12/2014
  • "The last two times that I have been here, our server would just drop off the check without saying something like "thank you for dining with us," or anything else. Hell, they do not even speak one word when dropped it off. I feel it was kind of weird. Also, while another member of our party was still working on their entree, our server asked if we were ready to order dessert. After letting them know, no, not yet, someone who looked like the Manager stopped by a few minutes later and asked the same thing. Our party member was still eating her dish. It gave us the impression that they wanted us out ASAP and needed the table. We looked around and the restaurant was not full and no one was waiting to be seating at the front. "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Bustling night spot in one of Pasadena's classy shopping/eating pedestrian alleyways. The place was definitely happening when we were there on a Saturday night, but we still had attentive, very pleasant (charming, even) service. The salmon tartare was delicious, and for mains we ordered the duck breast and the duck confit salad, which were also really good. Three mains, one shared appetizer, and a bottle of wine for approx $50/person. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Aaron was one of the most attentive yet not annoying servers I have ever had. He was polite, knowledgeable,and always anticipated our needs. Food was delicious. Great spot."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "I know the restaurant is relatively new but the service is hard to beat. The food, especially the portabello fries, was exceptional."
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "Since this was our first visit to AKA, I was a little worried that our small party of 8 wouldn't be satisfied with my Easter dinner recommendation. Our accommodations were awesome, we had our own lillte room. The food was tasty, service was exceptional and drinks were strong. We will be back! "
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "A first time experience to surely be repeated. Gracious and attentive staff add to the stylish experience and the menu is sufficiently varied to warrant an ongoing relationship. Management in evidence to oversee a smooth running dining room and the kitchen output does not disappoint. A pleasant bar space and personnel add to the vibe. Definitely recommended!"
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "The manager swapped the bill between ours and the table adjacent to ours by mistake and I ended up paying the lower of the two. She called to let me know that she was going to correct the bill and add the correct charge to my business Amex card, which was fine but she then took the liberty of giving herself a fat 20% tip without asking or letting me know. They made the mistake and they took the liberty of tipping themselves the max - kind of inappropriate for restaurant management."
    Dined on 4/14/2014
  • "Table of four. We were quickly seated and helped by the server. Overall, the food was good. We tried both steaks, Filet, and Hanger Steak. They were both good, nothing over the top. My wife had the chicken and liked it. Another person in our group had the duck and enjoyed it. The server seemed as if he didn't have much experience. Overall, good experience as the food was good and the service was just okay."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Good food, ambience, service and wine list. Personal attention from owner and manager is unusual and welcome. Would like to see some healthier choices on the menu."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Fantastic food, Great win, Relaxing atmosphere, I brought 5 important customers from France, they were still talking about it the next day!"
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Have always love this place. It may be a little hard to find but if you tell people it's next to Il Forniao, it'll be easier. The food here is always consistent and well prepared. The service has gotten much better over the past year. A good wine list accompanies the tasty food. This is the place to go to get away from all the younger and louder crowd. The patio is wonderful for people watching. A great place to bring your parents or if you want to impress the in-laws."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "I have tried several meals on the menu from risotto to charcuterie to beef tartar. The beef tartar had a taste of old meat, the risotto was not tasty, and the charcuterie selection was a bit disapointing by its lack of originality. The butterscotch pot au creme (should be pot de creme) was good. I enjoyed it. Service was really good each time."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "The food was fantastic and the service was great. The Butterscotch Pot au Crème stole the show!"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "We had an 8:45 reservation and granted it was later in the evening but 4 of their dishes were sold out. Two of which were specials for the evening the other two where on their existing menu. I cannot speak for everyone else's food, but I had ordered the mussels and it was nothing at all to rave about. The mussels were small and mostly had manila clams in it. It was not worth price you pay for. For a "Bistro" I would expect much better quality seafood vs what my mother would purchase in the Asian seafood market. We had to ask 3 times, on our first round, where our bottle of wine was. Two ladies had a separate drink order and had to follow up with it. The dessert was good as well as the appetizers."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Great for lunch or dinner and for an intimate dinner for two or a larger group."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "The menu was disappointing at best. The wine service was terrible. Brought a 10 year old bottle, the guy takes it and is basically shaking it while he talks to us (that breaks up and disperses the sediment of old wine), then walks away with the bottle, comes back and tells us the cork split and half is still blocking the opening. I could go on, not the most sophisticated place I've been to, and did I mention way over priced..."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "It was our first time at this spot. Really good food and they were willing to make a few substitutions. We split the goat cheese salad (it's big). My husband had a rib special and I had fish. Both were yummy. The brownie dessert wasn't that great so skip. The wine list is decent but the margarita were a bit heavy on the roses lime juice."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "A bit difficult to find (not uncommon for Pasadena). Service just a bit off (took second request for bread, not terribly quick to return for payment), and I thought the soup, while good, could have been hotter."
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "A staple of the Pasadena area restaurants. Great food, Great Wine and Great Service! You can't go wrong here!"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "The staff was very attentive and pleasant. The food was very good. The patio dining was a pleasure. The waiter even offered complimentary port for my friend and I."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "Valentines Day date: Ask & got a secluded table - thank you The service was excellent, nice personality and attentive, we both liked the ambiance. The beet salad was excellent, Halibut was very good & the risotto watery. Most likely will make a return reservation."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "This restaurant used to be wonderful. I was so disappointed when we went for dinner this Sunday. Menu was uninspired and the food we ordered was under par. We considered not ordering and leaving after one cocktail but thought we would give them a chance. Mistake!"
    Dined on 2/2/2014
  • "Dark inside in the evening but there is a large outside deck that opens onto a charming courtyard. A very interesting menu with different options -- well prepared. I had the chicken salad with avacado, craisens and a light lemon dressing on a bed of greens. It was very good, healthy tasting and light. My husband's rueban sandwich was lean and well prepared. A very good meal."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Great atmosphere and food; friendly and generous staff"
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "The restaurant manager was great however our server was terrible. The dishes recommended were lackluster at best. With a wealth of choices in Pasadena we won't be going back."
    Dined on 1/5/2014
  • "First time to this location and the food and overall ambience was excellent. Varied menu that alloed young teenagers to enjoy themselves. We had a very secluded table near the wine room making it easy to mingle and enjoy our guests. Highly recommend this place in Old Town Pasadena as I have tried alot of places and this one is a gem."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "Our reservation requested a vegan meal, but they didn't seem prepared to service a vegan diet. The vegan food was a flavorful plate of vegetables prepared off menu, but wasn't sufficient to sustain a person past an hour and there were no vegan desserts. During the dessert order, two people requested tea. The group finished dessert before we were able to get anyone's attention about the tea that hadn't arrived, so we cancelled the tea and ordered the check. When they brought the check, they brought tea--on the house--and apologized. The manager and the server were nice and seemed to want customers to be happy. The restaurant has a comfortable, modern atmosphere inside and great outdoor seating."
    Dined on 12/31/2013