AKA Bistro - Pasadena
AKA Bistro - Pasadena

AKA Bistro - Pasadena

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.akabistro.com/
  • Phone: 6265648111
  • 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: Steak, Seafood, American
  • 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 6265648111

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 WinnerOutdoor Dining
AKA Bistro - Pasadena reviews from OpenTable diners
29 reviews since June 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (16)good for groups (13)neighborhood gem (9)fit for foodies (8)romantic (7)special occasion (6)great for lunch (6)notable wine list (5)great for brunch (3)kid-friendly (3)scenic view (2)hot spot (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • First impressions count
    Ozefish
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Overly polite waiters make me nervous. Its like they are hiding something. As is often the case, it was the slightly disappointing food. My theory is that they don't want their tip getting caught in the cross fire between guest and kitchen. AKA is a nice modern bistro. The absence of diners (even for a Sunday night) was a red flag. The menu was filled with promise but the entrees did not deliver on those promises. The duck was, sadly, tasteless, or if there was a taste it was so overpowered by the berry/chipotle/whatever underneath that was that it was lost. The chicken meatball and pasta special, started well but descended into bland. The wine list was good, but the complimentary port undrinkable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love love love this place!
    GinnaVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Steak tartare, as if you were in Paris! The fish, make sure to ask them to undercook, otherwise it's a bit dry. The portobello fries, to die for.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We lucked out at AKA Bistro
    newtoarea
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    AKA Bistro is on the square and Friday night a band called Fishtank Ensemble played in the square. These are 4 very talented virtuoso performers and they played their sets as if they were timed to our meal's arrival and let us have a quiet coffee afterwards. See them if you can and see who else is might be playing the square by AKA Bistro.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Atmosphere - Average Food
    PasadenaEater
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    Came here for a special occasion dinner. The service was top notch, but the food was decent but nothing to write home about.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently yummy
    luv2eat
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    This is my third time here and I specifically came for the mussel frites. Everything was good as always. Only thing --the mussels were a bit anemic. But again, the sauce was delicious as was the caesar salad, salmon and the bread pudding.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great time! Will be back
    mimi10019VIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We scheduled this visit based on god reviews. The service was great. The atmosphere was nice. I enjoyed my wine a lot. The watermelon salad was really pretty. There was a dish that came out not too great but the manager was top notch and did everything I could ask to make it right without me asking. His name was Max and he knows how to treat customers. They will definitely get another chance from us.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our Go To Bistro
    Crescentan
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We frequently find ourselves at AKA Bistro because it does so much exactly right - the menu is always interesting, the dishes are innovative, but not bleeding edge trendy, always perfectly delicious, beautifully conceived and prepared, full of flavor. The wait staff is excellent - attentive, helpful and diligent. The restaurant is comfortable and you can either be out on the terrace overlooking the One Colorado courtyard and the scene there, or in, when the weather's not so good. Meals here are not inexpensive, but I've never been disappointed in any meal I've enjoyed here and they frequently hit it out of the park.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pre UCLA Football Game Dining
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We have eaten at AKA several times before and after UCLA football games at the Rose Bowl. The location is really close to the Parsons parking lot and the Rose Bowl Shuttle pickup. We usually have 7 or more people and have had up to 14. The service is some of the best I have ever had at a restaurant. The food is great and we could not be happier with AKA being our rendezvous location before games.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice place
    La1960VIP
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Sit outside on the patio and order the beet salad. It is wonderful!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nothing to review
    MsJloeVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    We decided to go somewhere else once we arrived. We will try it again another time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious!
    claygoddess
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Each dish is presented beautifully and just the right amount of food without being overwhelming. Tastes are paired well with each other.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Date night!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 17 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 27, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 132 reviews are from the AKA Bistro - Pasadena reviews archive.
  • Special Father's Day Dinner
    claygoddess
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • CathyB
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Love the portobello fries! Great service , great cocktails
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Father's Day score!
    steph74
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Enjoyable Sunday brunch
    GaryVIP
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Worth a try
    AteHereVIP
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very Good Means Very Good
    TioBoniVIP
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good for group
    DeesFriends
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    We had a party of 5, and service was friendly. Food was tasty and good portions.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great outdoor dining
    LunchBoxVIP
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a great meal
    dms55
    Dined on 5/12/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Something is off...
    FatBoi
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic reunion dinner
    ApparentlyWeLoveDuck
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent service!
    adayres77
    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.
    Special Features:
    Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    I know the restaurant is relatively new but the service is hard to beat. The food, especially the portabello fries, was exceptional.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Easter dinner
    Noneedtoworry
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Kid-Friendly, Good for Groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Thoroughly enjoyable!
    FoodDudeVIP
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Oops on the bill!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 4/14/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food - okay service.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food, ambience, service
    Older1foodie
    Dined on 4/9/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Fantastic food, Great win,
    Jeff
    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!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A little gem
    skuid
    Dined on 3/30/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meh food. Good service.
    Zorro
    Dined on 3/24/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food was fantastic and
    Anonymous
    Dined on 3/23/2014
    The food was fantastic and the service was great. The Butterscotch Pot au Crème stole the show!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ran out of food?
    lil5weetie
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great restaurant, versatile use
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/11/2014
    Great for lunch or dinner and for an intimate dinner for two or a larger group.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The menu was disappointing
    Jeff
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    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...
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food
    Lulu
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice place
    glorifiedbookkeeper
    Dined on 2/23/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.