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AKA Bistro - Pasadena

4.0
158 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top Tags:
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Groups

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About

Feast on creative cuisine at AKA Bistro in Pasadena. It offers guests a casual atmosphere to converse and enjoy a quality meal. AKA Bistro is family-owned and its dishes are prepared using organic ingredients. Guests can begin their meal with a starter of portobello fries with truffle aioli, salmon tartare with a jalapeño-lime vinaigrette or a herbed goat cheese salad. A main course of braised short ribs, prime hanger steak or chicken topped with a green mole sauce will satisfy the appetite. Charcuterie plates, vegetarian dishes and desserts are also on the menu.

AKA Bistro features a happy hour. It offers Kombucha cocktails, beer and wine with meals. This gastropub has patio seating and caters private celebrations.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
American, Steak, Seafood
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Daily: 11:30am - 3:30pm

Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 3:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 3:30pm - 10:30pm
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Phone number
(626) 564-8111
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
James Lambrinos
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Private party facilities
AKA Bistro - Pasadena is great for hosting birthday parties, wedding rehearsals, business luncheons and many other events.
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Private party contact
Igancio Juarez: (626) 564-8111
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Catering
Please contact Robert Simon for more information.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Fair Oaks
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Parking details
We validate for valet parking and there are multiple parking garages in the area that offer 90 minutes free parking.
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Public transit
The metro stops at Holly St. or Del Mar Station are both walking distance to the restaurant.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 158 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.0based on all time ratings
4.0
food
4.1
service
4.0
ambience
3.0
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on January 31, 2015

Thought it was odd that when we asked for a booth, we were put towards the back.

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4.0Dined on January 23, 2015

This was our first visit to AKA Bistro and we thought the food was outstanding, ranging from the mozzarella and tomato appetizer to the risotto to the pork chop. All were terrific.

The only quibble I have is that we used a $20 Open Table coupon to apply to our bill, and when presented with the coupon our server looked at us like we were aliens, and there was a VERY lengthy delay while, she said, the manager processed the coupon. Seems to me that if you're going to be part of the Open Table program, you might want to be prepared for someone using an Open Table coupon.

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5.0Dined on January 20, 2015

Found it through an Instagram post, and was not disappointed. Great food and service. The seasonal risotto was outstanding, and the portabello fries are not to be missed. Highly recommend!!

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5.0Dined on December 17, 2014

We love this place, great food, great service, great location.

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4.0Dined on November 30, 2014

We had dinner reservations at 8:ppm on a rainy Sunday night after thanksgiving weekend which was pretty empty but open table only had either 615 or 830 and on open, no after 630 AND before 830 and the place was not busy, which kind of made me a little upset at open table when we could of just called and got a reservation at 7ish.

Our server was great, he told us all about the specials and brought wine glasses to our table which we brought a bottle of red which corkage fee was 10bucks which is cheap to drink our own wine at a restaurant. We ordered the lamb cut entree which wasn't on the menu. We also ordered the Portobello fries with aoili sauce which I really liked, the pulled pork Mac and cheese which was ok, fois gras which was fake because it's banned in Cali which tasted fine still, and duck confit salad which was pretty big and alright. Kind of ordered too much food. All in all great time with friends and food was ok but service was great.

The server brought out dessert wine for us which was a great ++ after our bill. Would come back again for the service and atmosphere in good ole historic old town Pasadena.

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5.0Dined on November 1, 2014

We all enjoyed our dishes but the most noteworthy part was the service. Our server was attentive and made us feel like she was really glad we were there. Will definitely return.

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3.0Dined on October 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.

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5.0Dined on October 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.

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5.0Dined on October 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.

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4.0Dined on October 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.

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4.0Dined on September 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.

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5.0Dined on September 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.

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5.0Dined on September 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.

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5.0Dined on September 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.

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4.0Dined on August 20, 2014

Sit outside on the patio and order the beet salad. It is wonderful!

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4.0Dined on August 3, 2014

We decided to go somewhere else once we arrived. We will try it again another time.

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4.0Dined on July 5, 2014

Each dish is presented beautifully and just the right amount of food without being overwhelming. Tastes are paired well with each other.

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5.0Dined on June 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.

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5.0Dined on June 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.

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4.0Dined on June 14, 2014

Love the portobello fries! Great service , great cocktails

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4.0Dined on June 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.

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1.0Dined on June 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.

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4.0Dined on June 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.

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3.0Dined on May 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.

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4.0Dined on May 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.

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4.0Dined on May 22, 2014

We had a party of 5, and service was friendly. Food was tasty and good portions.

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4.0Dined on May 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!

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5.0Dined on May 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.

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2.0Dined on May 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.

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5.0Dined on May 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.

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5.0Dined on May 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.

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4.0Dined on April 23, 2014

I know the restaurant is relatively new but the service is hard to beat. The food, especially the portabello fries, was exceptional.

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5.0Dined on April 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!

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4.0Dined on April 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!

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2.0Dined on April 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.

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3.0Dined on April 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.

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3.0Dined on April 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.

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5.0Dined on April 9, 2014

Fantastic food, Great win, Relaxing atmosphere, I brought 5 important customers from France, they were still talking about it the next day!

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5.0Dined on March 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.

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2.0Dined on March 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.

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