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AKA Bistro - Pasadena

158 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Great for Outdoor Dining (199)
  • Fit for Foodies (164)
  • Good for Groups (140)

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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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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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Please contact Robert Simon for more information.
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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.
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
4.0  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipOpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on January 31, 2015

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

vipJayfromSanDiego (San Diego)
4.0  Dined 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.

vipCJStavert (New York Area)
5.0  Dined 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!!

vipHoward (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on December 17, 2014

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

vipSLam (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined 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.

vipLisa (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined 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.

Ozefish (Los Angeles)
3.0  Dined 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.

vipGinnaHaverkate (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined 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.

Eaterfromaway (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined 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.

PasadenaEater (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined 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.

luv2eat (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined 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.

vipmimi10019 (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined 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.

Crescentan (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined 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.

OpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined 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.

vipLa1960 (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on August 20, 2014

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

MsJloe (Orange County)
4.0  Dined on August 3, 2014

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

claygoddess (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined 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.

OpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined 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.

claygoddess (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined 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.

vipCathyB (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on June 14, 2014

Love the portobello fries! Great service , great cocktails