Union

4.7
1039 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary Italian
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
Chef Bruce Kalman and Marie Petulla partnered to open UNION, a 50-seat restaurant and bar featuring a deeply personal, seasonally Californian interpretation of Northern Italian cuisine. Bruce brings his slow and soulful approach to fresh, local ingredients to create a rustic yet elegant. They have created an intimate neighborhood restaurant that brings the farmer and guest together, to celebrate the beauty of simplicity food and the delight of a meal with friends.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary Italian
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Monday - Friday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm; Saturday & Sunday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(626) 795-5841
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Bruce Kalman
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Raymond
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Parking details
Public Lot across the street
Additional
Beer, Farm to Table, Wine
What 1039 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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c
Los Angeles
20 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Perfect to celebrate my birthday or any other event. Quite noisy but the food was divine!!!

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t
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a find! Staying at local hotel but from the area and went to have Italian based on reviews and location. Not starving , yet waiter made it so comfortable for us to have appetizers before ordering a second course. . We did stop at two highly recommended dishes, octopus with squid ink, burnt eggplant purée and mushroom
polenta dish both with too many amazing flavors to do it justice with words and generous to share. He loves cooking and an Italian background so took so much joy in discussing dishes and recommending great wine based on our thoughts and taste of what we like. Really nice place. Wish I was hungrier for pasta but coming back soon.

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ZB
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went to celebrate a friend's birthday. We had heard of the restaurant by word of mouth and it lived up to the great reputation. Food was fantastic, meant to be shared, which added to the adventure. Desserts top off our evening celebration. A must.

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FM
Los Angeles
27 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow ... A local friend said Union "was the best restaurant in town", and Oh My! He was right! What a great find, farm to table, fresh, and just great flavors ... the pasta Cacio e pepe! Truffled Pasta with Lobster! The Lamb! Roasted Avocado's!! **how in the world do you make avocado's taste that good? ... but they did! Dessert of Budino, pretty much an OMG moment, and then simply the wines by the glass were just delicious .... We were able to meet the chef, and of course "Joey" took very, very, very good care of us ... he's the man! A++ and 5++ stars!

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n
Orange County
125 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I have eaten here at this restaurant on numerous occasions and have thoroughly enjoyed it each time. This is a great place for those who like to try different foods. The menu changes quite often and offers new dishes that are always great.

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LS
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 3ambience 1

The food is excellent as always. It is always very crowded and despite having a reservation, we always wait 15 to 20 minutes. This is our fourth time there but don’t think we will be returning. Corkage is $35 and the prices are pretty steep for small portions.

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AD
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

amazing food, as always. Union has exceptional food and never fails to please.

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DJ
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unbelievable food. We had the squid ink pasta and a peach and cheese platter and a bread and spicy veggies platter. All were absolutely perfect! My new favorite place.

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RS
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Liked everything I ate. The wait staff was amazing

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Most excellent dining experience. Food was great. Service was excellent. Brought friends for their first time and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Will make this a regular habit.

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JM
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quality of the food and the flavors were top notch. One of the better restaurants in the greater LA area. The food is meant to be shared among those dining with you. The service was great and friendly.

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F
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

I’ve been to Union on many occasions, I felt that yesterday the service had slipped, however our meal was excellent. I hope my feedback brings awareness to the team and recognize that things have changed from the past experiences.

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EB
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

AAAAMAZING!!! The pork meatballs and the grilled octopus!! The olive oil cake!! The fresh pastas!! Try everything - it’s all great!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Meatballs, grilled octopus, mushrooms with polenta. Squid ink pasta all amazing! Loved olive o cake too!

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CR
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Very small room. Tables too close together for my taste. Food was outstanding. Puzzled why a half cup of very strong flavored cheese dip was served with five very small pieces of toast. We got seconds of toast but then had to buy a loaf of bread to finish it. Good but proportions we way off. Pasta dishes were outstanding.

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RF
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My first and definitely not my last dining experience here.

Highly recommended!!!

The food is prepared to perfection.

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MI
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 2

Nothing great. Heard the rave reviews but not impressed with the food. Pork meatballs were ho-hum. I was hoping the porchetta would be exceptional but not really. Won’t be back.

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IT
Los Angeles
39 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great food, excellent service.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love Union! One my fav spots

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MT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Ok, the food is truly very good, although on the rich, creamy and salty side. The wild mushroom and polenta was outstanding. The 2 pasta dishes we had were great. Homemade pastas, of course (well, for the price, they had to). We decided we couldn't afford the entrees. A bit overpriced, but we are glad we made it.
We got well advised on wine glasses (over expensive too...) by our waiter. Noisy exiguous place.

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FM
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Flower is back. What a surprise. Food is great as always. Joey and Miraj took care of us. Service is always great. Truly the only reason to make your way into old pas.

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f
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We absolutely loved our experience at union. The food was incredible. The wait staff informative and helpful. The mushroom medley over polenta was heaven inspired. They graciously describe how they made it just short of the quantity style recipe. My only Nagel is that it is very cramped and a hottie the air conditioning struggles to keep the place comfortable.

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d
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 1

We have been to Union several times, but during this visit I noticed the food is not what it used to be. In addition, the AC was not working and I was told it had been out for a month! How does a restaurant of this stature not fix their AC? In addition, how could they not advise their patrons that the AC is not working when it is 90+ degrees outside? FYI, it was cooler OUTSIDE than inside this restaurant. Not a good experience.

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CH
Orange County
164 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate here before the Ed Sheeran concert at the Rose Bowl. Located downtown, it is an easy Uber ride (if the traffic cooperates) or a good 1.5 mile walk for those who enjoy walking. We were given a lovely table in the corner. The tables are very close together apparently to accommodate the many patrons wanting to eat at this great restaurant. Our server greeted us promptly and offered beer or wine (no mixed drinks) and they were delivered while we were given ample time to peruse the menu. The wine list is extensive and a lot of really great selections in a variety of price ranges.

With so many delicious sounding dishes, we found it hard to narrow it down. Our server suggested enjoying them "family-style" and we loved that idea! We started with the housemade stacciatella, which is a crostini served with garlic paste and a marinated veggie side dish. We also shared the bread and sea salt butter. (Probably could've chosen one or the other instead of so much bread.) My husband ordered the pork pappardelle and I ordered the Spaghetti alla Chitarra. Both were perfect to share and tasted amazing. We ended the meal with a shared budino for dessert. The pacing was perfect. We never felt rushed or ignored and the service was super friendly. If Pasadena were closer, or Ed Sheeran plays the Rose Bowl again, we will definitely return!!

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SS
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best places for pasta and all around good food in LA.
Constantly good and staff goes above and beyond to recommend choices and provide great service. For sure one of my favorite places to eat when I can get a reservation!

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KM
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Union is our go to for dates and anniversaries. The service and food was great as always.

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AJ
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

I don’t know why but the food was super salty. We’ve eaten here before and it wasn’t the case on previous occasions. The flavors were spectacular but just a bit too salty. Also was a bit louder than expected inside, but had a good vibe so overall not an issue. Definitely make a reservation unless you are ok waiting because it was a Monday night and the wait times were over an hour. Overall a cool place if a little expensive.

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MR
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great as usual, the food is amazing. Monday night spaghetti and meatballs was great.

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RS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Hot, it was hot. They had small fans but it was still hot. Also it was noisy maybe the table location but it was an ear piercing loud. The food was a bit to spicy, it did say Chile but maybe the server could’ve said something about the extra heat.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great server David , made perfect recommendations and we enjoyed everything

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WH
Memphis
26 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Simple... GO HERE. One of the best dining experiences you will ever have. No doubt, no question... the best

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CJ
New York Area
130 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The most creative cuisine in Pasadena, if not the best restaurant. We look forward to going every time - even if we repeat some of our orders (e.g. the meatballs, which are not to be missed!). Our Server, David, was excellent. He guided us through the menu, explained the new additions (which we sampled), and made sure that we did not order too much. The polenta with mushrooms was excellent, and the roasted avocados are incredible (photo included). We highly recommend Union as they deserve it, but we hope that you do not go so that a reservation will be available for us the next time!!!

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VD
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Since finding union we cant stop talking about all the dishes and how each one was delicious and unique. We keep coming back and love how each time the menu is so different and the wines change constantly as well. Service is great, Anastazia and Dave are great servers.

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J
Las Vegas
18 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing food served family style but not enough to fill hungry tummies. The service is impeccable however watching the staff navigate through the tiny space was cringeworthy. Must make a reservation. This truly is a hot spot!

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k
Los Angeles
14 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We moved to southern CA about 3 years ago and had intended to go to Union based on their numerous positive reviews. Somehow we kept putting it off until I read that the chef would be leaving at the end of the month. I went online to make a reservation and found that they were almost completely booked until then. I took the first reservation available, a Sunday at 5 pm. First impression was that the place was quite small to be so popular. Seating was tight, even at that early hour. Second impression was that the air conditioning didn't seem to be working very well. It was an extremely hot day in SoCal so that may have been a factor. Our server was very friendly and helpful, recommending that we order something from each tier of the menu and share family style. We brought our own wine. (Wine lovers beware: the corkage fee is a hefty $35!)

We ordered the pork meatballs as an appetizer. The meatballs were tender and flavorful. The sauce had slices of large capers in it which gave it just the right amount of saltiness. Our next course was the roasted cucumber salad with figs and goat cheese. What a unique and delicious dish! The goat cheese was so creamy and light, the figs were fresh and the roasted cucumber was just the right vehicle for these toppings. The salad was garnished with a touch of mint. The portion size was small and I wished we had ordered a second salad.

I ordered the tagiatelle in a tomato sauce consisting of shishito peppers and short ribs. It was delectable with just the right bite of heat from the peppers! Again, portion size was fairly small but the dish was extremely satisfying. My husband's spaghetti was equally wonderful. All aspects of service were impeccable. Our needs were anticipated, water glasses refilled promptly, fresh silverware supplied, etc.

I don't know why we waited so long to go to Union! This is a special restaurant that I will definitely return to. Hopefully the change of chefs will not affect the quality of the food.

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i
Los Angeles
25 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 3

Second time dining here and I don’t know what happned. Everything we had was very very salty, so salty that my mouth was hurting. Maybe they only care about serving the best prepped meals during the weekend, but this is just sad. If a restaurant is good, it always should live up to the expectation. Ehhh not coming back

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AD
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was amazing. Pasta is perfectly cooked. Great variety. Staff was lovely. A little noisy, but well worth it. I will be returning soon.

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C
Seattle
9 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Union lived up to the great reviews. It's a delicious take on Italian-influenced dishes. The pork meatballs and pastas are amazing. And what they can do with an avocado will amaze you. Our server, Dave, is passionate about the food and ensuring diners have a great dining experience. If you are not sure what to order, let Dave make the recommendations. We had three in our party and we shared six dishes. A generous serving to satisfy everyone. The olive cake for dessert was great.

It can get a little noisy, so make sure you are with people you're comfortable with talking over the moderate din.

An experience to share and enjoy!

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SD
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

I was disappointed in this icon restaurant as it was recommended to me by numberous friends over the years. The place is too small to comfortably seat 49. The tables, so close together that the servers can only fit between the tables sideways, makes knowing your table neighbor part of the meal. The door needed a closing mechanism to help customers seated in front of the door less annoyed with the foot traffic but more on that later. Honestly, the ambience is disappointing.

The server did not have a good comfort level with the wine list, of the 4 dishes we ordered, only 2 were memorable. The rib eye we shared, ordered medium rare, was thick with little flavor and not moist, almost as if it spent too much time under the heat lamp. Salt wasn’t on the table but it would have helped. The meatball appetizer was as advertised, very good.

2 things that really set the tone was that I mentioned it was a special occasion to the waiter and not even any acknowledgement was given. I guess the staff couldn’t be bothered.

Lastly, on the day we went, the temperature in Pasadena was over 97 degrees. The restaurant air conditioning either didn’t work or is too old to be efficient. The restaurant was packed with people at 6pm and it made matters worse. We have never experienced such conditions. My iPhone said 83 but it might have been hotter. The restaurant should have been closed until the unit was fixed or replaced. I mentioned this to the person that seats customers and she said “well that is not my responsibly”. If it truly is about the food, Union, make it comfortable for patrons to enjoy it, not suffer through it.

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MA
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. Fairly loud room but not overwhelmingly so. We will definitely go back.
Do try the grilled avocado!

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