Union

4.8
1120 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary Italian
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.
What 1120 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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g
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The best in Old Town Pasadena ... 5 Star every time we visit !

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C
Philadelphia
96 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The citrus plate was exceptional. The entree was solid. Service was good. Like the ambiance and the culture.

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MC
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Verrry good pasta! Nice staff! We celebrated our anniversary there.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This hole in the wall, neighborhood joint is consistently serving exceptional food, with portions that are a little smaller than what I like or expect. The squid ink pasta is always Divine as is anything with polenta, pasta or mushrooms.

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NM
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

Love love love the food.
We had an early reservation and ended up seated next to family with a noisy / unhappy toddler. I don’t think this is the best venue for young children... hope it’s a better scene next time

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SZ
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing experience for the delicious food and friendly service. We order the port meat ball ,salad , pasta and black cod. Yummy.

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A
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We selected Union after a wonderful day in Pasadena and The Norton Simon Museum.

The service was first rate and friendly. Our server gave us plenty of time to peruse the menu, make helpful recommendations, and place our order. Besides being delicious and flavorful, the food was delivered at a pace that allowed us to savor our selection as well as anticipate the next dish. We would enthusiastically recommend Union to family and friends, and plan to revisit it the next time we are in Pasadena.

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AL
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food. Very crowded and loud, but if you are ok with that, food and service are outstanding

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MI
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best food !!!!! Best food best food really great food

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J
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Special friends!

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M
Seattle
32 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had the meatballs and two pastas. They were all fabulous. The pepe pasta was not even warm when it was served to us but it was still very good. I think there was a mixup of bringing it out to us. We never said anything as they were super busy and we didn’t want to wait for another. We will still go back. It was exceptional.

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BS
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The service and wait staff were excellent and attentive. Food was good, however both my appetizer and entree came out warm at best so it took away from the meal. Also, because of the small space, the tables are on top of each other, so be prepared to sit on top of the people next to you.

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KC
Birmingham
14 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Visiting from Birmingham, AL and wanted to find a place with a unique menu. We scored! Union had an inspired selection and we loved every item we ordered. Highly recommend and we come from a foodie town.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love Union! Friend used to live in Pasadena and when we were in the area for the holidays we made an effort to drive 2 hours out of the way just to get dinner here. The food is incredible.

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DM
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a goodbye dinner for my boyfriend as we will not be together this Christmas. The food was AMAZING!!! Per usual. I absolutely LOVE Union!

Donna Maria Moore

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MG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Union is consistently amazing. We've eaten there many times, and each time is just as good as the last. There are so many interesting dishes on the menu, the one hard thing is to not order too much. We share all our dishes so we can sample more flavors. We'll continue to return!!!

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A
Los Angeles
15 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

All around great food but the pasta, sooo delicious! That’s what we go there for specifically.

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FM
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Once again Union gets it. Always adding/updating/changing menu. The staff is knowledgeable and helpful in steering you in the right direction. You simply can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. The only problem we had was we did not leave enough room for desert.

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious meal! Our server Tony took care of us & made some great recommendations on food & wine!

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

My husband and I have been to Union before for my birthday and really enjoyed it. We knew the tables were close and the noise level was decently loud but this time we were crammed into a tiny 2-top next to two other tables where we could all clearly hear one another’s conversations. The tables were so close that no one could actually get out of the booth side without physically moving your own table and your neighbors table. At one point I was sitting on the purse of woman next to me. While the food was good, our squid ink pasta was undercooked. Our server was great and very attentive. One strange thing that left us both with a weird impression, was noticing that the manager went around and personally greeted many tables including the one to our right several times (they were celebrating an anniversary); to the point where he also served several of their dishes. He didn’t acknowledge my husband and I, despite the fact that we were also celebrating. It seems strange and clearly selective on the managers behalf to pick and choose who to acknowledge in a tiny space where everyone is in plain view of one another. Maybe they’re regulars, but it’s uncomfortable to eat at an intimate restaurant, as Union is designed to be, and notice the manager showing preferential treatment to one table over others. Although the food is generally delicious, my husband and I won’t likely be back due to the loud noise level, lack of personal space between tables and strange customer service from the manager (or lack thereof).

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RR
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrating a special occasion - birthday. Each dish was great from the appetizers to the deserts. Been here a number of times and have not been disappointed. Highly recommend.

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KJ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Oh. My. Lanta. If you want your tastebuds to do a spicy dance on your tongue, this is the place to go. Beautifully plated meals that are easy to share and so much fun to try. My husband and I cam here for the first time and it was exquisite, stunning presentation and wonderfully homemade goodness! Our waitress was stunning and enjoyed sharing the food designs with us and was educated on what brought the food together. Thank you for the fun, fast service and overall outstanding evening. Best meal in Pasadena thus far! Can't wait to try out something new the next time we're in town!

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m
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been to Union so many times and I have never had a bad meal. I find it very difficult to find excellent Italian food in Los Angeles. And Union has it all. Excellent food, great location and a nice casual interior.

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OT
Mexico City
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food. Loved the wine selection they have.

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OT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 4ambience 5

I had a 8:00 pm reservation and arrived at 7:55 pm. The host/manger checked us in and was about to sit us at a table right in front of the door. I asked her if she could please sit us in the table on the side (set for four) and separate to two tables for two sets of two. She replied that she couldn’t because then the servers would be inconvenienced. I told her that the table she wanted to put us at was literally at the the front door and that would not be acceptable. She then replied we would have to wait for a table. We waited 15 minutes and still did not have a table. We waited very uncomfortably at the front watching everyone and them us. Finally I took initiative and sat ourselves at the table I asked for on the side and then they adjusted the table to make it work. Really was that so hard ? Awful experience with the management. The server was very nice and the food was amazing!

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BB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

The good: excellent food, great service. The bad: portion sizes quite small, quite full so noise level pretty high especially for a Monday night.

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MW
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food, the waiter was nice, and my family and I had a great time. The space is really small, so make a reservation!

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place always delivers an incredible experience. The food is always fresh, beautifully presented and tasty! The servers are knowledgeable, friendly and attentive but not annoying. Trust them to pick your wine. We will always come back here over and over.

Couple of tips for you newbies... there is no sign except for a tiny sandwich board on the sidewalk. Parking is plentiful at the city lots nearby. It’s kinda small and feels like you’re at dinner with 50 of your friends; it’s a lively group. Don’t come here for a ‘quiet’ dinner.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Perfect. Love Union. Really, really miss their stratachiella cheese tho.

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AL
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This amazing restaurant is well worth the reservation. You will enjoy every bite and fabulous service. A delightful gem.

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FF
Minneapolis
13 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We loved Union! The food was delicious and creative. We ordered family style which enabled us to try more dishes. We were a group of four, ordered three small plates, two pastas, one main and one dessert. The wait staff was engaging and well informed on the menu. Great wine list. We will definitely be back!

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W
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Undoubtedly the best place to eat in Pasadena. The kitchen remains amazing and the food is a good as anything in New York or DTLA.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service. This was our first time. No disappointments.

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L
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was great, dinner with my mother

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SO
Los Angeles
24 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

Great food but pricey! Small place but quaint. Excellent service

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DB
Phoenix
32 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Flavors were fantastic! Every one of three mains was among best of those we ever had. Waiter was attentive and offered great suggestions.

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j
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

da bomb i-talian pasta joint in pasadena...be sure to order a large sampling from the menu and don't forget to share with your homiez!

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OT
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My foodie son was very satisfied with his birthday dinner at Union. We loved the wild mushroom polenta, the spaghetti and meatballs, lamb porterhouse, Cacio e Pepe and caramel budino. The service was very attentive and our waitress made great suggestions. Union was filled with people enjoying their favorite neighborhood joint, a comfortable atmosphere with great food.

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PA
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Me & my friends had a great time celebrating birthday.
great food.

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JH
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best Italian food in Pasadena by a country mile.

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