Union

4.7
1279 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary Italian
UNION is a 50-seat restaurant and bar in Old Pasadena featuring a deeply personal, seasonally Californian interpretation of Northern Italian cuisine. Owner Marie Petulla and Executive Chef Chris Keyser have curated a rustic yet elegant menu that brings the farmer and guest together, to celebrate the beauty of simplicity, seasonal ingredients, and the delight of a meal with friends.
What 1279 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
4.8
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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OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We loved the food, and will be back again very soon.

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OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Given the small space, the employees kindly held my backpack in a back room while we dined. My friend and I loved the wild mushroom dish. It was super delicious, full of flavor, and the polenta melted in our mouths. I also really liked the squid ink pasta with lobster. The special of the day wasn’t that good. The plates are rather small but those 3 dishes were enough to fill us up.

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R
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing experience at Union. One of the best restaurants in Pasadena. They did a phenomenal job accommodating my wife and I for her 30th birthday. We'll be back soon.

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

Really cool place that doesn’t look flashy - but delivers with amazing food and service. Loved it.

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e
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Second time at Union. The food is delicious and the staff is very helpful giving advice. Enjoyed the squid ink Lumache with lobster, and the pork Ragu was particular delicious.

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AS
New York Area
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 2

What this place lacks in ambiance, it makes up for it in their food. Delicious made from scratch pasta was super delicious and the service was quite good.

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u
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been to Union twice now and one of the things that I love is the constantly changing menu. Yes, I also sometimes hate that, because you can't always tell from the web what will be available on a given night, but there is so much creativity and inventiveness in their food that I wouldn't want to cramp their ability to be flexible, agile, and novel just so I can see the menu online. Everything is brilliantly fresh, everything that can possibly be made in house (including bread, butter, cheese, yoghurt, pasta, pickles) is made in house, and the difference that makes is sublime. For me, you can't beat the bucatini pasta -- doesn't matter which sauce/preparation -- the pasta itself is sublime. The mushroom polenta is insanely decadent. You may think $11 is steep for the bread and butter gardiniere, but the bread is fresh baked, the butter is house made and super creamy, and the "gardiniere" is a delicious little jar of spiced pickles that are to die for. I don't think their desserts are quite at the level of their entrees and appetizers, but it is still worth saving space for a sweet finish.

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NS
Dallas
8 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious. The flavors of the food here are outstanding. We visited a few weeks back and had to try it again! Their wine choices are also great.

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BB
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Lovely food but SO noisy!

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SY
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

We love this place.....been there several times. The noise level seemed higher this time. I think the music was a bit loud and people were trying to talk over it and even on a Tuesday, the place was packed. Reservations are a must. Food as always was amazing. We had the peach, burrata panzanella salad (very small), the delicious pork meatballs (large) and the cacio y Pepe pasta with poached egg (yummy and rich). No room for dessert. Service is always good.

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5
New Mexico
12 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Delicious! Great service!

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G
Los Angeles
41 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Good food!

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food is amazing. Not cheap. Small and noisy. But food is incredible!

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s
New York Area
47 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious! Not one thing was a meh!
Only thing to consider is to provide GLUTEN FREE pasta so that everyone can enjoy!!!

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JH
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Always great food. A little loud and crowded at times but thats expected with such good food.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were seated promptly with an Open Table reservation. We were offered water immediately along with the menu. Waitress answered questions regarding the menu and offered suggestions based on the family style setup. We ordered one of each food type; that is, starter, field, pasta, and entree, and dessert. For the starter, we ordered the meatballs. The ragu was delicious and the meatball very moist. For the field (salad) portion, we ordered the Wild Mushrooms which were delicious. The polenta and sauce were fantastic. The pasta Trochetti was also delicious (we were starting to get full). We ordered the lamb as our entree. Everything on the plate complimented each other. And even though we were bursting full, we ordered the budino for dessert and we scraped it clean!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

Excellent service, and exquisite food! 4 out of the 5 dishes were divine.

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JA
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of the best restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area. And I'm a snob

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R
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best pasta ever! Service was great. Everything made with quality & love. Very fine details in the meals. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Probably the best Italian food I’ve had, given that I’ve traveled to Italy more than 10 times.

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KW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow--what a meal!
I made a reservation for two, about two weeks ahead for a Saturday night and our table was waiting for us when we got there. Our server, Mac, was lovely, friendly and unobtrusive. We are into "farm to table" food, cooking and dining out. This food was extremely tasty, creative and beyond what we usually experience. Yes, it is dense seating however we noticed that we could actually hear each other quite well...in fact, there are baffles on the ceiling. Mellow lighting and charming decor. Don't miss out!

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B
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every bite was amazing and delicious. Wow! That polenta with mushrooms...the polenta is so creamy! The beets were yummy, with bursts of huge flavor. Squid ink pasta with lobster!! Everything was incredible! Probably the best restaurant in Pasadena, hands down, Eagle Rock, Highland Park....even with all the new good places on the east side, this one has them beat. I forget about it because there are so many new places...but this one is special! Only beer and wine...our dessert was meh...but everything else was so good, I didn’t care.

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JN
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 5ambience 4

Octopus appetizer was amazing but the pasta dish was overpriced (i don’t say that lightly) and the lamb that was supposed to be braised was stringy.

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H
Los Angeles
49 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate at Union for the first time although we had heard great things from friends about this establishment. Our waitress Cassy was friendly and her recommendations were wonderful. OMG describes the mushrooms as well as the Squid Ink Pasta with Lobster. The wine was excellent as well as the spaghetti, beats, arugula salad, bread, etc.. A new favorite for our family!

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GB
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 1

I had dinner at Union on Saturday eve, the 8th of June, 2019. I was joined by 2 other business associates. I saw octopus on the menu , and ordered that , along with the mushroom dish. The mushroom dish arrived, and in my estimation, was ok, with average taste. Then the octopus arrived, it was charred, the 6 1" barrel shaped pieces were extremely overcooked and lacking any moisture, and a sauce that went with it reminded me, and my associates who tried it, of a mild hot sauce that would be on top of Buffalo chicken wings. The strangest tasting octopus I have ever eaten. Overall, not one of us were impressed with the meal. My associates black squid ink dish was not to their liking either.
Gary Bobileff
Rancho Santa Fe, Ca.
=

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m
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this gem in pasadena! If we have out of town friends we always take them here because this place never disappoints. The food is always amazing. They use the best ingredients, are always innovative and changing their menu for the better. I love the burrata, the squid ink pasta, the sphaghetti and my new favorite was the mushroom truffle sauce dish!! Yummmm. Will be visiting soon enough!

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EW
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Food was tasty and quality. My Bucatini with Almond Pesto was served cold/room temperature. Bread was overpriced.

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C
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Couldn't recommend Union enough. The food was outstanding. I am already planning to go back. I can't get enough!

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T
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took my partner here for his birthday. As other reviews said, it was crowded and noisy, with a few large groups/families. The ambiance was warm, friendly, and intimately crowded. Our 2 person table was so close to others that the waitress had to walk to a specific side of the table to talk with us. It was great regardless, and they served great vegetarian options, rare to find at an Italian restaurant. The waitress actually marked the veggie options directly on the menu for us to make it simple. We shared the beet salad (very good though more expensive than we thought worth it), mushroom polenta (rich, decadent, and worth every penny), bucatini pasta (fantastic texture and taste). Enjoyed some red wine, the olive oil cake, and moscato, all of which we really liked. Though we took our time eating, there were about 4 parties seated before us, that were still chatting and sharing dessert when we left. I took this as a sign that people often come here to have long relaxing meals together. Recommend!

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N
Los Angeles
31 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've been there many times, never disappointed. Great food and service. Will go back again soon.

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OT
Hertfordshire
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food! Just love everything!
Must try their octopus salad!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food with great service as always

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l
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place! With each dish that they bring, I always get the feeling that they are genuinely inspired by the combo they've put together. The dishes are consistently excellent and delightful. I love the service - and don't forget desert! A real stand-out in the area, and a serious restaurant that stands out in the general LA regional food scene.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Birthday and it was done very well!!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal.

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OT
New Orleans
4 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Good food but noisy and cramped

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H
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food, as always. Unique and fresh

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AW
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a great place, excellent food, service and good drinks.

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LB
Western NC
5 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Small place, reservations recommended. Pasta is homemade and amazing, but dishes are pretty expensive for the food and portion size.

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