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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 32 times today

Union

4.8
958 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary Italian
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Local Ingredients
  • Neighborhood Gem
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 958 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
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Excellent service from the hostess to the bar to the table. Great menu that changes regularly, house made noodles...nothing is lacking. It is a bit loud inside, and it's not cheap, but it won't leave you wanting for anything.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Outstanding food and service!!!
Noise level was too much for us making it difficult to have a conversation

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4.0Dined 4 days ago

Had a really enjoyable meal. Service was very good and very sppedy. Waiter knew the food, made good suggestions although I already knew what I wanted. Mushrooms and polenta was fantastic. Wife said I have to learn how to make it. Meatballs were tender and filling. Gnochetti was a very tasty combination of chewy pasta, crispy quanciale and flavorful mushrooms in a carbonara-like sauce. Disappointed that they were out of porchetta so quickly. The ribeye steak was smaller than expected and the gremolata and onion subise that accompanied it outshined the beef. Ended with the amazing budino (which everyone seems to be doing now) topped with a savory drizzle of olive oil. Yes, the place is small and the tables are squeezed together, so get to know your neighbors at the other table--your butts may knock over their water glasses when you squeeze between tables on your way out. Don't worry, you will probably be coming back anyway.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

I loved my dining experience here. The wait staff was patient and very thorough in helping to ensure we fully understood what to order. They were honest when they felt like we ordered enough (didn't feel pressure to over order like other places). The vibe was vibrant and clean. Moreover, the quality of food was definitely up there, and definitely good value. I love our new neighborhood go-to date spot.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Truly best meal I have had in a long time! Everything was well balanced, flavorful, perfectly cooked. Every dish was surprising on point, and that cocoa nib, caramel and sea salt dessert was amazing; well done!

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5.0Dined on May 10, 2018

A fabulous meal - everything was delicious.

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5.0Dined on May 10, 2018

Great ambiance excellent food service and wine. Very relaxed and comforting experience. Could do it again easily

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5.0Dined on May 9, 2018

My wife and I have eaten here on numerous occasions and have really enjoyed each and every one. The pork meatballs are outstanding as well as the pork loin. Each of these are exquisitely prepared. The menu changes from time to time and all of the dishes are very delicious. This place has something for everyone at a modest price.

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2018

Always love the food here

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5.0Dined on May 5, 2018

My favorite restaurant in Pasadena. Creative take on Italian food with great ingredients.

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5.0Dined on May 4, 2018

Always great.

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5.0Dined on May 2, 2018

Everything was excellent with one exception. Our table was right in front of the door. It was a very chilly night. Every time a patron entered or excited, the door was left open, freezing everyone at our table. I had to get up at least 6 times over the course of the meal to shut the door. Please fix the door, invest in a curtain, or hire a more attentive host.

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5.0Dined on May 1, 2018

What surprised us most about our dinner was that it was, without exception, perfect.

The service was helpful, attentive, and friendly. The wine was outstanding and a great value (one heck of a nice Brunello that paired well with our meal). And the food was incredible.
Our roasted avocado was a delightful taste treat. The whole avocado trend right now can be so tiring and overwrought, but this was simple, creative, and delicious. The Meatballs were soft, but firm, juicy, but not wet, incredibly tasty, and oh so amazing, and dressed with the most perfect ragu that tasted like fresh tomatoes with a hint of seasoning. The ribeye steak: Oh my. So tender, so perfectly crusted, sitting on a brief cloud of perfectly mashed potatoes, anointed with a delicious sea of Balsamico, and topped with a perfectly balanced and paired gremolata. I love ribeye, and this was hands down the best ribeye ever. The fourth course for us was a luscious barley risotto that stunned and amazed us. Lovely little nuggets of barley that were at once firm but soft and just a taste barely chewy. The cheese was there, but not oppressively so as so many are want to do. It was heaven, and the reason to every once in a while try 'the risotto' when dining out, because you might just discover something delightful. We finished the evening with the lovely slice of olive cake, that was at once soft, creamy, and tasty, yet with a slight firm toasted outside.

In a word: WOW. Seldom can one say that everything about a dinner out was without flaw. We were so pleased, we went online as we finished and booked our next visit.

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5.0Dined on April 30, 2018

Enjoying a date with the wife.

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4.0Dined on April 29, 2018

Food very good! Service not up to par. Servers chatting in a group of four while we waited to order drinks. Servers also didn’t know food preparations and ingredients. Not acceptable in these days of food allergies. Management needs to tighten up service for this top level food Mecca.

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5.0Dined on April 29, 2018

I grew up in Pasadena and I don’t know how I have never been to this place!! Food was amazing! We came here with my family to celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday. This place has an amazing wine selection and the pastas are out of this world. I love Italy and their authentic pastas and one my favorite pastas is Cacio e Pepe, of course this restaurant had this pasta on the menu and it was only right to get it. Amaaaazing, with a modern spin! I will be back!!! The food was a bit too salty for my taste, but I still enjoyed it. The only negative thing I have to say, is this- when we arrived, our table was at 6:30 but the host told us that she can’t sit us until 645, which is fine but then she told us that we have to be done with our dinner by 830! Umm excuse me lady?! What kinda customer service is this? We have a birthday to celebrate and because you sit us late, we have to be done with our meal early? Sorry, but we will be here until we are done. Super big turn off; management needs to work on that.

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5.0Dined on April 29, 2018

Great food and service.

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5.0Dined on April 28, 2018

The service was good. Joe was able to explain the food very nicely. The dishes were tasty and beautifully prepared.

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3.0Dined on April 28, 2018

Ok. Truth be told, the food is excellent. The service was great. Wine selection was good. (Try the Vermintino). Our only issue was the tables are so close together it is like you are all dining together. Not a scrap of privacy. We were seriously four inches from the people next to us with nowhere to go. If one of them had been a smoker (and we could smell it on them), we'd have been miserable. This is not a really pricey place, but for what you get and pay, they should lose one table for two in each row to allow for diners to be comfortable.

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3.0Dined on April 26, 2018

the food very salty I not should how this restaurant pass the sitting for the fire department of Pasadena.

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5.0Dined on April 25, 2018

Great service and impeccable food!

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5.0Dined on April 24, 2018

Food was amazing!!

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5.0Dined on April 23, 2018

Knowledgeable server, knew his wine and mixed drinks. Food never disappoints, best in Pasadena.

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5.0Dined on April 22, 2018

We had a truly lovely experience. We were there for my husband's birthday and because we love Bruce from Top Chef, and we told them so. They treated us like VIPs, which made such a difference in our experience. The food was PHENOMENAL -- like, truly unreal. I'd absolutely recommend this place for the food alone, but the whole experience was great.

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3.0Dined on April 18, 2018

I like Union's vibe and menu but it's extremely noisy, even on a weekday night, and expensive without wowing with the food. We had a reservation but still had to wait half an hour for our table. The host was apologetic but I think a wait of that length deserves a complimentary drink or bread offer. Our salad, pastas and especially the meatballs were all well-prepared, but a little bland, with the exception of the meatballs, which were extremely salty. The shaved sunchoke salad, however, was delicious. Dessert, the pound cake with Creme Anglaise, was so burnt on the bottom and sides that the middle was dry and we had to leave the whole crust.

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5.0Dined on April 17, 2018

Love this place

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5.0Dined on April 16, 2018

Union was excellent. I loved everything about my meal.

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5.0Dined on April 16, 2018

Always great

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3.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Food was ok. The mushrooms with polenta were sublime. The fish was dry. Wine list is good. Don’t need to go back as so many other places to try

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5.0Dined on April 13, 2018

This is our third time visiting Union. The food is always enjoyable and the service has been consistently fabulous. Attentive to our needs without being a nuisance.

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5.0Dined on April 13, 2018

The food was amazing and fresh! Loved!! Highly recommend!!

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5.0Dined on April 13, 2018

Wonderful experience, incredible food !!

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3.0Dined on April 11, 2018

I have been eager to try Union, but it has been difficult to get a reservation. An upcoming birthday pushed me to make a reservation far in advance. The space is small, dark (dark enough that I needed to use the flashlight on my phone to read the menu), and uncomfortably warm (a woman was vigorously using a fan to cool off and her table was near the door). The waitstaff were enthusiastic and friendly and efficient without making us feel that we needed to vacate our table within minutes of putting down our utensils. The menu is surprisingly pork-centric and somewhat limited in offerings, and I am getting weary of the shared plate concept. Nevertheless, the food was uniformly good. We started with Brussels sprouts, pasta with boar ragu (excellent), and a special that was a slow roasted pork loin, accompanied by a kale salad and polenta that could easily feed four. When I made the reservation, I mentioned that it was a birthday (teenager). We ordered a single dessert which came with a candle but (minor quibble) the restaurant charged for the dessert. Seems like they could have comped a birthday dessert when we spent in excess of $200 for three with only three glasses of wine.

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5.0Dined on April 8, 2018

Fabulous, best in Pasadena.

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2.0Dined on April 8, 2018

Food was great however service was bad. I ordered the famous porchetta and my waitress said they unfortunately ran out which was fine. Another table sits down next to me 15-20 minutes later and orders the porchetta and miraculously there was still 1 porchetta left and I got to watch the table next to me receive it. Overall I enjoyed the food but the poor service of not double checking to see if there actually was a special item still available put a poor taste in my mouth and nearly ruined the night.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Dinner was amazing as was the service! Would definitely go back next time we are in town!!

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

We're a big fan of this modern Italian restaurant. No lasagna to be found here ... great meat, pasta and veggie options. Service was great -- sometimes its a little bit hipster snobby -- but not this time. Be prepared that this is a small restaurant and you will be sitting very close to your neighbors. To us it has a great, cozy vibe.

My only complaint is that with all of the focus on local ingredients, whomever picks the wine list still has an unhealthy obsession with Italian wines. I'm cool with sticking with the Italian theme, but it's quite the blind spot to have an entire wall covered with a mural on where you can go to your local farmer's market yet has maybe 6 wines (1 by the glass) from here at home in California. If this was New Mexico, I'd get it ... but we make some of the best wines in the world of every varietal without having to ship them 6,000 miles.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

I have been to this restaurant many times I have never been disappointed. Consistently great food!! The service was excellent and the server was genuinely great, he also was very informative and pleasant.

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5.0Dined on April 4, 2018

Wow, what a meal! Our waiter was extremely knowledgeable and allowed us the time to enjoy our night catching up with family. The meatballs are not to be missed and the Porchetta is out of this world. Thank you for a wonderful evening. We will be back!!

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5.0Dined on April 4, 2018

This place gets better each time we go.

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