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Party Size
For 2
Date
Thu, 4/19
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 26 times today

Union

4.7
931 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary Italian
Perfect For:
  • 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 931 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
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined 2 days ago

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 4 days ago

Union was excellent. I loved everything about my meal.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Always great

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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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3.0Dined on April 3, 2018

Honestly this place is super overpriced. Paid 50 bucks for arugula with lemon and olive oil and 8(no joke) small raviolis. I get that there aren’t a ton of great restaurants in Pasadena but the concept of classy dining shouldn’t be an opportunity to take advantage of people. You should maybe think about being ashamed of yourselves. Just sayin.

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5.0Dined on April 3, 2018

Delicious meal!

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

As usual, everything was delicious. The wine was amazing. So cozy. And they were very nice about leaving meat off some of the dishes since we are vegetarian.

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5.0Dined on March 31, 2018

Incredible meal, as always. Brought a bottle of wine, and the service for that was absolutely perfect. New menu addition of cavatelli with wild boar was outstanding--savory, chewy--completely satisfying. Another new item, the pork chop, reminded me of diner steak-and-eggs in the best possible way--deliciously salty with a pleasant char. Union remains my favorite restaurant.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

Union never disappoints everything is always perfectly prepared and the staff friendly.

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5.0Dined on March 28, 2018

My ywife and I have dined here on several occasions and have really enjoyed the food each and every time. The couple who joined us were really impressed especially with pork meatballs and the pasta dishes. We ordered three of them and all of them were outstanding. This is a great place for anyone who likes to try different things and appreciates great food when they eat it.

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4.0Dined on March 28, 2018

A relative was in town and I immediately decided to to take them to Union. This was my second time there and it was every bit as special as the first. Tight quarters for sure and a bit noisy but the service and food (!) make it well worth it. First class as always.

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5.0Dined on March 27, 2018

Third time in as many years and remains great. The food was well explained and the service excellent. The quality of the produce was superior. The arugula which is generally blah was
superb even without dressing. Would hesitate to go back or recommend.

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5.0Dined on March 26, 2018

Wonderful food at a surprisingly good value, you really get a nice portion of food on every dish. Great flavors on every dish.

The seating is a little tight and that makes the dining experience less than stellar, but it’s a small place and the service staff make the tight corners work for them.

Overall a wonderful experience

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

My wife and I went here after trying to make a Valentine's day adjacent reservation and being too late on the draw a couple years in a row. Had heard good things, so wanted to check it out. Was not disappointed. Union has a great ambiance, somewhat east coast metropolitan due to the tight quarters. Lots of energy both from the patrons and the staff, showing off the collective passion for quality food. Be warned ahead of time that plates here are not large, the intent is for tables to order multiple and share. The food we had was fantastic, strongly recommend the short rib. You'll rack up a solid bill, but it's well worth it if you're looking for a great new food experience.

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

Excellent wait staff who truly care about your dining experience.

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5.0Dined on March 23, 2018

The restaurant is on the smaller side and the tables are very close together. The food is the reason to come and it did not disappoint. Every single dish was absolute perfection.

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4.0Dined on March 23, 2018

The food tasted great but was a little light on the servings considering the price of the dishes.
It made the dishes a lot pricier than stated on the menu.

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4.0Dined on March 22, 2018

I have only one issue and that is the readability of the menu. Black on brown in small script does not provide sufficient contrast to be read easily in the pleasantly dim lighting provided. This is especially difficult for people who are even mildly red-green color blind. The result is 1) every so often one is disturbed by someone turning on the very bright torch feature on their phone ( I did this myself). It certainly ruins the ambience. 2) Hurrying to switch off the ugly torch light, I completely missed the egg time noted for the Boccatini. I'm allergic to yolks that are not fully cooked so when the dish arrived it was a surprise and rather disturbed the balance of the meal we ordered for two people. I recognize the desire to use natural colored paper but more distinct font is then needed!

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5.0Dined on March 22, 2018

Always great food - always a pleasure dining at.

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5.0Dined on March 19, 2018

Went on a date with my wife to Union, and everything we had was completely delicious. The serving staff were friendly and helpful and the restaurant was very comfortable. Not awkwardly quiet and not so loud we couldn't hear each other. A really lovely evening!

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5.0Dined on March 19, 2018

the food was outstanding and our waiter Joey made our experience all the more memorable. He was very attentive and was able to steer us to menu items (and wine) that he thought we may like based on our preferences. This time around the mussels were great as was the squid ink pasta with main lobster. We had the duck from the Main and it was superb! The pork meatballs were well made but not the most creative dish on the menu...should have gone for the wild mushrooms and polenta! We will be back here again soon enough...

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5.0Dined on March 19, 2018

I’m a regular at Union and they never disappoint.

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5.0Dined on March 13, 2018

A great dinner! We are big Top Chef fans so try to go to the restaurants of the chefs when we can. So glad we did. Our meal was delicious from beginning to end. Service was great. Our server told us as soon as we sat down that there was one Porchetta left (at 7pm) and reserved it for us as soon we said "yes please!" Tables are close together and it's pretty loud but we loved it - like being in Italy or the North End in Boston. Make a reservation and go early if Porchetta is your thing.

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5.0Dined on March 11, 2018

Worth the drive but glad I don't have to. Please note that to me, "value" means worth the price, not inexpensive. Union is simply my favorite special occasion restaurant, even if one needs to invent a special occasion once in a while as a treat. Food and service always on point.

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5.0Dined on March 10, 2018

Outstanding service! Food was excellent!
We love Union.

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4.0Dined on March 9, 2018

Great food. The portions are a bit smaller than most Italian restaurants. The server was somewhat condescending. It's one of those pretentious Italian places. But the food was good, so I would recommend this place to a friend.

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4.0Dined on March 9, 2018

The food was solid but not exceptional. Bucatini con calcio e pepe should be al dente and this veered towards mushy. The meatballs however were exceptional and the proportions very decent. Service was another matter. The woman at the front of the house was obviously inexperienced and insisted that she didn’t have my reservation. Even after I pulled up the opentable res on my phone she suggested that it was maybe a last minute res and didn’t get in the system, notwitstanding that the email was from a week ago! The manager was right there and seemed unwilling to stick his nose in. The server was ok but cool and aloof and obviously harried. She seemed to have forgotten how to smile and needed to pause and collect herself. I would go back because the kitchen clearly has potential and wait staff can be trained

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5.0Dined on March 7, 2018

My wife and I and her sister enjoyed the dinner we had. The stratiatelli was magnificent as well as the pork meatballs. If you enjoy pasta you will love the squid ink pasta. It is absolutely marvelous. All of the pasta dishes are great. This restaurant is ideal for those who want to try different dishes since the menu changes periodically.

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2018

Took the family to dinner here on Saturday and had a wonderful time. From the moment we walked in we knew we were in for a good evening. The food was tasty, fresh, and perfect portions. Service was knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for some incredible food.

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4.0Dined on March 3, 2018

Love the vibe and service is exemplary BUT every time we go here we end up going home hungry. Skimpy portions and even recognizing the whole shared plates concept, it just feels like Union is enhancing their margins more and more year after year by way aggressive portion control.

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