About Union

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.

37 E. Union Street
Pasadena, CA 91103
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary Italian

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Friday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm; Saturday & Sunday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm

Cross Street:
Raymond

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(626) 795-5841

Website:
http://www.unionpasadena.com/

Parking Details:
Public Lot across the street

Executive Chef:
Bruce Kalman

Additional:
Beer, Farm to Table, Wine

Union Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.8

ambience

4.3

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Fit for Foodies (51)
Creative Cuisine (38)
Special Occasion (29)
See All
Local Ingredients (29)
Good for a Date (28)
Neighborhood Gem (26)
Good for Anniversaries (23)
Hot Spot (23)
Worth the Drive (23)
Casual (20)
Authentic (19)
Notable Wine List (15)
Good for Birthdays (14)
Cozy (14)
Seasonal (12)
Bar Seating (11)
Romantic (10)
Good Vegetarian Options (10)
Comfort Food (8)
Tapas (7)
Tasting Menu (7)
Pre/post Theatre (7)
Fun (6)
Business Meals (5)
Good for Groups (5)
Healthy (5)
Organic (5)
People Watching (3)
Great Beer (2)
Disabled Access (1)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Scenic View (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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873 reviews
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 (Los Angeles)·Dined 2 days ago

My gf has many fatal allergies including egg and dairy. This makes eating pasta very limiting. You were able to provide two options was amazing for her. We will definitely be coming back.

Tags: Authentic, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Late-night Find, Comfort Food, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Seasonal, Cozy, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 4 days ago

Undercooked pasta, bad table in the corner and small portions. Expected more from Bruce’s restaurant!

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food2
ambience3
service4
value1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 5 days ago

Just delicious! I am still dreaming about the pasta stuffed with leeks and potatoes in a a wlanut pesto. The service was warm and quite helpful incuding the wine selection.
Definitely deserves a return dinner.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined 6 days ago

This is a remarkable restaurant. Every course is unique, hand made and beyond delicious. The bread appetizer is extraordinary down to the gardinaire. The pastas are phenomenal and the polenta was exquisite.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined 6 days ago

For a small place that appears basic, the food is fantastic with very creative flavors offered by the chef. We will be back!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Casual, Seasonal
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 14, 2018

Valentine’s Day , best dish is the mushroom polenta , amazing!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 14, 2018

One of the best meals of my entire life. Genius prep on the mushrooms, the Brussels sprouts, all of the pasta and the olive oil cake especially

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Business Meals, Fit for Foodies, Seasonal, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Good Vegetarian Options, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Authentic, People Watching, Romantic, Hot Spot, Great Beer, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 13, 2018

My fiancé and I visited Union for an early Valentine's date on Feb. 13th, 2018. We started with the cauliflower leaf salad, which was delightfully fresh, crisp and sweet. Next we had the pork meatballs, which were among the best meatballs I've had, and I get them nearly every time we go out for a nice meal. Next we had the wild mushrooms with polenta, which was arguably the best dish of the night. For pasta, we had the bucatini cacio e pepe, which was very rich but sooooo delicious, and the potato leek agnolotti, which was also delicious, but I'll be honest, I was getting fairly full at this point! We wrapped up with the citrus olive oil cake, which was HUGE, but unreal good. The wine list is excellent, the pricing is fair, and the service was truly outstanding - shoutout to Anistasia, who paced our meal *perfectly* and made us feel right at home. Can't wait to come back!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Comfort Food, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 11, 2018

Superb from start to finish!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 10, 2018

A fantastic meal! Great ambiance, top-level service and the food is spectacular. Can’t wait to go back!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (London)·Dined on February 9, 2018

Only problem with this restaurant is that they have no competition in Pasadena area. Its great food, not "fine dining" with a lot of fuss, just fun and fresh and excellent and deservedly packed, so reservations are essential.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on February 4, 2018

Outstanding food... all the dishes we ordered were unique and very good. The service staff was excellent and our waiter Joe made all the difference- he was spot on with his suggestions including the wine! Will definitely come here again soon.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on February 4, 2018

Union is one of my favorite restaurants in Pasadena. It's a hidden gem--only identifiable by a small sign. The seafood is locally caught in California and the pastas are made in the restaurant. Everyone from the hostess, to the waitress to the chefs are knowledgeable. I'd definitely recommend getting a reservation for this place because it can be hard to get into especially if you have more than 2 people.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good for a Date, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 3, 2018

I had high hopes for Union and I wasn’t disappointed. Chef Bruce Kalman’s Pasadena eatery is one that any LA foodie should experience. Family style service, amazing waitstaff, and bold flavors leave a lasting impression.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 2, 2018

Amazing pasta’s

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 31, 2018

Creative food in an unusual restaurant. Friendly service and minimal ambience.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food3
ambience2
service5
value3

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 30, 2018

Everything was fantastic! Service was exceptional!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 30, 2018

Tables for two are very tight. Noise level can be high.
But you come for the food and it is exceptional.
The wild mushroom appetizer was earthy and delicious.
We shared two pastas - squid ink lumache and the saffron gnochetti.
They were perfectly balanced and full of flavor.
Just an awesome meal.
We are committed to visiting Union monthly !

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Authentic
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 28, 2018

Phenomenal meal with great service. Food came out quickly and at a great pace.
I would recommend ordering a few dishes and sharing - everything was delicious. I was just sad I didn't have room for dessert.

Tags: Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Although the dishes are billed as "sharing" plates, the portions are still a bit too small. Great food, though. Wish they would print menus on brighter paper... really difficult to read in the low light, so we repeatedly risked blinding our neighbors by pulling out the iPhones to see.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Delicious food with some amazing ingredients. Share all dishes. The four of us had about eight dishes, and each one was wonderful. The only (very minor) down side was that the wines were quite expensive.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Casual, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Seasonal
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 27, 2018

One of the best food experiences I’ve had in a while. I applaud the service! For those 2 reasons I can’t wait to go back,

Tags: Notable Wine List, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Seasonal
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Hadn't been back for a while after a bday reservation was canceled due to a fire alarm issue and I am so happy I was designated with picking the restaurant for this get together as I chose Union and everyone had such a lovely lovely time.
I missed you guys, so happy with this experience.
Just divine.
XO

Tags: Cozy, Local Ingredients, Seasonal, Casual, Fit for Foodies, Tapas, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 26, 2018

No matter how many times we have been to Union, routine is not a word that describes it. We were there 1/26/18. You think you know what to expect from past experiences and then the food, service, atmosphere exceeds your expectations. Our server David was friendly and attentive. The standouts from the menu were the brussel sprouts and the cavatelli with wild boar ragu. The cavatelli was so good that we ordered it again. The polenta with wild mushrooms was also excellent. We left knowing this is why we return.

Tags: Hot Spot, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cleveland)·Dined on January 25, 2018

Wow! Wow! And wow! Went expecting some good Italian food, but this was over-the-top good. Homemade pasta, friendly staff, excellent chef. Creative California northern Italian cuisine. I thought I was back in Tuscany!

Tags: Healthy, Fun
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 25, 2018

My date and I had perfect meals with great service. This was our first time at Union. We look forward to returning soon.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 24, 2018

Loved it - each item on the menu is special

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on January 23, 2018

The food was really great. We tried and shared about 7 different items. Everything was really great. What wasn’t was your corkage fee of 35.00. Ridiculous. Wine which wAs only average was 18.00 a glass. Why is the corkage so much. Not ok!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 22, 2018

The food is excellent but very expensive for small plates. A typical small plate main dish is $39. Food is inventive and delicious.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 21, 2018

Super good food and excellent service for dineLA

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 19, 2018

Amazing food!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 19, 2018

Great food, great wine, great service definitely a come back!!

Tags: Authentic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 19, 2018

Outstanding all around. Started with pork meatballs. Fantastic! Next we enjoyed the squash and broccolini. The squash was truly unique and delicious. Broccolini didn’t disappoint either. Entrees were risotto and squid ink pasta. The pasta is one of the best dishes I have ever had — period. Simply amazing. Enjoyed a bottle of Scarpetta Sauvignon Blanc - a perfect pairing. Enjoy!

Tags: Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Hot Spot, Authentic, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Casual, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 17, 2018

Had not been to Union in a bit - warm welcome at the door- sat immediately-attentive waiter (Kyle?)who took time to check that the kitchen could accomodate my husbands dietary/allergy food restrictions. Busy Wednesday evening because of Dine LA and Chef's presence on TOP CHEF. Ordered some favorites, Cacio Pepe, Bread and Gardinere (extra spicy batch!) and some new and reveltory dishes including a Cauliflower leaf salad - which drove home the point of seasonal thinking with a smile and a smack of the lips. The salad was crunchy and bright with nuggets of rich sunchokes and bursts of pickled shallots every other bite. Mains were meat - a smoked pork chop special with porcini mushroom dust - juicy and delicious. Our waiter was kind enough to suggest a wine that would go especially well with the pork chop - not something I would naturally gravitate to, and it was fantastic. The other main was an aged prime rib with squash/sweet potato that elicited groans with each bite. But let me tell you - the olive oil cake is worth the drive alone. Great dessert for someone who is lactose intolerant who likes dessert but not anything super sweet. It's always delicious, moist and stands up to whats left of my glass of wine and the end of the evening.

The GM stopped by, recognizing us as having been there before- was incredibly hospitable chatted us up about the recent change in the flour they are using for pasta and asked us if could we tell.

Service and hospitality here leave me walking out the door thinking about when I get to return.

Tags: Seasonal, Hot Spot, Casual, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 14, 2018

I've always wanted to come here so I chose it for my birthday. We checked in at the hospitality station and were seated immediately -- always a plus. The server brought menus and waters, and told us there was only one more order of porchetta (which I immediately snagged). She came back, explained the Northern Italian family-style menu, and took our order. Wine arrived and shortly after that food. Many plates, many tastes. The one disappointment was the pasta (which is a specialty of the chef), which was delicious but a minute or two too al dente. Everything else was perfect. Afterwards we had excellent French press coffee and a simple dessert. We loved that, even though they were busy, we got the right amount of attention, and there was never any pressure to hurry us out of there for the next seating. I look forward to our next visit.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Orange County)·Dined on January 14, 2018

The food was creative and delicious. Our server was knowledgeable and helpful. We ordered the pork meatballs, the squid ink pasta with lobster and the wild mushrooms on creamy polenta. The pork meatballs melted in your mouth and the squid ink pasta with lobster was cooked perfectly. Overall a satisfying dinner and pleasant dining experience.

Tags: Authentic, Notable Wine List, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Casual
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Delicious as always, especially the wild mushrooms with polenta. Service was very attentive without being intrusive. I look forward to next time.

Tags: Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Casual, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 7, 2018

pretty underwhelming overall. servers were friendly and efficient, but most of the food was average and the space is super small so it's loud and you constantly feel like you're in the way. the pastas were especially underwhelming...they somehow manage to be lacking in flavor while being greasy and heavy at the same time. the mushroom and polenta appetizer was fantastic, rich and flavorful, probably the only dish I'd go back for. Their famous porchetta that has limited portions available was especially disappointing...it took a long time to come out, and when we finally got it, it was super dry. you're better off going to a local chinese roast meat place and getting a much more flavorful and moist version of the same thing for a quarter of the price. adding truffle salt and olive oil to the chocolate budino was a creative touch, but after the initial wow factor, you realize you can put truffle salt onto budino yourself. maybe if the place wasn't so hyped it would have been better, but it definitely isn't worth going out of your way to try

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food3
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 6, 2018

we went for a birthday it was an 8:00 reservation and we were instantly seated the service was on it
there was no food left over as it was so tasty I will go back

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Good Vegetarian Options, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 6, 2018

Birthday dinner was tasty!

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food5
ambience5
service4
value3

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