LA Weekly has released its annual list of the 99 Essential Restaurants in Los Angeles and Pasadena’s corner of the city has swept two spots. Upscale Racion and Union, two of the city’s most popular places made the list, as did a bunch of places in the surrounding area, as Pasadena is not only a food city but also a prime location for discovering other nearby food cities. Check out what the bible of eating in LA has to say about Racion and Union and then explore some of the other spots in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond.
Racion has been a corner of Spanish cuisine since it opened and LA Weekly reports that despite a change in chefs, the food is still as good as ever, if leaning more towards the tapas and less towards the Basque influences. To accompany the delicious dishes is an expansive wine list featuring numerous Spanish wines.
Union has been getting accolades from critics and food legends like Jacques Pepin alike and since opening up only a few years back has continued to grow a big reputation for great flavors. The small spot is regularly filled and chef Bruce Kalman has plans to grow his restaurant empire in other spots in LA, including a stall at Grand Central Market and taking over Culver City.
In the greater area around Pasadena, Highland Park’s favorite hole-in-the-wall, El Hurache Azteca has maintained a spot on the list for its signature list and dedication to using fresh ingredients in everything from the aquas frescas to sauces and salsas.
In West Covina, Misky Misky got props for its Peruvian food, including impeccable ceviche and paying homage to Peru by serving dishes with Peruvian corn and potatoes. There are also cooked dishes that are seafood free if you’re not into raw fish.
Over in Rosemead, Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant was recognized for its Cantonese offerings, which include seafood and made-to-order dim sum, without the usual carts.
Also in Rosemead is Summer Rolls, best known for the Vietnamese specialty. At the restaurant, you can roll them yourself using the tray of fillings and rice paper that is provided for customers.
Not too far away in Glendale is a vast Armenian and Middle East culture and one of the best restaurants to enjoy an array of flavors from that part of the world is at Adana. Adana is usually associated with kebabs, but there are plenty of other dishes on the menu as well.
Check out the complete list of the Essential 99 at http://www.laweekly.com/99-essentials.
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