If it’s new it must be ready for a review. Well, I can pat myself on the back for waiting a few weeks. Actually, the credit goes to the owners of the new restaurant, “The Arbour,” the new kids on the block on South Lake Avenue. Before Smitty’s, Del Frisco’s, Crocodile Café and Paul Martin’s, there was Burger Continental and The Chronicle, and that was pretty much it for food fare on South Lake. I became aware of The Arbour opening, but it was a bit of a cat and mouse game with the owner and Chef Ian Gresik. I was ready to come in, but he wasn’t ready for me just yet. His stint at the Drago, in downtown L.A., did him well. He knows that a soft opening, and limited reservations, would be the foundation of something spectacular. If my first go around sitting at the bar was any indication of things to come The Arbour will not only a welcome addition to South Lake Street but the entire San Gabriel Valley restaurant scene.
The scene is typical of any modern, built from the ground up restaurant. A beautiful bar area, an open kitchen, with a nouveau feel to it. This not to say that other restaurants on Lake don’t have their place looking sharp, but there is a feel to The Arbour that might make one think that you were dining in Napa if you didn’t know any better. So many similarities, but also so many differences.
Ready sports fans? Spoiler alert…there is no television. No big screens anywhere to be found at The Arbour, and I get it! This is a serious place with a real focus on the food, imagine that! Owner/Chef Ian Gresik was the youngest pastry chef in the U.S. with a Michelin Star while at Patina, now those are hard to come by. I know Ian and his wife aren’t going to like this, but do yourself a favor, call first and make sure he is there because it makes the night so special when the owner/chef comes by and says hello. His charm is the signature of the restaurant, and if you hold your breath and say M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I, you might get him to make his signature dessert, The California, right at your table. Looking to score points with the one you love? This a deal closer, but wait, Johnny there is more. We haven’t even gone over the food yet.
My Dad used to say, “Pictures tell a thousand stories,” and am I glad this article will include some pictures of the dishes that I tried at The Arbour because boy, what a story. We started this off with a couple of cold appetizers (Appetizer: Defined as a small portion of food or drink, taken before the main course, to stimulate the desire to eat). Then there was the Seafood Salad consisting of crab, shrimp, and shellfish mixed with parsnips and Meyer lemon vinaigrette. Side note, if you like lemonade, Meyer lemons are the best!
Next was the Bison steak tartare, and Fresno chili stamp served with puffed bread and from the hot appetizers list was the tagliatelle, crumbled pork sausage, and rapini light chili flakes with San Joaquin gold cheese. Then, from the entrees menu, came the Butternut Squash Agnolotti, and lastly, a taste of the Sea Bass dish.
My assessment was two thumbs up. The only problem here is that there are dishes that I didn’t get to yet, and I so badly want to return for the Beef Chili and the Heritage Pork Chop. Amusing to me that the menu doesn’t offer descriptions, but what I had was so good that I can’t wait for my return.
Notable Notes: Valet Parking/Street Parking. Full Bar , reservations suggested. Menu changes so go to website…
The Arbour is located at 527 S. Lake Ave Suite 120, Pasadena. For more information please call (626) 396-4925 www.thearbour.com.