I'm pleased to announce that the Food Bitch has discovered yet another fabulous new place to eat, drink and be merry in Old Town Pasadena! King's Row Gastropub is hidden down the same hallway where you find the entrance to the watch store on Colorado Blvd. Locals will know what I'm talking about, but if you aren't familiar with the area, you'd probably walk by the entrance without a second glance. Fortunately, King's Row seems to have invested in ample new signage which is easily visible from the other side of the street (should you happen to be having a cold Smithwick's outside at Barney's Beanery before dinner and maybe even getting shouted at from a car by an old friend!)
Once inside King's Row, you instantly feel like this is a place where you want to be - the kind of bar at which you could easily hold court for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. The ceilings are high and airy, and every wall is the most beautiful exposed brick. The simplicity of the mix-n-match wood floors, tables and chairs combined with the chalkboard, but otherwise sparsely-decorated brick, give the whole place a charming, almost school-house feel. But an awesome schoolhouse that serves beer.
|Four Beer Sampler|
We started with the four beer sampler, which changes nightly. One was pale and crisp - a white ale. Another was flowery and almost unpalatable without food (and then it made sense), and the darker two both tasted distinctly like coffee. The sampler was $10, but the little glasses were actually pretty good sized, so we didn't need to order a second round of drinks.
|Duck Fat Popcorn|
That's right, you heard me. White chocolate mac.
Yes, it really, really is.
H, the world's self-appointed, foremost popcorn connoisseur said the duck fat truffle corn was, "a unique and delicious foray into popcorn decadence." I didn't come up with anything quite so verbose as my mouth was unabashedly filled with the mac, which had a nut-brown top, creamy center and a sweet, but not too sweet finish. Whoever spilled the white chocolate into the mac and cheese that day - genius. Seriously, a kitchen accident at its finest.
With little room left for entrees after our carbathon, we split the Pulled Pork Sandwich with Pomegranate BBQ sauce and Crispy Onions. Served on an old fashioned sesame seed bun (alongside. . . sigh. . . more plain fries), its presentation, along with the other dishes we tried, was minimalistic - not even worthy of a photograph. But holy pig - that first bite delivered so much flavor, I instantly could not have cared less what it looked like - I just wanted to devour it. The sauce was sweet and tangy, and much lighter and brighter than the typical thoughts of Carolina BBQ sauces that the terms "sweet and tangy" seem to evoke.
|Burned Whiskey Brain|
Because this blog is dedicated to bringing you the whole experience review, it is worth mentioning that the restrooms are located New York style in the basement, and I couldn't help but admiring the repurposed, heavy oak interior doors that were just gorgeous. Also, to get to the restrooms, one must walk down another long hallway that was so edgy and awesomely lit, it made me either want to be a trampy model in fishnets and heels, or a pompous, amateur photographer who wears a beret.
What I can say with authority is that the King's Row Gastropub is a place where I definitely want to hang out again. You can invite friends with the confidence that you will be getting amazing food in an even cooler location with friendly, attentive service.
So yes, I will be back, Crack Mac, I will be back. And quite possibly in fishnets and/or a beret.
The Food Bitch