New in Old Town: Bruce Kalman to open Union in Pasadena in March

Chef Bruce Kalman will open Union in Pasadena in March.

Bruce Kalman, who was chef at the Churchill and erstwhile Urbano Pizza Bar and also has his own pickle company, is planning to open Union with his partner, Marie Petulla, next month in Pasadena.

The 50-seat restaurant and bar, located in Old Town next to Pop Champagne & Dessert Bar, will feature Kalman’s California version of northern Italian cuisine. The restaurant features a metal-clad, cement-topped bar and is lined with banquettes, with a wall of exposed brick and wood tables and chairs.

Kalman plans to showcase house-made charcuterie, pickles, pasta, local grains, heirloom beans and market produce. On the menu so far are starters such as ricotta crostini with pickled onions and pancetta; Pacific sardines with Rancho Gordo beans, citrus salad and saba; and house-made charcuterie with Kalman’s Bruce’s Prime Pickle Co. pickles. House-made pastas will include orecchiette “head and shoulder” pork ragu and gremolata or spelt cavatelli with broccoli di ciccio, pesto di rucola and Pecorino.

And for mains: spring lamb with Grist & Toll grains, romesco and pickled green garlic; braised oxtail with egg noodles, crème frâiche and marrow-onion jam; and seafood cioppino with aromatic vegetables and San Marzano tomatoes. Pistachio torte, honeycomb gelato and panacotta with balsamic-pickled strawberries are on the menu too.


Petulla has worked in restaurant operations at Stout Burgers & Beer, She She in Chicago and the Best Restaurant Group (Firefly, Studio City). And George Pitsironis, sommelier, wine consultant and winemaker, created a list of domestic and imported beers and wine.

37 E. Union St., Pasadena, (626) 795-5841,


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