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“Great food, service and a warm atmosphere.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kal's Mediterranean Bistro - CLOSED

Kal's Mediterranean Bistro
Price range: US$10 - US$30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Raymond ave.
Transit: 177 Metro LineRaymond / Holly 260 Metro LineFair Oaks / Holly Metro Gold Line (804)Memorial Park Station 180/181 Metro LineColorado / Raymond 687/686 Metro LineColorado / Raymond 762 Metro Rapid LineFair Oaks / Colorado 256 Metro LineColorado / Raymond 267/264 Metro LineWalnut / Raymond
Description: Modern Mediterranean cuisine presented in a delicious and playful fashion alongside hand-selected wines, hand-crafted cocktails, and welcoming service. Our offerings are driven by the season and the market, with several trips a week to various farmers' markets and foraging.
Altadena, CA
Level Contributor
100 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Great food, service and a warm atmosphere.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2011

We discovered this place after trying to find “something different” in the Pasadena area. The reviews seemed solid. We entered, and were greeted warmly by the hostess (Note to restaurants, a warm hello goes a long way!)
The place has beautiful wood paneled walls, stained glass hanging lights, and just a nice, upscale but warm ambience. We ordered wine, Sarah's Vineyard, Central Coast, Pinot Noir for my hubby (it was so good), while I tried the Floris Apple Lambic. I am fond of hard cider, but this was far too sweet for me. The waitress noticed I was not drinking it, and asked. I said “well, I like it, but don’t love it. I do love the pinot though!” She offered to give me a glass of the pinot instead! I said “but it was my fault, I ordered the Apple Lambic!” “But you are not happy, and we want you to be happy!”

Huh? I know, but I was floored. And impressed.
And the Sarah’s Pinot Noir is a very lovely Pinot. My tummy and tongue were pretty happy.
My hubby had the Bosc Pear Salad with the Point Reyes blue cheese, candied pecans, arugula & pomegranate vinaigrette. Great balance of flavors, not too sweet, and nicely portioned. I tried the mussels in a Mediterranean broth with sundried tomatoes. I am not actually much of a mussel fan… but decided “why not?””

I got this nice crunchy toasted thick slice of bread, then figured out it was to dip into my mussel broth (I love a place that encourages me to use my hands...just sayin!). And when I tasted that broth…honestly I could have stuck my head in that bowl it was so good. My hubby tried it too. Just yummy goodness.

We are into our food, the Pinot is warming us up, and we are realizing “hey, nice time, good food, how ya doing honey?”

Then our dinners arrived. My hubby had the Steak frites, which comes with a nice pile of fries and veges, the steak perfectly cooked in a molasses glaze. Molasses? Oh hush, it was a rich and savory sauce that accompanied the steak well. And I stole some of those fries and dipped them in that sauce. I had the Halibut with fingerling potatoes that were cooked to perfection in some kind of sauce that again, just wanted to lap up.

We were too full to try dessert, but I can promise we will be back, bringing friends and sharing food and plan on doing some research about Belgium beers. 

Service was great. Plates were quietly removed without interrupting conversations. Parking across the street is 6 bucks, and with a full belly, walking around Old Town Pasadena is recommended.

  • Visited September 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
3 Thank aswessen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

10 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Well, The Wood Paneling Is Nice”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2011

So I was back in Pasadena and this time wanted to take out a friend to a nice casual dinner. We both are busy working professionals so our reservation was later at 9pm.

When we arrived I was very hopeful. The dining room is very beautiful with it's mahogany paneling. We spoke to the hostess and from here on the night went down hill.

There were only 3 other parties in the entire restaurant and she sat us right next to them so all of us were cramed into one corner. These weren't even the best tables in the restaurant. They were tables with hard wooden seats and backed up to the bar area so all the noise of the drunks at the bar made it hard for us to talk especially as we were competing with the conversations of the people at the tables next to us.

When I asked the hostess, and I use the term hostess loosly as she had an attidude more commonly found in prison matrons, if we could move to a table which was one of the more comfortable looking banquettes she said no as that section was closed? Really? It wasn't as if it was in another dining room, I'm talking about 3 tables away from where we are sitting. What extra work is it really going to cause them if we sat at a different table in the same room?

Well then there was the food. I had a goat cheese salad with apricots and some kind of homemade peanut brittle like sugary candy that was on the specials menu. Well it was creative i suppose but for me the flavor combinations weren't that great. Ah but the best was yet to come.

I ordered the steak frites as my main dish. Under the entrees the menu had sides you could order to go with your entree including fries. I asked the waiter if I needed to order my fries seperatly to which he said "um steak frites always comes with fries that's what it means" Gee really thanks for the french tutorial.

When my entree came I started to eat it and the taste of soap was so overwhelming i just couldn't stomach it and had to stop after a few bites. I'm not sure exactly why the overwhelming taste of soap? Was it a secret ingredient in the sauce the steak was slathered in or as is more likely than not had the dish not been rinsed or god forbid sterilized properly by the dish washer. My one word discription was "yuk"!

Then looking up from my anti-bacterial meal I saw a party being seated at the banquette I had asked to be seated at. Normally I wouldn't say anything but when our french professor/waiter returned to ask us how our meal was and were we interested in desert I just couldn't stop myself.

I explained that the reason I hadn't eaten my steak was not a sudden conversion to vegetarianism but the soapy taste of the steak. I also asked why we had been seated in the undesiarable section and yet this late party that just arrived 10 minutes before they were closing was being seated in the section we were told was closed for the night.

Our waiter said he would look into it. When he returned with the check and no explaination he advised that as a courtesy he was giving us a coupon for a free appetizer next time we dined at the restaurant. I would say thier coupon has as much chance of being used as a mortuary offering your next embalming at half off. Pass.

  • Visited May 2011
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
Thank RomanticNHopeless
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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