An impromptu invite and we found ourselves seated at the bar on the second story of Crossings restaurant in South Pasadena. The small, cozy front room can be seen from Mission Street with white on white tables (tablecloths, napkins and dinnerware), u-shaped ribbed beige booth and matching chairs backed by the open kitchen and sided by brick walls, and filled with a dozen floating chandeliers that look like puffed origami stars. Previously, while walking by, we’d missed the staircase to the left. This we now climbed and found a side, dimly lit dining area, and facing the street were the bar and an open dining room.
Our friend was already seated at the bar with two appetizers set before her. We sought the week’s last ounce of patience and refrained from taking our fork and digging in until our cocktail—Crossing’s Eastside with rosemary, basil, cucumber, lime, and Hayman’s Old Tom Gin—had arrived and our friend had taken the first bite.
Braised short rib of beef with bacon on toasted polenta. The meat fell apart upon pressure from the tines of our fork, then we swirled said meat to lap up some of the dark sauce that was reduced and rich—almost lush, followed by a bite of polenta that crunched, while also spreading across the tongue like the ultimate comfort food. It was difficult not to crowd the plate.
We followed the rich and dense with the light and pungent. Grilled peaches, arugula, burrata, prosuitto, and balsamic vinegar. The peaches were hard but flavorful, their sweet mixing with the bite of the arugula and balsamic. The burrata was just another dose of creamy comfort.
We could not stay to dine this evening, but we plan to return and shall file a full report. Maybe we’ll sample the oxtail sliders, the Free Dive Scallop with purple cauliflower, or maybe a Kurobuta pork chop, the striped bass with ragout and pesto, or the cockles and mussels…
Crossings, 1010 Mission St., South Pasadena 91030. Starters, $11-$32; Entrées, $14-$40; house cocktails, $11-$13; wine by the glass, $9-$20; wine by the bottle, $30-$600. Crossings-Restaurant.com. 626.799.7001.
Jeff Gaffner of Saxon Brown Wines in Sonoma will bring a selection of his wines to pair with Chef Lalo Sanchez’s specifically-created menu on June 23rd, which will include a parsnip and scallop first course, roasted veal loin and braised rabbit. See full menu and wine pairings here.
Saxon Brown Wine Dinner
Sunday, June 23rd, 6:30 p.m.
Reserve a seat by calling 626.799.7001